From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Media Activism & Independent Media
When Do We Call a Celebration a Riot? The SF Giants Win the World Series
by Davey D's Hip Hop Corner
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2012 10:33 AM
As each fire was lit and reported on by local newscasts, I couldn’t help but note the tone and wording used to describe the scene. We didn’t hear words like anarchist, outside agitators or thugs to describe those committing wanton acts of vandalism. Instead what we heard was local news outlets like NBC described what was happening as ‘instant street parties’. Others like ABC talked about how exuberant fans and overly joyous fans were celebrating in front of bonfires.

When the final pitch was thrown and a strike out ensued, resulting in the San Francisco Giants once again becoming World Series champs, I was tempted to hop in my car and cross the bridge like I did 2 years ago to celebrate with the tens of thousands who were already out and about at local bars or at the Civic Center watching the game on a Jumbotron.

Everyone likes a winner and even more people like the celebrations and festivities that come along with winning. Everyone was upbeat last night and San Francisco was on Fire… It was on fire emotionally speaking, but within an hour of the Giants winning SF literally was on fire.. All over the city bonfires were being lit.. One was downtown on Market street. Another was on 19th and Mission. Another on 23rd and Mission.. Still another was near the police station on 16th and Valencia which was the scene of raucous Occupy protest a few weeks ago.. With each bonfire came people by the hundreds and wasn’t long before folks were tossing in everything they could get their hands on, couches, card board paint cans and other flammable which caused loud bomb-like explosions. Eventually a bus was lit on fire around 3rd and Market in the heart of downtown. We also saw a security truck flipped over with the driver in it..he got out unharmed.

This is the SF Chronicle describe last night’s vandalism

As each fire was lit and reported on by local newscasts, I couldn’t help but note the tone and wording used to describe the scene. We didn’t hear words like anarchist, outside agitators or thugs to describe those committing wanton acts of vandalism. Instead what we heard was local news outlets like NBC described what was happening as ‘instant street parties’. Others like ABC talked about how exuberant fans and overly joyous fans were celebrating in front of bonfires.

Reporters would utter the word vandalism in the most casual tone and downplay the smashing of bank and storefront windows, crowds chanting ‘F– Tha Police and cars being burned or flipped. The main focus by these local news outlets was about highlighting the excitement around this world series win.

It was hard not to contrast the sanitizing words used to described the destruction happening all over the city of San Francisco with how many of those same news outlets described Occupy, Oscar Grant and anti-war protests where far less damage and mayhem was caused. It was hard not to contrast the way many of those media outlets described spirited celebrations in neighboring Oakland ten years ago (2003) after the Raiders won the AFC Championship.

At that time, one car was flipped over on International Blvd and burned and the entire city was described as one that was in turmoil ‘out of control ‘and the scene of a riot. If you don’t believe me take a look at the picture that ran in the same SF Chronicle where the headline this morning reads ‘SF Giant fans Delirious With Joy‘. Again this is in spite of the fact that celebrating fans burned a city bus in the middle of downtown on top of flipping a car.. As you can see the SF Chronicle headline described the much smaller Oakland celebrations in much more stark ominous tones..using words like ‘Raider Rage‘ and ‘Street Mayhem‘.

This was the scene last night on Market street.. At the time this security truck was flipped over local news outlets described it as ‘over joyous fans celebrating and getting a little out of hand’.

We could spend more time making similar comparisons to the words used to describe more recent events especially since both Occupy Oakland and Occupy SF had one year anniversaries. If you look at the coverage of given to occupy you heard news casters talk about the menacing Black Bloc and how everyone should board up their windows and be prepared. As one Facebook poster jokingly noted on my page last night, its funny that media didn’t warn businesses to watch out for the marauding bands of Orange and Black bloc folks

Even the police when interviewed held measured tones. On ABC news, one of the SF Police captains talked about how his officers were doing all they could to keep everyone safe and the celebration going. In fact at one point, officers on motorcycles came to 19th and Mission while the bonfire was going and gently moved the crowd back vs outright dispersing them.

On one of the live streams monitoring the stuff on Market street, you saw Giant fans getting all up in the face of SFPD talking smack. The police exercised lots of patience not arresting folks or anything like that..Eventually they gave dispersal orders, but the demeanor and overall tone taken was way different from when people were out marching against banks and foreclosures or when folks were protesting the shooting deaths of Kenneth Harding or Charles Hill. The tone taken by SFPD was much harsher as protestors were demonized before they even started. The police message was one of immediate containment, shut down and dispersal. If folks recall we saw over 120 people arrested during an Oscar Grant protest where no bonfires or windows were broken.. We saw over 400 people arrested during an Occupy protest here in the Bay w/ no bon fires. Last night we saw SFPD literally make a walk way to one of the bon fires people lit in celebration of the Giants winning. Throughout most of the evening hardly anyone was arrested, before the night was over close to 40 people were arrested by SFPD.

Imagine if this was an Occupy protest.. would the news outlets reporting this use such sanitizing words?

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not pointing all this out because I want to see a police state nor am I condoning vandalism.. I’m also not naive, I realize that after most sports wins there are crazy celebrations that take place all over the world.

It was just last year we had folks going nuts in Vancouver after the Stanley Cup was won. I attended UC Berkeley and recall after damn near every Big Game between Cal and Stanford folks went nuts busting windows and setting fires.Heck I recall how folks flipped car and set fires after Penn Sate coach Joe Paterno was fired..

What I do want people to note is how and when media outlets and the police themselves turn up the ‘fear and danger’ ratchets and when they don’t . I want people to ask themselves and the people doing the reporting why they take particular tones. Last night I tweeted several requests to Bay Area ABC News publicly asking them what do they consider the difference between a riot and a celebration? I never got a response. What I concluded is they and other news outlets are quite deliberate in the tone that they set . More often than not that tone is attached to a political and economic agenda.

This is a scene from an Occupy Oakland demonstration. here the words anarchist, black bloc and outside agitators were used to describe the scene before police moved in in full riot gear w/ weapons drawn.

San Francisco is a tourist city and image is everything if it expects to attract visitors and businesses. The result of this is all hands are on deck to keep a smiling face on what many would consider unacceptable and outrageously dangerous conditions. Hence a riot in San Francisco when done by a whiter and more affluent crowd is just a few ‘delirious with joy fans celebrating a bit too hard‘. The police are restrained and they go all out to ‘protect and serve..

When its a protest challenging the police, unfair economic conditions or a mostly Black and Brown fan base in a city like Oakland ‘expressing their joy, than ‘celebrations‘ turn in ‘street mayhem over run by thugs‘.. Protestors are tarred as out of control anarchists etc. Police are no longer restrained but instead use the large crowds as an excuse to test out new weaponry and crowd control maneuvers. Its social engineering at its best..

Something to think about as we gear up for a big parade to celebrate the San Francisco Giants being World Series champs once again…

written by Davey D

The scene on 19th and Mission Last night after the Giants won and people began 'celebrating' photo: Jill Filipovic

§SF Chronicle 2003: RAIDER RAGE / Oakland police no match for street mayhem
by Davey D's Hip Hop Corner Tuesday Oct 30th, 2012 10:33 AM

Anarchy broke out on the streets of Oakland Sunday night when beefed- up police forces proved inadequate to stem eruptions of mayhem after the Raiders' loss in the Super Bowl.

Hundreds of police with riot gear, squad cars and helicopters were no match for larger numbers of troublemakers in scattered locations along International Boulevard who set fires, smashed windows and destroyed property, including a McDonald's restaurant that was ransacked and partially burned.

More than 50 blocks of International had stretches of virtually lawless zones nearly three hours after the Super Bowl.

At least 12 cars were set on fire, many windows were smashed, some businesses were broken into and looted, bus benches were pushed over and street signs ripped down as police battled bottle-throwing rioters with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash-stun grenades.
§SF Chronicle 2012: People party at the intersection of Mission and 19th Streets
by Davey D's Hip Hop Corner Tuesday Oct 30th, 2012 10:33 AM

They agonized through the cliff-hanger playoffs. They held their breath as their heroes crushed the Detroit Tigers in the first three games. And then, after 10 nail-biting innings on Sunday, as the final pitch sealed the Giants' World Series win - San Francisco fans exploded with joy.

By the thousands, they screamed their happiness to the sky and to each other. They took over whole streets from the Mission District to North Beach to the Civic Center to outside AT&T Park. They sprayed beer all over each other and danced in conga lines.

A few of the rowdier ones set off fireworks, lit bonfires and climbed atop Muni buses or any car that happened to be at hand.

(No mention of torched bus.)

World Series: Excited Muni Passenger Sets Bus on Fire

Here's a Muni rider who truly feels white-hot hatred toward the city's transit system.

Amid all the fiery World Series celebrations that took place last night/early this morning, a passionate bus rider decided to show his or her Giants pride by setting a Muni bus on fire. Nobody was injured, except for this bus, as you can see.

(No mention of anarchist Black Bloc street gang.)

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Had Enough
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2012 11:55 AM
All of your points on the contrast of the response of the capitalist state and their armed thugs, the police, between something worthwhile like Occupy and the drunken hoodlum gambling racket garbage are well taken. The reasons are not explicitly stated. Those reasons are that these gambling rackets commonly known as professional baseball, football, basketball, soccer and boxing, all of which are fixed so a "win" is a lie, only exist for the gambling racket money. You will notice that the centers of all the hoodlum behavior are the bar districts, especially where the poor live, as these gambling rackets are the circuses instead of bread the ruling class promotes to divert attention from poverty, war, no health care, no education, no future. This is the old Roman Empire routine. They are also having their completely unnecessary parade on a weekday because they do not dare have this stupidity on the weekend, when, in the midst of a major economic crisis, the hoodlum behavior would literally tear the town apart. So, once again, as with the baseball gambling racket in 2010, and many times with the football gambling racket, 1 million screaming idiots will block the entrances to what provides the most jobs in San Francisco, office work, with a parade in the middle of a week day on San Francisco's main street where most public transportation is, Market Street, so that either most of us will stay home either part or all of the day, effectively shutting down the city's economy, or endure the screaming which we can hear inside all buildings, just like we hear all sirens, and wait until the screaming idiots are moved to the Civic Center, where they can disrupt the work of another major sector of our economy, the public sphere. Many parents will take their children out of school for this garbage demonstrating their contempt for education. Having grown up poor, and still living as a tenant depending on rent control for a roof over my head, I can assure you not all poor people support such drunken hoodlum behavior or any of these gambling rackets and we are in fact very frightened by all this hoodlum behavior and screaming. The athletes are the gladiators who suffer serious injuries, especially in football, and do not derive the multi-millions of dollars in profits the owners of these private profit businesses receive, primarly from the gambling money. The name of the game is always money. This is all brought to us by the Democrat-Republican Party, which always supports all of these organized crime rackets and their stadium swindles. That is just another reason you should be voting Peace & Freedom or Green. This is all going on while Hurricane Sandy has shut down the Eastern United States, which is to say, most of the population in this country are at the moment living a primitive uncivilized existence, and the USA does not exist as a country, all due to global warming, caused by the oil, coal and nuclear profiteering industries. The Democrat-Republicans do not discuss global warming; only socialists and Greens care about stopping these crises caused by global warming. There is certainly nothing to celebrate and this parade is grotesque.
by Had Enough
Tuesday Oct 30th, 2012 4:42 PM
The crowd control fences were on Market Street Monday morning, in bunches, waiting to be set up for the 1 million people expected to jam Market Street. Buildings are hiring extra private security to make sure only authorized people are allowed in the buildings. Last week, Thursday and Friday, when they had their games here, the teams' buses were given a motocycle police escort of at least 12 or more cops, $100,000 a year and up plus benefits, including hazard pay for riding a motorcycle, courtesy the taxpayers, from their hotel, down Second Street to the stadium. Shortly before 5 p.m., when probably the game started, F-16 jets flew illegally low over the heavily populated, tall building Financial District, with a terrible spine-chilling scream, paid for by the taxpayers. These gambling racket "sports" are all military promotionals, as well as gambling rackets, and the uniform regalia the supporters of this garbage wear is for the same "team spirit" that the military promotes. It is hard to imagine anyone going to a place of entertainment where everyone is wearing the same or similar clothing, to scream at grown men batting a ball around. Of course, the reason for these games is the gambling "point spread" and for people to get stinking drunk.
by Had Enough
Wednesday Oct 31st, 2012 2:19 PM
This San Francisco tenant who depends on rent control for a roof over my head, taxpayer, voter, native and worker woke up to read in the local daily capitalist rag that promotes all of these private profit gambling rackets that ALL OF MARKET AND MISSION STREETS FROM THE EMBARCADERO TO THE CIVIC CENTER (9TH ST) WOULD BE CLOSED FROM 9 A.M. TO 5 P.M. and IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO CROSS MARKET OR MISSION FOR THAT ENTIRE PERIOD OF TIME BY CAR OR BUS. That means this private profit organized crime gambling racket was allowed to shut down the 2 major areas of employment in San Francisco: The Financial District and the Civic Center. The 2 main arteries of public transportation are Market and Mission Streets, and many buses cross these streets East of Van Ness.

The helicopters heard over my downtown apartment told me that the parade must have reached the Civic Center by noon, so I arrived at work by 2 p.m. As of 2 p.m., the garbage confetti is everywhere, not just on the streets and sidewalks on Market, but also on the side streets, like Montgomery Street, and inside building lobbies and on top of inaccesible roofs as the wind always blows in San Francisco, especially on cloudy days like today, where it is completely overcast and about 60 degrees. We had a little rain last night, typical late October weather. OUR TAX DOLLARS ARE BEING USED TO CLEAN UP THIS GARBAGE while we have 15,000 homeless who should be housed immediately by the City's right of eminent domain to take over the empty housing being kept deliberately off the market to raise the rents, and while we have massive poverty. OUR TAX DOLLARS WERE ALSO USED TO PUT UP BALLOONS AND BANNERS ON MARKET STREET, while we have massive poverty. This is not for any good cause like world peace; this is to glorify a private profit gambling racket which only makes the rich richer.

The fans, mostly young people in their 20s and 30s, continue to roam city streets. Mention was made above in the original article as to color and nationality, so I thought I would point out what I saw with my own eyes. The overwhelming majority, 99.9%, of the fans at this parade are white, and all of the children taken out of school by their anti-education parents are white. Last time this happened, in 2010, the local daily rag described some survey of who pulled their children out of school for this garbage. The schoolchildren of San Francisco are in the majority Asian-American, mostly Chinese, and the Asian-American community was the one community that did not pull their children out of school at all, and the Asian-American community of San Francisco is overwhelmingly workingclass tenants. We all know the Asian-American community in San Francisco is the home of the A students; and they are the majority at all the city and Bay Area colleges from San Francisco City College to San Francisco State to UC Berkeley. This writer happens to be white, and is ashamed of the contempt for education we see in this backward, bankrupt society. This writer was certainly an A student, while wearing rags from the Goodwill and shoes a size too large with newspaper stuffed in the front to grow into as buying shoes could only be done once a year. It does not take money to be an A student; it takes dedication and understanding priorities, namely that our education is the most important thing we will every have. It also takes weekly trips to the public library and reading every book one can stand to read in as many languages as one can. Buying things comes later; education comes first.

The mail got through this year; it did not in 2010.
by Had Enough
Wednesday Oct 31st, 2012 3:13 PM
Buses and cars were allowed by our taxpayer funded traffic control 3 wheel scooter patrol on Mission Street at 2:20 p.m. and on Montgomery Street at 2:45 p.m., crossing Market Street to New Montgomery Street. Huge water trucks are spraying Market Street with water and garbage trucks are going up and down Market Street. The worst of the garbage appears to have been picked up. The fans continue to roam Market Street, albeit in dwindling numbers, obviously looking for trouble as there is no reason to roam Market Street. The bars are packed as that is the home base for these private profit gambling rackets. These young people are all well fed, but not overweight, and not wealthy. People in their 20s usually still have the values of their parents. This attitude of wasting time and worshipping garbage gambling rackets comes from the homes. For those of us who wonder why no progress is made in this country to end the profit motive, we can only watch this whole horror show everywhere in this country to see why nothing gets done. They got up at 6 a.m. on a weekday, took a day off from work or school, took their children out of school for a parade glorifying an organized crime, private profit gambling racket. They came from the 50 mile radius of San Francisco known as the Bay Area, and massive extra public transit was provided to encourage patronage of this circus. When asked to go out on a general strike to put an end to the private profit system that is destroying the planet and humanity, or just to go to a peace demonstration on the weekend, they just cannot seem to find the time.
by Had Enough
Wednesday Oct 31st, 2012 3:43 PM
Our city buses returned to Market Street and the cross streets, along with car traffic at 3:30 p.m. Someone must have sent a message to the gambling racket worshipping city government that having our major money making section of the city, the Financial District, shut down for 8 hours on a business day, was not acceptable. They did shut it down for 6.5 hours for no good reason whatsoever. We hope that New York City and all the rest of the United States that was shut down on Oct 29 by private profit greed that spends our money on war instead of infrastructure able to withstand global warming-induced storms returns to life immediately, as we certainly have the money to do just that.