As a longtime Oakland resident, I’ve come to accept the fact that when the Town is in the news, it’s rarely because something good happened. Right now we are getting national play because our police force got, um, a little heavy-handed with some “Occupy” protesters at City Hall. Here is America’s most trusted news source, Jon Stewart, describing what happened:
I can’t help but feel a little responsible, even though I was out of town when all this went down. This is not the first time I’ve found myself in the vicinity of violent law enforcement tactics: I was also living in Philadelphia in 1985 when Mayor Wilson Goode ordered the bombing of the headquarters of black nationalist group MOVE — a brilliant idea which, says The Wikipedia, “caused the house to catch fire, and ignited a massive blaze which eventually consumed almost 4 city blocks, killed 11 people, and left 240 people homeless.” To my knowledge, this remains the only time an American mayor has bombed the civilian population of his own city. (True Philadelphia fact: Goode was actually re-elected after this happened! God, how I love and do not miss that town.)
Anyway, back to the present: Last night I watched continuing coverage of the protests on the sacred box, and caught an image that seemed to symbolize the American mood of the moment: one group of protesters trying to tear down a fence while another tried to put it back up. It was like a giant snake where the tail had no idea what the head was doing. But the snake was pissed, you can be sure of that.
One thought that’s been rattling around in my head is whether the Oakland police were actually trying to help the Occupiers? In other cities, the police have been restrained and patient with the protesters, hence not creating exciting video for the media.
Historically, protests have gained the most traction after “the pigs”
bashed a few heads, threw the teargas, turned on the firehoses, etc. So did the Oakland police take it upon themselves to play their assigned role so the Occupiers would get more media attention?
The Occupy Oaklanders are a bunch of dumb shits. All they’re doing is hurting the city. Do the corp fat cats care about what they think? Umm, no. Before the police crackdown, did the protest have anything to do with Oakland? Umm, no. Can the city do anything to satisfy the protesters? Umm, no. What is it the protesters want? I think there’s as many answers as there are protesters. It is a misguided, stupid, pointless, exercise and a waste of energy. There are plenty of groups working to make postitive change on all of the issues (enviroment, immigration, taxation reform, mortgage relief, etc). Instead of helping them, the protesters are camped at a Agawa plaza protesting life’s general unfairness,. In the mean time, Oakland gets trashed, loses tax revenue, it’s small independant business get destroyed and it’s big corporations that employ thousands of people look to get the fuck out. The Pacific Stock exchange is right accross the bay. If the protesters want to affect change, they should go there and try to shut it down. But no, they’d rather take it out on the city. Fucking thoughtless douchebaggery.