An Iraq War Veteran is in Critical Condition After Occupy Oakland Scuffles, Police Won't Confirm What Weapons They Used

According to Oakland, California's official press release/FAQ on the recent difficulties (video) of removing Occupy Oakland protesters from their encampment, the local Police Department didn't do a lot of things:

Q. Did the Police deploy rubber bullets, flash-bag grenades?

A. No, the loud noises that were heard originated from M-80 explosives thrown at Police by protesters. In addition, Police fired approximately four bean bag rounds at protesters to stop them from throwing dangerous objects at the officers.

Q. Where there any injures?

A. At this time, there are no reported injuries.

Nobody is suggesting protesters -- especially any of the 100-plus who were arrested in the Oakland confrontations -- don't have a logical interest in being portrayed as victims of police brutality, or that some of them aren't fully capable of playing politics on these matters (though how much highly-publicized incidents like this help protesters' causes is debatable).

Still there's plenty of folks who doubt the official police story of what happened between them and the several hundred protesters. (Fullest of disclosures: I have a friend who was at Occupy Oakland, but I don't yet know what happened to him, if anything.) 

First of all, according to mercurynews.com, the Oakland PD say they didn't use non-lethal weapons beyond tear gas, but somebody might have:

"We had to deploy gas to stop people from throwing rocks and bottles at police,"said Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan, adding that he was unsure about what other crowd control methods were used by outside police agencies. There were unconfirmed reports that flash-bang grenades and wood dowels were launched at protesters.

Mother Jones just got down to it with the headline "Oakland Police Turn on #OWS With Tear Gas, Flash-Bang Grenades," writing:

Police officers cracked down with rubber bullets (which the Oakland Police Department denies, but it says it cannot speak for 15 other law enforcement agencies on scene), tear gas, and flash-bang grenades on protesters marching through downtown Oakland. 

Now The Guardian is reporting that an Iraq War veteran is in critical condition after he suffered a skull fracture from either a tear gas canister or a flash-bang grenade.

In this video you can also see an officer launch an object (The Guardian suggests it's a flash-bang grenade) in the direction of the veteran who is already on the ground, causing protesters who had come to assist him to scatter. Here is another angle:

The paper also has an excellent round-up of Occupy Oakland's tweets and photographs of the melee, including one that purports to be of a rubber bullet and another of a nasty welt from a "rubber bullet or beanbag round." 

A tweet from Mother Jones notes that there was indeed some aggressive response from the crowd:

For context, one of our reporters saw line of cops covered with paint and eggs and looking exhausted.#occupyoakland #ows

But OaklandNorth.net tweeted: "Another bottle thrown, the crowd as a whole begins chanting, "Don't throw shit!" #occupyoakland." The bottle throwing is also confirmed by the Mother Jones reporter.

Regardless of the ideal solution to the problem of hundreds of people sitting in a park, some of whom are disobeying police orders, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's official statement of thanks to all cops who helped "peacefully close the encampment" is clearly complete nonsense.

Reason on militarization of police, protests, and Occupy Wall Street. Also Radley Balko on the dangers of flash-bang grenades.

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  • ||

    Unless the protesters were violent and had weapons of their own, how does anyone end up in critical condition? Unless you can show me where they were, the cops are wrong here, period.

  • ||

    when protesters throw rocks and bottles, does that qualify as violent? When they start bringing tents, believing that freedom of assembly means freedom of assembly for as along as you like, is violence hard to anticipate?

    I don't like someone being hurt, though pointing out that it a was a vet - someone the left usually despises - is done more to elicit sympathy from the non-left than any other reason. I'm surprised it has not happened in NY yet, either from cops or from someone who lives there and has had enough.

  • -||

    When in doubt, blame the cops.

  • Zeb||

    Blame everybody. The cops certainly deserve some of it. Even if this was inevitable, we should still expect or demand better from the cops.

  • Zeb||

    In New York, they're probably counting on the weather to clear things out for them before too long.

  • GILMORE||

    Zeb|10.26.11 @ 5:05PM|#
    In New York, they're probably counting on the weather to clear things out for them before too long.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/45046712

    This flock of geese is looking to stay the winter

    i think when confined with each other, the drama will get even more silly.

  • mr simple||

    Right, I guess I missed the time limits on freedoms listed in the Constitution. They must have been listed in the appendix.

    either from cops or from someone who lives there and has had enough.
    Well, if they've had enough, or even up to here, then they are allowed to take the law into their own hands and do whatever they want.

    Yes, anyone who threw bottles and rocks at cops unprovoked should be arrested, just as they should be when they throw things at non-cops. But free people have a right to defend themselves from aggression, whether or not the attacker wears a uniform. I don't agree with any of the solutions these protesters endorse, but that doesn't mean they lose their rights and can be attacked indiscriminately. Just because one person throws a bottle it doesn't give the cops the right to attack the crowd.

    In the words of Miyagi:
    Never put passion before principle. Even if win, you lose.

  • ||

    I didn't realize the Constitution had take the Bill of Rights and break it into gnat's ass detail so you might get it. The right to peaceful assembly generally does not involve takeovers of other people's property for days at a time.

    The right to self-defense works both ways; I could be wrong, but tossing rocks or bottles at an armed guy hoping he'll be too worried about cell phone cameras to do anything is not too sharp.

    Rights come with responsibilities. You want to assemble and speak? Have at it, but clean up and go home when you're done. Repeat as necessary. I'll say again - you did not see stories about conflict between cops and tea partiers, did you?

  • ||

    It's stunning the squirming and equivocating that authoritarian shits like you will contort through in order to excuse police beatdowns on the people you hate. You're like a greased pig, which is apt because that's whose ass you love to kiss.

  • ||

    let's return to the 60's...a pig reference. Are you just terminally stupid or inclined to believe that anyone can do anything anywhere for as long as he/she likes without regard to the rights of others. Rhetorical question, obviously. You are terminally stupid.

  • ||

    let's return to the 60's...a pig reference. Are you just terminally stupid or inclined to believe that anyone can do anything anywhere for as long as he/she likes without regard to the rights of others. Rhetorical question, obviously. You are terminally stupid.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    That was fun, but I tire of authoritarian dipshits quickly.

  • Bashar al-Assad||

    I'm with wareagle, opposition must be crushed.

  • wareagle||

    so dictator does not require reading comprehension skills.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So if I don't like a group of people taking over a park indefinitely, I'm an authoritarian dipshit? Stay relevant guys, stay relevant.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So if I don't like a group of people taking over a park indefinitely, I'm an authoritarian dipshit?

    No, but if you're ok with the police storming in said park and cracking skulls indiscriminately because you don't like said group, then you are an authoritarian dipshit.

  • mr simple||

    I didn't realize the Constitution had take the Bill of Rights and break it into gnat's ass detail so you might get it.

    Is this sentence supposed to make sense?

    Nowhere in my post did I say anything about excusing those who threw bottles at the police; in fact I said the opposite. That doesn't give police the right or authority to throw flash grenades into the crowd. And yes, if they were on private property owned by someone who doesn't want them there then they can and should be forcibly removed. That also doesn't require flash grenades or random brutality against those not fighting back. Public property is a different matter.

    I generally find protesting to be stupid, especially of the socialist variety. Just because I disagree with someone doesn't mean they should be beaten or lose their rights.

    I'll say again - you did not see stories about conflict between cops and tea partiers, did you?

    This is a false equivalence, not a logical argument.

  • sevo||

    "Rights come with responsibilities."
    Nope.
    "Unalienable"; not subject to negotiation, nor to payment in kind.

  • ||

    "Inalienable" means the government can't take those rights away.

    That's why we have juries--because juries aren't the government.

    If you commit a crime, which mean taking a liberty without accepting the responsibility--a jury of your peers can deprive you of your liberty and/or property rights.

    Liberty without responsibility = crime.

    Holding people responsible without them having liberty = injustice.

    There is no freedom without responsibility. You're free to drive down the street because you're responsible for the damage you may cause with your car. Just because you're free to own a gun, doesn't mean you can't be held responsible for how you use it. Because you can be held responsible for violating other people's rights with your speech (be it through perjury or fraud, for instance), you have freedom of speech.

    Libertopia happens when everyone embraces their own responsibilities, and no one can use the government to hide from their responsibilities anymore.

  • ||

    you are clearly psychotic

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Wow, I gotta applaud Ken there. That was pretty eloquent.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Well said Ken.

  • nebby||

    Who threw rocks? The injured vet? A tent leads to violence, really? remind me not to go camping with you.

  • ||

    Go watch the videos fuckhead. Go live your establishment, love affair with cops at Heritage Foundation.

  • ||

    the cops are wrong here, period.

    So you have a line of about a dozen cops standing around all presumably trained in first responder medical care while there is a civilian injured laying on the the street in an American city....

    And not one of the mother fuckers went to help.

    "wrong" is an understatement.

  • rts||

    15 other law enforcement agencies on scene

    *boggle*

  • *||

    Much better video showing the flashbang thrown directly into the people attempting to help him:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QEc3P1l7WZE

    The original, without commentary is out there somewheres too.

  • ||

    A flashbang is an explosive device. It is utterly unacceptable and unconscionable for them to have thrown one into a crowd.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Yeah, that's pretty fucked up.

    And, if you're going to throw one into a crowd, you better take out the dude videoing you doing it, as well.

  • ||

    A flashbang is an explosive device. It is utterly unacceptable and unconscionable for them to have thrown one into a crowd.

    I agree, and any cop that employs them deserves a napalm enema. We could ask an innocent little girl about how swell, safe and professional "flashbang" grenades are, but she's currently and permanently on hiatus, unlike the pig who tossed the grenade.

    I was going to mention "My nuts hurt worse when Balko was here," but The Most Excellent and Supremely Awesome Lucy is quickly filling that void.

    Why do you hate our nuts, Lucy?

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Give me a few years. My goal is to make you wish you didn't have nuts at all, so often will I punch them.

  • waffles||

    That's pessimistic. There should be some good news around somewhere to recover from the repeated nutpunches.

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    I am sure there will be! But all of the horrible shit that will still probably happen, I am going to try to tell you guys about that.

  • ||

    I, for one, look forward to moar thought provoking, Super Terrific Lucy articles. At least you'll make the pain somewhat bearable when the subject of your article is gonadocidal.

    To paraphrase Hugh Akston, "Quite the shining addition, Lucy is."

    That is all.

  • Apatheist||

    Boooooooooooo.

    Down with the matriarchy!

  • Lucy Steigerwald||

    Yeah, I see, I see. Radley gets to nut punch, I am going to get Jezebel jokes.

    Bring em on, son.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Better than lame I Love Lucy jokes.

  • ||

    I am going to get Jezebel jokes.

    Nope, you've inherited the nut punch scepter and brass knuckles of Balko.

    You'll get testicular elephantiasis and torsion jokes from me.

    Most importantly, Lucy: What is the Riddle of Steel?

  • ||

    this was as predictable as the sun rising in the east, and it is beyond fair to take a hard look at OWS. What did these folks think would happen when protesters became squatters? These folks are barely removed from the usual rabble one finds at G-8 summits. That a cop may have over-reacted is entirely possible, but this much is indisputable: you never read stories like this about tea party events. Why is that?

  • ||

    And here comes the expected TEAM RED cop apology because the cops were beating up someone you don't like. Take your TEAM shit and cram it wherever your species traditionally crams things, asshole.

  • ||

    So predictable. Expected, even.

  • ||

    As predictable as you, rectal. How's the depression? Feeling shitty? How droll.

  • ||

    fuck you. I'm not apologizing for any team. Even someone as eloquent as you should be smart enough to realize that the people participating in these rallies and the cops are NOT a good mix, that trouble was a matter of when, not if.

    OWS thinks itself entitled to taking over areas, crapping on the rights of others, tossing rocks and bottles, and counting on the likes of you to either ignore that or excuse it. The "cop apology" is in your head, which seems a crowded place.

  • ||

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    If this had been done to a Tea Party rally, with people throwing a bottle, you'd be screaming bloody murder about the cops.

    But you're not now, because your KULTURE WAR TEAM shit says that it's OK to have the cops beat down people on the other TEAM or that you don't like.

    Take your intellectual dishonesty somewhere else, asshole.

  • ||

    but the fact remains, it did not happen at tea party rally and there was no shortage of such events. Epic fail on your part in addressing that.

    While you twist yourself into rhetorical knots taking the oh-so-predictable stance of blaming law enforcement and being more than a bit intellectually disingenuous wiht nonsense about culture wars or my team, you conveniently excuse bad behavior. Perhaps OWS can camp out on your stoop for a while, since it's just frustrated kids.

    Otherwise, you really are as big a moron as others on here claim you to be.

  • ||

    I have not excused any bad behavior by the OWS people, dipshit. Learn to read. I am calling you out, Einstein, for excusing bad behavior from the cops that should never be acceptable, even if in response to bad behavior.

    Did I say it slow enough for you to get it this time? Do you need me to draw you a picture, big guy?

  • ||

    of course, you have excused it if only by inference. Your knee-jerk response was to brand me a team red baddie defending Officer Snarly. Condescension does not make you sound more intelligence, by the way, but I guess it makes up for your reading deficiency. Evidently, you were in the same classes as the OWS folks.

    Try reading the original post again - it says an incident like this was wholly predictable. People choke down a city for days - a very blue city in an extremely blue state - and you think that's okay. I doubt the folks who live and work in that area agree with you, but what do they know.

  • ||

    Keep squirming, you disingenuous piece of garbage.

    "People choke down a city for days - a very blue city in an extremely blue state - and you think that's okay"

    Point to where I said that, fucker. Right now. Oh wait; you can't?

    You're either a liar or a fucking complete idiot. Which one is it, tuff gai?

  • ||

    point to where I supported the cops, you dumbass. You can't. Because I didn't. This started with the observation that violence was pretty likely at some point. Even a moron like you should be able to grasp that.

    I even said cops may have over-reacted; it's right there in the post you did not bother to read. You want to throw in with OWS, go ahead. Not everyone finds them as amusing as you do.

  • ||

    So you're a liar. Glad you cleared that up.

  • ||

    Episiarch. +100

    Excusing cop brutality is the last refuge of statist scoundrels.

    "But they were *squatting*! on city property no less!"

    Whatever.

  • Another Phil||

    Condescension does not make you sound more intelligence, by the way...

    Sorry, but I love joe'z law.

  • Federal Dog||

    "If this had been done to a Tea Party rally, with people throwing a bottle, you'd be screaming bloody murder about the cops."

    The allegation is that protesters launched M-80 explosives at police -- not bottles.

  • ||

    epi doesn't want to hear that. It kills his "anyone not throwing in with OWS is a Team Red toadie" meme.

  • Realist||

    The problem, you fucking moron, is that it doesn't change a fucking thing if they were.

    How fucking stupid are you?

  • Federal Dog||

    If you are addressing me, control yourself.

    M-80s are deadly weapons. If the allegation is true, these people are not peaceful at all. On the contrary: They are expressly trying gravely injure -- or, possibly, kill.

    Everyone -- including cops -- has a right to self-defense against deadly force.

    You too, right?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Cops are never a good mix in any group. All mob actions against police, are a result of the presence of the police.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Oh sure, blame the victim.

  • ||

    Isn't this violence entirely Blue-on-Blue? Oakland has a Dem mayor, all the City Council members are Democrats as far as I can tell, and it is represented in the CA Assembly, Senate, and US House entirely by Dems.

    If he criticized the cops and the government of Oakland, would that also be a sign of TEAM shit, because they're TEAM BLUE?

    Perhaps he's just a member of TEAM COP, which has fans in both parties, RED and BLUE?

  • ||

    or perhaps, he's saying that violence involving OWS was as predictable as the sunrise. Doesn't have to do with either team, just with grasping reality. NY tried the peaceful approach which was a no-go. Oakland tried it, too, but is apparently less patient.

  • Ted S.||

  • Spoonman.||

    Dude, wareagle has made posts about how it's "typical of people of color" when black neighborhoods are shitholes. Don't bother with him.

  • ||

    you are a liar on multiple counts, beginning with the use of a pussy phrase like "people of color". I would never say that. And, haven't said anything like the generalization you claim, either. Some doesn't say OWS spins the earth and the nutjobs come out of the woodwork making up shit.

  • ||

    Jean Quan (Chinese: 關麗珍; pinyin: Guān Lìzhēn) is an American politician and a member of the Democratic Party. She is the mayor of Oakland, California, where she previously served as City Council member for Oakland's 4th District.

  • ||

    this was as predictable as the sun rising in the east

    Not really.

    There are ways to get people off the streets without fracturing skulls.

    Also there are ways to simply let the idiots stay and wait until they get so cold they leave on their own.

    Anyway the story is that the lying government first did crack skulls then it lied about cracking skulls.

    I guess you can say that it is predictable that the government is irresponsible, dangerous and lying to the public....predictable and also entirely unacceptable.

  • Not an Economist||

    Actually, the police cleared the OWS people from the park. At least some of the OWS people tweeted and texted for reinforcements and then tried to take the park back.

  • ||

    What did you think would happen if you made up facts at this site?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan, adding that he was unsure about what other crowd control methods were used by outside police agencies. There were unconfirmed reports that flash-bang grenades and wood dowels were launched at protesters.

    So extra-jurisdictional cops just ride in, fuck up the citizens of Oakland, and the Police Chief has damn little knowledge or interest in knowing who did what to who?

    Officer Friendly, he ain't.

  • ||

    yes, indeed. Sounds like typical police bullshit. "It wasn't THIS department, so I clearly take no responsibility whatsoever." Ya, it must have been someone else.

  • Invisible Finger||

    That's pretty much WHY there 15 law enforcement agencies around. They get to be an unaccountable mob that way.

    At this point, I would place the odds at 50/50 that one agency set off the M-80.

    And it's really stupid to have THAT many agencies involved. It makes it so much easier for a protestor to impersonate a law enforcement agent and with 15 agencies around how quickly would they be able to figure out if the person is a real law enforcement agent or a fraud?

    Eventually you're going to have so many agencies that TEAM COP is going to splinter and then you'll really get some tribal conflicts.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I had heard there were 15 agencies there because Oakland's cut back on their police department staffing and didn't have the manpower to clear the park and maintain patrols in the rest of the city.

  • ||

    Oakland downsized their active police officers about a year ago. Couldn't pay them because the retirement pensions are too high.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Imagine my shock.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Man, but 15 agencies? I'm guessing the Time Enforcement Commission and Multiverse Authority were even there.

  • ||

    That is false. The police got everything they wanted and more.

  • Ted S.||

    Only one? I figure the other 14 are peeved it wasn't them.

  • ||

    FUCK THA POH-LEESE

  • NotSure||

    A gang of people, who think moral authority is gained by being beaten up, seek confrontation against a gang of people who tend to beat people up.

    It is possible to support neither side nor their actions.

  • sevo||

    "It is possible to support neither side nor their actions."
    Yeah, but one side is paid by us, so I sorta hold that side accountable.

  • ||

    That does make a big difference.

    It's the difference between being a cop and going to Disneyland.

    Disneyland is all fun. There's rides and shows and the food isn't half bad. Only thing is, you have to pay for it. That's the way it goes... If you want it all easy and fun--then you have to pay to do it.

    The Cops on the other hand? They're the ones getting paid. They get paid NOT to arbitrarily shoot the shit out of people. I know that's not always fun sometimes, especially when they want to arbitrarily shoot the shit out of people. But, then, that is their job.

    And they are getting paid to do it. ...to not shoot the shit out of people.

  • ||

    You forgot about welfare, unemployment and taxpayer subsidized student loans. We are paying both sides.

  • ||

    Why are they screaming "medic"?

    As any veteran of the video game Enemy Territory knows you play the medic and scream for ammo.

    stupid noobs.

  • ||

    Not that the record of the Atlanta Police Department is spotless by any means, but they were able to clear and reopen the public park that was #OccupiedAtlanta, with seemingly minimal incident.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/atlant.....09963.html

  • ||

    Do the police or the protestors get the credit?

  • Raston Bot||

    Launch a dowel? Anyone else never hear that before?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I use that phrase all the time. Like, "I ate a double carne asada burrito from La Mexicana last night. When I woke up, I launched a dowel. I could barely walk for the rest of the morning." It's a fairly common phrase where I live.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I wondered about that too. It sounds positively brutal.

  • Apatheist||

  • Occupy Eyed||

    an Iraq War veteran is in critical condition

    (muttering under breath )

    Die, man. Please, please die.

  • ||

    WTF? What sort of person wishes another to die?

  • Apatheist||

    While this guy is likely a spoof/joke, you'd have to be a dick to wish this guy to die. Still, lets not generalize too much. There are people and situations where it is perfectly appropriate.

  • ||

    I think he wants a martyr for their crappy cause. Then they can really... uh, occupy stuff.

  • ||

    I'm not wishing for OWS folks to die; sure not going to wish a vet does.

  • ||

    I'm not wishing for OWS folks to die; sure not going to wish a vet does.

  • cynical||

    I think he was mocking the hate he assumes OWS has for the military.

  • ||

    I hope the vet is alright but my real concern is that the group didn’t get consensus before moving him and shouting for a medic. Without consensus it’s anarchy.

  • rather||

    Officers dressed in riot gear should have a visible code printed on uniforms, helmet, and a GPS device imbedded in their weapons.

    The anonymity contributes to the 'go for the kill' mentality

  • T||

    Damn. I gotta agree with you here, rather. Put the badge number in 6 inch high letters on the riot shield.

  • cynical||

    Of course, everyone knows that the good guys don't wear personality concealing helmets.

  • The Art-P.O.G.||

    Judge Dredd does.

  • Britt||

    Let us reflect upon the fact that a man who covers his face shows reason to be ashamed of what he is doing. A man who takes it upon himself to shed blood while concealing his identity is a revolting perversion of the warrior ethic. It has long been my conviction that a masked man with a gun is a target. I see no reason to change that view.”

    Col. Jeff Cooper

  • 0x90||

    I'd like to see what would've happened had one of these protesters brought some flash bangs from home and launched them into that group of cops.

  • mr simple||

    Or somehow blocked or deflected them back into the cops?

  • MJ||

    "First of all, according to mercurynews.com, the Oakland PD say they didn't use non-lethal weapons beyond tear gas, but somebody might have:..."

    The Oakland PD only used lethal weapons except for tear gas, and some unkown actors possibly used other non-lethal weapons?

  • ||

    i can say one thing as a guy who was on the line for 16 hrs a day (at least) for 5 straight days during WTO

    very few people knew what the fuck was going on. we got the best intel when we were finally able to get a break and return to the convention center staging area and watch TV news. they had better intel than our commanders

    we had (at least) 15 different local, state, federal etc. agencies, using all sorts of different radio frequencies, mixed up command structure.

    iow, it was a complete clusterfuck.

    i was AMAZED at how restrained officers were in UOF, but at times we were on our own. you had to make damn sure you didn't get seperated from yuor line, shit was flying through the air (including makeshift molotov's etc.)

    i find it entirely believable that oakland PD is in a similar situation here. a riot - by definition - is pretty fucking disorganized, chaotic, etc.

    i agree about the names on the uniforms/helmets. we had them. and any idea of "anonymity" is absurd. *we* had tons of officers filming, and there were literally hundreds of rioters/protesters doing the same

    and out of all that film, what is remarkable is how fucking restrained we were. WTO in seattle really was remarkable in that respect.

    iow, the oakland PD can only speak for themselves... if that. if it was like the kind of shit we have here, there were a myriad of agencies involved

  • ||

    So you see a wounded human body on the ground in front of you in the street maybe 15 ft from "the line".

    What do you do?

    I suspect throwing a flashbang at it is not in the manual.

    Also WTO in Seattle was much different then Occupy Oakland.

    WTO was an unplanned riot with people intending to confront police and break shit.

    Occupy Oakland is a long term urban camping drum circle that the government planned and executed a forced eviction of.

    One would assume the planning logistics and tactics of the police would be different in the two cases.

  • ||

    i would suspect you are right vis a vis the flashbang.

    WTO wasn't really "unplanned" to the extent that many (especially anarchist groups) made it well knwon publically they planned to fuck shit up

    one of the major problems was the liberal putz mayor of seattle who claimed "it can't happen here" (when in fact it had happened almost everywhere else) because seattle is all lilies and sunshine (well not sunshine) and was so woefully unprepared on day one, he let shit get COMPLETLEY out of control. cops had to fly to IDAHO to get more pepper spray for fucks' sake

    that aside, drum circles are all nice and hippy granola and shit but they were issued eviction notices, refused to comply and thus the cops were there for a valid reason - to force their removal, and many of the occupiers made it clear publically they planned to resist that expulsion

    predictable results to follow

    if and when there was police misconduct, it should be investigated and punished

  • ||

    Hard to tell on the video, but those cop flash-bangs look really weak compared to the military ones. Am I right?

  • ||

    i know exactly ZERO about cop flashbangs except... they go bang.

    during WTO we had these pepper spray grenade thingies that scattered little rubber pellets and pepper spray gas. i wasn't one of the officers assigned/qualified to use them. i worked line duties and arrest team duties. only special weapons officers had those.

    i have never worked SWAT (who uses flashbangs) . i worked a street crimes unit that did a fair # of warants (including dynamic entries) but never with flashbangs. battering rams yes. grenades no

  • ||

    WTO wasn't really "unplanned" to the extent that many (especially anarchist groups) made it well knwon publically they planned to fuck shit up

    I meant the police planning.

    that aside, drum circles are all nice and hippy granola and shit but they were issued eviction notices

    May as well be telling me the price of tea in china.

    My complaint is of how it was executed. you were using WTO as an example of police officers not knowing what is going on during a riot.

    This was not a riot or at least should not have been one because the police had ample time to plan. There would be no reason to have the confusion on the line in Oakland like what happened to you in Seattle.

  • ||

    The SPD had ample time to plan for WTO and fucked up royally. Total copocrat failure. It was a fucking travesty their lack of preparation. They had more than ample warning and Schell and his lackey police chief completely let down the city and the line officers.

  • ||

    Occupy Oakland is a long term urban camping drum circle

    There have been reports that it was turning into a Lord of the Flies situation, and this area has a large number of radicals who love to be violent. Happens at most demos.

    By the way, I went by Occupy Berkeley last week, and after laughing at the notion (since Berkeley has been occupied by the left for generations now), I laughed even harder when I saw a sign that said "No taxes for Star Wars"! I think someone has had that in the back of their closet since the Reagan administration and brought it out for this occasion.

  • ||

    did they bring out their "no ALAR ON OUR APPLE" signs too?

  • cynical||

    Sucks to your Alar.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Ya know, if the city really wanted to fuck these guys over, they would have put up a fence to keep them in.

  • ||

    The Herald was calling the occupy Boston people a health hazard.

    http://news.bostonherald.com/n.....position;=

  • ||

    Your best write-up yet Lucy!

  • ||

    "Oakland Mayor Jean Quan's official statement of thanks to all cops who helped "peacefully close the encampment" is clearly complete nonsense.

    I said it elsewhere, and I'll say it again...

    Jean Quan is a Progressive.

    http://jeanquanforoakland.org/.....across-bay

    Progressives will no tolerate dissent--not from their opponents and not from within their own ranks.

    I hope Occupy Wherever just got the memo. No matter what they may have heard, progressives are not the friends of those who want to change the system from outside the system.

    To the contrary!

    To progressives like Quan?

    Civil disobedience is still disobedience. ...and disobedience will not be tolerated.

  • ||

    jello biafra said it best in california uber alles (the first one)

  • ||

    Incidentally, Jerry Brown was the mayor of Oakland too.

  • ||

    Definitely incidental.

  • ||

    it's not incidental when the suede denim secret police are knocking at your door

  • ||

    1. OWS were there ILLEGALLY - they should have been removed at DAY ONE

    2. I hate that it was even done, because quite honestly, it should NOT have been needed to be done, HOWEVER: eviction notices were placed EVERYWHERE and they were ALL told to vacate how long ago now? and they - the OWS squatters - made it CRYSTAL clear: they would FIGHT if the police showed up. They have ON TAPE (check out youtube - I am NOT your monkey to look them up for you) various 'OWS security detail' stating they WILL fight the cops and anyone who tries to get them to move. nuff said. Yes, physical force, and other means, are COMPLETELY in the right to be used. Don't like it? tuff. They made their tents, they don't get to lay in them forever. If I intend to break the law, I know I better expect to see anything coming my way as the police, who are PAID to do a job to uphold the laws put in place by society for the GOOD of ALL, do that job.

    and for the yutz who brought up the Tea Party rallies: from all the tapes I have seen, they didn't squat with tents in the middle of a public place and say they aren't leaving. They pulled permits for their rallies when necessary, and cleaned up the area when done at the end of their rally. No, no comparison can be made, because you have people who gathered to make their voices heard and did it calmly, and peacefully. Than they left. No police force necessary.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Like you said, Frank Ogawa Plaza is a public place, so #OOAK have every right to congregate there to protest.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I agree completely with that, but it becomes problematic with the camping and semi-permanent nature of the protest. How does one draw the line between a protest and just a bunch of folks wanting some free campground space?

    Protest all you want, leave your tents at home. It's everyone's park, not just yours.

  • ||

    so #OOAK have every right to congregate there to protest.
    --------------------
    no one has questioned their right to protest. It's their belief in an accompanying right to set up camp and stay as long they want that is in question.

  • sevo||

    "1. OWS were there ILLEGALLY"

    "Congress shall make no law [...] abridging [...] the right of the people peaceably to assemble [...]"
    US Constitution, Amendment 1.

  • ||

    I don't know if it's illegal to protest on public property, but if it is, it shouldn't be.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Agreed.

    But what if I want to, say, put a mobile home in the middle of a public park with a big "End the Fed" sign on it? Acceptable?

  • sevo||

    Have to admit, it's here where I'm stumbling a bit.
    Putting up a tent, pooping in the grass and saying "I don't like things" ain't exactly "petition[ing] the government".
    If those weren't "public" parks, there would be an easier solution, but I'm afraid we have the tragedy of the commons staring us right in the face.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'd draw the line at setting up sleeping accommodations. If you want a 24/7 protest, go for it. If you want to march with signs in the wee hours, I'll stand up for your right to do so. Heck, I'm all for letting the Zuccotti Park protestors go until their protest freezes to death...it is a private park, after all.

    But I've read multiple reports of OWSers forcibly keeping media, police, others out of public parks. No, sorry, that won't play with me. If I'm a resident of the city where you're protesting, I paid for that park and if I want access, I damn well better get it.

  • sevo||

    "But I've read multiple reports of OWSers forcibly keeping media, police, others out of public parks."

    If that's true, you got a gripe. But the gripe is limited to:
    'They're grazing their cows and keeping my cows out.'
    Pretty sure even the rules of the commons didn't allow running other peoples' cows off, but I'll bet it happened.

  • ||

    Have to admit, it's here where I'm stumbling a bit.
    ------------------------------
    you're not stumbling, you are bringing up perhaps THE most salient point. Not even their strongest opponent has said OWS has no right to assemble, to speaks its collective mind, and all the rest. But, there is no right to turn public land into a quasi-campground, junk it up, look for confrontations, and all the rest. Why this seems beyond the comprehension of some is curious.

  • sevo||

    "But, there is no right to turn public land into a quasi-campground, junk it up, look for confrontations, and all the rest. Why this seems beyond the comprehension of some is curious."

    Maybe because you've got a few too many strawmen in there?

  • ||

    what strawmen? Again, not questioning their right to assemble, to speak, to march, to say whatever the hell they want to say. Hells bells, I'm agreeing with your point that there is a difference between protest and an encampment. The whole reason this has become an issue in any city is because these folks show up, break out tents, and refuse to leave.

  • sevo||

    "what strawmen?"

    Uh,
    "wareagle|10.26.11 @ 9:22PM|
    ...look for confrontations, and all the rest."

  • wareagle||

    when the cops come to clear out a park because a protest is not typically the genesis of a camp site, does that seem like a confrontation? How about throwing things at cops? These folks are seeking confrontation but only Oakland has played along. There is no right to takeover public space just because you want to, regardless of your cause.

  • wareagle||

    when the cops come to clear out a park because a protest is not typically the genesis of a camp site, does that seem like a confrontation? How about throwing things at cops? These folks are seeking confrontation but only Oakland has played along. There is no right to takeover public space just because you want to, regardless of your cause.

  • ||

    right. even the fucking nazis have a right to march and to protest.

    i am pretty sure they don't set up camps in public parks.

    let some liberal fuckstick with a whole bunch of money RENT some park space or property or something for them to camp out in, if it's so important to their cause.

    that's a nice PRIVATE LIBERTARIAN solution

    my little town (outside seattle) has some very nice parks. i am pretty sure if i went to the park with a sign and walked around protesting something, that would be fine

    if i set up a camp and tried to sleep there, not so much

    there is no first amendment violation here. it's content neutral (they aren't only prohibiting certain issue protesters from camping) and the first amendment does not give you the right to set up camp on "the commons".

    it's a ridiculous argument and anybody claiming they have some kind of 1st amendment right to set up camp is clearly full of shit

  • ||

    Congress has nothing to do with this.

  • sevo||

    "Congress has nothing to do with this."
    Sarcasm or stupidity? You decide.

  • ||

    You tell me. What does Congress have to do with city cops acting on a Mayor's orders to evict protestors from a city-owned park?

  • Tortillapete||

    * "unless they are hippies". Geez, does no one here recognize an emanation or a penumbra when they see one?

  • cynical||

    At the same time, that doesn't grant a free pass to deny the public the normal use of public spaces. And it certainly doesn't grant the crowd the right to start throwing rocks and bottles -- the "peaceably" is in there for a reason.

  • ||

    The cops will, deliberately, aim for the face and head with rubber bullets when they get the itch to be able to actually harm people without getting too much flack for it. This is not the first case of deliberately aiming to kill a person with supposedly non-lethal force. I look at it as being resourceful. Cops will always find a way to get their point across, regardless of legal constraints.

  • ||

    yawn.

    anti-cop evidenceless bigotry meter:.96

  • ||

    Are you seriously saying that cops do not and have not done this? And I have to ask you, how many isolated incidents of brutality and harm done to innocents would it take for you to acknowledge there might be a significant issue with some of your brethren with respect to abuse of authority? The argument is not that all cops are bad. Obviously, they are not, but I would think the honorable members of your profession would be among the first to condemn the excesses of too many wearing the blue uniform. And how about the general recognition of the fact that the police frequently perjure as a matter of course? Does anyone in here doubt that a large number of cops do not have particular compunction about lying in court? It is simplistic to say that if there were any good cops, there wouldn't be any bad cops, but there is certainly an element of truth in it.

  • fghu||

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  • Arboles de la barranca||

    The ultra-progressive government of Oakland publicly supports the protesters but behind the scenes directs their fascist storm-trooping police department to crack fucking heads.

  • ||

    stop with the scare words. Ultra progressives and fascists don't mix.

  • Apatheist||

    Bullshit they are two sides of the same coin.

  • ||

    it's OAKLAND for fuck's sake. OAKTOWN.

    jerry brown's former fiefdom

    they don't have storm trooping police
    they have suede denim secret police

  • Apatheist||

    if you put lipstick on a pig...

  • ||

    Somebody from Enumclaw would fuck it

  • Arboles de la barranca||

    The modern American Progressive is fascist at heart and in deed. I don't say they are Nazis -- that would be unfair.

  • wareagle||

    you mixed metaphors - ultra proggies with fascist storm troopers - which muddles whatever the hell you're saying.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    you mixed metaphors - ultra proggies with fascist storm troopers - which muddles whatever the hell you're saying.

    Yeah! That would be as absurd as a fascist group calling themselves National Socialists or Progressives advocating something like eugenics.

  • Arboles de la barranca||

    Ok, Oakland's city fathers offer public support for the protestors while directing the Oakland PD to stop the protests.

  • Arboles de la barranca||

    ....Uh, oh, the city mothers, too.

  • cynical||

    Not really. Communitarians are probably the closest thing to fascists in modern terminology, but if you go a little right you get neocons, if you go a little left you get progressives.

  • Jennifer||

    I haven't followed the OWS movement too closely, but from the very beginning -- when it was only in New York -- I have seen ample police overreaction. (And thank Zod for the Internet, and cheap ubiquitous video recording.)

    JFK famously said "Those who make peaceful protest impossible make violent protest inevitable." And I want to know why -- seriously, WHY? -- so goddamned many cops in so goddamned many cities are doing their damnedest to make peaceful protest impossible? If there is a violent revolution in this country -- whether from the left-wing or the right -- whatever phoenix rises from the ashes will almost certainly be worse than what they burned down.

  • Jeffersonian||

    My view? These cities got what they deserved. They should have enforced their park curfews the very first day instead of making exceptions that any idiot could see would turn out just like this.

    No one here, where civil liberties are indeed taken seriously, has to my knowledge ever taken issue with park closing hours being Tools of the Oppressor for the simple reason that they aren't. It's only when the Left found them inconvenient that they were dispensed with. The upshot: Occupier colonies everywhere began to attract the same pricks we see at G7, G20, WTO, IMF and other convocations breaking shit and just rioting in general.

    The only surprise would have been if they didn't turn out like this, especially in ground zero locales for the lunatic left like Oakland. There's a huge marxist element in these protests, an element that yearns for violence and will do all it can to provoke it. Oakland is just one big QED. Expect more.

  • ||

    so you're okay with a permanent protest, on public or private land, where huge numbers of people disrupt the daily business and personal lives of the residents and merchants in the area? Other than Oakland, there are no cops run amok; all things considered, NY has been fairly peaceful. But when does it become reasonable for a city to say, it's time to go home..if you want to keep protesting, come back tomorrow.

  • ||

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.*

    *doesn't apply during peak hours or after 10pm

  • Jeffersonian||

    What if they want to set up shop on some other public land, say the middle of Broadway in NYC? With a mobile home? Acceptable?

  • ||

    If only approved groups are allowed to protest at approved times at approved places what is the fucking point of the first?

    First Amendment = MAAD holding a rally in the back of the high school parking lot between 1 and 3 pm on tuesday afternoon?

    If New York didn't want their main roads to be clogged with protesters they should have put them into private hands.

  • sevo||

    "If New York didn't want their main roads to be clogged with protesters they should have put them into private hands."

    This is becoming more clear as a tragedy of the commons than any other way to see it.
    Cities made those lands public and the public, even sleazy folks like most of O(X) thereby get to use and abuse them as they wish.
    Don't like it? Sell the damn property to someone who'll take care of it.

  • Jeffersonian||

    So I should take that as a "yes," you think that anyone should be able to set up a mobile home in the middle of any public road at any time he wishes, so long as it's got a political hook to it?

  • ||

    this is such a colossally stupid argument. even for here.

    saying something is public does not mean any person has a right to do any behavior whatsoever in it.

    and GENERALLY SPEAKING, roads are for ... wait for it... transport. not camping.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yeah, Dunphy, I sometimes take issue with what you post, but the logical conclusion of this argument is a chaos that will ultimately mean the practical end of the First Amendment.

  • wareagle||

    lots of cities have hours of use posted on public land. Why do these folks get an exemption?

  • sevo||

    Because:
    "Congress shall make no law [...] abridging [...] the right of the people peaceably to assemble [...]"
    US Constitution, Amendment 1.

  • wareagle||

    1) Congress is not involved.
    2) No one's right to peaceably assembly is being abridged.
    3) Assembly typically means for a finite period of time.
    4) Peaceably is being called into question.
    5) Has someone come up with legislation that prohibits local jurisdictions from posting hours of use or hours of operation on public facilities?

  • sevo||

    wareagle|10.26.11 @ 10:15PM|#
    "1) Congress is not involved."
    Yes, it is. See in Re Nagle

    "2) No one's right to peaceably assembly is being abridged."
    Only with gunshots. I guess that's not 'abridging' things?

    "3) Assembly typically means for a finite period of time.'
    When you get to define the Constitution, I'll take this under advisement.

    "4) Peaceably is being called into question."
    By you.

    "5) Has someone come up with legislation that prohibits local jurisdictions from posting hours of use or hours of operation on public facilities?"
    Yes:
    "Congress shall make no law [...] abridging [...] the right of the people peaceably to assemble [...]"
    US Constitution, Amendment 1.

  • wareagle||

    1) not a single city has challenged OWS right to assemble.
    2) again, not a single city has prevented an assembly from occurring. But, some are drawing a line at encampments.
    3) by your reckoning, I have a perfect right to be armed in all places at all times, 2nd Amendment and all.
    4) nope...by protesters-turned-squatters.
    5) then some law firm should have a lot of work. Sorry, local jurisdictions are allowed to set up rules to protect public health and safety when the exercise of a right threatens either.

  • sevo||

    "1) not a single city has challenged OWS right to assemble."
    Seems Oakland has.

    "2) again, not a single city has prevented an assembly from occurring. But, some are drawing a line at encampments."
    Distinction without difference.

    "3) by your reckoning, I have a perfect right to be armed in all places at all times, 2nd Amendment and all."
    Yes.

    "4) nope...by protesters-turned-squatters."
    Distinction without difference.

    "5) then some law firm should have a lot of work. Sorry, local jurisdictions are allowed to set up rules to protect public health and safety when the exercise of a right threatens either."
    Strange how "rights" become negotiable when you don't like the content of the speech.

  • wareagle||

    1) no sevo; the assembly has occurred. Oakland is challenging the campground that it has become.
    2) you claim rights have been abridged; the multitude of OWS rallies indicates otherwise.
    3) and yet, I am not allowed to do that. Hmmmm.
    4) no right to squatting on public land. Or to lobbing things at cops.
    5) I don't care about the speech and have repeatedly agreed with OWS' right of assembly. You choose to believe these folks can do whatever they want, whenever they want, for as long as they want. I disagree.

  • sevo||

    "so you're okay with a permanent protest, on public or private land, where huge numbers of people disrupt the daily business and personal lives of the residents and merchants in the area?"

    There was this event which really disrupted a lot of daily business and personal lives.
    It was called the "Revolution".

  • Jeffersonian||

    Careful...that implies it's perfectly legitimate to shoot the OWSers.

  • sevo||

    Don't see that.

  • Jeffersonian||

    If this is a revolution, there's usually an opposing side that's shooting back.

  • sevo||

    "If this is a revolution, there's usually an opposing side that's shooting back."

    "shooting back"? I didn't see any shooting forward.
    And I think you're losing sight of the fact that the Constitution was to prevent the sort of 'regency' that king G-III proposed to hold.

  • Jeffersonian||

    There were explosives lobbed at the cops, too, along with other objects intended to harm or kill. I'm not making excuses for the excesses of the cops, but if the revolution was on (and is there any doubt the dimestore marxists at these shindigs thought it wasn't?), then the cops were perfectly justifies to use whatever force they deemed necessary to put it down.

    Tossing words around carelessly is a bad idea.

  • sevo||

    Jeffersonian|10.26.11 @ 10:15PM|#
    "There were explosives lobbed at the cops, too, along with other objects intended to harm or kill."
    Yep, that's the reason we expect (and pay) cops to act as adults.

    "I'm not making excuses for the excesses of the cops,..."
    Except:
    "but if the revolution was on (and is there any doubt the dimestore marxists at these shindigs thought it wasn't?), then the cops were perfectly justifies to use whatever force they deemed necessary to put it down."
    So you are in favor of G-III and opposed to the Constitution?

    "Tossing words around carelessly is a bad idea."
    Agreed.

  • wareagle||

    Don't see that.
    ---------------------
    take a closer look. Revolutions usually involve belligerence beyond slogans and chants. Usually, they involve some form of oppression that is being rebelled against; maybe the OWS yoots did not get their new iPhones fast enough though that probably does not qualify as a good rationale.

  • sevo||

    Sorry, content is irrelevant. Bozos griping that they should get free shit are as protected as anyone else.

  • wareagle||

    then the real irrelevance would rest with your use of revolution.

  • sevo||

    "then the real irrelevance would rest with your use of revolution."

    I'll bet you think that means something. Sorry, lose again.

  • wareagle||

    you brought up revolution to illustrate a comparison. It's a bit of a stretch, but whatever.

  • ||

    Nobody said respecting other people's rights was gonna be convenient.

    If people can only do things so long as they don't bother anybody else? That doesn't leave a whole lot of things that people are free to do.

    People who out bid me for projects, people who play shitty music where I can hear it, people who get in line in front of me at the bank, people who clog up the freeway... They all bother me.

    Still, I think they should be free to do all those things anyway.

    A society where people are only free to do things so long as they don't bother anyone else is not a free society.

    That doesn't mean people should be free to violate each other's rights with impunity, but different people's rights do sometimes overlap and conflict with each other.

    There's no reason to be biased on just one side of that equation--the side where the people I disagree with don't get to protest the way they want to?

    I would like to say to those protestors who got knocked around--remember, it was a Progressive city that knocked you around and a Progressive mayor that commended the police for knocking you around...

    It was the libertarians--who disagree with you almost universally on economic issues--that condemned the police for knocking you around.

  • Jeffersonian||

    The trouble I see with that, Ken, is where does the line get drawn when it comes to commandeering public property for one's "protest?" We're at parks now, but what about courthouses? Roads? Highways?

    Where this ends up is at an inalienable right to shut down society for one's cause. Just as a practical matter, how long does the First Amendment last in that environment?

  • rsi||

    The people that own the property will determine who uses it and when.

    In this case the owner is the the government.

    This is why public property must be kept to a miniumum.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I agree, but until then do we as a people have to endure, as the price of liberty, our roads blockaded, our parks overrun and choked with permanent protests and our public buildings used as hotels for anyone with a grievance?

    How long with A1 last?

  • Jeffersonian||

    "will A1 last?" oops

  • sevo||

    "In this case the owner is the the government."
    Nope. It's the taxpayers who might well be the O(X) group.

  • ||

    "This is why public property must be kept to a miniumum."

    The truest thing mentioned in this entire commentary.

  • ||

    I don't see why there needs to be a clear line drawn. Like I said, sometimes your neighbor's right to enjoy his own property interferes with your right to enjoy your own property. There isn't anything new about the idea of overlapping and conflicting rights--Adam Smith wrote about this.

    There's a legitimate function for government in there to sort through those overlapping and conflicting rights, but there's no reason for there to be a perfectly consistent rule that applies to every situation forever and always... Smith's idea was that people in these situations innovate solutions that are much more complicated and function better than any top-down rule inflicted on them ever could. ...like there's an invisible hand that guides them--it wasn't until later that he applied that idea to economics.

    Anyway, if there is gonna be a decently good rule, it's gonna respect both side's rights as much as possible. If I'm the one drawing that line? My default line isn't the one that gives the cops a free hand to drive protestors out by force just 'cause they're in the way.

    How 'bout maybe requiring the protestors to permit access to public property by non-protestors--and then requiring them to have so many porta-potties?

    There's no reason the default decision had to be the solution that completely ignores the protestors' right to protest on public property.

    Once again, this is the difference between progressives and libertarians. Progressives think, more or less, that other people's rights should only be respected so long as they don't conflict with the greater common good.

    Libertarians believe respecting people's rights is the common good. I'm not saying there's a clear line to draw between the rights of the public and the rights of the protestors, but I know which side of the progressive vs. libertarian side I'm on. I have no doubts about that at all.

    People have a right to protest on public property--I won't pretend otherwise just because I don't like the protestors.

  • Jeffersonian||

    That didn't answer my question.

  • ||

    Which question?

    When our rights overlap and conflict, it doesn't become a zero-sum game--where one side loses everything and the other wins it all?

    I think we have the right to overthrow the government if the government becomes incredibly oppressive. I think that goes back to John Locke and the American Revolution.

    I watched the Egyptians, Libyans and Tunisians break all sorts of rules against protesting over the summer--and cheered them on!

    Does that answer your question?

  • Jeffersonian||

    No. Do the OWS protestors have an inalienable right to set up permanent lodgings on streets and highways?

  • ||

    "No. Do the OWS protestors have an inalienable right to set up permanent lodgings on streets and highways?"

    They should be compelled to respect other people's rights, but their rights should be respected too.

    I look at that video up there, and I don't see their rights being respected.

    I'm not gonna pretend that's okay just because they were inconveniencing people who may have wanted to use the park or whatever.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Yes. Or. No. It's not that hard, Ken.

  • wareagle||

    I don't see why there needs to be a clear line drawn.
    -----------------------
    and the absence of such a line is why we have a problem in OAK and perhaps coming soon to an occupy group near you. As you say, people have a right to protest on public property; they do NOT have a right to commandeer public property in perpetuity, fouling it, infringing on the rights of others.

    When large groups congregate with no intention of leaving, municipalities worry about public health and public safety. So, the cops show up; they ask folks to leave but they decide to challenge authority. Most public accomodations put limits on hours of use; there is nothing that exempts this group from that reality, not even a Constitutional right to assembly.

    Govt IS attempting to sort through the "overlapping and conflicting", and the protesters are resisting. I don't hear the protesters offering to either seek permits or pay for port-a-johns. In other words, they want it all their way; that's a problem.

  • ||

    "and the absence of such a line is why we have a problem in OAK and perhaps coming soon to an occupy group near you."

    The absence of lines is a big part of the reason we have freedom. I'm trying to imagine the government circumscribing my rights for me with your line and not diminishing them. ...not easy to imagine.

    "In other words, they want it all their way; that's a problem."

    Look at the video up yonder! If anybody wants it all their way?

    It's the police who are using flash grenades, etc.

    "So, the cops show up; they ask folks to leave but they decide to challenge authority."

    As far as challenging authority, I don't have any problem with that. I'm not on the side of these protestors--I think they should be protesting the government rather than Wall Street. ...but they have a right to protest.

    I think people sometimes have a right to break the law. I think Rosa Parks was right to break the law. I don't have a problem with people challenging authority--especially if they're doing it peacefully.

    I think if there's any legitimate reason for having police at all, it's to protect people's rights. To protect their rights from criminals, etc. If these protestors were looting and committing arson and destroying people's property, then by all means the police should have shut it down.

    But I don't think that was the case here. If the police are there to protect people's rights, and the protestors have a right to protest. Then I can't condone the police violating their right to protest--certainly not because the protestors were challenging authority.

    I'm a libertarian. I think people peacefully challenging authority is generally a good thing. I don't particularly like these neo-hippies personally, but then I don't need to like somebody in order to respect their rights.

  • ||

    jesus fucking christ. nobody is denying their right to protest ANYTHING.

    otoh, they have no right to set up a camp iow personal residences in a public park, on a sidewalk, or in a roadway.

    it is completely a content neutral restriction and has NOTHIGN to do with speech.

    this really is one of the stupider arguments i have read here.

    i have personally participated in protests. i have nothing but respect for people who exercise their right to public protest. that is NOT the issue here.

  • Jeffersonian||

    See, this is where I part ways with you, Ken. I think it's the existence of bright, stark, defined lines that is important. Liberty means those lines are very broad and the range of action within them just a wide-ranging. But the line is stark so everyone knows when it is stepped over.

    Tyranny is gray areas, where the State may decide that, today, it's not going to enforce the restriction because, well, the people it would enforce it against it kinda likes and its interests are advanced by the violators. Yet let some other, unfavored group or individual do precisely the same thing tomorrow, and suddenly the State decides that the gray that was snow white yesterday is really jet black today, and the unfavored group gets landed on by both feet.

    Give me lines, make them wide, wide, wide, and make them bright.

  • ||

    "I think it's the existence of bright, stark, defined lines that is important. Liberty means those lines are very broad and the range of action within them just a wide-ranging. But the line is stark so everyone knows when it is stepped over."

    The government isn't the originator of our rights. It doesn't decide what our rights are or aren't.

    In the language of the Constitution, "The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N.....ution#Text

    The framers wisely insisted on putting that amendment into the Bill of Rights because they were afraid that posterity might think that our rights originate from the Constitution or the government--and that if our rights aren't clearly defined in the law, then they don't really exist.

    Asking the government to draw a clear line between what is my rights and what isn't my rights is an invitation for the government to determine what our rights are and what they aren't.

    I'd rather have that decided on a case by case basis by a jury of my peers. If the government wants to charge protestors with a crime for trespassing because they violated someone's rights, I don't have a problem with that.

    I have a problem with the idea that what my rights are is decided by the winners of a popularity contest. I have a problem with the idea that my rights need to be clearly defined by politicians--or they don't really exist.

    Even when rights are clearly spelled out, as they are in the First Amendment, how to protect those various rights is still a matter of interpretation on a case by case basis anyway.

    I have millions of rights. I have the right cut my hair any way I want to. I have a right to use name brand Q-tips, and the government is there to protect my rights. ...it's not there to circumscribe my rights for me with bold, clear lines.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I'm not talking about rights, I'm talking about black-letter law. If the government draws that line in a spot that violates our rights, it's incumbent upon us to push that line back where it belongs. But ultimately, that line should still be stark and bright. Tyranny lies in the gray areas.

    Yes or no. Can you answer? I've got my motor home waiting to park on I-70 in protest of Obamacare.

  • ||

    I am talking about rights.

    I'm talking about some legislator making decisions about my right to protest? And that my right to protest doesn't matter if it interferes with park hours?

    If I don't want legislators making arbitrary decisions about my right to protest, I should oppose them making arbitrary decisions about other people's right to protest too.

    I'd rather keep legislators out of this question, my healthcare, and just about everything else too. We are not freer if legislators draw lines around the extent of our freedom.

    If the protestors are guilty of trespassing, there's already a law against that.

  • ||

    that's the nice thing about DUI limits. people can sit here and wank all day about how .08 is too low bla bla but it IS a bright line, it is not subject to subjectivity of a jury, a cop , or anybody else, and a person who is NOT a .08 has foolproof defense against false conviction - heck, in my state, he has the right to demand to be driven to a hospital or medical facility for an independent blood draw by a physician of HIS choosing and to be tested independently.

    .08 may not be the "optimal" amount - sensitivity vs. false positives as in medicine (iow some people can drive pretty well at a .08) but it's a BRIGHT line, not subject to prosecutorial discretion, arbitrary enforcement, etc.

    it's like age of consent laws. bright lines. they may be arbitrary, and they will always be suboptimal, but at least they are bright - well drawn and known

  • ||

    So, if I understand right, you're saying that people charged with a DUI in your state aren't entitled to a jury trial--if their blood alcohol level is over .08?

    What state do you live in--Belarus?

  • Jennifer||

    all things considered, NY has been fairly peaceful.

    Except for the police beatings caught on video. But by modern police standards, I suppose it was fairly peaceful; cops merely beat people with billy clubs, but didn't actually kill anybody. That time.

  • Tortillapete||

    JFK said that? Thank god for Lee Harvey Oswald

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The Occupy movement would gain more traction if their drum circles were as bad-ass as this one.

    Jus' sayin'

  • Jeffersonian||

    Bah...pantywaists. If you want drumming, you go full Kodo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7HL5wYqAbU

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    You never go full Kodo.

    You should know that by now.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Admit it, that's some badass drumming.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Oh most definitely.

  • ||

    Not as bad ass as those mustaches. Every single performer had one.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I think in Turkey that you must have a bad ass mustache. It's like the law or something.

  • wingnutx||

    I don't think that was a flashbang. Looks like CS.

  • Tortillapete||

    Full disclosure: I have no friends at OWS Oakland. Also, I have squirted a deuce on multiple Prii parked in and around the Mission district of SF in the last week.

    - The Mad Crapper

  • Cobra||

    Fucking White people. Every one of them should be disemboweled.

    -Cobra

  • Pasty Woo-Woo Man||

    Your ancestors were the PRIVation PROPERTY of the evil white man, of which I am one.

    Can I disembowel myself? I do want to gambol across the plain one more time, though.

  • Apatheist||

    I'm interested in what other people have observed of these protests in southern cities. The one in Houston (the third biggest city in the country) consists of at best two dozen people, a majority of whom are aging hippies. I really can't take this seriously with that pathetically low participation level. There are more people than that in your average restaurant. I drive by them every morning on the way to work and have a good chuckle (a full laugh if Walter & Johnson "Radio Gods" are mocking them at the same time).

  • ||

    You guys have published a lot of anti-Occupy articles. I'm glad you are starting to see what's involved.

    I was at the Oakland protest last night. I managed to get through the 60's without being teargassed but I stayed for two teargassings last night and got photos and video. The bottle throwing was two hours earlier and several blocks away from the site of the five, count 'em five, distinct teargassing attacks.

    The police are lying their asses off on this. By the way, Oakland's chief of police resigned last week due to his disgust at political interference in doing his job. The new chief's been on the job only a week. Quan left town, the new chief conducted a very violent raid on the camp, and then teargassed peaceful protesters last night.

    This is what Occupy is about. Simply being in the street frightens the power structure and they overreact. That's why Occupy needs no agenda. Their very existence is their agenda.

  • rather||

    Where did you post your video?

  • GILMORE||

    fishfry|10.27.11 @ 2:56AM|#
    You guys have published a lot of anti-Occupy articles. I'm glad you are starting to see what's involved.

    No, I think the correct read is, "they published coverage of the protests, many of which revealed elements of heavy-stupid"

    Its not media that *makes* something stupid.

    You want cheerleading of stupid as a default? Try the Indypendent.

    Its a dead show parking lot ad nauseum. and about as world-changing.

  • Nike Dunk High||

    thanks

  • Watch new movies||

    Thank you

  • Bleach Episodes||

    Thank you so much for the post. I enjoyed reading it

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