Last night, downtown Oakland resembled a war zone. The Ella Baker Center is appalled at the City of Oakland’s violent response to peaceful protestors. Speak up now against the violence.
Pete, from Oakland, age 31, was one of the many folks injured while exercising his freedom of speech. “I felt it was ridiculous that the City raided the Occupy Oakland camp in the middle of the night using violent tactics. Right when people tell you to shut up is the moment to stand up and speak. That is why I marched in downtown Oakland last night.”
Pete heard the police give a 5 minute dispersal warning. He was surrounded by other protestors – he saw nothing thrown at the cops, no violence, and no destruction of property. He joined others chanting, “Who are you protecting? We are the 99%!” Without further warning, the police began launching canisters. Pete turned to walk away when he felt something hit his ankle, heard a loud noise, and saw a huge flash of light. A friendly stranger helped him get medical assistance for his ankle which remains bruised and injured today.
Pete remains resolved to continue to stand up for the Occupy movement’s right to be heard and to resist further threats of violence. “I can’t believe Oakland would take that level of aggression against people doing nothing threatening. I still can’t believe it. But I will go back. This is our city, I hella love Oakland, and I am going to fight to protect our freedoms.”
Pete’s is just one story of Occupy Oakland’s attack from the City and the police. Join us now in denouncing the violence and demanding the immediate release of any Occupiers.
This is not the end of Occupy Oakland. Or of political activism in Oakland. In fact, it is just the beginning. Right now, the Mayor and Police Department should apologize and change their course. But tomorrow, they should join us all in fighting for the 99%.
The Ella Baker Center Team