Garamendi urges calm for Oakland cops, occupiers

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.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • Elwood

    Well, I know Garamendi doesn’t live in his district, but I don’t think that he lives in Oakland either.

    If there were ever any doubt that Garamendi is a flipping idiot, this should lay it to rest forever.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    I’m digging it! Dude is equating cops and No Justice No Peace! Cool. You know what I’m sayin’? Like this is Woodstock without the music, a political jamboree. Saw a cool chick showing off her thigh bruises. Wow man, outta sight! Ya dig?

  • People just wont stop unless they’re bleeding and wounded. If they’re still a bit of sanity left try you’re best to calm down and restrain those who would likely start a brawl.

  • Common Tater


  • Rick K.

    “Live Shot Garamendi” cannot resist an opportunity for self-promotion. Note that he was “first out of the gate” even though the incident did not take place in his district. The “Occupy” movement ought to investigate the Garamendi family and how they has “cashed in” on their political influence. First, Garamendi left his federal appointment in 1998 to become “Washington, DC investment partner” with mega-millionaire Ron Burkle. For nearly three years, Garamendi held a mysterious, high-paid “investment partner” job in Washington, DC. This apparently was Garamendi’s reward for helping Leon Black get the Executive Life insurance company at a fire sale price. Look at this expose in Forbes magazine in 1999: http://www.forbes.com/global/1999/1227/0226024a.html
    So it looks like Garamendi himself cashed in on the Wall Street wizardry/alchemy.
    Second, Garamendi apparently used his influence on the University of California, Merced Foundation Board to get his 30-something year-old son John Garamendi, Jr. a $216,000 a year job a U.C. Merced. U.C. students are now paying higher fees to float the paychecks and benefits packages of overpaid administrators like Garamendi, Jr., many of whom got those positions through nepotism and cronyism. So I suggest that the “Occupy” protestors take Garamendi’s false praise with a grain of salt. “Occupy” protestors can help take their country back by ousting Garamendi from Congress in 2012 — tell your friends in Davis, Vacaville, Fairfield and points north!

  • Rick K.

    “Live Shot Garamendi” is himself a “Wall Street fat cat” — takes one to know one. He was “Washington, DC investment partner” for Yucaipa Companies from 1998 to 2001. Look at the website: http://yucaipaco.com/ Look at the company’s self description: “The Yucaipa Companies is a premier investment firm that has established a record of fostering economic value through the growth and responsible development of companies. Founded in 1986 by Ron Burkle, the firm has completed mergers and acquisitions valued at more than $30 billion. As an investor, Yucaipa works with management to strategically reposition businesses and implement operational improvements, resulting in value creation for investors.” Keep in mind that Garamendi was the “investment partner” who founded their Washington, DC office. Garamendi refuses to answer questions about what he did as “investment partner,” how much dough he made, whether he was engaged in the influence-peddling business, etc. Before anyone in the “Occupy” movement (“the 99%”) can take Garamendi seriously, they need to know that spent 3 years aiding and abetting “the top 1%”. “Live Shot” is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, praying that “We the People” don’t discover his disguise. With an alliance between the “Occupy” movement, the Tea Party and concerned citizens, people in Fairfield, Vacaville, Davis and points north can evict Garamendi, the erstwhile “Washington, DC investment partner”, from Congress in 2012!

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    General Lee ( speaks for me! ) Has again plunged into the thick of combat without the slightest regard for the facts. The Occupy crowd was not peaceful the night vet Olsen was injured; rocks and other objects were thrown at the police. Oakland’s No.1 Gandhi imitator cares little for equality of opportunity. She prefers equal outcomes, even if they are very low.
    After all, if her constituents were prosperous and optimistic, how much longer could her career last?