by JP Massar
One year ago to the day, in the wee hours of the morning of October 25th, 2011, armed thugs invaded the newly-named Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland. Bringing with them tear gas, batons and military style arms, they gassed, beat, dragged and kidnapped people who were doing nothing more or less threatening than sleeping in tents or sitting in the plaza keeping vigil. As one Occupier caught up in the gotterdammerung, Allie123, wrote
At around 4:30 AM the police came from everywhere… A line of police in full riot gear with huge guns pointed their weapons at us… the police tear gassed us… I heard huge explosions… I was the first person taken.
The intent of this action was clear: to strike enough fear into the hearts and minds of the Occupiers that they would vanish into the mist, departing to points unknown, never to bother the good burghers of Oakland again. This was the first attempt at mass violence used by the state against Occupiers. True, there had been kettling and mass arrests in New York, and a few police pepper-spraying a few protesters apparently at random. But there had been as yet no concerted, centrally directed attempt to eradicate by both physical and psychological violence an Occupy site and by projection an entire local movement.
But it didn’t work.