Sunday, July 10, 2005


Utterly Pointless Violence

San Francisco Indymedia is reporting on local protests in the Mission Area which amaze me.
Initially, some questioned choice of neighborhood if goal was to attack symbols of capitalism. If goal was to build solidarity in one of SF's least wealthy neighborhoods, some express concern about effectiveness. Some wonder why police disappeared for so long after initial heavy presence and doubt that would have happened in Financial District. Most pleased at unity of protesters and note they saw mostly banks and large corporate chains and businesses that represent gentrification attacked which is not violation of community. Community cheered on protesters earlier in demonstration when demonstrators continued to take the streets but possibly became somewhat afraid later as things escalated with police. Affinity groups breaking apart possibly prevented larger mass arrests, but with so much running some people could not keep up which allowed police to force larger groups from coalescing. One participant noted instance whereby bus attempted to pass marchers in street, marchers stepped aside to allow bus to pass, with pro-worker chant, and many on bus expressed gratitude and support. Some skirmishes happened between protesters and "yuppies" that started out of their cars to threaten protesters. One person comments that police at times were wildy aggressive and indescriminate in using their nightsticks.
I wonder why:
Jul. 8th 10:17pm: Cop hurt on 23rd and mission. Treating it as crime scene. Report that someone used skateboard to hit officer.
Jul. 8th 10:43pm Police car on fire in mission district
Jul. 8th 9:53pm: Some people broke off from main march and broke windows at KFC. Bank of America also attacked along with other corporate targets. Some trash cans set on fire.
Jul. 8th 9:39pm: Flags being burned at 16th and Mission. About 75 people present. Re-energized by flag burning about ready to march again. Report of arrest up 16th street for unknown reason.
Jul. 8th 9:30pm: Window(s) broken at Wells Fargo.
And so on.

Obviously it was all the cops' fault. Who knew burning flags was so energizing?

As for what were they actually protesting? Beats me... Something about the G8 (I think). Possibly also against the presence of windows. I don't think it really matters.

4:26 AM - 12 people have just entered the Mission police station chanting "John Viola is my lawyer" in order to get arrested and legal representation into the mission jail.
Responses to the protest were negative (sort of):
i attended the march and was very angry at the choice of the neighboorhood and the tactics of the "anarchists" I want to make the following points:
1. the mission is mostly a low-income neighboohood (albeit becoming a bit gentrified) and their was trash everywhere, the boxes for the guardian and onion were thrown in the street (damn those alternative newspapers) and buisnesses were smashed. Most of the locals i encountered were scared and had no idea why a bunch of young anachists were tearing up their neighboohood. The mission is mostly independent buisnesses (along with showbiz a local sf buisness)
2. The messaging and oplanning was bad. you do not trash peoples neighboorhoods and give them 12 page pamphlets to do outreach and get people just aleinates local community members. What it comes down to is,organizing is hard it takes time and its usually pretty boring. its fun to break shit and put rocks through wellsfargo and pg&e but it dosent really do anything but piss peolple off in the neighboohood and now a cop is in the hospital and a bunch of kids may be in jail for the next twenty years ...that sucks. Why not create a long term campign and target something strategically?
However the organizers believe it was a success:
An organizer from Anarchist Action called in and discussed many aspects of the action, the ups and downs of the event, noting that it was their first action, it was held in three cities across the U.S., and that they were pleased with the overall energy despite violent run-ins with police.
They are already planning the next one...

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