YSERBA

writings, ramblings, songs, whatever...

Kevin Army

Kevin Army
Location
Oakland, California, United States
Birthday
August 19
Title
Executor
Company
Yserba
Bio
Formerly posing as Yserba Berrington, now just posing as myself. In a former life I worked on music creatively for a living. Now I'm a hardworking slacker and occasional writer for no money at all, and I like it that way. I post fiction, ramblings, songs, photos, videos, whatever I feel moved to do. I'm kind of directionless. Welcome!

MY RECENT POSTS

Kevin Army's Links

My Links
Editor’s Pick
OCTOBER 25, 2011 10:52AM

Police Raid Occupy Oakland, Push Me To The Ground

Rate: 40 Flag

 

police 2 

 

Today is a sad day in the city I love, Oakland. This morning at 2:45 AM I received a text message that a raid was imminent at the Occupy Oakland camp at Frank Ogawa Plaza. I had promised myself I would go any hour of the day. I believe in the importance of this story, I believe in the value of the independent press to document what goes on.

For a long time, it seemed like nothing was going to happen. Apparently 10 to 20 police cars had driven by at one point. Various reports had them parked in various locations. None of us reporter people could find them, and neither could the Occupiers.

Just when I was going to go home, there were reports of a large gathering of police on the other end of Oakland, and that they would arrive soon. So sometime after 4, they did. And did. I was dumbfounded by the large number of police that arrived. I wanted to cry at the sight of it. This simply did not warrant the numbers I saw.

 

police 1 

 

As I looked at the line up, I saw anger and force in the faces of the officers. Earlier I'd spoken to another independent media guy, and he told me of getting close to the officers in SF and filming their helmet numbers. I couldn't help myself, I wanted to capture that terrible look I saw.

About ¾ of the way down, officer # 570, who is pictured in the top picture, the big tall one, started yelling at me to stand back. I paused for a bit, I wanted to see who he was. Next thing I knew, he rammed into me, pushing me on the ground. Watching my video, which doesn't capture the scope of the situation, or the amount of police, and it doesn't capture the anger, the meanness in this mans face.

More after the video:

 

 


Not wanting to be assaulted anymore, I retreated. I found a commanding officer and told him what had happened. He went to get an officer to help me file a complaint. As I stood there, I noticed all the mainstream media trucks packing it in. I asked another officer if it was OK if I was there. She showed me where media was allowed to stand, so I joined a small group of independent media like myself.

Next thing I knew, we were tear-gassed. That explains why the TV trucks left, and explains why they grouped us together.

Guess what folks? Tear gas fucking sucks. It hurts, it stings, it is nothing you want to experience. Of course, this made all of us alternative press folks run away from the tear gas. After that, the police refused to let any of us go back into the camp. Maybe if you had a press badge, but we know what happened to most of those people.

So tonight, the citizens right to peacefully assemble was halted. The media was tear gassed, and then not allowed to cover the story.

 

barricades1  

 

Eventually, the remaining Occupiers assembled a few blocks away. I learned that about 50 to 60 Occupiers had been arrested. All reports say that they were peaceful. In fact, I'm about the only person I can verify being assaulted.

This was apparently more then just Oakland, it was a unit comprised of several cites. I only noticed an officer from Fremont. Some think this implies the order came from farther up then Oakland. I left while things were still going on. Apparently the police had ripped all the tents up and thrown them into the street at one point. I wish I could tell you more.

I wish I could have taken more pictures, but when I fell, my camera broke. As I write this, I'm shaking, and a bit sick to my stomach. Maybe I shouldn't have gotten so close to the officers. But shouldn't the police be erring on the side of caution, rather than being revved up and ready for trouble?

 

 barricades2

 

I've spoken to many of the Occupy community, in Oakland as well as SF and Walnut Creek. An overwhelming amount of them are fine, well spoken citizens, concerned that this country, this world is sharply headed in a very wrong direction. Sadly, tonight proved their point.

As I finish this, there are tears in my eyes, a scar on my heart and my soul. The hope I still have is the Occupiers I've met along the way. Yes, as I was leaving, there were a few of them throwing trash cans around. I think by that point, they had a right to be mad. I know I am, and I was just there as alternative press, trying to stay objective, even though the movement has been steadily winning me over. As I walked away and got into my car, I left as a full fledged Occupier.

 

 wreath

 

 

I should have more video footage later. This is about all I'm capable of the moment. The picture below is from the march this past Saturday.

 

 DCP55322

 

Your tags:

TIP:

Enter the amount, and click "Tip" to submit!
Recipient's email address:
Personal message (optional):

Your email address:

Comments

Type your comment below:
Kevin I heard it all in your voice this morning.. This was well done considering what happened to you. You and I have different opinions on the OCCUPY now.. but this is stuff that should not happen. Never ever ever.. People have rights and violence should never be an option.

Going to watch the video now
HUGGGGGG
I just watched the video and got sick.. this is not a crime driven thing its a protest. I am so sure they were briefed to do all this.
Is this not fascism? Are we not alarmed? Or did they - and you - deserve this? Welcome to urban america in the post civil rights era.
The same treatment that every urban American expects when they interact with public servants - on any public road. You havent lived until you have been kicked, beaten, and handcuffed by your own government !
This is terrible. We had the same thing here in Iowa. Peaceful protesters pushed to the ground, handcuffed and booked. This is appalling. It is facism.
Ironic that that SF Chronicle had a front page story today on the diversity and calm demeanor of the Occupy Oakland encampment today...and that Oakland, typically a bastion of progressive thought, is about the first (and maybe THE first) major city to do a clear out of the Occupy movement. This is a real black eye for the city.
Linda- Thanks for being there this morning.
Snowden- It felt like fascism to me.
Cathy- Thanks for the comment.
C Berg- I am appalled and saddened.
Rugrat/Steve- It is a dark day for Oakland indeed.
Kevin, thanks for posting this. It has to be difficult after what you've been through. I'm very sorry for what's happening.
It was a peaceful demonstration Kevin and you were the result of an over-zealous police officer aching for a fight. So cool that you captured it on video. You should take it to your local TV station!
Very distressing. Thanks for sharing this, Kevin. We should all see how the inalienable rights of our fellow citizens have not been recognized in Oakland.
Oh my goodness, how awful. I'm sorry you were assaulted. Please take care of yourself.
Susie- I hadn't really thought that far, that is a good idea.
profkeck- thank you for saying fellow citizens. The Occupiers are there for everyone.
Erika- Thanks for your kind words.
Everyone- Thanks for the support. I still can't sleep, I'm sad, shaking and wired all at the same time.
Words cannot express my sadness and disgust. I am glad you are well enough to write about it.
I have shied away from protests of various types, because of the fear of getting caught up in the crowd and stampede effect. My sweetie went to photograph a neo-nazi march in Phoenix last year, and came home with tear gas on him. He was just a citizen, watching from the side, taking photos. He wasn't protesting or confronting, just a witness. It took days to get if off of his skin, clothes, watch.
Be safe. Wear a helmet next time.
- good work, Kevin. I hope that you are all right. In light of your recent health concerns, this really worries me. Take care.
Here is one of my contributions to the movement.... so far. Pass it along.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6xrMZwnS-o

Worth watching... subscribe if you like it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/MrParkerEast
It is indeed an extremely sad day. I am glad to see Americans wake up and start saying "Okay, we've had enough of being pushed around, this is wrong." It's bad enough that the Occupy protesters were treated that way with an unwarranted number of police. To have the Media tear gassed and forbidden to do their jobs compounds the ugliness.
rated
This is beyond sad. It's disgusting and so hard to watch our people being treated this way. I hope you're alright...at least physically. -R-
Good going my man. I'm proud there are people like you that are reporting. It seems the main stream press only report on the teaparty and the thugs who hold up signs with Obama with a bone in his nose. Go gettem' my friend!!!
I admire how you bring us the word from the front lines, at your own personal risk.
I got the news at about 7:15 AM where I am, that was at about 5:15 in Oakland (a former stomping ground of mine) and had been keeping an eye on this via live streaming. I missed the actual assault on the Occupy Camp.

I am almost crying as I type this. I grew up believing in the homilies:
Innocent Until Proven Guilty
To Protect and to Serve
Unalienable Rights
Just Cause

Today (and for the past 20 years or so) those illusions of how things are said to be (when you're taught that in school from the earliest ages) are clearly taken down. To be disullusioned in this fashion is a gift, in all point of fact. You no longer have the luxury of sitting back and saying, "Oh come on, it can't be *that* bad, this is America."

I am sad, angry, frustrated and also energized, charged and obligated to do what I can to help the #OWS Actions where and when I can. I am out in the sticks without reliable transportation in Texas. Right now, all I have that I can lend to aid this movement is my voice.

And it is raised to 11 right now.

Really sorry you had to experience the tear gas and unprovoked assault. There's gotta be a way to sue for your illegal treatment, Kevin. I am sure that there's at least one attorney out there in the SF Bay Area who'd be willing to step up and assist you either pro-bono or on a contingency.

Our world, our nation, our government has to change and we are the People who have to force it to do so.

-r-
I must comment on your apparent lack of professionalism, Kevin. Speaking from a 35-year career as a MSM reporter one of the ironclad rules is that unless the police themselves are rioting, you are obligated to obey their orders. You step out of line and you're a threat to their mission to keep order. From what you reported - I haven't watched the videos - the police were standing in formation, themselves peaceably assembled and not acting improperly. Just because they "looked mean" is no reason for you to assume otherwise. You got too close, you got tear-gassed. You're lucky you didn't get maced, clubbed and arrested.

Another rule vocational journalists follow rigorously is they don't make the news, they report it. There are exceptions to this, of course, but from what you've told us here this was not one of them.
You were asked to stand back…and you didn’t back up. The sounds I heard from the crowd were menacing…and cops are humans. My guess is all the cops involved were apprehensive…perhaps even “scared” might be appropriate.

You were asked to stand back…and you didn’t do it.

Next time—do it! The policeman was part of a group handling a volatile situation and had the right, perhaps even the duty to ask you to stand back. You didn’t!

From what I saw…it was not badge 570 who initiated the forceful reaction. He was in front of your camera when you were saying “peace” instead of moving back like you were supposed to be doing.

The cops are not the enemy. They are as much a part of the 99% as you are or I am.

Frankly, I think this piece shows much more about how the police can be demonized inappropriately than it does about police brutality toward you.

You were asked to stand back…and you didn’t do it!
I could see the hate in the cop's eyes just before he attacked you. I guess he watches Fox News too much & actually thinks he's going to be one of the 1%. Sad.
From what Kevin told me was he and the other small private press were told to stand in one area.. in fact they asked if this was okay and the police said yes. Apparently the "BIG MEDIA" got some sort of email or message because he said they picked up and left in a huge hurry and then the tear gas came. I believe the video was after.

The thing that bothers me the most is when there is something of dire straits happening in some neighbourhood the OP are stretched to the max and it takes time to show up. NOT their fault. IN this case it should have been handled differently. Violence NO matter what is not the answer.

I am sure they did not want to do their jobs either.
Kevin can correct me if I am wrong.
Thanks for all the supportive comments.
Mr Paust- If you would read what I wrote instead of skimming, and watch the video, then maybe you could be informed enough to respond. I was not out to make news. The police were in riot gear, threatening the Occupiers. I wanted to document what was going on. I don't make any claim of being a seasoned reporter. I've been doing things like this for about a month. If being a seasoned reporter is leaving when the police move in so the press can't cover what's going on, then I'm proud to be an ignorant amateur.
Mr Apisa- The cops looked the opposite of scared. Do any of them look scared in the photos or the video? How much time transpires on the video from when I was told to stand back and when I was pushed to the ground? I've admited maybe I got a bit close, but hey, I am not a threatening guy. Tall, but not anyone to get really worried about. I'm not out to demonize police. But if the police act in a way that I believe is shameful to the city I live in, I will not support them in that action.
And that wasn't me saying peace, it was one of the occupiers saying that to the police.
Linda- The tear gassing happened after I was assaulted. Otherwise, you are correct! My impression of the police is some really wanted to be there and were pumped up, especially the front line. I did talk to a few officers who were polite, though one of them would be the woman who showed me where it was safe to be just before we were tear gassed. She may not have known, I think she might have gotten gassed too. Things get a little fuzzy once I started to burn.
You disobeyed his order to stand back. Not a smart move. When you challenged him and his comrades, did you really think a single one of them would let you walk away freely? I'm sorry to hear about your experience with what could have been a peaceful protest was outshone by ignorance of a few of the blue. I'm sure they were told to quiet anybody they thought was there to incite a riot.
Kevin...I am on your side...and on the side of the demonstrators. I want to see our nation whole again...and fair.

But you were told to stand back...and you did not. Honestly, it looked to me as if you were closing the gap between you and the cops...but that may up for discussion. BUT YOU WERE NOT MOVING BACKWARDS...as you should have been.

As for the look on the cop's faces...yeah, I see scared. I see frightened...every bit as much as I see hatred. Often they are the same thing...in fact I often argue that people who show hatred are actually showing fear. Under any circumstances, they certainly do not look “the opposite of scared.”

The cops are not the enemy. They are as much a part of the 99% as we are. (Actually, I do not know about you…you are essentially a stranger. But I am a part of the lower end of the 99%…very, very much a part of the have nots!)

If you or some of these other people want to see “hate” in their eyes…fine. Do so. A decent argument could be made that a cop having to deal with what they were about to deal with…can feel lots of hate. You should have done your part. You should have followed instructions.

Allow me to admire your courage…but it was misplaced in this encounter.
I skimmed what you wrote because it was written as if by a hysterical teenager. Facts were few and unsupported. Impressions and assumptions based on them are not worth my time in trying to learn what happened. I don't have enough bandwidth to watch every video that's embedded on OS, and I certainly wouldn't waste any of it on something you put here based on what you wrote. They might be evidentiary were I an investigator trying to determine who did what when, otherwise I have no interest.

Bottom line, the police told you to move back and you disobeyed. You had no justification, journalistically or otherwise, to ignore a lawful police order.
Well, maybe what's needed is more non-violent protest and allowing law enforcement free rein to "crack some heads", etc. much like when the dogs were turned loose in Alabama in the early 60's. Maybe it's "We Shall Overcome" with "black and white together" (finally) as economic discrimination is enforced. Then, as in the Anti-VietNam protests the cry of "the whole world's watching" can ring out and be heard.
Although I totally support the idea of protesting Wall Street. This occupy thing is making enemies of people with good intentions. It is one thing to demonstrate, it is another to totally occupy public places. These places belong to everyone, not just Wall Street, but also not only to the occupiers. I have seen here how the demonstrators have gotten in the way of ordinary people going and coming from work. This in turn irritates those people, making enemies out of them. I really think the Occupy movement needs to figure out just what it is doing, and get on with it. Just camping out all over the place, accomplishes nothing.
Kevin! I'm so sorry to hear the cops have turned mean...and you were pushed to the ground, and also tear gassed? That's just wrong-- you were there to observe and boy did you! Glad you are recording it all. These actions by the police are not going to stop anyone I have a feeling, just make things worse.
Kevin, tear gas stings like heck...who would have thought that peaceful marchers protesting in the name of all of us 99%ers would be treated like criminals. The fact is these protests ARE making a difference. When a sole woman stands on the frozen tundra with a sign in solidarity, when a group of seniors march in support, when Fox news demonizes them all, you KNOW this is making a difference. Great reporting.
That is quite a story. I heard the report on KCBS while driving to work today. It is what prompted me to post here today on the Occupy topic:
http://open.salon.com/blog/binarimon/2011/10/25/occupy_our_time

The occupation should be sutained, but how to do it when it is clear that the establishment will enforce a different agenda? Invariably without the visible crowd- the media will retreat and start to focus elsewhere. It has been their interest in covering it that has helped to surface a more meaningful national discussion.
Power crazy, angry and some just trying to do what they are told too, and us, the people just trying to change a tyrannical system. Not a good combination, but the only way to hurtle this forward apparently. We should all be outraged. Good lord.
I've been tear gassed before...I remember thinking it has little to do with tears. your whole face and body stings and water will make it worse.

thanks for posting this.
Hi All- I'm too tired to respond to everyone individually, please forgive me. I very much appreciate the support, and most of the non supportive comments as well, because I believe discussion on this subject is so important. Frank, thank you for being polite in your response to me.
A few thoughts:
I'm not trying to demonize police. I'm just reporting an incident. I'm glad to see Joan H's post next to mine on OS. It's a beautiful post, and balances this out well.
There may or may not be Occupy assemblies that block peoples way and make things difficult for people. This has not been my experience with the Oakland camp. I've found it a peaceful camp, and there has been a clear path all around it for people to walk, and I've been welcome to walk through the camp as well.
I just received the following text message:
Jails are reporting 10K bail and holding arrestees til Thur arraignment.
My eyes still sting just a little.
Being told to Step Back does not authorize the use of force against a person doing nothing untoward by a policeman vis-a-vis being physically knocked to the ground. It's not football for cying out loud.

Failing to obey the police in a line, well away from the protestors (you see, I was watching the live stream and I know that where Kevin was, was not that close to the protest area. It was at least a block and a half away from what I could tell. This was prior to the march on the Occupy area.

So, if a police officer tells you, "Go back inside and quit filming me, I don't feel safe," and you stay outside, in your yard, on your property, then you're saying the officer then has the right to do something about it?

I don't think so. Being told to step back is probably a reasonable request and I know I would have complied. If I had not, however, short of me actually physically accosting the officer provides said officer (or any of his friends on the force) to play Johnny Linebacker and knock my ass to the ground.

If you disagree with that, then there's clearly a divide between what you consider acceptable lawful behavior on the part of the police from what I believe.

I do agree, though, watching the video, being told to step back would have been your cue to do exactly that, Kevin. That said, there still is not lawful reason or justification for the officer knocking you down. This is an unprovoked attack.

If anyone other than an officer of the law said, "Step back," and we didn't, the person showing us how powerful they are by knocking us down would be laible for aggravated assault.

In a country where no laws should exempt anyone from obeying them -- or being held accountable to them -- the police have no more right to do this than Joe Q. Public. It's really that simple.

No amount of equivocation makes what the officer did acceptable behavior from a law enforcement officer.
I seen the reports on Oakland today on the news and wondered if you were in the mix!!

Good coverage!

Rated, and congrats on a well earned EP!
This is awful. I can't believe people were tear-gassed. Hope you're ok.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
--sinclair louis

"One withstands the invasion of armies; one does not withstand the invasion of ideas."
--victor hugo


occupy party reaches critical mass/seismic effect--now what?
your story on ustream was unprecedented

thirty minutes of filming and narrating

that is the what will turn the tide

most respectfully,
I was mortified reading this in lieu of your recent health. I hope you're ok, Kevin ... please be careful.

The sad thing is that I've been waiting for these kinds of things to start happening since the Occupy movement started spreading. I think we'll be seeing more of the same elsewhere ... but each fight moves in stages.
Thanks very much for this up-to-the minute reporting Kevin. Before I nod off I'll be checking the SF gate for comparison. Surely there could have been a better way of handling it.
UPDATE: 7:47 PST
Within the past several hours, occupiers had a meeting and a march. I attended the meeting, my health kept me from marching. As they walked away, I saw police officers following them and surrounding them. I had a bad feeling about what was to come. Though I had been told by police officers that the Occupiers would be able to assemble peacefully until 10, I learned they were refused re-entry to Frank Ogawa Plaza, which is where they had been camped, were met with police in riot gear, and unlawful assembly was declared. I went back to the fringes later to ask a few people questions. To my surprise, the marchers were passing right by where I was, going to Snow Park, which had been their secondary camp.
Of course, what I've heard on the local news and what people told me didn't match up. The news made it sound like there were a lot of people clashing and being arrested (at least 3 they kept saying). The Occupiers I spoke with said it was a few people who were causing trouble and were arrested. I have no way of verifying either slant, I'm sure I don't know the whole story.

*****

I just checked on the news, and the protesters had moved again, to 14th and Broadway. The police teargassed them again, this time getting the local reporters of the fox affiliate KTVU. Apparently things had been peaceful until that happened. The news anchor called it a powder keg.
I do have the sinking feeling that this will be a bad night, topping off an already bad day for Oakland.
I hope I'm wrong.
update

get out there

live shit means nothing on OS
Um, a "commanding" officer went out of his way to find another officer in order that you could file your complaint of police misconduct? Those Nazi cops!!
Way to hang in there and get the story. You and yours are largely what this is all about. You go.
OMFG - I hope you are ok. Our country obviously is not ok. Who was the butthead that ordered this? How can they be made accountable for their unlawful and unethical actions against peaceful taxpaying citizens? Are there lawyers to pursue this in the courts? Hang in there!
Jesus, Kevin! Glad you are ok--have seen the news updates on tv tonight. It's getting crazy. Please report from afar. On another note- in my smallish town there was an attempt to "Occupy"----there were 3 people.
Kevin, I am sorry for what happened to you. What is happening in Oakland breaks my heart. ~r
Footage of an Oakland policeman lobbing a flash grenade into a crowd of people trying to help a badly-injured protester:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OZLyUK0t0vQ
The jobs are not coming back, the homeless still have no homes. It's only the beginning. Things will only get worse. I only hope the action with live ammunition doesn't start.
FWIW, I don't think the police officer's actions were appropriate, but I don't think they've met the excessive force standard some might allege occurred when you antagonized an already exhausted and angry tactical squadron of cops who were attacked with bottles and rocks from those with the mob mentality.

Peaceful protests are just that. I don't think this is what you experienced and I'm certain there will be hundreds or thousands of arrests.

Violence begets violence.
Well you are the only one reporting that it was peaceful. The news media is reporting that the people in the park were throwing rocks and fireworks at the police.

They were there under orders to remove people who were breaking the law. They can gather if they have the proper permits and such. I think the city show restraint letting them stay as long as they did.

BTW, the next time you are given a lawful order by a cop, agree with it or not, I would suggest you do it then file a complaint about the order.
Oh poo to the law'n'order literalists here. It's the people's country and if TPTB wanted to undermine the Occupy movement, the way to do it is to ignore it. Even cooperate - put up portapotties, whatever. Let it die a lingering death. HOWEVER - want to energize it? Send in the riot troops. In this day of internet, you produce instant propaganda and support for the Occupiers. No lessons learned from the civil rights movement? Good!
See? It's all over CNN and coverage in the NYT. When nothin' was happening, no coverage. Push out the occupiers and everyone hears about it. I was watching coverage of both spectators and occupiers holding their phones high, recording it all. Stupid authorities.
Well, it's happened - the Oakland police seriously injured an Occupier - an Iraq vet. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/26/iraq-vet-oakland-police-tear-gas_n_1033159.html
Thanks for everyone's comments and discussions.
Dunniteowl- thanks for a thoughtful comment with a good perspective.
Belinda- To be very clear, my incident with the police officer happened at the beginning, and I'm pretty sure it was the first violent act of the morning. The teargas was shortly after. These were not tired police.
Catnlion- The reason I feel compelled to report is that the mainstream news media hasn't been in sync with what I've seen and experienced with this movement. I didn't see anything get thrown, but I was denied access to the area where claims have been made that that happened.
Myriad- I've been to several events that were peaceful and inspiring and seen little to no media coverage of them. It is sad that it takes teargas and flash grenades to bring attention to this.
I'm happy that I blog on a site that has been giving fair exposure to this issue, and representing many points of view, and many diverse stories of this.
When I saw pictures of the injuries on the news, my heart was broken again.
Those of you I already know through here and those I'm meeting for the first time, who have left kind and supportive comments, thank you so much.
This story continues. Frank Ogawa Plaza is being cleared out, and the Occupiers are planning on assembling near there at 6 tonight.
i wish 'occupy' would hit where it hurts, with votes. nothing wrong with peaceful demonstrations, as a way to organize support for voting campaigns, but politicians do not listen to demos, they listen to votes.

voting for people is second best, but if your state doesn't have citizen initiative, you have to settle on a candidate who will work for the issues you think important.

the federal system has no citizen initiative, which is why america is in this shape. from the beginning, it was run by the rich, for the rich.
A more detailed overview of the situation in Oakland can be seen at http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/26/the-fight-for-autonomy-in-oakland/

This indicates clearly that the police are acting in their traditional role as the fist of the controlling wealthy elite. It is not a matter of good cops/bad cops. It is the standard official policy of suppression of the constitutional right for public protest for the corrupt and inadequate performance of government at all levels in favor of the wealthy elite. That is the open seed of fascism.
MoveOn reported the recent former marine sgt. Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull at the hands of police "non-lethal" weaponry and isin critical condition. When people moved to help the fallen man, police drove them off with "flash-bang" grenades. Occupiers also described how they had been speaking across the barricades for days to the police, reaching out to explain to them that they were fighting for their rights too, and those of the their children, that they were not the enemy...
You know, I wonder. Is tear gassing citizens a violation of our charter on abuse and cruel and unusual punishment? Don't we agree, as member consignees to the Geneva Convention the outlaw of the use of chemical weaponry? Isn't CS gas a chemical weapon? Last I checked, just because it's non-lethal it's still unprovoked assault.

Clearly, from the various footage, the police fired the cannisters as an act to break up the march before they were being lobbed at by people with bottles. I now the system won't allow a hearing on the matter, after all, they're busy in this instance attempting to intimidate the people into believing that the 1st Amendment can be regulated, restricted and revoked.

Again, last I checked, that document claims these are unalienable rights. That means, simply put, not subject to government control. It's one of the methods in place that allow us to put controls on government.

Don't give in, don't give up and don't allow their intimidation, inclusive of physical use of force, to allow you to lose your cool and return violence with violence. If we could get a large enough legal group together to explore the ways the governments in question can be sued, reprimanded or have their claws removed, it would be in the best interests of the people all the way around in the long run.

Riot gear presumes a use of force. I watched Kevin's video. He was knocked down by being blindsided by the office in question. This is an unprovoked attack or assault on a citizen causing no harm and breaking no laws. Even if Kevin didn't obey the order, that does not allow the police carte blanche to knock him down at all. Attacking him from the side or slightly behind is simply the act of a shitty person, no matter that they have a uniform on or not. That was cowardly -- and in my view -- illegal use of physical force. I think, under the circumstances, it could be made to stick.

Hang in there Kevin, I support all the Occupy Protesters in the only way I can right now -- raising my voice in support. (all the ones that respect the non-violence concept of peaceful protest, that is.)

You are one of the People, too. You don't have to do this. Join us.
Matt's only sorry he wasn't one of the cops doing the beating. Of course, he'd never have the cojones to actually be anywhere near the front lines; his job is to criticize those who get beat down for exercising their democratic right to protest. He'd be the same kind of media jerk police apologist insisting that a suspect in custody, handcuffed, bloody from another police beating and shackled, posed such a threat to an officer that he was compelled to shoot him in the back. Yep, I know your kind well Matt. You always know which asses to kiss. But your smugness and toadying won't protect you when the tables turn. Not in the least.
R! Thanks for posting this. I use to be a public high school teacher in Oakland and lived in West Oakland - know the dynamics well - especially how sociopathic and racist many of the police are there and how they have a power base that makes it hard to get rid of them.

Check out this article about the testimony given a couple of weeks ago by an ex-NY cop, Stephen Anderson, about how supervisors and cops regularly approve/arrest innocent people and plant evidence in order to make their arrest quotas and earn overtime pay.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/13/ex-nypd-cop-we-planted-ev_n_1009754.html

New York cops' arrest of 700 OWS protesters on Brooklyn Bridge and hundreds of others fit this paradigm perfectly.

Leaflets citing this testimony and police practices like this should be passed around at the OWS protests in every city - including Oakland - to bring attention NOT ONLY to police anti-Constitutional conduct, but the Republican caused budget cutbacks and layoffs. THAT's put cops under even more pressure than ever to make arrest quotas and earn overtime pay (of course they'll deny, just like they denied it in NY). This kind of stuff rarely gets revealed because of how powerful the "blue wall of silence" is. A cop could get killed for revealing this, and Stephen Anderson has been under constant threat.

Protesters should talk about this, put it in leaflets - that the cops are victims of the 1% too. But rather than violate their oaths to make arrest quotas and overtime pay, they should stand with the 99%. Whenever protesters are about to be arrested, attacked or intimidated by the cops they should chant: USA...USA...USA... to remind the cops that the proesters stand for the country and what it stands for and that THE COPS should too.

Of course there's sociopaths and psychopaths on "the force" who are dangerous and can't be helped. Mobilizing peer pressure and publicity against them helps. The idea that I shared above, for example, helps put the protesters in a better light and the media will be exposed to the leaflets about cop practices and the USA chants etc., which will put the police under more scrutiny and not be portrayed as the "victims" and the "good guys" protecting us from the "communists, anarchists, and socialist violence."
Perhaps you can share this idea with folks there.

Cheers, Ron
http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2011/10/27/welcome-to-the-police-state/
Good fer you! Go back at 'em. Personally I'm gonna make a pilgrimage downtown and hang a banner on some CEO's balcony that reads "I'm A Taxpayer Welfare Recipient--Come Get Your Stuff Back!!"

Snugs.
I put this on my blog, but since I doubt anyone will see it there- I'm reposting it here where the readership is considerably higher. And its the results that count.

Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen got his skull fractured in the Occupy Oakland movement.

Send a get well card to him here:

Scott Olsen, USMC
Highland Hospital
1411East 31st Street
Oakland, CA 94602


Awsome work, Kevin.
Manhattan- Always good to hear from you.
Ian- I spent 5 weeks in Highland this past year, Scott is in very good and capable hands. I hope his stay is as healing as mine was.
Thanks for posting the info.
It is facism and they are fascists. I remember what a hateful and obnoxious bunch OPD are. This is exposing them for what they are.
Your post inspired me to write about tear gas.
The people shall render justice.