Occupy Protests in Oakland and Nationally

Friday, October 28, 2011

Scott Johnson, Oakland Tribune reporter, talks about the recent violence at Occupy Oakland, and NPR’s Margot Adler looks at the national picture.


Margot Adler and Scott Johnson
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Comments [76]

Q for Spitzer on Tues : R.I.C.O. the Banksters ? from Robosigners v R.I.C.O. ? Legal ?

Please ask the following question to
Spitzer this coming Tuesday :

Is it legally POSSIBLE to try to charge
the banks and bank leaders responsible for the Robosigning frauds under R.I.C.O ?

They have systematically used fraudulent and perjured documents to wrongfully steal people's homes (some of whom weren't even in default).

They meet other criteria for being
highly corrupting / racketeer influenced
organizations with vast networks of influence.


And if so, why have none of the D.A.'s
pursued it ?

Also :


(Even without DA/Govt support ???)

(Note : Please ignore the contents of the required Email address field, since it is not intended to provide any identity or other information related to the poster.)

Oct. 29 2011 04:30 PM
Xtina from E, Village

Dear Brian,
Witih reference to your caller (Donna?) why did you let her go on with her convoluted point, when her basic premise was wrong. You should have cut her off or at least asked her to clarify when she claimed that the protesters were congregating 'where they weren't supposed to be'. Oh really? And why is that? It's a public park you know. Are you familiar with constituional rights granted by the First Amendment? Why aren't they 'supposed' to be there? Therefore her uninformed bias invalidated the rest of her point which was, that since people were congregating were they weren't 'supposed' to be there and it was a 'crowd' that violence was bound to happen, therefore the cops are performing their duties by reacting to violence which has NOT YET OCCURRED. Talk about your strawman.

You should not let such ignorance go on unchallenged on your radio program.

Oct. 28 2011 11:41 PM
Eric from MS

So, at what point will the protesters finally realize that the executives have only ever been accountable to themselves, their clients, and their share-holders? Sitting around outside their windows with signs isn't going to change that reality.

If the protesters would like to be more productive with their frustration, then they should turn their attention to the politicians who enabled these people to accumulate so much wealth in the first place. After all, it is the politicians who should be held accountable by the people, and it's only the politicians who can make these corporations and executives accountable for their gross negligence of the wider consequences of their actions on the economy. As citizens, it is our duty to insist that they do so.

Oct. 28 2011 04:57 PM
Joe B from OWS

This country...


Has a weak tradition of public protest...


Which is why we've allowed congress, corporations and the supreme court to corrupt our collective futures...


This is also why the police are overreaching their authority...


We've been asleep for too long. There's too much ignorance...


And acquiescence to power...


Which is why...


The police can't tell a riot from a democracy...


But they'll learn...


Because we're not going away...


The People...


Have awoken!!!!


Oct. 28 2011 02:43 PM
Khadija Boyd from brooklyn

to Becky: give you a break? where!

Oct. 28 2011 11:57 AM
The Truth from Becky

Lucky and Blessed most certainly not the same thing. That is neither here nor there and I think we will agree to disagree on this protest issue. I don't know about Oakland but I know the Mayor of the city of Atlanta, certainly understands and respected the the free speech of the protestors and they showed up at his press conference and were rude and disrespectful, antagonizing and trying to be arrested to make a point, the leader of the group is an ex-con for goodness sakes, all I am saying is...they don't represent ME...Ansje, they can continue to represent you and you can join them in jail to make your point.

Oct. 28 2011 11:37 AM
Joel Hubbard from Smithtown

F.Y.I. Voters!
Here are tools we can use to contact our elected representatives with our concerns and see where they stand and vote!

Oct. 28 2011 11:36 AM
Joel Hubbard from Smithtown

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Oct. 28 2011 11:25 AM
Ansje from Brooklyn

@Becky I think "Blessed" and "lucky" are the same thing. I am glad that you are also grateful - as am I. However, I see that while I am blessed and/or lucky, my friends have not been, through no fault of their own, but because of a broken system. And for that I will peacefully protest. If you think these issues get lost when the protests turn violent, I would only encourage you to go down to a General Assembly meeting and find out exactly what happens and learn how people have not lost those issues.

I would also point out that the protest only became violent when the policy made it violent. As evidence, I point you to the demonstrations in both Oakland and San Francisco the following evening, which included many of the same people and were beautiful celebrations of free speech. The police were not as aggressive and as a result, there was no violence.

Oct. 28 2011 11:23 AM
The Truth from Becky

Ansje - I am not "lucky" I am Blessed and grateful. I am aware of my position in the 99% and that it could change swiftly today...but the issues are lost when these peaceful protests turn to violence.

Oct. 28 2011 11:11 AM

@Ansje from Brooklyn

Wise and patient.

Well said.

Oct. 28 2011 11:00 AM
Ansje from Brooklyn

@Becky you are part of the lucky 99%. The unemployment rate in Oakland is over 16%. That just counts the people who are actually still looking for jobs - not the ones who have been looking for so long they have fallen out of the statistics. I'm also part of the lucky 99% and was able to go down and show my support after getting off of work. Scott Olsen, the vet who was hurt in the Oakland incident, was also part of the lucky 99%. He camped out at the Occupy camp at night and had a job in computer systems in the Bay Area (see the NY Times story:

Just because we are lucky today, doesn't mean we always will be. And unfortunately, there is no good safety net when we become unlucky. I have countless stories of how good, hardworking people were devastated when an unlucky event hit. The banks (who were influential in creating the real estate bubble) got bailed out, but precious little of that trickled down to the people who really need it to keep their homes.

The failures of our system are deep. Take some time on November 2 - join the General Strike and take the day to learn.

Oct. 28 2011 10:55 AM

The Incoherence from Becky

Oct. 28 2011 10:53 AM
The Truth from Becky

Listen dooboy, I don't want or need this kind of representation. I have looked into the crowd of the "99%" showing up and 50% of them have criminal records..gimme a break.

Oct. 28 2011 10:51 AM
The Truth from Becky

"They" are a part of the public, a negative part of the public. If my friends and I were able to take off from work and go to the park to protest for two months, none of us would get bashed in the head!

Oct. 28 2011 10:48 AM

@The Truth from Becky

As long as it takes.

If you're not comfortable with people exercising their First Amendment rights you're welcome to stick your head back in the sand.

Which, coincidently is the ideal position for you to receive the Korporate™ status quo.

Oct. 28 2011 10:47 AM
The Truth from Becky

I will "peaceful protest" for myself..and again I ask what are the demands??!! Not sleep, wide awake... We are being unfairly treated YES, no one knows that better than me, so again what are the demands?

Oct. 28 2011 10:45 AM
Z from Brooklyn

Agreed with Terri, Hugh and Hemmi.

This argument, often invoked against protesters and others caught in conflict with the police, that "things get out of hand" and the police "have to protect themselves", is a weak one. That is exactly what we pay police officers for. It's their job, their choice. The police must be able to handle out-of-control situations with restraint. The police must be able to handle a non-violent crowd (as most have been) or even a few bottle projectiles without firing rubber bullets and tear gas into a crowd. The police do not need to kneel on the necks of marchers. I don't pay them to crack down, I pay them to keep peace.

Further, just as (to paraphrase the final caller today) there will always be some bad behavior in a large crowd of citizens, it seems there will always be some bad behavior in a large crowd of police as well... and that bad behavior is worse.

Oct. 28 2011 10:40 AM


good point.

Oct. 28 2011 10:38 AM

@The Truth from Becky

Go back to sleep.

Oct. 28 2011 10:36 AM
Al from nyc

the police should join the protes..after all they are part of the 99%

Oct. 28 2011 10:34 AM

My mother grew up in Oakland and I grew up in the Bay Area. The cops have always been out of control in Oakland.

As for the Tea Party not being adequately covered on WNYC, you've got to be kidding. There has been nothing but the Tea Party on WNYC and every other news media outlet. I am part of the 99%. I am also self-employed, pay more taxes than any billionaire, pay higher health insurances rates than any large corporation or any shell small business owned by a large corporation. Soros has never given me a dime. Guess who I support? Definitely NOT the Tea Party who are only going to make my situation because I will still pay taxes to the government, have to pay even more to the unregulated insurance company, pay even more services charges on our bank accounts for the unregulated bank industry, pay for tutoring for our son because of cuts in education and then -- if I get sick, I won't get the social security that I paid for. I'm sure if you did an analysis of number of hours of Tea Party coverage and number of hours of Occupy Wall Street, you would see considerable bias in favor of the Tea Party.

Oct. 28 2011 10:33 AM
Chuck from NYC


That is the key. Public! They are part of the public.

Oct. 28 2011 10:33 AM

@The Truth from Becky, Martin Chuzzlewit, caller from SI

It is called "freedom of assembly". Of course, you are free not to exercise this freedom yourself.

Oct. 28 2011 10:32 AM
Khadija Boyd from brooklyn

EXILED on Staten Island? Oops!

Oct. 28 2011 10:32 AM
Sonne hernandez from LES

I cannot believe that our President has not addressed the police brutality not only in Oakland but also in every other city. I have watched countless videos from nyc and everywhere else. Since when do you need a permit for protest? That is the's a PROTEST. The mayor is not acting "generous" to the protesters, he is acting with way he should according to the constitution.

Oct. 28 2011 10:31 AM
Chuck from NYC

Profile of the Sociopath (ie. Police)

Glibness and Superficial Charm

Manipulative and Conning;
They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. They may dominate and humiliate their victims.

Grandiose Sense of Self;
Feels entitled to certain things as "their right."

Pathological Lying;
Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and even able to pass lie detector tests.

Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt;
A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at their core. Does not see others around them as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

Shallow Emotions;
When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since they are not genuine, neither are their promises.

Incapacity for Love

Need for Stimulation;
Living on the edge. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal. Promiscuity and gambling are common.

Callousness/Lack of Empathy;
Unable to empathize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others' feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them.

Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature;
Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believe they are all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for their impact on others.

Not concerned about wrecking others' lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blames others, even for acts they obviously committed.

Oct. 28 2011 10:31 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

Excessive income/ wealth inequality breeds high stakes sociopolitical conflict. That's why it is bad...

What is needed is a revolutionary INFORMATION CAMPAIGN that unpacks the various operative socioeconomic phenomena, that the vast majority of citizens neither understand or can discuss coherently -- and this includes 99% of the occupiers.

Oct. 28 2011 10:30 AM
oscar from ny

The media plays dum..hellooo..the protest is against usuary ..why i borrow one dollar and yiu charge 50?..why is the oil only theirs?..why do yu practice cheating ppl out if their homes?.cops are nithing else but satans little helpers.etc etc

Oct. 28 2011 10:29 AM
Sara B. from NYC

Is anyone marching down to the Museum of the American Indian to protest the Economist symposium speeches by Alan Greenspan and Lawrence Summers? How about chants of "Where Were You???"

Oct. 28 2011 10:29 AM
The Truth from Becky

OK this is non-sense, just how long exactly should they be allowed to occupy public parks? What are the demands anyways??

Oct. 28 2011 10:29 AM
amalgam from NYC by day, NJ by night

@ Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan -

You're response to the Staten Island caller is strictly reactionary conjecture and speculation considering what is observed and demonstrably true about the engaged, negotiated, nonviolent nature of virtually ALL worldwide OWS demonstrations.

Oct. 28 2011 10:29 AM

Donna (last caller): bull@#&*! Do you think Bologna was "protecting"anyone? The police have a long history of comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM

No one gets hurt until the police show up in EVERY incidence.

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM
kent from Hells Kitchen

I have been cooking vegan food and bringing it down to the park 3-4 times a week since the occupation began.
I wish people who have such strong opinions about the police or protestors would see for them selves.

The city complains about the overtime paid to police. All I ever see is dozens and dozens of officers with their hands in their pockets chatting with each other ,looking bored. The city could maintain safety and peace with a fraction of the officers now there--creating a less confrontational atmosphere there and keep the rest in the general downtown area within an appropriate response time distance.

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM
Hemmy from nyc

the reason that OWS doesn't have a set of demands is because there are soo many problems that need to be addressed by our fore hire Politicians that they can not zero in on just a few

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM
Ansje from Brooklyn

My comment was misquoted on the air - I NEVER saw rock and bottle throwing. IF there were any people throwing things the police could have done some good old fashioned police work and put some undercover cops in the crowd to settle the provocateurs. In fact, if you watch video of the protest on-line, you will find that there was a case where a couple of young men were starting to move a trash can and people in the crowd stopped them.

This movement has done an amazing job of solving problems within the group.

I have not been actively engaged, but was very inspired but the events while I was in Oakland.

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM
culprit from brooklyn

Interesting how the police apologists always call from Staten or Long Island. Predominantly white areas where a large percentage of NYPD cops live. How does she KNOW that the protestors were "attacking" the police? She doesn't; she just lives in her little fantasy cops-are-always-right-because-my-husband-is-one world.

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM

They keep bringing up that there is no central message but that is it's strength and the media can't stand that. If it does adopt "an agenda" it will be easily pigeon-holed and targeted by a simplistic dumb-down media dominated by corporate interests. People need to calm down about Oakland so it does not overtake the real issue which is that our financial system is corrupt and broken and our government is corrupt and broken and we have to keep our focus on that. That 1% are the ones with the real power, the ones being addressed, and until they acknowledge that fact, things will only get worse.

Oct. 28 2011 10:28 AM
Dorothy from NYC

Do you know hat happens when you call 911 in Oakland? They tell you they',re busy and they are. I can't blame the Oakland Police - do you know what they have to deal with on a typical Sat night? Oakland is a war zone and anything the police need to do, they should do IMO

Oct. 28 2011 10:27 AM
Khadija Boyd from brooklyn

watch out for the infiliators, who wish to disrupt. k

Oct. 28 2011 10:27 AM
Kate from NJ

Hope Scott Olson has health insurance.

Oct. 28 2011 10:27 AM
ana from brooklyn

in reference to the last caller: it is the police's JOB to control those situations! police brutality is not inevitable--the police are supposed to be trained to deal with situations without escalating violence. her claim that the police 'do not want to be there' is ludicrous...where do the police 'want' to be?!

Oct. 28 2011 10:27 AM

The woman who just called may have a point about not knowing what other people in a crowd are doing, BUT that doesn't explain the officer throwing a stun grenade directly into a group of unarmed people who were trying to help an injured veteran. That officer should be fired immediately.

Oct. 28 2011 10:27 AM
Chuck from NYC

I thought this was a free country.

This show's it is not.

I have to question a career choice where a person has to carry a gun and hit a person over a head with a baton in order to feel like a big man.

People in that are police department should have anger training and go through a stringent mental screening. Most do not know how to deal with people, many are sociopaths.

Oct. 28 2011 10:25 AM
Jeff Pappas from Ct

Yeah they have the guns but we got the numbers 5 to 1 baby one in five....
Jim Morrison

BTW The police do overreact and the caller who was just on justified innocents getting hurt

Oct. 28 2011 10:25 AM

The caller from Staten Island sounds more like a mouthpiece for the Soviet Politburo.

The US Constitution guarantees the _right_ to assemble -- a point lost on callers like the one from Staten Island.

Oct. 28 2011 10:25 AM

For some reason Oakland protesters' throwing bottles was not caught on tape. Police now routinely tape their actions, yet, their tapes not presented.

One only has to look at the cowardly and sneaky teargassing of a few women in NYC - that was caught on tape - to see the true actions and intentions of police departments.

Oct. 28 2011 10:24 AM
Beth Bennett from NYC

When I went down to Occupy Wall Street, I witnessed someone approach a police man, harass him and walk away. These policemen have to have a lot of patience not to react more violently more frequently. This is a peaceful protest with different streaks of immaturity and violence as well as peaceful protest.

Oct. 28 2011 10:24 AM

Does anyone have info on in-kind donations to the folks in Zucotti? Like winter coats?

Oct. 28 2011 10:24 AM
Terri from Brooklyn

If the police don't want to be there, then maybe they shouldn't have become police.

And if they don't know how to handle crowds of people without injuring them, perhaps they need better training.

Oct. 28 2011 10:24 AM
The Truth from Becky a real 99%-er

Though well intentioned these people do not represent me! The real 99% are at work and can't afford to BE out there on the streets for two months!

Oct. 28 2011 10:23 AM

The caller noting police overreaction to protester non-violence obliquely raises an important point. When police abuse civilians, it's an aberration, a rare one-off. When one or two protesters do something violent, it's instantly hailed as proof that the entire movement is violent.


Oct. 28 2011 10:23 AM
Hemmy from nyc

your lady is making excuses for unprofessional-ism

Oct. 28 2011 10:23 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

BRAVO caller from Staten Island !!!!

This is all potentially inflammable. People will get hurt.

Oct. 28 2011 10:23 AM
john from office

So how do you deal with a riot??, you let them run wild?? Leading to London, this summer??

Oct. 28 2011 10:22 AM
The Truth from Becky a real 99% er

Though well intentioned these people do not represent me! The real 99% are at work and can't afford to me out there on the streets for two months!

Oct. 28 2011 10:22 AM
Al from nyc

what is really strange in the few past days the main stream media and its political puppets are saying to anti wall st protesters to go home...this is exactly what the former Egyptian president said to the millions of protesting people about 10 days before of his fall

Oct. 28 2011 10:22 AM

CheeseWhiz - astute as usual.

Oct. 28 2011 10:22 AM
Joe from Brooklyn

I just want to say thank you for covering this. I've lost faith in NPR (the national coverage) over the last few weeks due to their dismissive and mostly nonexistent coverage of this.

Oct. 28 2011 10:21 AM
Muriel from Financial District

I just heard that consensus gov't would be unmanageable as crowds get larger, NOT SO, if we use the web and build a vital meeting point there then everyone's input can be aggregated. That's what we need a referendum for all on all issues of governance, it's the way of the future.

Oct. 28 2011 10:21 AM
John from office

This "movement" is not going anywhere too many opinions, no leaders and they are unable deal with the freaks.

Oct. 28 2011 10:20 AM
Carl from LES

Corrected link (doesn't require a log in)

Oct. 28 2011 10:19 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Yes, it's a "symbol" to me that all of these cities should shut all this nonsense down now. The Soros money was well spent.

They had their "voice", now it's time to do it through the ballot box.

WNYC was never so sympathetic to the Tea Party.

Oct. 28 2011 10:18 AM
ml from inwood

I'm from California. The Oakland cops have had a reputation since I can remember, going back to the '60s, for being MEAN. They're proud of that image - think "Raider Nation." I'm not the least bit surprised by their reaction to the Occupy movement.

Oct. 28 2011 10:18 AM

NPR has yet to mention that the Occupy Wall Street protester assaulted by police in Oakland was a Marine veteran — a "fallen warrior" in the newspeak of American media. Curiously, victims of American crimes are never "fallen heroes" or "warriors". They are invariably dismissed, mocked, ridiculed by the likes of Mara Liasson (who, as NPR regularly omits, is also in the pay of Fox).

Oct. 28 2011 10:17 AM
Fuva from Harlemworld

In the very same clip Brian played, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed himself says that carrying an exposed AK-47 is ABSOLUTELY LEGAL...Now this doesn't mean that doing so in a potentially "combustible" environment was not a legitimate concern...

Oct. 28 2011 10:17 AM
John from NYC

As you listen to commentators discuss Occupy Wall Street, you eventually realize that commentators are projecting their own issues onto the occupiers.

Few talk about who and what the occupiers are in and of themselves.

In looking for parallels, we might look at the "anarchists" who "occupied" Tompkins Square park in the East Village for many years.

Looking at Tompkins might provide a better portrait of these people and a better notion of how this will play out.

Oct. 28 2011 10:15 AM
Carl from LES

"I saw an AK47"?! Anyone watching the tea party protests?

Oct. 28 2011 10:14 AM
john from office

dboy, so "uprising" not "riot" in LA.

Oct. 28 2011 10:14 AM
john from office

Brian, will you admit that the OWS people are looking for good video, to make there cause more of an emotional issue.

Oct. 28 2011 10:12 AM
Martin Chuzzlewit from Manhattan

Not true !!!!
I HEARD an interview this morning (WOR or WABC) with a female protester who reluctantly admitted that there WAS throwing of rocks and bottles at the police. She said it !!

Oct. 28 2011 10:11 AM
The Truth from Becky

You have to know there is always the possibility of violence, when you have this type of gathering, peaceful is the intent but stragglers do get in. I and in my opinion...comes with the territory, sorry.

Oct. 28 2011 10:11 AM
Ansje from Brooklyn

I was there. I was in a crowd of hundreds of people. I never saw any rock or bottle-throwing. If there were people throwing things, it was only a few people and the police should have easily been able to deal with those individuals rather than throwing bombs into the whole crowd. It was a very peaceful crowd trying to figure out where to go next.

Oct. 28 2011 10:11 AM
Ansje from Brooklyn

I was there. I was in a crowd of hundreds of people. I never saw any rock or bottle-throwing. If there were people throwing things, it was only a few people and the police should have easily been able to deal with those individuals rather than throwing bombs into the whole crowd. It was a very peaceful crowd trying to figure out where to go next.

Oct. 28 2011 10:10 AM

A more accurate descriptor would be "attack" NOT "clash"!!

Oct. 28 2011 10:08 AM

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