Mission District May Day Riots

Anarchists Take Credit For 'Joyful Attacks' on Mission Gentrification

Apparently there was another spree of anti-gentrification vandalism along Valencia Wednesday morning (which, apparently, was completely cleaned up by lunch and obviously Not A Problem).  This time, the attackers posted their manifesto of sorts on IndyBay, claiming solidarity with some people up north:

San Francisco Yuppies Attacked In Solidarity With Pacific Northwest Grand Jury Resisters

In the early morning of August 22 in San Francisco's Mission District, we joyfully attacked all presence of gentrification and yuppie windows we could find. These malicious acts were done in solidarity with those in the Pacific Northwest resiting Grand Jury's. New and old condos, cafes, BMW's, Porsches, Mercedes, antique stores, fine restaurants, modern furniture stores, among many others, had their windows permanently etched with (A), DIE, Die Yuppie Scum, Fuck Off Yuppies, Yuppies Out!, and a variety of other obscenities.

To our companions currently facing or who do face Grand Jury's in the future: SAY NOTHING! You have waves of invisibles behind you ready to coalesce from the woodwork and attack at the ready.

The people and businesses we attacked, with smiles and laughs, have for decades and still continue to actively displace and destroy the generations of families in The Mission while continuing the project of capital by commodifying and compartmentalizing all modes of existence and ways of being. This project of capital is enforced and backed-up in every regard with the constant harassment, beatings and murders of the San Francisco Police Department. In this regard we send our warmest regards to those who recently rendered unusable SFPD and OPD vehicles - We see your actions, are inspired and continue the attack. It's so easy!

It's curious that these attacks continue happening along Valencia, probably by folks in Oakland (or LA).  After the May Day Riots, in which the police were able to do nothing to stop/arrest them either during or after the attacks, you have to wonder if these black bloc protesters see Valencia Street as an “easy” place to make a message, without any threat of consequence.

(Also, not completely sure what Mission gentrification has to do with some dissenters in Portland but heyyyy good for you.)

[Photo via the Examiner]

LA-Based Anarchist-Feminist Group Posts Video of Valencia St. Riots

Attacking a cop car with a recycling bin.

Diners at Locanda.

A group called Anarcha-L.A. recently uploaded a video of the Mission May Day Riots titled “Ⓐ SCENES FROM A BLACK BLOC Ⓐ,” in which you can see hear the group do 99-percenty stuff like run a recycling bin into a cop car (which, admittedly, is kind of hilarious to watch, if only for the stupid/fail factor), blast Jay-Z rapping about material goods, steal chairs from restaurant patios, and smash business windows.  About 6 minutes into the video, you can see someone outside of Four Barrel chase off the vandals; he then follows them for a few minutes, getting threatened and cussed at by the rioters.  Eventually he tries to reason with them, saying they don't know who owns the vehicles and “if you want to smash a BMW, that's one thing.”  Then the clip cuts out.

While we've seen a lot of similar footage in the past, this is the first instance of a group taking responsibility (of sorts) for the riots.

From their YouTube profile:

Anarcha-LA is a group of anarchists, feminists, and non-gender conforming individuals. We work towards building an egalitarian world free of patriarchy, capitalism, and all forms oppression and hierarchy, through creative direct action, study groups, collaborative publications, and community outreach.

Fuckin' LA…

[via Mission Local]

Wells Fargo Donating $25k to Help the Businesses 'Vandalized by the 99%'

Following all the damage done to some 30 Valencia Street businesses on the May Day Riots, Wells Fargo (a bank known for foreclosing homes of San Francisco residents) is donating $25k to aid the businesses vandalized in said riot.  SF Weekly reports:

Tired of being the 99 percent's enemy, Wells Fargo released the money along with this statement from Michael F. Billeci, president of Wells Fargo's San Francisco Bay Region:

“As San Francisco's hometown bank, Wells Fargo is passionate about supporting the communities where we live and work, and it's important to help our local merchants make the repairs they need to reopen for business and serve their customers again. Helping small businesses right here in the Mission is a win for everyone in the community.”

No matter how angry they are personally with Wells Fargo, merchants were pleased with the bank professionally. In fact, some merchants went as far as to call the big bank “caring,” and “generous.”

“Many small businesses in the Valencia Corridor don't have the cash reserves to handle unexpected expenses like vandalism,” said Deena Davenport, president of the Valencia Corridor Merchants Association.  “Wells Fargo's generosity will provide timely access to capital to help our merchants open for business again.”

Good on Wells Fargo for helping out, but the fact they're injecting politics and public relations into a community issue is a tad unsettling, if not disingenuous.

[Pic by Justin Beck]

The City of San Francisco Piles Onto Weston Wear's Woes

Weston Wear isn't just going to be closed down for a week following the May Day Riots.  No, The City felt it necessary to deliver one last “fuck you” to a business ransacked by savages by citing them for graffiti on their boarded up windows:

Way to support local business, dude.

UPDATE: CIty Hall gained a conscious and backed down.

[Twitter | Thanks to everyone who sent this in!]

Following May Day Riots, SFPD Out in Force on Valencia

Presumably they're making sure we don't see a repeat of last night's mayhem (or they heard that Cold Beer, Cold Water has a habit of showing up to melees and want to stop that menace right quick).

Either way, protests are happening at 16th and 24th Street BART stations, should you be so inclined.

[Photo by Reyhan Harmanci]

"It happens on Valencia and it's a tragedy; It happens on Chestnut and it's a comedy"

My buddy Dave (who lives in some nebulous and distant land that isn't the Mission) makes a pretty good point: the rampant destruction of one neighborhood is a national tragedy (and it is), whereas the hypothetical and sometimes real destruction of the Axe-scented streets 3 miles to our north is hilarious.

Jägerbombs for thought…

Harmless Occupy Rally Devolves Into Valencia Street Riot

As I'm sure you've already heard (if you haven't, Mission Local has some solid reporting on it, as does Mission Mission), the Mission District unfortunately had its Foot Locker Moment last night as an innocent Occupy May Day rally in Dolores Park devolved into a riot along Valencia Street.  But as Scott Rossi (who seems to have been one of the few sane people in the mob) reports, the riot was not Occupy-related, but a “hijacking” done by mysterious clean-cut kids: 

I believe we [the Occupy protests] were hijacked and it was an utter clusterfuck. It started out as sort of a “pep rally” type thing at Dolores Park, but maybe 20 minutes after we got there, it turned into a march. I tweeted “LOL looks it turned into a surprise anticapitalist march. #osf #oo #ows #dolorespark”. although i frown on the tactic of spraypainting and paintbombing, it was a bit funny to see the normally sneering people outside some of the boojie restaurants in 18th street get a little taste of their own class warfare. that said, what happened once the march reached Valencia was a) the fastest i’ve ever seen a march fall apart in my life and b) the largest concentration of simultaneous D: faces i have ever seen in my life. This is where I disengaged from the march, advised people I was pulling out and they were on their own, and told some people who were distracted or otherwise slow on the uptake that the march was entering ‘smashy smashy land.”

So, rather than describe what happened (since 340958345 other blogs and news agencies will do just that), I think it is more important to point out who did this. But as I’m about to explain to you, I don’t know that I can do that. You see, I don’t know who, the people I’ll dub as the ‘ringleaders’ of the march were exactly. Nobody did. Yeah some of the aggro people we always have to deal with were there, but these guys weren’t it. You remember those asshole jock bullies in high school? Well that was who was leading the march tonight. Clean cut, athletic, commanding, gravitas not borne of charisma but of testosterone and intimidation. They were decked out in outfits typically attributed to those in the ‘black bloc’ spectrum of tactics, yet their clothes were too new, and something was just off about them. They were very combative and nearly physically violent with the livestreamers on site, and got ignorant with me, a medic, when I intervened and reminded them that I was there to fix them from police violence, not protester on protester violence. […]

The other thing that bothered me is the level of destruction and the targets. This was all Bay of Rage Indybay organized, from what I gather, but it was all wrong. Black Bloc goes after state or corporate property not that of the working class and poor. I disapprove of that behavior, as it is not something I would personally engage in, however, this was off. This wasn’t directed against corporations or big banks, with the exception of one single ATM I saw smashed. This was specifically directed against mom and pop shops, local boutiques and businesses, and cars. Lots and lots of cars. I won’t weep for the hipster dives or the WASP nests for nouveau riche white trash, but the working class, poor and immigrant owned places I will. At first it was a few luxury cars, but as I followed the march down Valencia from a distance, it was all types of cars. There was a little girl crying and her mom was holding her and telling some onlookers that people smashed their car windows right in front of them as they were walking to it. She’s always going to remember the ‘mean people’ smashing. Everyone everywhere was really upset and blaming Occupy.

We’ve spent months radicalizing and empowering the Mission, working with and learning from groups who have already been here for decades, trying to use our momentum, enthusiasm and appeal to energize moribound organizations and skittish and apathetic people. We’ve been encouraging people to feel empowered to organize themselves, to get unions for day laborers, to march for and bring attention to our terrible immigration practices, hell the list goes on and on. It’s just convenient that these so called ‘protesters’ acted in such a way to undermine and burn all those bridges we’ve been so carefully building. The destruction was too calculated and precise in it’s seeming randomness to be Black Bloc or even those fucking suburban scumbags who get an anarchist patch at Hot Topic and think that gives them license to come to Oakland or SF and burn shit down. [Read On]

Scott has some theories on who might have been behind this (potentially classified as “crazy conspiracy theories,” but you never know in this crazy world).  But no matter who was responsible (and I'm going to be horribly articulate here), this just plain sucks.

Now, the clean-up begins:

[Photos by Justin Beck and Ert O'hara (who also noted her apartment was smashed to hell despite screaming at the mob to stop)]