Friday, July 19, 2013

The Oakland Chamber thinks we should hold protestors accountable?

Our Chamber of Commerce is asking why we "tolerate" the vandalism that splinter groups caused at the Trayvon Martin protests. 

Funny that they are so intolerant of this crime, but so inactive around police accountability in Oakland.  At this time we pay more in police abuse settlements than San Jose and San Francisco, yet we still do not have a police commission with hire and fire powers akin to other cities. 

We could keep going with this accountability thing.  We hear  a few words of support from the Chamber about Auditor reports on minor interfearance in the contract bidding processes, yet not so much about all the work thrown in the direction of Phil Tagami and others who get so much of the work, often without open bidding.  They are also big on how the homeless degrade our business space, and they sure do, but not so big on opposing prop 13 which kills our local county and city social service and school funding..... 

This kind of selective demand for people to be held accountable is not wrong on the accounts that they ask for, it is wrong on the accounts that they do not ask for, but should. 

We all should be asking for some more accountability!


  1. OPD pays more in settlements than SF and SJ COMBINED. Or at least they did from 2002-2012. Is there any indication things are getting BETTER?
    "Over the past decade, Oakland taxpayers have paid more than $58 million to settle civil lawsuits filed against police for the mistreatment of city residents — including assaults and fatal shootings. That's more than the combined payouts of San Jose and San Francisco during the same period." EBX 8/8/12 - BEFORE Occupy Oakland settlements.

  2. There are a couple of other things to take into account.

    First is where did these Black Block extras come from? One of the oldest methods to put down a protest movement is to infiltrate it with agents who advocate extremist violence. Some of these FTP folk are home grown, for sure, but there were some others who came from nowhere and there was never a real investigation. Or are we trying to say that the largest economic financial interests in this country did not use the whole gambit of tactics against Occupy that they use for smaller local protests? There were no spin doctors? No lobbyist leaning on elected officials whose campaigns they fund? No planted news stories? No disruption tactics? There certainly was no reporting or police investigations, but that was nothing new.

    The second thing to say is that this group with their hammer is a very small part of what was happening. The same was true with Occupy and the Oscar Grant protests before that. Yet our electeds and the press rush to make this the story, no matter how small they are, no matter how many of us are protesting.

    Truth is that young black men, like Oscar, like Trayvon, are killed all the time and those who shoot along with those who employ them get off the hook. Part of getting off the hook is to beg the question so they can hold some young protester with a hammer responsible.

    The kids breaking windows are not in any way responsible for the violence against black youth. It is our elected officials that should be held accountable. We can start by replacing the ones who refuse to do anything about police violence.