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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Seven Days

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Sorry, but this is a ridiculous commentary from the generally sensible Mr. Gammon. As everyone knows, we have an indigenous population that likes to riot for sport. This represents an assault on everyone else, and advances no cause, since it's not motivated by cause. The first amendment and every opportunity to protest are well and thriving in Oakland. Nobody's rights have been trampled on. There is no collective punishment. Thank you, Libby Schaaf, for providing leadership. Mr. Gammon, consider what you might be saying if your store was trashed by the indigenous population that I mentioned. You're the one who just failed a test.

38 likes, 17 dislikes
Posted by David Cohen on 05/27/2015 at 9:18 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

The description of the public demonstrations policy that I read in another paper indicated that demonstrations after dark that ventured into streets as opposed to staying on sidewalks had to be subject to a premitting process. If anything, this seems too permissive to me. Streets should not be blocked randomly, day or night to communicate feelings about an issue. Frank Ogawa Plaza should be used as a place for public discourse - available to any speaker whenever the podium has not been reserved in advance. A reservation there should only require a 24 hour advance request and no fee. Voice (or other) amplification might need to be regulated. Overnight group protests should be subject to paying the costs of portable toilets and clean-up.
The Constitution makes no provision for political speech by masked persons (corporations might also be considered masked persons). Except for persons under 16 on Halloween, masked persons in public spaces should be treated with suspicion and be subject to search and identification. We should be able to easily identify people who break windows in our City.
When I see demonstrators roaming around in masks I think of the Klu Klux Klan! I would not want to demonstrate alond side them.
What the mayor has proposed seems quite reasonable and likely within the bounds of laws currently on the books.

30 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Ken Gibson on 05/27/2015 at 5:19 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

What I want to know is when will the honeymoon for the violent protestor's be over? Oaklander's tolerate this bad behaviour which costs us money that we would, i would like to think, be used for better purposes than OPD overtime and lawsuits. Enough with the thug behavioiur. I just don't know what to do to stop it.

34 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 05/27/2015 at 4:58 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Americans can demonstrate any time they want. You can't break other laws and take the streets; but you can always, ALWAYS walk on the sidewalk with a sign or hand out materials. I've participated in many pickets and no officer has EVER tried to stop me. If they do -- I will sue. It's my right.

26 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Rob Walker on 05/27/2015 at 4:55 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

During Occupy, the activists in nearly all other cities across the country kept the big issue up front: the economic inequality of a 1%--99% society must be turned around. But not Oakland activists. The message that most residents get out of Oakland protests is a tantrum over any action that infringes on vandalism and assault.

34 likes, 9 dislikes
Posted by Charlie Pine on 05/27/2015 at 4:12 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

The most frustrating thing is when an elected official is too busy being concerned with HOW people are protesting rather than working toward changing the WHY.

36 likes, 30 dislikes
Posted by Talia Alarid on 05/27/2015 at 3:55 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

I disagree, and think Mayor Schaaf passed her first big test with flying colors. We cannot allow Oakland to continue to be the default playground for professional protesters with no clear goals and a desire to take to the streets for any reason regardless if it actually has anything to do with Oakland.

There is a reason this doesn't happen in any other city... because they don't allow these destructive night-time protests either. Kudos to mayor Schaaf, and its about time the citizens here that are truly proud of, and actually respect and represent this community, take a stand against the few here that continually seek to disrupt, destroy and rob it of its vital resources.

53 likes, 35 dislikes
Posted by R.b. Sheldon on 05/27/2015 at 3:07 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Two recent "protests." Zero vandalism. The"protesters" freely walked in a "protest" supervised by the City of Oakland. OPD was doing its job protecting rights and property. Their "free speech" is preserved and the city doesn't get trashed. Funny how that works.

36 likes, 13 dislikes
Posted by P. J. Kelley on 05/27/2015 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

I attended the Saturday and Sunday demonstrations. What I noticed was that OPD placed teams of officers on 3 of 4 corners at 14th & Broadway, plus numerous motorcycles positioned nearby. As soon as demonstrators stepped onto Broadway, officers rushed to form a tight police line at the center of Broadway, which was shut down in both directions, and a police line was set up immediately behind marchers.

Those police lines were maintained for the entire length of the march ie., from Frank Ogawa Plaza to OPD headquarters on 7th. Marchers were not allowed to cross the police line at the center of Broadway or to fall behind the police line at the rear.

In other words, all demonstrators were immediately kettled and OPD maintained the kettle for the entire march, a 'moving kettle' as it were. In the meantime, OPD used the closed lanes of Broadway to freely move personnel, motorcycles and cars up and down the marchers' route.

But why? Why was a lawful and peaceful assembly subjected to a mass kettle from the very beginning? Why were peaceful marchers forced to stay within a small, tight, and police-controlled area of the street?

Further, following close behind was the mobile sound unit over which an officer read a one-minute script about "facilitating the march, 1st Amendment rights, lawlessness would not be tolerated" etc. The script was recited over and over for the duration of the march. The volume was so loud that marchers could not carry on conversations without yelling at each other and using a normal speaking volume was inaudible to people standing next to each other. The announcements were inappropriately loud, glaring and the incessant repetition was a form of harassment in and of itself.

Taken together, this was not free expression at all but merely the illusion of free expression.

35 likes, 36 dislikes
Posted by John Klein on 05/27/2015 at 12:19 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

You should review what the ACLU says about this before posting such ill informed stuff.

Do I need a permit before I engage in free speech activity?
Not usually. However, certain types of events require permits. Generally, these events are:
• A march or parade that does not stay on the sidewalk, and other events that require blocking traffic or street closure
• A large rally requiring the use of sound amplifying devices; or
• A rally at certain designated parks or plazas
Many permit procedures require that the application be filed several weeks in advance of the event. However, the First Amendment prohibits such an advance notice requirement from being used to prevent rallies or demonstrations that are rapid responses to unforeseeable and recent events. Also, many permit
ordinances give a lot of discretion to the police or city officials to impose conditions on the event, such as the route of a march or the sound levels of amplification equipment. Such restrictions may violate the First Amendment if they are unnecessary for traffic control or public safety, or if they interfere significantly with effective communication with the intended audience. A permit cannot be denied because the event is controversial or will express unpopular views.

47 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Jade Brown on 05/27/2015 at 11:44 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Not only is the policy overbroad, a violation of the crowd control policy and of free speech, but it is also a demonstration of collective punishment, which is a violation of the Geneva convention and other international protocols.

19 likes, 45 dislikes
Posted by JP Massar on 05/27/2015 at 10:56 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

This is no surprise. How funny the East Bay Express endorsed her, totally unaware that this sort of thing would be typical of her. She's a burner, for gods sake.

20 likes, 37 dislikes
Posted by Sophia Quesada-De La Mora on 05/27/2015 at 10:21 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Just 2 weeks ago, as the commencement speaker for Mills College, Libby Schaaf had the nerve to pop her collar about getting getting endorsed by the East Bay Express. How funny that the East Bay Express has released this article, which I am in total agreement with. But like, is anyone surprised by her actions? A group of 5 students from Mills, myself included, received a request to meet with Shaaf and we did. Frankly, it was not horrible. I kind of had hope to be honest. But yah. Not surprised. This is who Oakland voted for.

23 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Sophia Quesada-De La Mora on 05/27/2015 at 10:20 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

@Tom Webb - just curious. when was the last time you actually walked in one of those demonstrations? You know the ones with the "thug element". Define your terms. What is a "thug element", exactly?

28 likes, 24 dislikes
Posted by Rob Gerson on 05/27/2015 at 10:01 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Ban is anything but a broad measure. Is it a protest ban? No. Is it a street protest ban? No. It is, however a night time street protest ban - which help keeps public and protesters safe. Protesters are more than welcome to demonstrate anytime of the night, just not in the street. This is hardly an assault on free speech.

53 likes, 25 dislikes
Posted by Clarence C. Johnson on 05/27/2015 at 9:32 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

How's that breathless endorsement and softball coverage of Schaaf's candidacy working out for ya? Can you imagine any scenario in which Kaplan would have banned the right to assembly at night - or any other time? This is the true Libby Schaaf - reacting to whatever Chip Johnson and Mr. Tagami say she should do, apparently. This was presaged in her reaction to the port shutdown during occupy, this is totally predictable. It's sort of "can't I just get rid of those icky protestors and wish them in to the cornfield?". Then again, originality and agility should not really be expected from a Mayor who passed a grand total of 4 pieces of legislation during her entire time on city council.

22 likes, 36 dislikes
Posted by Rob Gerson on 05/27/2015 at 9:17 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 05/27/2015 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Yet those who oppose the Mayor neglect to acknowledge the thug element which has become an omnipresent feature at Oakland demonstrations since 2008. They undermine the legitimate expressions of civil rights expression and are allowed free reign. They have no place at demonstrations yet no one will stop them nor do they listen to anyone who requests they not engage in destructive tactics. This was a workable compromise given the state of events.

42 likes, 51 dislikes
Posted by Tom Webb 1 on 05/27/2015 at 6:55 AM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

Didn't Schaaf work for the Port of Oakland? You would think, then, that she would be familiar with the Oakland Police Crowd Control Policy that resulted from injuries suffered by demonstrating port workers at the hands of police.

10 likes, 28 dislikes
Posted by Philip Huang on 05/26/2015 at 11:14 PM

Re: “Schaaf Fails Her First Big Test

you'd think that libby would have studied the lesson[s] of Quan and learned something. nope. most telling is the silence of her black female campaign advisor peggy moore. there's already a recall libby campaign, just 5 months into her term...

31 likes, 33 dislikes
Posted by Eric Arnold on 05/26/2015 at 10:33 PM

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