Dear Jean Quan,
Please ignore those who continue to push you to crack down on Occupy Oakland. Their position is irresponsible, dangerous, and completely out of touch. You already tried a crackdown, and it was a disaster.
As you know, you’ve been vilified by liberals and progressives throughout the world for green-lighting the October 25 raid on the encampment in front of City Hall and the over-the-top police action later that night. Another crackdown will not break up the Occupy Movement. The protesters will just keep coming back.
Who knew people who are quite possibly living out of tents could look this fly?
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan made the right move this week when she allowed Occupy Oakland protesters to return to the plaza in front of City Hall. She also deserves credit for apologizing for people getting hurt in the police action on Tuesday night and for apologizing to Iraqi war veteran Scott Olsen, whose skull was fractured after apparently being hit by a nonlethal projectile fired by police.
But we still think Quan is wrong when she keeps requesting that occupiers not camp in front of City Hall. As we’ve written previously, camping is what the Occupy Movement is all about. It’s about occupying a public space, 24 hours a day, for as long as people can do it or until our system of favoring Wall Street and the wealthy over middle- and low-income citizens changes.
But today at a City Hall press conference, Quan repeated her stance, declaring: “We don’t want them to camp downtown.”
Click here to download PDFs of the original in English and Spanish:
Tear gas canisters shot in Oakland on Tuesday were, indeed, heard around the world. Today, pro-democracy protesters marched in Egypt to support the Occupy movement and decry against excessive police force in Oakland, BoingBoing writer Xeni Jardin reports. Although the Egyptians had a lot of demands for their own government — including the transfer from military rule to a representative democracy, and atonement for the death, by torture of 24 year-old political prisoner Essam Ali Atta — many of their signs referenced Obama, Wall Street, and police brutality. Egyptian blogger Mohammed Maree live-tweeted snapshots.
By now, Scott Olsen has become a mobilizing figure in the Occupy Oakland movement. The 24-year-old Marine had survived two tours of duty in Iraq but suffered a fractured skull after being struck by a projectile shot by police at the Occupy Oakland protest on Tuesday. And video footage shows Olsen was standing peacefully before he was struck. He's now in fair condition and expected to make a full recovery, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Here's footage of Olsen before he was hit, as well as police firing more tear gas at other protesters who tried to come to his aid.
Guys, we need to talk. Specifically, about the fact that our two-week-old story on former police chief Anthony Batts resigning has now gone mega-viral, apparently because people are mistakenly thinking he resigned because of the Occupy Oakland shitstorm. (For the record: Batts resigned two weeks ago for reasons entirely unrelated to Occupy — and his replacement, interim chief Howard Jordan, who's been leading the department through said shitstorm, is totally still there.) Regardless, though, looks like someone shared the story on Twitter at some point yesterday, and it then, somehow, managed to get retweeted by hundreds of people — including various Occupy-related Twitter accounts, Morgan Fairchild (!!), and Dave Weigel of Slate (he quickly corrected). But despite his, our, and other tweeps' efforts to correct the record, people are still fucking retweeting it. The post has been the top-read story on the site for at least 24 hours, and is now one of our most-Facebooked articles of all time — which would be awesome except it isn't true. So please, for the love of all that is true and holy, take a sec to check the story's publication date, read the oh-so-subtle all-caps editors' note we've appended to the top of it, and move along. There's nothing to see here.
Stories you shouldn’t miss:
1. Oakland Mayor Jean Quan tried to apologize to the Occupy Oakland general assembly last night, but was booed off the stage, the Chron and Trib report. The mayor, who has been under intense fire since Oakland police raided the Occupy encampment on Tuesday, then posted a statement and video of her apology. Quan also took responsibility for Tuesday’s actions by police and vowed to oversee an investigation into allegations of police brutality. During a visit to Highland Hospital earlier in the day, Quan also apologized to Iraqi war veteran Scott Olsen, who suffered a fractured skull apparently after being shot with a less-than-lethal weapon by police during the melee on Tuesday night.
2. Quan also asked that Occupy Oakland demonstrators not camp overnight in front of City Hall, but the protesters ignored that request and began to reestablish the encampment, the Chron and Trib report. Liberal icon Michael Moore is scheduled to visit Occupy Oakland in a show of solidarity tonight.
3. The intense focus this week on the violence in Oakland also apparently has solidified and strengthened Occupy San Francisco. The Chron reports that after city officials decided not to raid Occupy SF, following the outrage about the raid in Oakland, the encampment in San Francisco is drawing more people and is expanding.
In a shocking twist, Keith Olbermann is pissed off about something. Here he is, with an eloquent, angry speech about Quan and the OPD on last night's Countdown — though it's important to note that as a national figure, Olbermann doesn't necessarily understand what's going on on the ground here.
Indeed, the whole world is watching. Here's some dramatic footage of yesterday's Occupy Wall Street march, in solidarity with Occupy Oakland: