Posted on 11 February 2012 by Brenda in Marin
I’m a 64 year old real estate broker from Marin County. I am happily married, and have a pretty wonderful life. But, I also have a heart and a conscience, and know the diﬀerence between right and wrong. I am blessed with two grown children that I adore, and I have become very concerned about the sort of country that they are inheriting. The relentless corporatization of every aspect of American life is deeply troubling. And, the lengths to which these corporations and their henchmen are willing to go in order to enrich themselves, by exerting their control over every aspect of our lives is even more disturbing.
On January 28th, I happened by chance to observe an incident at Oakland City Hall that has been repeatedly mis-represented in the press, and reveals to me just how rotten and corrupt our society has become. I met up with my daughter, who lives in Oakland, for a pizza. I was at Yoshi’s, and she and her friend were just up Broadway purchasing the pizza when we connected by cell phone. So, we met at the plaza and sat on a bench right in front of City Hall, and enjoyed the pizza very much. There was virtually no one around. We had not participated in the protest marches that day, although we had marched on the Port of Oakland previously. There were helicopters and noise from other parts of the city, but nothing at all was going on at the plaza.
Gradually a few protesters straggled into the plaza, having escaped the riot police that were running amok all over town. A few of the returning protesters energetically jumped around the amphitheater that sits right in front of the main entrance to City Hall. One of them bounced up to the front door and pulled on it. To his astonishment, it opened.
“Hey, it’s open, it’s not locked!” he shouted. More protesters began to gather around outside the building. Only a few people entered the building, while others called out warnings: “Watch out, it’s a trap! Look — there aren’t any security guards out here tonight. You know, the guys with the orange vests — none of them are here! It s a set-up!”
I looked around, and did not see any security guards anywhere. Somebody pulled a ﬂag out of the building and attempted to ignite it. Then several minutes later three, and maybe a fourth, motorcycle cop raced up, driving as fast as they possibly could around the corner and onto the sidewalk in front of City Hall, apparently hoping to smash into a large crowd of people that did not exist. They behaved like juvenile delinquents and need to be ﬁred, or at least re-trained.
Then, a whole lot of militarized cops marched up on foot, as if it were some kind of major incident. It was a ridiculous show of brute force for no reason, really.
The small group of protesters by then were unarmed and non-violent, posing no threat to anyone. What a waste of the city’s money. It was a set-up, indeed. Why else would the City of Oakland leave City Hall unlocked and withdraw their ubiquitous security guards on a major protest night?
What is even more disturbing to me, is that despite the fact that the City’s little ruse was not very successful, they nonetheless repeatedly disseminate the accusation that several dozen protesters broke into city hall with a crowbar…and the pathetic corporate press print their lies as if it were gospel. There was no break-in — City Hall was intentionally left wide open for vandalism. This reveals the lengths to which this city will go in order to discredit and defuse the inﬂuence of Occupy Oakland. It reveals as well, a systemic pattern, also exhibited by the ludicrous police actions, of rogue tactics. There is no honor or integrity in the infrastructure of the City of Oakland — it is corrupt and rotten to the core.
The police department is about to go into federal receivership because of its chronic patterns of deceit and corruption. Falsifying evidence, planting contraband on suspects, extreme brutality — these are all common practice in the Oakland PD, as the residents know too well. Most likely, Oakland PD is in league with the prison industrial complex to keep the quota of inmates supplied to the corporate masters in their prisons-for-proﬁt. Good god, what a fascist nightmare. The people of Oakland can never improve their lives with this sick, oppressive government and police department in power.
The corporatocracy in this country controls our ﬁnancial system, our government, both major political parties, our President, our foreign policy, our news media, our housing, our healthcare, our food supply, our energy supply, our police departments, and just about everything else you can imagine. They have been very busy. The corporate juggernaut has been so thorough that there is no way left for Americans to improve our own circumstances except for mass action in the streets.
American history is full of collective mass actions — that’s the only way there has ever been any progress in this country. Grassroots activism. Therefore, I support the Occupy Movement, as our only hope for a better future.