In all the Oakland footage I’ve looked at, I’ve seen no evidence of rock throwing at police.
To look at this headline from CNN, you wouldn’t know that the violence was caused by the police
Back to reality – here’s what a protester who was there told Lawrence O’Donnell:
Oakland Interim Chief of Police Howard Jordan: “At that point we were in a position where we had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks.”
O’Donnell: “Did you see people throwing bottles and rocks at the police before they used those tactics?”
Tasha Casini: “Umm, yeah. People were doing that.”
O’Donnell: “What do you think the police response should have been to that?”
Casini: “I think that the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and flash grenades are a completely inappropriate response to bottles being thrown at police officers who are in full riot gear. So I think they should have absolutely not used any chemical weapons.”
Hey, the cops are wearing bullet-proof vests, so it should be okay to shoot at them too, right?
Seriously though, some of these protesters seem to think “freedom of speech” means “the right to do whatever I want, wherever I want, whenever I want” and any effort, however slight, to restrict the “time place and manner” of a protest is oppression. And if the cops do anything other than watch it is police brutality.
On October 20th the City of Oakland gave notice to the protesters that they could no longer camp overnight at Frank Ogawa Plaza. They were specifically told they could still protest there every day from 6 am to 10 pm.
The protesters ignored the notice.
Last Tuesday morning the police told the protesters to leave or get arrested. A few left, the rest were arrested. Afterwards the plaza was cleared of tents and other camping equipment and then cleaned.
Last Tuesday evening approximately 1000 protesters tried to retake the plaza. When the police blocked them from doing this the protesters threw bottles, rocks and paint at the police.
BTW – As Affinis at Corrente points out, none of the protester-provided footage of events shows the protesters throwing anything at the cops. I wonder why that is?