A first-hand account of the April 30th vandalism event in San Francisco's Mission District

  • Posted on: 5 October 2012
  • By: worker

<table><tr><td>Notes from an Occupation 17: Dolores Park “Ruckus”

So I’m just going to quick talk about what happened tonight, 30 April, 2012, on the eve of the May Day 2012 General Strike. I don’t know everything yet, and I’m too busy getting ready for tomorrow to really sit down and do homework. You’re getting my on the ground observations and you’re getting the cursory bits of reseach and double checking i’ve done with others that were there. I’m not a journalist, I’m ... (personal information redacted here) ...so please remember to read actual news stories from this event. I am providing you with as neutral and informed an account as I possible can because I believe the truth is more important than being a movement celebrity and other dumb shit.

So anyway, I believe we 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 ofsimultaneous 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.”</td><td><img title="I want to go there" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/dancers.jpg"></td></tr></ta...

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.

I am typically really bad with names, but I am great with faces. I love people. I love looking into their eyes, looking at their smiles and their body language and trying to guess at their life and stuff. I probably will forget your name the first few times I’ve met you, but I will not forget your face. Even people I pass on the street, I’ll remember you for weeks. With that said, I didn’t recognize any of these people. Their eyes were too angry, their mouths were too severe. They felt “military” if that makes sense. Something just wasn’t right about them on too many levels. I’m not one of those tin foil hat conspiracy theorists, I don’t subscribe to those theories that Queen Elizabeth’s Reptilian slave driver masters run the Fed. I’ve read up on agent provocateurs and plants and that sort of thing and I have to say that without a doubt, I believe 100% that the people that started tonight’s events in the Mission were exactly that.

Now I’m not pointing a finger at SFPD, although it would not surprise me if certain elements were clued in on it. Generally, the officers seemed as upset and bewildered as we were. Remember that article that just came out about the banks cooperating against Occupy? They have hired Pinkerton, those fucking goons, the scourge of the labor movement from back in the day, to coordinate against us. It could be that they are the Feds, it could be that they are some corporate assholes or even some of our right wing blogger friends who stalk us at events. It very well could be SFPD, as apparently there were no arrests, yet several cruisers drove past myself and a few other people with what I assumed were protesters in the back seats. Bandanas still up over their faces. I actually laughed at them possibly being arrested, because of the damage they did (which is an asshole move, i’ll admit, but i did it out of anger.)

Isn’t it funny too, that for the last 6 months of sustained protests, we couldn’t fart sideways without riot police raising their truncheons against us anywhere in the Bay Area, yet these cops weren’t around tonight when the convergence in Dolores Park turned into a march. the 2 squad cars and van that were following us did so at a snail’s pace while the boojie restaurants on 18th street got vandalized. Some more police units on Valencia just let the protest pass, despite it’s obviously destructive intent, and the cops were driving past laughing as their cars were pelted with paint. The laughter is really what betrays something seriously wrong about tonight’s march. For six months, we’re beaten, harassed and arrested at the slightest provocation, park and public lodging rules enforced to the very last dotted ‘i’ and crossed ‘t’, but tonight, they let a pack of vandals run riot down Valencia street.

The other thing that bothered me is the level of destruction and the targets. This was all (...) 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.

Like I said, I don’t know who did this, but I am 1000000% certain they were not OccupySF and they were not OccupyOakland. I know the action was marketed as an action against gentrification, but too many regular people suffered tonight. Too many car tires are slashed. An old, brown minivan on the corner of Valencia and Duboce has all the windows busted out and the tires are flat. How is the owner supposed to drive that to work? The point is, the Mission, my neighborhood, a working class neighborhood, albeit one infested with yuppies and hipsters, got fucked up tonight. All that work we’ve been doing is now jeopardized. All the interest in what we were doing that brought people in the Mission to ask OccupySF to help them organize is jeopardized. I’m sure the woman wondering how she’s getting to work in the morning because her car is jacked up now finds her job and way of life jeopardized.

This was not OccupySF, this was not OccupyOakland. What it was, was fucked up and a failure. I don’t care about delusions of anarchist grandeur and being the vanguard. That’s masturbation. I care about results and I care about how I’m getting them. The end does not justify the means, the journey is just as, if not more important than the destination. Fuck the yuppies and the hipsters. They’ll join us when revolting becomes ‘cool’ and claim they did it all along. By doing this, and by allowing ourselves to be led on by provocateurs, we alienate them, we push them back into their sleepy little tyranny enabling coccoons. If you’re gonna break windows, if you’re gonna smash cars, be real with your targets. Even rich WASP assholes are family when your they’re your neighbor. If you don’t live in the mission tonight, if you don’t live along Valencia, you don’t know what damage that was done here. For months, years even, this will be a nest of counter revolutionary sentiment because of the actions tonight. If there’s one thing to be thankful of, at least the media isn’t blaming OccupySF or OccupyOakland for once. It’s strange when they actually bother to do research and report correctly.

Anyway, I’m tired, it’s May Day and I’ve got a long day ahead of me. Good luck, stay safe, and be smart and considerate in your tactics. This shit was bunk as fuck tonight.

PS: i get that certain affinity groups may have been involved in the planning and execution of this action, and that you may have worked with these people for years, but i’m telling you that the little love and revolution sandwich you have made has some fucking bacon in it. thank you, love


I got a suggestion...how about we start attacking Masonic Lodges and Temples...we should start crashing them mother fuckers up...

Good idea, and very easy to do. A lot of easy-to-burn regalia in those lodges. Masonic lodges on the West coast are KEY instrastructures of capitalist oligarchic power, just as the Baptist churches.

But the problem is that so many anarchists seemed to be stucked into old mindsets... I don't even know if that's gonna happen.

where is this from?

it's fake; and it's from an obnoxious mediocrity who has serious mental and jealousy issues.

Gentiles with conspiracy theories are funny. This article sucks though and I have more respect for the action after reading this thougb. I still agree with the criticisms.

not a gentile. keep trying.

Than marry me and make my mother happy. This is painful to read by the way.

It's not fake, some asshole on Twitter wrote it back then.

how going it at though?

^that's me, being mysterious and neo-dada^ wink wink

You can always tell people of a certain age who were radical in their youth and aren't anymore by the fact that they swear up and down that "real" members of the black bloc can't possibly be wearing new clothes. In the 90s, when everyone was a crusty punk, this actually was often a pretty decent way to spot the cops in your midst. Now that punk is long dead and the vast majority of anarchists don't dress like that, the signifiers have changed, but they've been gone too long to know that.

the person who wrote it is a forty something year old mom who keeps up to date with "culture" on twitter. so yeah.

You're probably gonna throw the clothes away afterward.... n then when the time rolls around what you do? You get new ones.

Says a person with common sense. Take it up with the crusty punks!

i went to the black blocks and got caught cuz the cops identified my pack and patches and dogs and dread hawk the next day when i was drinking in the park. I got off cuz i was blacked out drunk. since 1997.
Oi cHaOs Oi

-scum boot


this big ugly oaf has as much grace as a drunk ape.

Fuck gentrified Valencia street and just for good measure....Fuck Kevin Keating too

Kill Illuminati!


good thing a mentally ill misogynist approves of this. you've been certified cynical, ugly, evil, and ignorant enough to be one of his attack dogs.

you are special.

"I’m not one of those tin foil hat conspiracy theorists....." but... "I’ve read up on agent provocateurs..."

oh, fuck off. you know not one thing about me, and what i know, or believe. next to nothing. so keep flailing around like dead-eyed fish trying to define what i think and who i am, while you slowly die your soulless deaths playing video games, tweeting, and writing shit poetry that people will laugh at in 10 years, if they're not smart to see what a joke you are now.

yeah, i called you a reptile--has nothing to do with any conspiracy theories. you are reptilic. period. that's the point.

I think the point that person was making is that the article literally engages in conspiracy theory re 'agent provocateurs'

I don't know if you've read your history, but agent provocateurs are fact, not conspiracy. A whole bunch of clean cut military sounding types show up at a protest and get hauled away in police cars then there is a good likelihood that agent provocateurs were involved. This is what the government and big business has been doing for a long, long time, as long as anarchists have been organizing, pretending like it's a conspiracy theory is just stupid.

That said, I'm cool with whatever agency was smashing up Valencia st. That's the epicenter of gentrification in the Mission and despite what some folks want to say it is not working class. Describing the Mission in general as working class is absurd. Sure, there's parts that are, but gentrification has been ongoing for years and years now. I mean, they have two bars named after German philosophical concepts within a block of each other.

I know that there's such a thing as agent provocateurs but this writer's evidence is hell of scanty it really just amounts to her own judgments about people she doesn't know. It seems to me that she is eager to discredit anyone who engages in property destruction.

The cop cars driving off with protesters in all black and then no reported arrests is really what clinched it for me.

Wow, that's so suspicious! It's them thar reptilians at the top ya know!

>> you know not one thing about me, and what i know, or believe.

wrong. we know what you wrote in this inane post. if what you wrote says nothing about you, what you know or believe, what the fuck did you write and post it for?

pathetic personal bullshit.

i didn't write it. an inane "person" wrote it as if from my point of view.

Do you have anything of your own??? A life, lovers, a rich history, authentic emotions, love, profound talent, anything???

Here, let me answer for you: no.

Joke's on you.

What happened here?

What kind of insane shit is this? Somebody got their shit smashed, gave an impression of disillusionment. Makes sense. Is an opinion. But what is particularly disconcerting, is the reptoid comment section. Threatening to murder somebody, labeling them a cunt, telling them they are old? Does this refute the copness or jackassery in the mission? No, it is further evidence if anything. and its pathetic. and you aren't paid to be a cop, you act like one when you act like a viscious pig. Get yer shit together. even if this author is a mediocrity, or deluded by proximity to boojiness, what the fuck are you gaining by communicating such thoughts? Is toxic. Makes me sad. Hulk destroy stupid comment section. Hulk destroy feeling of disillusionment!

Any anarchist who pissed away last fall in an occupy camp (like me) has been all up and down every side of this issue ad nauseum. It's not just the tired old diversity of tactics debate, it's something to do with the fevered imagination of some reasonably intelligent moderate folks who're just completely mindfucked by witnessing the rupture out of the social peace. They start seeing demons everywhere, have some kind of mini-psychotic break and then come up with these tortured rationalizations for their paranoia and anxiety while they identify with all the predictable condemnations from the people who got their shit smashed.

Not saying I can't regret when the hammer falls on the wrong targets but it's *much* more likely that the kids got a bit carried away than some grand conspiracy involving infiltrators and provocateurs (which I have plenty of direct experience with, by the way)

I spent last fall in occupy camps(New York and Oakland) and I'm just going to say that while I support this action I still think it's pretty likely to have been provocateurs. Of course, if the police really want people to think that there are a bunch of people out there so angry about how things are that they're smashing windows then I'm all for that. It's just what the state does: Violence.

You know, people who call black bloc actions state provocations are usually pretty stupid, and they usually said some really dumb shit. But you just took the cake. Bravo. That was a novel spin on a really dumb cliche stance. A new height of imbecility here.

Hey, so second opinion/perspective for you all here. ...cause I was in the midst of that thing as well.

Look, your bias shows. You are not comfortable with Black Bloc tactics. That's fine - we don't have to be comfortable with everything. At the same time, you do have to consider the perspective of other people, always.

I'm a committed misanthrope nihilist. I'm also an inconsiderate asshole bitch. The list of things I don't care about and/or hate is long. Occupy, small business, offended liberals, hipsters? I hate these things and want them to die (especially Occupy).

So when you talk to me and say wahhh wahhh wahh the liddle hot-topic anarchists did some smashy and hurt Occupy's reputation among the hipster liberals and mainstream media and people who didn't care on the 29th, I can safety say I don't give a flying fuck. However, I am kinda put off by what you said, as it contains some rather old stereotypes about people who engage in political vandalism that you continue to perpetuate. I can assure you that they aren't all high school jock boys as you seem to think.

Also, livestreamers need to fucking get fucked (up). They are stupid wannabe celebrity fucks with no ethics and don't. ever. fucking. stop. filming. So, if some stupid yuppie spawn got their camera smashed because he wouldn't point it away from someone's face, that's not my problem. I don't know what you mean about the military posing (Lolwut?) but there's a certain space you go when you get into situations like that. Mine's different, I feel jacked and gleeful but there you go.

You wanna know a secret? Believe me, it's not one THEY want you to know. The cops are not omnipotent and omnipresent. They want you to think that, but it's not true. I don't know anything about anything, but I do know that they are human and it is possible to catch them completely unaware... and it takes time to call in, get the troops outfitted in the riot gear n shit and get everyone down to the scene....

Small business can be really fucking shitty. They still have a fucking manager that gets most of the pay and worker-slaves that barely make minimum wage. 'Specially hipster boutiques like the ones that were mostly attacked that night. Business is business, capitalism is capitalism. The cars were mostly bourgie as fuck little Lexuses... and I know some were otherwise but that's because people are fucking idiots that get carried the fuck away. Likewise for the poor immigrant shops - those people get fucked enough by the system. Yet, can you say fer sure that, if you were there, the smashed out, painted cop shop didn't put a smile on yer face? Or the police cruiser that was vandalized with the cop still inside?

"I’m sure the woman wondering how she’s getting to work in the morning because her car is jacked up now finds her job and way of life jeopardized."

Yes. I want to jeopardize your first world American way of life. All of you typical middle class sort, that would have not given a fuck about Occupy anyway, that wake up in the morning, eat breakfast bought from some corporate grocery chain, go to work at their little fashion hippie store, sell shit to bourgie fucks, come home and share at the tv all evening, whose only higher aspirations include making more money for more shit and finding a mate to pop out a few greasy vagina goblins? Yeah, I want that to fucking die 1000 times over, and if someone has to smash your car to get that to stop for a day, then smash that motherfucker.

You see, my war is on the state AND society.

"...and I know some were otherwise but that's because people are fucking idiots that get carried the fuck away."

I was pumped on your entire response up until this moment. Working class people should not have their shit smashed by anarchists, plain and simple.

"'I’m sure the woman wondering how she’s getting to work in the morning because her car is jacked up now finds her job and way of life jeopardized.'

Yes. I want to jeopardize your first world American way of life."

For some insanely frustrating reason, many anarchists cannot come to accept that most people in the world work jobs because they have to to survive, plain and simple, not because we are proponents of "first world American" ways of life.

My favorite part was *a few greasy vagina goblins*! Fuckin breeders, amirite?!

Also, as an aside, fuck workerists and their martyr complex.
I have to work too and I don't pretend like my submission to that reality somehow makes my wage-slavery more noble.
Fuck that dime-store commie noise.

"i want to go there" made me lol thank you worker

I find it a bit odd, theses days, to content into vandalism and windows-smashing when you've got paramilitary troops in the public place across the US and we're deadlocked into a new world war. Are we gonna have to be DREADlocked, then?

I'm saying this for me as well.

If you look at black bloc tactics there is a lot of room for creativity. First, you don't have to wear all black. Second, you can target something specific. Bank and ATMs are all the rage, and whatever business is around. Gas stations always get heavily guarded, unfortunately.

Just going along and taking out the parking meters could be good? Security Cameras?

Actions under occupation.

This reads like a spam bot wrote it but somehow forgot the link to free sneakers or whatever. " Bank and ATMs are all the rage, and whatever business is around NEW NIKE DUNKS"

There is a lot of room for creativity, but who does? I do find interesting the BBs who don't wait for demos to attack, and make attack in broad daylight in streets busy with proles. But even there, I wonder if it's not going to just give an itchy sensation down the pants of the fat cats... at best.

Movement-building, it can be, true. But when we got the militarized gestapo on steroids in the streets shooting civilians there and there, isn't it a bit underwhelming to just smash windows?

You are saying this for yourself only because to the rest of the world it's garbled gibberish.

Garbled gibberish like your face in the mirror when you wake up to get to work, or classes?

Feel like you pwned me? The system pwns YOU, slave.

Fail. Like any other attempt, from slaves, at ridiculing those who resist for real.

Tell da troof, I don't know what to think about this until I read something about it by KKKEEEAAATTTIIINNNGGG.

The 30th was a great night really inspiring... Fuck this guy...

"An old, brown minivan on the corner of Valencia and Duboce has all the windows busted out and the tires are flat."


LOL @ idea that person buying anarchy patch @ hot topic is gonna go smashy smashy.

To the person who wrote this: Go fuck yourselves.

To the people who posted this: What were you thinking posting this trash?

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