In the last post I said 200 people were arrested. Actually, it was 400. The cops “kettled” the protestors, then flashbanged and charged into them with clubs. There is a great deal of video that shows all this. As the weather warms (and it has been a record mild winter in the west of North America) the Occupy movement is rousing in other places as well. Washington, DC is a place to watch.
Occupy Oakland was busted (again) on the 27th. Among those arrested were several journalists, including Susie Cagle. Cagle was eventually released and has yet to receive any answer to her questions of why the OPD took journalists into custody. Cagle has begun a series of posts to Truthout on the history of Occupy Oakland. Link is to first post (of five). Susie Cagle’s new site.
Meanwhile OO determined to find and occupy an abandoned building in Oakland on Saturday to use as an HQ. OO was gassed and about 200 arrested that day.
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan says that destruction of the Occupy camps was coordinated by officials of 18 different cities. They all agreed to bust the occupations at the same time. (Probably so that no one place would become the symbol of repression.)
Susie Cagle is one of the journalists embedded with the various Occupy events. She covers Occupy Oakland. The press card around her neck has not kept her from being gassed , arrested, and jailed. Cagle plans on writing a comic about Occupy Oakland. She doesn’t cast herself as an objective reporter. “I think I’d maybe consider myself an activist-journalist.”
Cagle’s full story on her arrest and police treatment of occupiers is here. Excerpt:
Journalists have no special protections in Occupy demonstrations, especially journalists representing national media organizations. Local police rules give privilege to local media with locally dispensed “official” press passes, resulting in a local media who are more or less embedded with the government. This system actively discourages prying outside eyes.
But my experience counterintuitively revealed the opposite. At a time of such intense public scrutiny, the Oakland Police Department made the mistake of arresting a journalist, and sending her into the heart of an ugly process with which not only demonstrators but many other Oakland residents have long been familiar. They gave me an unmatched, visceral opportunity to understand what makes Oakland residents so angry with the police.
Previously, Cagle wrote about faith-based pregnancy centers , recent troubles of the San Francisco Police Department, the uproar over the Mohammed cartoons, Facebook, and many other things. She is founder of the Graphic Journos collective. Cagle’s father is the political cartoonist Daryl Cagle. He encouraged his daughter to draw but was a harsh teacher. They disagree about feminist issues.
Meanwhile, Susie Cagle is a bit concerned that, if she is busted again, she might be hit with a heavy fine or bail that she cannot pay. It might help her out if you visited her website and clicked on her store link and bought a few books.