From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Santa Cruz Indymedia | Police State & Prisons
Dance Party Ends in Window-Breaking and Police Clearing Pacific Avenue 20 Minutes Later
by Robert Norse
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 1:55 AM
I emerged from a late night movie at the Cinema 9 to find all the windows of Urban Outfitters at the corner of Pacific and Locust smashed, with rocks on the sidewalk. About 20 minutes later, a line of police in riot gear moved up the street with billy clubs forcing everyone away. They ignored actual areas open to vandalism and theft like a Del Williams window that was completely knocked out, leaving the store open to casual looting.
I saw no cars were vandalized, nor individuals injured. One man did report getting shoved by the police. Another reported the incident began when an Officer Winston drove his squad car through the crowd of dancers.

Other observers noted that a small group of masked "Black Block" protesters broke the windows (as well as overturning several planters near Zoccoli's but that the overwhelming majority of celebrants were non-violent and danced in honor of International Workers Day--May 1st.

I'll be playing interviews I did on the street as well as my own observations later today on Free Radio Santa Cruz, around 10:30 AM. Tune at 101.1 FM or Call in at 427-3772 if you were a witness or have an opinion. The show will be archived at

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by dancer
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 4:55 AM
your assertions about the sequence of events, who was there and why, who did or didn't do what, are all incorrect and misleading. this piece should be taken down. probably more accurate accounts will appear sooner or later. this is even more off base than the sentinel's article, which is quite a feat. i just don't understand why you think you know all about what happened when by your own account you were only there for 2 minutes, the march went on much longer than that.
since they are also looking for witnesses to come forward and talk about this. think, is it possibly going to endanger someone? then it's not worth being the subject of your alternative journalism broadcast no matter how much it makes for good radio or whatever. if you really are a 'movement' journalist than that is your responsibility, to not aid the police.
by -+-
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 7:13 AM
Well - it was Pacific Avenue, so more than R. Norse was a witness. I mean, he is going to talk a lot on his Sunday radio show about it, but he's not a videographer. There are similarities with the Mission G8 protest which devolved into an unfounded attempted murder charge, where not just J. Wolf was around, but hundreds of people were eating and drinking in nearby restaurants. That also involved a moment where a police car drove towards a crowd in a panicked stated.

Look at this art project that someone did for the annual Berlin riots:
by rover
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 7:39 AM
jeez. I think that really should stop.
What did everyone expect from the pergolessi staff when the FBI (holy cow) showed up at their business asking for surveillance tapes and observations. Nobody from the animal rights community or other community had ever discussed an expectation of mutual obligation or rapport with them beforehand. I doubt they knew what was going on even, and one would expect them to be flustered when law enforcement shows up and the staff might not even understand what incident they could contribute to snitching about. It's not the same thing as snitching among people who had formed a prior collaboration.
by Auntie Imperial
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 8:00 AM
Stick to writing about things you know first. You can write about what you don't know later.

That was Richard Brautigan' advice to an aspiring author, and it's good advice to you to, schmuck.

The time frame is totally wrong, and albeit a police car was trapped temporarily on Pacific with a few demonstrators pounding on the hood, the window smashing etc DID NOT HAPPEN until at LEAST 40-45 minutes later after the crowd had grown and the party had circled THE ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOOD AND CAME BACK AROUND.

Again, you're a clueless schmuck Robert.
by rover
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 8:47 AM
Oops - looking in the comments of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, someone clarified that at best, someone tossed a burning firework or torch in the yard of the Pergolessi, but a worker there this morning can see no evidence of it and no one there had heard of anything happening.
by ball
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 10:50 AM
You were obviously not there for the entire incident!!!! Get your facts right. There were numerous vehicles and businesses damaged. This was senseless violence that should not have occurred! Protesting is one thing, damaging innocent victim's property is another thing. Typical you would blame the cops for the whole thing. You should be thanking the cops for protecting the victimized businesses all night until the owners could have their windows repaired.
by z
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 1:22 PM
It's interesting to analyze the whole situation and context.

There is definitely an anarchist movement/scene in Santa Cruz
but we may never know who decided to organize/host the event,
who set up/ran the website/made fliers/put them up, and if any of those people
were the ones who came to the event with a plan to cause property destruction.

It's simply convenient to throw each party in the same lot but in certain situations
those who host events have no control over what participants do or don't do.

I'm pretty sure those who initiated and did most of the property damage were anarchists
and perhaps some people were merely opportunists.

With these assumptions or statements aside, what was the point of causing that property damage?
Presumably, the point is that most of the targets were symbols of oppression and capitalism.
Places for tourists or the wealthy to shop.

While I understand the point, I feel the action will largely be misinterpreted and disgust the majority of people who hear about it and aren't already "down" or in the "know". While there may be a big enough anarchist scene in Santa Cruz to feel comfortable doing such actions and have an understanding amongst each other, it comes off very alienating to the majority of people - even those who could readily be your allies.

On the other hand, I could be completely wrong. Maybe there are plenty of people in Santa Cruz who, upon hearing this news, revel and rejoice in their hearts.

Either way, stay safe.
by Or just attempting disinformation?
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 1:42 PM
You say we may never know who planned it, who printed the flyers, etc?

And yet, the first arrest has been made. A transient, Jimmi Haynes. He says he found out about the opportunity to engage in this crap by being given a flyer at SubRosa.

Gee, whodathunk there might be a connection with this crap and Subrosa and Weswho staffs Subrosa and this website and Bradley who always manages to be at the illegal actions while they're happening and..... duh.
by z
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 2:10 PM
there are numerous people who staff there.
yes, wes does staff there. no, he's not in charge.
there are also numerous flyers for different events at subrosa.

if what you're saying is the truth,
then like i said before, it's convenient to make
those kind of connections but we'll never know for sure.

was a flyer for the event posted on the bulletin board?
or were there flyers inside that he picked up and took?
or did someone hand him a flyer?
what did the flyer say?
did the flyer say "come fuck shit up becuz here's your chance"?
do we even know the words exchanged between the staffer
and arrestee? were there even words exchanged?
how many different flyers for the event were there?
how do we know the same people who made the flyer
are the same people who distributed all of them?
someone could've seen the flyer online, liked the event
and printed out their own flyers

all i'm doing is asking questions and showing you
it can be a lot more complicated.
i don't have any answers. i'm just asking questions
sounds like you're spreading disinformation
by repost
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 2:38 PM
"Street Party Turns Violent – Santa Cruz Riot of May 2010"

Santa Cruz May 1st Riot – the morning after
by -+-
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 2:57 PM
The Pensky blog is interesting, as he emphasizes repeated calls to the police, to which the dispatcher said they weren't going to send anyone for 15 minutes until they assembled a large crew for response. This was because of potential danger to the officers fighting the crowd? The police station is two blocks from Pacific avenue, and the police had seen the fliers. So police apparently arrived at this thing not 5 minutes after the windows were broken, but more than half an hour later.
No one *wants* lots of police at their fun event, but this is interesting. To me, it had an odd similarity to the historical Mission G8 protest of several years ago, referred to above. At this event, perhaps 100 officers wearing helmet hats were assigned to the beginning of the event. So the police were clearly ready and equipped. But 30 minutes into the march, they all went away except for about half a dozen officers standing to the rear. A city public works truck was there picking up some litter already. What had happened was that Captain Suhr had ordered most of the officers to go back to the station to await further instructions. At this point... basically the hyperactive contingent in the protest started tipping trash cans and a few people threw rocks at bank windows. Then what happened next was a bit controversial. A regular patrol car encountered this march, and they had heard nothing on the radio about the protest. One was hit on the head when he got out of the car and started grabbing a teenager. Afterwards, Chief Fong was very angry at Captain Suhr who claimed that there had been no radio communication, but records showed that records were working properly. The pattern of instructions by Suhr conflicted with normal policy for protest events.
In other words, what might have happened is that the police deliberately went away for 20 minutes in order to let things get out of control. The 9-11 Truth conspiracy crowd, like a mental virus, has spread the notion of 'false flag' event, and lately you might hear lots of people saying that every strange event was a planned instigation to create fear in the public, in order to get them to welcome an authoritarian state which later puts many into FEMA camps. Yet this sort of is what the motive might be for a police department to deliberately have a slow response. They can play a game of acting disorganized or overrun, and then demand funds for more pepper spray and SubRosa informants.
by Sarah Wilson
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 3:25 PM
As someone who was downtown last night, you are sadly incorrect in your 'report'. Shop windows were smashed, cars damaged, a chair thrown at windows, graffiti written on buildings, etc. I heard a rumor that you spoke (and recorded) to one of the people responsible for the damage. Have you turned that recording over to the police? Have you even BOTHERED to speak with the police? Doubt it. Typical Robert blathering.
by I'm not spreading disinformation
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 3:25 PM
Let me make it easy for you, since you seem to be having trouble believing it, or finding the link, or the quote that has the guy saying he heard about it at Subrosa, okay?

Here's the quote: "Haynes is on parole out of Fresno County for burglary. He has been in Santa Cruz for the past several weeks where he has established an arrest history, Clark said. Haynes admitted to participating in the rally after receiving a flyer at a local anarchist café. Haynes was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail."

Here's the link:

Here's some of the wording from the advertising flyers for the "event": ""Kick it with us for a truly sick night of mayhem" and "We're living in a powder keg and giving off sparks".

Here's a cached version of the website that produced the flyers and advertised the "event". It's been scrubbed, but too late to be hidden:

It's not complicated..........unless you want it to be.
by z
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 4:11 PM
he received a flyer at subrosa.
okay, very believable. i'd gamble on it.
so? why does that matter?
what if someone dropped off flyers at subrosa?
do we even know that someone physically handed it
and said something to him like "Yeah come and destroy shit"?
what if a staffer heard about the event and printed
up flyers from the website to promote it? if so,
what if they just wanted to celebrate mayday and
not plan to destroy shit?

the point is it's complicated.
these are the reasons why anarchists, especially the
anarchist scene in santa cruz, like to work autonomously
without formal organizations and why they revel in the black bloc.
if everyone has each others back who planned to fuck shit up, then
no one gets caught. It's also why no one talks to the police and keeps
up a good security culture.

In other words, people at Subrosa might've been in the plan to destroy shit
but it's also very likely they didn't. In fact, it'd be smart on their part if they
weren't involved because obviously it'd leave them vulnerable to being scapegoated.
Regardless, we'll never know because they probably won't talk to the police or
anyone they don't trust about this because they know they could unnecessarily get
dragged into the mess even if they weren't involved.

As for the wording, so?
It's all in how you read into it.
On the one hand it sounds like they wanted to have fun,
and take over the streets in an unpermitted march and have
a roving dance party. But one could also be like OMG IT'S
And one could interpret everything in between.
Or maybe someone interpreted the wording as an excuse for
them to be able to come and use the crowd as cover while
they fuck shit up.

Point is. we don't know. probably will never know.
we can only speculate. there's a reason anarchists work the
way they do. it minimizes the danger of getting caught.
for example, whoever ran the blog and scrubbed it might've
scrubbed it out of fear of being blamed for what happened.
of course, they also could've scrubbed it because maybe they
did have a plan and were involved in the property destruction.
especially with the recent past of fbi investigations and informants
in santa cruz, i can understand why one would do either.
especially when dealing with grand juries.

you seem to have your mind made up, are connecting dots
and are claiming that as the reality and truth. to me, that's
disinformation. at least i'm honest enough to be like, hey
i don't know and i don't think we'll know for a while or maybe
ever. here's the possibilities. i'm asking questions and critically
by It's really simple
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 4:18 PM
You're efforts at providing alternative fantasies are complicated, but the reality is realllly simple and clear.

You spin it however you want, but when it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck...and subrosa is a duck.
by z
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 4:22 PM
clearly our dialogue is over.
i'm at least glad that everyone who comes by this article will
be able to see our dance discussion and decide for themselves.
by witthuss
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 7:48 PM
If I understand correctly, those who trashed downtown businesses don't believe people have property rights. Or, perhaps more accurately, they don't believe _some_ people have property rights. And, yes, I'm referring to people, not corporations, since many of the business that were vandalized are local unfranchised enterprises. I'd be interested in learning what criteria were deployed to decide which businesses to trash and which to leave alone. Also, if those who trashed do not believe that anyone has property rights, would they willingly remain silent if their own property were destroyed?
by dancer
Sunday May 2nd, 2010 10:38 PM
you're letting this thread stay up which contains misinformation, incitements to snitchery, and baseless accusations? shame on you. this site is as bad as the sentinel.
by docchandler
Monday May 3rd, 2010 5:12 AM
This back and forth debate about flyers, what inspired whom, whether
destroying property is worthwhile, is an impotent
waste of time.
In the end, none of it contributes to politics and actions that
achieve actual results that last.

Most sincerely, docchandler.
by witthuss
Monday May 3rd, 2010 6:57 PM
Yes, indeed. Let's not concern ourselves with reasoning about our actions -- better to just act and be done with it and let the chips fall where they may. After all, reason and action are two different modes of being, right? And whoever heard of good consequences coming from actions based on reason?
by trannygohome?
Tuesday May 4th, 2010 3:23 AM
The downtown association has run an anti poor campaign since its inception, and a bunch of its members got their noses bloodied (metaphorically speaking).
by (A)
Tuesday May 11th, 2010 12:23 AM
shut the fuck up and get on with your lives the brakeing of windows and shit happens all the dam time so im sick of hearing about this this aint shit fuh