Nichole Hungerford

“International Workers’ Day” Turns to Riot in Santa Cruz, CA

Posted on May 3 2010 9:00 am
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What a coincidence that on May Day, the day of the international workers’ struggle, a so-called “street party” would turn violent and culminate in the destruction of $100,000 worth of private property.

The local Santa Cruz ABC affiliate deemed the affair a May Day soiree gone awry. They then went on to casually report that the event was publicized by “anonymous flyers” posted around the city, although they weren’t terribly concerned with the flyers’ origins.

Here is a sampling of said flyers. They promote a “massive” street party where attendees are encouraged to “eat, drink, dance, takeover.

I especially like this one:

Nothing at all to worry about. Just a radical-leftist, human powder keg.

These flyers were available at a website called “May Day Santa Cruz” on which has since been taken down. Presumably, these were the individuals organizing the event…if goading a volatile mob to overrun the streets and takeover the city constitutes “organizing,” anyway. And what do you know!? Their page featured the clenched fist of militant socialism! What a shock:

In the page’s “About” section the group describes itself as “a collective that recognizes the struggles of workers and commemorates the anniversary of the haymarket massacre.” The Haymarket event they refer to is apparently a typical rallying cause for anarchists and radical leftists as it involved a violent uprising of socialists in 1880s Chicago.

May Day Santa Cruz seems to have been widely promoted by California’s network of radical organizations (“Occupy California,” for instance.) With the economic downturn in the Golden State, these groups have been ratcheting up their activity, lately. We’ve been chronicling it here at NewsReal and also at

Reports from KGO-TV San Francisco revealed a glimpse of the debacle from within:

Witness Brian Garrison says as soon as one person threw a rock, others followed.

“Kids celebrating, partying, drinking, eating, dancing, a little throwing, a little aggression,” recalled the UCSC student.

On a day for workers’ rights, some who were there say the destruction sends a message to large corporations.

“At the minimal, it brings people to realize that we’re all in this together,” said UCSC student Vie Sanchez. “There’s some things going on that people are angry about.”

24-year-old Jimi Haynes, from Fresno, was the only person police arrested. He now faces felony vandalism charges. Authorities say he told them he learned of the rally at a local anarchist cafe.

On Sunday, a symbol of anarchy remained spray-painted on a wall near Tobe Thompson’s jewelry shop. With just minimal damage to her windows, she considers herself one of the lucky ones.

“I heard the word anarchy thrown around a lot,” she said. “That somehow the businesses were evil or businesses were the enemy, and this was justified.”

You can get your own insider perspective below. Here’s a video of some of the shameful, mindless destruction that went on that night:

Many of the stores damaged were family-owned business and it was the workers of Santa Cruz who had to clean up the chaos in the morning. What ending could be more appropriate?

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