Occupy Oakland Erupts in Violence and NYPD Squares Off Against U.S. Military
A true sign of a coup is determined by the split of the military supporting the current power structure. Now that veterans have been injured and there are factions of the military splitting to support Occupy Wallstreet and Occupy Oakland protesters, the possibility of a true coup in the United States remains real. No one likes to think that it can happen here in the good ole U.S. of A, but only a fool would believe that the people who have taken to attacking armed police officers with weapons like rocks and sticks pose no threat. My question is: why don’t any politicians ask them what they want? Or are the answers such that no one in power wants to hear them.
My father predicted revolutionary tactics this past summer, particularly after watching the Middle East erupt into deadly power explosions. I had, at first, downplayed this risk, but after an unarmed Oakland, CA protester Scott Olsen suffered a fractured skull at the hands of police officers, the Occupy movement was supplied with a martyr, a rallying cry.
The military has begun to split, with those who see police shooting an unarmed civilian as an escalation of unnecessary force as an invasion on the rights of the American people. This vein of resentment amongst the military continues to be expressed in New York where the corrupt NYPD has begun using horses and batons to beat back protesters, to the ire of a Marine captain made famous on viral YouTube video. So, what happens when one part of the military force is attacked by the police force? Violent protests, attempt to shut down businesses and attacks on power structures:
Occupy protesters voicing anger over a budget trim that forced the closure of a homeless aid program converged on the empty building where it had been housed just outside of downtown.
They blocked off a street with wood, metal Dumpsters and other large trash bins, sparking bonfires that leapt as high as 15 feet in the air.
City officials later released a statement describing the spasm of unrest.
“Oakland Police responded to a late night call that protesters had broken into and occupied a downtown building and set several simultaneous fires,” the statement read. “The protesters began hurling rocks, explosives, bottles, and flaming objects at responding officers.”
Several businesses were heavily vandalized. Dozens of protesters wielding shields were surrounded and arrested.
Protesters ran from several rounds of tear gas and bright flashes and deafening pops that some thought were caused by “flash bang” grenades. Fire crews arrived and suppressed the protesters’ flames.
Protesters and police faced off in an uneasy standoff until the wee hours of the morning.
In Philadelphia, protesters were arrested earlier Wednesday as they held a sit-in at the headquarters of cable giant Comcast.
In New York, about 100 military veterans marched in uniform and stopped in front of the New York Stock Exchange, standing in loose formation as police officers on scooters separated them from the entrance. On the other side was a lineup of NYPD horses carrying officers with nightsticks.
“We are marching to express support for our brother, (Iraq war veteran) Scott Olsen, who was injured in Oakland,” said Jerry Bordeleau, a former Army specialist who served in Iraq through 2009.
The part that makes me the most nervous is the belief on the part of the cops that the violence they employ is justified. It’s only a matter of time before one of the police force, in any of these cities is killed. The p0lice have injured protesters every day they have approached them, and the police are brutalizing people who feel they have nothing left to lose. It’s a terribly dangerous situation.
Just as the current power structure begins to feel uncomfortable with the level of sentiment expressed by the Occupy movements, with one New York Post editorial asking for it to end,
A New York Post editorial on Thursday called on protesters camped out in Manhattan to leave or have police evict them. “What began as a credible protest against bank bailouts, crony capitalism and the like has, in large measure, been hijacked by crazies and criminals,” it said.
the project has now expanded to include children and students, many of whom bear the weight of crushing student loan debt, while the banks receive bail-outs.
In Boston, college students and union workers marched on Bank of America offices, the Harvard Club and the Statehouse to protest the nation’s burgeoning student debt crisis. They said total outstanding student loans exceed credit card debt, increase by $1 million every six minutes and will reach $1 trillion this year, potentially undermining the economy.
“There are so many students that are trying to get jobs and go on with their lives,” said Sarvenaz Asasy, of Boston, who joined the march after recently graduating with a master’s degree and $60,000 in loan debt. “They’ve educated themselves and there are no jobs and we’re paying tons of student loans. For what?”
And among the other protests in Oakland, parents and their kids, some in strollers, joined in by forming a “children’s brigade.”
“There’s absolutely something wrong with the system,” said Jessica Medina, a single mother who attends school part time and works at an Oakland cafe. “We need to change that.”
- Occupy Oakland Violence: Peaceful Occupy Protests Degenerate Into Chaos (huffingtonpost.com)
- Occupy Oakland protesters ratchet up tactics (msnbc.msn.com)
- Occupy Oakland general strike – live (guardian.co.uk)
- Occupy Oakland protesters clash with police (abclocal.go.com)
- Occupy Oakland marches on the port (cbsnews.com)