In the last two weeks, Occupy Oakland has been the victim of almost-daily raids. Over fifty of us have been arrested, many of whom have been detained for days only to have their flimsy charges dropped when finally taken to court. Many of us have been targeted, harassed and arrested by OPD for merely being a consistent presence at Occupy Oakland. Additionally, we all live in constant fear of the reality that OPD, at any moment, could snatch us off the street based on our affiliation to the movement. This is Police Terrorism!
Here is an update of the last few weeks and then an in depth account of the “Fuck the Police” March that happened on Friday night.
December 28th: Arrests were made at a raid of an occupation by Tactical Action Committee of an unused lot in West Oakland.
December 29th: OPD raided the occupation of a foreclosed house on 10th and Mandela, arresting 12 people most of whom are part of the Tactical Action Committee.
December 30th: The cops came to the plaza en masse during the day, demanding the food and info table be taken down, and then immediately started snatching and arresting folks. 11 occupiers in total were arrested that day, many of whom faced bogus charges, such as Tiffany Tran who was charged with Lynching (which eventually got dropped). Additionally, it became apparent on this day that the cops were deliberately targeting and harassing specific people whom they consider to be key members of Occupy Oakland.
In this video you can see the snatch and grab of one Occupier (who is known to help out with the sound system) by an undercover and two other OPD officers. http://www.youtube.
A handful of these comrades arrested from the 29th and 30th were held in jail until their arraignments on Tuesday, January 3rd, forced to spend the new year in jail only to have their charges not even be filed.
January 4th: Wednesday night, around 60 police rolled into Occupy Oakland at around 11pm and without issuing a notice to disperse or providing any kind of warning began advancing on the occupiers in attendance at the vigil. One protester attempted to talk to them about their intentions and he was immediately thrown to the ground and arrested. Within minutes, fourteen of our friends were arrested, two of whom had actually left the scene and crossed the street to avoid arrest. They were arrested by cops who deliberately broke away and went after them as targets. Both are African American men who have demonstrated leadership in two different areas of the movement.
January 5th: The interfaith tent called for an autonomous solidarity action in response to the arrests from the night before. Protesters stormed the steps and entrances to city hall. At some point cops began snatching people. They made two arrests.
FUCK THE POLICE MARCH UPDATE:
Outraged by the police repression of the last two weeks, the Tactical Action Committee and others called for an autonomous action against the police. Autonomous actions have a history within Occupy Oakland, and have been encouraged so that occupiers have the opportunity to organize actions that fit to their more specific beliefs and preferred tactics but do not represent the wide range of viewpoints that Occupy Oakland encompasses. This march was organized with the purpose of taking a stand against the out of control tactics being used by the city and OPD to attack Occupy Oakland. Hundreds of people were in attendance at the *Fuck the Police* march on Friday night, marching through downtown and circling the jail and police station twice. Riot police were there from the beginning and when they eventually responded to the event it was with brutal, traumatizing force. They started by shooting rubber bullets into the crowd. After this, they kettled everyone (meaning the cops surrounded the crowd on all sides, making it impossible for anyone to leave), and then made an order for people to disperse. Meaning, they surrounded and trapped the crowd before telling people that they must disperse. They then refused to clarify whether people were being detained or not. Many people have reported that they were told by cops that they were not free to go, but then were also told that they were not being detained. In all, six people were arrested last night. Three of them have been released without being charged. One of them was a medic who was arrested while trying to help a protester who was wounded by rubber bullets. Before the medic was arrested, they were also hit with rubber bullets by the police, sustaining injuries that required them to seek medical attention the following day. One person was taken away in an ambulance due to serious wounds from rubber bullets and another protestor is seeking medical attention for a broken arm. . It is also reported that the police broke another protesters leg, as well as having knocked a woman off of her bike, proceeding to throw the bike at her. One of the people who was arrested is being charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor and his bail is set at an outrageous 595,000 dollars, in addition to being hit in the head by the police before his arrest. The other two arrestees are facing misdemeanor charges.
Their arraignments will be on Tuesday at 9am (Misdemeanors) and 2pm (Felonies) Dept 112 at Wiley Manual Courthouse at 7th St and Washington. Please attend!!!
OPD and the City of Oakland are blatantly out of control in the actions they are taking against Occupy Oakland. Stand up to them by attending the Court dates of our fellow occupiers and calling these city officials to overflow their in-boxes:
Nancy O’Malley (Alameda District Attorney): (510) 272-6222
Jean Quan (Mayor): (510) 238-3141
Deanna Santana (City Administrator): (510) 238-3301
Howard Jordan (Chief of Police): (510) 238-3076
Additionally, we must note that OPD is most capable and successful at attacking us when we, as Occupy Oakland, are smaller and have less of a presence in Oakland. The City and Police Department are strategically making massive amounts of Occupy Oakland arrests in the hopes that it will prevent us from continuing our struggle against them based on the need to support those arrested. As our movement strengthens and grows, police will continue to utilize this strategy, but we must not let it fool us. Of course, we must support those of us facing police repression by doing things such as attending each others’ court dates and arraignments, but we must also move forward and not let repression deter us from mobilizing and gaining strength in our Occupy/ Decolonize Oakland movement. As they always say, a good offense is the best defense!
Ways to do this:
1) Occupy Oakland is planning on occupying/moving into a building on January 28th. Attend the meetings at OG Plaza Sundays at 12:30 and Wednesdays at 4:30.
2) Attend General Assemblies at 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and at noon on Sundays at Oscar Grant Plaza
3) Attend Regularly Meeting Caucuses and Committees such as POC Caucus, Kitchen Committee, Library
Committee, Events Committee etc (All have pages on the Occupy Oakland Website in the Committees section!)
4) T.A.C is calling for another Fuck the Police March this Saturday at 8pm
Hugs and fists,
Occupy Oakland Anti-Repression and Solidarity Committee