Prior to seeing the video clip of “The Battle in Oakland”, I was unaware of the Occupy Oakland movement and the series of events that occurred earlier this year regarding this issue. For those of you who missed the video clip last week, this “battle” in Oakland happened January 28th when Occupy Oakland tried to move into a building that had been vacant since 2006 and was used as a social center. When Occupy Oakland attempted to move into a building in which they re-named Oscar Grant Plaza, police tried to evict them and stop further movements. Occupy Oakland’s intentions were to provide shelter and food for those who are in need, a space for people to gather, have books for people to read whenever and a place for social functions to be held at. These intentions were to provide for other people and did not come off as malicious at all from what I saw in the video clip from class.
I was very surprised by how the police reacted to these people trying to do something that could potentially benefit the public. I believe that had the police not intervened, that the Occupy Oakland people would not have been violent- it appeared that it was in reaction to the police trying to stop their actions. The part that really stood out to me from the video clip was when the police ordered them to evacuate the area, but they did not provide them with a way out and did not cooperate with them to help them get out of the area that they wanted them to leave. This was evident in the part where the people were begging the police to just show them how to get out and they would leave, and the police just stood there emotionless and then ended up hitting people and using force. I was really surprised at how violent the police were towards the Occupy Oakland people, and in turn how they reacted to the police using force. The fact that they were using tear gas, rubber coated steel bullets, and physically hitting people was a bit eye opening to me, because I could not imagine something like that happening here in Bloomington. It is clear that the Occupy Oakland group had good intentions, however the city of Oakland police force did not agree and see eye-to-eye with their movements. I felt that this video clip was a good example of violence that occurs during protests, and it made me more aware of issues that are more current because I have heard of several protests that have occurred in the past that have resulted in violence, but I was not aware that protests like this still occur now as often as they do.
– Mallory Hart