protests
George Floyd protest stops at Mission Station on Saturday, 5-30-20. Photo by Julian Mark

Update, May 31, 8:24 a.m.: Mayor London Breed announced Saturday night that a curfew will begin Sunday at 8 p.m., as several downtown storefronts, including the Westfield mall, were vandalized and looted Saturday night following peaceful protests in San Francisco during the day.

Original post:

Some 300 protesters, angry over the May 25 in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, made their way into the Mission District Saturday, stopping in front of Mission Station and chanting Floyd’s name, “black lives matter,” and “fuck the police.” 

The George Floyd demonstration had been moving through San Francisco throughout the day, starting downtown, moving toward the Embarcadero, and then heading into the Mission. Protesters remained peaceful in the Mission — a sharp contrast the demonstration in Oakland Friday night that devolved into chaos, fires, and violence. Large displays of discontent, both peaceful and violent, have taken place in many American cities since Floyd’s death Monday. 

On Saturday, San Francisco Police were armed with batons, long guns, and tear-gas guns. But, while lined up in front of Mission Station, they remained stoic while protesters, at times, taunted them. 

After around 40 minutes in front of the station, protesters moved north, stopping at a freeway onramp at 13th and Mission. There, demonstrators tried to walk on the freeway but were barred by a phalanx of officers, who had been waiting. Amassing in large numbers, the protesters briefly blocked traffic on 13th. The scene grew tense as officers advanced in riot gear, but some protesters urged others not to get violent. And it didn’t — at least not near the 13th Street overpass. 

Making the scene more surreal was the specter of COVID-19. Though most demonstrators donned masks, no one physically distanced. All the while, many protesters pulled their masks down to shout and chant.

By 8 p.m., the march had passed out of the Mission, though more protests are anticipated throughout the week.

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Julian Mark

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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7 Comments

  1. How do you decide to use the word “violence” as opposed to “vandalism”?
    I don’t think its fair to say protesters are being violent if they aren’t hurting people.
    I know CNN and the rest do it too but they’re wrong.

    1. Welcome to San Francisco Harry. Though we don’t know of any officer strangling black men, we have had more than enough murders. You may not know this, but the straight up racism and brutality of the SF police was so bad, there were three separate reports (one done “collaboratively” with the USDOJ) which not only documented the abuses but detailed numerous steps the department had to take. Every step was bitterly opposed by the POA (the cop union). Even the most significant step, an rewrite of the “use of force” policy which had laid dormant for 20 years, was opposed by the POA and its central tenant, de-escalation, has been ignored on at least two recent occasions (which is not surprising since the DOJ report documented that the SFPD rarely follows “policy” anyway). Mission Local to its credit has followed the reform process and if you are really interested in finding out the answer to your question, you can easily find out. We had a gutless, former police chief, acting as DA (with an emphasis on “acting”) who never once, not once, brought charges against the cops. What happened in Minneapolis has everything to do not only with the SFPD, but New York, Chicago, LA, etc. etc. where police are not held accountable for frequently and obscenely abusing the power and trust they have been given.

  2. Campers,

    All this happened to and fro under my windows @14th & Valencia.

    Fortunately, I had a fresh bottle of tequila.

    Munched on couple of gummies and smoked a bowl.

    Put on ‘Wild in the Streets’ and settled back.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xV2XUTCurvQ

    We do indeed live in, ‘interesting times’.

    Starting to remind me of the ’60’s.

    I’d pass the baton to new generation but I need it for a walking stick.

    This new generation has something we did not have.

    The internet.

    And, the Kryptonite for cops …

    Cameras

    Cameras

    Cameras

    Go Niners!~

    h.

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