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Response to AP story on Oakland General Strike
The AP story regarding the Oakland General Strike is a complete misrepresentation of a mainly peaceful day.
This story is a complete misrepresentation of an almost completely peaceful protest with 40-50,000 people. It implies that peaceful citizens were responsible for violence and destruction when nothing could be farther from the truth. When there are 20,000 plus people together in a public space there will always be some that will take advantage of this situation. There were some agent provocateurs not involved with the strike and dressed in black that broke windows and splashed paint on businesses in Oakland including Citibank and Whole Foods Market. If you watch the video of the Whole Foods incident on youtube you can see that the protesters are trying to stop these men in black. These men then turn and attack the people protesting. This morning the Occupy Movement cleaned the paint off the businesses and paid for damages. It seems clear that it was not occupy members that committed the vandalism.
It is also good to keep in mind that at many past protests including last Tuesday's in Oakland there have been police officers in plain clothes involved in similar behavior. This has been caught on film many times. One need only check youtube. As of yet we have no information on who this group of agent provocateurs was. Although, if history is any guide the police are the most likely candidates. It was also the police who attacked the strikers in the middle of the night at the port after most of the crowd had left. Many police officers wore with masks and had tape over their badge numbers. Their excuse for this violent attack was that the occupy movement member remaining in the night made the questionable decision to occupy an abandon building at the port. But this simple occupation is no excuse for the excessively violent police reaction.
In addition, two of the people who were injured yesterday were actually hit by an irate motorist who was tired of waiting and ran over two of the people protesting. If you were there in Oakland yesterday or if you watched it on livestream you would have seen that this was a huge and peaceful outpouring of average American citizens protesting the fact that our banks and government are corrupt. The AP needs to retract this story because it is a completely unfair misrepresentation. It focuses on the .1% that went wrong and ignores the 99.9% that went right it is pure propaganda.