This is a time that our grandchildren and their kids will be studying in their History classes and thinking to themselves, Wow! I am glad I didn`t live in those days when Grandma and Grandpa did. I remember when I was just a twinkle in my mother`s eye and my grandmother was telling me about how she and her family lived during the Great Depression of the 1920`s and what they experienced in those times which by the way was a lot like we are experiencing today just not as intense and I thought the same thing that I was glad I didn`t have to grow up during that time when my Grandmother did.
We have lived and seen just about everything from the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, an economy that bottomed out close to the same as the Great Depression did, a Government that cannot create jobs, people becoming homeless like it was just an ordinary way of life, protests that are now sparking up all over this nation like it was a flashback to the protests during the Vietnam War of the 1960s and now a movement called the Occupying Movement for economic justice that is being watched all over the world and has taken shape by people of all demographics and ages.
Recently, we all saw on the news how Scott Olson who is an Iraq War Veteran and an Occupying Movement protestor was hit in the head by a bean bag fired from a shotgun used by riot police in Oakland, California when a seemingly peaceful protest by the occupying movement turned a little too aggressive. This action by the Oakland Police Department is the same as using deadly force and this action should not have happened in the first place. There is an article that was written back in 2004 that summed up the same actions taken by police back then basically matched the actions taken by the Oakland police in this incident.
According to an article published in the San Francisco Chronicle back in November of 2004, Oakland police were supposed to refrain from using any type of militarized weapons like wooded or rubber bullets, Taser Guns, pepper spray, or even refrain from using mechanized items like motorcycles to break-up crowds and in their tactics of crowd control.
The article states that back in 2003 when the War in Iraq was at its early stages protestors I guess in the San Francisco area were targeting their protests aimed at two logistics and shipping companies when police supposedly infringed on their First Amendment rights of Freedom of Speech and the right to Assemble and in this incident by police there were multiple protestors injured as the police used riot protesting tactics to control the crowd. As a result there were over fifty-eight class action law suits filed by the protestors. As a result the city of Oakland implemented a new policy for a gentler way for police to take to control of riots and to control crowds and protestors.
Rachel Lederman of the National Lawyers Guild in San Francisco commented on this new policy back in 2004, "What we`ve done is create a comprehensive policy that really provides a much more sensible, reasoned approach to managing demonstrations and crowds," (Lederman, R. , 2004) The Oakland police surely did not abide by this policy recently when they used the old way to control crowds.
With the incidents by police towards the 2003 protestors; the fifty-eight class action lawsuits filed resulted in the city paying out 2.8 million dollars to settle the law suits. You would really think that the leadership of the Oakland Police department would really train and enforce this new policy when it comes to riot control by their department.
The Oakland School Board voted Wednesday night to close five Elementary School this week partly in part to budgets constraints but I think it also may be in preparation to the possible future law suits that may come as a result of the latest actions by the Oakland Police department. The total amount of money the school closing will save the city of Oakland.two million dollars. Close the schools this week because of budget constraints? I don`t think so; close the schools to collect enough money to pay the law suits that may possibly be filed by the protestors as a result of the latest actions by the Oakland Police department.
Karlin, M. (2011), Buzz Flash, Oakland Police Violated 2004 Agreement Limiting Use of Militarized Weapons to Disperse Crowds. Retrieved 2011.