Interim Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan said at a news conference later in the morning that hundreds of officers and sheriff’s deputies from more than 12 agencies moved in on about 170 protesters.
He said police fired beanbag rounds and tear gas, but no one was injured. Television news footage showed protesters being taken away in plastic cuffs without incident, although an officer did fire a non-lethal projectile from a shotgun at a protester who lobbed a bottle, authorities told the San Francisco Chronicle.
One of those arrested, Aiyahnna Johnson, 30, of Oakland, had been living at the camp with her 2-year-old daughter. “We want the best for you guys, that’s all,” she was quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle telling two officers who were leading her away.
And via my pal Scott on Facebook, here’s a story that illustrates what the point is of all those crazy hippiesbanging drums in the street:
Occupy Wall Street has already achieved a stunning victory – a victory that is easy to overlook, but impossible to overstate. In just one month, the protesters have shifted the national dialogue from a relentless focus on the deficit to a discussion of the real issues facing Main Street: the lack of jobs — and especially jobs with decent benefits — spiraling inequality, cash-strapped American families’ debt-loads, and the pernicious influence of money in politics that led us to this point.
To borrow the loosely defined terms that define the Occupy movement, these ordinary citizens have shifted the conversation away from what the “1 percent” — the corporate right and its dedicated media, network of think-tanks and PR shops — want to talk about and, notably, paid good moneyto get us to talk about.
The latest of Time magazine is Joke Line’s fucking idiocy about how left and right are evil, of course, and that the only way to get yourself heard politically is to disavow actually giving a shit in any way, and mouth platitudes that express not true moderation but a desperate attempt to ensure balance by insulting fucking everybody. I’d link to it, but it’s behind a paywall, and also contains zero polling data to actually back up the assertion that everybody likes people and politicians who eschew movements. In truth, only Joke likes these, because they allow him to point out his own superiority over those gross people who believe in stuff.
So people like that have the money and the power, the airwaves and the soundbites, and hippies have tents and signs, but when all you’ve got is a hammer you might as well nail some shit down. What’s the point of protesting? To change the conversation. When and if the protests end, the work that has always been done will continue being done, so that we get better as a country, but right now we need to talk about something else besides the deficit and how hard rich people have it when everyone hates them.