This post is in response to the above story
Rather than dwelling on how they were confused or betrayed, the Oakland police need to just accept the fact that everyone, the mayor, the police, and some of the protesters screwed up. The question now; where do we go from here? Will Occupy Oakland set themselves up for another confrontation, or will clearer heads prevail, and work for a solution?
If police want to claim they are part of the 99%, then they can prove it. Rather than having a wall of protesters on one side facing a wall of policemen on the other, some police can simply join the protesters when off duty.
For this to work, the police in the crowd must genuinely believe in the protesters right to assemble, they cannot be planted, and they must be actively protesting beside everyone else.
A number of positive outcomes could result from this arrangement:
- Reasonable protesters want nothing to do with anarchists and troublemakers. Many of them would be glad to lend a hand to friendly police in ridding the crowd of undesirables.
- Protesting police in the crowd would help restrain police who are on duty, should another confrontation arise.
- Police will be able to vent their own demands, just like everyone else.
- It could go a long way in healing riffs that exist between the police and the populace.
There are certainly smart ways to approach the groundswell going on. Question is: Will the USA be smart?