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

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shooting Death Near Occupy Oakland 

UPDATE 5: (11:22 PM): An ABC 7 camera crew was attacked when it tried to take video of the critically wounded victim shortly after the shooting. Why did this happen? Perhaps, this may provide an insight:

The death of Hugh O'Connor occurred on September 20, 1967. O'Connor, a Canadian television journalist, was filming a coal miner at his rented house in Jeremiah, Letcher County, Kentucky when Hobart Ison, the property owner, arrived, told O'Connor and his crew to leave, then shot and killed O'Connor. Journalists and filmmakers had descended upon Appalachia in the late 1960s to document the living conditions there, in relation to the War on Poverty. This offended many local residents, who objected to the stereotyping and criticism by outsiders, as well as their tendency to show only the poor of Appalachia.

People can feel such resentments intensely:

Although many were shocked by the crime, local residents rallied to Ison's defense. About 100 residents attended his bond hearing to support and offer assistance in paying the bond. According to a 2001 book:

Locals defended Ison not because they approved of murder and not because of an innate, clannish suspiciousness of outsiders, but because they perceived the prying eyes of reporters to be an assault on manners, common decency, and the integrity of their communities.

Interestingly, the first trial of Ison resulted in an 11 to 1 hung jury, and, after subsequently entering a guilty plea for voluntary manslaughter, he was paroled after only serving one year in prison.

While the crowd should not have attacked the crew, and injured the reporter/cameraman, Randy Davis, the people in the crowd, in the heat of the moment, could have construed the crew as violent crime paparazzi.

UPDATE 4 (10:57 PM): Compelling series of tweets from Davey D.:

mrdaveyd Davey D
Lastly we have to come to grips that not all the violence we experience will come from cops.. Sadly sometimes it's 99% on 99% #occupyoakland
58 seconds ago

mrdaveyd Davey D
We need to comfort the young man's family.. We need to comfort those who saw this.. We need to comfort each other.. #occupyoakland
2 minutes ago

mrdaveyd Davey D
Now more than ever #occupyoakland must be revolutionary and the most revolutionary thing u can do is love, uplift, comfort & help heal!

mrdaveyd Davey D
Seeing a violent death is tragic-For some in Oakland it's all too familiar for others its traumatizing- I'm sure the family is devastated
16 seconds ago

mrdaveyd Davey D
#occupyoakland like any other community has to take bold, loving steps to heal.. I mean Really heal.. Lots of folks saw this man get killed
2 minutes ago

mrdaveyd Davey D
#occupyoakland like many other communities in Oakland & urban spaces around the country has to grapple w/ loss of life to violence
3 minutes ago

mrdaveyd Davey D
This young man was part of the 99%.. He was one of many who have lost their lives to violence..it hurts to say that.. Its painful
4 minutes ago

mrdaveyd Davey D
While one's initial reaction is to pt out the young mN who was shot was not part of the encampment, we can't separate him from our community

Quite a contrast to the cynical opportunism on display from Mayor Jean Quan and City Council member Ignacio De La Fuente, who can't resist exploiting Alex's death to achieve their political objective of ending the encampment.

UPDATE 3 (10:46 PM): OakFoSho has a livestream of the vigil for the victim, Alex, at Occupy Oakland.

UPDATE 2 (10:44 PM): According to Eyeslam: A shooting is a reason to call for the end of violence, to end the flood of guns in the streets; not for the end of #OccupyOakland.

UPDATE 1 (10:40 PM): Shockingly, there was a murder at the same location in April.

INITIAL POST: Tragic killing of a young black male near Occupy Oakland in front of Tully's Coffee at 14th and Broadway. Occupy Oakland medics were first responders. Others formed a circle around the victim to allow him to receive medical care and tried to apprehend the suspects. A media crew that attempted to gather video of the victim at the scene was attacked by angry people. So far, the Oakland Police Department states that neither the suspect nor the victim appear to have been associated with the encampment. Not surprisingly, that isn't preventing Mayor Jean Quan from saying that the encampment will be closed tonight, although she is also requesting that people leave voluntarily. Meanwhile, the mood in the plaza is understandably somber, and the people there are now holding a vigil. For updates, follow the Twitter feed at Occupy Oakland, which is a good source of information from numerous sources.

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