Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Must Read: OPD Clears Occupy Oakland Encampments; Probe of UC Davis Pepper Spray Incident Launched

By Robert Gammon
Mon, Nov 21, 2011 at 6:38 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police cleared a new Occupy Oakland encampment yesterday at Telegraph Avenue and 19th Street, the Trib and Chron report. Protesters established the new tent city on Saturday night in a city-owned vacant lot. There were no arrests or injuries. OPD also cleared the last city encampment at Snow Park early this morning, but many protesters had already left in anticipation of the raid, according to numerous reports on Twitter. In San Francisco, police raided a satellite occupy encampment yesterday but left the main one at Justin Herman Plaza intact.

2. UC Davis officials have launched an investigation into excessive use of force by campus police officers who pepper sprayed peaceful protesters, the Chron reports. The two UC Davis cops who pepper sprayed demonstrators who were sitting, arm-in-arm were placed on administrative leave. The UC Davis incident follows one at Cal in which police clubbed peaceful demonstrators who stood together, arm-in-arm. UC President Mark Yudof said he was “appalled” by the excessive use of force against nonviolent protesters and said he was convening a meeting of all UC chancellors.

3. While Occupy protests in Oakland and San Francisco have garnered most of the media attention, smaller Occupy demonstrations have sprouted up in suburban cities throughout the Bay Area, the Chron reports. However, most of these protests include no camping, as demonstrators in the suburbs say that tent cities attract those inclined to use violent tactics and the homeless, thereby muddying the message of income inequality.

4. Berkeley, perhaps the most liberal city in the Bay Area, has the widest gap between the wealthy and the poor in the region, The Bay Citizen reports, citing new Census data.

5. Alameda County’s transportation commission is looking to put a measure on the 2012 ballot that would raise local sales taxes in order to fund road repairs, mass transit, and build trails, the CoCo Times reports. But some transit activists object to a portion of the commission’s plan that would spend $400 million on a BART extension to Livermore, saying the money would be better spent on enhancing bus service in low-income areas.

6. And the Sierra Club is changing its leadership and its direction following criticism that the longtime environmental group has become too friendly with corporate interests, the LA Times reports. Carl Pope, chairman of the Sierra Club, is stepping down and being replaced by Michael Brune, who previously worked for Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace. Brune said that a controversial deal that the Sierra Club had struck with Oakland-based Clorox company will not be renewed.

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