Occupier faces lynching charges

Posted on 03 January 2012 by geekeasy


January 2 – Oakland, CA – Deanna Santana, Oakland’s City Manager has been clear that it is no longer her intent to prevent violence or to prevent illegal lodging, but instead that her goal is to now “clear the plaza.” [1]  The harassment of protesters reached a point where they are now ticketing occupiers for having a bike in the plaza; the citation simply said “bike”.  They are interpreting Oakland Municipal Code 9.16.010 so broadly, that they feel justified in arresting anyone for having anything in the plaza.  But they are selectively enforcing these laws, and only citing and arresting occupiers.  These police actions constitute deliberate and blatant repression of Occupy Oakland.

On Friday, December 30, Oakland police raid city hall plaza under orders from city hall.  They tell everyone to gather their things and leave.  But moments later, without warning, the police begin arresting people.  A woman is grabbed by police for having a yoga mat under her arm, and taking some food off a table.  An officer clearly states that they are arresting people for “having property in the plaza without a permit.” [2]

It’s now illegal to have a yoga mat or a bike in front of city hall?

Shortly after these first three arrests, the police rush back into a group of protesters and forcibly grab Tiffany Tran, a small Asian woman.  A policeman says she was arrested for says “instigating that first one … when you cause other people to be arrested, then you get arrested too.” [3]

According to the combined statements of the police on the scene, Tiffany Tran was arrested for instigating other people to have property in the plaza.

All of the arrestees are held in hot van without water or food for 8 hours before they are taken to Santa Rita prison.  At the prison, 13 hours after first being arrested Tiffany is charged with the crime of “lynching”.

The anti-lynching California law dates back to 1933, and was created seeking to prevent white vigilante mobs from taking black prisoners away from “peace officers”, such that these racist mobs could hang black prisoners without trial.

But today, the situation has been reversed.  The police are no longer “peace officers” trying to protect and serve.  The police are now the ones engaged in brutal repression of peaceful citizens.  And the same law, and same punishment, which was designed to try to prevent racist mobs from hanging people, is now being used against Tiffany Tran.

In a phone call with her boyfriend, Tiffany reported that the guards are singling her out for abuse because of her connections with Occupy.  The guards are hurling constant verbal abuse at her.  In two days, she’s barely been fed.

Tiffany will be arraigned Tuesday at 2pm.  We call on the district attorney to immediately drop all charges against Tiffany Tran.

District Attorney: (510) 272-6222

We also call on the City Manager and Mayor of Oakland to immediately stop in their repression of peaceful protesters at Occupy Oakland.

City Administrator: (510) 238-3301