Strange times here in Oakland.
I’ve been caught in a web of twitter feeds for days now. This started last week, not with Occupy Oakland, but with the second earthquake in 24 hours at the same spot. I was in an old warehouse at the time under a rickety wooden loft and I thought “This is got to be one of the worst places to be in an earthquake.” We waited for a few moments while deciding to flee the building or stay put, eventually opting for the latter. I queued up the twit feed to get info, as well as the usgs.gov site (I signed up for the email updates while there). We’ve had several more earthquakes since then, all with the same epicenter. And even though “experts say” that there’s nothing to worry about, it does make me uneasy.
So with that baseline, I witnessed (via live video and photos) what went on here in my city, my beloved city, on Tuesday night. Oakland Police Department, already under a federal direction to improve its relationship with its citizens, assaulted its own citizens with a use of force completely out of proportion with the situation.
It really sickens me to think that this city, that I love so much, is now viewed by the world solely as that place where the cops brutalized its citizens, involved in peacful protest, to the point of nearly killing one. And it breaks my heart to see my neighbors being attacked by these cops, and then defended by a Mayor that I previously strongly supported. I feel a deep despair.
Although I dropped by to observe Occupy Oakland a few times, I didn’t actually participate in the protests for a variety of reasons. One of the main ones being that I have gone to many, many protests, protests much larger than this, and see nothing come of it. These experiences disheartened me to the point that I haven’t gone to a protest in a long time. But, with the sadness and despair, I also feel rage. I am enraged at so many things in this country: endless war, greed over compassion, the political lies, the poverty, the unfairness of it all, the fact that none of it has to be this way. And I feel a primal urge to be able to vocalize this rage.
Now I see there is something far worse than the government not listening to the voice of the people; it’s the government authorizing attacks on the people.
This morning I was awakened by another earthquake.Today the wind has kicked up, and there is a high fire danger, and I live in the fire zone.
These things concern me, but not nearly as the loss of compassion and humanity I have seen in these past few days. Excessive force and dehumanization is unsustainable and weakens everyone’s humanity and compassion.
It’s with these thoughts, and the overwhelming emotion I feel, that I plan to go to the General Assembly tonight. Maybe among like-minded people I will regain some hope. Maybe I will be able to do something to help. We’ll see.
I haven’t seened Tzipi for about a month now. I still see his kids and Mississippi, although less than I did. But Tzipi just seems to be gone. One day I was at the end of the street and I thought I saw a jay that was Tzipi. I came around a bend and saw a jay in a small tree next to the path. He sat in a tree somewhat close to me, closer than I would expect a jay to be. We stared at each other for a moment. I said, “Tzipi?”, which was silly because obviously he’s not going to answer. So I don’t know if that was him or not.
I’d like to think it was, that O.J. finally pushed him out of his territory, rather than his being dead. I guess I may never know.