The Razing of Occupy Oakland at Sunrise
Oakland – In the early morning on Tuesday, starting before 5 am, the police temporarily destroyed Occupy Oakland, sending in a riot squad of over 500 that outnumbered protesters almost 3 to 1. Oscar Grant Plaza (officially Frank Ogawa Plaza) was too geographically large and open to be adequately defended against the armed tactical operation. Despite swallowing a lot of pride in watching the space get torn apart and dozens submit to arrest, Occupy Oakland made big strategic steps by picking our fights, beginning to define the terms of our struggle, preserving our forces, and maintaining the moral high-ground against a ‘Socialist’ mayor who is now wedded, however abusively, to the Oakland Police Department. Twelve hours later 1000 people marched against the police as stuck commuters cheered them on. Whatever the former communist Mayor once knew about dialectics, she apparently quickly forgot when she took office.
The formerly leftist Mayor succumbed to OPD pressure by raiding Oscar Grant Plaza and signing on to support a youth curfew in the last few days, after Police Chief Batts stepped down two weeks ago due to tensions with the mayor. The City Attorney left for similar reasons earlier in the year. In a progressive town with a vibrant history of resistance, where Occupy Oakland has broad support, the Mayor has succumbed, without much visible struggle, to the forces that truly run this town – the police, the fear-mongering media that thinks ‘Oakland’ is simply a synonym for ‘murder,’ and the wealthy and upper-middle class that clamor for more and more law and order. The ruling class and political establishment do not much care that the cost of that law and order is the gutting, not only of peoples’ rights, but also schools, libraries, health clinics, jobs programs, after-school programs and more that the ruling strata don’t personally need to survive, unlike a large and growing number of people who are slipping from struggling to desperation.
The fact that a Mayor who is seen as ‘ultra-Left’ could preside over such a budget, one that cedes roughly 2/3rd of total city funds to the police, and then bend to the police when they ask for full control of the city, tells us a number of things. The real enemies of the majority of the city’s residents – the working class, working poor and dispossessed – are the people who run the city. Electing more ‘radical’ politicians is an utter waste of time. When the State destroys our occupation, or smears us, or race-baits white radicals, or sends undercover cops into our space, or tries to intimidate us, they draw lines that they cannot erase in the minds of the Occupiers. A chant of ‘shame’ directed at police who beat and arrested a man simply for taking video quickly turned to a resounding ‘Fuck the Police.’ They are the enemy, they made that point clear to everyone who didn’t already know. Now what? … Full article
Occupy Oakland: Riot police fire tear gas, flashbang grenades:
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