By now you are familiar with the routine: peaceful protesters engaged in non-violent civil disobedience meet armor-clad government-sanctioned thugs. Said security goons escalate situation by confronting and encircling large mobs of unarmed civilians. A clash ensues, tear gas and rubber bullets are fired. Many are injured, and many more are unlawfully detained. Freedom of speech takes yet another blow.
Yesterday this scene was re-enacted in downtown Oakland, as thousands of activists sought to reallocate an abandoned building, turning it into a headquarters, shelter, and symbol of something beautiful. ‘Not on our watch’ was the police response, as evidenced by the video below.
Keen observers will notice something new – the protesters are using makeshift shields along with a loosely followed phalanx formation. No doubt an adaptation learned from being shot at far too many times.
Speaking of an evolving response, cyber-activist group Anonymous released this video, along with the personal information of Oakland’s mayoral office. That’s sure to get someone’s attention.
If there’s a couple things to be learned from this, one, is that the people’s uprising isn’t going anywhere. And two, if you give humans training and a badge, along with a gun and the pretense to use it, you are pretty much guaranteed to see shots fired.