Olbermann And Holland On City Officials Using Recent Homicide To Justify Eviction Of #OccupyOakland Protesters


After Keith Olbermann running us through some of the recent news on various Occupy protests across the country, AlterNet's Joshua Holland joined the set of Countdown to discuss the latest from Occupy Oakland, where police are threatening to again evict the protesters there and whether the shooting nearby was being used as an excuse to justify the eviction.

HOLLAND: It's entirely possible that he had stayed there a couple of nights before. I spoke with three eyewitnesses who said that the fight started outside the camp, kind of moved through the camp and then this tragedy happened on the far end of the camp.

You know, this is the hundred and first homicide in Oakland this year and it's a real tragedy. I spoke to people out there who were saying that another young man had been shot to death, just caddy-corner from the incident last night and there were no news vans, there were no helicopters overhead. So I think that this is being used as a premise by City Hall officials to evict the camp, but you know, these problems run deep in the community.

They're social problems that aren't going to be addressed by evicting the occupation.

OLBERMANN: Give us a sense, because I don't think everybody knows the geography of downtown Oakland, about just what kind of area we're talking about and how unlikely it is that there would be a shooting that had no connection to the camp, so close to the camp, or how likely it might be.

HOLLAND: Well again, this is the fifth... this is the city with the fifth highest violent crime rate in the United States. It isn't downtown Oakland. It's not a residential area. It's mostly office buildings around. But, you know, again, we've heard that these things happen all the time. Somebody told me yesterday that if this had taken place in west Oakland, the body would still be sitting there hours after the fact.

Or take for example the incident in Burlington, Vermont, a tragic suicide by a veteran. There was a report out just ten days ago that found that a veteran attempts to commit suicide every eighty minutes on average. There were 1868 suicide attempts among veterans in 2009 alone.

So again, these problems aren't going to be swept under the carpet if we get rid of the occupations and I think that they... one of the things that makes them prone to this kind of demagoguery by people who want to out them is that they're open to the marginalized among society, the people that are... you know, most of us tend to ignore.

Keith wrapped things up by asking about Oakland Mayor Quan, who Keith had previously called on to resign and how she has been handling the protests in her city. As they both noted, Quan has managed to piss off about everyone on either side of the aisle by taking every conceivable stance imaginable on the protests and waffling rather than let anyone know where she stands.


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