The world is an crazy place.
Who would have predicted a little more than a year ago Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Libya and now Syria? Or a bunch of tents on a tiny plot of land in New York City sparking a worldwide movement? Who would have predicted that last night Rick Santorum, he of "man on dog" fame, would win a trifecta against Mitt Romney, he of "dog on roof" infamy, throwing the Republican nomination process once again into chaos. And so it went at the Oakland City Council Meeting last night.
Council members Nadel (no), Brunner (yea) and Fuente (yea)
I was beyond certain that the Oakland City Council would vote in favor of a resolution that directed the Mayor and the City Administrator to use
whatever lawful tools we have... to prevent future shutdown or disruptions of port operationsand, additionally
enforce all local municipal code regulations and requirementsincluding one that
requires a special-event permit for gatherings of 50 or more people. The permits cost between $35 and $300 and must be obtained at least 30 days in advance.A similar measure had been brought before the Council in December after Occupy Oakland shut down the Port of Oakland on December 12th. It was brought as an emergency proposal, and because of that it needed six of eight votes to pass. It never made it to a vote then, but Council member Ignatio De La Fuente (he who marched in a rally back in the day in support of those arrested for -- get this -- shutting down the Port), vowed to bring the resolution back.
It seemed certain to pass, what with events of the recent past in which Occupy Oakland had been implicated in more violence by the City Administration and the main stream media. Perhaps only 5-3, now that it was regular, non-emergency, measure, but I could not see it failing.
This time though it was presented with the additional clause noted above about enforcement, obviously designed to crack down even harder on Occupy Oakland, which refuses to get permits except for a much-ignored document called the First Amendment to the Constitution. That may have been the resolution's undoing. It's complete speculation on my part, but that might have done it.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the measure failed with only three affirmative votes. According to the Contra Costa Times, it failed with four yes, two no, and two abstentions. Councilors Nancy Nadel (above) and Rebecca Kaplan (right) were the two nays. (The Mayor, Jean Quan, she of the "send in the thugs with tear gas and batons against campers" mentality, only gets to cast a tie-breaking vote in case of a 4-4 tie). In any case it failed.
What happens next? Only the craziest of the crazy would even venture a guess. As for me, I'll be betting on a Sarah Palin / Jean Quan ticket at the Republican convention in August.
Chief Howard Jordan says 20 shootings in the past week occurred while Police Department resources were stretched thin and his officers dealt with Occupy Oakland rallies.http://www.mercurynews.com/...
Jordan says he would like those officers patrolling other parts of the city.
You know, there's an easy way to do that. Send them out to patrol other parts of the city instead of harassing OO, and OO won't give you any trouble. But what do I know? I'm not a law enforcement specialist with years of training and a $200,000+ salary.
9:58 AM PT: Make sure you listen to Elaine Brown (former President of the Black Panthers) dress down the City Council last night.10:39 AM PT:
Join us on Valentine’s Day to express our love for each other, and our beautiful city, on a march through the downtown Oakland area. Participants should wear red and/or pink in celebration of Valentine’s Day, and are encouraged to bring flowers, bubbles, Valentine’s candy to share, glitter, confetti, and flower petals.http://occupyoakland.org/...
We will hold a 6:00 PM rally at Oscar Grant Plaza (14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland), followed by a march starting at 7:00 PM. We will march through the downtown area, offering flowers and candy to bystanders, and inviting them to join us. In the event of a potentially oppressive police presence, participants are encouraged to offer police officers flowers and candy, and couples will be encouraged to stop marching and kiss in the streets in front of the police line.
This is to be a completely nonviolent, family-friendly action, and will be open to all who are interested in joining us in an expression of love for our community and each other.
11:02 AM PT: Background: