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Police Attack Tristan Solidarity Demonstrators, San Francisco, 3/16/09: video

by dave id
A Solidarity with Tristan Anderson and Palestine demonstration was called for 4pm today in front of the Israeli Consulate in San Francisco on Montgomery Street. Hundreds of demonstrators rallied at the consulate and then marched to the intersection of 5th and Market. After rallying at the intersection for a little while, demonstrators marched back to the Israeli Consulate. Within minutes of arriving back at the consulate just before 7pm, demonstrators were more or less milling around and chanting when one officer began to assault demonstrators who were standing near some barricades and newspaper stands. Within seconds, up to a dozen cops rushed in swinging their billy clubs wildly at anyone they could hit in the crowd -- swinging overhead, swinging to their sides, just swinging at everyone in front of them.

This video starts as demonstrators were making their way down California Street back to Montgomery Street and continues unedited through the police attack. It does not do justice to the brutality of the police action here. The human eye apparently can capture more than an old video camera.
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
(video 3:27)

More photos and video from the demonstration at 5th and Market through the police attack in front of the Israeli Consulate will be posted later at the web address below.
§slow motion video of just the police attack
by dave id
Copy the code below to embed this movie into a web page:
Obviously, many cops were anxious to "get some." Look at how a sea of bald heads rushes in to attack the demonstrators. There's no way they had any idea what was going on but they all rush in and start swinging at people, even those already down. One cop, who appears to have instigated the incident, is just using his fist before he pulls out his club and swings it down on someone like he's chopping wood.

It wouldn't be hard to imagine that many if not all of the charges against demonstrators in this area were fabricated after the fact in order to justify this brutal assault.

The slow motion video here is more true to the detail the human eye captures from a scene such as this.
video of the full march from Market Street back to the Israeli Consulate can be found here:
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by fuck you sfpd
i saw the videos and pix from earlier in the demo (i'm not in sf or i'd be there) and felt a lot of solidarity and was heartened. then to see sfpd act like fucking wackos ... what the hell were they doing?

solidarity with those arrested. they did nothing wrong.

keep the indybay community aware of their legal status please.

and great coverage of all of this in the past few days.
by .
I disagree. It can be unedited because people press pause on video cameras during slow periods. the second part is really interesting. I like he detail with the blue flag. Doesn't it seem like some commander had said "allright, it's 7pm - let's end this". SFPD's approach to policing protests has always been superficial tolerance (such as the calmer response at the busy intersection on Market) until a certain moment, when mass illegal detentions of everyone present occur, or they try to send signals to isolated groups. It works for them because people are disorganized to sue, and the city would pay for it anyway.

Does anyone happen to recognize these officers?
by me
if the protest was only scheduled until 7, then they should've given more notice to the protestors...I didn't hear them say anything like it's time for you to stop or anything, they did a surprise attack. That's so fucked. we know whose side they're on.
by .
For some reason, I seem to remember that police are supposed to have department protocols of baton use, and that raising a baton overhead (which happens at least a couple times in the film clip) is of significance. They are supposed to maybe require extra reasons to do that, rather than just for crowd dispersal.
by Andrew Hochberg
By refusing to acknowledge the troubles and abuses created by the protesters, you condone this protest that became destructive of its own volition--it's not as though it was a response to any attack on them. Destruction, harassment, preventing everyone from just going about their day, those are things that, by refusing to report, you tacitly condone.
That is your agenda. It would be best if you acknowledged it in words at the beginning or the end of an article. To do otherwise is disingenuous.
by BS detector
some people were charged with resisting arrest which usually at incidents like this is a bullshit charge.

what are people supposed to do when cops come running in with nightsticks? if you stand still you get hit over and over, if you fall down they keep hitting you, and if you move away you are resisting arrest if they randomly decide to grab you instead of the person next to you also trying to move away and avoid being beaten. if you try to help someone up who has fallen when cops are wailing on everyone, then you could be bogusly charged with trying to free an arrestee. there is simply no reasonable way to "comply" with a beating, although no one here swung back at the violent cops

without dispersal orders or any sort of verbal direction from police, how is anyone supposed to know what police even want, to disperse a crowd or make arrests, much less who is an arrestee and who is not?

for instance, it looks like they beat that woman with the scarf in the first wave, then ignored her on the ground as she tried to grab that blue thing, then later decide to arrest her and someone who tried to help her stand up. there is never any order made to the woman that she is under arrest.

I hope those arrested fight unjust charges and that there is some kind of account made for these hot-headed and very unprofessional cops. it's always important to get badge numbers, although that's not easy when cops attack
by thx
Always there on the scene. Getting great video. Video that corporate media is too cowardly to get.

Thanks again
by A
Big, brutal, blue, wearing bullet-proof vests, bald (are they afraid people will pull their hair!!?), batons in air, armed, bunched together-like a machine. I don't think you can reason w/this! It is exactly like talking to a bulldozer, a fighter plain, or what have you. Who the hell is in charge? What came over them to do this? This was a peaceful vigil for someone hurt. It did look like the cops were tired afterwards. I wonder if they get demoralized from this?
by canary131
The video shows that there was NOTHING going on before the arrests. At about 1:25 the officer waves a motorcycle on, looking right toward where the arrest happen moments later. It's clear that there is NOTHING going on in the direction he is looking. Then, for unknown reasons, the gal is targeted, and then all rush in, clubs drawn.
by keep up the good work
Thanks for the videos, dave id. Could you upload a higher quality of this video for download?
by unless
unless youve been in rural areas in usa recently,yu may not realize that fascist police types ,some religious conservos ,are working for police and other bay area you get used to the routine and cant believe when you see this fascist attacks on people.since 911 police everywhere have gone berserk and agressive.they think its finally time to express cosmic white man agression once and for all! alert your friends ,fascism is here!
by FrenSf
From my point of view - Right on the corner of montgomery and sacramento, the police attack is not justifiable at all. Protestant's crime, lots of noise when we try to work, but beside that no violence or threat was coming from the protestants.
The message I get out of this: "Express your opinion and SFPD will make you regret it"
by activist
I got punched in the back of the head and choaked with a billyclub and I didn't lay one finger on a cop or destroy any property once so ever. For anybody to justify this attack may as well go be a fuckin pig them selves! Yeah, like I'm supposed to just stick around after that to get beat up even more. Everything happened so quickly, totally didn't even expect them to this far! Running to safety in this case was totally justified. They just came in and started swinging like wild animals with out warning. I didn't feel like winding up in the hospital that night so I ran. Sometimes I feel if I'm gona get accused of clashing with police I may as well do it next time but these cops are much bigger and on steroids so I won't ever go there. One of these days their gonna fuck with the wrong protesters who are just as big and mean as them and their not back down. So disappointed right now with all the bad tv news reporting. Their all on the same team. tv media, cops and corporations all stick together.
by .
The slow motion tape is amazing. There are so many details one can't notice in realtime. At second 38-52, an officer is actually punching someone with his fist. There might be a utility to either shoving someone out of the way, or grabbing someone to detain them, and perhaps they could slap a family member, but isn't it common for drunks who punch someone to end up in the emergency room with a broken hand? There is no good reason to do that. With batons, I believe they are typically supposed to either shove the crowd by holding on with two hands, or to jab and poke. It's hard to see who is in the middle of this. Hopefully there was also tape of the south end of the block, near the front of the city pickup truck.
by unilateral roid rage
it always seems to come down to this, one yahoo cop decides to move in and antagonize a basically peaceful situation, escalating it into a physical confrontation

the day that other cops step in and tell the roid ragers to chill when they do this, rather than rush in to join in the cop-on-protester mayhem, will be a good day for the civil rights of our citizens

as it is, though, cops always take each other's side, no matter how atrocious the roid ragers act, and they'll even lie to protect cops that violently attack non-violent and unarmed citizens
by Mentalrev (huckleberry [at]
Dave, i would like to talk about sharing the raw video of the attack in a Documentary about the struggles in Palestine, and global resistance.

I shot and edited the following

Aim to the Face and Shoot

please contact me
huckleberry [at]
by e.
the only effective response in this situation is violence. some will object to that statement, but it's about the only direct recourse. unless you think the justice system is going to hold the police accountable?
by cookie arceo (queercorejellydonuts77 [at]
I was there. On California Street, there were a roving band of pigs looking for black bloc-ers fucking shit up, when they didn't find any (fat lazy fucking turds) they thought they'd go beat up some innocent brown person outside of the fucking consulate. what a bunch of spineless jerks! that person whom was beat up (whom will remain nameless) was slipping out of concioussness 15 minutes later, lying on the fucking ground, and needed to get ambulenced to the fucking hospital to get goddamn staples put in the side of his head.




*except for bacon*
by Jason
I have been released on O.R. after spending about 50 hours in custody. We arrestees are currently drafting a press release but I wanted to tell a short story when we were in custody.

They took us in a paddy wagon to a near by police station in Chinatown and we were waiting while they booked our property and got ready to send us to county. We asked the officers many times why they just rushed us like they did without any warning. One officer gave us a little aside right before he left the room.

He simply said, "Chaos is cash."

The prison industrial complex is a profit making industry and they arrested us not only to break up the rally, but so that a select few could make money from tax dollars. This is the injustice system of our state. Also, right as we were leaving the jail, putting on our shoes and checking our property there was a poster saying that California arrests more people than any other country. They are proud of it.

This world needs to change.
by sinerva
It should all come out later, but could you expand on the person who needed stitches? Initially there were reports of five people arrested, but I saw six. While they had been beaten by batons on the arms and body and were saying this while being left away, it wasn't clear what had happened to people we can see being struck by overhead baton blows. Next, the people kept on one side of the police line couldn't see what had happened to people on the far side for the next 20-30 minutes.
While overhead baton strikes are not entirely against department policy, I've heard they aren't supposed to use this maneuver without special justification because it is highly likely to cause injury. Hitting someone on the head is much more risky than on the back or side because skull injuries can be deadly. From 2003:
by Saunders
check out this quote of the overtime. There were no cars vandalized. Anyone who was there would know this.
"So because Cricket's friends are outraged, they vandalize cars and block traffic. They have to know that their actions are not going to change the situation in the Mideast. What they are affecting is police overtime costs. Deputy Chief Kevin Cashman estimated that evening's action cost $27,804.27 in regular-duty and overtime payroll costs. Cashman noted, "This is blood money. Officers often have to go into harm's way and are on the receiving end of objects being thrown at them."

Huge punitive lawsuits that require restructuring of the police department and firing of the officers involved, as well as criminal charges being filed sounds like a necessity. Hope Atty John Burris isn't too busy dealing with Oakland PD and BART PD. These cops need to be put behind bars and face the consequences of their actions.
by Maya
What's up with all the bald headed officers? Is the SFPD hiring skinheads now? I guess that would explain their behavior.
by great quote
Sorry for your troubles (and injuries) but that quote could be the title of your press release.

Also, I overheard someone saying they had the badge numbers of officers heard bragging about the attack shortly afterwards. It would be good to document what they said and who they were here or in some other public forum.
by multi-racial
I think the pig who started it all and seems especially intent on really cracking open a head here is african american. you can clearly see a bald asian american oinker trying to get in on the action. it's not so much they are skinheads in the traditional sense as just roided out right wing bigots who jumped at the chance to attack anarchists/anti-zionists

they were multi-racial in skintone but uni-cultural in their zeal to use violence against demonstrators

maybe hair gets in the way of their roided out latent homosexual gym sessions. wouldn't be surprised if they shaved their legs too and regularly rubbed baby oil on themselves in public places
by shakeses
Um, 'multi-racial'? I want to point out that your image of what these 'roided out latent homosexuals could possibly be doing in their off time is indicative of some not-so-latent homophobia on your end. Bigot is as bigot does. Maybe take some time to craft your text more next time?
by Mr. McLowery
This is one of those things that allows angst to simmer on the back burner for the people of the real U.S. Government, it's law abiding citizens. This is a pure example why cops are labeled PIGS, because they treat the law and the citizens they have sworn to protect like swill in the trough for hungry swine.
by pamela bennett (octohorse [at]
this is a hard thing to watch, the slow motion you hear a weird sound like a growling horrible animal. what have we humans turned ourselves into that some of us still take money to beat on innocent people trying to evoke much-needed change?
these policemen are pathetic protectors of a phony reality that we are all strait-jacketed by.
they are cowardly, and they know it, and that is why they go so bananas with violence trying to pretend to themselves their false bravery and false righteousness.
they're a bunch of pathetic losers.
I wasn't there but I've been there several times and I saw two of my friends, both women. this video is allowed out because they are trying to intimidate us into not going. they were under orders, they drove up waiting to do this. Under orders it is obvious. We must elect Cindy Sheehan next election
or get more of same, and vote out phony posers. Vote ourselves in. Wake up people.
Vote our own kind in, poor, and progressive. No more corporate puppets.
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