Monday, 3 May 2010

Anarchists riot in California

CALIFORNIAN anarchists have hit the headlines with a Mayday riot in Santa Cruz and a march that ended with a two-hour occupation in San Francisco.

Reports Mercury News, Silicon Valley: "Downtown business owners spent Sunday repairing shattered windows and doors after a May Day rally Saturday night turned into a riot with approximately 250 people marching along Pacific Avenue, some carrying makeshift torches, throwing large rocks and paint bombs, and spray-painting walls with graffiti.

"At least 18 businesses suffered damage during the rally in honor of international workers that began at 9 p.m. and escalated into mayhem around 10:30 p.m., police said. Investigators estimated damage at $100,000, though some business owners said it could be more. No injuries were reported.

"Police said Haynes told them he learned about the May Day rally from a flier posted at the Santa Cruz anarchist cafe, Sub Rosa, which is at Spruce Street and Pacific Avenue. Several fliers had circulated around town and on the Internet advertising a May Day street party in Santa Cruz.

"The fliers didn't contain names or groups responsible for the event. 'Take back this day. Kick it with us for a truly sick night of mayhem,' a flier said.

"Another flier billed the event as a chance to 'celebrate, eat, drink, dance and take over', while another predicted a 'massive' street party.

"The city event coordinator Kathy Agnone had reached out to the group to encourage them to obtain a permit, but they refused, Friend said."

And a San Francisco May Day demonstration by Black Bloc anarchists turned into an occupation when they took over an abandoned school to claim it for the homeless of the City.

Reports the Examiner: "After a few hundred Black Bloc anarchists marched around different parts of the city to commemorate May Day, a.k.a. International Workers' Day, some of them broke into an abandoned school near the intersection of 16th and Mission streets and occupied it.

"''This school is sitting empty, they're not using it while we have so many homeless people on the streets. Why doesn't the city let the homeless stay here?' said one anarchists, who refused to give his name.

"San Francisco police, who'd been tracking the march from the beginning, responded by closing off Mission Street between 15th and 16th streets, then clearing the sidewalks of both bystanders and anarchists.

"The anarchists locked the gates behind them. They'd come with various items that clearly showed this was not a spur-of-the-moment action but instead had some amount of planning behind it.

"After a standoff and negotiations between them and the police that lasted about two hours, the anarchists either voluntarily removed themselves from the property or were arrested and forcibly removed. A police commander at the scene said 11 people were arrested."