I will continue to post and comment on the dispersal of the Oakland, CA protesters throughout today because I believe this is the worst attack on the rights of Americans to peacefully assemble and on the Constitution that has happened in decades.
Regardless of your opinion of the protester's complaints, if this move by the city of Oakland and it's (Democratic Party) Mayor does not cause you concern I don't know what will. If it does not make your blood boil, I do not know what will...
If you believe that last nights response to a couple of protesters throwing some paint at officers was appropriate, rather than just arresting those responsible for the act, which would have been easy enough, then sit on your hands and say nothing. If you believe that this incident was a massive assault on the rights of all Americans as well as a direct attack on the First Amendment which states very clearly that the people have the right to peacably assemble and petition the government with theuir grievances; if you believe that the Constitution doesn't stop at 11pm when a local ordinance states that a public place is closed then you must do something or you will be complicit in this insult to all of our rights.
The mayor originally made an executive order that the protesters be allowed to assemble in the park indefinitely. For some reason that order was revoked yesterday. The city cited these reasons for invading the park and driving out the protesters:
They were concerned with public urination
They were concerned with potential (potential, not actual) acts of violence against the protesters
They were concerned with public safety and the health and security of the protesters
The incidents of urination were very rare and take place by the homeless all over the city on a regular basis.
There had not been any acts of violence against the protesters or by the protesters, the city on cited potential acts.
As for public health and safety, do any of these images look like a concern for public safety:
https://picasaweb.google.com/108782985639419137296/Downloads#56677740100... https://picasaweb.google.com/108782985639419137296/Downloads#56677740163... https://picasaweb.google.com/108782985639419137296/Downloads#56677740223... https://picasaweb.google.com/108782985639419137296/Downloads#56677740137...
The people in the last photo were trying to help a woman who had been hit by a rubber bullet. One can see that a newly lobbed tear gas canister has just begun to go off in their midst intentionally aimed at the group of rescuers.
Here is just one short video of the event:
OPD's Response to Occupy Oakland
What had once been a small encampment in NYC that was receiving almost no media coverage and very little public awareness skyrocketed into a nationwide movement after the NYPD arrested 700 protesters on the Brooklyn bridge. This event will be all over the news. The claims that eggs and paint were thrown at the police will be stated over and over again but the images and videos that will be playing in the background will betray that message and reveal the truth of the assault. This was a huge tactical and public relations mistake on the part of Oakland which will only increase public awareness of, and support for, the Occupy movement in general. Do not expect the encampments all over America to shrink in size after this event. Do not expect that the number of marchers and supporters will decrease after this incident. As the benign, in comparison to this assault, Brooklyn bridge turned a tiny protest into a massive movement this too will only serve to enlarge the very protests they are seeking to suppress.