As we enter the thirteenth day of our Kickstarter fund drive for the BONFIRE FOR HUMANITY, we find ourselves considering time. The passage of time, yes, but also the timing of events. Specifically, the events of our twelfth day of fundraising, Tuesday, October 25, 2011. Let us investigate these important events in time [all events recorded in PST].
Event One: The Oakland [PD] Raiders
At approximately 4:30am, the Occupy Oakland camps at Oscar Grant Plaza (formerly Frank Ogawa Plaza) and Snow Park were raided by the Oakland police department with assistance from the Alameda County Sheriff's Deputies and the Berkeley, Emeryville, Hayward, Pleasanton and Union City police departments. With the aid of tear gas, the Oakland police department, assisted by the aforementioned agencies, demolished (or dismantled, depending the news source) the camps and arrested approximately 100 civilians.
The Occupy Oakland movement responded to this action with a rally at the Oakland Public Library which led to a march at roughly 5:00pm. As the protestors attempted to re-enter Oscar Grant Plaza they were informed by the Oakland police department, along with the aforementioned assisting agencies, that they were assembling illegally.
At approximately 7:15pm at the intersection of Broadway and 14th Street tear gas and flash bang grenades were used by the Oakland police department and assisting agencies on the crowd.
Did you notice the woman in a wheelchair surrounded by gas at 0:07? Do you think the camera person was incapacitated by the gas and that's why the camera was set down?
Do you recognize the woman lying face down in the street at the 0:40 mark? Is this same woman who is standing at the beginning of the previous video? Her lovely, yet flimsy, brightly colored dress looks so familiar, partially because of the stark contrast of the riot gear, wouldn't you agree? Can you hear the camera man choking?
The crowd continued to be tear gassed and shot with bean bags and rubber bullets throughout the night, and there were also rumors of the Oakland police department and assisting agencies deploying a sound cannon on the civilian protestors. Josh Levinger provided a live video feed from his cell phone, which was archived here.
Unfortunately, the segment including an interview with a Navy vet participating in the protests has mysteriously disappeared. However, this still image survives.
Event Two: Obama'$ Dinner
Meanwhile, across the San Francisco Bay, in the illustrious neighborhood of Pacific Heights, President Obama was attending a fundraiser of his own. For a mere $35,000.00 per plate, any individual could dine with Obama. $30,000.00 of the meal ticket would support the DNC, while $5,000.00 would support Obama's re-election campaign.
Event Three: Heartache in Hotlanta
At 8:52pm Atlanta Deputy Police Chief Calvin Moss announced that the Occupy Atlanta movement would have to vacate Woodruff Park, as the executive order allowing them to occupy the park had been revoked.
At approximately 9:15pm tents were removed from the park.
At approximately 9:45pm police began arresting protestors.
At approximately 10:00pm Senator Vincent Fort, who notably authored the strongest predatory lending law in the country and sponsored bills against collective bargaining for law enforcement officers, was arrested.
In addition to Senator Vincent Fort, Atlanta city councilman Derrick Boazman and Joe Beasley, the southern regional director of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, were occupying the park, as was a war veteran who tied himself to a tree in protest.
However, it is widely noted that the largest demographic of the Occupy Atlanta movement has been college students.
Event Four: HOPE for the co-ed set
Over the course of the evening several news outlets released reports that President Obama will announce a plan to reduce the financial strain of college graduates. Supposedly, this plan, which will cap student loan payments at 10% of income and forgive student loan debt in 20 years, will be unveiled on the thirteenth day of our Kickstarter fund drive, Wednesday, October 26, 2011. It is rumored that this plan is vital to his re-election campaign, as the student vote was crucial to his 2008 election.
What is the timely significance of these events? What is the relationship between freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, the allocation of public space, the allocation of tax dollars to arrest the general public and the allocation of campaign donations from private citizens? Does money directly affect our ability to be free? Do you agree with the sentiments underlying the actions described in the following tweets?