Occupy Oakland has revealed one thing: just how basically ignorant so many people can be at once. There are many examples here, but the latest one is the shooting and death of a person at 14th and Broadway, and all over a “bag of weed.”
That’s Oakland for ya.
There’s way too much media around Occupy Oakland, which is a good thing because offers just enough information to be able to make a sound determination of what actually was going on out there. First, because the shooting happened at 14th and Broadway, which is next to the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza, conservative blogs like Big Government by Andrew Brietbart and also HotAir, have jumped all over the incident as evidence that the occupation needs to end. That’s even though many say it had nothing to do with the movement at all. See this AP Video:
Second, the sad fact is that 14th and Broadway has long been a place where you could run into drug dealers and vagrants, and possibly be robbed by them. Occupy Oakland, sadly, doesn’t change that fact too much, even though it does provide a ready set of people who act as a deterrent to such crimes. Still, even with that, there was this shooting at the BART station entrance.
That place might be next to Occupy Oakland, but the fact is it’s an easement that the public uses to get to and from 14th Street BART. Thus, anyone could be doing anything in front of that place, endangering those staying at the Occupy Oakland home.
Still, that’s all Oakland Mayor Jean Quan needs to fire up what will be the latest action that will get her recalled – an announcement that the encampment should be moved. It will get Mayor Quan recalled because that’s not going to happen without more violence.
I understand the Oakland City Council’s upset that some alleged Occupy Oakland protestors showed up to a community gathering and as the City Of Oakland’s press release said…
This afternoon, dozens of community leaders, faith-based leaders, business leaders, non-profit leaders and representatives of a broad array of Oakland-based organizations joined City Council President Larry Reid, Vice Mayor Desley Brooks, and Councilmembers Ignacio De La Fuente, Pat Kernighan and Libby Schaaf in a news conference in Lakeside Park to express their frustration regarding the significant, negative impact of the Occupy Oakland encampments in Frank Ogawa Plaza. Their purpose was to express a first-hand account of how the ongoing public health and safety issues associated with the encampment are affecting surrounding businesses and Oakland’s neighborhoods, draining scarce resources from other much-needed City services.
Instead, about two dozen individuals representing Occupy Oakland shouted down the speakers, drowning out their voices with shrill chants and loud shouting.
These community leaders who have been directly affected by the impacts of the protests wanted to share their perspectives and practice their free speech rights. Protecting the freedom of speech is one of Oakland’s core values, and facilitating free expression has been one of the City’s central objectives throughout the course of the Occupy Oakland demonstrations. Yet these protesters denied the community leaders the same rights which have been extended to them on so many occasions.
The level of hostility of the disruptive crowd and the complete disregard for the community leaders who had gathered in good faith to improve conditions for the city as a whole further impedes the productive dialogue that the City has been seeking to constructively address the untenable conditions in Frank Ogawa Plaza.
So the City Council’s already upset with OO, and held a closed-session meeting on Monday to talk about Occupy Oakland and “pending litigation.” But not all of the Council wants the encampment moved, even with the all the bitching about being interrupted.
Still, the media (and today that includes a lot of other people) are almost neurotically on the lookout for some kind of movement by the Mayor and Oakland Police. So much so that, last night, an email went out saying that Quan was going to have the encampment closed by 2 AM. It was a false report, but indicative of the kind of crisis of facts that has come to define the Occupy Oakland story.