Inside the Occupy Oakland protest

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Anarchism and peace try to coexist at Occupy Oakland

UPDATE: We've corrected a few factual mistakes. We originally reported that protesters forced open the door of the YMCA; in fact, they asked to be let in and they were. We regret the error.

An Occupy Oakland march that turned violent Jan. 28 led to the arrest of 400 people, including me.

The march, which peaked at about 2,000 protesters, was organized with the intention of entering a vacant building -- the Kaiser Convention Center -- and turning it into a new “Social Center” that participants in Occupy Oakland hoped to use to gather, teach, and organize.

The move was more than symbolic. Occupy activists have engaged in constant debate about tactics and goals, particularly when it comes to violence and property destruction, and it’s hard to argue at this point that Occupy Oakland is a nonviolent movement.

But many thought that the goal of occupying a vacant building made sense. When Occupy Oakland had a camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza, also known as Oscar Grant Plaza, commonly described as OGP, it created a strong community. It’s a community that bridged divides between the homeless and the housed, between students and labor organizers, and between Oakland residents of different races, genders and levels of ability in an unprecedented fashion.

Besides that, the camp had a kitchen that fed hundreds of people everyday. The camp had a network of shared tents and blankets that welcomed in hundreds who would have slept freezing on the streets, often feeling isolated from other residents of their city and made to feel inferior. Now, they had a place to stay that was warmer, more safe and secure, and was embedded in a community bound together by ties of solidarity.

That community was able to thrive in it’s centralized camp location.

That was the practical reason for wanting to occupy a vacant building: to have a social center for Occupy Oakland.

Of course, there are other reasons. There’s the question that many squatters and homeless advocacy groups have been making for decades: why let buildings lie vacant while people freeze on the street?

The march set off from OGP at 1 p.m. Jan. 28. There was no ambiguity about group’s goal: Many pushed carts stacked with furniture, hoping to furnish the new center; others held a large banner reading “Vacant? Take it!” 

Many other Occupy groups around the world, including protesters in Washington DC, London, England, and Belfast, Ireland, have taken over vacant buildings in an attempt to create social centers, house homeless community members and protest injustice symbolized by buildings lying vacant while people live on the street.

In Oakland, the attempts were staved off when riot police lined up in front of the march and declared unlawful assemblies.

In front of the  Convention Center, police threw smoke bombs into the crowd and warned that those who refused to disperse would be arrested. The march continued around the corner to 12th St and Oak, where protesters and police were involved in another confrontation. Police shot smoke bombs and “pepper bombs,” canisters of pepper spray that explode on impact, into the crowd. Some in the march responded by throwing canisters, along with plastic bottles, back at police. Masked protesters in the front of the group brandished makeshift shields. Protesters say the shields were there to protect them from rubber bullets and bean bag rounds.

The cops had a different perspective. “It became clear that the objective of this crowd was not to peacefully assemble and march, but to seek opportunity to further criminal acts, confront police, and repeatedly attempt to illegally occupy buildings,” said Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan in a press release.

In a tense moment, hundreds knelt to hide behind the frontline shields while police fired rubber bullets into the crowd.
When police began to advance at both the front and back end of the group, protesters retreated, marching on 12th St back to Ogawa/Grant Plaza.

As they marched on 12th street, Occupy Oakland-affiliated street medics treated injuries from tear gas, pepper spray, and rubber bullets. Police followed in the rear of the march, continuing to project exploding flash-bang grenades at the crowd.

At about 5:30, another march left from the plaza, again with the stated attention of occupying a building. Police marched behind protesters. When the march cut through Fox Square in Oakland’s Uptown neighborhood, police filled in all surrounding sides of the march. Protesters have used the term “kettling” to describe a situation in which police line up on all sides of a group, blocking anyone in the group from leaving.
After “kettling” hundreds of protesters at this location, police began to deploy tear gas. Some protesters with makeshift plastic and metal shields, many marked with the “circle-A” anarchy symbol, advanced towards police. Several police beat the shield back with batons and struck some protesters.

One 19-year-old woman who was struck with a baton to the kidneys was brought to the hospital and treated for internal bleeding.
At Fox Square, police announced that the gathering was an unlawful assembly. Minutes later, some protesters knocked over a line of chain-link fencing, allowing the march to exit the “kettle.” The march continued on Telegraph.

When the march arrived at Broadway between 22nd and 23rd streets, protesters asked to be let into the YMCA and someone who was in there opened the doors. Police later closed in on both sides until they had formed a line preventing the approximately 400 protesters from exiting.

On Broadway, there was no dispersal order issued. This is in violation of the Oakland Police Department's crowd control policy, which states that “If after a crowd disperses pursuant to a declaration of unlawful assembly and subsequently participants assemble at a different geographic location where the participants are engaged in non-violent and lawful First Amendment activity, such an assembly cannot be dispersed unless it has been determined that it is an unlawful assembly and the required official declaration has been adequately given.”

About 6:30 p.m., police announced that all of the blocked-in group was under arrest.

It was more than six hours before the sidewalk was cleared of all detainees. Most are charged with failure to disperse. Some, such as those who entered the YMCA, have been charged with burglary.

Dozens of protesters who had avoided arrest marched back to City Hall. There, they illegally entered the building and committed several acts of vandalism. According to a press release, these included “breaking an interior window to a Hearing Room, tipping over and seriously damaging the historic model of City Hall, destroying a case containing a model of Frank Ogawa Plaza, and breaking into the fire sprinkler and elevator automation closet.” Protesters also report setting off fireworks in the counsel chambers.

Some protesters took an American flag from City Hall and burned it in front of the government building.

Oakland officials have complained about the cost of the protests. The city had reportedly spent $2.4 million policing Occupy Oakland protesters as of November 15, just weeks after announcing the decision to close down five elementary schools to save $2 million.
Occupy activists say the huge -- expensive -- police presence is an overreaction.

“The amount of property damage by protesters has been minimal next to Mayor Quan's destruction of the humanitarian Occupy Oakland community and excessive force against peaceful people, said Wendy Kenin, an Occupy Oakland spokesperson. “The City of Oakland's commitment to militarism far outweighs its investment in schools. 

Kenin said she was back at Occupy Oakland outside City Hall, with her four children, the day after the incidents.
There were no arrests made in the City Hall incident, partly because so many police resources were deployed at the YMCA.

Cities and counties that provided police reenforcements to handle the mass arrests include Alameda County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, San Francisco County and Marin County and the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, Pleasanton, San Francisco and Union City/Newark; and the University of California-Berkeley, according to an Oakland Police Department press release. 

Dozens of those detained were brought to Glenn Dyer jail, which quickly filled up; the rest were brought to Santa Rita jail in Dublin.
Several members of the press, as well as passers-by who were on their way to work in the area, were swept up in the arrests.

In jail, those detained debated tactics involved in the day’s demonstrations and discussed the future of Occupy Oakland.

The number of injured protesters is unknown, but in the 19-person sampling of arrestees with whom I spent 20 hours, two had bruises from baton strikes, one suffered from an injured foot after a pepper-bomb exploded upon impact with her ankle, and most had irritation in their eyes, ears, and throat from exposure to tear gas and pepper spray.

Oakland police report that three officers were injured.

As of the morning of Jan. 30, about 100 remained in Santa Rita.

Comments

1. You trashed City Hall.
2. You trashed the YMCA.

Two fine public institutions, those. You were supposed to be trashing BANKS.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 2:38 pm

1. They didn't trash the YMCA, all that was left behind was signs.

2. If the 20 people were actually members of the 99% trying to fight for Occupy inside City Hall.---They did wrong.
But whatever happend to "just a few bad apples" right?
Or were they led by [or wholy consisted of] agent provocateurs? There Were No Arrests At City Hall! Not a single cop at City Hall (which is right by Frank Ogawa)?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 8:56 pm
.

1. They didn't trash the YMCA, all that was left behind was signs.

2. If the 20 people were actually members of the 99% trying to fight for Occupy inside City Hall.---They did wrong.
But whatever happend to "just a few bad apples" right?
Or were they led by [or wholy consisted of] agent provocateurs? There Were No Arrests At City Hall! Not a single cop at City Hall (which is right by Frank Ogawa)?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 8:57 pm

I'm glad that someone is out there trying to report on this, but one thing I want to take issue with is this:

" it’s hard to argue at this point that Occupy Oakland is a nonviolent movement."

No Yael, I do want to argue that point. Property destruction isn't the same as violence. If you're suggesting the two are equivalent, then you're buying into the frame of the corporatocracy. Correctly if I'm wrong, but I haven't heard anyone associated with the movement advocate for violence against people. The closest you can remotely come to that is if you consider things like throwing back tear gas cannisters an act of violence. But even that's a stretch. I consider that basic self defense. If cops are out there maiming people with paramilitary weapons and tactics, it's not too much of a stretch to imagine that some people might use objects as shields, or wear helmets, or throw back the occasional tear gas cannister.

The official frame was evident when Oakland Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente referred to Occupy as "domestic terrorism." KPFA interviewed a protester about that remark, and she responded that it shows the mentality of a police state that they consider setting up a community service center in a vacant building to be "domestic terrorism." Seriously. What are our priorities as a society when we value protecting even abandoned property over human needs? When people protesting the violence of inequality are called "domestic terrorists?" When throwing back a tear gas cannister or wearing a helmet in self-defense is labeled "violent," but the police aren't labeled "violent" when they shoot people, maim innocent protesters, and arrest and imprison people for the mere act of protesting (or even, as in your case, the mere act of covering the protest).

And on that last point, I'll leave you with a final thought... according to Reporters Without Borders, the US has now fallen to 47th place in press freedom in the wake of the Occupy crackdown.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2091948/U-S-falls-47th-press-fre...
I have mixed feelings about Reporters Without Borders -they tend to have a white, western colonialist bias in their work -but the fact that even they would rank the US so low says something about the deteriorating state of freedom in this country.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 4:02 pm

and operation rescue.

circa 1989

Posted by matlock on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

Matlock's finally reached the reductio ad absurdum of his own perpetual theme that progressives and right wingers are all the same. Because murdering doctors is the same as creating community centers out of abandoned properties. See? It's all the same thing!

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 5:06 pm

The Army of God murdered doctors. Operation Rescue attempted to shut down abortion clinics. There's a difference.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 5:21 pm

or again willfully...

Operation rescue in the late 80's early 90's felt entitled to blockade abortion clinics en mass, they would sit in the lobbies of clinics and have tantrums, because they were entitled to do it, because they felt entitled to do it.

Although some of them may have condoned abortion doc killing, they didn't openly advocate for it as a group.

The commonality in the two groups is how they process data. The state isn't allowing them to smash up abortion clinics, or the state arresting them for locking themselves to the front doors, so they are blaming the state for the resulting violence. The government isn't letting them run amok, so it's the governments fault they are running amok.

Both have a secret revealed knowledge.

1. What Jesus may or may not have done today, although abortion was common when he was invented.

2. The secret catch all leftist bitterness at the way society is situated and how they as rioting unemployables know best.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 7:33 pm

"Property destruction isn't the same as violence."

I'll be right over to trash your home. Not a problem, right? It's just property.

So post your address, or you're a hypocrite.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

stating that it's OK of you smash his place up and the cops won't be involved.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 9:51 pm

No, foolish guest, I don't want you to come trash my house. It's still not the same as violence. It's poor logic to say that the broad category of "everything undesireable that I generally wouldn't want done to me" = the much more narrow category of "violence." You know, I don't particularly enjoy people calling me a hypocrite on the internet either. But because I don't enjoy it, doesn't make it equivalent to violence.

But we're not even talking about the equivalent of somebody trashing the house I live in.

This would be the more the equivalent of me deciding that I have no use for my house, totally abandoning it and living somewhere else... and then finding out that some homeless person people decided to squat there.

If I abandoned my house and let the weeds grow, I could care less if some people actually put it to use. In fact, there real estate law allows for squatter's rights. It's called adverse possession.

As for all the stuff about Operation Rescue... I'm not engaging in that any more. I don't agree with all the BS, but I'm not responding to it, because it's totally off topic. I started to respond, but I realize that, as a troll, your whole purpose here is to derail legitimate discussion and supplant it with your perpetual theme that progressives are equivalent to the far right and anyone who disagrees with you is an extremist. You're obsessed, matlock. Get help.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 11:24 pm

But thats off topic.

It's bad when your enemies run amok, because they have bad intentions, it's OK with you when your side does it, because they have good intentions.

Thats what it comes down to, the singe standard of the true believer, "I want."

Who will save the baby's? Progressive rioters or born again rioters?

Posted by matlock on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 4:15 am

"everything undesireable that I generally wouldn't want done to me"

That's what the people of Oakland are saying about OO.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 8:59 am

Or "invite" him in. Just like he said the YMCA did.

"Come'on inside with your masks up, boys, and pretty please don't break anything."

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 7:56 am

Property destruction is not violence. You irrationally offering to trash someone's home does not change that fact.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 4:17 pm

I think the mayor's attempt to get the national organization to disown this Oakland movement is a highly intelligent response. Idiots, like this author, who defend them, enable them, support them and will unleash total chaos. Sorry, but you are not winning my heart and soul. I'll take the imperfect systems we have today before I EVER concede an ounce of legitimacy to thugs, trouble makers, and losers.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

Greg, just a thought, can you ponder this just for a moment: If someone used a scam to take your house, then you were laid off because of lack of government funds, then after working 3 part time jobs no health insurance or safe place for your family to live. Then you get sick. Or your 69 years old, retired, told your benefits are being cut after working 33 years in the same job as a respected laborer and your representatives will not represent you. Would you still “Take the imperfect systems we have today” or fight for a level playing field and cohabitate with “The thugs, trouble makers, and losers”. Just a thought…

Posted by Guest Susie on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:29 pm

I'm on your side, Susie. I think the above was supposed to be addressed to Guest.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:54 pm

Yes, I know what I would do.

I'd be so frustrated that I would go down to my local YMCA and break all the windows with my anarchist friends.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

Was that the YMCA staff let in people who were trying to take cover from the police riot. The police followed them in and beat people who were taking shelter inside.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 11:26 pm

some of my fellow local progressive intelligentsia after a long day spent working on my eagerly awaited memoirs. The general feeling seemed to be that the movement needed to morph into something more permanent and that the wind had gone out of Occupy's sails for the moment. We all agreed that our fellow progressives needed to organize a summit where we could come up with a plan - a plan for success. Something like the plan we organized to put a progressive into the mayor's office when Newscum resigned - but this time with a better end result.

As such please stay tuned as SEIU, myself and other progressive stalwarts begin work on a hotly anticipated Progressive Summit where we can take the reigns from those whippersnappers at Occupy and teach them a few lessons we've learned over decades of successful political organizing here in SF.

Go Giants!!

Posted by h. Brownnose on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 5:17 pm

you got the big pretentious, outsized ego down pat. now imagine you're a big gorilla trapped in a midget's body. to prove yourself, go for the juglar each time. have fun flinging your own poop. just pray that none of it rubs off on you. ;)

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:50 pm

LOL!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 4:18 pm

The stated intention was to take over the Kaiser convention center? That doesn't sound like very good thinking. Was the thinking that the concept of private property no longer applies?

Posted by The Commish on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 5:43 pm

Duh... I'm pretty sure that's been the thinking with anything the Bay Guardian's ever backed in it's entire history.

Posted by RamRod on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

Human needs more important than the property rights of an abandoned building to stay vacant? What were they thinking?

We can't let people use stuff for free! Even vacant, abandoned buildings. Otherwise people will start to question the idea that everything has to be paid for.

Who cares if people are suffering? Property rights are sacrosanct, and will be enforced with deadly force if need be! Smack 'em down with that invisible hand!

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:16 pm

occupy types fall down a flight of stairs while drunk and stoned, the property owner will be shit out of luck if owner has let them stay.

No one knows the value of a dollar and a lawsuit like a leftist.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 7:38 pm

So, Greg, your view is that once a property becomes vacant, it should be turned over to the people -- or otherwise becomes fair game for anyone to have or use? That would require a different Federal Constitution than the one we have.

Posted by The Commish on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 10:30 am
Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 11:15 am

The Kaiser Auditorium was not private property (even tho it wouldn't have mattered if ti was abandoned empty private property). it was owend by the Oakland Redevelopment Authority (a PUBLIC agency) after it was given to them by Jerry Brown when he shut it down. To have vacant buildings owned by the government is a crime. To have 400 people arrested while they tried to create something good is a sin.

Posted by deanosor on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 9:36 pm

Greg, just a thought, can you ponder this just for a moment: If someone used a scam to take your house, then you were laid off because of lack of government funds, then after working 3 part time jobs no health insurance or safe place for your family to live. Then you get sick. Or your 69 years old, retired, told your benefits are being cut after working 33 years in the same job as a respected laborer and your representatives will not represent you. Would you still “Take the imperfect systems we have today” or fight for a level playing field, trying to save your family and cohabitate with “The thugs, trouble makers, and losers”. Just a thought…

Posted by Guest Susie on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:26 pm

Susie, the above note was sarcasm. Take a look at what I wrote above and I think you'll see that I agree with you.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:55 pm

Greg, just a thought, can you ponder this just for a moment: If someone used a scam to take your house, then you were laid off because of lack of government funds, then after working 3 part time jobs no health insurance or safe place for your family to live. Then you get sick. Or your 69 years old, retired, told your benefits are being cut after working 33 years in the same job as a respected laborer and your representatives will not represent you. Would you still “Take the imperfect systems we have today” or fight for a level playing field, trying to save your family and cohabitate with “The thugs, trouble makers, and losers”. Just a thought…

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

to stand up and kick all these idiot losers from berkeley and the burbs back to where they came from. Everyone I know in town, many of whom originally supported OO are sick and tired of assholes coming into our city, vandalizing it and then going back home. It distracts the police from real issues in our city and forces the city to spend a lot of money that we don't have. Fuck it, I'm ready to join a counter movement to confront what are essentially white, privileged little scrawny punks from out of town who want to come over and have some sort of a lawless rave party in our streets. Get the fuck out of my city, and that includes you assholes at sfbg who are coming over here and encouraging this shit. I hope they give your dumb ass the maximum punishment allowed, Yael. Yeah, I'm pissed, a lot of people I know are - we're close to a real conflict here, and it ain't going to be between police and OO.

Posted by oakland resident on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 6:38 pm

You are vile.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 5:35 pm

Yo, I live here. I'm an Occupier. The majority of the Occupiers I know live in Oakland and have significant ties to the community. The outside agitator card is so tired. Give it a rest.

Posted by Occupy Oakland Resident on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 10:01 pm

at last count the assholes arrested were like 3/4ths non oakland residents. Just like last time. You need to get your head out of your ass. Most of those kids busting shit up in my city are from marin and concord and elsewhere. They need their jaws rearranged and sent back COD from where they came.

Posted by oakland resident on Feb. 01, 2012 @ 2:12 am

1. They didn't trash the YMCA, all that was left behind was signs.

2. If the 20 people were actually members of the 99% trying to fight for Occupy inside City Hall.---They did wrong.
But whatever happend to "just a few bad apples" right?
Or were they led by [or wholy consisted of] agent provocateurs? There Were No Arrests At City Hall! Not a single cop at City Hall (which is right by Frank Ogawa)?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 8:58 pm

Why was city was hall unguarded at the end of a day long protest with almost 1,000 cops called in? They could not leave two cops in the city hall building? The always have before .... hum, maybe at the end of the night the city decided they needed something to say they were "provoked" by. It's only provocation when it happens first though, if it was occupiers at all.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 6:31 am

So OO knows that the OPD is ruthless and brutal, so OO publicly advertises their intent to take a public building and expect, what, the OPD to lay rose petals in their paths and welcome them?

If the anarchist black bloc wants to use their preferred tactics, one might think that those tactics could be deployed creatively, strategically, elsewhere and in cooperation with nonviolent occupiers to create a diversion which would attract police enforcement and leave any target building undefended by the cops.

Advertising law breaking only invites the cops. Security by secrecy is difficult with likely infiltration, but given the abundance of “seasoned activists” in Oakland, you might think that they could rustle up 100 or so trusted folks to take the building without advertising it to law enforcement and then call in support once the move in was a fait acompli.

But we’re seeing activist-centered actions that put activists ahead of the people both on the reformist and radical fringes of occupy. The anarchists want a direct confrontation with the cops, a confrontation that they know they cannot win but does a good job of highlighting the violence inherent in the system. That is also perceived as a level of confrontation that discomforts many likely Occupy supporters. The nonprofiteers and labor liberals want to be martyrs for the cause and the same people put themselves up as arrestees to bask in the glow of martyrdom. That only highlights disempowerment and does not magnetize folks to join up.

Occupy succeeds when the people are ahead of the activists. In two recent cases, cop confrontation in Oakland and the imposition of the failed local housing agenda on occupy on J20, the activists put their narrow unpopular agenda at the forefront.

In neither instance do we see any efforts to grow the occupation to the extent where enough power can be raised to drive more significant and far reaching demands.

Activists of the world, it is not all about you and meeting your needs for validation in public. We need more normal people in occupy to swarm over this short-sighted self indulgence by those whose view is siloed with activist goggles. Neither J20 nor J28 are moving us in that direction.

When similar mirror image tactics are tried by the right wing, Rachel Maddow dismisses them as Fringy McFringersons, which is how most people viewed J20 and J28.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 30, 2012 @ 10:39 pm

I like you. I think you are, above and beyond, the smartest progressive on here. Don't get me wrong, I still think you're a kook and your politics suck and seriously need to consider the MRSA factor at our local Golds Gym, but I think you're smart.

Anyway, we had a battle over this a few months back. I said Occupy was on the downtrend, you insisted it was just getting started. So what happened there, guy?

http://blog.sfgate.com/stew/2012/01/31/occupy-losing-bay-area-backing-po...

Posted by Longtime Lurker on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 4:20 pm

us, and should be immediately disowned. Why is it that everywhere else Occupiers protest peacefully but in Oakland they have to get violent and out of control?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 7:50 am

Journalists are supposed to be balanced, neutral objective observors of fact.

They're not supposed to be partisan participants in protests.

Good thing I don't come here for actual news.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 11:17 am

misunderstand our mission.

Posted by marke on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 11:30 am

But rather to promote bias?

That explains a lot, including why none of you can get a job at a real newspaper.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

the Guardian.

It's more interesting how opportunist the bias is.

The Guardian claims to be a check on city government, claims to speak for the masses, says local/neighborhood control is good, and that the citizens should have a say in government.

In the case of the latest parking meter scheme from the MTA the Guardian agenda seems to be opposed to all of those things, for your own good of course.

It's entertaining to watch the intellectual back flips in action. Basically the Guardian is for local control of your own neighborhood as long as you make the correct choices. If you don't make the correct choices it's up to city flunkies to ignore the citizens, academic experts are there to experiment o the peasants, and the Guardian is there to encourage ignoring the actual citizens who show up to complain.

The bias is obvious and naked in its bullshit status.

Posted by Matlock on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

Which is fine, in other countries you can by news papers from all across the spectrum, it's left up to the reader to either laugh or agree. At a certain point an agenda turns into apologia for idiocy though.

Posted by Matlock on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 12:03 pm

I was blocked and kettled by the police. I told them I was press and they didn't care. There were over 400 arrests, including not only 6 journalists (from the Chronicle, KGO radio, East Bay Express, Mother Jones and other news outlets) but several peolpe who just happened to be walking by.

You can learn more about that here: http://oaklandnorth.net/2012/01/31/journalists-arrested-at-saturday-occu...

Posted by yael on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 5:30 pm

and try to make yourself part of the story, whats the big deal?

I can see where the chronicle folks might be upset, but you were just out having an afternoon of being down with the people advocating and whatnot.

It's like the last Bay Guardian dude a year or so ago who was running around on the freeway with the rioters and got arrested.

Too late to call a party foul and expect people to care.

Man up.

Posted by Matlock on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 7:13 pm

I was listening to KPFA the other week and they were discussing how journalists (even so-called mainstream ones) have become targets of police violence in a way that had never been seen before. One theory as to why, has to do with the fact that unlike many of the single-issue protests of yesteryear (war, abortion, etc.), protests against inequality are more threatening because they strike at the heart of the very nature of state power. Thus you see the state crack down harder than in the past.

You didn't see this level of mass arrests and targeting of journalists and bystanders before. I think Occupy is on to something.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 31, 2012 @ 7:18 pm

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