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2000 Anarchists go on Rampage in San Francisco

TWO THOUSAND ANARCHISTS GO ON RAMPAGE IN SAN FRANCISCO
Two Thousand Anarchists go on Rampage in San Francisco

by Blake McGreevy

Thousands of protestors marched, danced and sprinted through the streets of San Francisco today,shouting slogans against war, racism and capitalism. The protestors were part of a breakaway march from the larger permitted rally organized by A.N.S.W.E.R. (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) which brought out approximately 200,000 demonstrators.

After the permitted march got to its destination, about two thousand demonstrators broke off and proceded on a militant and well-planned march through the streets of the city. Throughout the march, they targetted a number of symbols of the current capitalist war. They stopped at the building that holds the San Francisco Chronicle, a major newspaper, notorious for its right-wing slant. Masked speakers on a megaphone pointed out how the coverage from this newpaper, and from the capitalist media in general serve to bolster the US war effort at the same time as other masked protestors conveyed this message by graffittiing the building with "weapon of mass destruction," among other messages. Next, the building that houses the British consulate was grafittied, with protestors stressing the international nature of the struggle against war and capitalism, and calling for similar actions by the people of britain against the capitalists there. Protestors are well aware that Tony Blair is, as one person at the event put it, "Bush's Poodle." Protestors punctuated their message by smashing a number of windows. One spray-painted slogan read "UK out of Iraq! Burn the State!"

The breakaway march wound its way through the city, using a number of sophisticated tactics to out-manoeuver the police. At times they stopped quickly and reversed direction. At others, they stopped, shouted a countdown from 10 and then the entire demonstration ran for a block. As they moved along, more and more newspaper boxes were knocked into the street, and through the windows of a Starbucks and a Victoria's Secret. The energy built up as protestors chanted "What do we want? CLASS WAR! When do we want it? NOW!" and "What do we want? PEACE! How we gonna get it? REVOLUTION!"

The high point of the demonstration was in attacks on the building that houses the Federal government's Immigration and Naturalization Service. Numerous windows were broken and a cement pylon and a newspaper box were thrown through the INS building's glass front doors. As the call for the breakaway march, put out by a group called Anti-War Action stated, "The thousands of Arab and South Asian desaparecidos in the US since September 11th recall the US-supported fascist regimes of Latin America."

Apparently angry at being consistently outfoxed, police became more aggressive. An undercover officer grabbed one demonstrator, a number of police on motorcycles rode directly into the crowd and a group of mounted police in riot gear began to chase the protestors. The demonstration walked quickly through the streets for some minutes, leaving garbage cans in the streets to slow the pursuing police, and ended by going down into a BART station (Bay Area Rapid Transit). As protestors dispersed on San Francisco's busy Market Street, a number of police in riot gear rushed down into the BART station, and are reported to have arrested two protestors.

After September 11 of last year, media, critics and politicians gloated about what they saw as the death
of radical street protests in the United States. The more conservative elements of the anti-globalization
movement were frightened by a possible confrontation or worse, saw it as a time to stick together and offer
"critical support" to the United States government. At the same time the radicals were targetted with
stronger and more aggressive policing, and international financial institutions such as the World Trade Organization held their meetings in countries with repressive regimes that do not allow protest. But the radicals in the anti-globalization movement were never just protesting "globalization", they were opposed to capitalist globalization. This analysis has transferred easily into anti-war organizing.

The callout for today's breakaway march read "This is not a war between the people of the US and the people of the world. It's capitalism--a war on the poor. Investors in US oil companies will get a new pipeline through Afghanistan and increased access to the Iraqs oil reserves (second only to Saudi Arabia). The weapons manufacturers will get new contracts and the US politicians will have an excuse to increase their power. Meanwhile, the poor and working people of America will definitely not be better off. We continue to live in a world of unemployment and minimum wage jobs, of racism and harassment, of surveillance and prisons, of impossible rents and evictions--a world not built for us, but on top of us."

Maybe smug critics and politicians were wrong. We are witnessing a rebirth of the radical street demonstrations in the US. As one black-clad and masked protestor said today, "The anti-globalization movement is dead, but the anti-capitalist movement is alive and well."

Today's protest are only a small taste of things to come if the war on Iraq happens.




[For images of today's protest see sf.indymedia.org]
 
 


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Comments

why?

Okay, knowing that I myself am not exactly a peaceful little moderate and am very much in favor of revolution for the right reasons..

Why Starbucks? Why Vicky's? WTF?

The INS building, I can understand. Starbucks? Ive never understood the radical left's obsession with Starbucks. Always people are bitching about Starbucks, protesting it, calling for boycotts, etc.. why? Is this ALL over that silly Corporate Whore copyright lawsuit still? I mean granted, that was exceptionally evil and lame of them, but geezus - if that's all, get over it. There's much bigger and fresher evil to concern yourself with.

And now Victoria's Secret? What, is lingerie being produced by prison slave labor in China? (I dunno, maybe it is, but I haven't heard of it.)

This kind of reporting only serves to polarize, effectively maintaining the status quo of current political divisions. People who already agree, are encouraged. People who think it makes no sense, think it's even more senseless.

If the radical leftwing media expect to ever make a real contribution to politics, they should stop preaching to the converted and provide some real food for thought for the rest of us. EXPLAIN the Starbucks thing. EXPLAIN Vicky's. Hell, explain the INS issue just because Im sure others dont understand it yet.

It's a fundamental principle of professional journalism, which this crap is forever missing: always assume your reader knows nothing, and inform them from square 1, in every single article.

Sheesh.

And anyone who thinks the correct answer is "Go do your own research and educate yourself!" - this is why you aren't in professional journalism, and why only the radical left will give you the time of day. The corp sellouts may have lost their souls, but at least they're competent in their craft.
 

Tongue in cheek?

The original article here sounded at first like a real news report. It did have a clear bias though. When I read it a second time, it sounded more like a joke. The SF Chronicle a "right-wing" slanted newspaper? Not as far left as some of the weeklies, OK. But the Chronicle makes the Santa Cruz Sentinel seem like a GOP campaign flyer by comparison. I know, I know... all capitalist media is slanted to the right, even the rags that pretend to slant left. If so, then why single out the Chronicle for special attention?

Is the article writer serious? Are the protestors?
 

why starbucks and victoria's secret?, van

an anticapitalist statement, perhaps?

perhaps.
 

anti-capitalism

Great.

You know what? Fuck anti-capitalism. If they don't respect the rights of private property owners to engage in trade with consenting adults, then they don't respect my rights and I don't want them on my planet.

We say that an injury to one is an injury to all. Well then, an injury to the rights of the owners of those stores is an injury to us all.
 

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