A visual explainer of laws that govern police crowd control tactics at protests in Oakland, CA

At Oakland North, John C. Osborn has created a series of graphics that visually explain the policies of the Oakland Police Department and the California Penal Code that are supposed to guide how police and protesters interact.


  1. Good to know. 

    Somewhat OT, but I wish OWS could do something about the anarchists. They trashed my neighborhood (Mission SF) yesterday – a neighborhood that consists purely of independent business owners. They’re ruining the message. Perhaps OWS should take a leaf from the Tea Party playbook and hire security to self police. 

    1. You understand some of these things could be the result of people slipping into the crowd to cause problems to show Occupy in a bad light?  A majority of the people protesting mean no harm to anyone or anything, but there are some bad seeds (some of them with badges) who try to rile them up and cause more problems to shift public perception.
      In the 1960’s they used to say you could spot the undercover cops infiltrating the groups easily, they were the ones pushing people to commit violent acts. 
      They still use these tactics today, the FBI has yet to stop a terrorist attack inside America that they themselves that they hadn’t started.  Find someone who isn’t pleased with the way the country is going, and then provide support and encouragement of that feeling.  Make suggestions of violent actions, provide the planning and support of those things, then get them to act, run in scoop them up and declare how safe we now are.
      Occupy are just regular people, asking them to do the police’s job of finding the real troublemakers and stopping them is kinda funny.  If police stopped pretending every Occupy protestor is a violent thug in waiting, and looked they could find the troublemakers easily.  But it is much easier to decide everyone is bad and needs to be stopped.

      1. They still use these tactics today, the FBI has yet to stop a terrorist attack inside America that they themselves that they hadn’t started.

        Do you prefer aluminum or classic tinfoil for your hat?

        I say this with all due respect, but you are not doing your cause any good by blaming all the violence and destruction on people trying to discredit Occupy. There are plenty of people who both agree with Occupy and like to break stuff and riot. Even if that number is in the low single digits, denying they exist at all makes the movement look dishonest.

        1. 1 – Look over every single publicized terrorist arrested in FBI stings, find the ones who were not being aided by the FBI or their informants.  Find the case where a Judge who was sentencing someone pointed out if not for the aid of the FBI this bumbling fool never would have gotten anywhere.  I paraphrase but his bumbling was called Shakespearean IIRC.

          2 – I merely was trying to point out that because someone came and did stupid crap does not make them part of Occupy.  To assume that all of the bad was merely the fault of Occupy not keeping control over people is silly.  Let me frame it another way, would you hold all black people accountable for the actions of a few?  How about Muslims?

          There might have been people who consider themselves part of Occupy who did these things, but there are also people who just like to cause chaos and others who like to make sure people don’t show concern for what they are protesting about.  Like when Bloomberg decried all of the crapping in the alleys, and when pressed was unable to produce any proof of that statement.  But “regular” New Yorkers who were interviewed about OWS always brought up this and other stories that had no evidence behind them.  Yes Occupy should hire security for their events, I mean its not like they are tax payers and there is a police force…

        2. “Do you prefer aluminum or classic tinfoil for your hat? … I say this with all due respect, “Funny; are you trying to be ironic? 
          I recall participating in a demo against the invasion of Iraq. After the families up front,  there were cyclists in back who started to break stuff. Afterwards, I asked what was going on. The reply was “oh the cyclists are anarchists – they’re there to stir things up”. It seemed to be a given. 

        3. @Aloisius:disqus  Maybe you just need some clarity. The term is Agent provocateur. We already know the FBI employed them in their COINTELPRO  operations – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/COINTELPRO
          We also know that reporters do it as well. http://my.firedoglake.com/cgrapski/2011/10/09/american-standard-editor-admits-to-being-agent-provacateur-at-d-c-museum/
          Remember al-Zarqawi? The US citizen they killed with an air strike? The Pentagon reported him dead dozens of times before the NYT reported this http://northernsong.wordpress.com/2010/06/28/agent-provocateur-tactics-at-the-g20-protests-a-forum-for-evidence-and-discussion/ Shortly later they killed him for real.
          Remember the G20 ‘anarchists’ who were later found to be employed by he police?

          Wake up. This is a tried and true method for discrediting a group and jailing the innocent. It’s allot like saying anyone who believes this takes place is a tin foil hat wearing conspiracy nut.

          For years those nuts would go around saying the entire Vietnam war was predicated on a lie and that the Gulf Of Tonken incident was a hoax.  In 2003 the former Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara admitted that the Aug 4 attack never happened. I guess they were right.

          Here are some other things those tin foil hat types told us the truth about

          MK-ULTRA – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_MKULTRA
          The CIA produced the animated film Animal Farm -http://pw1.netcom.com/~ncoic/cia_info.htm
          The Tuskegee Syphilis Study http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tuskegee_syphilis_experiment
          Operation Northwoods http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Northwoods

          1. I know what it is and I have no doubt that there are in fact agents placed within a large number of groups, but to blame them for 100% of the violence doesn’t pass the smell test.

            And the tinfoil hat comment was about every threat stopped by the FBI being some kind of FBI plot, not that they put agents into say, random anarchist groups.

      2. Abbie Hoffman, who was no stranger to FBI interdictions, said that most conspiracy theories give the alleged perpetrators too much credit for being organized. This was back during the Nixon era, when dirty tricks was a tool of the executive branch. Doing that now is more prone towards exposure with smartphones and cameras. In the US, I would think the risk of exposure is a *lot* greater than the reward. At least, I hope so. 

        Last year, I went to a RightsCon, where technologists met Human rights advocates operating in hot spots like Yemen. Agent provocateurs were *definitely* part of the mix. Torture and death were definitely part of the mix. 

        It is NOT a policeman’s job to ensure the integrity of a movement. It is *everyones* job. I want OWS to make a difference.

        1. “It is NOT a policeman’s job to ensure the integrity of a movement. It is *everyones* job. I want OWS to make a difference.”

          And if they had managed to detain someone who was acting out and tried to turn them over to the police I’m sure the whole group of them wouldn’t have been peppersprayed, beaten, arrested, assaulted etc…
          The police are actively hostile to anyone who is part of Occupy.  They assume the whole group is just out to harm them and they treat them as such.  So other than Occupy people giving the beatdown to people who are breaking stuff what are their options?

          1. It doesn’t have to be physical. Did you watch the extended vid of the UC Davis standoff. Some students started to yell epithets at the campus police. Other students snuffed that flame out with a sound check (am paraphrasing from memory) “we are a non-violent demonstration” something like that – I almost cried it was so beautiful. They took the moral high ground. And held it. Am still amazed by it.  

    2.  “The” anarchists? As someone who believes in non-hierarchical diffusion of power throughout a community (anarchist), I’m sorry for trashing your neighborhood yesterday. I don’t remember doing it, but sorry.

      How about the rioters, or the destructive protestors? But no, because everyone believes what the TV box told them about the WTO protests or the G8 protests or what have you, and anarchism isn’t a political theory, anarchists= just protestors destroying things.

      I was with an informal gathering of anarchists once at the first Occupy Minneapolis encampment. That is, I saw some friends I knew who were also anarchists, and we had a conversation. I don’t recall destroying the place, I think we even asked a few people to put out their cigarettes so cops didn’t harass us.

      Speaking of cops, everything T_A_C said.

      1. Fucking pisses me off, too, mate. Anarchists in many people’s imagination seem to belong in the same category as devil worshippers or kiddie fuckers.

        1. Having worked for an organization with such weak leadership that it was effectively non-hierarchical, I put anarchists in the same category as those who believe the Rapture is upon us – possibly well meaning individuals who do not live in the real world and are completely ineffective at doing anything but annoying those around them.

          1. The one where in the absence of leadership and hierarchy, one spontaneously forms as political-oriented people consolidate enough power by convincing enough of the majority of people to back them who have neither time, energy or inclination to pay attention to politics on top of living their own lives?

            Anarchy is as much of a utopian fantasy as the “free” market or communism. At least traditional capitalism doesn’t try to pretend that humans aren’t inherently self-centered and that there aren’t bad actors out there.

      2. Am all for P2P power distribution. The problem is the lack of negative feedback. So, when someone who claims to be an “anarchist” breaks a window, paints an (A), then they are establishing the brand. If you are not providing any negative feedback, then you’re contributing to that perception. 

        By analogy, as an urban cyclist, I’m judged by the worse behavior of other cyclists. In SF,  one recently ran down and killed an elderly pedestrian in a crosswalk. So, whenever I see a cyclist acting like a jerk, I yell at them. 

        So, if someone is busting windows and painting an (A), what are you doing about it? If nothing, then you’re partly responsible. 

        1. There is plenty of discussion amongst anarchists about how to protest. I don’t deny that I disagree with the tactics of some, but there are lots of very loosely affiliated groups involved, and the more criminal element do not go out of their way to publicise their activities. There is historically some confusion between anarchism and nihilism, too.

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