After a long day of mostly peaceful demonstrations by thousands of protesters who joined OccupyOakland's General Strike and Day of Action yesterday, it's still unclear why the Oakland Police – which had stood down the entire day, leaving the movement to self-police – massed in riot gear around midnight and used tear gas and other projectiles to clear the streets and make a reported 80 arrests.Read more »
The California Highway Patrol seems to be on high alert and itching to fight the people in the street, at least if a bizarre incident at last night’s Critical Mass is any indication. And that’s a scary prospect in the Bay Area, where the ongoing standoffs between police and the Occupy movements in San Francisco and Oakland are potential powder kegs that require cool heads on both sides. Read more »
Mayor Ed Lee continues to insist that OccupySF break down its encampment in Justin Herman Plaza and threaten to send in riot police if that doesn't happen, even as this week's violent police raid on Occupy Oakland has sparked international outrage, condemnation, and solidarity with other occupations.Read more »
OPINION When I entered the public square off Broadway and 14th on Oct. 17 -- the site of the Occupy Oakland camp that police violently broke up this week -- I immediately felt dazed by the atmosphere. But rather than seeing the squalor that has been highlighted by city officials and the media, I saw it as a place of real possibilities, particularly from my perspective as a social worker
Surrounded by tall buildings, the square is in the heart of downtown Oakland. It felt like I was in a commune of sorts. Walking through the rows of tents, I found myself amidst a sea of commotion; there were children of different ethnicities playing, a crowd was listening to some guy on a microphone talking about political freedom, a marching band was performing, and lines of people were dishing out and receiving free food. The energy in the air was almost tangible.
Both the Examiner and the Chronicle reported this morning that the OccupySF encampment has become a public health hazard, setting the stage for what many believe is an imminent police raid. The newspapers' only source: a notice that the Department of Public Health handed out to protesters, at their camp in Justin Herman Plaza, at 6am today. Read more »
Privacy and civil-liberties activists are thrilled by state Sen. Mark Leno's bill the prevents the cops from searching cell phones without a warrant. And the bill makes perfect sense -- if I get stopped and arrested and have a laptop computer in my backpack, the police can't turn it on and start reading my email without a warrant. But right now, they can freely scroll through the same information on my cell phone.Read more »