Adventures in Hacktivism
April 07, 2003
More On What Happened In Oakland - April 7, 2003

For a number of reasons, my protest buddy, Kevin Burton, and I decided not to go to the protests at the Port of West Oakland this morning.

Sure, it was partly because I have ton of homework to do, and he's about to release a new version of his software.

But we also smelled a rat because of an article we'd seen on MSNBC that seemed to mischaracterize the nature of the protest.
(We reached this conclusion after comparing the artcle with the protest website.)

Looks like it was a lucky decision for us, because a number of innocent bystanders were struck by stray rubber bullets, courtesy of the Oakland Police.

Here are two articles about it, one from the SF Chronicle and one from Globe and Mail.

Here's an excerpt from the Globe and Mail and SF Chron articles (looks like variations of the same article):


Police opened fire with non-lethal bullets at an anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland on Monday morning, injuring several longshoremen standing nearby.

Police were trying to clear protesters from an entrance to the docks when they opened fire and the longshoremen apparently were caught in the line of fire.

Six longshoremen were treated by paramedics and at least one was expected to be taken to hospital. It was unclear if any of the protesters was injured.

"I was standing as far back as I could," longshoreman Kevin Wilson said. "It was very scary. All of that force wasn't necessary."

...Police used non-lethal bullets, sandbags and concussion grenades to try to break up about 500 protesters, who split into groups in front of different terminals.

Oakland Police officer James Carroll said police set up a "skirmish line" and ordered the protesters to disperse.

"It escalated pretty quick," he said. "Usually you go to these protests and you wait around for three to four hours. Today, all of a sudden, people were being taken into custody."

He could not confirm that anyone was hit by the bullets.

Protests also took place at the federal building in San Francisco and at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Seven people were arrested when they temporarily blocked a highway exit ramp.

Here's the full text of the SF Chronicle article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/news/archive/2003/04/07/national1158EDT0617.DTL

Police fire rubber bullets at anti-war protest at port in Oakland; nearby longshoremen injured

MARTHA MENDOZA, AP National Writer Monday, April 7, 2003

(04-07) 08:58 PDT OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) --

Police open fired Monday morning with rubber bullets at an anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland, injuring several longshoremen standing nearby.

Police were trying to clear protesters from an entrance to the docks when they opened fire and the longshoremen apparently were caught in the crossfire.

Six longshoremen were treated by paramedics and at least one was expected to be taken to a hospital. It was unclear if any of the protesters was injured.

"I was standing as far back as I could," said longshoremen Kevin Wilson. "It was very scary. All of that force wasn't necessary."

Last week, a San Francisco-based peace group, Direct Action to Stop the War, had announced that it would stage a series of protests Monday involving new acts of civil disobedience.

The Port of Oakland was among the targets, organizers had said, because at least one shipping company is handling war supplies.


Here's the full text of the Globe and Mail article in case the link goes bad:

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20030407.wprot0407/BNStory/International

Bystanders injured at anti-war protest
Associated Press

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Oakland, Calif. Police opened fire with non-lethal bullets at an anti-war protest at the Port of Oakland on Monday morning, injuring several longshoremen standing nearby.

Police were trying to clear protesters from an entrance to the docks when they opened fire and the longshoremen apparently were caught in the line of fire.

Six longshoremen were treated by paramedics and at least one was expected to be taken to hospital. It was unclear if any of the protesters was injured.

"I was standing as far back as I could," longshoreman Kevin Wilson said. "It was very scary. All of that force wasn't necessary."

Last week, a San Francisco-based peace group, Direct Action to Stop the War, had announced that it would stage a series of protests Monday involving new acts of civil disobedience.

The Port of Oakland was among the targets, organizers had said, because at least one shipping company is handling war supplies.

Trent Willis, a business agent for the International Longshore and Warehouse Union, said angrily that dockworkers were leaving the docks after the incident.

"They shot my guys. We're not going to work today," Mr. Willis said. "The cops had no reason to open up on them."

Police used non-lethal bullets, sandbags and concussion grenades to try to break up about 500 protesters, who split into groups in front of different terminals.

Oakland Police officer James Carroll said police set up a "skirmish line" and ordered the protesters to disperse.

"It escalated pretty quick," he said. "Usually you go to these protests and you wait around for three to four hours. Today, all of a sudden, people were being taken into custody."

He could not confirm that anyone was hit by the bullets.

Protests also took place at the federal building in San Francisco and at the Concord Naval Weapons Station. Seven people were arrested when they temporarily blocked a highway exit ramp.

Posted by Lisa at April 07, 2003 01:03 PM | TrackBack
Me A to Z (A Work In Progress)
Comments

Ooohh I bet those bullets hurt and left a mark. Next time maybe they will open the law.

Posted by: Mr Heston on April 9, 2003 08:31 PM

These "protesters" engaged in acts of war against the United States of America by intentionally interfering with supplies to our troops. Every one of the yellow cowards should be captured and placed in POW camps in Iraq until we free the people of Iraq from Saddam's cruel dictatorship. There is a big difference between a protest and endangering the lives of brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines.

Patton

Posted by: Patton on April 10, 2003 02:44 PM

You know, its a funny thing, but when I was in college we went to class instead of storming the streets to protest shit. I guess we didn't have as much money to burn as you guys out there around Berkeley.

Posted by: Steve on April 15, 2003 12:48 PM
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