Corporate greed is probably not the only reason why protesters are Occupying Oakland. More then likely it is not the number one reason. In a city with a history of Police brutality, most of the protesters number one concern is probably the relationship the police have with the citizens it is sworn to serve and protect. The Oscar Grant protest suggest that most of the citizenry feel that they need to be protected from Oakland’s law enforcement agency.
In January 2009, a young man from Oakland by the name of Oscar Grant, was arrested at a BART station. While being forcibly restrained by police, the unarmed Grant was shot to death. Police said Grant was resisting arrest, a claim disputed by witnesses. Grant’s wrongful death brought outraged Oakland citizens swarming into the streets, marching and breaking windows.
The police haven’t disappointed in the Occupy Oakland movement. Two Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans were severely injured in attacks by the police. Kayvan Sabeghi, underwent surgery for a ruptured spleen. Sabeghi, a former a former 32 year old Army ranger who served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, was walking to his home near Frank Ogawa Plaza when he was stopped by police, hit in the abdomen four times and then arrested and taken to jail where he could not receive medical treatment.
One week earlier, Scott Olsen an Iraq veteran was badly injured after being struck in the forehead by a police projectile. Olsen who had to be placed in medically induced coma, suffered minor brain damage and is unable to speak.
The occupiers tell stories of people whose hands were broken by police batons, and others who were struck by rubber bullets. A photo journalist was thrown to the ground while trying to photograph police activities. To add to the culture of mistrust, some cops concealed their names and badge numbers after being accused of infractions.
The movement is so skeptical of the police, they have initiated a cop watch. The purpose is to expose infiltrators.
It’s hard to believe that members on the police force have not been impacted by the bad economy brought on by corporate greed. Most if not all of them are probably members of the 99% category. The protesters represent their financial plight as well. However, due to the history of police brutality which has raised it ugly head in the Occupy movement, the protesters are not comfortable with those who are claiming to join the protest as protesters.
The question is whether the police who are found in plain clothes amongst the protestors are infiltrators or protesters. The Cop watch video found below went viral when it depicted Oakland Police Officer Fred Shavies in plain clothes with demonstrators at Occupy Oakland. In the video above, officer Shavies speaks on infiltration, the Occupy Oakland movement, activism, and his allegiance to the 99%.
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