One protester was arrested Monday night while participating in a march in San Francisco that vandalized vehicles, businesses and a police station in the Mission District.

San Francisco police responded to the vandalism at the police station, located at Valencia Street near 17th Street, at around 9:15 p.m., police Sgt. Daryl Fong said.

According to independent journalist Justin Beck, an SFPD car that, he says, ran a red light and “t-boned” a civilian car added to the chaos.

Fong said a large crowd of demonstrators had gathered in front of the police station and were engaging in civil disobedience and vandalism.

The vandals smashed windows and threw paint at the police station and damaged the property of businesses and vehicles, police said.

According to the Chron, “At least a dozen businesses, including Tartine Bakery at 18th and Guerrero streets and Locanda restaurant on Valencia, had their windows broken out and were splattered with paint and food.”

Protesters dispersed near the corner of 12th and Folsom streets by 11 p.m., Fong said. Details about the single arrest were not immediately available.

Jesse Smith, a protester with Occupy Oakland, said the evening started with a peaceful gathering at Dolores Park and he was horrified by the turn of events.

Smith said he was “more than a little shaken” by the vandalism and did not know who was responsible.

“I know Occupiers,” Smith said. “None of us have any idea who they were.”

The gathering at Dolores Park, a pre-May Day celebration, led to a march down Mission District streets, Smith said.

A small group out of what he estimated to be hundreds of protesters began smashing “one window right after another,” he said.

According to Mission Local, several of the protesters who participated in the vandalism were described as wearing all black and covering their faces.

Steve, a Mission District resident, told ABC7 the vandals “were anarchists all dressed in black”

Scott Anansi Rossi, an Occupier who was on the scene last night, said in his blog that “I believe we were hijacked and it was an utter clusterfuck.”

Smith said Occupy organizers, among other activist groups, have planned a number of family-friendly events and demonstrations for May Day.

“I don’t know how this is going to affect that,” Smith said. “This is really heartbreaking.”

The protests came on the eve of a nationwide general strike called by members of the Occupy movement, unions and activist organizations.

Elsewhere: Mission Mission has multiple posts and photos on the evening, beginning here.
On eve of May Day, Valencia, Mission Police Station vandalized [SFBG]
Vandals target police station, Mission District cars [ABC7]
Businesses, Cars Vandalized During Protest [ML@L]
Protesters trash Mission District businesses, cars [Chron]
The Strike Starts Early: Mission Police Precinct Attacked [IndyBay]
Flickr photoset “20120430-Vandalism in the Mission” [Ed Hunsinger]

Erika Heidecker of Bay City News contributed to this report

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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

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