The problem with a “vibrant brand of urbanism” is that it tends to get a little too vibrant. Especially in Oakland, which has easily been the most violent of the “Occupy” franchises so far.
The AP says the shooting happened at the “edge” of the plaza where the protesters are camped but no one’s sure yet if the shooter or victim are connected to the movement. According to the Oakland Tribune, though, the dispute happened inside the camp and the victim was shot while trying to run away. Quote:
According to witnesses, two men in the encampment got into an argument which escalated into gunfire. The victim was seen running away from the gunman, witnesses said. One bullet hit the Western Federal Credit Union.
The tent village is quiet as police and evidence technicians walk around with flashlights, searching for evidence, and 14th Street is closed while officers investigate. The occupiers were having a celebration to commemorate one month of their camp when the shooting occurred, and now many of them are relighting candles at a memorial set up for Scott Olsen, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran injured in an earlier rally.
KTVU claims that the victim is dead. I haven’t seen that reported elsewhere, but they’re citing “authorities” as their source so it might very well be true. The obligatory denials/obstruction from the occupiers:
Occupy Oakland protesters told the media that the shooting had nothing to do with the encampment and didn’t involve any activists. Proteers surrounded the scene of the shooting and made a human chain to keep photographers from filming the victim.
Barucha Peller, who is part of the Occupy Oakland encampment, said some of the first people to help the victim were medics from the camp.
She said the shooting happened next to the camp, not in it.
They did more than make a human chain. Reporter Aimee Allison of the Chronicle says she was attacked when she tried to take a cell phone photo. And she wasn’t the only one: “A few feet away a TV cameraman was shooting footage and a crowd of twenty or so men attacked and punched him, forcing him over the railing of the 14th Street BART Station.” Which means, even in the best-case scenario, there was an unconnected murder right next to the camp and a mob of protesters decided to do “damage control” by beating the hell out of journalists who were trying to report on it. That’s where we’re at here. And do note: This wasn’t the only fatal shooting at an Occupy camp today.
The campsite in Oakland has become menacing enough that city council members were already calling yesterday for it to be dismantled and may force a vote of no confidence in terrible, terrible, terrible Mayor Jean Quan. Given how nasty things have gotten in Oakland over the past few weeks, I wonder if Oakland P.D. is up to the task; soon we may be hearing rumblings about Jerry Brown having to send in the national guard. Three clips for you here: The first two purport to be cell-phone video taken after the shooting in Oakland today. The cameraman says the dispute was over marijuana. The third, via Breitbart TV, comes from San Diego, not Oakland, but it’s a nice, short encapsulation of what seems to be the basic attitude at these things. Content warning.
Update: Confirmed: The victim in Oakland has died.