Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Quotes of the Day: On Occupy, Oakland Police, and the A’s

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Jan 31, 2012 at 2:29 PM

The best quotes of the day:

1. "The city has to stand up with us now and say, 'Stop,' " said Mayor Jean Quan, referring to Occupy Oakland protests.

2. "I'm not condoning violence, and I'm not condemning it," said Occupy Oaklander Cat Brooks. "I'm just saying that 99 percent of the time when violence happens, it's police who start it. And you have to do what you have to do."

3. "I don't see a way for it to peacefully end," said former Oakland Councilman Wilson Riles Jr., a staunch progressive. "Like so much in Oakland, Occupy has tremendous potential, but it seems like that potential is being squandered. I think it's come to a point where the larger community is going to have to step in if anything is going to happen."

4. “When I started to see what was happening Saturday, my heart just broke," Michele Horaney of Alameda, a member of the 99 Percent Solution activist group in the East Bay, said of the Occupy Oakland protest that devolved into an hours-long street battle with police. "There is so much good to be gotten, earned and kept from really solid, sincere efforts to make things change for the better.

"But now," Horaney continued, "we've got this group that pretty much just wants to destroy things and make trouble."

5. "I think it's impossible," said Barucha Peller, one of Occupy Oakland's key organizers, on the chances of reaching an accommodation with law enforcement. "If someone shot you in the head, beat you and your family, would you negotiate with that person? That's terrorism."

6. “Beating up on each other with the city of Oakland, I don't see where that's going," said Mike Rufo, an Occupy Oakland supporter. "They don't have deep pockets either."

7. "It helps those who oppose us to portray this movement as a bunch of violent, crazy people, and that's just not the truth," Brooks said. "Occupy didn't invent what's happening now - this has always happened in social justice movements. What we really need to do now is engage more of the masses."

IDLF: Still not down with Occupy Oakland
  • IDLF: Still not down with Occupy Oakland
8. "These people are here to provoke and destroy and cause chaos. We have tolerated it for far too long," said Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who has opposed Occupy Oakland since its inception. "We need to use whatever lawful tools that are available to us to stop this."

9. "It was like they were using the Y as a human shield," said Robert Wilkins, president of the YMCA of the East Bay, after Occupy Oakland protesters streamed into the Oakland Y to avoid arrest. "The damage appears pretty minimal, but I'll be mad if I have to send one less kid to camp over this."

10. "If safety were considered a legitimate basis for violating laws and policies, there would, in essence, be no laws or policies governing police conduct," wrote federal Judge Thelton Henderson, responding to the claim by Oakland Police Officer John Hargraves that he covered his badge — in violation of the law — during an Occupy Oakland protest out of fear for his safety.

11. "We are no longer advocating for Victory Court," said Gregory Hunter, head of the soon-to-be-dissolved Oakland Redevelopment Agency, referring to the now dead proposal for a new A’s ballpark on the city’s waterfront. "The Coliseum is the appropriate [site] to retain the A's.”

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