There is an abandoned Pepsi-cola warehouse right in the middle of our neighborhood, on Valencia and 18th. And, I, along with, um, a couple hundred other people, have been arrested and detained there without any charges for about 7 hours, with, um, a couple hundred other people -– this is 1991, the day after the LA riots in solidarity with Rodney King, after the fucked up acquittal of those (mother fucking) white cops. There is a secret relationship between this empty Pepsi-cola warehouse and the SFPD. So, you know those rumors that have been going around about this supposed jail… is, um, that building.
So, like, the cops already have, like, way too much power. And, we won’t stand for the city to spend, like, our tax money to build a jail in our neighborhood!
So, I know we’ve all been activists, for a number of years, in a lot of causes and important issues in a lot of far away places and stuff. And here is this situation that is, like in our neighborhood.
So, I’m talking about it a lot with some of my friends. And with one of my friends in particular, who is equally enraged about the jail prospect. Which is when we fantasize about throwing a firebomb into the construction site. Once that idea has gotten into our heads, we know have to take action. There is a chain-link fence around the warehouse. It was put up yesterday. All of a sudden it’s there. Our pepsi warehouse, a construction site. There is no sign saying what the construction will be and who is building it. There is just simply a new chain-link fence and a tiny article about a new police station in the mission on page 30 in the Guardian.
My friend, lets call him “Miguel.” My friend and I don’t talk about our plan with anyone else. We get really serious about it. We don’t make a pact or anything. We just agree that there is no reason to discuss our plans with anyone else.
Now, I just want to say, that we are not affliated with any group or organization. We are two individuals who feel a calling to act. We want to throw a very small, homemade bomb into the construction site. We want to do just enough damage to cost them a lot of money, to set them back, and hopefully, to make them think twice about their little plan. Help them to change their minds. It’s a simple enough project to make a homemade bomb. You all know how easy it is to obtain this information, right?
Here’s a little diagram of how to make a gasoline bomb that I bought an art vending machine that was on display at The Lab on 16th Street.
It’s going to be a molotov cocktail. We will throw it into the construction site in the middle of the night. We definitely don’t want to hurt anyone. That’s clear. We just want to cost them time and money and make them question their plans.
We start by surveying the site. At different hours of the night, we walk around down the streets around the old warehouse, scouting . . . at different hours, trying to figure out when the cop cars are around, and how much time there is in between the slow circling of their cop car itinerary. This goes on for some nights, our surveillance of their surveillance. Walking into that mind-sight of possibility. It not a question of whether we should do it, just how we are going to get away with it.
Now, I want to stress that are not affiliated with any organization or group. We don’t want to kill anyone and we don’t want to get caught.
And, everytime we walk down that street, no matter what time of night it is, there is that cop car, crawling past us, just slowly circling the block. Meanwhile, construction is fully underway and we still don’t have a clear idea of when we’ll be able to throw our bomb…
Then I notice the video camera that they have installed on the construction site; like they already know what we’re planning and are beating us to the punch. I think about how it is probably a federal offense to firebomb city property. A felony. Which means they can put us away for like 20 years or something , even if we don’t hurt anyone, just for property damage. And I think about how much I don’t want to go to prison. The site is under constant surveillance. And we will never get away with it.
Every day, I walk past that building, and everyday there was more and more progress with the construction. Until, one day, I walk past a full fledged police station. They have painted it green. And there is a big, friendly looking sign over the entrance, “Mission Police Station.”
I even go inside it once, that very summer after it’s built. With a couple other dykes– we’re on the dyke march that is parading down Valencia Street, right past the front entrance, the nice cops let us use their bathroom to pee.
performed as part of “Icarus and the Tower of Babel,” Dixon Place, New York, NY – May, 2002