Valencia Street riot captured on video

Reader Steve pointed us toward these two videos captured surreptitiously during last night’s riot. I watched the full 20+ minutes and here’s what I know:

  • Whether Occupy identifies with these rioters or not, these rioters identify with Occupy. They reference the movement multiple times in their chants. But yeah, maybe it’s all a conspiracy to turn public sentiment against the legitimate peaceful protestors. Sure.
  • SF Weekly newspaper bins seem to be the makeshift barricade of choice for these rioters. They drag them into the street presumably to slow down authorities that might try to pursue. I’d say these bins should be banned, but SF Weekly is a very useful thing to have access to when you need something to sit on when it’s damp in the park.
  • It’s a major bummer to watch a guy smash the window of a defenseless art gallery.
  • Trying to reason with an angry mob is not very effective.

Videos and my timeline of notable sequences after the jump:

First video:

1:50 Tipped newspaper bin pushed into the street
2:10 Pair carrying SF Weekly bin, just in case they need it?
3:25 SF Weekly bin dragged into street
4:50 Somebody screams, “Stay on Valencia!”
5:55 Chant: “Occupy will not be stopped!”
6:15 Trio stops ominously in front of Weston Wear
6:33 Security alarm going off at or near Therapy
8:00 Chant: “Fuck the pigs!”
8:40 “An art gallery, really?”

Spray cans spraying and various banging noises are heard throughout.

Second video:

0:55 Man tries to reason with angry mob: “Hey! Stop that!” “Yeah, that’s gonna work,” says someone.
1:45 “FUCK THIS SHIT” graffiti going up on 299 Valencia
4:40 Another man tries to reason with angry mob: “‘Fuck you’ is not a very coherent argument. […] C’mon talk to me. [...] Let’s talk politics. […] Smashing some random person’s minivan is gonna change that?” Mob replies with a chant: “White man go home!”
6:30 Chant: “No more fucking with Occupy!”
10:40 Exchange: “Hey [name].” ”How are you?” ”Good to see you!” ”I’m gonna stick with you.” ”Yeah.” ”Yeah, don’t run from ‘em, they’ll just chase you.” ”Yeah, I know, that’s what I figured. I’m also actually recording alternate [?] video, but I don’t think anything got on here at all.”

59 Responses to “Valencia Street riot captured on video”

  1. Mission Minnie says:

    I, like many old time residents of the Mission like to bitch about the changes we see in our neighborhood. We do so because we have a reverence towards it. People who spout anti-capitol rhetoric and then attack a worker / artist owned cooperative are just hooligans.
    Of course, I do have to laugh at the white guys chatting white people go home.
    I am willing to bet that many of the vandals don’t live in San Francisco. But then again neither do the cops.

  2. KyleM says:

    I think it’s safe to give Occupy the benefit of the doubt on this. This is a small group of total assholes out of the millions around the country. The methods and language don’t add up. Since when is Occupy concerned with “yuppy hipsters”?

    There’s a lof a fringe anarchy BS in the bay area that likes to dress itself up like Hammas and do shit like this. They aren’t working to make Occupy look back, they’re trying to make them selves look legit by attaching themselves to it.

    • Valenchia says:

      Yeah, but Occupy does not seem to do much to stop this sort of thing. Occupy Oakland even refused to condemn violence. Occupy could do more to dis-associate themselves from this violence.

      • Tizzie says:

        And neither did the cops do much to stop them, with their batons, their tear gas, and their pepper spray.

        It’s not like they did not know a gathering was happening, nor at what time.

        For how fast they have been to strike at protestors all these months, this time, they stood idly by?

        And if men who’s trained and equipped to stop such behavior did nothing, what exactly did you expect non-violent, peaceful organizers to do?

    • Mike says:

      Couldn’t have said it better myself Kyle. To the goof(s) that smashed the gallery window, may a dozen SF Weekly mailboxes fall on your brainless noggin.

    • Mission Resident says:

      Occupy Oakland…figures. It’s easy to trash someplace that isn’t where you live.

      • Meow says:

        …considering they usually don’t have a problem trashing where they live.

      • V says:

        you’re an idiot. OWS is not strictly Oakland, and a “ruckus street party” is not an invite to trash a neighborhood elsewhere. Please read the link I posted below.

        • Valenchia says:

          It certainly reads like an invite to trash a neighborhood. How else are they going to “reclaim” their “playground” from those who are here now? Sure they didn’t make violence explicit, but it is pretty obvious what the intent was.

          I find it interesting that they invite people who “have no interest in capitalist relations”. Of course, the essense of capitalism is that no one is required to enter into economic relationships unless they want to. But I think what they are saying is that they just want to take whatever they want from whomever has it (maybe using the force of government, maybe on their own initiative).

          • MrEricSir says:

            “How else are they going to reclaim their playground from those who are here now?”

            Maybe you could try asking them instead of making shit up?

          • sisaphis says:

            “Of course, the essense of capitalism is that no one is required to enter into economic relationships unless they want to.”

            Uh. LOL.

  3. I Know these guys says:

    I know these guys and they are TEA PARTY people

  4. kook patrol says:

    These people aren’t anarchists. They are just a bunch of bored kids whose only goal is to have a confrontation with police. Unfortunately for them, they chose to try and get their kicks in a city with probably the most lax and passive police force in North America. If I had a time machine I would love to transport these idiots to Los Angeles sometime between 1965 and the early 90s.

    • Bilbo says:

      Because State violence is always the answer.

      Instead of changing the education system, raising the minimum wage, making it easier to get healthcare, all things possible if we’re on the level of time machine fantasies, you’d rather transport them to an era where cops brutalized peaceful protestors on a regular basis (let alone violent ones). This seems like a failure of imagination and exactly the reactionary stance the 1% tries to maintain in the general population.

      • kook patrol says:

        Oh please, you’re reading way too much into what I said. I in no way condone police brutality, just as I don’t condone the senseless violence that was on display in our neighborhood last night. My point is that these self-styled “revolutionaries” live in a fantasy world and chose to have their little temper tantrum in one of the most left leaning (dare I say “progressive”) cities in the world. I question what that really achieves.

      • Rocky Ponk says:

        Oh good lord. Get your head out of your ass. This comment is as bad as the street thugs.

    • sense says:

      Or they could be transported to NYC:
      The Mission is small potatoes kids.

    • sisaphis says:

      Nice one, asshole. You are describing the Civil Rights era right up through Rodney King, who almost was beaten to death by the all-white LAPD. You are right in time for the 20 year-anniversary of the Rodney King riots, in which similar rioting happened in response to the same police brutality and repression that is still happening in 2012. Over a week, thousands of businesses were burned and looted. Learn your history and think before you open your mouth. Someone might think you are racist, fascist idiot.

  5. Bilbo says:

    I’d also like to ask why this blog has over a page of posts on the aftermath, but has devoted almost no coverage to any other OWS topics or events.

    • kook patrol says:

      It’s not a political blog, friend. You’re barking up the wrong tree.

    • Ian says:

      if someone takes a shit on your doorstep, you’ll probably tell a friend. That doesn’t mean you’re going to talk about all the shits.

    • Brock Keeling says:

      Herp derp

    • Ariel Dovas says:

      Because this immediately affects the people who live and work in the neighborhood that we cover. I live in the middle of all this activity. This is not about OWS, really, this is about a bunch of local businesses being vandalized. You’d be here asking why we didn’t cover it if we hadn’t. “Truth”.

    • Blake says:

      Because you’re unwelcome here.

  6. think_for_me says:

    Break my shit, and this beer bottle’s gonna occupy some “anarchist’s“ face!

    • boyintheboat says:


    • armed and ready this time says:

      Occupy, police yourselves, or accept the consequences when the SF Vigilante spirit makes no distinctions between you and the fools thrashing in your name

  7. Pulp said it best says:

    “Rent a flat above a shop
    Cut your hair and get a job
    Smoke some fags and play some pool
    Pretend you never went to school
    But still you’ll never get it right
    `cos when you’re laid in bed at night
    Watching roaches climb the wall
    If you called your dad he could stop it all yeah

    You’ll never live like common people
    You’ll never do what ever common people do
    You’ll never fail like common people
    You’ll never watch your life slide out of view

    And then dance, and drink, and screw
    Because there’s nothing else to do

    Sing along with the common people
    Sing along and it might just get you through
    Laugh along with the common people
    Laugh along even though they’re laughing at you
    And the stupid things that you do
    Because you think that poor is cool.”

    • Chris says:

      Meh. I really doubt the SFPD felt it was necessary to choose this opportunity to make Occupy look bad. They’re no longer at the height of their visibility compared to the end of last year, and I feel they’ve done enough themselves to make themselves look bad.

      I also don’t like how it was “funny” until it hit Valencia. Did the “boojie” restaurants deserve it? Why? It seemed pretty smug.

    • Valenchia says:

      What a self-serving load of drivel. The person refuse to take responsibility for their own actions or for being part of an event that turned into a riot. His claim that somehow he is a victim of “class warfare” shows just how vapid and narcissitic he is.

      • Laura says:

        Well put.

        His argument seems to be that these people were in no way associated with OccupySF/Oakland because by definition Occupy people (like himself!) are all angels, engaged in saving the world & also in educating “moribund” and “apathetic” Mission groups.

  8. boyintheboat says:

    I’ve been in the Mission for over a decade! I haven’t liked all the changes I have seen over the years necessarily, but I love it here and would never fuck it up. Those vandalizing retarded shitheads obviously are not from the Mission and they will only serve to piss off the people who live in and love our neighborhood! They DO NOT belong!

  9. overt says:

    There was Bacon on the Anarchy burger.

  10. scum says:

    If the Occupy people wanted to seperate themselves from the vandal punks maybe they should round those fuckers up and turn them over to the cops.

  11. Chachito415 says:

    Well, we did need one thing to bring down rents a bit.

  12. someonehere says:

    You know what’ll happen next time right?

    • Ana says:

      I’m surprised there weren’t any guns brandished in self-defence – probably only because it was at night and most businesses were closed.

      • chalkman says:

        if they would have taken their little anarchist parade down capp, and fucked with vato cars, they would have seen some guns….

        • scum says:

          True words. I was thinking that same thing if they tried that crap marching down lower 24th.

      • DomPara says:

        Open carry of unloaded handguns is illegal in CA as of Jan 1, 2012. Also keep in mind there is no “Stand Your Ground” legal protection in CA, and “Castle Doctrine” only applies to residences, not stores.

        It has become our duty to run for our lives.

        • Herr Doktor Professor Deth Vegetable says:

          Thank god. The last thing we need is armed gun-nuts in the mix, jesus.

  13. hater says:

    At least they stuck to the dooshy part of The Mission!

    • calabrese68 says:

      This is a real d*ck comment. It does not matter what part of the city this took place in. The violence was unnecessary and does not further any real message. Moreover, there is thousands of families and hardworking people in “the dooshy (sp?) part of The Mission.”

  14. Chachito415 says:

    We liked Berlin-style ping pong, now we’re getting Berlin-style “Mai-Demos.”

  15. Jen says:

    Was anyone arrested?

  16. GG says:

    It might be helpful to post a list of the business that were vandalized, so that we can show our support (and help offset some of their insurance deductibles) by spending some dollars there in the next couple of weeks.

  17. JP says:

    So what really happened? I’ll tell you, because I used to do that kind of things 20+ years ago back in Europe:

    You get a big social movement like Occupy. You are a young angry radical and you need to show you have fire in you to your peers – violence is the most accessible way to affirm yourself especially when you don’t have the social skills or the education to prevent someone from talking for you.

    You are genuinely pissed off by the consensual approach of the socially privileged elite who steers the movement. You can’t stand the privileged wankers who represent the alternative by promoting way of life only accessible to privileged whites.
    So when it comes to show this anger you don’t do it against wall street – downtown – because you would get smashed by the cops in a matter of seconds. After all the trader who work there is a known enemy, you think you’ll get him when the movement is radicalized enough. Now what matters is to set things ablaze and see who stays on your side.

    So you turn back against the “traitors” in your own ranks (they’re talking about you and me) – the ones who are the benefactors of the system: the tech yupies who change mobile phone every time a new once comes up but shop organic to do their part to save the world, those who serve them, the fashion victims and their hyper-socialized tribes, the day traders and their relaxed demeanor, the Victorian house owner who believes in gardening, the art galleries who are at the forefront of any neighborhood gentrification. All that class of people who are comfortably agreeing with your movement but who will never question their lifestyle and its relationships with their immediate environment.
    And one day, you are in the heart of the district that symbolizes that betrayal to “your” movement.
    The next thing you know, you are part of a mob of people like you and you smash everything you can. You are smashing the symbol. And the symbol doesn’t take in account if the car you torch has minimum insurance and 24 months of payment still due, you don’t know if the store you take down does any profit. You are far away from being aware of these kind of realities. It’s you against “them”.

    I’m not defending these guys here – I just want you to know where they come from. They are genuinely part of Occupy, they think they are the avant-garde of the movement, they are not manipulated. They are not representative of Occupy, they are a radical fringe of Occupy. You’ll see more of them as occupy losses steam and as the radical fringe splits up in a spiral of violence.

    • Moldering Lyre says:

      Well said. You have identified and updated the pulse and rage Herman Hesse expressed in “Steppenwolf”:

      “When I have neither pleasure nor pain and have been breathing for a while the lukewarm insipid air of these so called good and tolerable days, I feel so bad in my childish soul that I smash my moldering lyre of thanksgiving in the face of the slumbering god of contentment and would rather feel the very devil burn in me than this warmth of a well-heated room. A wild longing for strong emotions and sensations seethes in me, a rage against this toneless, flat, normal and sterile life. I have a mad impulse to smash something, a warehouse, perhaps, or a cathedral, or myself, to commit outrages, to pull off the wigs of a few revered idols…”

  18. doing a little time on some pretty hard yards in the thing these “rioters” dont not like whites or respect whites who are “race traitors” whites telling other whites to go home white man or leave the mission white man are not gaining any respect or”love”from ignorant assholes(ashamed of who you are..or your color)go read and study and leasrn about the ANCIENT histories of white races(not the sanitized white bread,soda-cracker christianized version you have been spoon fed on)be proud of you race and ethnic white backgrounds and THEN go ally with the non-whites..they will respect you for it and know you are true to yourself and your ancient history..and be a true warrior..creepy-asses

  19. scum says:

    Heard this at the 500 yesterday. Girl 1- that riot last night was like totes cray, cray. Girl 2- I think it was like more gnar, gnar.