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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Anti-War
M20 Black Bloc/Breakaway & Mass Arrests
Additional photos from the huge M20 Breakaway March.
Much better Black Bloc/Breakaway march than last year's that resulted in hundreds of arrests on Mission. It was a larger group, including the INB band, probably over a thousand strong, and didn't end up being cornered on a long isolated block with no outside witnesses. This time the route was more public and most people moved to the sidewalks when ordered by police loudspeaker (last time no order was given at all and everyone on the street and sidewalks for an entire block were indiscriminately herded up for arrest, some having absolutely nothing to do with the march). This time those who chose to remain on the Market Street to defy the police or had not made it to the sidewalk in time to avoid arrest had an audience of several hundred to witness and document the events as they took place. Possibly as a result of new police techniques -- whereby roving riot cops lined both sides of the march to presumably protect storefronts from those who might want to break a window -- or possibly because most marchers wanted to continue the march as long as possible without provoking police into the final showdown any earlier than it had to be, there was little, if any, vandalism, save a dumpster being pushed around. I imagine the police saved themselves a lot of money by giving most marchers the opportunity to surrender to the sidewalks and not having to process literally hundreds of arrestees in some temporary detention center. They were also able to re-open Market street within 2 1/2 hours when last year the cops themselves probably blocked Mission Street for well over 4 hours.
these guys deserve major propsfor coming down from Seattle and helping to energize the crowd and diffuse tensions several times over the last couple days
at first it was just a single line of cops surrounding the street marchers to be arrested (later they would reinforce with a second ring around arrestees). before the cops got their sh%t together, maybe 1/2 dozen people were able to fairly easily break through their lines to escape arrest.
the names have been changed to protect their identity
several smokebombs added a touch of drama or flare to the situation
again, the INB made the whole situation better with their drums and music. as they had the day before, when they safely led a breakaway from the Bechtel protest to the Housing Action & Squat past the Civic Center, they later allowed a second breakway from the bystanders at the Market arrest site on to further adventures.
looking east, you can see hundreds of onlookers on the north and south sides of Markiet Street. many people undoutedly were leaving the big rally at the Civic Center and stumbled upon the scene here.
this time the view is looking west towards the direction that the breakaway/black bloc march came from (and the direction the second breakaway would go)
at this point, nearly everyone caught in the middle of the street had been plastic-cuffed, photographed, and place on a sherriff's van or bus by cops
note the recruiting poster on the side of the bus -- seems odd that they would promote joining the force on the side of a bus full of prisoners. I dunno, maybe the power implied in that appeals to some people.
as the last of the marchers are hauled off, and others have moved on to the second breakway, the pigeons move back into the street to signify the return to normalcy, at least on this block of Market Street