• The Contextual Issue
    The Contextual Issue

    Where Does the ‘Revelry’ End and the Anti-Police Riot Begin?

    Vignettes of the political tensions running through San Francisco's World Series celebration riots.

    I’ve always found it a little odd how quick some are to dismiss sports riots. If you think about everything that happens during a baseball season – the hundreds of games, practices, the millions of people who visit the stands at one point or another, drinking 12 dollar bud lights, the devastation the game has on the players’ bodies, the billions generated in ad revenue, the grip it has on the American attention-span – it's a little curious that when fans go hard one night a year, setting things on fire, throwing bottles at cops, trashing metro vehicles ... that somehow it’s at all surprising or condemnable. Instead, I find them incredibly fascinating.

    As acting out in a temporarily lawless street riot becomes a common point of reference for youth in America, we should expect to see the edges of different kinds of riots bleed together. They overlap. They cross-pollinate. Taking the Bay as an example, in the months following the events of Occupy Oakland, illegal ‘Fuck The Police’ noise demos would twist their way through the East Bay with adapted Oakland Athletics calls: “Let’s Go, Oakland!” It’s not surprising, then, when the Mission District gets covered with anti-police and anti-gentrification graffiti the night after the World Series.

    If you’re all political and shit, and find yourself wondering ‘what’s the point’ of moments of sports riot, here are a few glimpses into the nuance:

    A Glimpse of Anti-Police

    Overheard on Twitter: “Kids were yelling SFPD killed Alex Nieto

    A Glimpse of Anti-Gentrification

    You know, I was a little bummed when I saw people basically saying “Not All Techies” in response to this graffiti that was found all over the Mission last night. I’m a techie I guess. Technically. But I can still appreciate the sentiment. Open your mind people, think about it.

    A Vanguard Properties and Vida, developers responsible for overpriced condos in the Mission district, were attacked again. With fire. Whoa.

    A Glimpse of Anti-Spectator

    Also, some straight-up ignorant athletics:

    Well this was slightly terrifying and awesome. #giantsriot

    A video posted by Michael Brinkman (@mjb8797) on

    No joke, I also heard that some people were burning their bras on flaming couches.

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