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Published on Jan 30, 2012
I edited this footage and added annotations to give people an idea of what transpired, because nothing else is currently available on youtube, and at least 300 people have, in my opinion, been unjustly arrested.
First of all, This is almost entirely from the incredible footage that was recorded by OakFoSho. He filmed for about 12 hours straight Saturday, until the early morning hours on Sunday. He was always in the thick of things, and at the best place in the thick of things. Without this footage, police and media claims from this past weekend would be irrefutable. OakFoSho has stated clearly that his footage may be reused as long as proper credit is given. Please consider supporting the work he is doing, it is invaluable:
Second of all, I'd like to say I am extremely dismayed by the violence that occurred on Saturday. There may be a time and place for violent resistance, but we are nowhere near it. The violent and provocative actions of a small group have seriously marred, perhaps irreparably, what little credibility Occupy Oakland had left. The attempt to forcibly seize buildings, even if unused, is misguided and unhelpful.
Unaware of the nature of Saturday's protest and the violence that had happened earlier in the day, I poked my head out after getting home in the evening to see what the ruckus downtown was about. I found the evening march at 27th and Broadway, just a few blocks from where the mass arrests occurred. There were few police visible along my route there (about two minutes by bike), other than some unmarked police vans driving recklessly fast through crowded Saturday night streets. I didn't see police on foot until we were kettled, and only through very good luck was I able to avoid being arrested. After walking three blocks through my home town!
Disturbed by that incident, I returned home by about 9:00 PM, after riding past another disappointing scene at City Hall. At home I stumbled across OakFoSho's live stream, which, along with other live streamers, youtube contributors, and a little first hand experience, provide a comprehensive perspective on what had happened. While some truly lamentable crimes were committed, there is still no justification for the police tactics that were used. I believe that after the eventful morning clashes, they purposely came down hard to send a signal and get retribution. I edited this video to show the movements of protesters and police tactics in the 30 minutes leading up to the mass arrests. Check OakFoSho's Ustream for the unedited footage of the entire evening, and consider spreading this video if you agree that these arrests were unjust.