The Oakland Tribune reports the latest isolated incident perpetrated by rogue elements at an Occupy camp:
A man was shot and killed in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza on Thursday evening, just yards from the entrance to the Occupy Oakland encampment.
The killing, which came as hundreds of occupiers prepared to celebrate the camp’s one-month anniversary, prompted Oakland Mayor Jean Quan to call for the campers “to leave voluntarily tonight.”
Thus far, the Occupiers have refused Mayor Quan’s generous offer, and we already know she won’t do anything to force them out, having already surrendered the city to them. Unless the growing outcry from citizens who thought the purpose of government was to protect the rights of the law-abiding has changed her mind. The threat of recall or a no-confidence vote, threatened by City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, might also focus her mind. In Quan’s defense, she was apparently doing a lousy job of dealing with crime before Occupy Oakland came along.
The camp was holding a one-month “birthday” celebration, so its population was higher than usual. The Oakland Tribune describes the incident as a “small fight” between “two young men” inside the camp, which escalated when one of them called in reinforcements:
After the initial fight, one of the young men called several friends or family members from outside the camp and asked them to come and help him. The victim had visited the camp often, said his cousin, Medea Williams of Oakland, who said she lived in a camp tent.
When the friends arrived, the dispute escalated into pushing and shoving near the portable toilets adjacent to the plaza.
According to one witness and Occupy Oakland supporter, Rachel Tolmachoff, 55, of Pleasant
Hill, a group of occupiers then intervened and tried to get the people involved in the fight to move on. A short time later, they heard between four and six gun shots and saw several men run by.
According to the local ABC News affiliate, neither the shooter (who is evidently still at large) nor the victim were formal members of the Occupy movement, so they probably just showed up for the birthday party. But the Occupiers very much made themselves a part of the story by forming a human chain around the victim, and physically attacking several reporters who tried to film the crime scene. Here’s the account of reporter Aimee Allison, writing at the San Francisco Chronicle:
At about 4:45pm Thursday evening, a crowd of thirty surrounded a man apparently shot in the head at Frank Ogawa Plaza near Oakland City Hall. He appeared unconscious and was bleeding from the head when I arrived at the scene, a full ten minutes before the police and ambulance arrived. Women were screaming, and many in the crowd were moaning from the unexpected traumatic event. Several were aggressively shouting, “no pictures” and linking arms around the injured young man.
There were no police officer visible on the scene. Here’s the video I took before a man in the crowd attacked me as I attempted to take a photo. He threw my cell phone camera some 20 feet away. Another in the crowd returned the phone.
A few feet away a TV cameraman was shooting footage and a crowd of twenty or so men attacked and punched him, forcing him over the railing of the 14th Street BART Station.
You can follow the link to see her video. Most other media accounts I’ve read this morning have sanitized the attack on KGO-TV cameraman Randy Davis by saying he was merely “punched in the head,” but the Examiner has a photo of the assault that left him with a concussion:
So, to the surprise of no one who gave it more than thirty seconds of clear-headed thought, a permanent encampment of angry, rudderless socialists and anarchists, who are determined to “police” themselves after rejecting civil authority – and have already won one violent encounter with the hapless city government – has become an ugly mess with a body count. The idea that Mayor Quan can erase her culpability in letting things degenerate to this point, by politely asking the Occupiers to pretty please pack up their tents and go home, is offensive. It remains to be seen just how offended the law-abiding citizens of Oakland are prepared to get.