Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thursday Must Read: Occupy Oakland Strike Turns from Peaceful to Chaotic; City Council to Take Up Occupy Resolution Tonight

By Robert Gammon
Thu, Nov 3, 2011 at 10:11 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. A massive, daylong, mostly peaceful Occupy Oakland General Strike descended into chaos after midnight when hordes of anarchic protesters clashed with police, the Chron and Trib report. Throughout the day, thousands of peaceful demonstrators had kept the small group of anarchists bent on violence in check, but then after most of the protesters went home, the group of masked vandals began setting fires, launching firecrackers and rocks at police, smashing windows, and spray-painting downtown businesses with graffiti. Oakland police responded by firing teargas and making mass arrests. It was an unfortunate, ugly finish to what had been a mostly successful and massive, peaceful demonstration.

2. The Oakland City Council tonight plans to take up a resolution in support of the Occupy Oakland encampment in front of City Hall, the Chron reports. Yesterday, it seemed clear that a council majority would likely approve the resolution, but it remains to be seen whether the post-midnight chaotic finish to yesterday’s general strike will change some councilmembers’ minds.

3. Republican groups introduced public-employee-pension-overhaul measures that are much tougher than the proposal being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown, the Mercury News reports. The groups plan to try to put one of the measures on the November 2012 ballot. And the proposals raise questions as to whether labor will change its mind and support Brown’s plan in order to fend off the tougher measures.

4. Brown, meanwhile, has decided to shut down a state-funded website that posted numerous public documents, the SacBee reports. The website was established by ex-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in an attempt to increase governmental transparency. But Brown contends that the website is redundant and unnecessary, because the documents are available on other sites. Governmental watchdog groups, however, are decrying Brown’s decision.

5. And the average student loan debt has topped $25,000 for the first time nationwide, the LA Times reports, citing a new study from an Oakland-based think tank. In California, the typical college student graduated last year with $18,000 of debt.

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