As I sit in the safety of my writers garret in Northern California, I feel that I must express my concern over the police assaults on the Occupy movement. What the Oakland PD did was more dangerous than the "dangers" or hazards that they were supposedly entering the encampments to take care of. First off,I must state my sympathies and heart are with the movement. Where are our leaders minds? If "health hazards" were the concern, one does not send in the police. I've have worked with law enforcement as a security officer and it is clear that these police were sent in to dismantle the camp, nothing else. They were not their to investigate the supposed assault on one of the demonstrators. That could have been done with detectives. Health concerns could have been dealt with by the appropriate city department. Rather than working against the movement our leaders should be looking for ways to guarantee their right to speak, to assemble. If hygiene is a concern, why not supply porta potties? They do for every street festival or tailgate party. No, it was a deliberate attempt to break up the demonstrators camp by force.
The OPD have denied using flash bang grenades, the video sound bytes say differently. They critically wounded a two tour veteran of the Iraqi wars with a "bean bag", for those not familiar these are supposed to be "non lethal" projectiles. Problem is they are filled with metal ball shot and when fired at the head they are very lethal. The use of force is unacceptable. The city failed to reach out and work with the demonstrators, to make clear what was acceptable and what wasn't, then offer the demonstrators ways to comply. In other words, make it a "win situation" for all parties involved. No, they tried to send the message, "don't confuse us with that other city across the bay." Even if demonstrators threw bottles or rocks, you do not use teargas, flash bangs and bean bags. You do have helmets and shields, don't you?
The raid in Atlanta, Ga was even more creepy. I watched the footage of someone walking around with a rifle slung over their back. The police raided the encampment for this reason. It is clear from the videos that this person was not part of the protest, why he was there is scary, creepy. Who he was, I don't know. I do know the protest are peaceful. The police should be present to protect everyone, and that means the demonstrators too. Why didn't they stop and arrest this individual? It was the protesters who informed the police of the incident. It was a really bad excuse to break up the camp. I get the feeling that our leaders are not the sharpest bunch of tacks in the box.