The Occupiers and the State
by Anthony Gregory
In Oakland, California, where I live, the Occupiers have been struggling to keep their ground on Ogawa Plaza, a piece of public property in front of City Hall. On the night of Tuesday, October 25, I saw from my apartment, miles northeast of the action, dozens of police cars zoom in from a neighboring jurisdiction. I looked at an online police scanner where the Oakland police department described the situation as a riot and requested a multi-county tactical response. Hundreds of police, donning intimidating riot gear, swept in to confront the crowd on the streets. There was no riot, however, as almost all the protesters were peaceful, the only ones acting out with petty violence being loudly chastised by the crowd. The most belligerent participants by far were law enforcers, who responded to thrown bottles and civil disobedience with tear gas and rubber bullets. One man, Scott Olsen, was hit with one of the police’s projectiles, his skull fractured. Thankfully, he is now reportedly in fair condition. You can tell from the videos that the police were not exactly using restraint with these weapons. They even threw percussion grenades at the protesters who came to Olsen’s aid. What began as a typical overbearing government response to protesters in the name of public health now offers a peak into the full threat to liberty that we face in modern America.