Mayhem in the Mission District
Wednesday night, before the San Francisco Giants had even won their third World Series in five years, people were already chanting, “Fuck the Police!” This sentiment would carry itself through the entire night. As the evening wore on, massive crowds spilled into the streets, clashing with police, vandalizing their vehicles, and throwing fireworks inside the windows of broken cruisers. Vanguard Properties, the target of numerous anti-gentrification protests, was hit with massive vandalism and a brick was thrown through its windows, knocking down a poster calling for people to vote against a recent anti-gentrification initiative. A large group of rioters also targeted a startup building on Mission Street, chanting, “Techies!” while hurling bottles at windows. At one point, a Google bus – seen as a symbol of the Bay Area’s hyper-gentrification – was attacked with bottles, as was a condo development, Vida, which was under construction and caught on fire after a crowd tore down fences and began attacking it. Graffiti artists wrote tags around the city, decrying techies, yuppies, and police. Graffiti also honored the memory of Alex Nieto, a Latino security guard that was shot and killed off-duty by San Francisco police while eating a burrito on a hillside this year, as well as the names of other people killed by law enforcement, such as Mike Brown of Ferguson, MO.
During the entire night in the Mission, police faced down a mobile crowd that continuously pelted them with bottles and lit fires in intersections while creating makeshift barricades with dumpsters and newspaper boxes. The local blog, The Bold Italic commented on the crowds greatly outnumbering the police:
Someone started ghost riding their Oldsmobile, then the cops came, then the shit hit the fan. The first round of SFPD officers was so pitifully outnumbered that they just turned around and left, as one caught a beer bottle straight to the helmet. Someone lit a Royals effigy on fire and people started piling anything flammable on top of it. The few people explaining to photographers that, “These people don’t represent our neighborhood” were vastly outnumbered by the ones chanting, “Lets go ri-ot!”