400 arrested after OWS Oakland rampage
No respect for property rights, for history, or for their fellow Americans.
Officials surveyed damage Sunday from a volatile Occupy protest that resulted in hundreds of arrests the day before and left the historic City Hall vandalized after demonstrators broke into the building, smashed display cases, cut electrical wires and burned an American flag.
Police placed the number of arrests at about 400 from Saturday's daylong protest - the most contentious since authorities dismantled the Occupy Oakland encampment late last year.
Mayor Jean Quan condemned the local movement's tactics as "a constant provocation of the police with a lot of violence toward them" and said the demonstrations were draining scarce resources from an already strapped city. Damage to the City Hall plaza alone has cost $2 million since October, she said, about as much as police overtime and mutual aid.
Oakland has logged five homicides since Friday, and Police Chief Howard Jordan said the law enforcement "personnel and resources dedicated to Occupy reduce our ability to focus on public safety priorities."
The Occupy action was publicized by the group as a planned takeover of a vacant building that would be "repurposed" as a "social center, convergence center and headquarters of the Occupy Oakland movement." In an open letter to Quan on Wednesday, the group warned that if police attempted to thwart the takeover, "indefinite occupation" of Oakland's airport, port and City Hall could follow.
The mayor is as much to blame as the OWS crowd. It was she who coddled the occupiers, giving city employees time off to attend their protests, and generally speaking in glowing terms of their movement.
Now she's got a nightmare on her hands and her credibility is zero with both police and the occupiers.
Trashing city hall is par for the course for these galoots. It proves that income inequality is the last thing on their minds. They are using the issue to legitimize their anarchic drive to destroy society and erect a very different kind of America in its place. In this, "fairness" takes a back seat to revolution.
If the GOP were smart, they would tie a rope around Obama's adoption of the occupier's rhetoric and goals and show the voter that this is the sort of America Obama has in mind. Two can play at the game of accusing the opposition of being extremist. And in Obama's case, the proof is right in front of us.