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Kevin Army

Kevin Army
Oakland, California, United States
August 19
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!


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NOVEMBER 14, 2011 11:56AM

The Second Occupy Oakland Raid, and The Campaign Of Fear

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we are here 
Have you ever spent time waiting for someone close to you to die? Then you know the feeling of being mired in an unknown void, where one doesn't know if it will be that weekend, that afternoon, that hour. A sickened feeling deep in your gut, that premonition that something very bad will happen, and you can see it, right there on the horizon, an imminent threat staring you in the face, mixing up all your thoughts and emotions, holding you hostage, stealing the hours spent waiting and waiting.

I think the Oakland Police department and city officials understand those feelings well, and spent this holiday weekend exploiting them fairly effectively. At least on me. A feeling of dread crept in as I read little items that were leaked out, like the following email that went around on Sunday that :

A highly coordinated law enforcement raid to clear out OO is planned to take place Monday morning early. Significant public safety mutual aid is being called in from neighboring jurisdictions. The goal is to permanently clear out the OO encampment of illegal activities. Expect to see overwhelming use of force by police directed to occupiers who refuse to comply.

Peaceful protesters are advised by police to stand down until the situation stabilizes. The general public is advised to stay away from the area during the action to avoid potential personal injury from incidental contact with conflicts.”

police 1 

No-one has been able to verify exactly where the email came from, but all weekend I saw intimations of actions like this on twitter feeds, facebook pages and the news. Each day of the holiday weekend eviction notices were handed out to the residents of the encampment. It felt like a war of fear, an attempt to break the protesters before any raid could happen.

The weekend started with a fatal shooting near the encampment on Thursday evening. Reports of what this had to do with Occupy Oakland are still a bit conflicted and unsure, so I'll keep out of that. The shooting shined an unfortunate light on one of Oakland's largest problems, the murder rate, which stands at 91 murders so far this year. Rather then focus on that, the leaders of the city and the chamber of commerce all jumped at it as an opportunity to justify evicting the camp, blaming Oakland's endemic issues on the protesters.

 god bless

Mayor Quan, who really hasn't been able to win with any of this, made a sad attempt Friday morning to have a press event where she released a dove at a church where she had attended an interfaith thanksgiving prayer breakfast. She said “We need to peacefully close the encampment at City Hall and we're asking people to leave.”

Are there calls to close down neighborhoods in Oakland where the other 90 murders happened? Of course not. It's recognized that a small element makes life difficult and oppressive for the vast majority of good people in the neighborhoods where most of those murders occur.


All night I received text updates of the impending raid, with predictions of it taking place after 3AM. I got there at 2AM, and there was a small crowd of people. That crowd eventually grew to about 2 to 3 hundred. Not the crowd Portland got this weekend, and I think this was the desired result of the campaign of fear throughout the weekend.

Many people I spoke to had a feeling of dread, an uneasy feeling in the gut. I talked to one man who had driven by the Oakland Coliseum, and he had seen 80 of the plain white vans the riot police use, with around 10 to each van. I knew the Occupiers were vastly outnumbered.

Some stayed in the camp, including a small group of interfaith people who knew they would get arrested.

police 4  

Possibly around 4:30 a few police showed up. Pretty close to 5AM riot police showed up. Not the huge number I expected, but enough. I'm really not sure since we couldn't get close to most of them, but I could see maybe 3 or 4 hundred. Possibly there were more standing by, possibly there were more where I could not see them.

They blocked off the encampment and Broadway below 14th. By 6AM they had arrested the people in the camp, and had begun tearing down the tents. By 7, the crowd had gotten down to maybe 100.

All this happened peacefully, at least as far as any of us could see. Once things were winding down, I tried to get into the camp to take pictures but was not allowed, even with my mock press pass. At one point a handful of more “official” press was briefly allowed in. I spoke with a cameraman for the local ABC affiliate KGO, and he told me he was allowed in for 2 minutes and then had to leave.

There was no tear gas, no shooting of anything, no throwing of things. Though I'm saddened by the actions taken by the city and the police coalition, I'm grateful that both sides maintained a peaceful composure throughout.

stop police shield  

Many people are mystified as to why the continual occupation of public space is so important to this movement. I'm sure there are many answers. For me, by sharing space with the homeless, it begins the process of breaking down the barriers in our society between the separations of our different economic classes, it begins a new equality based on something else.

And by feeding the homeless at the camps, it illustrates the wealth redistribution OWS speaks of on a very basic level; that those that have enough are willing to donate goods and time to help those that have nothing. I spoke with an Occupier named Toby, and he told me the Occupy Oakland Kitchen had been serving somewhere between 750 to 1,000 meals a day. On my list of good things to do, feeding the hungry is right up there at the top, whether it's churches, or Occupiers.

 you cant get rid of us

The Occupiers plan to reconvene at the nearby Library at 4 PM today. Snow Park, the smaller and auxiliary camp was allowed to stand. I drove by and saw about 20 tents there.

This morning I watched the camp end for the second time. I'm not going to declare it dead, not at all.  They are a force unlike anything I have ever experienced. I'm sure the Occupiers will find the strength and means to resurrect themselves again. Very soon. Whether it's in Frank Ogawa Plaza or somewhere else, or as something else has yet to be seen, but I'm sure somehow, someway, they will continue.  As this will across the country, around the world.

loves oakland tent 

The chalk messages photographed were done in the intersection of 14th and Broadway in the early morning by Occupiers. The tent is one of the ones I found at Snow Park on my way home.

Some sources used in writing this:

Notice warns of Monday AM raid on Occupy Oakland

Quan Again Asks Occupiers to Leave Plaza is at baycitizen.org. As hard as I try, I can't get the link to work.

Oakland Crime Stats

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It is going to be interesting to see what happens. Portland was shut down yesterday and some OWS are all up in the air now. It''s going to be a crapshoot. Excpet tomorrow at US Berkeley. Thats going to be ugly.

Oakland seems to be the dreaded yet exalted epicenter of this much needed storm. It highlights the good, the bad and the very ugly. God bless to the fighters of the good fight.
I too am glad that there was no violence, and while I am glad to see the occupiers not giving up, I still feel that it all really needs to solidify into the next level/something else that will have a lasting impact. Please keep the reports coming.
"Freedom Fighters might not always win, but they are always right. "
-- Molly Ivins
(unless she was quoting someone else.)

I'm very sad to see OO closed down and that Oakland felt such overwhelming force was necessary--where's adequate police presence when and where it's really needed? But like you, I'm grateful, at least, that nobody got hurt while it was going on.

I think no matter where they go next, the spirit of Occupy America has become too big to supress or ignore. "We Are the 99%" has a lot of basic people power and public frustration has hit critical mass. Harnessing it effectively is key. What happens next, I don't know. I do believe social networking is going to be a key factor in keeping this spirit alive and visible through the winter.
I can't understand why they don't just protest in the daytime and then go home at night. I don't understand why they don't get the correct permits. I just don't get the inciting to violence and it scares me.
truth to power. Kevin - you nailed it -
Place is important - freedom in Oakland? as if. People need to go to urban centers with food and clothing - tents even. The poor and hungry need to be seen, heard, fed and clothed. Place is important - i have heard the disdain from healthy, employed people who commute to Oakland - they do not want to see what the world they do so well in does to others - they do not want to share the space. It slows them down, distracts them from a false reality that they are attached to do.
Place is everything.
Hang in there, Kevin. The 99% are going to have to become very clever to avoid all the traps the 1% are setting up to end the movement. Thank you for occupying. I am 100% for you and the movement.
Thanks for this post. This movement has to continue -- it's the only way for our voices to be heard and for real change to happen. I'm also glad no one was hurt. Though so discouraging that such fear tactics were used.
Thanks for your continued reporting Kevin.
This is one of many clamp downs on the protests; keep in mind the Super Committee report is due on November 23 it sure would be convenient if the protestors gave up and went home before then. Whether or not they’re trying to cut social security or cut something else there is little or no indication that they want to do much if anything to hold the corrupt well connected people who caused this mess accountable in the first place. The timing is almost certainly not a coincidence.
Why Occupy public space? Uhhh . . . cause it's public. For the first time in decades there is an open debate on capitalism and its affects and whether we can survive in a state of such inequality. If this were not happening in public parks, it would be limited to the hallowed halls of some university where real people are simply data points.
The occupation of public space is very important. The privatization of the public commons is the overriding norm of the system that has been in place for the last forty years. It's a powerful way to demonstrate one's refusal to allow public domains to be annexed to private interests/profit. It's interesting how much this movement has borrowed from the anti-WTO, anti-globalization movement, and how little commentary along those lines has appeared anywhere.

In many ways I think of the Occupy movement as an outgrowth of that previous, partially successful movement against global capital and some of its major institutions. Since many of the issues brought up in the wake of Seattle were never addressed, they've festered and turned into increasing social disorder. The end of a whole framework of economy and society can be very, very messy...it's up to the OWS folks to decide what kind of new framework they want to see. They should think BIG. Reformism is way too small for what's happening today.
Everyone- Thanks for the well thought out comments. I was too tired until now to respond. It was moving to wake up and read what people have written here, it made a great start to my day.
great to read this on the opening day of the Walker recall here in WI...how much harder this would be for us if we didn't have people fighting all around the country...thanks for this ~
Dear Mr. President,

There is a very large demonstration being planned for January 20th, 2012 at the Federal Courthouse at 700 Stewart street in Seattle, - and at every Federal Courthouse in the United States.. There are many groups organizing and "gearing up" for this demonstration. I will be promoting and advertising it. This "occupy movement" has only just begun. I suggest you figure out your plan of action and response; The rules of engagement; - Need a way better understanding of what is going on; - than during WTO in Seattle. Treat the people like they are the enemy, and they will become it.

I am hoping that what I say makes sense to someone, and they will start writing and treating this "occupy movement" with the respect it is going to earn. Did you see where Israel had a demonstration of 500,000 people demanding concessions from their government? It worked. Listen to Martin Luther King, his words are as meaningful today as they were then. This struggle for economic justice and government control will be won by the people! (It is very old..).

I feel the occupy movement does have a basic underlying message; Stop letting money decide political elections; And regulate corporate lobbying (and all lobbying) making it a public forum. Right now lobbying is mostly two old white guys sitting across from each other in an office. "They" have probably worked with each other or went to the same school; And "they" have promised you a job when you get out of politics, -- tripling your present salary!. The "lobbyist" used to be a "politician", it worked for him!. Who owns who? - That's a "Person-hood".

I lived in the Glenn Hotel in downtown Seattle when the WTO protests happened. It happened at my front door. I was a part of it, promoting it, and involved in it. There is something going on, and I am going to be a part of it again. I have helped organize and promote protests in Bellevue, Olympia, and Seattle Washington; another big one is coming. I feel it will be a “WTO” sized protest in multiple cities.

"I" was at the WTO protests in Seattle Washington, (with thousands of "other" really awesome "people", and a few "freaks") when a bunch of "anarchists" started busting windows with crowbars. We surrounded them, and they got in a circle with their crowbars. I tried to get the "Seattle police" to come arrest "these anarchists”, that were only fifty feet away and threatening violence and breaking windows… The "Seattle police" would not budge from their “police line”, making all of "us" the "enemy".... (There were thousands of "union" and "other" people sitting and standing in the street, - it was a relatively peaceful protest until the windows started breaking…). " I" am not the "enemy".

I will be in Seattle at 700 Stewart street at the Federal courthouse January 20th, 2012!!! I know we can do this better than last time.

The Corporate Occupation of the United States

Our corporate controlled government (through corporate lobbying and election funding ) is out of the peoples control. People want government control back. Makes sense to me… I feel US corporate capitalism (corporatism) is a type of economic fascism: To have a corporate being where the chain of command eventually muddles all responsibility to any human being. These corporate beings are running your life, and controlling your government. (Enough to really make an individual mad and protest.) In reality, the corporate being does not exist, and when it comes to face it’s corporate responsibility, it is a piece of paper. (Or a CEO saying; “I do not recall that”, “I did not have that information”, “that was not my responsibility, I was running the company, and not just that department”,,, and on and on. It has bred a corporate culture of abuse, because they keep getting away with it..), Corporate person-hood is plain and simply wrong: A corporation is not a human being. Restore capitalism to individual responsible chains of command, or this struggle will be lost.

Please Sign the petition to amend the Constitution for revoking corporate personhood at:


(I feel January 20th, 2012: will be a bigger day in US history than WTO in Seattle. The battle continues, rage against the machine is real.)

January 20, 2012 – Move to Amend Occupies the Courts!

Move To Amend is planning bold action to mark this date — Occupy the Courts — a one day occupation on Friday January 20, 2012, of the Federal Courts, including the Supreme Court of the United States and as many of the 89 U.S. District Court Buildings as we can. (I am inspired by Doctor Martin Luther King who said; "a true revolution of values", ... "there comes a time when silence is betrayal"., "people are not gonna be silenced".). Move to Amend will lead the charge on the judiciary which created — and continues to expand — corporate personhood rights.

It's Time to GET MONEY OUT of politics
Bailouts. War. Unemployment. Our government is bought, and we’re angry. Now, we’re turning our anger into positive action. By signing this petition, you are joining our campaign to get money out of politics. Our politicians won’t do this. But we will. We will become an unrelenting, massive organized wave advocating a Constitutional amendment to get money out of politics.

Please sign the petition!



My friend and I put on a protest in Olympia for World Can't Wait Oct. 5, 2006 at the capitol. Here are some photos...


I also coordinated and promoted a protest in Bellevue when Bush was there.


Happy to say both worked out without arrest, injury or property damage! I worked with the Washington State Patrol in Olympia, and Bellevue Police beforehand, and we pretty much understood the rules of engagement. Medina police were not good partners..

Be careful Kevin! Safety first~
Congrats on the EPPPPP!
I hope it does evolve and make itself heard with the force that the Tea Party did because it a legitimate movement based on morality.
Kevin, we have had no electricity lately so I haven't been able to see your take on this until now. You have been a light in the darkness for us here in South Africa...no better way to get "news" than from someone like you. Keep the faith, brother...
Expect to see overwhelming use of force by police directed to occupiers who refuse to comply.EXGF
I love them all! I teach kindergarten and I'm going to make a theme, and photographs have given me so many ideas! You are so talented! Thanks! topes de hule
Many people are mystified as to why the continual occupation of public space is so important to this movement. I'm sure there are many answers.Whobad Webad