Tuesday, October 25, 2011

October 25th - Occupy Oakland Dispersed With Rubber Bullets, Smoke, and Sound Cannons

A prediction I made on October 16th has come to fruition. The police have used violent tactics to oust another Occupy Camp (Oakland). According to SFGate.com:

"Officials initially waived city laws that ban camping and allowed the occupation of the plaza. But since Thursday, the city has issued of series of orders for protesters to vacate the area, citing concerns about fire hazards, sanitation issues, graffiti, drug use and violence.

Officials said protesters had plugged power cords into city utility poles and had denied access to emergency responders who needed to get into the plaza. The city was also alarmed by the activists' decision to try to police themselves with a volunteer security team."

In response, on October 25th at 4:00 AM, a mob of Oakland Riot Police went to extreme lengths to oust the Occupy Oakland movement. The number of riot police was estimated to be between 400-700 officers.

When the police arrived, the Occupy Oakland camp began barricading themselves using whatever materials were at their disposal. However, the police were prepared and outnumbered the Occupiers 2 to 1. Shortly after completing formation, the police moved in with tear gas, flash bangs, and rubber bullets. There were also unconfirmed reports of a sound cannon present.

Within an hour, the camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and a nearby one at Snow Park had been broken up. According to the interim Oakland police chief, 75 arrests were made. It was clear to these brave people they would not be in their occupied space by morning, yet they stood their ground until they were hauled away in the makeshift handcuffs we've seen so many of since the Occupy Movement began.

This will not be the last eviction in a major city, not do I expect these situations to deescalate. It will only get worse as people feel their ability to congregate, speak, and effect change is continually dampened by the powers that be.

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