Just so it doesn't pass unmarked and unnoticed, the evening of January 1st, 2014 was an incredible, concentrated burst of rebellion. Let's not forget that January 1st, 2009 is the day of Oscar Grant's death. This Wednesday, people honored his memory at the site of his murder at the Fruitevale BART station in Oakland.
Simultaneously, at the 24th Street Mission BART station, a group of around 100 anarchists and affiliates assembled for a march to the 16th Street station. On the way they yelled at yuppies, flipped off Google man-children, and accosted bona fide gentrifiers having a bland barbeque in the courtyard of their new condo. The demo ended at the station where the long familiar and hilariously named COFFEE NOT COPS dispensed coffee and pastries to everyone who is not a cop. A friendly journalist from Mission Local/KQED was with the march the entire way and wrote this article here.
It really starts getting weird at night. Around 6PM two ladies lit a christmas tree on fire near 17th and Capp, close to the 16th Street station. This caused much commotion and burnt the door of a car along with it. To our dismay, we have learned these two fine ladies were apprehended by the forces of the dark lord Sauron.
Three hours later, up on Cathedral Hill, a guy parks his van in front of the Chinese Embassy. He walks out with two cans of gasoline and sets the big wooden doors on fire. The whole entrance goes up in flames and he casually gets back in his van.
The Chinese Embassy is a pretty heavy symbol. The Port of Oakland and the Bay Area economy are hooked liked vampire infants to China's nipples. The Chinese state is horrible, brutal, ecocidal, and a totally profitable place to invest. The US state, no less vile in its own puritanical manner, could not exist as it currently does without China.
A reliable wingnut informs me that Maoist sleeper-cells are embedded deep within the current Chinese government and business elite, waiting for the US to ruin itself before cutting exports and imports and hunkering down for the big showdown. That's pretty scary to think about, so I guess you shouldn't. Regardless, someone torched the embassy on January 1st, 2014. (Predictably, the arch-swines at KTVU decided to run a little dittie about "terrorism insurance")
Then, at the end of the night, a group of some sort calling itself the Sandra Cuadra Brigada smashed out the windows of uber-shitty Local's Corner, a fancy pants hangout owned by Yaron Milgrom. This newly arrived entrepreneur, like all the others, has a knack for disguising his true intentions. Get a load of this:
"My family and I really loved 24th street, because it’s tree lined and colorful and interesting but later in the day, there wasn’t necessarily a great feeling of safety. So we came up with the idea to make the street more safe and welcoming as a goal, and to be a street presence. Now, our restaurants are open five days a week and we have customers eating dinner ‘til eleven at night." Cool, man!
"Between the two restaurants, we spend tens of thousands of dollars on food and wine and literally know the people who produce our food, wine, cheese, and olive oil." But you clearly don't know the hood, do you, because people don't like you too much.
"I’m very lucky, because I bring my son to school and pick him up every day. I eat dinner with my family and work till one or two every night. I’ve been able to grow the business and still be with them. I don’t think anyone could be luckier than that." Aw, that's cute!
This entrepreneur surely has a rough year ahead of him. As always with this type of internet shit, the extent of the damage is vague so who knows what kind of filth got written on the walls that night.
Anyway, those are my notable events for January 1st, 2014.