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One protester was arrested Monday night while participating in a march in San Francisco that vandalized vehicles, businesses and a police station in the Mission District. San Francisco police responded to the vandalism at the police station, located at Valencia Street near 17th Street, at around 9:15 p.m., police Sgt. Daryl Fong said. He said a large crowd of demonstrators had gathered in front of the police station and were engaging in civil disobedience and vandalism.
The vandals smashed windows and threw paint at the police station and damaged the property of businesses and vehicles, police said. Protesters dispersed near the corner of 12th and Folsom streets by 11 p.m., Fong said. Details about the single arrest were not immediately available. Jesse Smith, a protester with Occupy Oakland, said the evening started with a peaceful gathering at Dolores Park and he was horrified by the turn of events. Smith said he was “more than a little shaken” by the vandalism and did not know who was responsible.
“I know Occupiers,” Smith said. “None of us have any idea who they were.” The gathering at Dolores Park, a pre-May Day celebration, led to a march down Mission District streets, Smith said. A small group out of what he estimated to be hundreds of protesters began smashing “one window right after another,” he said.
Smith said Occupy organizers, among other activist groups, have planned a number of family-friendly events and demonstrations for May Day. “I don’t know how this is going to affect that,” Smith said. “This is really heartbreaking.” The protests came on the eve of a nationwide general strike called by members of the Occupy movement, unions and activist organizations.
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