I've loved blogging anonymously, but I'm not religious about it. So I don't care much if I out myself in the process of explaining to you what Mayor Quan's legal advisor & she herself already know.
After coming back from the Occupy Oakland GA last night I intended to write a diary about a conversation between two Iraqi Marine vets that I found myself in the middle of, & how my friend Andy later found his friend Glynn after she spoke to the assembly about privilege. However, I caught sight of a diary by Horace Boothroyd III about the officer who possibly was the one who shot Scott Olsen. I opened it & then got distracted reading the comments section. Someone posted about the police waiting to find the "bottle-thrower" rather than taking action against the officer whose action nearly murdered Scott Olsen. That refers to the Oakland PD's assertion that the initiation of violence was brought on by an alleged protestor who had allegedly thrown a bottle at the police.
I am that "bottle-thrower." Dan Siegel, Mayor Quan's Chief Legal Advisor, knows that I am. Mayor Quan probably knows it as well.
Ironies abound in the real world.
From Quan's Wiki Page
"Siegel had been considered a controversial figure at City Hall due to his supposed vocal criticism of Oakland Police...."
"Her legal adviser opposed the police action and threatened to resign." That's from after the police riot on the 99%.
That's the Dan Siegel I knew. A different one visited the Occupy Oakland after the police riots.
Siegel said he came to offer support but as he walked into the plaza he was confronted by a man who called him a “fraud” for representing Quan..."This guy has no credibility,” another man shouted. “You’re a hack. You have already lost. What are you doing here? Get out of the way.” A woman handed Siegel a penny.
"This is you," she said. "You are the 1 percent."
Well, I'm so down on Quan now I couldn't even begin to tell you. First, she congratulates the police after THEIR riot of overwhelming (& planned a week in advance) force. Then she records a subsequent apology to us. That shouts at the very least, of the Romneyism of a politician long lost to working "inside" the system. You know, the system that swallows you when you are inside it trying to change it. The recall is the way to go. I'll keep believing that until (& if) I see her standing between protestors & the police at the Oakland docks (portion thereof wherein Goldman Sach's possesses 50% ownership) Nov 2, & not in the background whispering in the PD's ears to squash dissent.
Dan Siegel. That's a different story. It is personally painful to see him brought so low due to his association with Quan. I hope he follows through on his musings & resigns soon. I think he will. He's fought way more battles than I have, & he knows which side he belongs on.
He was once a student protestor. As president of the UCB student body & as a leader in SDS, he led & participated in various iconic strikes back in the 1960s. More than once he put his body on the line. More than once he had been accused of crimes he didn't commit.
He graduated & went on to become a lawyer. He used the law to continue his political work. For people who couldn't afford it, he worked pro bono. I know this first hand. I had once been a client of his.
Back in the '80s I had been a student organizer. I was a little too out front. Too easily identifiable. On the day that we had declared to be a student strike/boycott of classes, the police over-reacted. Sound familar? Batons swirled. Protestors were knocked to the ground. Some thrown off a balcony. I found myself laying faced down in the dirt below. As I rose to my feet, a fellow-organizer told me she heard an officer talking into his walkie-talkie. The police claimed that their violence that day was initiated by "the leader" tossing a bottle at the police.
They arrested me.
Hell, I wasn't "the leader." I was just one of the organizers. I didn't even come up with the idea of the strike. That was the man below, Heflin Babatunde (RIP my very loved & painfully missed giant of a brother), whose prior experiences led him to tell me the day before the strike, "Maan, they're gonna' beat your sorry ass. I ain't gonna' be around."
So as he predicted, I was arrested. I had thrown no bottle, nor had I been carrying one. While in a holding cell, a plainclothes officer came in to my cell to tell me that they had "photos" of me throwing the bottles. He boasted they were going to put me away for a long time. I believed him, even though I knew I was innocent.
I vividly recall sitting there afterwards alone & ruminating on the nature of our justice system.
The next thing I recall is talking with Dan Siegel. He offered to be my attorney. He knew the charges were pure bullshit & just meant to shield the police.
He got the charges dropped. No "photos" ever appeared.
He was a good guy. More than that. A stand-up guy.
Decades have passed. I lost touch with him long ago. Reagan is long-gone. Reaganism though is still truimphant. The student fee-hikes have gotten unimaginably worse. Income inequality has mushroomed. And all along, despite what you might think, progressives & activists HAVE been working like Hell inside the system to bring it to the side of the people. All to no avail because the system has triumphed over those that sought to change it from the inside. Yes, there's been many hard fought victories without which life would've been intolerable...but the cold hard & damning statistics of income inequality show the 99% having been losing the war for decades.
Now we have another strike scheduled for November 2 as a result of a number of things. One of those things is the violence perpetrated against unarmed protestors by a conglomeration of police departments & via Mayor Quan's direction. Dan is the mayor's chief legal advisor.
The city government is looking for a scapegoat. The culprit that caused the police riot. Dan Siegel knows who that culprit is. The real culprit. The mayor knows as well.
The 1% and the police force the Mayor's Office CHOSE to direct against the 99%.
That also is to be expected.
We're a movement precisely because no one else will go after the 1%.
So, instead, they go on looking for a non-existent "bottle-thrower." Still. Yet again.
Needless to say, I've seen "no bottle-throwers" amongst us in Oakland. I haven't thrown one. But, Mayor Quan, if it'll help you look in the mirror & see anything other than the 500 riot police you chose to summon up looking back at you...well...then go ahead & pretend I'm the bottle-thrower. Go ahead & pretend anyone else is. We'll all know the truth though.
You're the bottle-thrower & you threw it on behalf of the 1%.
However, talk of "bottle-throwers" is easier than looking inward & seeing how their actions support the 1% against the 99%.
Times have changed. And they have changed quicker than even those surrounding the mayor's office seem to have realized despite the massive wake-up call.
That's to be expected. When you're inside the system, thinking you're fighting against it even as it devours your soul piecemeal, it is hard to see how what you are really doing is strengthening it.
We're a peaceful, non-violent movement. We're action-oriented, but we don't throw bottles. And we won't waste time searching our ranks for phantom "bottle-throwers." Been there, done that. That mierda is old. It don't roll no more. Ahora es demasiado tarde. We're focused on the rule of the 1%. We won't be distracted.
UPDATE: Jesse LaGreca is the "bottle-thrower."
Having spent a couple hours today in Oakland with him I can testify to that. Whether he's sitting down with DKOS friends breaking bread, or talking to the representatives of the media, he's constantly verbally throwing bottles at the feet of the 1% that are more dangerous than Mr. Molotov's. And he's non-stop 24/7 tossing them out. As they need to be tossed.
Those "La Greca Cocktails" are blowing holes in the media's narrative.
Keep on tossing them brother. No te rajes. We'll keep filling them up for you.
On November 2, we're going out on strike. We're taking Occupy Oakland back into the streets. We won't be wasting any time with glass bottles. We never have. We'll be tossing "La Greca Cocktails" of truth at the armored lies of the 1%.