Yesterday, the Oakland Police deployed hundreds of officers in riot gear so as to prevent Occupy Oakland from putting a vacant building to better use. This is a building which has sat vacant for 6 years, and the city has no current plans for it. The Occupy Oakland GA passed a proposal calling for the space to be turned into a social center, convergence center and headquarters of the Occupy Oakland movement.
The police actions tonight cost the city of Oakland hundreds of thousands of dollars, and they repeatedly violated their own crowd control guidelines and protester’s civil rights.
With all the problems in our city, should preventing activists from putting a vacant building to better use be their highest priority? Was it worth the hundreds of thousands of dollars they spent?
The OPD is facing receivership based on actions by police in the past, and they have apparently learned nothing since October. On October 25, Occupiers rushed to the aid of Scott Olsen who was shot in the head by police, and the good Samaritans who rushed to his aid had a grenade thrown at them by police. At 3:30pm this afternoon, OO medics yet again ran to the aid of injured protesters lying on the ground. Other occupiers ran forward and used shields to protect the medic and injured man. The police then repeatedly fired less lethal rounds at these people trying to protect and help an injured man.
Around the same time, officers #419, #327, and others were swinging batons at protesters in a violation of OPD crowd control policy, which allows for pushing or jabbing with batons, but not the swinging of them.
In the evening, police illegally kettled and arrested hundreds of protesters. Police can give notices to disperse, if a group is engaged in illegal activity. However, if the group disperses and reassembles somewhere else, they are required to give another notice to disperse. Tonight, they kettled a march in progress, and arrested hundreds for refusing to disperse. Contrary to their own policy, the OPD gave no option of leaving or instruction on how to depart. These arrests are completely illegal, and this will probably result in another class action lawsuit against the OPD, who have already cost Oakland $58 million in lawsuits over the past 10 years.
OPD Crowd Control Policy: “If after a crowd disperses pursuant to a declaration of unlawful assembly and subsequently participants assemble at a different geographic location where the participants are engaged in non-violent and lawful First Amendment activity, such an assembly cannot be dispersed unless it has been determined that it is an unlawful assembly and the required official declaration has been adequately given.”
“The announcements shall also specify adequate egress or escape routes. Whenever possible, a minimum of two escape/egress routes shall be identified and announced.”
“When the only violation present is unlawful assembly, the crowd should be given an opportunity to disperse rather than face arrest.”
At least 4 journalists were arrested in this kettling. They include Susie Cagle, Kristen Hanes, Vivian Ho who were arrested and then released, and Gavin Aronsen who was taken to jail.
One woman was in terrible pain from the cuffs. Dozens of fellow arrestees shouted at the OPD to check her cuffs. But, contrary to their own policy, the OPD refused and simply threw her in a paddy wagon.
OPD Crowd Control Policy: “Officers should be cognizant that flex-cuffs may tighten when arrestees’ hands swell or move … When arrestees complain of pain from overly tight flex cuffs, members shall examine the cuffs to ensure proper fit”
Numerous protesters were injured: some shot with “less lethal” rounds, some affected by tear gas, and some beaten by police batons. There are no totals yet for the numbers of protesters injured. One 19 year old woman was taken to the hospital with internal bleeding after she was beaten by Officer #119.
Cathy Jones, an attorney with the NLG gave the following statement to Occupy Oakland’s media team: “Through everything that has happened since September, from Occupy to the acceleration of “Bills” — NDAA, SOPA, PIPA, ACTA — never have I felt so helpless and enraged as I do tonight. These kids are heroes, and the rest of the country needs to open its collective eyes and grab what remains of its civil rights, because they are evaporating, quickly. Do you want to know what a police state looks like? Well, you sure as hell still do not know unless you were watching our citizen journalists.”
Today, Occupy Oakland events continue all day with a festival in Oscar Grant (Frank Ogawa) Plaza:
Occupy Oakland is an emerging social movement without leaders or spokespersons. It is in solidarity with occupations currently occurring around the world in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Occupy Oakland Media is a committee of Occupy Oakland, established by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly.
Occupy Oakland Media Committee
10:33 AM PT: Status of arrested Kossack allie123 (Alyssa). Still not in online search system. No one in front of Oakland jail had seen her. Likely they are still, slowly, processing all those arrested last night.
10:44 AM PT: Man slugged by policeman (go to 13:10 or so and play from there)
10:57 AM PT: Detailed account by eye-witness reporter of what happened yesterday.
11:05 AM PT: If you only remember one detail be it this: Tonight's mass arrest occurred without a dispersal order. No law was broken. The only order given was: "You are under arrest. Submit to your arrest." 300 peaceful protesters walking down a street were trapped and arrested unlawfully. http://nameigoob.blogspot.com/...
11:24 AM PT:
OccupyOakland Occupy Oakland
Correction: Potentially up to 400 or 500 ppl arrested yesterday, will post clarification on # when we know:
12:29 PM PT: allie123 at Santa Rita
Just spoke with her (collect call). She's supposed to be released by midnight. A lot of arrested people are there. I'll post at the end of the diary as well. Thanks everyone who's commented and been in touch.
-- Comment by Allie123's mother, "no way lack of brain"
12:30 PM PT: Numerous journalists were arrested last night.
“XI. Public Information and the Media
A. The media have a right to cover demonstrations, including the right to record the event on video, film, or in photographs.
B. OPD members shall accommodate the media in accordance with Department policy.
C. The media shall be permitted to observe and shall be permitted close enough access to the arrestees to record their names. Even after a dispersal order has been given, clearly identified media shall be permitted to carry out their professional duties in any area where arrests are being made unless their presence would unduly interfere with the enforcement action.
D. Self-identified legal observers and crowd monitors do not have the same legal status as the professional media and are, therefore, subject to all laws and orders similar to any other person or citizen. Said personnel must comply with all dispersal orders similar to any other person or citizen. A supervisor or commander may allow a person who self-identifies as a legal observer or crowd monitor to remain in an area after a dispersal order if circumstances permit and if the person’s presence would not unduly interfere with the enforcement action.
E. On request, the Incident Commander or a supervisor may inform the media, legal observers, crowd monitors, police liaison, and/or organizers about the nature of any criminal charges to be filed against arrestees, the location where arrestees are being taken, and the Department’s intent for arrestees to be cited out or booked at a custodial facility.
F. The media, legal observers, crowd monitors, police liaison, and/or organizers shall never be targeted for dispersal or enforcement action because of their status.”
— OPD Crowd Control standards section on media.
5:00 PM PT:
"Rise up, shut it down, Oakland is the people's town." New chants! And we're off! #ows #j29
What's interesting about this? It's being chanted in NYC.
5:11 PM PT: Ding!
OccupiedOakTrib Scott Johnson
I think #OO might need a solidarity march in support of all these awesome #SolidaritySunday marches around the country.
5:15 PM PT: Violent Occupy Oaklanders attack police on march!!!! (you're not buying that, are you?)
7:18 PM PT: Allie123 is out of jail.
#OccupyOakland #OO looks like a party at OGP. But going home need meds and sleep
8:44 PM PT: Occupy Rochester?
@OccupyOakland, Occupy Rochester marched in solidarity with you tonight it was awesome!