DISGRASIAN OF THE WEAK! Oakland Mayor Jean Quan And The Police Response To #OccupyOakland

October 29th, 2011 | 0 comments | Posted by Jen

I don’t know how local politics in Oakland work, but I do know after this week that politics in Oakland ain’t working. On Tuesday before dawn, the police raided the Occupy Oakland encampment in Frank Ogawa plaza, using tear gas and bean bag-rounds to clear out protesters. Later that night, Marine and two-time Iraq War vet Scott Olsen was critically injured during a protest march when a police projectile–most likely a tear gas-canister–hit his head and fractured his skull. Olsen remains in the hospital ICU in “fair” condition.

During the first incident, Mayor Jean Quan, who’s been in office less than a year, was on a plane to D.C. She later said she hadn’t been involved in the planning of the sweep and didn’t “know everything” that had happened. Quan maintains City Manager Deanna Santana and interim Police Chief Howard Jordan were responsible for the sweep and that she didn’t even know when the eviction would take place.

As for the second incident, which was reportedly much more confrontational than Tuesday’s early-morning sweep, the Oakland police, like Quan, have also denied responsibility for their actions. According to the Washington Post, police have denied using rubber bullets and flash-bangs on Tuesday night’s protesters, even though “many” photos and videos have emerged to the contrary. One Occupy Oakland protester who came to Scott Olsen’s aid after his skull was fractured by that police projectile told the SF Chronicle that after Olsen fell, the police threw another tear-gas canister at them and refused to help Olsen, who by then was bleeding from the head.

So if Mayor Quan and the Oakland police aren’t responsible for suppressing the Occupy Oakland protests, then who is exactly? Who is ultimately accountable to the people of Oakland?

The silver lining to all of this: Occupy Oakland has become an “international symbol of resistance,” gaining the support its own city officials have failed to provide from people around the world.

[photos via WaPo and Boing Boing]

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