Several Bay Area House members expressed sympathy and support earlier this month for the Occupy Wall Street movement, but none have weighed in so far on Oakland’s decision to evict the Occupy Oakland encampment early yesterday morning or last night’s melees – until now.
Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, is first out of the gate, having just released this statement:
“After reviewing footage from last night’s Occupy Oakland protests, I urge both the police and protesters to stay calm and show restraint as protests continue. Some protestors were throwing rocks at police officers, and there are reports of isolated civilian on civilian assaults at Frank Ogawa Plaza. This is unacceptable. There is also disturbing video of a tear gas canister being launched into a small crowd of protestors trying to escort an injured veteran with a skull fracture away from the protests – a dangerous action.
“Our cash-strapped local cities did not cause the Great Recession and the loss of millions of jobs, nor did regional police officers. Likewise, while there are some bad apples trying to hijack the movement with violence, the Occupy Wall Street protests have largely been a peaceful assembly of people sick and tired of watching the disappearance of good jobs and their chance at the American Dream.
“Neither our local communities nor the Occupy movement benefit when this situation gets out of hand; indeed that’s precisely what the Wall Street fat cats and their enablers in Washington want. I urge restraint by all involved. The world is watching.”
UPDATE @ 10:14 A.M. THURSDAY: From Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland:
“I shared my outrage and grave concern about the police brutality in Oakland directly with the Mayor. My thoughts go out to the injured and especially Scott Olsen. I strongly support the occupy movement and continue to stand with the peaceful protesters in this struggle for economic justice and equality.”