How exactly did paint bombs and anarchy signs escalate to smashed windows?

The above pair of shots are Farina, the below shot is Tartine Bakery, both are on 18th Street on the way from Dolores Park to Valencia Street. These attacks seem relatively low-key compared to some of the later stuff. It seems the crowd gathered in the park, prepared to launch some paint bombs, which they happily did for a couple blocks — before they got to Valencia and at some point decided to start smashing windows. I saw a lot of broken car window in the street right at 18th and Valencia, so I guess it didn’t take long.

UPDATE: Readers Christina and Steve were there. Christina first: “I was trapped in the middle of the riot while they threw paint on me and hit my friend with a chair from farina’s outside seating area. They smashed a window of a car and threw a flame inside trying to light it on fire.” And now Steve: “They threw tables around and broke some glass in front of Farina, then smashed an SUV window by the end of the block. Escalated pretty quickly and was moving at a very quick, intentional pace from the start.”

47 Responses to “How exactly did paint bombs and anarchy signs escalate to smashed windows?”

  1. tal fulan says:

    Mob mentality. People I wouldn’t trust to hold my ice cream cone started feeling self righteous. As soon as the first one decided breaking something properly expressed his revolutionary fervor, it was all over.

  2. Wake up says:

    They only person I recognized was your favorite hipster blogger Kevin Montgomery from Uptown Almanac. He was with all the Occupy folk.

    • anonymouse says:

      He’s in NY right now, so you def didn’t see him.

      • Obbop says:

        But another example of the too-often uselessness of the testimony of an “eye witness.”

        Over the decades I have so many strangers insist they know me or are so certain I was living in a town they once lived in from a few to MANY years ago.

        I have a face that for some reason is “common” or something and causes MANY folks to insist they recognize me.

        Sadly, this recognition too often is related to a negative event in the person’s past who insists I AM THE ONE!!!!

        I am from California and am now in an area where I have four years of presence.

        Yet, so many brain-dead idiots insist I am from this area and they refer to events 10, 20 and more years ago!!!!

        Some folks have actually been hostile but, luckily. due to years of heavy physical labor, exercise, etc. my physical presence and obvious ability to defend myself the too-often threatening moments have not led to an attack.

        The above is true and my experience requires me to look askance at “eye witness” testimony.

        Thank you for tolerating my long-winded comment.

      • Wake up says:

        Exactly, but I suspect you anonymous was one of his cronies…now I know.

        Thanks for clearing it up.

        Oh yeah, what were you saying about an Agent Provocateur?

        Go back to Indiana…Occupy is dead.

        • Wake up says:

          That is how an Agent Provocateur works. Feed misinformation, and the kid claiming everything is a conspiracy reveals he is a friend of Kevin Montgomery.

          Welcome to the show amateur.

        • wrybread says:

          Why do you want Occupy to fail so badly? It strikes me as the best chance the masses have to get any traction on the retarded amount of influence money has on our society in, oh, maybe 100 years?

          And I go to as many Occupy rallies as possible, and have a decent sense of what I’d call the heart of the movement, and this is absolutely not in the spirit of that movement. That’s not to say I doubt the people who did this called themselves Occupy, just that they don’t speak for the movement in any sense.

          But yeah, without Occupy, it seems to me that there really is no hope for this country at all.

          • Wake up says:

            Its not a movement. Look at history…if you think this is the best protest against big money or “the man” you are mistaken.

            There is no message.

            No objective.

            No Leadership.

            As a result, No one cares! Fact.

          • wrybread says:

            @wake up:

            Fortunately not everyone is as cynical as you. You should really watch this speech, given by Robert Reich (U.C. Berkeley prof, secretary of labor under Clinton) at an Occupy rally I was at. Damn inspiring.


  3. Bob says:

    Throw an iPhone at the Machine!

  4. christina says:

    I was trapped in the middle of the riot while they threw paint on me and hit my friend with a chair from farina’s outside seating area. They smashed a window of a car and threw a flame inside trying to light it on fire. This might have been more effective outside the lower class mission district, geniuses.

    • uncle tio says:

      what a beautifully ironic description. call it ironic classism? hipster ranting? meaningless banter tied to identiy? wtf? calling the mission district lower class while specifically referring to a restaurant that many can’t afford to dine at in an area that is well known for being gentrified speaks of a little too much you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about. or at least be more apt and interesting in your comments.

      how does one get trapped in the middle of a riot? at least if you were a passerby/spectator, you wouldn’t join the middle of it? somehow find yourself ironically in the middle of it?

      the literary richness of your post escapes me! it couldn’t be any better.

      • KyleM says:

        “somehow find yourself ironically in the middle of it?”

        I don’t think you know what “ironic” means, Alanis.

      • Ian says:

        her comment seems to be pretty straightforward.

      • rod says:

        make up your mind, it’s not a lower class neighborhood, yet many people in the area can’t afford to eat at this restaurant? your scattered thoughts don’t add up.

        maybe at Adobe books you can find a dictionary with definitions of ‘irony’ and ‘classism’ for next time . . .

      • sense says:

        I understand your point but restaurant and art gallery owners aren’t part of the 1%. The wealthy whom I ‘think’ are the intended recipients of this outburst won’t be affected in the slightest; making this all look like an ignorant, cowardly, tantrum.

    • James says:

      Sounds like a good reason to get a concealed carry license and keep an extra shotgun or two in your trunk.

      The important thing is that you are uninjured. If it were me, I probably would have picked up a chair and hit them back hard repeatedly until they had too many broken bones to escape police custody.

      Hopefully you can help identify some of the scofflaws and have them arrested and prosecuted.

      • Carnal Knowledge says:

        I always wonder why people like you aren’t ever in the thick of the action when this goes down. Probably because you’re on the internet being a tough guy.

        • Spudger says:

          Flawless Victory.

        • James says:

          Because most people are smart enough not to try to pick a fight with people like me.

          When I was in the Middle East, there were terrorists and insurgents who had so much chutzpah that they were willing to kill themselves and dozens of innocent people just for the slim chance that they might kill or injure us.

          All anarchists do is vandalize property and then run away like cowards. They have no chutzpah. They are like little girls who are trying desperately to get the approval of their indifferent parents. They accomplish nothing but to generate public hatred for whatever cause they latch onto.

          The police are so scared of lawsuits that they will not do what needs to be done.

      • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

        I wondered how long it would take one of these pathetic Internet ToughGuys(tm) to show up and bloviate ridiculously. Thanks, James!

  5. Steve says:

    They threw tables around and broke some glass in front of Farina, then smashed an SUV window by the end of the block. Escalated pretty quickly and was moving at a very quick, intentional pace from the start.

  6. Ed says:

    More photos of damage around the neighborhood:

  7. Stannous says:

    They really remind me of the SLA- a group who were manipulated by the FBI and NSA into acting in a way that did more to discredit the movement than anything else.
    I don’t doubt that Black Bloc’s ranks have been infiltrated by police provocateurs and they’d be pretty easy to stir up.
    When the police tried that with the Occupy people in various cities they were easily identified and isolated.
    All they are accomplishing is tainting the Occupy and kindred struggles going on today.

  8. REASON says:

    Easy way to halt these ridiculous protest escalations… when someone starts to deface business or private property… walk up to them look them in the eye and crack them across the bridge of the nose with a paint can.

    End of hipster riot. PERIOD.

    • KyleM says:

      “Hipster Riot”? Are you an idiot? And where were you last night, my hero? Did you do any nose smashing? Doubt it.

    • Sweet T says:

      And why are you carrying around a paint can?

    • Jacob says:

      I have to think a baton would be a better weapon in your scenario. Carrying paint cans around all day would probably make me pretty tired.

    • rod says:

      yeah, internet tough guy! where were you last night? fantasy-land?

      • REASON says:

        I wasn’t out running around in a ‘v for vandetta mask’ whining about the 1% while vandalizing the very neighborhood where I live. Pretty stupid way to gain attention for your cause. I’m no internet tough guy… Come bust out windows on my block and you’ll find that out pretty quickly, @rod.

  9. sfcxcc says:

    People like this give anarchists a bad name; actions like these have nothing to do with anarchism as a political philosophy.

    • blah to the blah says:

      but not all anarchists sit at home reading about anarchism. I don’t understand why people are so willing to say these aren’t occupy folks. there was a strain of occupy people who felt like taking more direct actions or whatever the fuck you call this. and it looks like they have broken off and they are.

      • Bilbo says:

        I mean, we can argue about semantics, but direct action at OWS is shutting down banks. Doing sit ins, getting arrested.

        This behavior is like the behavior in London last summer. Angry, disenfranchised youth given cover by the larger movement to get violent and break stuff. It’s a real issue, but it has nothing to do with the point of OWS- which is that our government and our rich get violent and break stuff on a global scale every day of the week, not just April 30th in the Mission.

  10. Papi says:

    This thing has TEA PARTY written all over it

  11. Obbop says:

    “There’s class warfare, all right, Mr. (Warren) Buffett said, but it’s my class, the rich class, that’s making war, and we’re winning”

    “My friends and I have been coddled long enough by a billionaire-friendly Congress.” – Billionaire Warren Buffett, in a New York Times op-ed on Aug. 15.

    There has been class warfare going on,” Buffett, 81, said in a Sept. 30 interview with Charlie Rose on PBS. It’s just that my class is winning. And my class isn’t just winning, I mean we’re killing them.”

  12. Rob says:

    The lack of police response is exactly what inspires more of this ignorant behavior.

    These pathetic children (anarchists) have no idea that the people’s shit that they’re breaking and defacing aren’t rich… they’re small independently owned businesses, they live in San Francisco and are dealing with the same shit the rest of us are… regardless of what car they drive.

    Behave like intelligent people with honest concerns or act like a bunch of naive, violent misguided teens… either way, you will be treated with the same level of respect that you deal.

    • lkj says:

      I happened to be walking down Valencia at 16th when the group headed that way. Stopped to see what was going on, and heard sirens. One cop car drove to from Market to 16th and Valencia, just as the group arrived. Waited a few seconds, watched/heard stuff being smashed, and drove off.

      No other cops were anywhere in sight for the next ten minutes at least (I eventually went home), although apparently the dispatchers claimed they were there (I heard someone on the phone near me talking to a dispatcher, and telling them that no, indeed, there were actually no cops anywhere in vicinity, despite what they thought).

      Kind of ridiculous.

  13. Skidstheclown says:

    Should be a fascinating summer!

  14. morty borty says:

    Will this generate more buzz than what happened to Oakland last year?