The PJ Tatler

May Day violence starts early in SF as Occupy smashes up Mission District

Too impatient to wait until midnight, a group of Occupy anarchists rampaged through San Francisco’s Mission District late on the evening of Monday, April 30, as a preview of what they hope to continue in their May Day protests today:

Protesters trash Mission District businesses, cars

Broken glass littered several streets in San Francisco’s Mission District after protesters vandalized cars and buildings Monday night, including a police station.

The vandals were in a group that marched from Dolores Park shortly after 9 p.m., following a rally in advance of Tuesday’s planned Occupy general strike, police said. Traveling down 18th Street and onto Valencia Street, the black-clad, masked protesters smashed windows with crowbars and signs, threw paint on buildings and spray-painted anarchy symbols on the hoods of parked cars.

“All I heard was, ‘bang, bang, bang,’ and some dude had the valet sign, trying to break our window,” said Adam Koskoff, manager of the Locanda restaurant on Valencia. “I didn’t even see the crowd, and I ran outside and got egged.”

The vandals threw paint and eggs and smashed windows at more than 30 businesses, including Tartine Bakery at 18th and Guerrero streets and clothing store Weston Wear on Valencia.

Both luxury and everyday vehicles along Valencia and Guerrero streets were damaged. An Aston Martin had its windshield shattered, and brown paint covered the hood.

Pink and yellow paint marred the barricaded, cracked glass doors of the Mission police station at 17th and Valencia streets.

“It was like the station was under siege,” said an officer, who asked not to be named.

Although the march sprang from a rally for an Occupy action, other Occupy protesters shunned its participants as outliers. Some business people, however, said Occupy bore responsibility for the damage.

“Occupy is saying it’s not them, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Occupy, now would we?” Michelle Horneff-Cohen, a real estate broker, said as she shivered next to the broken window of her workplace, Property Management Systems.

If this is any indicator, today’s Occupy riots are shaping up to be very interesting.