The remnants of Occupy Oakland have been staging a weekly “FTP” march to protest police brutality. This Friday the march also took up a new cause, the ability of vendors to get permits for a monthly street fair called “Art Murmur.” The protest consisted of about 100 people marching and dancing behind a portable PA system, blocking traffic, tearing down a fence, and at one point smashing the windows of an Obama campaign headquarters.
Occupy uploaded their own video of the march to You Tube Saturday including a portion where a masked man with a hammer smashes windows at the campaign headquarters. This brings a cheer from the crowd. The editor of the video added the titles “Hope. Change. LOL.” At the same time the windows are smashed, another man dressed in black and wearing a motorcycle helmet attempts to enter the headquarters but is pushed away by someone who blocks the entrance. The vandalism occurs at 1:51 in the clip below.
The video description identifies those responsible for the vandalism as members of the “East Bay Uncontrollables.” This is the same black bloc group which claimed credit for vandalizing two police cruisers and an Oakland PD substation on early Thursday morning.
The video description also includes a portion of the “communique” which march organizers handed out. It reads in part:
Oakland’s Art Murmur is supposed to be about art, culture, andcommunity. But all that it represents to the Uptown, Downtown and KONObusiness district associations as well as the city administration is anopportunity for commercial expansion and business development, a tool tofurther their agenda of gentrification.
This is far from the first time the weekly FTP march has resulted in vandalism. In April, the same march resulted in broken windows at “Starbucks, Wells Fargo, Leon Savoy Bail Bonds, Scott’s Trade and Quizno’s.” According to this Indy Bay report, the same march led to a broken window at a bar frequented by cops just last week.
The vandalism at Obama’s campaign headquarters provides an interesting insight into how local and national media handle Occupy related stories differently. Local ABC affiliate KGO-TV in San Franscisco reported on the march and its connection to Occupy movement Friday evening. KGO-TV even used Occupy in its headline. On Saturday the AP produced a very brief story noting the destruction of the “a window” by unidentified “protesters.” There is no doubt this was an Occupy march, one which has been taking place weekly for several months. Why would the AP scrub the Occupy connection to the vandalism from its story?