The SF Chronicle, which has bought into the "Occupy-Oakland-violence-caused-by-a-fringe-minority" spin - odd that a "leaderless" movement has spin - takes us inside the bunker when Oakland city officials decided to send in the police. News flash: hapless mayor Jean Quan was a spectator during the most important moments of her mayorality.
Even after the bandanna-wearing, rock-throwing, fire-starting fringe demonstrators took over a downtown Oakland building and blocked off a street late Wednesday, Mayor Jean Quan did not want police to intervene.
Instead, Quan asked that police hold off on any confrontation until daylight - or, barring that, send in negotiators to try to work out a peaceful resolution.
"She didn't want to incite the anarchists any more than they already were," said one source who was in the city's emergency operations center when Quan stunned the assembled staffers with her comments.
Finally, interim Police Chief Howard Jordan, with the backing of City Administrator Deanna Santana, made the call for police to take action. Both were in the emergency center with Quan.
However, the story absolutely buries the lead; mentioning only in passing that Mayor Quan's husband was part of the group that shut down the Port of Oakland.
In fact, eyewitnesses say Quan's husband was among the banner-wavers blockading the port in a nonviolent action earlier Wednesday.
Have to love the characterization of the Port blockade as "non-violent." The Occupiers weren't letting trucks drive in or out of the Port. It's not like the truck drivers were given a choice. Maybe there wasn't any actual physical violence, but the threat of violence was certainly there, and was palpable. Just the sort of thing the mayor's husband should be mixed up in.
This only underscores that Quan's reluctance to send in the police, and her repeated undercutting of the OPD's efforts, arises from her sympathy with the Occupiers, even as they wreak havoc. Quan is a street activist of long standing. She undoubtedly thrills to the sight of banner waving crowds taking it to the streets to denounce The System. I doubt that she literally approves of the violence of the mob, but she certainly is willing to facilitate it.
The Free Will Wife is a psychologist and has noted how tired and unhappy Quan has looked in the newspaper photos from the last couple weeks. This one is the "iconic" picture:
Hard to disagree that this is the face of someone who would rather be doing something else, like say marching at the head of a crowd denouncing capitalism.
The Occupy Oakland crowd has already "won" in that they have set up a tent city in front of City Hall - something I could never do, of course - and then successfully repelled the police's attempts to clear them out of what is an illegitimate and disgusting encampment. Quan can't admit this, but she loves this stuff. How wrecking the already wrecked Oakland economy is going to stick it to Wall Street is beyond me, but that's why I'm not mayor of Oakland.
Oakland residents can bitch about this now, but they got what they voted for. There was a perfectly acceptable Daley-esque machine Democrat running for mayor last time out, but the progressive left ran a slate of leftists, headed by Quan, who urged Oaklanders to vote for the three of them in Oakland's ranked choice balloting, thus ensuring that Quan, or someone similar, would win the race. At the time, this was seen as a victory for the People over yucky "downtown interests" (yes, Oakland still has "downtown interests"). Guess they didn't realize that when you elect a socialist as mayor, you get mob rule in the streets.