At about 5:30 PM, the organizer for the rally for Bradley Manning at Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland told the crowd that Scott and a small band of Vets, Occupiers and other activists had started a sit-in at the Obama campaign office a couple of blocks away. She said that we would be marching over there to support the sit-in and that the rally would continue from there.
In fifteen minutes the Obama office was both surrounded and invaded. Fifty or more people were inside, and perhaps a hundred outside, all chanting
Free Bradley Manning!
Scott Olsen (under the FORWARD sign) and fellow sit-in-ers,
demanding Bradley Manning be freed.
Some time later the police arrived, forced their way in through the back entrance, got most everyone to leave, locked the front doors and commenced to, well, do nothing. Scott and six volunteers remained inside, refusing to leave, four or five police off to the one side, hanging out and shooting the breeze.
This went on until about 8:30 PM, when the police "hostage negotiator" finally told them that they would be arrested if they did not leave in a half an hour.
For reasons I am not clear on, just before time was up, it was decided that Scott should leave the building voluntarily to "have someone on the outside." The six others remained, and at approximately 9:00 PM were all arrested.
A spontaneous march ensued, taking protesters down to the Oakland Police station. Tweets suggest that no further incidents occurred; no one else was arrested. A jail watch continued at the Alameda County jail near the police station to determine if and when those arrested would be released.
Scott Olsen @OlsenVet
I made it home safely. Wish I could say the same for my comrades who got arrested. Wish I could say the same for Brad Manning
Pfc. Bradley Manning @SaveBradley
Many thanks to @CourtneyOccupy, livestreaming this Bradley Manning #vets4brad action in Oakland, after arrests and into the streets. #FF
#OO #OccupyOakland I feel encouraged. the bravery& persistence of Scott & so many others I've seen here from start
Scott Olsen @OlsenVet
Video taken by me within minutes of us entering the office. Shows us getting pushed by #Obama staffers #Vets4Brad
... over 300 top legal scholars have declared that Bradley’s treatment was a violation of the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, as well as a violation of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee against punishment without trial. Among the signatories is professor Laurence Tribe, a Harvard professor who taught President Obama. Professor Tribe was, until recently, a senior advisor to the US Justice Department. -- BradleyManning.org-----
Photo credit: As usual, Alyssa (kossack Allie123, tweeting as @alyssa011968) took the amazing photos.