Protest turns violent in the Mission District
<table><tr><td>Nanette Asimov, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, July 9, 2005
San Francisco police clashed Friday night in the city's Mission District with anarchists who broke windows and sent one officer to the hospital with a head injury. The anarchists were protesting the G-8 summit meeting in Scotland.</td><td><img src="files/pictures/sfcop_down_small.jpg"></td></tr></table>
Police arrested three protesters, said police officer Maria Oropeza.
Billed as the "West Coast Anti-Capitalist Convergence and March against the G8," the protest drew anarchists who used sticks, poles and skateboards to break windows of a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant and a Wells Fargo Bank. Protesters also overturned news boxes at several intersections along Valencia Street to prevent police from driving up those streets, witnesses said.
Someone threw a large foam mattress under a police car, Oropeza said, and when police got out of the car at 23rd and Bartlett Street they were swarmed by protesters.
"One officer was hit in the head with an unknown object and has a serious head injury," Oropeza said. The officer was taken to San Francisco General, and his name will be released after the family is notified.
The San Francisco protest was one of many that have taken place here and in Europe since Wednesday, when the Group of 8 -- leaders from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States -- began their three-day meeting in Scotland. Leaders from China, India, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico also attended the meeting, which this year addressed global climate change and poverty in Africa.
The anarchists had arranged for several observers to document the San Francisco protest on film and the Web. A minute-by-minute record of the evening from their perspective can be found at www.indybay.org.
The entry on the website for 11:23 p.m. includes this observation about a post-demonstration meeting of the protesters:
"Some question 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 attacked which is not violation of community."
Josh Wolf, who considers himself an anarchist and "loosely identifies" with the indybay group, spent the evening videotaping events.
He said at one point, "Some sort of a scuffle broke out, which prompted a whole bunch of cops to declare martial law. They said 'Disperse!' and aimed laser-pointed taser guns at us -- it was like something out of Star Wars."
As for why the protesters had gathered in the first place, Wolf said, "The mission is to make an affront against capitalism and empire."