Saturday, December 20, 2014

Oakland This Week

Security wreath with cameras, microphones, 
loudspeakers and taser cannons

Monday morning the Flaneur became aware of helicopters overhead as he slept.

It was unusual. The customary experience is for them to begin in the late afternoon when the demonstrations get rolling. This had been the case for at least the past week in Oakland, ever since a trifecta of crooked district attorneys, crooked judges and rigged grand juries had yet again decided to get behind a trigger-happy cop who killed yet another black young man.
Sunday night I had ventured outside my chambers though I have gotten a bit more cautious. I waited for the police helicopter noise to subside, as protests venture out on the freeway while the California Highway Patrol troops shoot "less lethal" rounds into the crowd and undercover thug cops, when somewhat stressed-out by discovery, pull guns on the unarmed.

As I made my cautious way toward an ATM, the downtown scene, usually quiet on on a Sunday night, was nearly deserted but with a pervasive air of impending trouble. Right on cue a cop car burst into sound and light and made a wild U-turn stopping around the BART stops near 14th street. Instantly it was joined by three other police vehicles also hitting the jack-pot. They were the recently-popular SUV-style black-and-white cop cars-- looking like bloated ticks clamped on a dog's neck.

Mornings after, we awaken to a downtown whose more corporate windows remain boarded-up day by day. The Old Oakland grocery mart installed removable wooden window coverings after it was twice raided for beer on nights of thirsty riot. The battle will get hotter, and you won't get no supper. Just enjoy it.
It was cold and rainy Monday as I emerged into the fore-noon. The protest in front of the Oakland police headquarters was in full swing. Brave youngsters had chained themselves to the front doors and blocked traffic on Broadway. Sorry cops, we came to spoil your day. Someone scaled the flagpole and flew the flag of anarchy--hip hip hooray!
I couldn't hang with the ice water falling but my heart was warmed by the voluble refusal to cower before the militarized police state's criminality, its swagger and its impunity as it fulfills its mission as the army of the plutocracy.

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