'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Oakland Chamber of Commerce Demands Another Police Assault on Occupy Oakland 

UPDATE: This is why there is such urgency towards suppressing manifestations of Occupy Together like Occupy Oakland. Fred Shavies, the officer interviewed in this video, was, amazingly, one of the undercover Oakland Police Department officers exposed about a couple of weeks ago:

INITIAL POST: A press conference today by Oakland Chamber of Commerce President Joe Haraburda concluded about two hours ago:

susie_c Susie Cagle
"What if #OccupyOakland continues?" pres: "it better not... It better not."
17 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland "we believe the police acted appropriately..." pres just said Scott Olsen might've actually been injured by a baseball bat??
18 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland saying now the raid was "handled very professionally."
19 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland "our concentration at this point in time is ending the encampment." rising frustration in presidents voice.
20 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland "fights, fire hazards." "it's an illegal occupation -- that's OUR property." "end the occupation NOW."
21 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland now chamber pres complaining about Quan more. They met last week but "the mayor wasn't really listening."
22 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
Chamber survey results: 76% agree with #ows goals but 49% disapprove of #OccupyOakland and only 33% agree w camping in plaza
23 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland tenants pulling out of leases. "we haven't heard anything that seems like Quan is moving forcefully in any direction"
27 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland Chamber of commerce releasing stats on local biz. 30-40% biz down @ restaurants. "the camp must go" "downward spiral"
29 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
New perspective -- overhearing other press here making fun of #OccupyOakland
32 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
@ @beingtherewith yep
34 minutes ago »

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland At chamber of commerce press conference. Nearly didn't get in because I look too radical?
39 minutes ago »

Influential people within the Oakland political and economic establishment are not hiding their intentions. I don't recall a situation in recent years where publicly prominent people within a community like some members of the Oakland City Council yesterday and the Oakland Chamber of Commerce today have openly advocated the use of force against people that almost guarantees more incidents of police brutality, if not a violent eruption in downtown Oakland. Amazingly, even the Oakland Police Officer's Association recognizes it. It is a high risk approach, given that only 49% of chamber members surveyed disapprove of the encampment, with a surprisingly high number of 33% in support of it.

Of course, it is doubtful that the such an assault will help the businesses of downtown Oakland. Instead, it is likely to indelibly stain the area as the site of some of most intense police violence inflicted upon the populace in recent American history. It will be remembered as emblematic of the paramilitarization of the police in this country. Accordingly, it would accelerate a gentrification process that has taken place in fits and starts over the last 20 years, except that there is no capital to finance such a transformation, at least not now, so it will have the immediate effect to turning the area into even more of a social and economic desert, potentially, ironically enough, creating more opportunitites for alternative social organization like Occupy Oakland.

Haraburda is revealing when he emphasizes the loss of business for restaurants. His emphasis is probably duplicitous, as discretionary spending has declined precipitously since the late summer, so Occupy Oakland may be a convenient scapegoat. For example, the notion that someone is not going to go to an Oakland Chinatown restaurant 6 or 7 blocks to the south of the encampment is ludicrous. Consistent with this, many of these restaurants are a feature of upper middle class entertainment that characterizes American cities. Hence, the truly frightening aspect of Occupy Oakland is that it points towards a prefigurative alternative of urban life.

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