More than 400 people were arrested in clashes with police after a City Hall march and rally Saturday by Occupy Oakland. On Sunday, Mayor Jean Quan decried the damage and said the demonstrations have cost the budget-strapped city more than $5 million. Meanwhile, protesters criticized police conduct, saying the arrests were illegal and that OPD gave them no option to disperse. We discuss the weekend’s developments.

Occupy Oakland Arrests 30 January,2012forum

Chris De Benedetti, reporter with the Bay Area News Group who covered the Occupy Oakland protests Saturday
Nancy Nadel, Oakland City Councilmember
Mark Mason, member of the Occupy Oakland Media Working Group
Don Link, former chair of the Oakland Community Policing Advisory Board
Spencer Mills, citizen journalist who has been live-streaming "Occupy" protests from across the Bay Area and has attracted a global following
Jean Quan, mayor of Oakland

  • Superman

    Perpetual tuition hikes are just another conspiracy by the 1% to turn the USA into a 3rd world country of debt slaves. It is in their interest to bring the 99% to its knees with unpayable debts. It has always, going back centuries if not millenia, been the policy of elites to defeat the masses with debt. Removing debts brings prosperity, which puts the power of the 1% at risk. Then, when the 99% has finally lost their their homes and their shirts, in come the cops and agent provocateurs to put protesters in their place.

  • Blane

    Only a fool would look at the fascistic police conduct in Oakland and the response of protesters and not see a strong similarity to Tahrir Square. Only an ignorant fool would fail to notice that our democracy has been hijacked by corporatist thugs, who, whether they plan their schemes at Bilderberg or Davos, are as much opposed to genuine freedom & democracy as the Nazis were, even while they promote sham democracies run by their lackeys.

  • Kevin Crespi

    ” As city officials in one of America’s most left-wing municipal governments begged the “Occupy Oakland” movement to stop trashing the struggling, heavily minority city’s streets, public buildings and YMCA, delusional “Occupy” protesters spoke of establishment plots and evil police conspiracies.
    In the strange mental landscape where they dwell, some Occupiers seem to have convinced themselves that they represent a force for “social change” that is so powerful that the Oakland government, obviously the stooge of the Bilderbergers and the ruling class, will stop at nothing to destroy them. Their cat and mouse games with police and random acts of vandalism are magnified into apocalyptic struggles over the future of the world.

    It is Oakland’s bad luck (partly due to its mild climate) that the Occupy protestors have dragged on so long and so violently there, but nothing can halt the movement’s resolute march toward the irrelevant fringe. An embarrassment to potential allies, a nuisance to the general public, a welcome reminder to the right of all the reasons it loathes the radical left, the Occupy movement is running on fumes.

    It is likely to remain a beacon of hope to all those who dream that some kind of anarchist or socialist revolution could happen in the US or could be a good thing; like a candle drawing moths on a summer night, it dazzles them with false promise, consumes their energy to no purpose, and wastes their time.”

    —Walter Russell Mead’s blog []

  • What about next weekend?  What would the police do for the next protest?

  • Eric

    Last week KQED-TV’s “Check Please!” program profiled a church-run restaurant in one of Oakland’s less fashionable neighborhoods that serves delicious soul food while training and employing ex-convicts who are trying to rebuild their lives.  I mention this because it is an excellent example of a grass roots community organization that is doing something quite meaningful for Oakland’s 99%, and it stands in sharp contrast to the self-indulgent Occupy Oakland protesters who are obviously enthralled with violence and have absolutely nothing to offer except mindless vandalism and mayhem.

    • Villageattab

      the offer one colossal thing: open American eyes to the pillaging of the Treasury, the killing of Unions, the rhetoric to steal Social Security, and the dismantling of Medicare.

    • Decio183

      There is no vandalism or violence on the acts of the occupy Oakland
      protesters.As far as violence is concerned the police are the ones
      to blame

  • KP

    Why is it that Oakland is always the one that seems to revert to violence?  Don’t they realize it is just hurting the local people.

    • another Carl

      History matters.  Oakland has a history of foreclosures that’s a lot worse than the percentages in wealthier cities.  Oakland has a worse history than most places of mutual disrespect between the police and the people.  

  • Sigmarlin

    Lemme guess…Mayor Quan is going to commend the police and try to place the costs of this policing on OO?  How much does that helicoptor that flies overhead every Saturday night for hours cost?  What possible purpose does it serve other than being a show of force?  How many children lose sleep because of the stressful noise? Life During Wartime, I guess. Oakland has paid out $58 million in police settlements the court had in the last 10 years (San Jose paid out 8 million in the same period, for persepective). The OPD abuses overtime rules, so bad, that the Federal government had to step in.  Quan’s rhetoric is tired by now….she really should have spent her time cleaining up the OPD rather than Oscar Grant Plaza.

  • wizardofx

    The Oakland Occupiers are destroying their own credibility by their acts of rage and violence. The police are completely in their right to use whatever means necessary.  I was an Occupy supporter until the Oakland movement began with their destructive protesting several months ago.  Now I support the police and Mayor Quan.    

    • another Carl

      You said “I support the police and Mayor Quan.”  The police and Mayor Quan don’t support *each other*.  In Quan’s defense, she just doesn’t have the $$$ to give the police the $$$ they want, and they want an awful lot.  Also, I think she gets that the police are too often unaccountable for their misconduct, but she lacks the political power to do much about it.

      • wizardofx

        I agree, the police NEED an awful lot, and should get the $$, but more important… support.  They are already stretched thin with manpower, and because the people of Oakland refused to support the police by rejecting a very modest tax hike, they can’t provide the level of service they need to.  Quan and the police both want the occupiers out.  The Mayor wasn’t on board with this in the beginning, but finally realized that the cops are in a lose-lose position.  Quan needs to step up and finally take charge of this city, however yes, she initially she was too liberal in her thoughts of “what possible harm could a few campers do?”

        • another Carl

          I did vote for the tax hike (I live in Oakland), and I’m glad to see that you also supported it, but not enough of us got it to win. Many of those who complain about Occupy voted against that tax. On another point, I was too brief in my earlier post, so we don’t agree so much.  By “police” and “$$$” I especially meant the extreme cost to the city *per police officer* in pay, benefits (especially retirement), and the police’s insistence that the city in general – *not* the police officers – pay any penalties that derive from police misconduct.  On a broader scale, too many people attack “government” as the problem.  This has a huge problem: police are part of government, and an effective government (which can fight the 1% and *win*) is essential to the public support that’s, in turn, essential to effective policing.   

        • Sigmarlin

          Respectuflly, you should look into the abuses of the OPD.  I don’t mean police brutality either. Their union is out of control and it is very difficult for the Mayor to reign the department in (It is the one thing I feel sorry for Quan about).  They racked up $26 million in overtime in 2007 (before the “emergency” of Occupy mind you). One guy was caught making over $200,000 when his salary was capped at 98,000.  Here’s an overview: 
 or a  good blog: 

          • wizardofx

            Simply, If we had enough cops, we wouldn’t have overtime. Sure, there are always some bad apples, but the cops I’ve gotten to know say they’re burned out, and feel like they have no support at all.  I’ve learned to empathize with the police. They have a tough job in Oakland.  The crap these guys go through on a daily basis will ABSOLUTELY change your view of humanity and your life in general.  These aren’t South Hampton police who walk old rich ladies across the street.

  • Terry Miller

    If the Occupy movement really cared about our community they wouldn’t waste our community’s money by attacking city hall or the YMCA. We could be using all of that money to help people here in Oakland.

  • Nann White

    After hearing the piece on NPR by Bill Moyers the 99% needs to protest in front of the banks that were bailed out not the public spaces in Oakland. And New York City banks would be the best place to start. Then move west.

    • another Carl

      “the banks”:  On Friday 1/20/12, I went to SF to protest in front of Wells Fargo HQ and the bldg that used to be Bank of America’s HQ before B of A was engulfed by a bank in North Carolina that decided to use the Bank of America name.  On 2/3, I’m planning on going out to Concord to protest a bank that’s foreclosed on a house of relatives of someone I know.    

  • pixplz

    I was there, in front of the Kaiser center and on Oak Street. I’d like to point out that in both places, before anyone threw anything, the cops threatened occupiers with arrest and “serious injury” if they didn’t leave. 

  • Maggie

    I’d be interested in a conversation about this quote from the rally:

    “Passionate, organized hatred is the element missing in all that we do
    to try to change the world,” said Ortiz, a retired professor from Cal
    State East Bay. “Now is the time to spread hate, hatred for the rich.”Read more:

    It is being widely quoted through conservative social media.

    It seems to me that this sort of statement is counterproductive to the Occupy Movement and they will lose support from moderates if “hatred” is encouraged.

  • Oakland_resident

    I was a supporter of the Occupy Oakland movement when it started, and am still a supporter of the message of the government needing to support the 99%.  However, I don’t think the current Occupy Oakland movement represents the 99%.  My friends and I, who were all former supporters, are now disgusted to see the vandalism to our city and to City Hall, and even the burning of the American Flag.  This works against the message and hurts the overall movement.  I am a proud Oakland resident and am ashamed to see this happening to our city.

    • Villageattab

      didn’t Thomas Jefferson say that the tree of freedom will welt without the BLOOD of patriots and tyrants?  It takes a lot to stop these corporations from destroying our earth and our lives.  No one is urging violence, but when people are denied their right to demonstrate and be heard confrontation is ineluctable.

  • Ginatelcocci

    Occupy Oakland seems to be dominated by what I call the 6-year old boy mind; they dont take in any info. that is at odds with what they already think, and there is no mediating influence of maturity, wisdom or broad perspective.

    They’re stuck in this solipsistic cycle of antagonizing & provoking the police, getting arrested, & protesting the arrests. It looks like totally self-aggrandizing behavior. They seem so thrilled with themselves when they do get arrested, they dont look at what effect they’re having on anything.

    They occupied a house on our  block, and when the police did finally come to evict them, there were OO-ers waiting with video cameras who to be dying for the police to make some misstep.

    There are so many things that need to be addresses about financial inequality in our country right now. What a dumb waste of time, resources, and energy!

  • martin

    this weekends events in Oakland represents 1% of the 99% working against the interests of 99% of the 99%

    • UCDavis

      Well said, that 1% of the 99% is the criminal cops working against 99% of the 99% on behalf o the 1%.

  • Juliereyn

    Is it not fair to say that the Occupy Oakland movement became more
    radicalized after the police over-reaction on November 2nd and the serious
    bodily injury suffered by many, including an Iraqi War Vet protesting

    I would like Mayor Quan to consider that this was the watershed moment of
    change, not in a positive direction, for our local occupy movement.

    I am discouraged that Occupy Oakland has become so focused on OPD and has
    lost focus on issues of economic justice. But I also feel that OPD and the
    Mayor’s office has much to do with this radicalization.

  • pixplz

    The caller complaining about too many “skirmish details” on the show was Oakland councilmember Nancy Nadel? Has she seen this video? 

  • Guest

    My mainstream liberal sensibilities are terribly offended by Occupy. Why can’t they play nice like the rest of us liberals?

    • Liberalguest

      99% are not radical anarchists.  And we have seen great social and legal change in this country by means of  civil protest in  a peaceful nonviolent fashion.

  • Duane in Albany

    It’s clear that Mayor Quan’s leadership style is shrill and ineffectual, but conversely, Occupy Oakland has real a challenge focusing its message and tactics. Both OO and OPD know that aggression and violence is a tool that can be used to benefit their case, but OO has to maintain a non-violent course if they wish to retain community support.

  • Anne

    This movement has become counter productive, Oakland does not need the destruction, if the point of the demonstration is to make people aware of the income disparity, this movement has failed. They need some leadership and focus, in my experience these protests are most often high jacked by people whose only interest is random destruction. I feel for  the police I think they are in a very difficult potion, they are paid to protect the citizens of Oakland and these traveling vandals pose a serious threat to the safety of Oakland citizens.. 

  • Jim Puskar

    I have supported the motives of the Occupy movement from its beginning, but the vandals and anarchists who have taken over the movement in Oakland have sullied the activity. We now need positive, constructive work from the folks who are demonstrating. We don’t want to see our city trashed by a bunch of anarchists.

  • John

    Why can’t the occupy people see this is hurting and not helping the 99-percent? Why chose Oakland to make a point against Wall Street? If this movement is against the 1-percent, they should target them in their protests.

    • UCDavis

      It’s only hurting if what’s being claimed about them is true.
      Eyewitnesses indicate it is not true, and that it continues to be the cops who are violent, and acting on behalf of the 1%.

  • ian from oakland

    Stop taking “expert” calls and comments from people who were not involved or able to observe the actual events on Saturday. Everything they say is hearsay and a total misrepresentation of what happened. This program is complicit in the idealogical warfare being waged against the movement by police, government, and corporate media.

  • Lisa

    I am an Oakland resident, raising a young daughter here. I at first agreed with the Occupy movement, but now I am so angry at Occupy Oakland.  I am convinced that the people who were causing the trouble are not from Oakland, or if they are, do not care about Oakland.  I especially found it sad and troubling that the Occupy representative/organizer on earlier this morning admited to not living in Oakland, and then accused our police of not living in Oakland. What does that have to do with anything.  This is not your playground to destroy, please stop behaving like criminals, resume peaceful protests, and go to San Francisco or Ross where the 1% really will be impacted. 

  • Hansonsteven

    I think the signal the City should give needs to be clear. Peaceful
    protest is OK, breaking the law is not OK! 
    Occupying private or public buildings is not OK!  Camping in City Parks not so designated for
    such purpose has never been OK!  I live
    in Oakland and resent the fact that Oakland has become the focus of this
    group.  How does a business operator in
    downtown supposed to survive if at any time a large group can endanger your right
    to peace and enjoyment as one tries to support these businesses?  How many of these protestors people vote?  Isn’t that the best way to excursive your
    freedom?  If you want to focus on this
    issue let’s focus on the “far right groups” such as the tea party movement, who
    would really like to disassemble government protections for the poor and disenfranchised!

     Sympathy for this
    Occupy group, if they continue their mindless tactics without a clear message,
    will certainly turn people from their cause right into the hands of the far

    • another Carl

      You said, “How many of these protestors people vote?  Isn’t that the best way to exercise your freedom? ”

      Lots of these protestors don’t vote, intentionally.  They see the failure of the whole system of voting and elections, which is too often hijacked by the 1%.  (For example, $$$ in politics; “Citizens United”.)  As for me, I vote, and I strongly encourage others to do so, but it’s hard to argue with folks who observe the dismal state of US political culture. 

    • Sigmarlin

      Vote for who? Which corporate lackey should I choose?  And on the city council level we have winners like De La Fuente who’s son is in jail for raping 5 women.  Good parenting, Mr. De La Fuente.

      • Bruce4

        People who say they won’t vote because the system is corrupt are really saying they won’t win in a fair election.  The Occupy people wanted to use the Oakland auditorium for a purpose that the elected representatives don’t support.  Breaking into the auditorium is an anti-democratic act, a kind of fascism.

  • Dgdlib

    The gentleman from the movement who spoke reflects a lack of understanding of non-violent protest which was reflected in Saturday’s action. The strength of non-violence in a just cause is that (a) it usually won’t trigger violent state response, and even if it does, (b) it will–through its moral high-ground, gain many more supporters. A misdirected group of mostly outsiders–rightfully angry at banks and perhaps the state legislature in Sacramento–creating havoc and expense in a very progressive city are unlikely to succeed in either reducing police violence or gaining local support to swell the movement.
    D. Gregg
    Downtown Oakland

  • carlboygenius / san francisco

    It is time to call in the church community. This two-party drama — a leaderless “Occupy” cell versus The Oakland Police — needs the infusion of a third character. We need whole church communities in the Bay Area to insert themselves into this discourse. The core cohesion of “Occupy” is social injustice. Responses to social injustice elicit the emotions of anger & rage in some people. Responding to rage filled mobs is part of police training. There is no balance in the escalating tensions of this equation: We need a third influence. We need the organized influence of church people.

    And I say this as an atheist. Mahatma Ghandi… Martin Luther King… Even Malcolm X… All of these people had a spiritual understanding of how to deal with human conflict, anger & rage. Oakland could use a dose of spiritual understanding.

    Carl Becker
    San Francisco

    • another Carl

      The churches are indeed trying to be this 3rd voice – I’m part of it.  Also, people like me are glad to hear from atheists like you!  To see this nationally, an example is (this includes Oakland)

  • Rene

    The biggest failure of OO is its inability to police itseld.  This just points to the clear lack of leadership from this movement. 

  • Madskykelley

    Occupy is a tactic in solidarity with the 99%. 
    i was an observer in the march saturday- i was walking my dog.  i watched the marchers in the kettle at 19th and telegraph and their breaking out.  i followed along, right in front of the encroaching police line.  i was pushed into the group by police, being grabbed and pushed through the KFC parking lot, through bushes.  the dog’s leash was wrapped around my legs, and when i turned to twist out of it, i was shoved in the ribs.  when we tried to duck out, we were told we were not allowed to get out. 

  • Steve Rhodes

    I was covering the protests on Saturday.

    The police admitted in a statement using tear gas (and my eyes are still irritated).

    They also used bean bag projectiles and white smoke canisters in front of the Oakland Museum (some of the photos I took in front of it wouldn’t look out of place in the exhibit on 1968 opening there at the end of March )

    Just because Mayor Quan heard dispersal orders doesn’t mean the people the police surrounded heard them (which is what is important – she wasn’t in danger of getting wrongfully arrested).

    I sometimes heard them, other times I couldn’t hear what was being said.  But at 19th and Telegraph, there was no way to disperse.  If people hadn’t torn down the fence, there may have been mass arrests there.

    There has been a lot of bad media coverage of what happened and that gets further distorted.

    There was no riot in the YMCA. It was not occupied and was never a target. 

    The only reason people went into the Y was because there was no way to disperse. If they had allowed people to leave, there would not have been hundreds of arrests (including of journalists – this not for the first time for the Oakland Police, but they did nothing to prevent it from happening again).

  • wizardofx

    The city’s first mistake was to allow the camping. This showed the protesters that downtown Oakland would be accommodating.  Now the city and docks have become playground for anarchists. These stupid, misguided people are ruining the movement by hurting the people they say they fight for.  You know what, please don’t fight for us, (the 99%) anymore.  You’ve cost us too much already.  Obama could use the support of the occupy movement to get re-elected, but not if @ssholes ruin the credibility of Occupy.

  • Dylan

    Together, we could have America talking about the health of our nation as synchronous with the health of our people.
    As a YMCA member and employee, I experience the Y as an active social justice organization that is working to impact the conversation over our nations health.  
    There could be a uniquely powerful merger of movements that could support both causes.  It is with renewed hope that I look upon Oakland today.  I watched live footage of the arrests and was taken back 10 years to the WTO protests in Seattle when I too marched for an end to the corporate global powers and their domination over world resources and nations.  It was an event that marked a turning point in the movement as the once fabled “hippy protests” now stood side by side with SEIU workers, United Farmworker Union, ACLU, and many more.  Because, not only had the WTO been oppressing and mongering native people in third-world nations for years, exploiting land and resources, but they had also managed to effect the world supply of food so much that the impact was harshly felt by farmer and worker unions nation wide in the pinch for profit and sustainable crops.          The day we took to the streets a pact had been built between the 50+ orgs attending and we walked with a shared sense of camaraderie and desire to affect change.  That morning, throughout Seattle, each group hosted a pep rally, with the small student council political activist group I represented meeting at a coffee shop and with the unions going so far as to rent out a stadium convention center downtown and hosting a huge media pep rally.  Soon after, we merged into the streets for our pre-mapped routes and had planned very even formations through out the city; some groups came from the north, south, east or west.  We planned to converge at the center and have a peaceful rally, but all hell broke loose.  By mid-day we were being stormed with tear gas, and it wasn’t just the young people, it was everyone.  They were sending tear gas down the streets of union works, mothers, and families.  Part of it was due to the fact that so many people turned up, and because so many thousands of people suddenly were pushing again the police barricades to the WTO convention center, the police ordered the crowd to disperse, but we had no where to go.  By mid-day I had abandoned my fight against the establishment and was down on my knees holding a bottle of water to a woman’s eyes that had been burned by the gas and as crying in pain.          When I look at footage from this weekend in Oakland this I what I see, I see a crowd of well meaning people from a well meaning political movement who got dispersed through the streets so much that they just ended up at the Y.  And I think too that maybe it was meant to be that a movement such as Occupy, who started out making a huge impact but slowly slipped, would whirlwind into and amazing place such as the Y, that they would find themselves at the doorstep of a pinnacle organization for building community.  Let’s join forces! It stands to say that the Y and Occupy have a desire to lead the way for social justice, and as such, Occupy could easily help lead the movement for the 2012 Oakland Running Festival.  Not only that, but we could join forces with: 1. Michelle Obama’s Move campaign to get America moving (!/home) 2. The American Heart Association’s Walking Paths ( 3. The Kaiser Permanente Every Body Walk ( “The campaign to get America Walking” Occupy, I urge you to consider a larger impact message and join forces with the Y and national campaigns to improve both the physical and political health of our nation.  Let’s unite for the larger cause.  United we stand, divided we fall.

  • WilliamH’Ford IV LLC

    I am really trying to figure out how it becomes acceptable for the Oakland Police to shoot tear gas, bean bag shotgun rounds, and other less than lethal rounds at families pushing strollers because, you think the movement has lost “focus”. At no point near the Kaiser building were protesters even close enough to throw anything at the police, and no one did. At 2pm OPD announced an unlawful assembly and told protesters “disperse or face potential physical injury” as smoke grenades were already in the air.

    Are we, as a society, really at the point that we will ignore on the ground video, and facts to seek out an erroneous city press release written well after the fact to justify police throwing flash bang grenades at peaceful protesters.  At the Kasier Memorial Park where OPD had us kettled at all four corners. They told us to disperse of face “possible physical injury” not arrest, and not given a way out, just be ready to get beat or shot. The OPD would repeat the dispersal order in sequence at each corner forcing protesters to move away from one police line to another. The police then started throwing, overhand, flash grenades at protesters who were hold picket signs. It is pretty hard to throw anything or provoke the police when you are holding a big cardboard sign.

    A timeline reminder folks, City Hall was entered after the OPD had already shot at Oakland residents since 2pm that day. Was it right to damage City Hall? Probably not, but the it needs to be clear that the OPD violence against protesters preceded the City Hall incident by more than 7 hours.

    I just want to know how folks can watch OPD shooting retreating protesters in the back in broad daylight and feel safe, or worse, some how vindicated.

  • Madskykelley

    occupiers want QUAN and the corrupt militarized police out…  ‘what harm could a few campers do?’ you ask?  we’ve changed discourse, we’ve created a dialogue around the gross and criminal economic inequality propogated by the richest in our country…  be against the occupy tactics, but please, for the sake of our future as a free nation, pay attention and speak out against the injustice of a militarized police force, allowed to exert their reign and criminal tactics against the people of oakland- long before the campers got here!!!

  • Bruce4

    I walked past the Occupy Oakland marchers at about 3:30 pm when they were standing outside the Oakland Municipal Auditorium. I saw one person throw a water bottle at the poice and heard some pretty nasty obscenities shouted at the police by a couple of nicely dressed women. I heard a policeman repeatedly announce, using a bullhorn, that the assembly was illegal and that people should leave. 
    As an Oakland resident, I wonder if the demonstrators are coming to Oakland from their suburban homes in a way similar to that in which rich people have always headed to the poor part of town to score their dope or their prostitutes. 

    • VJ

      I’m not sure why they declared the assembly illegal. If you completely remove the police from the picture, there would have been no violence whatsoever.

      And part of the duty of being an officer is to be able to handle obscenities and taunts without resorting to aggression. Obviously throwing water bottles is not right, but there is minimal damage compared to smoke grenades, tear gas, pepper spraying or rubber bullets. If I was there and did not do anything other than be there, and the police started firing all these objects at me, I take that as an attack, and therefore in self-defense I would fire live rounds back to incapacitate and/or eliminate said targets. The oakland PD should thank me for not being there otherwise there would be causualties on their side.

  • Jofog

    Sorry to see my tax dollars spent on repression, again, particularly the portion provided to NPR; Krasny, so quick to jump when the objectivity of the discussion is challenged but never challenge the people in power when they make false and misleading statements solely to propagandize, pathetic. We’ve heard all this “oh they’re violent and disruptive” “oh they’re a health and safety hazard” justification before; in Selma, in LA during the Watts riots, from the Chinese regarding Tiananmen Sq., in Tahrir Sq., its the justification for Assad, and now for Quan. Good company dearie. The Oakland Paramilitary Department, like others, provokes if they can and if they can’t they will completely make things up, why not there is no personal accountability, there is no law and order for those who are intended to dispense it, yet pervert it. They perceive things much as British colonial soldiers did; to them we are cattle and they are the dogs to keep us in line, its how they are hired a quality they look for. And all this talk of Gandhi, he never asked his people to be helpless.
    What did Gandhi really say of violence, “I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.
    But I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment. Forgiveness adorns a soldier…But abstinence is forgiveness only when there is the power to punish; it is meaningless when it pretends to proceed from a helpless creature….
    But I do not believe India to be helpless….I do not believe myself to be a helpless creature….Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.
    We do want to drive out the beast in the man, but we do not want on that account to emasculate him. And in the process of finding his own status, the beast in him is bound now and again to put up his ugly appearance.
    The world is not entirely governed by logic. Life itself involves some kind of violence and we have to choose the path of least violence.” Gandhi
    Krasny, when you had Quan on regarding the lay-offs why didn’t you as what about the demographics of the lay-off?

    • Doogie Smythe

      So, I take it you are in favor of violence as long as the ends justify the means — (nice job of misinterpreting Ghandi).

      People like this are the problem. They just dont realize how much damage they are actually doing to the Occupy Movement’s original objectives. (remember when income inequality and corporate cronyism was the problem – not the city government or police department of a working class city?)

      The costs of the Occupy movements actions are only exacerbating Oakland’s problems and budget crisis. Ironically, the more violent the protests become the more budget gets spent on the police!

      The Oakland PD may have over-reacted, but then again they were being baited and deliberately antagonized. The protesters on Saturday knew the police would react to violence.

      The minority of protesters who show disrespect for public property will only further alienate believers of non-violent and democratic change from the Occupy movement.

      • Jofog

        Did Quan give you a pat on the back for this? Too bad maybe next time.
        But to put you straight that’s not my interpretation that is a quote. That’s what these “” mean. You should try reading something other than what your sensitive mind can agree with. The point isn’t to support violence, Gandhi simply points out the obvious and that is; the point of non-violence is not just masochism, that the use of non-violence is an expression of power but only if it is a choice, only if you have that alternative and choose not to use it. Therefore you cannot simply revoke all possibility of violence, doing that removes the choice and then you aren’t being “non-violent” but just weak. The powerful will not suddenly see the light of your plight and comma cryin’ to your side, if they were inclined to do that the institution of Slavery would not continue to be a problem to this day, millions wouldn’t starve so that giant food conglomerates can maintain inflated stock values. The ideal is always non-violence in practice it is the path of least violence. If that injures your distorted perspective can’t help that.
        As far as the OPD, they were the ones bating, gonna teach a lesson, I’ll bet. It’s a practiced tactic used by paramilitaries, it was used here, it was used in LA, and it’s being used in Syria. A degree of immediate (though weak) plausibility that in the end turns out to be completely fabricated, that is history not opinion. OPD has long history of a distorted mission like arresting victims of car bombings instead of investigating and finding the real bombers and framing people and arresting on false charges. This seems to suit Ms. Quan just fine. Who are the greater criminals here? I think you’re blind or too comfortable. At least ’til they come for you. That’s somewhat how it goes isn’t it.
        I don’t support everything about Occupy and nothing I said suggests that violence should be the policy. My point is that every time people getting beaten raise a hand to protect themselves its “resisting arrest” or an “act of violence” and if it weren’t that it would be some other trumped-up charge, it’s the same thing I heard coming out of the Selma march and out of LA. Where are we now? Do you really have a historic perspective on the 60s or just predigested nostalgia? The idea that someone is tainting the message of Occupy by protecting their self from abuse is, to me, perverse. I don’t always support Occupy but to allow the victims to be vilified seems to miss any civil liberty message completely. There isn’t much coherent in the “message” of the occupy amoeba but certainly there is frustration with the vilification of the victim if nothing else.

  • Cynthia Morse

    Don Link’s off-hand remark about adrenalin is exactly what has put the City of Oakland into spending $3.2 m a year NOT complying with the NSA while city workers lose their jobs in budget shortfalls.  So he knows about police, and how they forget all their training and duty in stressful situations?  Unfortunately, he seems to be right.  Oakland police officers are overloaded with whatever causes a grown man to indiscriminately brutalize and violate the basic rights of the people they’ve sworn to serve.

  • Villageattab

    the confrontation in the Great City of Oakland was truly asymmetrical that is water bottles throwing from the protesters versus lacrymal bombs thrown by the police.  Violence is what the bankers and Wall Street have done to America and the World, not some broken windows.  Let us not miss the forest for the trees.

  • VJ

    The protesters need to arm themselves and start firing back at the police. Get automatic weapons and you will see how quickly the police will retreat into their holes. Just like the US government arms rebels of other countries whose governments are not US friendly, we the people have to arm ourselves against our own government. Only then will there be change. The police works for the people and should fear the people, not the other way around.

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