It's staggering, the difference in the reception the Occupy demonstrations are getting when you go from city to city. Up here the biggest issue in the newspapers has been the cost of policing the camp at the Vancouver Art Gallery, but after the wooden boards on the side of the Bay filled with thank-you notes to the Vancouver Police Department after the Stanley Cup riot, it's not all that surprising.
The people of Oakland don't have nearly as good a rapport with the Oakland Police Department. Occupy Oakland has been grabbing headlines for a couple of days now, with police dismantling and demonstrator re-occupying of Oscar Grant Plaza, the reclaimed Frank Ogawa Plaza outside Oakland City Hall, and police officers doing such protect-and-serving things as firing a flash grenade into a knot of people trying to lend assistance to a demonstrator, a military veteran to boot, who suffered a fractured skull from a police projectile. It sounds more like what you'd expect to come out of a Middle Eastern dictatorship, not the United States... but the times, they are a'changin'.
Photographed here is Oscar Grant Plaza in May this year, when I was down in the Bay Area... but for many people, it will never look quite this way again.
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