Pointless Vandalism of Asheville Businesses

May 2nd, 2010
Smashed up windows at the Grove Arcade

Smashed up windows at the Grove Arcade

I remember being angry at how messed up the world is. I even remember thinking people who engaged in “civil disobedience” that involved stealing from and destroying property of big corporations were heroic.

Even at my angriest, I never would have even considered wrecking the storefronts of small, family-owned businesses in a little mountain city like Asheville. The only chain store in the effected area, which is a Subway restaurant, escaped unscathed.

From the Asheville Citizen-Times:

About 10:45 p.m. Saturday, a group of between 20-30 people wearing dark clothing, some wearing masks and carrying backpacks, threw items, including newspaper boxes, through windows of several businesses along O’Henry Avenue. A front window of the Asheville Citizen-Times was shattered, as were multiple storefronts at the Grove Arcade. An ATM was smashed at the RBC on O’Henry.

Multiple cars parked on Battery Park had their windows smashed.

The violence is likely linked to the observance of May Day, a day for marking worker solidarity that has been seized upon for anti-capitalism displays of violence, especially by self-proclaimed anarchist groups in Europe.

Several in the group yelled unintelligably as they vandalized. The group walked south on O’Henry Avenue and turned left on Battery Park Avenue. Some walked through the alley beside the Citizen-Times, where several employees of the paper had rushed to ensure the safety of their cars.

Talk about your random acts of senseless bullshit. For goodness sake, one of the vandalized shops, the Grove Arcade Copy Shop, has a big photo of the sweet-looking couple that owns the place right inside one of the smashed windows.

A comment on the article sums it up perfectly:

…this bunch of momma’s girls and boys who decided to get all radical in the most soft, liberal sympathizing, white-bred town they could find. LOL! Way to really show “the man” and take “the struggle” to the epicenter.

The Grove Arcade, where all this took place, is full of nothing but small locally-owned businesses, most of which take pride in supporting local artisans, farmers, and other local businesses. They are already struggling to survive in a down economy.

Since many of these “kids” were in their early- and mid-twenties, I am sure they came up with some amazing justifications for why they ran through downtown Asheville smashing stuff up. Wish I could hear what it was. I hope they all feel really stupid about this some day soon. Preferably from the inside of a jail cell.

The businesses that were vandalized include the Asheville Citizen-Times, RBC Bank, Grove Arcade, Grove Arcade Copy Shop, and The Eye Center.

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5 Responses to “Pointless Vandalism of Asheville Businesses”

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  3. Aunt Kathie Says:

    Wow! Can’t believe I missed this. Really stunning how stupid people can be while persuading themselves that they are being “heroic.” Grrr.

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  5. Steven M. Says:

    I was actually at the May Day “Secret Anarchist Dance Party” in an abandoned warehouse across from the Chocolate Lounge in 2009. It was busted by cops and then they erupted in the same sense, throwing patio chairs at the windows of local businesses. I was bewildered. No damage was done at this occasion, from what I saw, and the local police officers had it “under control”.

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