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arrests tonite at franklin + macallister
M21 an eyewitness account of events at arrest this evening
i was there when the police started arresting people.
(btw the rally tonite at powell and market was amazing. a group moment of silence, then open mike and people just started sharing so powerfully. a woman from switzerland, a man from france, a guy from central america, a very young african american woman... completely spontaneous and incredible and articulate. )
as we walked down market, police were alongside us and kept announcing on the loudspeaker that we had to 'stay on the sidewalk' or get arrested. i was part of a large group that walked from powell st to civic center, and then started walking up franklin.
theoretically the reason the police started up was because people were walking 'in the street' and not on the sidewalk. the crowd was noisy but nonviolent, there weren't a lot of blackblock people, and there were several children.
I was towards the rear of the group. people were walkiing in the street. as we turned onto franklin, suddenly a group of cops rushed the end of the march, shouting at people to get on the sidewalk. There was another group of cops at the beginning of the march so we were kind of sandwiched in. The cops were very antagonistic and clearly spoiling for drama.
I saw at least one woman get jumped by a cop at the southeast corner of the intersection. Another cop actually pulled him off of her (!) and she was able to get away.
Someone riding a bike either fell or got shoved by the cops and then they surrounded him, couldn't tell what happened next. They had a several MUNI buses full of police as well as at least one of those special jail buses so it was clear they were planning to arrest people.
We sort of milled around for a while-- the cops didn't want to let us cross the street-- and then a group decided to walk down market to the Castro. We stayed on the sidewalk, but we were noisy as all get out and eventually a couple of motorcycle cops wandered alongside us for a while. There were more busloads of cops driving along market street in the other direction so we cheerfully waved hello at them, then they seemed to get clues, turned around, and started heading in the same direction as us.
Not sure what happened later, but as of about 8pm our contingent had made it to the Castro and was headed down past the theater.
See you all tomorrow!