Jan 31 2012

Occupy Oakland Battles Police Once More

Feature Stories | Published 31 Jan 2012, 11:18 am | Comments Off on Occupy Oakland Battles Police Once More -

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In the days following this weekend’s action by Occupy Oakland that resulted in the arrest of 400 people and during which Oakland City Hall was vandalized, the bay area group maintains police initiated violence and created chaos. Occupy Oakland police are seen in videos using batons, tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash-bang grenades protesters. Occupy Oakland is also calling the mass arrests illegal as protesters describe being kettled in by police at two different locations and denied the ability to disperse without resistance. Overshadowing the arrests, at least in media coverage, is the damage wrought to Oakland City Hall by a group of breakaway protesters. A small group broke into the building where they smashed display cases and, provocatively, burned an American flag. Oakland city officials ratcheted up their rhetoric regarding Occupy Oakland with City Councilmember Ignacio De La Fuente saying, “It’s an escalation that in my opinion, basically amounts to domestic terrorism.”

The mixed results of the weekend’s actions were not reflected in Occupy Oakland’s stated goal of moving into the empty Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center in Oakland as part of an ambitious two day schedule of events. Planned activities for their Oakland Rise Up festival on the 28th and 29th included family friendly workshops, poetry readings, a BBQ and Saturday’s rally that attracted a diverse showing of hundreds of participants. Oakland has once again brought national attention to the Occupy movement. New York’s Occupy Wall Street held a march in solidarity with Oakland yesterday during which the New York police were caught on camera aggressively arresting protesters. Meanwhile, after a show of solidarity with Oakland over the weekend, Occupy DC was evicted from its camps at McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza yesterday. The National Park Service announced it would begin enforcing prohibitions against camping at noon yesterday. Protesters remain at the sites today and they have taken their case to court. A Federal judge will hear arguments today from Occupy DC, which hopes to win an injunction against eviction.

The regulations have largely gone unenforced since the occupation of McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza began

GUEST: Meleiza Figueroa, former producer at KPFK staff, now a graduate student at Berkeley; Shane Boyle, Berkeley Grad Student and he was arrested on Saturday in the kettle at 24th and Broadway outside the YMCA

Watch a video of the Oakland clashes here:

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