Since the Ferguson decision, we have been flooded with stories about how the overwhelmingly peaceful nation-wide protests against police brutality have been occasionally ruined by looting and property destruction caused by “fringe” elements. In conservative media, the trouble-makers have been generally characterized as parts of the black “criminal” underclass. In the liberal media, the law-breakers have often been characterized as “outside agitators,” “violent political radicals,” and “white anarchists.”
SANTA CRUZ, Calif. —A group of 20 people dressed in black clothing, similar to Black Bloc activists, carried banners promoting violence against police officers, Santa Cruz police said Thursday.
The demonstrators appeared in downtown Santa Cruz a few minutes before midnight on New Year's Eve. One black banner had pink spray paint reading, "MORE DEAD COPS."
From the initial revolt in Ferguson last August to the demonstrations in Oakland and Berkeley last week, property destruction has been central to a new wave of struggle against police violence. But what does vandalizing businesses have to do with protesting police brutality? Why break windows?
Tear gas and smoke bombs scattered protesters during a march that started peacefully in Berkeley, Saturday night.
The skirmish with police began near Addison near Shattuck at about 6:30 p.m. as police and masked protesters faced off. the protesters broke windows along University Ave. near Martin Luther King Blvd., smashed bottles and spray painted graffiti. Others took hammers and smashed ATM machines, and overturned garbage dumpsters.
A small pamphlet on police, property, and arson at the local hot-n-ready pizza shop. An argument in defense of indiscriminate property destruction, for those who support the anger in Ferguson but have reservations about riots. Print-formatted PDF download here.
From the opening page:
It was inevitable: After news spread of anti-police riots in the small college town of Keene, New Hampshire, on Oct. 18, people on Twitter started comparing media coverage of the incident with that of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri. However, the difference in coverage between the first weeks of protest in Ferguson and the night of drunken rioting that emerged from the Keene Pumpkin Festival was telling. As white college kids in Keene flipped cars and threw bottles at cops for the fun of it, the media called them rowdy booze-filled revelers and all sorts of other euphemisms.