A crackdown on vandalism has apparently caused vandals to vandalize.
At least eight police vehicles were damaged in San Francisco and Oakland last week by activists who are reportedly opposing a federal investigation into anarchism and vandalism in the Pacific Northwest.
On Monday, San Francisco police Officer Albie Esparza confirmed six cruisers at a maintenance yard in the 1800 block of Jerrold Avenue had been vandalized “sometime over the weekend.” However, IndyBay.org — a radical independent media website — claimed the vandalism happened early Thursday morning.
Windows were broken, tires were slashed and paint was thrown onto the vehicles, Esparza said. No arrests have been made.
And in downtown Oakland on Thursday, two police cars parked at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza were reportedly vandalized before dawn. A colored liquid had been poured onto the windshields and windows, police said, and one of the car’s tires had been slashed.
The vandalism was praised Thursday on IndyBay. One post claimed activists had damaged eight SFPD cars and a Sheriff’s Department van at a maintenance yard. But police reports contradicted that.
The vandalism was said to be done in protest over a Washington federal grand jury investigation into the violence and vandalism that occurred during Seattle’s May Day demonstrations.
“Greetings of solidarity and complicity to those resisting the grand jury in the Pacific Northwest,” the Thursday post on IndyBay said. “In whatever way you choose to resist state repression, we will act to spread and strengthen your struggle.”
A commenter on IndyBay called the vandalism in San Francisco the best protest action “in a long time.”
However, the enraged vandals might as well have been tossing items in a junkyard. The damaged cop cars in San Francisco had long been out of service, Esparza said.
Still, “This type of behavior is unacceptable and extremely irresponsible,” Esparza said. “People tend to forget that it’s taxpayers who pay for this.”
The vandalism is even more galling, Esparza added, in a time of lean budgets.