Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that after the Giants won the World Series last night (oh that feels so good to write!) the celebration moved onto the streets, and cops ended up in areas in SoMa and the Mission after the revelry crossed the legal line, ending in, preliminary reports say, property damage and at least five arrests.

Many of the hundreds of new listeners to Soma FM’s wonderful SFPD scanner feed (open http://somafm.com/sfscanner.pls in iTunes or other streaming player to listen)* seemed to believe end times were near, terming them “riots”. But how bad was it, really? were they really RIOTS?

While the SFPD has yet to send out its media advisory on last night’s activities (and don’t bother trying to get them on the phone), early reports say that, despite the total Armageddon tweeted, retweeted, and checked into on Foursquare, the civil unrest was limited to vandalism (broken windows, small bonfires, TPing), some physical altercations, and asshole behavior (for example, throwing bottles of beer at cops).

According to Mayor Newsom in an interview on KTVU at 8:50 this morning, though he had yet to be briefed this morning, his understanding at the time was that only six arrests had been made. Does that constitute a “riot”?

I don’t know — I was home in bed with a laptop, and I’ll admit it, I listen to the SFPD scanner A LOT, so I’m somewhat jaded by it. Readers who live in the Mission and the area around AT&T park said that at times, they were scared and that “it seemed really violent.”

Let’s turn to a roundup of coverage of the post-win celebration/disturbance, with an assessment of how much of a riot they thought things were:

SF Giants Series celebration is joyful mayhem [Chron] “Bedlam,” “wild and unruly” are used, and five arrests are reported. The word “riot,” however, appears nowhere in the story.

Mission Local has a story headlined World Series Celebration Turned Riot
so obviously, they think it was a riot. They report a car driving into a crowd, assaults, mattress fires, and, in a separate report, say that “law enforcement officers have been struggling to maintain order throughout San Francisco.” Oh and someone burned a recycling bin.

Boys of summer, fans bring city streets to a standstill [Ex]
They report Muni delays and say that “(n)ot all the celebrations were peaceful — there was at least one report of a mattress fire in the Mission district.” They’re in the “not a riot” camp based on this report.

Mission Mission
Did a lot of photo updates and says that “we kind of lost it a little bit tonight, guys” but shies away from declaring the Mission disturbances all out riots.

Giants Afterparty [The Toasted Blog]
Whole Wheat Toast headed out to Polk between Bush and Sutter and took a bunch of pictures. “by God it was crazy down there” he says. “People set up a small bonfire only to be extinguished…” While he notes that the scanner reported Mission riots, the area he reported from seemed relatively tame.

As Giants Win the World Series, San Francisco Celebrates a Little Too Much [Telstar Logistics]
“The ad hoc street festival began innocently enough, but as the night wore on, the excitement took a darker turn” he reports. Looking at the pictures on this post, especially the one by Joshua Lane of SFPD lined up in riot gear, it’s easy to understand why folks thought of this as a riot.

Giants’ Celebrations Turn Destructive [Weekly]
“General Hospital spokeswoman Rachael Kagan said it was not an out-of-the ordinary night at the ER. The only Giants-related injuries of note were two pedestrians hit by cars during celebrations. One was not admitted but another was — and remains in critical condition.”

OK! I have now typed “riot” so many times the word has lost all meaning for me. So, tell me, what did you think? Were you out there, and, if so, was it really a “riot”?

*They are listener supported, you know. If you found it useful, pony up!

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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