I’ll be posting more thoughts on the violence in Oakland later on, but in the meantime please view this video I took right as the Oakland Police Department fired tear gas into a crowd of peaceful protesters.
Oakland’s Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan went on the news saying that OPD had to use tear gas to defend themselves against protesters who were throwing bottles and other items.
That is not true. As you can see from the video, I was RIGHT there at the line. Yes, I did see objects being thrown at the police throughout the long day. Our march went all over the city, and there were several confrontations and things were thrown at them, which I have major issues with. But if they are using this as an excuse for the tear-gas, it is complete BS.
The rally got back to 14th and Broadway around 8:30PM. From the moment we got there, the police were making an announcement that we had 4 minutes to vacate the area, that this was an unlawful assembly, and that if we didn’t leave, people could be arrested, injured, and that they will use “chemical weapons.” They kept repeating this over and over for about 10 minutes. Then they fired.
The use of tear gas was not a response to bottles being thrown. It was their plan. They knew they were going to use it. At the time, there was nothing being thrown at them and they police were in no danger. Those who were caught up in the tear gas included a woman in a wheelchair and an Iraq war vet, amongst hundreds of others.
More to come later.