Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Occupying My Armchair

Just want to say a few things from the comfort of my home which won't make any sense shouted in the streets. I think two forces are at work in bringing the insane brutality perpetrated by the OPD and surrounding agencies last night. Look at the national news reports and you hear, verbatim, the "sanitation and threat of violence" excuse popping up all over the place: Georgia, San Francisco, New York... This rhetoric, and the tactic it purports, are being perpetuated, and likely created, from deep behind the scenes. Mayor Quan just admitted that she had little to do with the planning of these actions, and was only informed of them after they had been decided.

But that dynamic, where (soon to be ex-) Mayor Quan can't even participate in decision-making about a police action of this scale (assuming we can even believe this latest garbage statement out of her office) is a uniquely Oakland predicament. One the one hand, the protest of police brutality going back to the late 60's has institutionalized itself to a power base which Quan knows she cannot ignore. They essentially choreographed her isolation of former Chief Batts (can I just say, though I'm no fan of the guy, I can't imagine him conducting the OPD as poorly as his recent successor has. For whatever that's worth). On the other hand, Quan's gutting of several local programs merely to put another dozen cops on the streets, proves that she is desperately seeking the ascent of the OPD to her current young administration. Thus, with neither credibility nor authority, she was forced to let a deputy "make the call", which essentially meant giving OPD carte blanch to turn this into their fantasy of urban warfare. They even managed to shoot a soldier in the head- too bad it was a former US soldier.

So much for "the police are part of the 99%". The police would shoot the officer next to them if they smelled blood.

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