John on October 20, 2011 at 12:01 am
From the Oakland Tribune:
The next thing Hughes knew he was in a headlock, then he was being punched, and then he was on the ground as a large man began to choke him.
This happened as Hughes, a substitute teacher and Occupy Oakland resident, tried to keep a larger man who also lived in the camp from threatening a woman there. Finally, after another threatening incident involving the same individual, the occupiers had had enough:
About 3:30 Tuesday afternoon, a group of roughly 50 people gathered by the man’s tent and told him he had to leave. Some were speaking calmly. Others weren’t. It was then that the man pulled out a large kitchen knife and threatened the whole group…It was only when someone picked up a piece of wood and cracked him across the head that the ordeal ended.
Self-realization dawns on at least one of the occupiers:
“At some point, we have to recognize that we can’t control everything,” said Boomer Frank, a 24-year-old tent resident and ad hoc camp organizer. “I’m anti-authoritarian, but we need to acknowledge that some things are out of our control.”
If only they could apply that lesson a little more broadly, e.g. to the police, to the economy as a whole even. Appropriately, it’s the cops who patrol the camp that get it. One officer compared the scene to “Lord of the Flies.” His supervisor was even more insightful:
One Oakland police supervisor said that the participants first appeared to him as “freethinking activists” but have since devolved into something more sinister. He said it was “interesting for a group that claims to be against current civilization and rules to set up a far more oppressive society than our own.”
Very interesting indeed.
Update: One of the wags at American Glob created this Photoshop to illustrate this story: