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View Diary: Tear Gas at #OccupyOakland Connects #OWS to Repression of Peaceful Protests in the West Bank (29 comments)

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  •  Something about this doesn't feel right. (10+ / 0-)

    It feels like an attempt to use what happened here (Oakland) as a way to pull us into the I/P thrash.  It frankly feels exploitative.  

    Sure there are similarities. But there are also similarities with a wide range of conflicts and struggles across the globe and across history.  I don't see people representing those into this situation as a way to gain support for their other causes.  For example I don't see the Basques here on dKos, who have been oppressed for far longer, trying to link Oakland to their own struggle for autonomy and independent nationhood.  

    Of all of these global struggles, the I/P situation has proven itself right here on dKos to be the cause of an enormous amount of division among progressives who otherwise agree about most everything else.  It's led to bitter fights that have played out across multiple diaries.  It's led to people getting banned in numbers that are greater than for a half dozen other subjects combined.  It's even led to calls for the entire subject matter to be placed off-limits here, something I can't agree with because "no-talk rules" are a poor way to keep the peace.  

    Trying to link Oakland to the I/P situation strikes me as an effort to get us to collectively take sides on that, regardless of whatever divisiveness may occur locally here as a consequence.

    We need more divisiveness like we need more rock-throwers and more tear-gas.  Please don't do it.  

    "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

    by G2geek on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 05:45:30 PM PDT

    •  Hi G2geek...I respect the comment and the opinion. (5+ / 0-)

      My intention is the exact opposite of what you fear, though I'm certainly not able to predict how my writing on the matter will be viewed or felt by others.

      My reasoning for writing this is threefold:

      a) I happen to know a great deal about both situations (while I don't know much at all about the equipment or tactics used by other countries).

      b) It's important to understand, in my view, the parallel situations -- that there are contexts at play which inform each other.

      c) A study of what happens in the West Bank may help us here in the States be prepared for what can occur as we steel ourselves to remain peaceful. Something that will become increasingly difficult to do if forces stupidly continue to use such items on peaceful gathering.

      Again, I do respect your comment, and appreciate your honesty. If this feels like an attempt to drag us into the muck, then that's probably a failing on my part in the presentation. And for that I apologize.

      I'm "THE" Troubadour," and not "Troubadour" without the article. We're different people here at DK :)

      by David Harris Gershon on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 05:52:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks and with all due respect..... (6+ / 0-)

        ... unless you've lived in Oakland, it's hard to get a feel for how volatile this town can be and how that can go over the edge with even a small push.

        I've been here for close to three decades.

        We have small groups of provocateurs who try to push every demonstration into a rocks-vs-teargas, kids-vs-cops situation.  Their rationale is to try to provoke "the revolution," but it's hollow bullshit and reality is they probably have unresolved issues with their parents that they're acting out in the streets.

        We have a rich racial/ethnic/linguistic mix, with over 120 languages spoken.  We even have private schools that teach kids multiple languages in elementary school.   Kids in the public schools grow up learning three languages from their friends (the usual mix is English, Spanish, and Chinese).  But the flipside of that is the potential for cultural misunderstandings that can become amplified through political ineptitude and even innocent mistakes.

        In the last couple of years we've had some serious incidents that have gotten way out of hand.  There were a couple of cases of police shootings of suspects, that were arguably either tragic accidents or murder, and opinions have tended to polarize around those.  One of these, involving a guy named Oscar Grant, became the source of a series of demonstrations that were whipped up by provocateurs into riots that trashed local neighborhoods and local businesses.  

        As a result of that situation, the Oakland PD have become quite a bit more twitchy about demonstrations that look like they could become riots.  This is how we ended up with tear gas and all the rest of it a week ago.  

        So we are all a bit twitchy about people coming in from outside and trying to link Occupy Oakland to any causes outside those of the Occupy movement as a whole.  

        Today Jesse LaGreca was in town; I love the guy but I couldn't go see him because I have two PBXs to program this weekend that we're installing next week (and a third tomorrow night, eeyow).  (Right now I'm on a break that has become too long, I need to get back to work!)   Jesse is welcome with great big hugs because he's not an "outsider," he's basically the national spokesperson for the movement.  He sticks to the immediate goals of the movement and it's clear he does not have anything outside of that to bring into it for any reason.  

        So I appreciate your apology for the mis-impression that may have been created.   It's important for people who are involved with other causes, to be cautious as to how they draw their circles of mutual inclusion.  This movement needs to grow to the point where it can demonstrate some electoral victories, and once it does that, then it can branch out and establish links with other movements and causes.  

        "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

        by G2geek on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 08:20:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well (4+ / 0-)

      Companies that make weapons sell them as often as they can, and when Party A uses them one way it can become an instruction manual for Party B, and maybe that's what the diarist is trying to say.

      I don't see this diarist as exploitive, just persistent and opposed to violence.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 06:04:45 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And your last statement (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Troubadour, fizziks

      Ditto. See my note down thread. Time to do some weeding.

      What about my Daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 06:06:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I share your concerns re (4+ / 0-)

      a forcible yoking of OWS with I/P. But, this diary, in fact, points to a very central concern--the way militarized policing is leading to a suppression of protests all over.

      Peaceful protests in Nabi Saleh are met with shootings of rubber bullets and tear gas canisters, just as protests in Tahrir Square were attacked with tear gas canisters. Surely you remember the twit-pics of those canisters with the "Made in USA" labels.

      To look away from these interconnections is to desire to be resolutely blind to what is happening in the world around us, surely a move that is contrary to the spirit of the Occupy movements.

      It's *Gandhi*, not Ghandi

      by poco on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 06:06:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  You raise some very good points (3+ / 0-)

      it seems to me that this connection is worth pointing out, because 1) it is so terribly wrong for Defense Tech and Xe to be profiting from such inhuman and anti-democratic weapons and skills training and 2) it says a lot about the Israeli and US governments, that they want these weapons, and the skills to use them against their own citizens.

      But I'd be very interested to know which other countries and regimes are also buying the same stuff ? We know Xe serve the almighty dollar, not this country; and we have a fair sense of what kind of people think violent supression of democracy is a good idea.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Sun Oct 30, 2011 at 07:54:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It feels exploitative because it is. n/t (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      volleyboy1, JayinPortland

      "Stay close to the candles....the staircase can be treacherous" (-8.38,-8.51)

      by JNEREBEL on Mon Oct 31, 2011 at 08:03:01 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Can't agree on several levels (0+ / 0-)

      When we are divided is just when more communication is needed, not less.

      Our understanding of social justice should not be exclusionary.

      The international cooperation in the militarisation of our police forces is chilling. It's most obvious in Israel since we see it every week (and as another commented, it's the lab we use to experiment with). But now to see it in the US, Italy, Australia etc and to see those linkages is horrifying to me.  It needs to be talked about by Occupy since this is part of the way that 99% simultaneously oppresses us and profits from it.

      Closing your eyes to this is, in my view, wrong.

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