May Day in the Bay

 

Last night on the eve of May Day, a rabble of vandals marched through San Francisco’s Mission District, launching paint bombs at storefronts, smashing in car windows, and shattering the window of my favorite bakery, Tartine. 

The SF Chronicle captures the reactions of devastated business owners trying to make sense of the destruction.

Jeremy Tooker, owner of Four Barrel Coffee, was wiping paint off his store’s windows as broken glass crunched beneath pedestrians’ feet. He said a friend had alerted him of the damage after stopping a protester from smashing the glass storefront with a crowbar – and taking a hit to his arm.

“This just seems like they’re frustrated with their impotency at this point,” Tooker said. “It’s like, ‘Look at me, I’m still here, I’m still occupying.’ “

As Koskoff smoked a cigarette by the damaged Aston Martin, he said he didn’t understand protesters’ motives.

“They’re coming through the Mission, where there aren’t any corporations, just a lot of small businesses, which is what they’re all about,” he said. “It doesn’t make sense.”

[…]

“Occupy is saying it’s not them, but we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Occupy, now would we?” Michelle Horneff-Cohen, a real estate broker, said as she shivered next to the broken window of her workplace, Property Management Systems.

She said she had been dragged out of bed to deal with the damage. Although her company has insurance, she said, it will have to pay for much of the cost of repairs.

“I think it’s [expletive],” Horneff-Cohen said. “We are the 99 percent, and this is [expletive].”

Democrats have thus far been at least loosely supportive of the Occupy Movement, employing the populist 99 percent language for their own political aims.  But the cognitive dissonance revealed here—i.e. “We are the 99 percent, and this is [expletive]”— by the San Francisco small business owners who are spending their day dealing with damage to their property, makes me wonder if Democrats will continue to treat the Occupiers as political kin going forward into this year’s election.  I can’t imagine that would be a good move.

Meanwhile, today in Oakland a group of about 100 protesters are busy harassing the banks.  One of the protesters explains his motives thus:

“We are here today because capitalism has destroyed basic human need,” said a 20-year-old protester who only identified himself as Connor.

“I am sort of into the libertarian/communist thing myself,” he said. “I am an advocate of human need, not monetary need.

Libertarian-communism.  Only in Oakland.

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  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @GreatGhostofGodel
    Diane Ellis, Ed.: Libertarian-communism.  Only in Oakland.

    Actually, no. There are Greek anarchists protesting in favor of government.

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Inactive
    @billy

    Can the Democrats, at this point, separate themselves from the Occupiers?

    I don’t see how, but then again they are awfully slippery when they need to be.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @Misthiocracy
    Diane Ellis, Ed.: Libertarian-communism.  Only in Oakland.

    Not that uncommon, really, when defined as the belief that “individuals” should be able to do whatever they want and “society” should pay for the consequences.

    Utterly incoherent, but not uncommon.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Contributor
    @DianeEllis
    Paul Snively

    Diane Ellis, Ed.: Libertarian-communism.  Only in Oakland.

    Actually, no. There are Greek anarchists protesting in favor of government. · 2 minutes ago

    Well, “anarcho-communism” is a thing, isn’t it?  At least it has a Wikipedia page.

    Oh, oops…turns out libertarian-communism is cross-listed on that page as being synonymous to anarcho-communism.  Who’da thunk?  An oxymoron of jumbo shrimp proportions.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @DocJay

    It may well get worse even without the Soros and Media matters funding.

    You can’t keep a good Lib-Com down.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Podcaster
    @EJHill

    As the wonderful Kate McMillan of smalldeadanimals.com says:

    “What We Really Need Is Democracy. With a totalitarian party to vote for.”

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @cdor

    “We are here today because capitalism has destroyed basic human need,” said a 20-year-old protester who only identified himself as Connor.

    “I am sort of into the libertarian/communist thing myself,” he said. “I am an advocate of human need, not monetary need.

     

    Hey, way cool dude. It’s always amazing to see the lengths people will go to prove their idiocy. I’d love to see “Conner’s” look if his car window were smashed. Human need won’t get a new window.

    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Contributor
    @TommyDeSeno

    I’m betting Connor sees the “libertarian-communist thing” as his best pickup line when he’s cruising an occupy tent city at night.

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MelFoil

    I think, if you’re not willing to hire homeless drug addicts (at a “living wage”,) and cover for them until they show up at noon, then you’re part of the evil 1%, no matter the size or profitability of your business.

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pseudodionysius

    “I am sort of into the libertarian/communist thing myself,” he said.

    What a coincidence. I’m into the Charles Napier schtick myself:

    You say that it is your custom to burn buildings and loot and smash business store fronts. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn buildings and riot, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your bonfire, loot and smash your store fronts. Beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom, and then we will follow ours.

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Member
    @Britanicus
    Pseudodionysius

    What a coincidence. I’m into the Charles Napier schtick myself:

    You say that it is your custom to burn buildings and loot and smash business store fronts. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn buildings and riot, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your bonfire, loot and smash your store fronts. Beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom, and then we will follow ours.

    1 minute ago

    Wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Skyler

    The rhetoric is sounding more and more like 1935 Spain every day.  

    Will we have our Hemingway to write about the massacre in our own town squares?

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MatthewGilley

    “God is great, beer is good…and people are crazy. ”

    – Billy Currington

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @Misthiocracy
    Skyler: The rhetoric is sounding more and more like 1935 Spain every day.

    Yabbut, is it really any different from the rhetoric of FTAA/G7/G8/G20 protests in 2001200720092010, etc, etc?

    Is it very different from the rhetoric of the Battle in Seattle of 1999?

    Is it really any different from the rhetoric of the 1968 Democratic Party Convention protests or Hunter S. Thompson?

    The sheer number of young Baby Boomer protesters in the late 60s dwarfs the number of college-age kids protesting today, so is it truly reasonable to fear these kids more than the kids of the past.

    Personally, I don’t fear the protesters of today. They agitate. They break a few windows. They inconvenience people. They smell bad. However, they aren’t as scary as the violent protesters I remember from the late 90s. Those goons scared me.

    The difference, one might argue, is that today’s kids have “one of their own” in the White House.  He scares me much more than they do.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Member
    @StuartCreque

    The crowd is now assembled at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of Oakland’s City Hall. The cops are keeping them contained, although at some point I am sure the protesters will attempt a rampage through downtown, as is their wont.

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Inactive
    @TheBaroness
    Misthiocracy

    Diane Ellis, Ed.: Libertarian-communism.  Only in Oakland.

    Not that uncommon, really, when defined as the belief that “individuals” should be able to do whatever they want and “society” should pay for the consequences.

    Utterly incoherent, but not uncommon. · 17 hours ago

    A friend lists socialist-libertarianism as her political views on Facebook. Best I can figure she means that she doesn’t want anyone telling her how to live her life, but since she has found the best way, she wants to make everyone else do the same.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Inactive
    @NoesisNoeseos

    Two words with respect to the occupy cadre and their ilk:  useful idiots.

    Oh, just in case you think I make too much of Hegel’s explication of  history as the outward form of the development of Reason, let me add that he lamented that, in their particulars, events are also at the whim of contingency, the violent conflict that he called, quite graphically, a “slaughterbench.”

    If you find Hegel too heterodox, you might ponder the verse in Apocalypse where it is written (AV 20:3) that the Devil must be “loosed a little season.”

    Th-th-that’s all, folks!

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Inactive
    @AnnaS

    The store owners decrying the b.s. they themselves have supported. How ironic. They vote for San Fran Nan and then are shocked–shocked I tell you, to find themselves in the one down position.

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Mendel
    Diane Ellis, Ed.:

    Democrats have thus far been at least loosely supportive of the Occupy Movement, employing the populist 99 percent language for their own political aims.  But the cognitive dissonance revealed here—i.e. “We are the 99 percent, and this is [expletive]”— by the San Francisco small business owners who are spending their day dealing with damage to their property, makes me wonder if Democrats will continue to treat the Occupiers as political kin going forward into this year’s election. 

    We shouldn’t forget that the Occupy “movement” is but a subset of a much larger stick-it-to-the-rich sentiment in America.

    The Occupiers garnered much sympathy for their cause at first from many people watching at home.  Just because the protestors have revealed themselves to be hoodlums doesn’t mean struggling middle-class sympathizers (like the storeowner in the article) are suddenly going to support lowering corporate tax rates (or Mitt Romney).

    Occupy protestors may become a problem for the Democrats, but the much more pervasive desire to soak the rich will remain a problem for all of America.

    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Member
    @

    Remember the hippy/anti-war riots of the 60s and 70s? They resulted in  ten years of Republicans in the White House, and it would have been more if Nixon hadn’t picked a crook as his vice president or later given in to the craziness that always heaved below the surface.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Mendel
    Misthiocracy

    Diane Ellis, Ed.: Libertarian-communism.  Only in Oakland.

    Not that uncommon, really, when defined as the belief that “individuals” should be able to do whatever they want and “society” should pay for the consequences.

    In fact, isn’t that the definition of college life?

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Member
    @NathanielWright

    My favorite quotes in the piece…

    “As Koskoff smoked a cigarette by the damaged Aston Martin, he said he didn’t understand protesters’ motives.”

    You see, the “damaged party” is calmly smoking a cigarette by a damaged Aston Martin…

    I also liked the thought of a real estate broker in the Mission District saying…

    “I think it’s [expletive],” Horneff-Cohen said. “We are the 99 percent, and this is [expletive].”

    Does anyone believe that Horneff-Cohen is in the 99%?

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Member
    @Britanicus
    Nathaniel Wright: My favorite quotes in the piece…

    “As Koskoff smoked a cigarette by the damaged Aston Martin, he said he didn’t understand protesters’ motives.”

    You see, the “damaged party” is calmly smoking a cigarette by a damaged Aston Martin…

    I also liked the thought of a real estate broker in the Mission District saying…

    “I think it’s [expletive],” Horneff-Cohen said. “We are the 99 percent, and this is [expletive].”

    Does anyone believe that Horneff-Cohen is in the 99%? · 1 minute ago

    Haha I noticed that too. It sort of ruins his argument. Even so, I like the “We are the 99 percent, and this is bullsh*t”. I think that could be turned into a good meme.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Kervinlee

    “We are here today because capitalism has destroyed basic human need,” said a 20-year-old protester who only identified himself as Connor.

    “I am sort of into the libertarian/communist thing myself,” he said. “I am an advocate of human need, not monetary need.

    Ah yes, the product of the best public education the taxpayers can provide.

    The cities that still suffer this violence for violence’ sake dressed up as idealism have only themselves to blame. Oakland’s city government came out in support of Occupy before everything associated with it turned to mud. And yet, these municipal time-markers still refuse to do what’s necessary to prevent this nonsense: meet force with force and prosecute the lawbreakers with vigor. This is the pattern now: petulant youth run amok in the streets, city officials wring their hands. See you next time.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Member
    @StuartCreque

    Here at the Oakland Federal Building, the crowds haven’t materialized yet. Even the two ladies from the MacArthur-Temescal Neighborhood Alliance who were holding up the “Occupy the Federal Building” have left. All the action is at the Wells Fargo Bank at 14th and Broadway – there were about 100 protesters there a couple of hours ago, but I don’t know if their numbers have grown or shrunk since. It seems to be business as usual for most of downtown Oakland.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Member
    @WyleeCoyote
    billy: Can the Democrats, at this point, separate themselves from the Occupiers?

    I don’t see how, but then again they are awfully slippery when they need to be. · 1 hour ago

    All that is down the memory hole. 

    I just hope some enterprising Republicans saved video of Democrats mouthing Occupy rhetoric while they were kissing up to the movement last year.

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Inactive
    @outstripp

    Liberals have an unfortunate romantic view of mobs.

    • #27
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