Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Gonna Start A Riot

Have you heard about what's going on in Oakland?



If you live in the Bay Area, I know you have.  If you live out of state, they are probably just referring to it as "Occupy Oakland protests in California and related Police Brutality."  If you live in my apartment, you have heard helicopters swarming non-stop for about 40 hours.

I don't think it is wise to bring politics into this sweet little blog.

But it is my platform, and this is where I like to vent.  See: here, and here (near the end).

I will say little, so know that I have much more thoughts on the topic....

My thoughts:

I fucking love police.  I love them.  I would never choose to live in a country without them.  I am terrified of imagining my city without them.

Police have one of the hardest occupations I can imagine.  Dangerous, thankless, and constant high-stress situations. 

Really think about what your city, state, or country would be like without them. 

So I respect cops.  I don't throw bottles at them.  I don't throw paint at them.  I don't provoke them or resist them when they are pointing a stun gun at me.  I don't refuse to leave Frank Ogawa Plaza when they demand I stop camping there after numerous days of allowing me to do so, because my uncivilized nastiness has left a trail of crap that only a power-clean can fix, all in the name of hating banks (not cops), and then taking it on cops (because I hate banks.  And rich people.  Which cops are not). 

No, I don't suffer from a history of racial profiling.  This surely makes it easier to respect and love cops.  But for Kelly Clarkson's sake.....do not expect me to have any sympathy for someone's injuries from tear gas and rubber bullets because they didn't have the two brain cells needed to know that you don't aggravate cops.

People get so lost in their beliefs.  If you want to fight your fight about being one of the 99%, then don't squat in a meaningless plaza in Oakland.  And don't piss off a cop who is just doing their job in keeping the city clean and safe. 

So. That's that. 

I was notified that these three purty pictures were ripe and ready for $878 each.


finish line.  Really glad I wore cotton to show off my sweat marks.  Who knew my right shoulder worked so much harder?

Also really glad I rocked my cute 1990's Britney mid-riff  





Pretty course, right?

If you dare to air your political thoughts: what are they?  Why is everyone in my facebook feed APPALLED at the behavior of the police?  Am I the only one APPALLED by the behavior of the non-peaceful protestors?

25 comments:

  1. My parents were both police officers, so it's easy for me to side with you.

    You look fantastic, Speedy McSpeedypants!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Your race pictures look GREAT! Britney midriff and all.

    Not a fan of the Occupy crap going on. Pack it up and move on already, people.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Nice photos!

    I wish the occupy people would move on. I've walked through their chicago protests a few times on my way home and am always surprised at how "peaceful" they are. They don't talk to me or riot or anything. Yet.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I don't understand people who have such animosity for the police. I consider myself lucky to have never had to deal with them, but I respect the shit out of them.

    Honestly, these protests make me roll my eyes a little. Most of the people out there are not there for the right reasons, and are muddling any potentially good ideas that might come from it.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I agree that the police are just doing their job, which is often thankless and, as you pointe out, not terribly lucrative. If people want change to happen, sitting in a plaza ain't gonna do it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. That second picture of you needs to go in a running magazine!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Kind of in agreement. But given that I pay no attention to what goes on outside of what is right in front of my face, I have to admit that I am hopelessly ignorant.

    Gotta love race photos ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi RR, I don't know you, but I think you write a good running blog (I found you via Sesa). You are funny and fast. But you're inviting commentary on a serious issue so I'll take you up on that.

    The police do have a thankless job, but they also have all the power (you know, guns, etc.) Therefore, they have greatest responsibility for acting like grownups and doing what they are charged with, which is keeping the peace.

    I was at yoga (or trying to go to yoga) at 17th and Broadway when the Occupy eviction went down. Normally at 5:45 there is no one on the streets. So imagine my surprise when I not only found the streets filled with more of Oakland's finest than I ever knew existed, but dressed in super intimidating riot gear. It seemed to me that the decision was made to clear out the encampment at an early hour, when working folks would not be around. I was trying to do my flow in the middle of chaos, and it got kind of ugly outside. By 7:30 when I finished, the eviction had mostly been done.

    Frankly, I blame Our Fair City. I still haven't heard a good reason WHY the protestors had to go. The police were sent in to clean up, and did (I guess) what they need to do. The number of people arrested (90 that morning), the use of force to get the job done before most people got to work, all point to some strange tactics. I don't know at what level these decisions were made, but it does disturb me.

    So yes, the protesters behaved badly, but aren't police trained for this? And is bad behavior a reason to unleash superior fire power?

    We have a lot of freedom of expression that are embodied both in society and the law, and I do not want to see the Occupy movement used as an excuse for a diminishment of our social contract.

    ReplyDelete
  9. @Merrilee

    I think you bring up good points. I had a discussion tonight with an Anthropologist who 100% supports the efforts of the protesters. My issue is that I am not certain it is the most effective manner to bring about change. There has got to be a louder, more effective platform for these people (and others) to voice change. I have to admit, I didn't even know what their objectives/goals were of this protest. The anthropologist had to fill me in. One good point he made was that some of the people who need to be heard the loudest, do not have the means to get their voices heard (for whatever reason). Anyway, I'm trying to play Switzerland and stay neutral, but in regards to the police. You might be spot on, I doubt they are highly trained as riots (or maybe they are). We don't know why they were sent and why the protesters had to go at that minute. My guess is one of safety (if it got any larger, then would it be hard to keep the peace), health (where does the human waste and garbage go? is it a breeding ground for disease?) and likely a lot of it was politics.

    I do not want to see my tax dollars spent on herding protesters when there are others in need, however, I realize change needs to happen. There is a huge lack of equality in this world and how do we go about making that change? I don't know.

    Eh, I guess I really don't know how to feel about this situation, but I thought you brought up some good points.

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Merrilee

    Merilee, that sounds like a scary situation. The more cops in gear I saw, the more likely I would be to do whatever the heck they asked me to -- especially if it was as simple as leaving a grassy lawn.

    I'm not going to cite-check this for exact facts -- but in general, the following are facts that I have heard while following this story this week:

    Did you know that the protesters had multiple day notice of the evacuation? That a notice was posted days before Monday morning?

    Did you know that the protest community was allowed to exist for days by the city, until the city was alerted that there were crimes occurring within the community, health issues, vandalism, and a rat problem?

    Did you know that mayor Quan has stated very clearly that protesters may gather during the day, and that the only requirement is that they do not build encampments and sleep overnight?

    With this in mind, I don't think the police were so out of line. It's possible a better procedure exists, who knows. In the end, I think the people resisting arrest are the ones who lost the big picture of what they are fighting for. police do not = the 1%

    ReplyDelete
  11. *not resisting arrest* -- I meant resisting evacuation

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Merrilee

    Ditto all of this. I haven't heard a sound argument re: why this protest was deemed unlawful. It's a first amendment issue in my book. Some of the protestors behaved poorly, some of the police behaved poorly - but why were the protestors evicted in the first place?

    That being said, I do have a healthy respect for the police and their job - but they eff up sometimes, and sometimes in pretty major ways.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Most of the people I've know talking about Occupy Oakland the police crackdown are not so keen on the police. There are a lot of reasons: a long history of corruption; institutionalized racism; police brutality (Oakland's still reeling over Oscar Grant's death at the hands of a BART officer); police infiltration in civil rights groups; instigation by undercover officers at protests/demonstrations; and, for some immigrants, a long history of distrust of police officers and authority figures. I'm sure there are more reasons.

    I don't see myself at any extreme, but I'm closer to echoing NWA's "f the police" rather than quoting your "I fucking love police."

    I'm a law abiding citizen. I'm a woman of color, much less likely to be racially profiled than my brothers. My cousin is an LAPD officer. I really should be cool with police. But generally, they make me feel less safe. I feel more anxious with lots of police officers present, especially if they're in full riot gear. I'm even intimidated by my own cousin when he's in full uniform.

    If I was in Frank Ogawa Plaza, I'd get out of there. I've been in one similar situation and we hightailed it when my friends noticed the tension building. I value my right to free speech and to peacefully assemble. I've also seen the results of being shot with rubber bullets at a protest that got out of hand. I'd rather be able to see out of a non-swelled up eye than protest. By the way, that was a smart Chicana who had two brain cells and was not provoking cops. She was just protesting police brutality, ironically.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Most of the people I've know talking about Occupy Oakland the police crackdown are not so keen on the police. There are a lot of reasons: a long history of corruption; institutionalized racism; police brutality (Oakland's still reeling over Oscar Grant's death at the hands of a BART officer); police infiltration in civil rights groups; instigation by undercover officers at protests/demonstrations; and, for some immigrants, a long history of distrust of police officers and authority figures. I'm sure there are more reasons.

    I don't see myself at any extreme, but I'm closer to echoing NWA's "f the police" rather than quoting your "I fucking love police."

    I'm a law abiding citizen. I'm a woman of color, much less likely to be racially profiled than my brothers. My cousin is an LAPD officer. I really should be cool with police. But generally, they make me feel less safe. I feel more anxious with lots of police officers present, especially if they're in full riot gear. I'm even intimidated by my own cousin when he's in full uniform.

    If I was in Frank Ogawa Plaza, I'd get out of there. I've been in one similar situation and we hightailed it when my friends noticed the tension building. I value my right to free speech and to peacefully assemble. I've also seen the results of being shot with rubber bullets at a protest that got out of hand. I'd rather be able to see out of a non-swelled up eye than protest. By the way, that was a smart Chicana who had two brain cells and was not provoking cops. She was just protesting police brutality, ironically.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Hey, so who knew that a running blog could be a platform for polite political discourse? Thanks all for the respectful comments and varied opinions!

    ReplyDelete
  16. So...are you speaking from experience about having a stun gun pointed at you? Or is it more of "That's what I'd think I'd do"?

    If I'm watching news coverage of protests, I feel that I should be able to tell if it's an American protest or some more oppressive country. The police should never forget that we as American have the right to stage peaceful protests (with aimless goals or not) and their obligation is to react in a reasonable manner and not let themselves be goaded into excessive force by back talking hippies.

    ReplyDelete
  17. First: you have awesome running pictures and I'm jealous because mine always suck or I look like I'm sleep-walking not running. Annoying.

    Second: I really can't stand Facebook and I can't stand that people think they're high and mighty because they update their facebook statuses with no mother effing clue to what is really going on because they're protected in their safe little bubble. That being said, I have the utmost respect for people that put their life on the line day in and day out so that we can continue to live as safely as possible. And if you are rude enough to provoke them, you deserve what's coming to you. Rant over on that one.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Wow! I loved reading all the insightful comments to your post. How awesome that you started up some great conversation. Too bad I can't offer anything insightful myself, as I fear I am hopefully oblivious to most of the important events going on around me. Not a a quality I'm proud of, but unfortunately an accurate one.

    ReplyDelete
  19. @RoseRunner I did not know that the protesters were asked to leave. I do follow local news and Jean Quan (who used to be my district rep) sends out an overly wordy email at least once a week which I do at least skim. I checked the last one and nope, no mention of the protests at all. I'm sorry I missed this fact.

    Encampment protests have a long tradition, both nationally and locally. Peaceful assembly and protest are not just important but fundamental (both are included in the 1st amendment).

    Again, I question city leadership. We have too many problems as a city, to focus police attention on evicting protestors. It seems frivolous, frankly, and looking at other cities in the country, why did we have to be the first to break out the tear gas?

    BTW, I have a rat problem at my house, will the police come help?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I also love the discussion going on here!

    @Cindy: great insight and perspective. I agree that cops can make you feel anxious or unsafe -- and to a degree, I think that is the point. In order to enforce law, we have to actually believe there are negative consequences to breaking the law. Police should intimidate us a little, or else we would get away with....well, murder.


    @lovelybird and Merrillee: I still stand by and understand that the fact is, the protests are fully and 100% allowed currently (in Oakland and throughout the U.S.). Freedom of speech is absolutely happening. The sensationalized images we see in the media are of the evacuation of the encampment area -- which did have to happen, because a number of protestors refused to leave the camp even after days of notice. Protesting is allowed, and happening, during the day. Cops came in to break up the encampment because Oakland has to enforce it's health and safety codes, and doesn't want it's ass sued when someone gets assaulted or rabies from a rat while in the encampment. No 1st amendment right to camp and create health/safety hazards. Right?

    @Kara. I have not had a stun gun pointed at me. I can barely imagine a situation where that would happen, as I respect the law and cops. I have, however, been in a siutation where I needed the cops to protect me. And for that, I still stand on the side of "I effing love the cops", isntead of "eff the police". I really believe, even in this encampment evacuation incident, that cops ultimate goal is always the safety of the public. modern day superhero.

    (last thought: we all know there are corrupt cops out there. Just like there are corrupt lawyers. they get all the hate they deserve)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great comments indeed above by all - overall I probably side with Merrillee. I live in the bay area and follow politics decently close as to what is going on.

    I watched coverage of the occupy Oakland protests yesterday, and to me the cops seemed way overbearing.

    Watch this video and tell me is this a regular city or a warzone? Did the police really have to fracture a guys skull to try to shut down this protest?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHFp9E6G7VI

    Normally I'm not in favor of a lot of protests - but I'm in favor of this one. Wall Street and the rich corporations basically run this country through their power and influence, buying legislatures off with money to get them what they want. The main thing that bothers me is that Wall Street basically took down the US economy with the subprime mortgage crisis, then they got bailed out by the government. All the banks should have failed and we should have had banks that are responsible sprung up instead of the big banks.

    But really one of the few ways people can take direct action to resist Wall Street and the big banks is to switch banks if your bank starts charging you banking fees. Switch to a credit union, Schwab checking, or ING checking. Put the big banks and wall street out of business by hurting them in the pocketbook.

    ReplyDelete
  22. This Occupy Wall Street thing is interesting to me. I haven't followed it much aside from NPR/KPBS radio updates. It did strike me as funny that all these smaller/non-financial cities were having these encampments when, really, NYC is the heart of the investment banking industry.

    But the reality is people want to be heard even if they don't live in NYC. I get it. And so I support their right to protest and occupy no matter how small the city. I just hope that as this continues they can maintain peaceful/nonviolent protests. And that law enforcement can respond with the same nonviolence when dealing with them. Law enforcement has a duty to respond with the minimum required force to handle situations.

    ReplyDelete
  23. wait those pics are $878 a piece? what? now that's a crime!

    i've come to the conclusion in my short life that people are just dumb. instead of being innovative and using critical thinking skills to move past problems and find solutions, most people just want to point a finger and waste time being angry and enraged about subject matters. most people want to get involved, but they don't know how to involve themselves properly into situations that extract positive growth. hands down most americans are just ignorant aholes that don't appreciate the lives they have because they think that they have the rights to everything. but again...trying to turn whats going on in our country into something positive for the future is something that most americans aren't capable of because they have been spoon fed their lives of freedom and luxury and have not been taught how to think.

    but enough of my soap box. stay safe from those monsters.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thanks for taking on a controversial, important issue and for your support of law enforcement. If you ever decide to run for Congress, I want to contribute to your campaign coffers because your critical thinking skills are outstanding. Also, if you were elected to Congress, you would easily be first female in the ACLI Capital Challenge, the three mile race for members of Congress and others in the government!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Malaysia & Singapore & brunei greatest on-line
    blogshop for wholesale & quantity korean add-ons,
    earrings, earstuds, pendant, rings, trinket, bracelet & hair add-ons.
    Promotion 35 % wholesale price cut. Ship Worldwide
    Stop by my web page :: unemployment.ohio.gov

    ReplyDelete

we have a strict no-word-verification policy. Comment away!