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Occupy Oakland; Out Of Order

Updated on January 30, 2012

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
--- Thomas Jefferson


Police Officials are calling it the largest protests in Oakland City history. The volatile weekend in Oakland is expected to exceed 400 arrested protesters. Oakland City Hall was a target for the occupy movement which sparked a series of events rendering the city Out of Order.

The week began with a War of Words between the organizers of Occupy Oakland and City and police officials. Protest organizers announced their intent to establish a Headquarters through occupation of a vacant building which prompted police and city officials to Vow that would not happen.

The weekly Oakland ritual began at high noon, consisting of 250 prospective protestors, rallying at the Ogawa Plaza. By 1:30, the crowd had grown to about 450, whom proceeded to march into the Laney College Campus. The police response consisted of firing Tear Gas to disperse the crowd.

In what may be considered the most aggressive actions to date by the Oakland contingent of the Occupy movement; organizers coordinated a multi-pronged attack stretching police resources somewhat thin toward counteracting the entirety of the movement.

The situation escalated at 2:45 as the protestors moved in, to occupy the vacant Kaiser Convention Center. The Police response of the marchers’ removal of barricades was to disperse the crowd once again with Tear Gas. This time the ebb and flow would see a rising tide toward confrontation.

Upon the police declaration of unlawful assembly and the subsequent delivery of Tear Gas, Law and Order became Out of Order.

The ensuing police arrest elicited a violent reaction from the protestors whom began an offensive attack upon police. Police Officials claim protestors’ hurled objects, including a bicycle, causing injury to some police officers. This prompted the police response of firing rubber bullets as a defensive measure to quell the attack.

"Their intent is to commit vandalism and cause problems," interim police Chief Howard Jordan said of the protesters. "Their intent is not to be peaceful."

The day’s events culminated by 4 p.m., as the growing number of 500 protestors regrouped at the plaza. Additional locales of the multi-pronged method of protest included the Oakland Museum of California, the Broadway YMCA and City Hall. Arrests were made at all of those sites.

As the overwhelmed police contingent processed the numerous arrests at the Oakland YMCA, by 6:30 the demonstrators moved in toward their definitive objective, City Hall.

Protestor’s ‘crow-barred’ their way into the City Hall Building, vandalizing the lobby and stealing an American Flag, which was set ablaze soon thereafter. Police recovered quickly from overwhelming day’s events, regaining control of City Hall.

Mayor of Oakland Jean Quan and her police department have been under fire from critics as well as a court appointed monitor whom has cited “serious concerns” with her handling of the situation with protestors.

Mayor Quan made this statement in response to the weekend events of the Oakland Occupation Movement;

"This particular faction of Occupy ... they're very violent and I'm going to be asking for a lot more mutual aid, they are hurting the neighborhoods by continuing to do this on Saturday nights."

Quan mention of hurting the neighborhood references the weekly marches are preventing the Oakland police force from responding to the typical police service and patrol. The Mayor’s comments suggest the intent of the movement was to spread the police thin.

This supposition is supported by the Oakland Police Department’sSgt. Christopher Bolton claim; “they had to ignore 200 lower priority calls for service Saturday night, more than the normal 60 because resources were tied up with the Occupy protests.”

"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first."
--- Thomas Jefferson


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    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Indeed Poetvix, well said. We need a voice of reason to step up. If Lincoln couldn't turn down the heat could the unthinkable reoccur. The Melting Pot boils over 2.0. Thanks for your valued input Poetvix.

    • poetvix profile image


      6 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

      While I vehemently support the right to protest, it must be with responsibility. This behavior gives the right itself a bad name which is truly sad considering the assaults to Constitutional freedoms of late. It feels like America is just about to boil over.

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona


      Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing the words "Excellent hub, interesting subject matter." It tells me my objective has been achieved...maybe with the exception of reading the comments that follow. Thats a mark which is out of my hands.

      By the Occupy Oakland contingent refusing to denounce the violence, they become complicit toward fueling future violence.

      As always, I appreciate your thoughtful, well articulated comments. They add substance to the subject matter which needs to be the centerpiece of the discourse we as a nation should be discussing going forward. That cannot be understated.

      As you may have inferred in your comments, this little group of people get that!

    • pmccray profile image


      6 years ago from Utah

      I am in agreement with most of the responses, the Occupy movement defeats it's original purpose by not following the rules of common courtesy and the law. I think its a movement that is needed, because it seems those in Washington, are not hearing our voices. But, this is a two edged sword, the organization needs to get organized, and not break the law while performing their constitutional right to protest, it defeats the whole message.

      Our representatives, are sorely lacking in compassion for the people they represent, therefore this gives way to anger, but there is a correct way to get your message across with breaking the law or leaving a mess for other hard working citizens to clean up. Excellent hub, interesting subject matter. Thank you for sharing, voted up, marked interesting

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Thanks for checkin' in phoenix2327. A point of history; "Police Officials are calling it the largest protests in Oakland City history" takes into account the Black Panthers actions on the late 60's.

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      The Oakland contingent has a higher tolerance for violence. The Mayor asked for the denouncement of violence from the Oakland occupation but has yet to receive it.

      Thanks for your comments kateperez

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good information, gjfalcone. I read all I can to try and understand the Occupy Movement and this was helpful. Voted up and interesting.

    • kateperez profile image


      6 years ago from pasadena, tx

      can't they just show a little respect for the planet they scream about fixing?

      They trash, they disrespect, and they choose to be less than this part of the 99% wishes to be.

      I would never leave a place messier than when I got there, and I would have a coherent message, not a bunch of random thoughts that are so hypocritical by the "leaders"... When the 1% advocates the 99%, it looks a bit like something is wrong with the message.

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      The word on the street is the NFLPA has something in mind to support the workers in Indiana's fight against a Right to Work State. I could only imagine the power of a 'Mic Check' by the Football Players Association prior to the Kick-off of Super Bowl XLVI. Now That... would be Awesome...That would be Pollywood.

      Thanks for your comments and input toward the unfolding saga NayNay2124.

    • NayNay2124 profile image


      6 years ago

      The Occupy Movement is not going away anytime soon. The government needs to address their issues, which appears they have many. I think most Americans can relate to to some of their issues, but there has not been one clear agenda as to where this movement is headed. I don't think it's a good idea for the police to show aggression towards them. It only fuels more anger. I really enjoy and look forward to your hubs. Voted up!

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      I believe the Occupy Movement is defined by the salient trait of which you refer. The leader of the movement is the 99% of America. Speaking as one who has worn the riot gear many days ago, if there was one prominent leader, he would be removed from the equation.

      Politicians on the National Stage, are being politicians, waiting to see how this plays out. Mayor Quan is caught between two choices; Bad and Worse. A politicians only friend is distance.

      Thanks for checking in Michele and as always thanks for adding substance to the story.

    • Michele Travis profile image

      Michele Travis 

      6 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

      Things are getting worse and worse every day. Why aren't any of our politicians doing anything at all to help change this. As to the occupiers, like rabbit said, they have no leaders. How long will it take before someone becomes their leader?

    • gjfalcone profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Gilbert, Arizona

      Frustration cannot be confused with anger, which has been used as a feeble attempt to diffuse the ticking timebomb.

      When people place themselves in harms way, they have reached the point which exceeds frustration. The violence is a downward sprial and violence shall only be followed by more violence.Clearly a situation defined by an end result of no winners.

      Thank you for your valued input and be safe with respect to your neck in the woods.Seriously! Be safe.

    • rabbit75 profile image


      6 years ago

      gjfalcone, I think everyone knew this was going to happen...the question was, "when?" This is right in my neck of the woods, so I'm not surprised.

      I know people are pissed off, and those in government may not fear it, but the mob (no, not the mafia) or a mob can be quite a scary and dangerous force to reckon with.

      I really don't know what to make of the occupiers. There's no central voice nor goal, and that bugs me. However, I do have to tip my hat to them. At least they are acting, whether misguided or not.


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