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San Francisco police attacked, 22 demonstrators arrested

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http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/22-demonstrators-arrested-in-S-F-3925776.php

John Wildermuth

Updated 11:13 p.m., Saturday, October 6, 2012

One police officer was slightly injured and 22 demonstrators were arrested Saturday as demonstrators briefly disrupted traffic with an unannounced march through San Francisco's downtown.

Some of the people arrested were carrying hammers, an ice pick, road flares and bags of paint and rocks, said Officer Gordon Shyy, a police department spokesman.

The trouble started just before 3 p.m. when about 100 marchers, many of them wearing masks and black clothing, gathered at Justin Herman Plaza and began marching west down Market Street, tying up traffic.

When police told them they had no permit for the march and needed to get out of the street, the marchers began tossing flares, bags of paint and other objects at the officers, Shyy said. One police officer was struck in the head and received minor injuries, while several other officers were bathed in paint.

Police stopped the march in the Financial District, shortly after 3:30 p.m. They circled a number of demonstrators at California and Battery streets, and they arrested other demonstrators as they fled to Pine and Sansome streets, Shyy said.

At least some of the marchers face felony charges of assault on a police officer, while others were arrested for conspiracy, riot, resisting arrest and failure to obey a lawful order from a peace officer.

While police were busy at events across the city Saturday, plans always include extra officers to handle any unanticipated problems that might develop, Shyy said.

"We know there are always possible demonstrations in the city and we prepared for that," he said.


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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Hmmm - what were they marching about ?


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Hmmm - what were they marching about ?

California cap & trade


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Oakland-anti-war-protesters-wreak-havoc-3928164.php#photo-3562845

Oakland antiwar protesters wreak havoc

OAKLAND Splinter group of protesters, too quick for police to react, vandalizes downtown area

By Justin Berton

Updated 9:45 p.m., Monday, October 8, 2012

Oakland police admitted Monday they were caught off guard by a fast-moving group of vandals who tore through the city's downtown center and were gone before shorthanded authorities could organize a response.

The masked vandals dressed in black splintered off from an antiwar protest march Sunday night and wreaked havoc, smashing windows, lobbing paint bombs, and spray-painting graffiti on storefronts.

And then they walked away.

The all-too-familiar sequence left city officials, residents and business leaders frustrated - yet again - by the violent attacks on the city's civic and business center.

Police said they didn't see it coming as what began as an antiwar protest of 30 to 40 people suddenly grew to between 200 and 300 people with varying agendas and motives.

Police were staffed at regular patrol levels when they received reports of smaller groups breaking off from the larger march to break windows, damage parked vehicles and smash glass storefronts along 20th Street near Broadway. Vandals also shattered windows at City Hall and the Oakland police internal affairs and recruiting office in Frank Ogawa Plaza.

"We've become easy targets," said Greg McConnell, president of the Jobs and Housing Coalition, an organization of business leaders in Oakland.

"The Oakland Police Department is understaffed - they can't respond to everything - and I think these people are taking advantage of it. How else do we explain why it keeps happening?"

A spokesman for Mayor Jean Quan said the city was as busy as San Francisco this weekend, with police monitoring the Rockridge Street Festival, the Oakland Black Cowboys Parade and Heritage Festival, and the First Fridays art walk that put thousands on the streets - all without incident.

San Francisco also had a protest that turned violent Saturday in the Financial District, yet police arrested 20 of the vandals for alleged felonies. Oakland police arrested no one Sunday.

On Monday, calls to increase the department's staffing levels and clamp down on wayward protesters grew.

Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, a frequent critic of the mayor's who has wanted to take a tougher stance on Occupy Oakland protesters, said he and council members need to increase police numbers and enforce the political will to prosecute violators.

"We have babysat these protesters for months and allowed them to do what they want," De La Fuente said. "The message has to come from the top - this is intolerable and it has to stop."

The department has about 640 sworn officers, down from 776 in 2010 and 837 in 2008.

Police spokeswoman Johnna Watson said organizers of the antiwar march, affiliated with the group Afghans for Peace, had historically carried out peaceful protests. Sunday evening's march was to coincide with the 11th anniversary of the start of the Afghanistan war.

She said police believe the group was joined by protesters affiliated with Occupy Oakland, and that's when things went out of control. Video cameras in front of business and city offices captured some of the mayhem.

"This could happen in any town at any time, not just Oakland," Watson said. "It moved very quickly. By the time we are able to put officers in place, they've done the damage and moved on."

The banks that were targeted along 20th Street were closed Monday. Twelve windows at the California Bank and Trust were taped or boarded up, and an ATM outside Union Bank was smashed.

Outside the Awaken Cafe downtown, Reginald Hayworth, 36, was discussing the attacks, which have occurred at least four times since last fall, with two friends visiting from Southern California.

"I keep telling them, 'This is what happens in Oakland,' " he said as crews scrubbed down graffiti a few blocks away. "Nobody likes it, everyone hates it, but it's becoming pretty common."

Black Bloc anarchist group behind latest S.F. protest, vandalism spree, police say.


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"I want to take this opportunity to mention how thankful I am for an Obama re-election. The choice was clear. We cannot live in a country that treats homosexuals and women as second class citizens. Homosexuals deserve all of the rights and benefits of marriage that heterosexuals receive. Women deserve to be treated with respect and their salaries should not depend on their gender, but their quality of work. I am also thankful that the great, progressive state of California once again voted for the correct President. America is moving forward, and the direction is a positive one."

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