Thursday, October 27, 2011

Whose Streets? Our Streets: Battle of Oakland

Two questions about the occupy movement:
  • When will the police realize that they are attacking the very people who are demanding accountability from the wall streeters who have plundered police pension funds?
  • Why does the British paper, the Guardian, usually have the best coverage of occupy events in the US?
From the Guardian:

About 2,000 people – half as many as Tuesday night – massed in front of City Hall on Wednesday, tearing down a steel barricade intended to keep them off the grass in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
When the city closed down a nearby underground station, preventing dispersing protesters going home, they organised a spontaneous march through the centre of the city, chanting: "Whose streets? Our streets!"
Police had been under orders to let them have the run of the plaza until 10pm. Officers stood guard at junctions in patrol cars and motorbikes to deter people from jumping up on to an overhead freeway. The police were more lowkey than on Tuesday, when they manned barricades around the plaza and fired volley after volley of teargas that filled the surrounding streets and smoked out businesses.
The Mayor, Jean Quan, is trying to distance herself from the police attack on early Tuesday morning.
Speaker after speaker demanded the resignation or recall of the city's mayor, Jean Quan, who had initially voiced her support of the protesters. "Mayor Quan you did more damage to Oakland in one evening than Occupy Oakland did in two weeks," said one slogan scrawled near the entrance to her offices.
In an afternoon news conference Quan had struggled to explain the decision to clear the square in the early hours of Tuesday morning and again when protesters returned that evening.
She gave the impression she had been as blindsided as anyone by the decision to close down Occupy Oakland. She had been in Washington at the time and said that although she knew there were hygiene and public safety issues that needed to be addressed, she did not expect that to happen while she was on the other side of the country.
"I only asked the chief to do one thing: to do it when it was the safest for both the police and the demonstrators," she said, pinning responsibility for the decision on her police chief and the top city administrator. When pressed for more details, Quan said: "I don't know everything."
Meanwhile, Marines rally  on Reddit in support of critically injured Marine veteran Scott Olsen:

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