"Where else would you go when you have an ax to grind?"

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Nail injured in clash with hammer

As a journalist I understand the need to use value neutral terminology in describing events much of the time, but sometimes my colleagues and I  go a bit overboard. I spent a few moments yelling at my radio over one such incident last night.
In their coverage of the events surrounding the call for a general strike in Oakland, California, last night, the CBC mentioned that strike had been called by the Occupy Oakland group after demonstrators there clashed with police last week.
I don't mean to single out the CBC as a quick look around shows many other media outlets used the same terminology.  "Clashed" is a word used in newswriting when you know there was a fight, but you aren't sure who started it. "Clashed" suggests each side gave as good as they got. What happened in Oakland on Wednesday night may or may not have been "clashes" between police and protestors, but the event that lead to Wednesday's call for a general strike was not a "clash," it was an unprovoked, carefully coordinated attack by police on peaceful protestors who were guilty of little more than loitering in a public space and littering.

Riot police stormed the Occupy Oakland camp around 5 am on Oct. firing baton rounds and tear gas and arresting 85 of about 170 protesters who had been camping in the downtown park for about two weeks.There was no suggestion that the protestors were violent or even unruly. Many were asleep when the hundreds of riot cops moved in and detroyed the encampment. That isn't a "clash," that's a "raid" or "an attack" or a "police riot."

The police even threw a flash-bang grenade at people trying to help a man who was nearly killed after his head "clashed" with a baton-round fired by riot cops.

Scott Olson, the man shot in the head with the baton-round, (essentially a either a hockey puck fired from a grenade launcher or a cloth bag full of birdshot fired from a shot gun) remains in hospital with a fractured skull. He survived two tours of duty with the marines in Iraq before coming home to be shot while fighting for freedom.

I think its pretty clear who the police in this case are serving and protecting, and it ain't the 99%


1 comment:

democommie said...

Dearest Reverend Paperboy, Sir:

Traitorhero Scott Olson brought this down on himself by being a lazofascist and standing still while helpful members of the Oaklandischer Sturmabteilung. What kinda patriot would stoop to consort with the untermenschen, anyway?

Ah, fuck!

Bon Jour, Monsieur Reverend Paperboy:

I am sorry to interrupt my host, democommie, mid-rant; I felt, though that I must speak for a moment.

democommie's heart is in the right place, it's his brain that seems to have moved south, Je suis vraiment désolé.!

The Oakland PD is no neophyte in the area of "Compassionate but firm--and I mean really, Really, REALLY fucking firm--crowd control".

Regardez vous. Since the days of the 60's counter-culture movement, Oakland, CA, has been viewed by the RWAD'*s as some sort of city-state with the UCBerkley campus as its capitol. I have been to Berkely, it is like Pittsburgh with lemon trees. Race relations have been in le toilette since the first "no tickee, no washee" wave of the yellow horde arrived in the mid-1800's.

It would be so very heartening to see an outpouring of support by veteran Scott Olson's comrades in arms and by the many Berkley persons of fame. I fear that this will not happen, as the pain of this nation's dying is too diffuse to felt by those whose lives are, thus far, untouched by the cancer that eats at its vitals.

I am not a praying man; if I was I would light a candlem, non, a conflagration at the altar of Notre Dame de Paris. Bon chance, bonne nuit et au revoire.

*Right Wing Authoritarian Dickheads