I know… you probably thought this story was over, right? But apparently not. While police have cleaned the squatters out of most of the occupy camps in cities around the country, the protesters in Oakland, California are still at it. This time, the same brain trust who thought it would be a good idea to shut down the ports decided that rather than camping outside in the cold, they would take over the downtown convention center and use that as their HQ without paying anyone to use it. The police were not amused.
Three police officers and one protester were injured during the clashes, the city said, without detailing their conditions. Internet broadcasts by activists showed several demonstrators being treated by paramedics or loaded into ambulances.
The scuffles erupted in the afternoon as activists from the Occupy movement sought to take over a shuttered downtown convention center, sparking cat-and-mouse battles that lasted well into the night in a city that has seen tensions between police and protesters boil over repeatedly.
“Occupy Oakland has got to stop using Oakland as its playground,” Mayor Jean Quan, who has come under criticism for the city’s handling of the Occupy movement, said at a late evening press conference.
“Once again, a violent splinter group of the Occupy movement is engaging in violent actions against Oakland,” she said, speaking as officers in riot gear were still lined up against demonstrators in downtown intersections.
A “violent splinter group?” Actually, given their history, it sounds pretty much like business as usual for the Oakland chapter of Freeloaders International. Unfortunately for Ms. Quan, she has lost the moral high ground on this one. This is the same Mayor who was far more lenient than nearly any other civic leader when these problems first broke out and established a precedent for the squatters to break the law with impunity. This makes the job of the police all the more difficult when they finally move in to try to establish order.
Watching CNN today, the media seemed to try to focus on the “peaceful protester” aspect of events yet again, repeatedly running an interview with a perky young blond woman with a bandana over her face, talking about how, “we weren’t throwing anything” but the police just moved in to push them around.(See the video below for the woman in question.) On the scene reports would indicate otherwise, though.
“Officers were pelted with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares,” the Oakland Police Department said in a statement. “Oakland Police Department deployed smoke and tear gas.”
Some activists, carrying shields made of plastic garbage cans and corrugated metal, tried to circumvent the police line, and surged toward police on another side of the building as more smoke canisters were fired.
Check out the video from CNN. (below) At the very end you will see the Mayor acting genuinely confused over why these “peaceful protesters” would break in to city property, destroy a model of the city and wreck a bunch of children’s art which was on display.
More on the break-in at City Hall from NBC.
But at least the protesters are doing a vital job, supporting a better vision for America and striking a blow for freedom and country, right?
A group of demonstrators ultimately made their way to City Hall, where they brought out a U.S. flag and set it on fire before scattering ahead of advancing officers.
I see. Well, thanks a bunch guys. You’re really making everyone proud out there.
BONUS READING MATERIAL: New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has a slightly different message out this week. Rather than talking to the 99%, Christie has a message for the top 1% of earners. Please come Occupy New Jersey.
Garden State Gov. Chris Christie has a message for the top 1% of income earners: Please occupy New Jersey. “I’m going to start going after a lot of these hedge-fund guys who are in Connecticut and New York and say, ‘You’re going to get a better deal with us,'” says the country’s most important Republican not running for president.
Mr. Christie’s new tax-reform plan also offers an improved deal to the bottom 99%, which is why he may be able to move it through New Jersey’s Democratic legislature: a 10% cut in tax rates across the board.
It’s a great article. Check it out.