Not so peaceful after all

After Oakland’s Occupy strike, some turn to chaos

A long day of mostly peaceful protest on Wednesday in Oakland descended into chaos after midnight. Masked vandals shattered windows, set fires and plastered downtown businesses with graffiti before police moved in, dispersing crowds with tear gas and concussive grenades and making mass arrests.

The street clashes – which hospitalized at least three protesters and left several officers with minor injuries – happened near Occupy Oakland’s tent city in a plaza outside City Hall, which had been the center of Wednesday’s “general strike.” That event peaked when thousands of people angry at economic inequality marched to the Port of Oakland, shutting it down.

Most of those people had gone home by 11 p.m. Wednesday, when dozens of protesters took over a vacant 2-story building at 16th Street and Broadway – two blocks from the City Hall encampment – that once housed the nonprofit Travelers Aid Society.

Hundreds of others looked on as protesters barricaded the block at both ends with wooden pallets, trash cans, tables and tires. They hung banners from the building’s roof, spray painted its exterior and chanted, “Whose street, our street!” One group of protesters broke cement blocks into baseball-size rocks.

Police had kept their distance from Occupy Oakland protesters since coming under scrutiny for deploying tear gas and concussive grenades, and firing projectiles, in a clash last week that left one demonstrator with a serious head injury. Police critics said officers used excessive force and violated city policies on crowd control.

But late Wednesday, hundreds of police officers responded to the area just before midnight. They found that protesters – many covering their faces with bandanas, and some in gas masks – had started a massive trash fire at 16th and Broadway that sent flames 15 feet high.

Police said later that they were concerned that the flames endangered the many residents in the area, not to mention the 500 or so people on the street.

Just after midnight, police ordered the crowd to disperse as an “unlawful assembly.” Soon, one officer on Broadway was struck on his face shield by a bottle, staggering him. Within a minute, officers began to launch concussive grenades and tear gas canisters. Protesters scattered and a fire crew put out the blaze.

The crowd quickly regrouped and entered into a long standoff with officers on Broadway, shouting at them and taunting them. Another confrontation happened at 16th Street and San Pablo Avenue, where police officers surrounded several dozen people and arrested them just before 1:30 a.m.

That “mostly peaceful” protest during the day included breaking windows and other vandalism. They even hit a Whole Foods store – talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

Then they marched over to the Port of Oakland and shut it down. Why? Because it was there.

The Port of Oakland is the largest non-governmental employer in Oakland. It provides (union) jobs and tax revenues. It is not a bank nor was it involved in the financial meltdown. It’s located a long way from Wall Street.

What right, moral principle or theory of law entitled the protesters to shut down the Port of Oakland?

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20 Responses to Not so peaceful after all

  1. DandyTiger says:

    So now the OWS politics are more clear. Dubya shows up at Goldman Sachs and OWS decides to protest GS and him. Funny how they haven’t wanted to do the same with Obama even though GS is his main backer and puppet string holder.

    A bit from the story:

    George W. Bush visited Goldman Sachs headquarters in New York City on Wednesday, an employee at the investment firm told POLITICO.

    His arrival brought some more visitors: Occupy Wall Street protesters circled the building in Lower Manhattan because they heard the former president was inside, according to a series of Twitter updates from Ryan Devereaux, a reporter for Democracy Now!

    Approximately 100 protesters “arrive to building where Bush is rumored to be,” Devereaux said in a tweet around 8 p.m. “Security at Goldman building appears to be on edge.”

    He said the protesters were chanting “Arrest George Bush.”

    Since Dubya = Obama in most everything, it’s now clear, OWS is OFA. Done.

  2. WMCB says:

    OWS is OFA. Done.

    Yep. Also, the media is still completely in the tank for him. Almost zero coverage of any of the violence, and they keep repeating how peaceful these protests are. They really are Obama’s propaganda arm.

    If there had been ONE rape or ONE fire or ONE broken shop window at a Teaparty protest, it would have been non-stop hyperventilating and 24 hour coverage over how violent and fringe and extreme the movement was. Hell, they called them that just for standing there with signs. Pelosi and Obama would have been yelling for the National Guard if they’d broken one window.

  3. DeniseVB says:

    Is there any doubt…..OFA=DCCC=Obama

    • Mary says:

      Article says protestors were transported to port by chartered buses. WTF??? Union money?

      • Lola-at-Large says:

        Yes, and to answer Myiq’s question, the union is also why they shut down the port. I mean , what could they do? Media reports from earlier in the day were fairly bragging about the impotence of union power when only 40 union dudes didn’t show up at the port that morning, but over 300 did show up for work.

        They needed to go down and show their non-striking union brothers what scabs they were being.

  4. DeniseVB says:

    update on person hit by car….not life threatening injuries. More photos and videos….

    • votermom says:

      It was Fox News infiltrators./

    • DeniseVB says:

      Of course it isn’t, but until they denounce those creeps, I hold them just as responsible.

      Kick out the unions and community organizers who pay the homeless to show up, then let’s see what kind of movement we have left 😀

    • Karma says:

      Well, I was watching their live feed and chat rooms last night. And they claimed taking that building and occupying it was all part of the plan. When other OWS started to say ‘hey that is breaking and entering ease up.’ They were told repeatedly this was part of the plan since earlier in the day.

      Confirming the chat room chatter one of their live cam reporters OakFoSho (on Twitter) had a whole narration on the history of that building and how it was one of the first things shut down during budget cuts. And they were going to occupying it to utilize it for their own purposes. Others in the chat room, who OakFoSho had no contact with or read their comments while filming, were discussing how owning property should be illegal. Others suggested occupying foreclosed homes. And still other chatters were upset that the ABC new live feed was showing a line of trucks driving to the port. How dare they move! Why were the OWS allowing that? Not realizing the truck were leaving.

      It is clear to anyone with a brain, when that building was breached the stand-by police were called in. The chat rooms were fully aware police were on their way thanks to the ABC live feed which showed a huge line of police cars in route and other residents who reported the sirens going past their homes. OakFoSho kept asking for people to tweet the link as a police line formed near-by because they were putting on their gas masks. The numbers started increasing on the live feeds. And even before, during, and after the building breach, OWS were dancing in the streets, as shown on the ABC live aerial feed. Lots of OWS in the chat rooms wanted to be in Oakland for the street party, occupy buildings, while dancing to the funkadelic tunes. OakFoSho did show up and give the OWS the live feed to those George Clinton tunes and a bit of a street band singing ’16 Tons’ and ‘Folsom Prison Blues’. Other OWS were bummed their Occupy movements didn’t know how to party or livestream. Then they wanted money to start their livestreams. All night OWS chatters came in frantic hearing someone had died/was slain. CBS told them don’t ya know….ugh.

      OWS still acted all indignantly when police started firing tear gas. Breaking and entering, building barricades, fires, and refusing to leave the area, all of it falls under their right to protest, damn it. OakFoSho actually did a pretty good job of narration. He was more interesting to listen to than most OWS YouTubes…which of course isn’t saying much…but he did a good job spreading the OWS love. And the chat rooms loved him back. He went on to identify and mock OPD to their faces, for being the agency that fired off tear gas and rubber bullets within minutes of arriving. While stating that the Alameda County Sheriffs officers had been with them for hours and didn’t feel the need to fire rubber bullets. So there was a whole good cop and bad cop thing going on.

      As well as, a debate in the chat rooms about how the responding cops had their names covered. Missed the origin of that but later OakFoSho confirmed some in the police lines had covered their name tags. Lots in the chat rooms said it was illegal. Someone offered a link to a 2009 article across the pond about their officers covering their tags. No one could decide and Google wasn’t telling them what they wanted to hear.

      Just like WMCB stated a few days ago. They keep scrubbing weird stuff off the chat rooms or would completely dump the room. OWS chatters were getting upset at the moderators for silencing them.

      While there was anarchists there….the OWS knew that buidling was going to be occupied. They had video of it on their livestream feed. Unless the anarchist have the passwords to their Occupy livestream pages….lol.

      Sorry for the novel….but I call bs. The OWS knew.

  5. votermom says:

    Disgusting. Regardless of what “good intentions” the OWSers might have, I wash my hands of them.

  6. DeniseVB says:

    Sorry for the novel….but I call bs. The OWS knew.

    Great read, and yes, ows knew {hug}

  7. yttik says:

    Some of these OWS people are so confused! Occupy Seattle decided to occupy the Chase bank lobby, lock arms and refuse to move. When they got arrested, people were screaming, “this is a public place! We have a right to occupy a public space!” Uh, no, the inside of a bank is not a public space.

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