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(en) US, California, Palo Alto*, MEDIA, Anarchists Strike Again

Date Mon, 27 Jun 2005 11:50:16 +0300


The Paly Voice June 27, 2005 at 12:10 am.
http://voice.paly.net/view_story.php?id=3185
Anarchists strike again By Thomas O'Connell of the Paly Voice
University Avenue, downtown Palo Alto's commercial and
social hub, witnessed its second anarchist protest in just
over a month, Saturday night. The demonstration, dubbed
"anarchist" due to the prevalent presence of members of the
Anarchist Action organization and its supporters, ended with
no apparent property damage or injuries, minus the pepper-
spraying of one of the procession members by a police officer.

The protest, by some estimates anticipated to feature a
crowd of 800 to 1000 people, according to Saturday's San
Jose Mercury News, saw a larger gathering than the May 22
protest (150 people), but was of significantly less
consequence. In the previous event, the protesters shattered
an American Express office window with a pole, looted
University's Longs Drugs store, and damaged the hood and
windshield of a parked car. Saturday, the injury incurred by
the procession partaker was the only reported harm to person
or property.

Despite the relative decrease in 'direct action,' as the
protest members put it, the intent of the crowd was clearer
this time around. The demonstration kicked off on a quiet
note, with petitioners for repeal of the Patriot Act (from
Poets Against War), for an end to war (from Veterans for
Peace), and other independent activists congregating in
Lytton Plaza, the focal point of the protest. Within 20
minutes, Anarchist Action and its representatives took the
stage with a speech given by a man shrouded in bandana and
hood. The speaker acknowledged the violent stereotype
attributed to anarchists and went so far as to confirm it.

"We are dangerous not because we advocate violence; we are
dangerous not because we are violent; we are dangerous
because of what we believe about violence," the speaker said.

He proceeded to explain that in modern society, there are
two forms of violence: the immediate and individual, as in
the incidence of a mugging; and the general, essentially an
injustice faced by many.

"Would you prefer to be walking down the street and to be
accosted by a mugger, who takes the contents of you wallet .
. . or would you prefer the break-up of your family,
watching your kids go hungry? I'll leave you with that
thought," the speaker said, illustrating the belief that
widespread suffering caused by society should be dealt with
before all else, even at the expense of some personal safety.

The procession then headed down University, meeting police
blockades at several intersections, and ultimately tracing
its steps back to Lytton Plaza. In somewhat of a surprise
move, the crowd moved further up University and entered
Stanford Shopping Center, disregarding the potential
trespassing infraction on Stanford private property.
Finally, the group arrived back at Lytton Plaza and was
surrounded by police barricades. Police requested that the
demonstrators leave the downtown area via University towards
El Camino, the only road leaving from the square that was
not blocked. The prompting, however, resulted in little more
than a 30 minute sit-down protest by the leaders of the
procession.

Despite the police's eventual quelling of the protest, the
apparent leaders were content with the outcome, at least in
terms of the goals they had laid out ahead of time, if not
with the behavior of the police.

"We actually went to symbolic places like Stanford Shopping
Center, which is representative of consumerism," said Palo
Alto High School junior Nick Nordlinger, who led the pack
for much of the way. "The places were relevant so I think
the results were a lot better than last time."

Aside from the staunch stance taken by the police, a
relatively relaxed ambience spread across downtown, both
prior to and during the protest. Longs Drugs and Borders,
two businesses affected by the last demonstration, took
"elementary precautions" but made no news-worthy
preparations for the event, according to managers on the
floor in both stores.

"At a certain point, you just have to trust your community,"
Borders co-manager Gary Corduan said.

*****

Sun, Jun. 26, 2005
Small band of anarchists draws plenty of attention
By Dan Stober, Anna Tong, Julie Patel and S.L. Wykes
Mercury News

A couple hundred anarchist demonstrators, vastly outnumbered
by curiosity seekers and police officers, marched through
the streets of downtown Palo Alto on Saturday night.

They zigzagged their way through streets and alleys,
chanting anti-war slogans and avoiding confrontation with
the heavily armored police who lined some corners. Hundreds
of digital and video cameras, in the hands of citizens,
activists and journalists, recorded every move.

The march began on University Avenue's Lytton Plaza with a
speech by an anarchist wrapped in black, head to foot, who
called himself Kit. True violence, he shouted, was the U.S.
action in Iraq.

By around 8:30 p.m. the marchers had walked to the high-end
Stanford Shopping Center, a symbol of the consumerism the
anarchists say has swallowed up the country.

At the mall, Kit said the turnout was disappointing, but
that the anarchists -- from Anarchist Action and the
Peninsula Anarchist Coalition -- had made a symbolic point.

Fifteen minutes later, with a police helicopter hovering
overhead and horse-mounted officers in the street, the
marchers were ordered to go home. "If you do not disperse,
you will be subject to arrest," blared a warning from the
helicopter.

There was a confrontation when marchers accused one of the
horse-mounted police officers of pepper-spraying a
protester. They demanded, without success, that he tell them
his badge member. One skateboarder involved in the shouting
match waved a copy of the U.S. Constitution.

The gathering had begun with almost a party atmosphere, as
curious teenagers and adults sympathetic to the group's
anti-war message milled around to music.

Katie Grannison, 21, of Mountain View carried a sign saying,
"I love capitalism," just for the fun of "tweaking some
people's buttons," she said.

Before the protest began at 7 p.m., police took over the
grounds of Addison Elementary for their staging area. Most
of them wore military-style garb and carried extra-long
wooden riot sticks. They ate pizza delivered by Round Table.

Buses with barred windows were parked nearby, along with
police horses and an armored personnel carrier.

In a parking lot interview, Police Chief Lynne Johnson said
she had 300 officers on duty from all law enforcement
agencies in Santa Clara County, including the California
Highway Patrol. The entire Palo Alto Police Department was
involved, directed from the city's emergency operations
center in the basement of City Hall.

Johnson said a homemade weapon, fashioned from a board, had
been found stashed in the downtown area, apparently by a
demonstrator. "A two-by-four with a handgrip carved in one
end and a nail in the other end," said police Agent Dan Ryan.

By Saturday, the anarchists had become the talk of the town.
"We're suddenly famous!" one of them wrote in a Weblog.

Publicity about the demonstration grew in the past two
weeks, fed in part by Police Chief Lynne Johnson's decision
to talk up the police presence in hopes of deterring trouble.

The anarchists charged that the chief exaggerated the chance
of violence, but they proudly quoted her description of them
on their Web site: ". . . this group is very sophisticated,
well organized and employs various tactics."

On Wednesday, police and anarchists held dueling press
conferences. Police quietly monitored the anarchists'
conference; an undercover officer claiming to be a freelance
journalist videotaped it.

In return, a half-dozen young anarchists asked questions of
Johnson at her own City Hall press conference.

In the previous demonstration on May 20, about 200
protesters, most of them in their late teens or early 20s,
converged on Lytton Plaza for what was billed as a street
party and protest.

They spoke against the upcoming economic summit in Scotland
of the Group of Eight, an organization of leading
industrialized countries. Anarchists see the G-8 as a tool
of global corporations.

That protest was also aimed at suburban boredom. "The whole
experience of modern urbanism is nothingness; we feel
nothing, we see the same thing everywhere, everyday, and we
experience nothing exciting, nothing new," an anarchist
wrote in the Web site announcement of that gathering.

Near the end of the May demonstration, some participants ran
through downtown streets. Two arrests were made, one for
vandalism, the other involving a broken window at an
American Express office.

On Saturday there was one confrontation when marchers
accused a horse-mounted police officer of pepper-spraying a
protester. Police confirmed spraying a protester and using
wooden batons on two others -- both because they harassed
police horses, which is illegal.

A gathering of anarchists in Palo Alto last year drew scant
public attention. About 60 youths showed up for a "reclaim
the streets" party, according to Palo Alto detective Kara
Apple. It ended with a band playing on the top level of a
parking garage, she said.

Contact Dan Stober at mailto:dstober@mercurynews.com or
(650) 688-7536.

*****

Sun, Jun. 26, 2005
Onlookers outnumber anarchists at P.A. rally
PROTESTERS CHANT ANTI-WAR SLOGANS, LARGELY AVOID CLASHING
WITH POLICE
By Dan Stober, Anna Tong, Julie Patel and S.L. Wykes
Mercury News

A couple hundred demonstrators, vastly outnumbered by
curiosity seekers and police officers, marched noisily and
peacefully through the streets of downtown Palo Alto on
Saturday night.

Only about 50 of the marchers appeared to be anarchists, a
low turnout for what was billed as a major anarchist display
of street politics.

The paraders zigzagged their way through streets and alleys,
chanting anti-war slogans and avoiding confrontation with
the heavily armored police who lined some corners. Hundreds
of digital and video cameras -- in the hands of citizens,
activists and journalists -- recorded every move.

The march began on University Avenue's Lytton Plaza with a
speech by an anarchist wrapped in black, head to foot, who
called himself Kit. True violence, he shouted, was the U.S.
military action in Iraq.

Around 8:30 p.m. the marchers had walked to the high-end
Stanford Shopping Center, a symbol of the consumerism the
anarchists say has swallowed up the country.

At the mall, Kit, 29, of San Francisco said the turnout was
disappointing, but that the anarchists -- from Anarchist
Action and the Peninsula Anarchist Coalition -- had made a
symbolic point.

"What anarchists believe is not extreme," he said. "It is an
opinion a lot of people share."

Fifteen minutes later, the blocklong parade returned to
Lytton Plaza. With a police helicopter hovering overhead and
horse-mounted officers in the street, the marchers were
ordered to go home. "If you do not disperse, you will be
subject to arrest," blared a warning from the helicopter.

"I feel like I'm being forced out of my own town," said
Naomi Horiubhi, a non-anarchist who just graduated from Palo
Alto High School. "It's inappropriate because it's not
illegal for us to be here."

The evening ended with a whimper at 10 p.m. when the last of
a handful of demonstrators who had been sitting in the
middle of University Avenue surrounded by police and
onlookers gave up their protest and walked away.

"The protesters have a lot of energy, but they could use
their energy to be more productive. What they're doing is
obnoxious at best," said Zack Burt, 17, of Palo Alto.

The gathering had begun with almost a party atmosphere, as
curious teenagers and adults sympathetic to the group's
anti-war message milled around the plaza to music.

Katie Grannison, 21, of Mountain View carried a sign saying,
"I love capitalism," just for the fun of "tweaking some
people's buttons," she said.

"People think anarchy is about throwing things, breaking
things and setting things on fire," said anarchist Evan
Paulin, 18, of Palo Alto, who wore a black cap. "It's
supposed to be every person can govern himself."

Before the protest began at 7 p.m., police took over the
grounds of Addison Elementary for their staging area. Most
of them wore military-style garb and carried extra-long
wooden riot sticks. They ate pizza delivered by Round Table.

Buses with barred windows were parked nearby, along with
police horses and an armored personnel carrier.

In a parking lot interview, Police Chief Lynne Johnson said
she had 300 officers on duty from all law enforcement
agencies in Santa Clara County, including the California
Highway Patrol.

Johnson said a homemade weapon, fashioned from a board, had
been found stashed in the downtown area, apparently by a
demonstrator. "A two-by-four with a handgrip carved in one
end and a nail in the other end," said police Agent Dan Ryan.

By Saturday, the anarchists had become the talk of the town.
"We're suddenly famous!" one of them wrote in a Weblog.

Publicity about the demonstration grew in the past two
weeks, fed in part by Johnson's decision to talk up the
police presence in hopes of deterring trouble.

The anarchists charged that the chief exaggerated the chance
of violence, but they proudly quoted her description of them
on their Web site: "This group is very sophisticated, well
organized and employs various tactics."

In a previous demonstration on May 20, about 200 protesters,
most of them in their late teens or early 20s, converged on
Lytton Plaza for what was billed as a street party and protest.

They spoke against the upcoming economic summit in Scotland
of the Group of Eight, an organization of leading
industrialized countries. Anarchists see the G-8 as a tool
of global corporations.

Near the end of the May demonstration, some participants ran
through downtown streets. Two arrests were made, one for
vandalism, the other involving a broken window at an
American Express office.

On Saturday there was one confrontation when marchers
accused a horse-mounted police officer of pepper-spraying a
protester. Police confirmed spraying a protester and using
wooden batons on two others -- both because they harassed
police horses, which is illegal.

Contact Dan Stober at mailto:dstober@mercurynews.com or
(650) 688-7536.

*****

PALO ALTO
Few actual anarchists turn out for protest
Many more police, spectators, media in downtown area
by Ulysses Torassa
[San Francisco] Chronicle Staff Writer
Sunday, June 26, 2005

After neatly spreading out a red-and-white checkered blanket
with the contents of two wicker picnic baskets, Shannon
Clark and Mike Reis settled in for the evening's
entertainment: an anarchist protest rally in Palo Alto's
Lytton Plaza that police feared might turn violent.

"We are spectators," said Palo Alto resident Clark, 18,
heading to UCLA in the fall who describes herself as a
pro-Bush libertarian. "This is kind of our
Saturday-night-out event."
[Talk about an oxymoron--"pro-Bush libertarian"!?!--DC]

Indeed, the "Revolutionary March Against War & Empire" by
the Palo Alto chapter of Anarchist Action -- targeting the
war in Iraq and corporate greed -- brought out many more
media, hangers on, spectators and police than actual anarchists.

A group of about 100 black-clad young people danced to club
music and rallied in the plaza before marching down
University Avenue, where they passed several phalanxes of
police in riot gear.

Palo Alto police, spooked by a protest in May that
culminated in broken windows at several businesses, feared
as many as 800 mischief-inclined demonstrators might show
up. So they brought in 300 officers, including some from
every department in Santa Clara County and the California
Highway Patrol.

By midevening, Officer Kara Apple said there had been no
reports of damage. She defended the department's decision to
call in so many officers.

"It was proper preparation with the information we had that
the crowd could have been 800-plus," she said.

She said the amount of overtime for Palo Alto officers
hadn't been calculated yet, and the reinforcements from
elsewhere were being paid for by their own departments.

She estimated the crowd at more than 300. Slightly after 9
p.m., they were ordered to disperse.

Some locals were less than pleased with the department's
response. Fred Maddalena, who owns Maddalena's Café on
Emerson Street, said the police warnings -- magnified by the
media -- ruined his Saturday night business, costing him
about $5,000.

"They scared everybody away for three days before this
happened," he said. "There's nobody in the restaurant, and
who showed up (for the rally)? They've got an army (of
police) over here, and an army over there. It's ridiculous."

An Anarchist Action member, who identified himself only as
Ali, said the group does not advocate violence, and that the
damage done in the May 20 protest was undertaken by
individuals acting on their own. But, he added,
"Philosophically, we support their actions."

Many of those who showed up Saturday night were not
anarchists, but other left-leaning activists who took the
opportunity to leaflet and gather signatures for their own
causes, from defeating the Patriot Act to conserving energy
and promoting peace in the Middle East.

Clark, the libertarian, deemed the evening an enjoyable outing.

"It was a fun night," she said. "I hung out with friends,
met some new people and got to hear some other people's
points of view."

E-mail Ulysses Torassa at
mailto:utorassa@sfchronicle.com

Page A - 18

http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2005/06/26/BAGTQDF8OB1.DTL


*****

FOXReno.com
Anarchists Cause Few Problems In Palo Alto
11:51 am PDT June 26, 2005

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Protesting anarchists appeared to be
more mild than wild Saturday night as they marched
peacefully in downtown Palo Alto chanting anti-war slogans.

As concerned police in full body armor stood by and a
helicopter hovered overhead, hundreds of demonstrators
walked down University Avenue beginning about 7 p.m. Most of
the protesters were high school and college students who
were joined briefly by observers watching along the street.

The crowd appeared to be dispersing by 9 p.m. There were no
immediate reports of any violence or arrests.

Officers from across Santa Clara County had traveled to Palo
Alto to help local police worried about a huge turnout and
violence.

The anarchists had touted a peaceful rally against
"globalization, corporate empire and the invasion and
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan" on the Web site of
Anarchy Action. The protest was sponsored by Anarchy Action
and the Peninsula Anarchist Collective.

*****

June 26 (ABC7) -- Self-proclaimed anarchists took to the
streets in Palo Alto -- some of the same people who
vandalized the city just a few weeks ago. Apparently
organizers weren't necessarily condoning violence, but they
weren't condemning it, either.

Several heated exchanges with police officers broke out
Saturday night in downtown Palo Alto. Self-described
anarchists came to protest everything from the war in Iraq
to corporations.

Three-hundred police officers dressed in riot gear watched
their every move, and demonstrators grew increasingly
resentful as the night went on.

Earl Crowl, demonstrator: "The war is in Iraq guys. You know
it's over the top."

The heavy police presence was a direct result of what
happened last month. Officers say these same protestors
looted a drug store, painted graffiti, and broke windows,
including those at the American Express office.

Demonstrator, name withheld: "It is a lot of what we believe
in, like how the bank was destroyed. Like a bank shouldn't
be able to control your money and how you use it -- and
everything like that."

It's that way of thinking that prompted Palo Alto police to
call in for the extra help. They say it's not overkill, just
common sense.

Det. Kara Apple, Palo Alto police dept.: "Most people look
at the breaking of window just as simple vandalism. That
window cost $6,000 to replace, so if you ask that business
owner if it's simple vandalism the answer is going to be no."

Before the demonstration, volunteers posted signs urging
people to keep the peace while businesses did what they
could. The American Express office boarded up its storefront
and several stores closed early, despite having lost revenue
in the process.

Ekalak Lakshana, store manager: "I'm not really happy about
this whole situation. I'm more worried about my employee
security and myself."

These demonstrators say while their protests may at times
end up breaking the law, their main objective is to be heard.

Rob Smith, demonstrator: "There are people who actually care
about things beyond the level of dinner table discussion
over glasses of wine. People who actually feel like things
need to change."

*****

CBS 5 | cbs5.com
Anarchists March on Downtown Palo Alto
Jun 26, 2005 10:33 am US/Pacific

Self-proclaimed anarchists marched through downtown Palo
Alto Saturday night in protest of capitalism.

KCBS reporter Henry Mulak says the protesters, dressed
mostly in black, taunted police and spoke out against the
War in Iraq.

"It's to show your aggression in corporate rule in America
right now, because really the companies are benefiting from
the war" said one teen. "I really don't think it benefits
the whole world as much as it's benefiting just the rich."

Palo Alto police called in help from every law enforcement
agency in the area, to ensure a peaceful demonstration.
Police outnumbered protesters three-to-two.

Many of the protestors appeared willing to be arrested.

"I am not even part of the group but I came down to see what
it was about and to see people marching and my friend got
pepper sprayed in the face for standing next to the police
line and I just have the question of why do we really have
the police?" said one demonstrator.

At one point, the anarchists made their way to Palo Alto
Plaza, causing some concern among business owners.

One woman said she was happy to see police in riot gear. "If
they're here, I know nothing's going to happen."

There had been some vandalism in previous marches, but there
were no arrests and no vandalism during Saturday's event.

In the end, police corralled protesters at Lytton Plaza
downtown, and the demonstrators eventually trickled away by
about ten o'clock at night.

=================================
* Palo Alto is a 60,000 inhabitant city in California

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