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Oakland Resident to Occupiers: We Need the Cops More Than We Need You

John on November 5, 2011 at 8:14 pm

This was posted on Facebook yesterday by an Oakland resident named Andi White. Looking at his Facebook page he looks legit, i.e. he does seem to be an Oakland resident who initially supported the movement. His history shows he “liked” OO and the effort to recall the Mayor. He’s also a fan of Matt Taibbi which tells you all you need to know about his political outlook.

This is the entire message. The bold is in the original:

Dear Occupy Oakland Community,

I am 100% in support of the message and the intent of both OWS and the OO movements. I believe what we witnessed at the Port of Oakland will go down in history as an example of people coming together to change a corrupt system. I truly do and I thank those whom have peacefully made their statement to the world, as well as those whom have supported from their homes.

As a resident of Oakland, however, I feel it necessary to speak up about the elephant in the room. Even as our police spoke out against our city (rightly so) and said they are in support of the movement (in a public letter) and stood down to allow 15,000 peaceful people to march to the Port, they were condemned by many within Occupy Oakland in the national media for protecting our city that night…

I must at this juncture point out that the vast majority of OO protestors are guests in OUR city. WE who live here…who work here…whose children go to our public schools…who pay the city taxes to support local programs…who clean up our streets and our parks…understand the challenges this city faces while those who have taken up residence temporarily, clearly do not. By placing yourselves into Frank Ogawa Plaza, you have chosen to centrally locate in the center of one of the heaviest crime areas of Oakland. For those of you who don’t live here, Oakland has one of the 5 highest violent crime rates in the US. When we say violent crime, this means things like murder, beatings, gun violence, rape. At the same time as the criminals have taken over our streets, our police department has taken cut after cut, while “Mayors” like Jean Quan have spent money that we were asked to approve through our taxes, on wasteful community programs, rather than law enforcement.

Now, you come to our city, you condemn our police, you tell the world we need fewer officers rather than more, and honestly, as a RESIDENT of Oakland, I have had enough of it. What happened to Scott Olsen was HORRIBLE and that officer (who was NOT Oakland PD) should be held accountable and prosecuted. However, saying the Oakland PD should be responsible for his actions is like suggesting that you all should be held responsible for the actions of those who DESTROYED our city two nights ago. You want distance from those people, even though many of you stood and watched as they vandalized, burned and destroyed our local businesses doing NOTHING to stop them (with rare exception). And then, when our local police come in to stop the destruction of our city, they get blasted by OWS and OO members all over again.

Listen up, if you expect OPD to be responsible for the behaviors of each individual member, then you must be held to the same standard. If someone is spray painting a building and you do nothing, you are as guilty as the officers who saw Scott Olsen get shot and did nothing. Again, you are GUESTS in OUR city. When this is over, you will pack up your tents, go home and go back to the lives you knew. WE WILL STILL BE HERE fighting the crime and decline of our city. Will you be here to protect us from murderers and rapists? From gangs and robberies? No, you won’t. But OPD will.

We don’t need you coming to Oakland and telling the world we need fewer police when you clearly know NOTHING about our city. So before you go off on our police department in national news, think about if you are willing to stay and stop the crime in our city. If not, show some respect to the people who live here, including our officers who protect us each and every day. If you want the respect of the city of Oakland and the people who call this amazing city home, you need to learn to show respect as well. If you can not stop criminals from destroying our city, then don’t complain when our police come in and do the job for you.

In the wake of the riots, Andi has posted a link to this petition to kick the occupiers out. I think a lot of Americans on both sides of the political aisle feel the same.

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