August 5, 2012

[Note from the Editor: Update at the end of this post.]

Still trying to figure out what happened on Thursday night in Oakland? It isn't any wonder if you follow mainly the msm, like the above local ABC affiliate above. Here is the "report" that went along with this video:

A window at President Barack Obama's Oakland campaign office was smashed Friday night as a group of protesters marched through downtown.

A group of 100-200 Occupy Oakland protesters began marching down Telegraph Avenue after being denied a permit to protest near the First Friday event at Art Murmur.

A few Obama campaign volunteers were working inside the office when the window was smashed in with a brick. No one was hurt.

Police made no arrests.

An error in this report states Friday, when it was actually Thursday.

Now I'll fill you in on what exactly happened. My first hint that this was not an Occupy Oakland protest was the report that protesters were angry after being denied a permit. Occupy Oakland did not apply for any such permit, nor would they ever, and I confirmed this with the group via Twitter:

Occupy Oakland ‏@OccupyOakland

@DianeSweet such as we never applied for any sort of permit nor would we ever.

By Friday evening, one online news source reported on vandalism Thursday evening, and attributed it to the group actually responsible, although no mention here othe f the Obama HQ window smashing, or of the car windows smashing:

Vandals damaged two Oakland police cars near City Hall and attempted to break a window at a police station early Thursday in a coordinated attack to protest a federal investigation into anarchist activity.

A group calling itself the East Bay Uncontrollables said in an online post it was responsible for pouring glass etching fluid on the windshields of two unmarked police cars outside a police recruitment center in Frank Ogawa Plaza, slashing the tires on one vehicle, and splashing the acid-based fluid across the center's windows.

In a separate pre-dawn incident, another vandal claimed to have damaged a window at a law enforcement station near Lake Merritt.

On Friday, an Oakland police officer at the recruitment center confirmed the attack and said no suspects were detained. Police representatives did not respond to messages seeking comment


The mention of the East Bay Uncontrollables gang is important, because during all the confusion Thursday in the media, leaflets were being handed out among the crowd in Oakland, as well as video footage an images being posted on various sites.

OccupyOakland re-posted a video that surfaced Thursday, and included the message from one of those leaflets:

The following is a passage from the communique handed out during the action.

"Oakland's Art Murmur is supposed to be about art, culture, and community. But all that it represents to the Uptown, Downtown and KONO business district associations as well as the city administration is an opportunity for commercial expansion and business development, a tool to further their agenda of gentrification.

In spite of this, recent months have seen Art Murmur explode with spontaneous energy, with the insurgent spirit of people's free expression and free association. Rather than a controlled spectacle and disciplined promenade of compliant consumers, it has become a truly communal gathering, an epic block party, the night in Oakland when everyone is out and about in the streets. It is a people's carnival of street artists, uncontracted musicians, unlicensed vendors, unauthorized performers, random revelers and rebel spirits of the community coming together simply to be together, to socialize and share public space, above & beyond the call of consumption."

Later in the March after the fences came down at 19th and Telegraph a group shattered the windows of the Obama 2012 headquarters. "The East Bay Uncontrollables said the attacks were designed to protest a Seattle grand jury's investigation into vandalism during May Day protests, "and to continue our struggle against the forces of the State and Capital at home."

Obviously, the video above is highly edited, and I can't promise that it isn't also altered. I should probably also note that if you watched any of the videos of the street dancing on Thursday night in Oakland, it's more than obvious that there were thousands participating, not "100 or 200" as reported by the msm.

There were also car windows reportedly smashed, and a member of OccupyOakland, one of the street medics, intervened when someone tried to smash windows on an occupied car:

Adam in Oakland Adam in Oakland ‏@AdamInOakland

I have absolutely no regrets about physically intervening without striking another person when I saw folks attack a car w/ppl in it.

Kudos to Adam, and others like him.

For a bit of humor, the comments about the window smashing at this right-wing blog are a real hoot! Conspiracy theories cooked up by the tin-foil hat crowd believe that the Obama campaign people broke their windows themselves to deflect some imagined connection between Occupy and the Obama administration. They also seem to believe the administration is paying anarchists for some reason or another. Anarchists on Twitter are wondering where the cash is...

In summary, during a hugely popular festival in Oakland on Thursday night, a gang called the "East Bay Uncontrollables" admits to breaking windows using an acid for glass etching, as well as physically smashing windows in Oakland. Occupy Oakland was in the area during the festival and the street dance, not to mention the citizens who were there not related to either group. Can I promise there wasn't some cross-mingling of the three very separate groups? No, I can't. I can tell you that the regular Occupy Oaklanders that I'm familiar with were not happy about the violence, and there were those such as Adam the medic who tried to protect innocent people from being hurt during the violence.

Update: More on this at OccupyWallSt.Org...

How does this fit in with the information I've gathered above? I'm not certain right now. Have a tip? Email me at

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