People claiming to represent Occupy Oakland are back in trouble against today, and that’s no April Fool’s joke. According to the Oakland Tribune and ABC, on Saturday night damage was done to Starbucks, Patelco Credit Union, and Quiznos, and “paint vandalism” was done to Clorox and Wells Fargo buildings. And that was after this impromptu party held in the streets at 19th and Broadway, and said to be what it was: peaceful:
But I wonder if the people involved in Saturday night’s violence are really part of the Occupy Oakland movement, or just saying they are to disrupt it, because they prefer to simply, as they might put it “fuck shit up.”
Here’s evidence of what I mean: a blog post written on March 29th and called “How disorganization is damaging Occupy” and written by ” danps” Some excerpts:
A few weeks ago Occupy Oakland (OO) began to emphasize secrecy (or security culture) over transparency, which resulted in livestreamers being attacked as snitches or quasi-authorities. In addition, large group of transparency advocates have been ostracized as racists with little or no due process…
The attacks on transparency have become an ongoing effort; last week Kate Conger Tweeted her experience in running afoul of the secrecy police at OO. Interestingly, she is a freelancer who was more interested in the decision making process than whatever nefarious purpose the more conspiracy-minded saw in the shadows. And she also asked: “Explain to me why a movement founded on free speech principles doesn’t support freedom of press?” Which as far as I know has not been answered yet.
This week it has gone even further, led by the explosive charge that police used livestreaming video in the arrest of activists Nneka, Cincinnati and Teardrop – aka the Ice Cream Three.1 There has been a great deal of comment on the piece; the key excerpt:
Ever known of the idea that “you should be careful who you choose as your enemy for you may become like them?” It reads as if there are elements within Occupy Oakland who practice some of the same approaches they accuse the Oakland Police of doing, particularly attacking the press or anyone else that has a camcorder who’s not them, though that has not happened to me as of this writing.
But that also explains why there’s no video of Saturday night’s activities, at least not uploaded where it can be easily found under the right keywords. It also points to a more unfortunate set of developments and that’s the resurgence of crime at a point of reduced Oakland police resources and lack of private security.
Honestly, the people doing to violence are lucky there’s not – yet – a private military ready to shoot to kill them if property is messed with. But if they keep up what they’re doing, they will create the need for an equal and opposite reaction of some kind. That’s a simple fact of nature.
I’d hate to see that happen, but the people who claim to represent Occupy Oakland and doing violence and damage in its name are creating the climate for that to occur.
On Facebook, Occupy Oakland Observer Max Allstadt offered this account of what happened:
A peaceful by stupid (as usual) march went awry at 11th and broadway when one or two jackasses tossed a barricade into the street and then broke something, prompting the cops to chase them and everybody else to scatter.
Apparently somebody who was supposed to be protesting the 1% ran into City Center, ran past two megabanks and a jewelry store, but then decided to smash the windows of a credit union and Quiznos, and spray an anarchy sign on Starbucks.
They couldn’t even get their act together well enough to pointlessly break things that were actual symbols of what their protesting.
Worth noting: after over 10 “F the police marches” this is the first time any serious vandalism has happened. There were small fires in the street at the first march, and at another, some jackass from Freemont who had been arrested at an Oscar Grant march got the brilliant idea to kick Sgt. Holmgren in the leg.
Meanwhile, a lot of occupiers on twitter are saying they’re pissed about this, but they are also saying the people who did it weren’t “one of us”, and they’re not condemning the act. No discipline, no accountability, no self-policing allowed.
Worse, the seemingly peaceful clique that is organizing for May 1st, who actually got a permit to march, will now face a more watchful police presence.