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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  • Brock Keeling

    Nope, not a riot. Seems like a lot of excited people in the Mission going crazy. Thankfully, San Francisco is much larger than the cloying Mission district!

  • Brock Keeling

    Nope, not a riot. Seems like a lot of excited people in the Mission going crazy. Thankfully, San Francisco is much larger than the cloying Mission district!

  • Corey Denis

    I live in the mission. I shot footage and we used it here on SF Appeal. In the “Valencia St” video you can see a guy pounding on a car, and the car angrily speeds away. that’s when i knew it was no longer a big party.

    Listening to the scanner made me feel safer, not more afraid, because I could listen and hear that safety was near. I didn’t quite like hearing cops report that they were getting pelted by full bottles of beer. But still, I knew SF tax dollars were keeping us safe. I even heard a short speech for a moment from one cop explaining “we’re going to take the streets back” – clearly an indication that the streets were lost, even if for a moment.

    Is that a riot? maybe there are just degrees of riot.

    I think it’s a riot when cops show up in riot gear to move a crowd
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25401266@N04/5139064880/

    or when mattresses are burned on my street just feet below my window
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25401266@N04/5139074724/in/photostream/

  • Corey Denis

    I live in the mission. I shot footage and we used it here on SF Appeal. In the “Valencia St” video you can see a guy pounding on a car, and the car angrily speeds away. that’s when i knew it was no longer a big party.

    Listening to the scanner made me feel safer, not more afraid, because I could listen and hear that safety was near. I didn’t quite like hearing cops report that they were getting pelted by full bottles of beer. But still, I knew SF tax dollars were keeping us safe. I even heard a short speech for a moment from one cop explaining “we’re going to take the streets back” – clearly an indication that the streets were lost, even if for a moment.

    Is that a riot? maybe there are just degrees of riot.

    I think it’s a riot when cops show up in riot gear to move a crowd
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25401266@N04/5139064880/

    or when mattresses are burned on my street just feet below my window
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/25401266@N04/5139074724/in/photostream/

  • Jackson West

    No cars overturned? No buildings burned to the ground? No one shot by the cops? Not a riot.

  • Jackson West

    No cars overturned? No buildings burned to the ground? No one shot by the cops? Not a riot.

  • Katie Baker

    I live in the Mission, and although I left the streets around 10:30 – before it “took a darker turn” – I would describe it as “really happy and drunk people, some occasionally doing stupid things” rather than a riot. But my roommate said he saw a car drive through a bonfire, therefore becoming a “flaming car” and then through a crowd of people. Luckily the police stopped the car before anyone got seriously hurt, according to him, but that’s pretty intense.

  • Katie Baker

    I live in the Mission, and although I left the streets around 10:30 – before it “took a darker turn” – I would describe it as “really happy and drunk people, some occasionally doing stupid things” rather than a riot. But my roommate said he saw a car drive through a bonfire, therefore becoming a “flaming car” and then through a crowd of people. Luckily the police stopped the car before anyone got seriously hurt, according to him, but that’s pretty intense.

  • Katie Baker

    Also, it really sucks that people were throwing bottles at cops. The cops were awesome last night – handled it really well, let people celebrate but stepped in when things went too far.

  • Katie Baker

    Also, it really sucks that people were throwing bottles at cops. The cops were awesome last night – handled it really well, let people celebrate but stepped in when things went too far.

  • areallyniceguy

    So what? It wasn’t an earthquake…

  • areallyniceguy

    So what? It wasn’t an earthquake…

  • areallyniceguy

    Yes, totally lame. They are likely Giants fans as well, and would rather be watching the game and celebrating rather than dealing with stupid people.

  • areallyniceguy

    Yes, totally lame. They are likely Giants fans as well, and would rather be watching the game and celebrating rather than dealing with stupid people.

  • netzard

    The mood in the Mission last night was jubilant and friendly. Folks brought out their fancy cars, kids, and grandparents to roll down Mission St honking and cheering. Lots of hugs, high-fives, and “Timmy” chants. We walked from 24th to Sycamore, and spent a few hours spraying champagne on passing cars and buses. I walked home to Noe at midnight and all I saw were smiling faces everywhere I looked. Not really a riot, though folks checking into the #sfriot on Foursquare was hilarious.

  • netzard

    The mood in the Mission last night was jubilant and friendly. Folks brought out their fancy cars, kids, and grandparents to roll down Mission St honking and cheering. Lots of hugs, high-fives, and “Timmy” chants. We walked from 24th to Sycamore, and spent a few hours spraying champagne on passing cars and buses. I walked home to Noe at midnight and all I saw were smiling faces everywhere I looked. Not really a riot, though folks checking into the #sfriot on Foursquare was hilarious.

  • Andrew

    for what it’s worth, the scene in the Lower Haight was definitely not a riot. someone lit a trash can on fire briefly, and there were some broken bottles. that’s about it. the cops did a great job — they were present, but they let folks just have fun. proud of my ‘hood, as per usual!

  • Andrew

    for what it’s worth, the scene in the Lower Haight was definitely not a riot. someone lit a trash can on fire briefly, and there were some broken bottles. that’s about it. the cops did a great job — they were present, but they let folks just have fun. proud of my ‘hood, as per usual!

  • drawn4ever78

    It wasn’t a riot. I mean seriously! Agreed that there were pockets during the celebrations in different neighborhoods where some folks took it too far and so the cops stepped in… seems fair. But for the most part, everyone just wanted to celebrate. In situations like this, there will always be those few and far between incidents that make us go UGH but definitely not the whole event.

  • drawn4ever78

    It wasn’t a riot. I mean seriously! Agreed that there were pockets during the celebrations in different neighborhoods where some folks took it too far and so the cops stepped in… seems fair. But for the most part, everyone just wanted to celebrate. In situations like this, there will always be those few and far between incidents that make us go UGH but definitely not the whole event.

  • Jack Walker

    I walked throughout the Mission last night. Many of the images that missionmission posted I saw firsthand. Were those guys following me? I saw crazy jubilation, sort of an ecstatic release. I did see a few idiots doing idiocy but nothing you wouldn’t see at any event where mass drinking was the norm, certainly less then at a Castro Halloween.

    There was a spot on Mission somewhere around 21st street where some gangs had set up. I quickly walked away from there. The negative energy was palpable. I saw something else also that was very dark.

    Many folks were driving around in SUVs honking and shouting and waving banners and high fiving passersby. I saw one SUV do the same and an SFPD officer run up and start screaming through the window. There was al lot of confusion in general and specifically this SUV sat high enough that it was arguably difficult for the occupants to understand they were be told to pull over by law enforcement. The cop, not getting immediate compliance first unfastened his holster, continued running next to the SUV and then pulled is service weapon and pointed it into the truck. I thought he would fire for sure. He was screaming and acting like an idiot. All I could think of was maybe this one time you could let one get away instead of shooting somebody in the face. No shots were fired and I walked briskly away

  • Jack Walker

    I walked throughout the Mission last night. Many of the images that missionmission posted I saw firsthand. Were those guys following me? I saw crazy jubilation, sort of an ecstatic release. I did see a few idiots doing idiocy but nothing you wouldn’t see at any event where mass drinking was the norm, certainly less then at a Castro Halloween.

    There was a spot on Mission somewhere around 21st street where some gangs had set up. I quickly walked away from there. The negative energy was palpable. I saw something else also that was very dark.

    Many folks were driving around in SUVs honking and shouting and waving banners and high fiving passersby. I saw one SUV do the same and an SFPD officer run up and start screaming through the window. There was al lot of confusion in general and specifically this SUV sat high enough that it was arguably difficult for the occupants to understand they were be told to pull over by law enforcement. The cop, not getting immediate compliance first unfastened his holster, continued running next to the SUV and then pulled is service weapon and pointed it into the truck. I thought he would fire for sure. He was screaming and acting like an idiot. All I could think of was maybe this one time you could let one get away instead of shooting somebody in the face. No shots were fired and I walked briskly away

  • Briana

    I’m on the fence here, people. The corner of 24th and Shotwell was pretty gnarly last night. Not only were people pelting cops with beer bottles and other objects, there was an awful lot of open hostility. I was having fun watching the crowd until it got ugly, and then I was just glad two locked gates and a deadbolted front door stood between me and a big mob burning trashcans and breaking shit. Police cruiser windows were smashed, city cleaning vehicles were vandalized as they attempted to extinguish one of three or four fires in the middle of the street, and multiple testosterone fueled altercations broke out throughout the evening. I wouldn’t call it a riot, because it clearly started out with the best of intentions. But I was pretty dismayed by the level of aggression that rose throughout the evening. And I’ll be honest, most of the ne’er do wells drunkenly fished out keys and hopped into their cars at the end of it all. So, thanks to all you classy folks who don’t live in my neighborhood for rabble rousing in my streets instead of taking it to your own. Glad to know that winning the World Series doesn’t keep y’all from shouting “F*ck the Police”.

  • Briana

    I’m on the fence here, people. The corner of 24th and Shotwell was pretty gnarly last night. Not only were people pelting cops with beer bottles and other objects, there was an awful lot of open hostility. I was having fun watching the crowd until it got ugly, and then I was just glad two locked gates and a deadbolted front door stood between me and a big mob burning trashcans and breaking shit. Police cruiser windows were smashed, city cleaning vehicles were vandalized as they attempted to extinguish one of three or four fires in the middle of the street, and multiple testosterone fueled altercations broke out throughout the evening. I wouldn’t call it a riot, because it clearly started out with the best of intentions. But I was pretty dismayed by the level of aggression that rose throughout the evening. And I’ll be honest, most of the ne’er do wells drunkenly fished out keys and hopped into their cars at the end of it all. So, thanks to all you classy folks who don’t live in my neighborhood for rabble rousing in my streets instead of taking it to your own. Glad to know that winning the World Series doesn’t keep y’all from shouting “F*ck the Police”.