Oakland Police Attack OWS, NY Police Defy Orders to Arrest OWS

Whenever I despair, I remember that the way of truth and love has always won. There may be tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they may seem invincible, but in the end, they always fail. Think of it: always. ~ Gandhi

Sad turn of events today for Oakland OWS – but not surprising if you know much about U.S. History.  Here’s what we know so far.

Evidently a live media feed of Oakland OWS camp was abruptly cut off at sometime around 5AM, just moments before the police in riot gear charged in with billy clubs, shotguns, flash grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets.  Reports vary on how many peadeful protestors were dragged away.    Cops destroyed the free kitchen and the camp.  Media was driven out by tear gas, but of course, everyone’s shooting video now, so the attack was well documented.

A Iraq marine vet is in critical condition after being hit in the face when the police fired rubber bullets into the crowd.  This is making a ton of news right now. http://minnesotaindependent.com/90763/video-wisconsin-native-and-iraq-war-vet-critically-injured-by-police-in-occupy-oakland-protest

as well it should.  The first Amendment guarantees us a right to peacefully assemble and protest.  While police brutality is not in any way “new”, the fact that this Marine who survived two deployments to Iraq was taken down by our own cops is pretty unbelievable.  I visited Oakland mayor’s facebook page and posted a comment, and there were thousands of comments posted before I even got there!  Every time police violence is exposed,  more People awaken.

Occupy Oakland has been feeding hundreds of hungry people every day, providing health care and child care as well as education and workshops.  They’ve done this on very little money, and deserve honor and respect for speaking out for all of us, and for working hard to help the disaffected in this country.  Visit their website http://www.occupyoakland.org for a list of things they need.  By the time you read this, they should also be able to accept donations.

One comment on a message board says it all: “OPD is acting like they are a dictator’s army in Syria, Yeman or Bahrain. This is America, citizens should not have their 1st amendment rights violated.”

The twitter feed read like this (I’ve removed personal user names of individual posters)

#BART shuts down Oakland City Center stn to stop people from coming to #OccupyOakland to protest police eviction. #fail #ows #RightsCon
Retweeted 100+ times
AlterNet
AlterNetAlterNet
VIDEO: Protesters getting gassed by police in Oakland youtu.be/bytMNoKNeRA #ows #occupyoakland /v
Oakland, CA police gassing peaceful protesters! #ows #owsoakland. Post pictures
Woman in wheelchair gassed by Oakland PD: yfrog.com/h8dgtfxjj Picture credit: @Adreadonymous #occupyoakland #ows
Remember how appalled we were when Egypt teargassed its protesters? Police in Oakland CA are doing the same RIGHT NOW. #ows #occupyoakland
ThinkProgress
thinkprogressThinkProgress
PHOTO: Woman in wheelchair engulfed in tear gas cloud in Oakland yfrog.com/h8dgtfxjj #ows #occupywallstreet
My #Oakland ppl tell me percussion grenades and teargas fired just now into crowd, people running everywhere #OWS
ThinkProgress
thinkprogressThinkProgress
North Oakland Now reports that tear gas has been used against protesters in Oakland #ows #occupyoakland
ThinkProgress
thinkprogressThinkProgress
RIGHT NOW: Oakland police wearing gas masks twitpic.com/75ur73 #occupyoakland #ows
#OWS Oakland exploding / Nurses organizing and driving my fave,Financial Transactions tax,into debate.
BREAKING: Four helicopters are monitoring the protesters as march continues through downtown Oakland. #occupyoakland #ows

1 hour ago

Oakland police draw shotguns on peaceful protest…marching to samba drum beat #occupyoakland#owstwitpic.com/75tqyn
Evidently someone in power has notified the various police departments to get more aggressive.  Look to the banks first.
Why is this not surprising in the United States?  This is how the powerful always deal with insurrection.  But, as Gandhi said in the quote at the top of this post,  tyrants always fail.  They are on the wrong side of history.
And notice that the teabaggers, shills for the 1% carried weapons, signs threatening violence, and their leaders (like the crazy Michelle Bachmann openly threaten to use “second amendment remedies” if they don’t get their way.  No police presence at all.

Me, Neither.

Speaking of  history,take a look at ours –  and you’ll see countless stories of beatings, arrests, police and even the military brought in to deal with the PEOPLE of this Unites States.    You may remember President Hoover, who refused to lift a finger to help the people during the great depression.  What a guy!  He could fit right in with the current GOP candidates for President!
Google “Bonus Army”.  Hoover sent the military to attack fellow American soldiers and Veterans of WW1 who were camped out demanding their promised pay.  The resulting violence insured that Hoover lost the next election.
I highly recommend reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of The United States for an eye-opening and proud history of dissent in the US.  It’s this dissent that has won us most of the rights we have today.
Meanwhile, a more positive bit of news is that NY police defied orders to arrest OWS Albany protesters today.  Just a short article at http://www.alternet.org/story/152854/new_york_cops_defy_order_to_arrest_hundreds_of_%E2%80%98occupy_albany%E2%80%99_protesters/
We need to remember that the police and military are  the thin blue line that keeps this unhealthy unfair system in place.  And the police are part of the 99%.  Today I heard that Occupy Los Angeles has had a great experience so far with the police there, and that the police department has assigned a good spokesman specifically to address the Occupation’s concerns.  No violence, and thus far, respecting the rights of the people to assemble.  That is great news!
It only takes a few police officers to start refusing to attack fellow Americans to shift the power paradigm.  Yes, the Oakland cops overreacted, probably on corporate orders,  and I would venture to say that a majority of people drawn to law enforcement are authoritarian personalities.  It is hard for these people to question authority.  But eventually, even these people will.
And we will welcome them with open arms.   Because they, too, are part of the 99%.

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