By Nicole Jones
Occupy brought the movement to San Quentin State Prison on Monday afternoon. Over 600 people peacefully assembled in front of the prison’s East gate to protest prison conditions. The San Quentin rally is just one of the 15 that took place as part of National Occupy Day in Support of Prisoners.
On a stage outside of the prison gate, people spoke about the impacts of imprisonment for people behind bars and their communities. The protesters called for a number of reforms, including the end to the death penalty in California, the three strikes law, the practice of charging juveniles as adults and solitary confinement.
By Jayme Catsouphes
Last night, members of Occupy Oakland gathered at the Grand Lake Theater to discuss the Oakland Police Department’s crowd control policies and their use of force in response to Occupy demonstrations. The meeting was held in place of a similar event that was to be hosted by the Citizen’s Police Review Board, an independent volunteer body comprised of residents of the City of Oakland. Originally scheduled to be held at City Hall, the CPRB event was postponed somewhat last minute.
Protester Zachary Runningwolf and Oakland Police officer Holmgren await a final legal call on whether or not to allow a tee-pee at Frank Ogawa plaza.
By Julia Lundberg
A “new occupation” set off Tuesday at Frank Ogawa Plaza in Oakland: a group of people started up a 24/7 vigil outside City Hall. Kicking things off, a group yesterday attempted to erect a symbolic tee-pee (a conical Native American tent) to remind the public of historic struggles, while also commemorating the former Occupy camp. It quickly became obvious that the city will not allow anything resembling an encampment, as they rushed to stop the protesters. After some legal negotiations, the tee-pee was issued a permit to be erected between 6 am and 10 pm for the coming three days.
Wednesday evening will see more action. The scene for Occupy Oakland’s General Assembly, which typically is held at Frank Ogawa plaza, will instead be at the Fruitvale Bart station. It will be accompanied by a rally to protest what demonstrators call the criminalization and incarceration of people in poor communities, and it is in solidarity with Occupy Phoenix’s attempt to shut down ALEC, America Legisative Exchange Council.
Unidentified law enforcement officers at 13th and Broadway on the morning of November 14, 2011
Section 830.10 of the California penal code requires all uniformed law enforcement personnel in the state to display the officer’s name or identification number on their uniform. In spite of state law, several police officers deployed on mutual aid assistance to Oakland over the past week – and at least one Oakland Police officer – have covered identifying insignia up with tape or body armor.
During the eviction of Occupy Oakland’s Frank Ogawa encampment yesterday, at least four officers in a group of police from San Mateo law enforcement agencies had their shoulder patches, name tags and any other identifying markings covered with riot gear. The officers would not identify their home agency when asked by this reporter and people in the crowd.
Other officers with body armor over their agency insignia and name tags with no identifying markings on their helmet were observed on the night of November 2-3 as police attempted to disperse a crowd of people following Oakland’s General Strike. Photos after the jump.
On last night’s show, we checked in with Oakland Mayor Jean Quan about her decision to dismantle the Occupy Oakland camp in Frank Ogawa Plaza. And we checked in with KALW’s Ali Winston, who’s been covering the movement in Oakland. Transcript after the jump.
A tear gas canister in the middle of 14th and Broadway
The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and the National Lawyers’ Guild filed a federal civil rights suit against the Oakland Police Department today alleging repeated violations of OPD’s own crowd control policies and asking for an emergency temporary restraining order against Oakland Police.
District Court Judge Richard Seeborg has issued an order requiring the city of Oakland to respond to the lawsuit by 5 PM tomorrow.
The suit was filed on behalf of five plaintiffs, including Scott Campbell, a videographer who was shot with a less-lethal projectile while filming a police line during civil disturbances following the November 2nd general strike.
“I was filming police activity at Occupy Oakland because police should be accountable,” said Campbell. “Now I’m worried about my safety from police violence and about retaliation because I’ve been outspoken.”
The lawsuit, which can be viewed after the jump, alleges that OPD and agencies under their control during mutual aid callouts used indiscriminate and excessive force by targeting demonstrators with flash bang grenades, tear gas and less lethal projectiles on the nights of October 25th and November 2nd. It also charges OPD with intentionally targeting videographers like Campbell with less-lethal projectiles. Continue reading
Oakland Police face off with the Occupy Oakland camp on October 25, 2011
[UPDATE 11/13/11 10:42 PM: The Bay Citizen has confirmed tomorrow morning's raid on Occupy Oakland. Read the full article here]
The following excerpt is from an email send to parents of a school near the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Text from the message was reposted on the Facebook page of Old Oakland, a historic district in downtown Oakland. Rumors have been flying all weekend about imminent police raids on the encampment in front of City Hall. However, three days of cease & desist notices from Oakland authorities, the early opening of the city’s winter homeless shelter and a planned mass demonstration at the University of California-Berkeley on Tuesday are strong indicators that OPD and other law enforcement will take action sooner rather than later.
We are waiting for a response from Oakland Police on the source of this notification and will update as soon as possible.
“A highly coordinated law enforcement raid to clear out OO is planned to take place Monday morning early. Significant public safety mutual aid is being called in from neighboring jurisdictions. The goal is to permanently clear out the OO encampment of illegal activities. Expect to see overwhelming use of force by police directed to occupiers who refuse to comply.
Peaceful protesters are advised by police to stand down until the situation stabilizes. The general public is advised to stay away from the area during the action to avoid potential personal injury from incidental contact with conflicts.”
An unidentified man meditates in front of police tape cordoning off a murder scene in Frank Ogawa Plaza on Nov. 10, 2011.
Use of force by police undeniably an issue in Oakland, as demonstrated by the injuries sustained by Scott Olsen, Kayvan Sabeghi and several other protesters, apparently at the hands of police over the past few weeks during clashes with Occupy Oakland supporters. Street violence is also a familiar story in Oakland – last night’s murder was a tragically familiar narrative. Reportedly, the shooting stemmed from a physical altercation between two groups of young African-American men earlier that day over a marijuana deal. Yesterday afternoon, one of the people involved returned with a posse, chased the young man through the camp, and beat him before shooting him multiple times in the head.
As expected, Oakland politicians such as East Oakland Councilmember Larry Reid and Mayor Jean Quan took the shooting as conclusive evidence that Occupy Oakland must pack up and go. The Oakland Police Officers’ Association also weighed in with their own open letter to Occupy Oakland this morning. Oakland politics treat murder as an immutable fact that needs to be spun to particular political means. Continue reading