Though the Ferguson-related fracas has stayed mostly across the Bay in Oakland this week, Black Friday brought a chaotic night with a couple hundred protesters to the middle of San Francisco. Several dozen people gathered in Union Square for a demonstration around 5 p.m., as KTVU reports, which ultimately turned violent when a group of a couple hundred others marched up Market Street from the Embarcadero to meet them, ultimately being turned back by police who tried to keep them out of Union Square. Protesters threw bricks and smashed and/or vandalized store windows, including Crate & Barrel, Macy's, and the Apple Store, forcing flocks of Black Friday shoppers to huddle inside behind locked doors.
Two police officers were injured in the melee, which seems to have lasted less than an hour. CBS 5 has it that 50 to 75 people were arrested.
The Chronicle says the group numbered "about 100" by 7 p.m. as police began herding them back toward Market Street. And according to them only "several" arrests were made.
In the video below from CBS 5's Joe Vazquez you can see the crowds gathered at Union Square waiting for the Christmas tree to be lit, with the sound of a protester on a megaphone breaking through.
The first group of protesters at Union Square changed "Black Friday doesn't matter. Black lives matter," and hoisted this lit sign in front of the tree lighting.
"Black Lives Matter" in lights at San Francisco demonstration. pic.twitter.com/k9xFN0oM7e— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) November 29, 2014
Protesters didn't exactly stay on message, thought, between the attacks on retail storefronts, and the chant, as noted by KTVU, "Missouri, Palestine, justice now."
But they remained consistent in their anger toward police, as you can see in the Vine below, where an officer gets hit by a thrown sawhorse.
Later, smaller groups of protesters spread out to the Mission by 9 p.m. where both the 16th Street and 24th Street BART stations were temporarily closed due to chaos on the streets above.
Throughout the Mission, protesters were reportedly setting off fireworks, and one smashed a window of a CBS/KPIX news van and threw a lit flare inside. There was also a confrontation with police involving bricks at Potrero and 22nd Street.
Now they got us. Broke a windshield and threw A flare inside. Photo from @djsektor pic.twitter.com/fIGbtqjauw— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) November 29, 2014
Portrero and 22nd. It just got tense. Bricks thrown at cops. pic.twitter.com/kjsYwhLPyw— Joe Vazquez (@joenewsman) November 29, 2014
Friday night's disorganized violence stands in contrast to the peaceful, highly organized demonstration earlier in the day in which 14 protesters were arrested for chaining themselves to two BART trains at West Oakland Station. That demonstration managed to cripple BART service for about 90 minutes, and stop all east-west traffic through the Transbay Tube.