A Night of Violence…Against Oakland Protesters

Posted on November 5, 2011

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Media narratives have been full of questions about violence on November 2nd, the historic Oakland general strike where tens of thousands of bay area residents convened on downtown Oakland throughout the day, and then shut down the port in act of non-violent civil disobedience.

Several people were hurt on Wednesday, its true. But they were all protesters, and they were all hurt by police, or, in one case, people in opposition to the event. Despite the media refrain of violent protesters, no one was hurt by protesters on Wednesday night.

Kayvan Sabeghi, who by all accounts was simply in the area of the police raid on Wednesday night, was severely beaten by police and jailed. Though his spleen was ruptured, and he could barely stand, Sabeghi was denied medical attention in jail, and was forced to call an ambulance when he was released several hours later. He remains in intensive care.

Earlier in the evening, two protesters on Broadway were run down by a driver. Though other protesters managed to halt the car and called police over to deal with the situation, the BART police officer who responded, incredibly, allowed the driver to leave–even though witnesses said the driver tried to leave the scene of the incident and then tried to switch places with his passenger. The protesters were taken to Highland Hospital with undisclosed injuries.

Other protesters were hurt by police that night according to media reports, just as they were in similar incidents on October 25th. We don’t know their names, or the context of the incidences, though. Its obvious that both media and police care more about broken windows and graffiti than they do about human lives. Ironically, the damage that incensed them so has been largely repaired. The windows have been replaced, or are in the process of being replaced, and the grafitti has been cleaned. But protesters hurt by real violence are still recuperating.

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