Is This what Democracy looks like?
In a counter-narrative to the OPD/corporate media’s spin that the 103 arrestees the night of the General Strike were “generally anarchists and provocateurs,” this video by journo and cartoonist Susie Cagle shows that the journalists and volunteer legal observers they arrested were neither.
Cagle was wearing her press pass, and National Lawyers Guild legal observers are clearly identifiable by their day-glo green baseball caps.
Furthermore, this wasn’t a simple case of arrest and release without charges. They were charged with misdemeanors, given court dates, and “explicitly warned against returning to the plaza in the meantime.” So much for a free press. More at boingboing.net
One Veteran was Not Enough
As Reuters reports, former U.S. Army Ranger and Occupy Oakland protester Kayvan Sabeghi was severely beaten by police and then denied medical treatment for 18 hours, apparently for the crime of trying to walk home alone peacefully after the November 2 protest.
Sabeghi was hospitalized in intensive care at Highland Hospital, the same hospital where fellow Iraq war vet Scott Olsen was taken the week before after apparently being shot in the head at close range with a police projectile.
According to one of his business partners, Sabeghi was a veteran of both of U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sabeghi, who was returning to his residence near Ogawa-Grant Plaza, is also a co-owner of a small business, a fact that would seem to undermine the emerging City Hall myth that small business owners are against the OWS movement.
Below: KTVU2 video includes interview with Sabeghi’s sister, Shoole Sabeghi
Meanwhile at City Hall
Mayor Quan continues to struggle, apparently missing the point by declaring that the occupation might need to be moved to a “less disruptive” location, even jokingly suggesting San Francisco. NIMBYism, anyone?
And based on what we heard of the proceedings of the special meeting of the Oakland City Council held to discuss Occupy Oakland (archived online for the next couple weeks in two parts), with the exception of a couple advocates, the council in general is challenged to comprehend the significance of Occupy Oakland in the same way that was previously noted the San Francisco Chronicle is with Occupy SF.
The low point came when Councilmember Patricia Kernighan emphatically stated for the record that corporations “don’t give a rat’s ass” about what’s happening in Oakland, as if the entire world—corporations included—isn’t attentively watching what is unfolding in Oakland right now.
It’s a rare moment when Oakland has an opportunity to present itself on the world stage as a model city, at the center of a global protest movement against inequality.
Instead, one day after the people showed their strength by peacefully shutting down “the fourth busiest container port in the country,” the politicians remain indignant in their complaints of all the ways Occupy Oakland is disruptive to business as usual.
And isn’t that what it’s all about?
UPDATE 2: More OPD Brutality
Campbell describes it:
While filming a police line at Occupy Oakland after midnight on Nov. 3 following the Nov. 2 general strike, an officer opens fire and shoots me with a rubber bullet. I was standing well back. There was no violence or confrontations of any kind underway. At 0:31 seconds you can see a tall officer in the front raise his weapon and then fire. This is the full clip of the incident.
boingboing’s Xeni Jardin asks:
Is it legal for police to shoot photographers in a public place simply because they do not want to be photographed?
UPDATE 3: “Experts in police use of force shocked by Oakland video,” Oakland Tribune, 11/7/11 (via boingboing.net)
Geoffrey Alpert, a University of South Carolina criminal justice professor who’s an expert in police decision-making and use of force, said the video left him “astonished, amazed and embarrassed.”
“Unless there’s something we don’t know, that’s one of the most outrageous uses of a firearm that I’ve ever seen,” he said. “Unless there’s a threat that you can’t see in the video, that just looks like absolute punishment, which is the worst type of excessive force.”
Also from boingboing: “ACLU’s public records request about Oakland police’s use of force against OWS is refused“