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Police turn Occupy Oakland’s Thanksgiving into potty riot

November 24, 2011

by Deborah Dupre, Human Rights Examiner

Police wrestle two youth to the ground in their riotous effort to prevent the delivery of two port-a-potties to Oscar Grant Plaza for an Occupy Oakland gathering on Thanksgiving Day. – Video frame: OccupyOakland
Occupy Oakland’s Thanksgiving gathering turned violent Thursday after police orchestrated the removal of portable toilets from  Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, which the protesters have renamed Oscar Grant Plaza. One of the most assertive and appreciated of all of America’s Occupy groups, Occupy Oakland did not let the human rights abuse of being deprived of toilets stop them from organizing what is slated as a major U.S. port disruption planned for Dec. 12 that aims to shut all West Coast commercial port activities.

Occupy Oakland released video on its Twitter handle at 5:33 p.m., along with posting “Video of OPD tackling ppl today over a couple of Port-a-Potties. Seriously.”

“They also added the hash tag #policebrutality. At 7:45 p.m., a longer version of the video, this one right-side up, appeared,” reported Mercury News.

The video text states that port-a-potties were delivered but police prevented them from being unloaded, as seen in the video.

“Then, for reasons unknown, a scuffle begins between two officers and a man, and the three fall to the ground,” Mercury News reports.

Officers then appear to put handcuffs on the man and another person on the ground.

“Later in the video, you can see a cop drawing his taser, and a resident preventing him from discharging his weapon,” Occupy Oakland says in its video text.

People in the encampment can be heard yelling for an ambulance.

Handcuffed on the cold ground, the two youth await their fate. – Video frame: OccupyOakland
The group announced on Twitter about 12:45 p.m. that it was gathering at the site they call Oscar Grant Plaza to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

University of California placed two of its police officers on administrative leave Sunday due to their pepper spraying passively sitting protesters at UC Davis, while the school’s chancellor accelerated a task force investigation into the incident amid calls nationally for her to resign.

The president of the 10-campus UC system weighed in on the growing fallout from Friday’s UC Davis incident at UC Davis, saying that he is “appalled” at images of students being doused with pepper spray and plans a far-reaching, urgent assessment of law enforcement procedures on all campuses.

Occupy Oakland protesters announced Tuesday on their website that their General Assembly passed a resolution for a “mass mobilization” of various Occupy movements on the West Coast to shut down all commercial activity at all ports on Dec. 12.

The Daily News of Longview, Wash., where International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) members have been barred from working at a new EGT grain terminal, reports, “Dan Coffman, president of ILWU’s Longview Local 21, spoke at an Occupy Oakland rally. Without calling for a shutdown, Coffman thanked protesters for their support.”

“’You cannot believe what you people have done for my people, who have been on the picket line for six months now,’ Coffman said in a video posted on YouTube.”

The Daily News observed, “Among the dozens of Occupy protests that have risen nationwide, the Occupy Oakland movement has been one of the most aggressive, shutting down the Port of Oakland Nov. 2.”

Human Rights Examiner Deborah Dupre holds American and Australian science and education graduate degrees and has 30 years’ experience in human rights, environmental and peace activism. Email her at and visit her website, This story first appeared at Bay View staff contributed to this story.


15 thoughts on “Police turn Occupy Oakland’s Thanksgiving into potty riot

  1. Malaika H Kambon

    Of course, no should be attempting to celebrate the so-called 'Thanksgiving' un holy holiday in the first place, as it is disrespectful to all Indigenous People in the world to do so. Of course, Occupy Oakland should know this, so hopefully the attempted gathering was not a celebration of this genocidal un-holiday…
    For more information read:
    Thanksgiving: The National Day of Mourning: Text of 1970 Speech by Wampsutta, An Aquinnah Wampanoag Elder at
    (You might have to subscribe to read this, but I haven't found it anywhere else yet.)

  2. patrick

    so that is the way it is.
    stupid leaders and all the tyrants will get the backlash and it's all over after that, it will be a free for all.
    americans have gut's and they will not take any more of this sort of actions against the weak ones.
    so now you all know, get out, move aside, or eat it.
    check out @sapiscnn on you tube

  3. @MutinyNow

    @Malaika H Kambon: No, they weren't celebrating the "traditional" (ugh) holiday, but rather a celebration of harvest, of giving thanks to the land that provides and for their ancestors' wisdom and knowledge. This is what they celebrated over on Alcatraz this year as well. A TRUE thanks-giving, not the mock "celebration" prior to engaging in genocidal conflict that has since become commercialized into nothing more than a celebration of gluttony while poorer people go hungry.

  4. Philo

    Heh heh Cops Vs. Hippies. Awesome. With any luck there won't be anyone left when the dust settles; the world will be a far better place sans cops and hippies

  5. Philo

    BTW, isn't making a mockery of human rights abuses by claiming the denial of porta-johns is one? Really?? I wonder what people in Africa and China, etc would think of that…

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