In the same space where the city of Oakland welcomed public pot-smoking this summer…last night, Oakland Police attacked more than 1,000 peaceful protestors with a barrage of tear gas, concussion grenades, rubber bullets, swinging batons, and contempt. Brutalizing the people not only fighting for their rights, but for all our rights! Weapons were aimed and fired at people as they tried to help the injured or who had stumbled and were being helped to safety.
As the toxic smoke cleared, the crowd wandered downtown for a bit then again assembled 20 or 30 minutes later in front of Frank H Ogawa Plaza where they tried to reenter. This shit happened over and over last night. How completely absurd is it that in a climate where these militant police officers face furloughs and lay-offs as a result of a broken system that robbed them of their job security and benefits, they’re gassing their fellow brothers and sisters in defense of that very same machine that’s not only destroying them, but the middle class all together?
Last night our city spent millions of dollars in a campaign to deny citizens free speech and the RIGHT to assemble. And, today the Oakland Unified School District will vote on which of 5 local schools to close down? That type of waste reminds us of the Feds current crack-down on law-abiding medical marijuana dispensaries up and down California.
Early yesterday more than 500 police in riot gear from cities all over central California brutally attacked the Occupy Oakland encampment at 14th & Broadway, the HEART of OAKSTERDAM, with flash grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets after moving in with armored vehicles. Police established barricades around the perimeter and disallowed media while more than 70 people were arrested while the camp was destroyed and gear was stolen by police. But, down in LA, a few weeks back their mayor supported the Occupy LA protesters not only by allowing them to camp out on soft grass near city hall rather than the sidewalk. Mayor Antonio Villaraigos even handed out ponchos on a rainy day. That’s quite a contrast to how things were handled in Oakland last night by our mayor.
According to their website, Occupy Oakland will reconvene every day at 6pm at 14th & Broadway until the camp is reestablished.