Who would have figured that an American anarchist movement would ring someone’s bells. But police arrested eleven people after a downtown Asheville vandalism spree was carried out by about 30 people wearing black and wielding hammers. The mob moved through an area around Battery Park Avenue and the Grove Arcade late Saturday night. Most are students and are loosely tied to an anarchist website and the anti-capitalist May Day movement, police said last Monday. In total, they face 112 misdemeanor and 33 felony charges, with three new felony charges for damage to property, causing a riot, and conspiracy to riot added Monday. The mob broke windows and damaged property at seven businesses and hit cars, causing more than $18,000 in damage. Police say the vandals gathered in a parking garage on Haywood Street near the Civic Center. With hoods over their heads and bandannas often covering their faces, the group moved west from the smaller garage and turned onto O. Henry Avenue on the west side of the Grove Arcade. Along with hammers, the vandals used crowbars, rocks, other pieces of metal and chairs to do their damage. Police were aware that something might happen on May 1 but they did not suspect a rampage. Intelligence reports showed the anarchist theme for this May Day was stealing money from employers and police had thought they would see more reports of embezzlement and not property damage, said the head of the police investigation division.

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