Oakland Police ask Occupy Oakland to "please: leave peacefully and immediately"

Today, the morning after a homicide took place near the Occupy Oakland encampment, "An Open Letter to Occupy Oakland from the Oakland Police Officers’ Association." My guess is that odds are high for another forceful crackdown on the encampment by police.


  1. do they need to be policed though? Why can’t the police go back to fighting crime in the neighbourhoods and leave the occupy guys alone?

    1. I would say that a murder is a pretty fucking good thing for the police to get involved in.  Whether they’re using it as an excuse to continue existing strongarm tactics, however, is another matter.

      1. Murder was near the camp. not in it. The camp IS still in Oakland, after all.

        We now return you to your regularly scheduled crime-wave.

      2. I think Todd K has said what I was trying to say. The letter says there have been 101 homicides in 2011 and I assume they didn’t all happen in the last 30 days? What do the occupy guys have to do with there being another homicide? 

  2. Would have come across as more sincere if they’d STARTED with a polite and reasonable letter instead of going straight to the skull-crackin’.

  3. Well, I guess it’s over, they *did* use the magic word, after all. I’d say the Occupy movement had a good run. /s

  4. My response would be:

    To the OPOA: We aren’t the ones taking you out of the neighborhoods where the crime is occurring. For the ones who are, look to your superiors who decide where you’ll be assigned and when. We aren’t the ones starting the violence. For that, look to those within your own force who pepper-spray and shoot protestors who aren’t threatening anyone and journalists whose only “crime” is to document what is happening. We ask you: leave Frank Ogawa Plaza peacefully and go back to policing the devastating crime that’s occurring in the neighborhoods you yourselves say you’re needed in. And if your superiors won’t let you do that, ask yourselves “Why?”.

  5. If 10,000 lobbyists/CEOs/Directors willing to take personal responsibility for the current economy retire, peacefully and immediately, we can talk. 

  6. This is just like watching two people going through a divorce…. neither side does anything to make themselves look good and are willing to do everything to discredit the other side just for its own sake, even if it means burying themselves in the process….

    Oh, of course because the Occupy Oakland side is OUR side, it either doesn’t count when WE do it, or it’s different when we do it, or–really–we’re not doing ANYTHING and the OPD is doing EVERYTHING….. right?

      1. I’ll own up, you’re right, I don’t think the “divorce” analogy was apt.

        More like… a bunch of protestors being protestors and police being police?

        1. To be fair, you don’t have to be the husband or the wife to have been in a divorce. Most divorces suck in the children, pets, coworkers and friends.

          1. Now that I think about it, I think the reason why I use the “divorce” idea is that, from my perspective, it seems like both sides–or rather, ELEMENT from both sides–are willing to act in questionable ways in order to bolster their position and make them look good AND their opponents look bad. But then again, you don’t have to be in a divorce to see people from opposite sides self-destruct in their goal to prove they’re the better person….

            I guess I’m just frustrated to see people act about the Occupy movement as being an infallible movement which is completely better than to lower themselves to the level of their opponents…. only to see many people within the movement lower themselves to the level of their opponents (perfect example: seeing people being violent for its own sake during the Occupy Oakland march on the Port of Oakland, and that Scott Bergstresser deal where Occupy Oakland folk thought he was the one who injured Scott Olsen… only to drag three other people’s lives in the mud in “revenge”).

            I just think it’s refreshing to see people within the Occupy movement recognize that it’s still a little rough around the edges (versus seeing others pretend that it doesn’t exist), but–and there’s no argument here from me–it’s still a pretty powerful movement for something that’s only two months old; there’s STILL plenty of time for those edges to be ground down…. or, conversely, maybe it’s a lesson to me that ALL major forces for positive change–such as the American Revolution, the Civil Rights Movement, etc–have ALWAYS had to wrestle with that minority who actively seeks more radical action at the cost of (unintentionally?) undermining their cause, and the Occupy movement simply is no different.

            Of course, I can accept if my perspective of it is not exactly correct and the reality of it is much different than I currently understand it to be.

          2. Why does the Occupy movement have to be a perfect moral example? Or in any way for that matter? The U.S. government, the banks, and the corporations are far from being the moral compass that anyone should aspire to. Whatever damage, mistakes, or confusion of message by the Occupy movement is most certainly less, by scales of magnitude, than what the organizations they’re protesting have wrought on the United States.

            Don’t blame the victims. This movement wouldn’t have happened if a segment of the society wasn’t exploiting the fuck out of anyone they could.

          3. It doesn’t have to be a PERFECT moral example, but actively NOT cleaning themselves up is a very dangerous prospect.

            “Or in any way for that matter? The U.S. government, the banks, and the
            corporations are far from being the moral compass that anyone should
            aspire to.”

            That’s the problem: it’s OK to NOT to be immoral only when WE do it, right? How does that make us better than our opponents??

            Now, the Occupy movement is more than free to take things in any way they want it to. But as history has shown, movements WITH a stronger moral position are usually the ones that win (mostly because people tend not to join groups with a weak moral fiber). Any movement that wiilingly accepts a lower moral position that their enemies end up failing. I mean, just look at the U.S. government, the banks, and the
            corporations and their lower moral standing; you think they’re going to win WITH their low moral standings??

            I may not be a well traveled man, but I do feel I know ENOUGH about the world to know how much keeping your nose clean only serves to HELP you achieve victory exponentially more than doing things which society deems immortal to achieve your goals. But then again, I’m only 29 years old; what do I know??

            The Occupy movement doesn’t have to be 100% perfect. Mostly because NOTHING can be 100% perfect. I’m sure all the major movements for positive change as well as all the great leaders of those movements ALL had to deal with that small minority of radical assholes who do nothing more than serve to (unintentionally) undermine the movement, mostly because they felt the movement isn’t doing “enough” to achieve their goals. That’s why I don’t expect it to be a PERFECT moral example. On the other hand, I still fee that there is a LOT they can work on.

            I mean, consider the reverse: the way American police officers and local governments have been attacking Occupy protestors… it’s NOTHING like what the authorities have been doing in Egypt, Syria, Libya and elsewhere. BUT it still doesn’t mean we have to accept the way they’ve been treating us just because it’s not as bad as what is going on elsewhere in the world.

            The same holds true for how the Occupy movement should act; it doesn’t have to be perfect, but we can still do a lot to iron out the wrinkle. Because you catch more flies with sugar and vinegar. That is to say, there are many people in the US who undoubtedly agree with what Occupy stands for–including the police themselves, believe it or not! However, many of those disagree with the WAY Occupy acts, and THAT is what keeps Occupy from growing even larger. As such, if Occupy is to grow even stronger and win more hearts and minds of the 99%’ers, it needs to clean up its act by A LOT. I mean, look at what Occupy has been able to do in its short two months of life. THEN consider how much MORE it could do if it began to win people’s hearts and minds by being a better “moral example”, rather than let violence reign supreme just because it’s still less than “what the organizations they’re protesting have wrought on the United States”.

            Again, how is sinking down to the level of our enemies the better route to take?? Doing so makes the Occupy movement look no better than the way the U.S. government, banks, and
            corporations act, except that the Occupy movement doesn’t sign everyone’s paychecks…. and that’s enough to basically turn Occupy into just another failed movement.

            “Don’t blame the victims. This movement wouldn’t have happened if a
            segment of the society wasn’t exploiting the fuck out of anyone they

            The problem here–in my opinion–is that people assume that only ONE side can be responsible for the situation we’re in, and that if it’s that one side’s fault, it’s most CERTAINLY not the other side’s faul! But if you think about it, we’re also in this situation mostly because of the gov’t, banks and corporations, but also because of the people who LET them do what they did. Case in point, how many people were suckered into Zero% Down home loans AND didn’t consider what would happen if they lost their job? No one put a gun up to their head and said “you MUST get this home loan!” …. Now of course I also realize that these guys aren’t EVERYONE’S story, but at the same time, you can’t deny that there are a minority of people who created their own problems with NO help from the banks, simply by virtue of the fact that generally nothing is ever 100%; even if it’s 99% the banks/gov’t/corporation’s fault, it still means it’s 1% OUR fault.

            I’m not blaming the victims so much as I’m blaming the radical minority within the Occupy movement who feel that violence and other immoral actions is an acceptable means to an end, and that doing those thing WILL be what needs to be done in order to achieve victory. But, as history has proven, the immorals–at least what is defined as “immoral” at the time–usually always lose in the end.

            Basically–and again–If the Occupy movement decides that violence and other “immoral” actions is what is required to achieve our goals, then we can basically consider this movement dead and over, simply because the local governments and the police will use our immoral actions as an excuse to bash our brains in for good. I thus feel this is a VERY dangerous thing to believe, but… what do I know?

  7. Here’s a suggestion for the Oakland Police Officers’ Association – why don’t you joint the protesters since you claim you are part of the 99%, and stop carrying out the wishes of the 1%, show some initiative and acknowledge that your orders to rough up the crowd are inappropriate and show some solidarity for a movement that wishes to improve your lot.

  8. So far Oakland has spent over a million dollars above standard budget on police services around Occupy Oakland.  They do not have growing tax base, so that money will have to come out of city services, welfare etc…  

    The businesses around Occupy oakland (there may be large building with big companies but those first floor business are mom and pop stores and restaurants, they have had a huge increase in theft and vandalism and a general 40 percent or more drop in revenues, they are going out of business.

    The letter is the start.  I will bet money Saturday evening they are going roll in with a different plan.  It will be the riot police on mass, but they’ll bring the entire Alameda County Sheriffs department bus fleet (used for moving prisoners).  They will will coral the park, kettle everyone start arresting and transporting everyone to Alameda County Lockup (over by me).  And I will bet they will use a charge with $50,000 bail so it costs $5,000 to a bondsman to get out and no one will get RO’d so they can go back to oakland, they will sit till monday or tuesday to see a judge and by then they will have a small force at the park arresting anyone with a backpack or tent that looks at the park.

    If they start people with cameras shouldn’t just watch Oakland some people need should go to Santa Rita Lockup and keep tabs on things over there.

      1. Seems about as reasonable as the idea that camping out in a public park (while damaging public property, disrupting public access to that park and providing a haven for crime) can, in any way, convince banks and government to change how they affect our economy.

        1. Whether or not you think the protests are effective or a good idea has nothing to do with using rubber bullets & flashbangs on them. I’m not asking if you support OWS or Occupy Oakland or if you hate them. I’m saying– do you seriously support the level of force being leveled against people who are…what, loitering?

          (Sure, they are damaging public property– like when soccer teams use public lawns to play on, ugh, isn’t it the worst?)

          Saying it seems reasonable to react to peaceful demonstrations by American citizens with violent measures isn’t rational. Don’t give the state the right to attack you without provocation. It isn’t a good precedent. Who cares if you think these are stinky hippies– it isn’t smart to get cops in the habit of attacking citizens. Next thing you know they’ll be shooting people execution style on the trains or something.

  9. Wow, you really haven’t been paying attention then, have you?

    The whole idea is to draw attention to the economic disparity existent in this country.  By occupying a space, they’re providing a forum for people to voice their opinions about what the problems are and what the solutions are.  That’s the whole purpose of the general assemblies and the network of communication between the various occupations.

    “Camping in public parks” at the least, is a way to get attention.  Until people are paying attention to the problems voiced by the occupiers, the problems will never be solved.

    1. I get that. Have you noticed, though, any changes as a result of the Occupy movement?

      I agree with the general message of the movement, but it seems that all they’re accomplishing with the Occupations is to associate those who don’t like the status quo with hippies and drug addicts.

      1.  @phoomp:disqus

        The Occupations have gotten people to pay attention. People are talking and the usual paid flacks are getting shriller in declaring that “nobody knows what the protesters want.”

        The OPA have made their point and it’s time for them to go home now and go back to doing a crappy job of fighting crime.

        I first read this as “On behalf of the 9000 members of the OPA…”

      2. Changes as a result of the Occupy movement:

        Major banks cancel recently-added debit-card fees and retroactively refund any fees that were charged.

        Major media starts talking about unemployment again, where before Occupy, they were primarily talking about the deficit, which amounts to talking about cutting social services.

        I mean, I’m not even trying very hard, and I pulled these out of my ass. Are you even paying attention?

    2. Really? They are getting attention all right — all you see in the news, and here on BoingBoing, is the fall out between the protesters and police. How is that shedding light on any of the REAL issues that originated with the OWS movement? Do you see any from Wall Street being harassed or arrested? Are the 1% taking notice, and are politicians lining up to change their ways. HA!

      These protests are only resulting in a watered down message, and making the whole effort look like some hippie-wanna-be camp for the violent and unemployed who don’t want to work for a living. The fact is, the protesters who could have helped create real change were already forced out by the violence and idiocy. This is no longer about change, now its about “we’re gonna stay no matter what you say.” 

      Spiteful pride doesn’t accomplishes anything – it only makes it harder to get things done.

      1. So now that we’ve heard your complaints, do you have any actual ideas for something that would work better?

  10. Every request from the police comes with an implied postscript:
    “Or else.”
    It doesn’t need to be said, because it’s understood.  If you don’t do what the police want, there will be Big Problems.  It’s a request backed by a threat.  People do what the police want, because they have a good idea what will happen if they decline, and they want to avoid it.

    What if every request issued by the Occupy movement carried with it a similar implied postscript?

  11. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
    – Constitution of the United States of America, Bill of Rights, First Amendment


    SEC. 3. (a) The people have the right to instruct their representatives, petition government for redress of grievances, and assemble freely to consult for the common good. (b) (1) The people have the right of access to information concerning the conduct of the people’ business, and, therefore, the meetings of public bodies and the writings of public officials and agencies shall be open to public scrutiny.(2) A statute, court rule, or other authority, including those in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, shall be broadly construed if it furthers the people’s right of access, and narrowly construed if it limits the right of access. A statute, court rule, or other authority adopted after the effective date of this subdivision that limits the right of access shall be adopted with findings demonstrating the interest protected by the limitation and the need for protecting that interest.(3) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies the right of privacy guaranteed by Section 1 or affects the construction of any statute, court rule, or other authority to the extent that it protects that right to privacy, including any statutory procedures governing discovery or disclosure of information concerning the official performance or professional qualifications of a peace officer.(4) Nothing in this subdivision supersedes or modifies any provision of this Constitution, including the guarantees that a person may not be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law, or denied equal protection of the laws, as provided in Section 7.(5) This subdivision does not repeal or nullify, expressly or by implication, any constitutional or statutory exception to the right of access to public records or meetings of public bodies that is in effect on the effective date of this subdivision, including, but not limited to, any statute protecting the confidentiality of law enforcement and prosecution records.
    (6) Nothing in this subdivision repeals, nullifies, supersedes, or modifies protections for the confidentiality of proceedings and records of the Legislature, the Members of the Legislature, and its employees, committees, and caucuses provided by Section 7 of Article IV, state law, or legislative rules adopted in furtherance of those provisions; nor does it affect the scope of permitted discovery in judicial or administrative proceedings regarding deliberations of the Legislature, the Members of the Legislature, and its employees, committees, and caucuses.


    SEC. 5. (a) It shall be competent in any city charter to provide that the city governed thereunder may make and enforce all ordinances and regulations in respect to municipal affairs, subject only to restrictions and limitations provided in their several charters and in respect to other matters they shall be subject to general laws. City charters adopted pursuant to this Constitution shall supersede any existing charter, and with respect to municipal affairs shall supersede all laws inconsistent therewith.(b) It shall be competent in all city charters to provide, in addition to those provisions allowable by this Constitution, and by the laws of the State for: (1) the constitution, regulation, and government of the city police force (2) subgovernment in all or part of a city (3) conduct of city elections and (4) plenary authority is hereby granted, subject only to the restrictions of this article, to provide therein or by amendment thereto, the manner in which, the method by which, the times at which, and the terms for which the several municipal officers and employees whose compensation is paid by the city shall be elected or appointed, and for their removal, and for their compensation, and for the number of deputies, clerks and other employees that each shall have, and for the compensation, method of appointment, qualifications, tenure of office and removal of such deputies, clerks and other employees.

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