|Sent time:||Thursday, November 03, 2011 3:46:09 PM|
|Subject:||Re: Re: Re: [september17discuss] Fwd: Oakland police's open letter|
Occupy Oakland turned violent early Thursday morning as police corralled Occupy Oakland protesters in Frank Ogawa Plaza. Some 60 arrests were made.
Police in riot gear clashed with protesters in Oakland on Thursday, firing tear gas to disperse demonstrators lingering in the streets after a day of mostly peaceful rallies against economic inequality and police brutality.
The confrontation, which erupted after midnight, appeared aimed at preventing the protesters from expanding their foothold in the streets around a public plaza that has become a hub for demonstrations in the largely working-class city on the eastern banks of San Francisco Bay.
More than 200 officers, some ferried downtown aboard buses, lined up shoulder to shoulder and donned gas masks, then declared the crowd to be an "unlawful assembly" and fired volleys of tear gas as protesters turned and ran.
A few activists paused to pick up canisters and hurl them back at officers as they fled, while others threw rocks. One barricade was set ablaze after the police first advanced.
"This was peaceful until you came!" some protesters shouted at police. Police later charged toward protesters with batons and more tear gas to push them farther into center of the square, where activists have reassembled a make-shift encampment forcibly dismantled by authorities last week.
The latest unrest in Oakland, which shot to the forefront of nationwide anti-Wall Street protests after a former Marine was badly injured in last week's clashes, followed a day of rallies that drew some 5,000 activists at their peak and shuttered the busy Port of Oakland but failed to grind the city to a halt.
At least one protester was carried away with an injury to his leg. Another who had been arrested, his hands bound behind him, lay on the ground with blood streaming down his face.
Police estimated around 60 protesters had been arrested. Dozens of them were lined up seated along a street curb in plastic wrist restraints as they waited to be taken away.
One of them, Adam Konner, 29, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, said he heard a police announcement ordering "campers to move back to your tents," before police advanced again.
"I was trying to figure what they were saying. I was trying to figure out if I could go back into the plaza," he told Reuters. He said he was suddenly confronted by police who knocked him to the ground and placed him under arrest.
The anti-Wall Street activists, protesting a financial system they believe benefits mainly corporations and the wealthy, had set out on Wednesday to disrupt commerce with a focus on banks and other symbols of corporate America.
But a police force that had largely kept its distance during the day ended up in a tense stand-off as most of the protesters had retreated to Frank Ogawa Plaza, the large outdoor square next to City Hall that has been the fulcrum of the so-called Occupy Oakland movement.
One officer at the scene, who declined to be named, told Reuters police had no plans to clear the encampment for the moment.
On Wednesday evening, an official said maritime operations at the Oakland port, which handles about $39 billion a year in imports and exports, had been "effectively shut down."
Protesters, who streamed across a freeway overpass to gather in front of the port gates, had stood atop tractor-trailers stopped in the middle of the street.
Others climbed onto scaffolding over railroad tracks as a band played a version of the Led Zeppelin song "Whole Lotta Love," using amplifiers powered by stationary bike generators.
"Maritime area operations will resume when it is safe and secure to do so," the port said in a statement. A port spokesman said officials hoped to reopen the facility on Thursday morning.
The atmosphere at the protests turned tense well before police moved in when a protester was apparently struck by a car in downtown Oakland. Acting Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan later said the pedestrian was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries.
Small groups were later seen in local TV images running through the streets, trying to start small fires or climbing on top of moving television news vans.
At one point, several people appeared to force open the driver's-side door of a news van, but after a few tense moments the door closed again and the van drove away safely.
Windows were smashed at several Oakland banks and a Whole Foods market, with pictures of the damage posted on Twitter. Jordan blamed the vandalism and unruliness on a small group he identified as anarchists.
The demonstrations centered at Frank Ogawa Plaza, scene of a tug-of-war last week between police who cleared an Occupy Oakland encampment there and protesters who sought to return, and ultimately succeeded in doing so.
Protesters, prior to marching on the port, had also blocked the downtown intersection of 14th street and Broadway, where ex-Marine Scott Olsen was wounded during a clash with police on the night of October 25.
It was the wounding of Olsen, a former Marine turned peace activist who suffered a serious head injury during protests last week, that seemed to galvanize protesters and broadened their complaints to include police brutality.
He remains in an Oakland hospital in fair condition.
Protest organizers say Olsen, 24, was struck by a tear gas canister fired by police. Jordan opened an investigation into the incident but has not said how he believes Olsen was hurt.
(Additional reporting by Dan Whitcomb, Mary Slosson, Steve Gorman, Emmett Berg, Matthew Ward, Bill Rigby and R.T. Watson; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jerry Norton and Cynthia Johnston)
Alligator tears. Quan recognized her mistake in cracking down. Now she's shifted. It's for her now to crack down on her police employees and get them in line with her new program.
The only response should be: Quan, tell your police to respect the occupation and your policies. They want to know the clear message? That's the clear message, that's the word from leadership, in case they didn't get it the first time. She should be encouraged to state that mistakes have been made, that she takes responsibility for those mistakes, and it's her responsibility to make sure that those mistakes never happen again.
On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 8:43 AM, Doug Singsen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
That's part of it, but at the same time they're claiming to be part of the 99%, which is designed to make it seem like they're on the same side as the protesters. I think this letter is first and foremost about them trying to take some of the heat off of themselves and push it onto Quan. They're venting at the fact that Quan sent them out there to crack heads and then left them hanging out on a limb when it went bad. They either want to be sent in to crack heads (probably their preference) and shut it down permanently or not to be sent in at all. Either way, they want a position they can stick to, not flip-flopping around and putting them in a conflicted position. The part that's a ploy is the claim that they're on the same side as the protesters.
On Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 12:15 AM, rob hollander <email@example.com> wrote:
A ploy?? It's a clear call for Quan to crack down on the occupiers: "we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead – not send mixed messages." The "mixed message" was Quan's allowing the protesters back, along with city employees. The police want the city employees out so they can crack heads. What is not clear about this disgusting, anti-American, anti-mayor statement? The employees of the mayor -- as employees -- telling her how to run her city! If they were in the armed forces they'd be tried and discharged. F$%k them.
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 10:50 PM, Doug Singsen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
Individual police officers may be reformable, but the police force as an institution is not, and no one who is currently a police officer can be entirely trustworthy from our perspective because their job is to repress us.
This letter does show that the authorities are highly disoriented, however, which is a good thing. Every time they try to squash us and fail, it stuns them a little and they get confused.
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 10:38 PM, <email@example.com> wrote:
I have to agree with Doug that it is a ploy, but it is still wild that they put it out. I like how they call themselves the 99%.On 11/02/11, Doug Singsen<firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:Remember, these are the same people who shot Oscar Grant in the back and terrorize the Black community of Oakland on a daily basis. This is a police force known and hated for its routine harrassment and brutality. This letter is as much a political ploy as Quan's statement that she now "supports" the protesters. They are just running for cover because they are under fire. They do not deserve our sympathy or support.
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 10:19 PM, gail zawacki <email@example.com> wrote:
Is this for real??? Powerful stuff!
On Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 10:07 PM, Liliana Gomez <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Patricia Rios <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, Nov 2, 2011 at 9:52 PM
Subject: Oakland police's open letter
An Open Letter to the Citizens of Oakland from the
Oakland Police Officers’ Association
We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland. We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families. We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.
As your police officers, we are confused.
On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza. We performed the job that the Mayor’s Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.
Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in – to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before.
To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the "Stop Work" strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.
That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against "the establishment." But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest? Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?
It is all very confusing to us.
Meanwhile, a message has been sent to all police officers: Everyone, including those who have the day off, must show up for work on Wednesday. This is also being paid for by Oakland taxpayers. Last week’s events alone cost Oakland taxpayers over $1 million.
The Mayor and her Administration are beefing up police presence for Wednesday’s work strike they are encouraging and even "staffing," spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for additional police presence – at a time when the Mayor is also asking Oakland residents to vote on an $80 parcel tax to bail out the City’s failing finances.
All of these mixed messages are confusing.
We love Oakland and just want to do our jobs to protect Oakland residents. We respectfully ask the citizens of Oakland to join us in demanding that our City officials, including Mayor Quan, make sound decisions and take responsibility for these decisions. Oakland is struggling – we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead – not send mixed messages. Thank you for listening.Please click here to unsubscribe from receiving public safety messages from the Oakland Police Officers’ Association. Thank you.
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
622 E 11, #10
Lower East Side Residents for Responsible Development
622 E 11, #10
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