Wednesday, 26 October 2011

#OccupyOakland Update : "To See Your Enemies Driven Before You And To Hear The Lamentations Of Their Women"

Terry Collins with the AP reports:

Police in riot gear stood watch only a few yards away from a group of stalwart demonstrators in the aftermath of skirmishes in front of City Hall that resulted in five volleys of tear gas from police, in blasts that seemed to intensify with each round, over a roughly three-hour stretch of evening scuffles.

Image - NY Times

NPR's conversation with SF Chronicle writer Matthai Kuruvila  here  . Follow-up NPR blog about violence between protesters and police  here . USA Today has a write-up of Oakland and similar events in Atlanta  here  .

Oakland apparently plans to regroup tonight, so we'll see how this develops. Two things are worth noting.

First, I was wondering why the Mayor of an ostensibly fairly liberal enclave in California was calling in the goon squad to break skulls. It turns out that Jean Quan is already facing a recall petition due to her failure to "provide leadership on crime issues," filed by Oakland residents and the Oakland Black Caucus. I'm not sure if this alone could provide sufficient motivation for the police brutality in Oakland, but perhaps Mayor Quan, like so many of us in this year of our lord 2011, is experiencing what you might call "job anxiety."

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan

Second, and speaking of poor job performance, President Barack Obama was busy laughing it up and raising money on Leno and in San Francisco while cops crushed #OccupyOakland under their boots.

Image from Agence France Presse

Our President was busy chatting with a group of venture capitalists while, according to a colleague of mine;

...[The] Oakland Police Dept just deployed tear gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons and have used force against protesters - who were coming back to reclaim their camp after last night's massive eviction. Apparently, there have been over 500 riot cops unleashing on these protesters. Some of my friends have been caught in that fire - from what I've gathered, they're safe now (cross your fingers) but this type of police brutality is clearly unacceptable. Please share, pass this around, sign the petition from to Mayor Quan, demanding she stop the police repression NOW.

Since Mayor Quan appears easily inclined to listen to a gentle nudge from voters, why don't we nudge her in the right direction? Petition is  here  . More photos of the carnage &c.  here  .

For information about #Occupy protests near you, check the national hub  here  .

UPDATE: Good lord. This Marine veteran took a "non-lethal projectile" (read: rubber bullet or beanbag) point blank. This is not just gruesome, it is not the way that NLPs are supposed to be used:

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