The horror: “Police made arrests as demonstrators marched in downtown Oakland against the city’s new get-tough policy for monitoring street protests — the second such gathering in as many days… Officers watched closely Sunday night as the protesters marched several blocks. About 100 to 150 people marched before organizers ended the event and then a group of 15 to 20 started another protest, spokeswoman Johnna A. Watson said.” Basically, the city of Oakland has decided that protesters need to stay on the sidewalks, and not take over the streets – and, not incidentally, refrain from destroying people’s cars.
Oakland, as you probably know, has what protesters would probably call ‘a vibrant commitment to social justice culture’ and everybody else would call ‘a sometimes literally bloody nuisance.’ To give you an idea: protest culture is so, ah, vibrant that in 2003 freaking Moonbeam Brown (who was then mayor of Oakland) felt the need to disperse the crowds with wooden and rubber bullets. It takes a good deal of skill and ingenuity to be too over the top for a hardcore liberal icon like Jerry Brown, but then I guess that any group that thinks that it needs to have formal pre- and post-protest protests is probably up to the challenge. (more…)