Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#OpChrisHedges Berkeley 6/27/12

(My quick writeup...)

On January 28th 2012, Occupy Oakland Move In Day, I think most of us on the streets that day weren't neophytes, and we expected the corporate media to ignore the massive brutality of the police state; the indiscriminate baton blows, the flash bang grenades, the bean-bag shots, the rubber coated steel tipped bullets, the tear gas, more tear gas, the tear gassing of illegally kettled protesters in from of a statue of MLK Jr and Gandhi, the illegal mass arrests, the largest in Oakland since 1981, the torturous jail conditions; we knew they would ignore all of that and focus on a couple of broken windows later that evening, and a burned American flag.

What we didn't quite expect was how the "Liberal" "Progressive" "Independent" media would also ignore the criminal police violence and begin the denouncing of Occupy Oakland, and those "Black Bloc Anarchists" who had "tools of violence" such as shields to defend our skulls from being shattered like Scott Olsen's.

But there it was; one "sympathetic #occupy media ally" after another denouncing the violent "Black Bloc" for having shields and masks, going so far as appealing to NYC's #OWS to cut ties with Oakland (as if there's some process for that...)

But the worst of the worst was former NY Times journalist Chris Hedges, who wrote the article post #j28 =

The Cancer in Occupy

Referring to Black Bloc and Occupy Oakland at large.

I'm not going into the whole critique here; other have written extensive, thorough rebuttals.  One fine example: (search around, you'll find more)

But now, nearly five months later, one can look at this article as a turning point in Occupy; the time when older more moderate on the fence liberals were given the excuse they needed not to get involved with Occupiers lest they get caught up with those scary "Black Bloc Anarchists".

So I figured if the old guard liberals of Berkeley were going to flock to a KPFA fundraiser with Chris Hedges speaking; maybe some of the younger crowd who like to wear masks, carry shields, and use fucking foul language should have some representation at the event as well.  So this happened last night:

I had some interesting dialogue with community members:

A young citizen even stopped to draw me:


(A special thanks to my videographer! <3)