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“Occupy Oaklandā? Riots Shut Down Port

 

Last week the Washington Post reported that the Smithsonian National Museum of American History was collecting “Occupy” signs for a lovely exhibit on this wonderful movement.  “And they have plenty to choose from,” writes Maura Judkis of the Post, for “new images of the already iconic Occupy signs come across the wires every day.”

Of course, as Scott Johnson at PowerLine notes, the “wires” tend to avoid all those violent, profane, pro-Communist, and anti-Semitic signs that litter “Occupy” protests.  Given the heavy leftist tilt of the Smithsonian these days, their “Occupy” exhibit is likely to be heavily sanitized.  Wouldn’t want people to get the “wrong” impression about the “liberal Tea Party!”  By the way, does the media think the actual Tea Party produced any “iconic” signs?

Johnson suggests the Smithsonian check out the site of the latest Occupy Oakland riot, which should be just littered with icons, mixed in with all the litter. 

The liberal Tea Party had been staging a “general strike” all day, after the craven Mayor Jean Quan literally surrendered the city to them, going so far as to advise local businesses to “leave the cash drawer open and empty” after business hours, so the wealth redistribution experts marching through the streets could easily see that they didn’t have any money to steal.

Quan also gave all city employees the day off, so they could join the protests… except for the city police.  As the Blaze reports, this was very confusing to the city police, who found themselves wondering if the Mayor wanted city employees on both sides of the picket line.  They wrote Quan to ask if she could clear a few things up, such as who was actually running Oakland these days:

On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza. We performed the job that the Mayor’s Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.

Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in – to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before.

To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the “Stop Work” strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.

That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against “the establishment.” But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest? Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?

It is all very confusing to us.

The police are probably a little cranky about the way they were used as scapegoats for the violence displayed by Occupy Oakland during the last riot it started, which ended with a man nursing a head injury in the hospital.  Hopefully the Mayor kept her eyes open during the next riot, which happened last night, when the Occupiers marched on the port and shut it down. 

After ritually insisting its readers understand the Occupy movement’s tactics “had largely been limited to marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September” – just forget about all the riots, vandalism, and violence, folks! – the Associated Press mournfully reports on this inexplicably out-of-character “escalation:”

The confrontation began after protesters started a large bonfire in the middle of a downtown street. Dozens of police in riot gear moved in on hundreds of protesters as the flames leapt more than 15 feet in the air from several large metal and plastic trash bins that had been pushed together.

The clash and subsequent standoff came only hours after thousands of Occupy Wall Street protesters shut down one of the nation’s busiest shipping ports late Wednesday.

 About 3,000 of these noble “activists” gathered at the port, and proceeded to activate themselves:

The crowd disrupted port operations by overwhelming the area with people and blocking exits with chain-link fencing and illegally parked vehicles. The demonstrators also erected fences to block main streets to the port. No trucks were allowed into or out of the area.

Port spokesman Isaac Kos-Read said evening operations had been “effectively shut down.”

And later port officials released a statement saying that maritime activity would be cancelled indefinitely, but they hoped to resume the work day Thursday.

“Our hope is that the work day can resume tomorrow and that Port workers will be allowed to get to their jobs without incident,” the statement read. “Continued missed shifts represent economic hardship for maritime workers, truckers, and their families, as well as lost jobs and lost tax revenue for our region.”

Yeah, but who cares about them.  Maritime workers, truckers, and their families – like the small business employees Occupy Wall Street has shoved onto the unemployment lines by obstructing their businesses – are just witless slaves to the One Percent who need a wake-up call.

The day’s events in Oakland began with a rally outside City Hall that drew more than 3,000 people who spilled into the streets and disrupted the downtown commute. Protesters hung a large black banner that read: “Occupy Everything, DEATH TO CAPITALISM.”

The crowd included students, families with young children and many people wearing labor union T-shirts. “Shut down the 1 percent. We are the 99 percent,” they chanted.

 Look, an “iconic sign!”  Alert the Smithsonian!

Although the Associated Press desperately soft-pedals the evening’s violence, and buries their account of it deep in the article, the local Mercury News serves it up straight:

As many as 40 people were arrested in downtown Oakland early Thursday after what was mostly a peaceful day during the general strike Wednesday turned heated.

Late in the evening, protesters temporarily took over a vacant building, started fires in downtown and used homemade bomb launchers to fire M80s at police.

At 1 a.m. police had used tear-gas and flashbang grenades in attempts to clear the crowd from downtown streets. Some protesters tried to calm the situation by chanting “Don’t throw (crap)” and yelling “Stand still the world is watching” but others continued to stand off with police and refused to leave despite police calling an “unlawful assembly” at midnight.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m. police were ready to move in on the Occupy Oakland camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza and announced that arrests would be made. At least 100 tents are housing hundreds of people there.

Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said there are about 70 people “determined to cause trouble and instigate a confrontation with police.” They plan to release their photos at some point. Jordan said officers intended to separate the troublemakers from the rest of the campers. He said around 2 a.m. that between 30 and 40 had been arrested, although he could not confirm the exact number.

They may have been some of the same vandals who trashed Whole Foods on Wednesday.

Oakland’s heroic Mayor Quan sprang into action:

Early in the chaos Mayor Jean Quan asked protesters to call her and gave them her phone number; there was no word on whether Quan had been called by protesters.

[…] Before the building takeover shortly before midnight Wednesday, Quan said she was happy the crowd — which police estimate hit 7,000 people at one point — protested all day with only a small amount of destruction and violence.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that ungrateful citizens who unreasonably think the Mayor should do more than give her phone number to the rioters, while advising law-abiding citizens to hide their money from a mob that includes city employees, have launched a recall petition.  Quan thinks a “divisive and expensive” recall election is the last thing the city needs, during the divisive and expensive riots she has been indulging.

 

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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