Can’t Touch This!

M.C. Hammer joins Occupy Wall Street Protestors in Oakland.

Speaking of the Oakland OWS debacle, apparently Oakland police aren’t aware that it’s the 21st century.

If you want to move protestors, clear and area, or even marginalize an amorphous political movement that’s anti-greed and anti-bad-stuff, this is not how you do it.

I have a hard time finding a charitable explanation in regards to this (at the end):
This kind of ham-fisted over-reach and over-reaction is the sort of stuff that protest movements are built on, and thrive on. And that’s been true since The Boston Massacre. At least. It’s not how you get the hippies to settle down and go away.

Apparently M.C. Hammer no longer wears golden parachute pants. Very disappointing. 


By Ashot

NoVa raised this issue and I tracked down an article that quotes some of Oakland’s policies on crowd control and links to the PDs policy manual.
Meanwhile, this article shows some of the various police weapons in action against other crowds.

20 Responses

  1. The first video doesn't look too bad, but the second video involving the former marine inexcusable. Either way, you're right and it will only strengthen the movement.

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  2. Luckily for Oakland, Scott Olsen's condition is improving. The kid seems like a real straight shooter too, worked at a decent job during the day and protested at night. I saw a comment somewhere from him about not waiting until he was unemployed to fight for the unemployed.This is a little boring, but then that's just one of the many qualities I admire in Simon Johnson. And it looks like the FDIC just got another straight shooter.Tom Hoenig, formerly president of the Kansas City Fed, has long been a strong voice for financial sector reform along sensible lines. Within the official sector, he has spoken loudest and clearest on the most important defining issue: Too Big To Fail is simply too big. And last week he took a major step towards a more prominent role, when he was announced as the administration’s nominee to become vice-chair at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).The FDIC is not as powerful as the Fed. But in our current financial arrangements, it does have a critical role to play. The Dodd-Frank legislation has its weaknesses, but it gives the FDIC two important powers. First, with regard to big banks, the FDIC can help force the creation of credible “living wills” – explaining how the bank can be wound-down if necessary. If such wills are not plausible then, in principle, the FDIC could force simplification or divestiture of some activities. Second, the FDIC is now in charge of “resolution” for megabanks, i.e., actually closing them down and apportioning losses in the event of failure.

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  3. "Too Big To Fail is simply too big."Damn straight."Scott Olsen's condition is improving."Which is good. But I think most people can see how over-zealous police might accidentally injure somebody trying to clear an area, although we might not approve. Setting off a flash grenade to disperse people trying to help the injured Olsen . . . hard to be understanding about that.

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  4. Oakland PD are not known for their sensitivity. Luckily for them it looks like he'll be okay. Can you imagine the solidarity if he had been killed? I think part of the reason the movement caught on so fast and spread so far was the exuberance of the NYPD in using pepper spray, up close and personal, on a bunch of women behind a barricade who appeared to be obeying the rules. It's no wonder police departments across the country would love to outlaw the recording or their engagements with citizens.

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  5. those flash bangs are a menace. they've killed people, including police officers. and how its it that you can use a device that, by design, is intended to cause injury, against someone who hasn't even been charged with a crime?

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  6. McWingHere's that piece in the LA Times outlining Brown's proposals for pension reform. He's facing an uphill battle but not unlike Obama he's hoping Democrats will be willing to take their medicine if it comes from a lefty rather than the even more radicalized version of reform a Republican might propose. Obviously, we need to do something here. He has a mess to clean up so I give him props for the effort.Brown's 12-point plan, announced Thursday, would require that all public workers have at least half the cost of their pensions deducted from their paychecks. Most state employees already make that contribution, but many in cities, counties and school districts across the state pitch in far less.The governor also wants future employees to receive up to a third of their retirement income from a 401(k)-style plan rather than a traditional guaranteed pension. And he urged that the retirement age for most new public workers be raised from 55 to 67."I try to protect working people whenever I can," said Brown, 73, "but I'm also responsible to the taxpayer and making sure we have a solvent state government."California's public pension system has been strained by ballooning obligations to current and future retirees. Brown, who says he does not draw a pension, has called the system unaffordable and unsustainable. He wants to cut the state's long-term pension needs in half.

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  7. oh, i remember reading that a defense attorney wanted to set one off in a court room. basically, he said, "hey the state says they are harmless, so what's the problem?"

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  8. Governor Moonbeam is sounding amazingly pragmatic. That's good news for California, even a lot of Californians don't want to take their medicine.

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  9. That's a brilliant little move by that defense attorney. As answer to your earlier question, police are allowed to use for against people who aren't charged with crimes. Heck they can shoot someone who hasn't been charged with a crime, if they think that person poses a threat. Usually police departments have policies and procedures outlining when various levels of force are allowed to be uses and I would suspect the same is true of flash grenades, tasers, etc. I'm guessing those policies don't allow for throwing flash grenades at an injured citizen and the group of people trying to help him.

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  10. As for the pensions, I would think public sector employees might be better off with a 401K account as opposed to depending on the continued solvency of the city or state where they are drawing their pensions. I think the last year or two has demonstrated that if cuts need to be made, public union benefits and pensions will be one of the first couple of targets. The other popular measures are cutting education funding and taxes on corporations.

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  11. kevinI think you'd be surprised at the number of Californians who are willing to take their medicine. There was a piece in our local paper today discussing Brown's proposal and the number of abuses of the current public employees benefits and over-time compensation. I don't think you'll find that many people support a prison nurse who made almost $300K last year because of over-time compensation, or that over-time totaled half of all wages for public employees in the past year. We could have hired 28,000 teachers for that much money and not be facing a shortened school year or turning 200,000 students away from the community college system. We have city managers making more money than the President of the United States and Fire Chiefs retiring on $200K plus and then going to work again as Fire Chief in another county……….sheesh.We're not stupid out here, and I think Brown might just be surprised that some of his reforms will gain popular support, even on the left.

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  12. Re: California … CMS just approved a plan to cut reimbursements to Medi-Cal (Medicaid) providers by 10 percent, saving $623 million out of a $14billion budget. Still reviewing a plan to charge higher copayments.

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  13. "or that over-time totaled half of all wages for public employees in the past year"Yup. In the school system I work in, everyone is salaried and there is no overtime. There is mileage compensation, which people who drive around all the time end up collecting a good chunk of change from, but it's not crazy. Of course, we used to have flex time, which allowed employees to teach other employees and then take that time off at a later day. They got rid of that, and the result was that we no longer had employees teaching other employees how to do much, and there's just less professional development, period. "and Fire Chiefs retiring on $200K plus and then going to work again as Fire Chief in another county"The current Superintendent of the city schools here has a deal not unlike that (that is, he's already collecting retirement from another school system), and will get a deal when he stops being superintendent of city schools where he can collect his 2nd pension here, and then go get another job (presumably with another pension). This is usually legal, but there's a very broad "confusion" among some folks that are taking advantage of the system that legal somehow means good or sustainable. "Well, they said I could quit, take my pension, then get re-hired, and continue to collect my pension plus full salary, so I just did what they said . . ."California is fine state. I hope you guys pull it out of the fire.

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  14. Personally, if we're facing cuts, which most states are due to lack of revenue and balanced budget requirements, I'd just as soon they'd start with people who are abusing the system they've set up for themselves rather than take it out of the pockets of the working poor or school teacher's pay or job security. CA prison guards receive $130/mo for submitting to an annual physical, whether they pass the physical is immaterial.

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  15. "Usually police departments have policies and procedures outlining when various levels of force are allowed to be uses and I would suspect the same is true of flash grenades, tasers, etc"Thanks for the that. I think a lot of the criticism for the flash bangs is there indiscriminate use. Seems like they are standard operated procedures.

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  16. NoVa- This article talks about Oakland PD's policy and has a link to their training manual.

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  17. thanks Ash!

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  18. I've been very impressed with Occupy SLC, both from the protester's side and the police side. I think I mentioned last weekend or the weekend before that I'd driven by the site and there wasn't a police officer in sight. They may actually be helping the police, as their campsite is a public park here which is usually overrun with homeless people and a scary place to be, this was in today's paper about how the Occupy folks are working with the homeless. This quote from the story describes where they're set up:But it is still Pioneer Park. It was Pioneer Park before the Occupants occupied it. Every city has a difficult spot, and this is Salt Lake’s. Those who live and work nearby have gotten used to people sprawled on the 400 West median, the jaywalking, the occasional broken glass and the behavioral quirks — staring, staggering, shouting, hunching, muttering, frequent peripheral glances and the ability to sit perfectly motionless on a bench for a really, really long time — that, in sum, makes a lot of Utahns brace for something weird and probably bad to happen here.BTW, Kevin, you're in Memphis, right? I heard that some protesters got arrested overnight in Nashville, but have since been released. Any idea why/what happened?

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  19. Michigoose, I do not know. I don't always catch the local news, so I probably just missed the story.

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