Pat Kernighan, the Oakland District Two Councilmember who has, in this blogger’s view, ably served the people of her area for three terms. However, and even with that, Councilmember Kernighan is the target of Occupy Oakland, and in a way that seems to threaten her physically, as you can tell by the poster here announcing a rally to be held Tuesday, June 11th at 6 PM, starting at the Columns At Lake Merritt.
What started this is Councilmember Kernighan’s presentation of an ordinance (which you can read here) that, if passed, would specifically prohibit the possession of “impact-resistant shields, aerosol spray cans, pressurized paint sprayers, sling shots, hammers, large wrenches for opening fire hydrants, fireworks, , paint projectiles, and fire accelerants.” The ordinance passed, with all Oakland Councilmembers on the City Council’s Public Safety Committee voting for it.
Frankly, I see nothing wrong with such a law, as it in a way asks why anyone would bring such devices to a protest anyway, but guess what? Some people who claim to be with whatever Occupy Oakland has evolved into are pissed off that this law’s in place.
Now some will bring up the Oakland Police murder of Alan Buford, but two wrong’s don’t make a right. That said, you must see Davey D’s video of the Oakland Police Hearing on Alan Buford that went off the rails:
An Aside On The Failure Of The Occupy Movement
The Occupy Movement is a failure. While Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker beat back a challenge by Tom Barrett to his rein, if you will, the Occupy Movement as a whole was no where to be seen. If you look at the main website for the movement, Occupy Wall Street, the Wisconsin issue is not mentioned at all. The Occupy Movement left Occupy Wisconsin, as small as it is, to fight for itself, while the National Tea Party put all of its focus on Wisconsin. The Occupy Movement left organized labor out by itself, and in total has attacked every Democratic elected official in some way, while leaving Republicans literally untouched. The Occupy Movement must be considered a tool of the Republican Party.
An Ugly Oakland City Council Hearing
The Occupy Oakland targeting of Councilmember Kernighan was an outgrowth not just of the ordinance itself, but of an ugly Oakland City Council Public Safety Committee Hearing held May 22nd, and where Occupy Oakland members became unruly. Here’s a video from that meeting below; at about the eight minute mark, a man named Vincent Sauve says the actions of the so-called Occupy Oakland members “boarders on terrorism” – a stupid choice of words to use in an already charged up environment. Then the meeting adjourns with people shouting at each other.
Divide And Lose
The Occupy Oakland And Occupy Movement must change its focus. It’s causing the same divide and conquer dynamic that left Scott Walker in a position to damage organized labor. Right now, the Occupy Movement has chased away its core, real, well-moneyed supporters, and by picking Democratic elected officials to threaten, has guaranteed the involvement of legal and law enforcement officials.
The Occupy Movement can stop this, and leave Pat alone. I wish it would. But also the City Of Oakland can, and must, repair the Oakland Police Department, and economic development in the areas where crime hot spots are hottest.