Three anarchists face charges from protest

Railroad spikes, a 25-inch-long leather throwing sling, a slingshot, dozens of rocks, a crowbar and a balloon full of unidentifiable liquid were among the weaponry police said they confiscated after a brief clash between police and rogue anarchists on Market Street during antiwar protests last week.

Bryan Riggin and Mitchell Inclan are facing weapons and threats charges in San Francisco Superior Court in a clash in which police say a “haymaker”-style punch was thrown before an officer returned the favor with a swing of the baton.

The violence was an anomaly in a day of peaceful protest, in which hundreds of participants laid in the middle of Market Street or blocked the entrances to buildings. Of the 148 people arrested, only three are facing serious charges in criminal court. Along with Riggin and Inclan, a third man, Mitchell Anderson, is facing misdemeanor charges of battery on a police officer.

Two people spent several hours in county jail facing similar charges but were released for lack of evidence, according to Rachel Lederman, an attorney with the National Lawyers Guild, an organization providing legal assistance to dozens of people arrested in protest.

The remaining 143 people taken to jail, including former U.S. Department of Defense analyst Daniel Ellsberg, were cited and released. Now, lawyers are working to dismiss those citations in the name “direct civil disobedience,” Lederman said.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen to those people for a while,” she said. “I do know that there were a number of bystanders who were swept up in the mass arrests, people who were wearing a certain type of clothing, wearing black for instance, and bicyclists.”

In one case, a woman wearing pink and riding a pink bike was arrested, reportedly because police thought she was part of Code Pink, an organizing group known for wearing the distinctive color. Apparently, she was just passing through, Lederman said.

bbegin@examiner.com

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