The Occupy movement has generally faded away, succumbing in most cities to cold weather and public indifference. But Oakland is different. The Oakland Occupiers include criminals–not just those who commit sexual assault and defecate on police cars, but serious criminals. The criminal element has given the Oakland branch of the movement staying power.
On Sunday, Oakland’s Occupiers, putting their underworld training to good use, broke into City Hall:
Mayor Jean Quan was among those inspecting damage caused after dozens of people broke into City Hall on Saturday, smashing glass display cases, spray-painting graffiti, and burning an American flag. …
Saturday’s events began late Saturday morning, when a group assembled outside City Hall and marched through the streets, disrupting traffic as they threatened to take over the vacant Henry Kaiser Convention Center.
The protesters then walked to the convention center, where some started tearing down perimeter fencing and “destroying construction equipment” shortly before 3 p.m., police said. Police said they issued a dispersal order and used smoke and tear gas after some protesters pelted them with bottles, rocks, burning flares and other objects. …
Quan said that at one point, many protesters forced their way into City Hall, where they burned flags, broke an electrical box and damaged several art structures, including a recycled art exhibit created by children.
Here, someone–I take it one of the Occupiers, since no one was inside City Hall legally–tries to dissuade her comrades from burning an American flag:
She was unsuccessful:
Remarkably, Occupiers claimed that they have a constitutional right to break into City Hall and destroy public property:
The protest group issued an email criticizing police, saying “Occupy Oakland’s building occupation, an act of constitutionally protected civil disobedience was disrupted by a brutal police response today.”
The Occupiers’ theory appears to be that burning American flags is not just constitutionally protected but constitutionally favored, so that if you commit various felonies, including breaking into a public building and destroying property that is not your own, but in the course of those crimes you also burn an American flag that is not your own, voila! Your crime spree is wholly admirable, and you can sue the police department for damages if they arrest you.
Let no one forget that the Democratic Party, including Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama and many others, has endorsed the Occupy movement.