While it may have been April 30 last night, Occupy Oakland got an early start on its May Day protest on Monday night. And it turned violent.
Josh Barro over at Forbes has a rundown of what happened, which included smashing windows and throwing paint balls at an unsuspecting police station:
Occupy movements around the country have called for a general strike today, May 1, but Occupy Oakland got an early start with a gathering yesterday evening in Dolores Park (which is in San Francisco, not Oakland.) (Update: Occupy Oakland has now scrubbed this event from its website, but a screenshot is below.) Here’s the event description:
The Strike Starts Early: San Francisco, once a stronghold of the dispossessed, has become a playground for the rich and a living hell for those of us who cant keep up or have no interest in capitalist relations. Homelessness, gentrification, racist police murders, the displacement of all that is queer, outrageous rent prices, our list is endless: it is time to reclaim our playground. We call upon all of our comrades from every corner of the Bay to descend upon Dolores Park for a ruckus street party to counter gentrification, capitalism, and the policing of our communities.
The “ruckus street party” didn’t end well. A group of protesters (variously described as anywhere from 50 to a few hundred in severaldifferentaccounts) marched from Dolores Park and started smashing windows and vandalizing cars in the Mission.
Barro and Forbes grabbed a scree shot before the event description disappeared from Occupy Oakland's website:
Video on the site Missionlocal.org appears to show the violence. If you listen closely, you can hear the window-smashing:
Missionlocal.org explains that the Occupy movement originally released a statement saying the vandals were not part of the movement, but later took that down:
A group of protesters vandalized dozens of businesses, cars and any property they came across while they marched through the Mission on Monday night.
The mile-long trek of vandalism began on 18th and Dolores streets, where a group of more than 100 protesters met as part of an early May Day march. Protesters walked West on 18th Street, turned left on Valencia Street, turned right on Duboce Avenue and another made a right on Mission Street before being confronted by riot police at 14th and Mission streets, according to Justin Beck and independent journalist who followed the protesters.
It is not immediately known how many people were arrested. The Occupy San Francisco group released a statement early Tuesday Morning saying that the group of vandals were not part of the movement, but the statement was taken down shortly after.
It adds that protesters seemed to be targeting luxury cars, but also smashed a mini van. Yahoo picked up on that, noting the protesters "appeared to show little regard for the property of either the 1% or the other 99." According to Missionlocal.org, police received about 500 calls reporting damage.
For an extensive report and more pictures, visit Missionlocal.org.