Thursday, May 24, 2012

Occupy Oakland Upset Over Proposed Shield Ban

Posted By on Thu, May 24, 2012 at 7:49 AM

click to enlarge Does this look threatening to you?
  • Does this look threatening to you?

It seems that Oakland City Hall might have given Occupy Oakland a new reason to protest.

The Council's public safety committee is mulling an ordinance that, if passed, would ban protesters from carrying shields during any and all demonstrations. The ordinance, backed by City Attorney Barbara Parker and Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, says those shields that are commonly used in Occupy protests are "tools of violence" and protesters spotted carrying one can be arrested.

The cost of carrying these shields would amount to a misdemeanor charge, a $1,000 fine, and up to six months in jail. Along with shields, protesters wouldn't be able to carry hammers or paint balloons, which, as readers probably recall, Occupiers love to hurl at police during demonstrations.

But this ban could be a problem, considering how Occupiers are very fond of their shields; they can be seen regularly carrying

them at demonstrations and they even brought one to the Tuesday night meeting, claiming they need them for protection against "violent police."


Oakland Police Department has been hit with a slew of Occupy-related

misconduct complaints, and saw a national backlash after video footage of police attacking Iraq veterans Scott Olsen and

Kayvan Sabeghi went viral.

Parker argues that some demonstrators "have used protests in Oakland as

'cover' to commit acts of violence" and that the proposed ordinance might finally put a cap on this illegal activity. She and Kernighan hope that police will happily arrest anyone carrying

the so-called "tools of violence" before the protesters actually have a chance to use them.

Although shields are typically considered a defensive tool,

Kernighan says they appear more threatening, claiming "it

looks like people are armed for battle."

"I don't think that's what a

protest march should be about," she said.

Protesters, including Jessica Hollie used the public comment period during the meeting to tell the committee exactly how they felt about this potential ban. "I don't care if you think a

protest should look like that or not." Hollie stated that the council should be

ashamed for trying to pass legislation that she deemed "fear-mongering." She then announced her own plans to run for City Council -- just to piss them off.

"I don't really

want to win because I don't have any faith in electoral politics,"

Hollie explained, "but if I do win, I promise I will ride your ass."

The good news for protesters is that this proposal, which is modeled on similar legislation in Santa Monica

and Los Angeles, didn't even make it for a vote. The meeting ended because of the interruptions.

However, we have no doubt that we'll see this proposal back on the agenda for a vote sometime soon. And if it does make it to the full council for review, we're curious to

see a debate on whether this City Council believes Occupiers or police are a greater threat to public safety.

Follow us on Twitter at @TheSnitchSF and @SFWeekly

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , , ,

About The Author

Kate Conger


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Nevada City and the South Yuba River: A gold country getaway

    Nestled in the green pine-covered hills of the Northern Sierra Nevada is the Gold Rush town of Nevada City. Beautiful Victorian houses line the streets, keeping the old-time charm alive, and a vibrant downtown is home to world-class art, theater and music. The nearby South Yuba River State Park is known for its emerald swimming holes during the summer and radiant leaf colors during autumn. These days the gold panning is more for tourists than prospectors, but the gold miner spirit is still in the air.

    South Yuba River State Park and Swimming Holes:
    The park runs along and below 20 miles of the South Yuba River, offering hiking, mountain biking, gold panning and swimming. The Highway 49 bridge swimming hole is seven-miles northwest of Nevada City where Highway 49 crosses the South Yuba River. Parking is readily available and it is a short, steep hike to a stunning swimming hole beneath a footbridge. For the more intrepid, trails extend along the river with access to secluded swim spots. The Bridgeport swimming hole has calm waters and a sandy beach -- good for families and cookouts -- and is located 14 miles northwest of Nevada City. Be sure to write down directions before heading out, GPS may not be available. Most swimming holes on the South Yuba River are best from July to September, while winter and spring can bring dangerous rapids. Always know the current before jumping in!

    Downtown Nevada City
    The welcoming, walkable downtown of Nevada City is laid back, yet full of life. Start your day at the cozy South Pine Cafe (110 S Pine St.) with a lobster benedict or a spicy Jamaican tofu scramble. Then stroll the streets and stop into the shop Kitkitdizzi (423 Broad St.) for handcrafted goods unique to the region, vintage wears and local art “all with California gold rush swagger,” as stated by owners Carrie Hawthorne and Kira Westly. Surrounded by Gold Rush history, modern gold jewelry is made from locally found nuggets and is found at Utopian Stone Custom Jewelers (301 Broad St.). For a coffee shop with Victorian charm try The Curly Wolf (217 Broad St.), an espresso house and music venue with German pastries and light fare. A perfect way to cool down during the hot summer months can be found at Treats (110 York St.) , an artisan ice cream shop with flavors like pear ginger sorbet or vegan chai coconut. Nightlife is aplenty with music halls, alehouses or dive bars like the Mine Shaft Saloon (222 Broad St.).

    The Willo Steakhouse (16898 State Hwy 49, Nevada City)
    Along Highway 49, just west of Nevada City, is The Willo, a classic roadhouse and bar where you’re welcomed by the smell of steak and a dining room full of locals. In 1947 a Quonset hut (a semi-cylindrical building) was purchased from the US Army and transported to its current location, and opened as a bar, which became popular with lumberjacks and miners. The bar was passed down through the decades and a covered structure was added to enlarge the bar and create a dining area. The original Quonset beams are still visible in the bar and current owners Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson keep the roadhouse tradition going with carefully aged New York steaks and house made ingredients. Pair your steak or fish with a local wine, such as the Rough and Ready Red, or bring your own for a small corkage fee. Check the website for specials, such as rib-eye on Fridays.

    Outside Inn (575 E Broad St.)
    A 16-room motel a short walk from downtown, each room features a unique décor, such as the Paddlers’ Suite or the Wildflower Room. A friendly staff and an office full of information about local trails, swimming and biking gets you started on your outdoor exploration. Amenities include an outdoor shower, a summer swimming pool and picnic tables and barbeques. Don’t miss the free vegetable cart just outside the motel in the mornings.

    Written and photographed by Beth LaBerge for the SF Weekly.

  • Arcade Fire at Shoreline
    Arcade Fire opened their US tour at Shoreline Amphitheater to a full house who was there in support of their album "Reflector," which was released last fall. Dan Deacon opened the show to a happily surprised early audience and got the crowd actively dancing and warmed up. DEVO was originally on the bill to support Arcade Fire but a kayak accident last week had sidelined lead singer Mark Mothersbaugh and the duration of the west coast leg of the tour. Win Butler did a homage to DEVO by performing Uncontrollable Urge.