Anti-Capitalist/Anti-Colonial Protesters Clash with Police in San Francisco
An estimated 22 anti-capitalist protesters were arrested on Saturday after police clad in riot gear violently disrupted their march against colonial genocide, which is celebrated each year on Columbus Day. This was the second day of four days of action deemed, “decolonize the new world,” which is aimed at disrupting Columbus Day celebrations.
More than 100 people gathered at Bradley Manning plaza at around 2PM, before taking the streets of San Francisco’s deserted financial district at around 3PM. In between chants of “Hey hey, ho ho, Columbus Day has got to go!” and “No justice, no peace! Fuck the police!” some protesters pelted police officers and bank windows with bags containing a mixture of paint and rocks. Though I did not see any, some reports claim flares were also thrown at police officers.
Before the paint filled missiles were launched, police had ordered the group to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk by using a very low volume sound amplifier. If you were not within a few yards of the device, you would not have heard it. Not that anyone would have
obeyedeven if they did hear it. After the weak plea to the protesters to leave the streets, an officer on a bike began to bark out orders to his crew. “Get ahead of them in echelon! They’re not going to be in the streets!” the officer screamed as other officers began to run in front of the march.
Once the officers made their way to the front of the march, they began to block the street, forcing a confrontation. The marchers pushed past the police line and made their way deeper into the financial district where more paint filled projectiles were launched at a citi bank and officers. An officer appeared to have seen the person who threw the paint bomb and pointed him/her out to an officer on a bike, who proceeded to ride directly into the crowd in an attempt to detain the person. Of course this action was quickly met with resistance. Within seconds, dozens of officers charged into the crowd swinging their batons and knocking down as many people as they could.
The march lasted just about 10 minutes, before the police, who claim they had no knowledge of the protest, began their assault.
After the street brawl, a Starbucks had it’s windows smashed by retaliating protesters as they were also being chased by police. A live streamer, Mikey Pellagatti, who came from New York, (@ThePellaReport) found himself caught in the middle of the chase as you can see here, in his final broadcast before being arrested.
An unofficial count of arrests remains at 22, with charges including conspiracy, felony assault on a police officer, inciting a riot, resisting arrest, and failure to obey a lawful order from a “peace” officer.
Tomorrow there is a call out for “creative disruptions” of the noon-time Columbus Day parade in San Francisco. I will be live streaming from Oakland for the 7PM anti-capitalist anti-colonial march to mark the eleventh anniversary of the war and occupation of Afghanistan.