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Recent Comments

Re: “The Sporting Life

Then there's a wide range of bicycle racing options, at all levels from pros on down to beginners, on the road, on mountain bikes and in that funky on-off-the-bike racing called cyclocross. Spectating is free and teams at all ability levels would love to share their sport with interested folks. Check out www.ncnca.org for more info.

Posted by TimBurg on 05/16/2012 at 5:15 PM

Re: “Cop Identified in Kayvan Sabeghi Beating?

Sorry, small correction: "Just to be clear, I am not arguing that a person's dumb decisions gives the other guy free reign."

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TimBurg on 04/13/2012 at 10:48 PM

Re: “Cop Identified in Kayvan Sabeghi Beating?

Molly - nobody has said that Mr. Sabeghi was "deserving of" being beaten. I know that I've just pointed out that he made choices that lead to what happened. Sabeghi chose to confront the police line instead of going anywhere else. He chose to continue that confrontation, stepping back in concert with the moving line. Given one last change to go, Sabeghi stayed, and the officer moved to arrest him. Again Sabeghi had a choice, to be arrested, or resist - he resisted. Then when swarmed by a group of officers he fought back. During that fight Sabeghi was apparently injured.

When I walk down the street I have choices. I can walk on the sidewalk and wait at crosswalks for the light. Or I can walk in the street, and ignore signals and warning signs. If I get hit by a car when walking in the street, don't I own more of the responsibility for that?

Just to be clear, I am not arguing that a person's dumb decisions doesn't give the other guy free reign. The police are still bound to act within our laws, and I encourage reviewing their actions and policies to make sure that they are doing so, particularly when a person being arrested is injured. That applies as much to Mr. Sabeghi as to someone foolishly spouting slogans like "F-- the Police" or Joe Middle Class being arrested for some non-politically related infraction.

3 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by TimBurg on 04/13/2012 at 10:40 PM

Re: “Cop Identified in Kayvan Sabeghi Beating?

OK John Seal, I watched that clip. It was choppily edited and started mid-confrontation. There were (hopefully still are) longer bits recorded by that camera shadow that showed Sabeghi standing defiant as the police line approached. But what it did show is repeated attempts by the police to get Sabeghi to back off. He'd step back a step and stop again, forcing them to half-step forward and again urge him to go away. Even when the officer addressed as Uu stepped in front of his line, he does so to again tell Sabeghi to walk away. Then he yells at the man to "just get the F-- outa here," pointing off towards a supposed exit path.

Sabeghi still stands his ground, despite repeated requests and then orders to leave the scene of the riot. That's when the officer orders him to the ground, and when Sabeghi moves to the side and tries to evade being arrested that he's struck in the legs. Sabeghi isn't hit in the head, or in the spleen (where he was allegedly injured that night), the officer is hitting his legs to take the man down or drive him towards the team of officers on the curb. That's when the cameraman gets cut off from Sabeghi - and when he's given the option to leave or be arrested the cameraman choses to leave.

Like I said there's other video out there. A news channel aired footage from the other side of that police line showing that team of officers trying to subdue the struggling Sabeghi. One officer pulls back clutching his arm as five or six are piling on top of the Sabeghi trying to get his arms cuffed. My guess is that it was in that scrum that Sabeghi's reported injuries occured.

The next we see Sabeghi has been cuffed and is standing back up, slurring his words, but still defiant. He pulls against the officer who has him in custody, proclaiming his veteran status.

Looking at all of those film clips it is clear that Sabeghi sought a confrontation with the police, and that's what he got. None of that is proof whether there was excessive force used in his arrest, or not. But to claim that Sabeghi was savagely attacked while innocently walking home, as early stories claimed, that just does not hold water. As I said before, I'm glad that his arrest is being investigated, and I hope that the lessons learned from that night are used to improve how police respond to the many different situations they faced.

9 likes, 14 dislikes
Posted by TimBurg on 04/11/2012 at 9:51 PM

Re: “Cop Identified in Kayvan Sabeghi Beating?

Wow, did anyone fact-check this or does the East Bay Express just print propaganda releases? Seriously, I get the idea of airing different perspectives, but this is labeled as "News" not a column or blog.

Thousands of marchers were there on November 2nd, not "tens of thousands". After nightfall, the thinly veiled attempt to conflate the car hitting those two marchers (after one pounded on the hood) with the start of the riots on Broadway are pretty transparent. For those paying attention, the videos of Sabeghi disobeying orders to leave and then being arrested were widely aired, both in mainstream media and on Occupy supporting blog sites. Those videos aired so widely based on claims of police brutality, particularly in light of Scott Olsen's injuries several nights earlier.

As this article glosses over, Sabeghi refused to leave as the police lines moved forward, ignoring and defying repeated requests and then orders to move out of their way. When the officer finally stepped forward, Sabeghi continued his defiance and chose to make himself subject to arrest. Tellingly Sabeghi did so in an all-but-empty street with a personal camera-man in tow. If Sabeghi was looking to provoke a confrontation, he got his wish.

If Mr. Sabeghi had complied with any order up to that point, he'd have been able to leave peaceably, or just have been arrested and released. Instead he resisted, striking back at officers and struggling, even as more and more officers piled on top of him in an effort to bring Sabeghi under control. All of that is clearly visible on film shot both by his personal cameraman shadow as well as by news teams. The video evidence of Sabeghi's clear choice to remain, to defy police orders and then to resist makes this article's insinuations about the retiring officer seem even less plausible.

I for one am glad that the Occupy riot that night and the police response are being investigated, and I encourage the EB Express and other media to air these stories. But I also expect a little perspective and a few facts when something is printed as news and not opinion. Please do better in the future, I'd hate to have to take what I find in alternative media sources like this with massive grains of salt - that would be bad for my health and bad for the truth.

12 likes, 16 dislikes
Posted by TimBurg on 04/11/2012 at 1:39 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Department Sees Itself as a Victim of Occupy

The most telling thing in this report is the lack of leadership, both at the top of the police department, but also in their civilian oversight. Where was Mayor Quan in all of this - oh yeah, she was in DC begging for money.

Sorry Jean, you should have delayed your trip or delayed the raid. Being out of town is unforgiveable.

10 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by TimBurg on 04/04/2012 at 4:51 PM

Re: “Will Occupy Oakland Embrace Strategic Nonviolence?

Sandy – you’re still kind of missing the point. You didn’t rebut the ideas, you opened by attacking the person stating the ideas. That’s known as an ad hominem attack. I have no issue with the fact that you disagree, just in how you chose to express that disagreement. So if you want to avoid “sending the argument … off issue” choose your words more wisely next time. The language you use can turn off or dissuade potential supporters who are viewing the rhetoric when they decide whether to associate themselves with the movement you identify with. They are thinking for themselves, and most people will wisely chose to stay away from a group that operates with a groupthink with us or against us mindset, as well as from groups that embrace or enable violent tactics. That’s why Occupy Oakland’s apparent support has dwindled from the thousands of curious people who came out to the “General Strike” last Fall to the few dozen who show up to the poorly named weekly marches.

We’re not talking here about what the police or City do or have done, that’s a totally different discussion. This discussion is all about what Occupy as a movement chooses to do and how it chooses to act. To borrow the Civil Rights Movement analogy, ML King espoused non-violence as a tactic in the face of the kinds of state ordered violence that OO hasn’t begun to experience. When faced with police and vigilante violence, they chose to be steadfast in their non-violent civil disobedience. When arrested, they submitted compliantly, then refused bail or the payment of fines in lieu of confinement. Think on those two truths as you contemplate the black masked participants at OO rallies wielding shields, and the complaints you have posted about mass arrests. Imagine how crippled Alameda County would have been if all 400 arrestees a month ago had refused to cooperate in their release?

Clearly, as we’ve both pointed out, many members of Occupy Oakland have chosen to personally act non-violently, to air their views and demonstrate, etc. The problem comes with the fringe elements that Occupy Oakland, in its very public embrace of “diversity of tactics” has chosen to be associated with, or at least to enable to exist at its events and within its ranks. No matter how much you try to downplay that violence and vandalism, it has occurred at most major OO events. To minimize it as “covered by business insurance” is laughable – who do you think pays for that insurance, and what happens to the insurance premiums after vandalism claims spike in a given area? Do you have a single thought to the mom-and-pop retailers and restraunteurs who are now facing steeply rising insurance premiums in downtown Oakland?

Getting back to the point of this article, no matter the method you choose to use to advocate for change, how about embracing non-violence as an ethic? But for non-violence to work, it cannot just be a personal decision, but one that the group as a collective whole embraces and works to enforce on those who attend Occupy events. A key principal of non-violence is for the group to not be associated with the violent or their violence.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by TimBurg on 03/20/2012 at 12:35 PM

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