#Occupy Oakland Old-Timers Lash Out at Youths For Mass Violence & Destruction
10 #Occupy Oakland criminals were arraigned in court today.
A tense face-off between Occupy Oakland activists and members of a new group formed to protest their tactics erupted this afternoon in front of Oakland City Hall, with both sides accusing each other of missing the point of the Occupy movement.
About 40 people calling themselves members of Stand for Oakland gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza around noon to denounce what they said was violence and vandalism by Occupy Oakland protesters in recent weeks.
They said they sympathized with Occupy Oakland’s focus on economic disparity, but maintained that destruction during clashes with police was giving the overall Occupy movement a bad name. They cited in particular activists’ trashing of parts of City Hall after their failed attempt Jan. 28 to take over the long-empty Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.
Several of the 150 Occupy Oakland protesters who gathered alongside the new group said any violence and destruction during their actions was in reaction to heavy-handedness by Oakland police.
One young Occupier, who like many declined to give his name, argued with members of the new group that Occupy would have been eliminating blight by taking over an empty convention center.
“You are blight, don’t you see it?” retorted Aaron Merritt, a 39-year-old graphic designer.
The young Occupier shot back: “You’re in the matrix. You’ve been indoctrinated.”
The Stand for Oakland rally participants included City Councilwoman Desley Brooks – who briefly joined Occupy’s encampment in its early days outside City Hall – and unlike the Occupy Oakland group they had obtained a city permit for their gathering. They were also generally older than the Occupy crowd.
#Occupy Oakland protesters torched a US flag and threw bottles of urine at the media this past weekend.