July 2, 2010

Only In Cali, Where We Riot, Not Rally

[I just got a heads-up from an old friend in Oakland, California. The city seems ready to pop if the verdict on the BART pig who shot Oscar Grant in the back, Johannes Mehserle, is a rerun of the Rodney King verdict or a slap on the wrist. Here is a quick note from the same guy who provided Fire on the Mountain with a first hand report from inside the emergency room at Oakland General in January, 2009, when Oscar Grant was brought in, still alive.]

Well, the press and assorted authorities have been pre-hyping the Meserle/Oscar Grant (who really is on trial at times is hard to tell) jury verdict so much that even those that weren't thinking of hitting the streets will probably be there to see what all the fuss is about.

Oakland Police have been doing special tactical training along with police from other jurisdictions in preparations for the presumed riots. That’s been going on the past few weeks. Budget cuts in Oakland may force the layoff of 80-200 officers over the next year so you know they are using this as a way to thwart that attempt to balance the budget.

The Alameda County Deputies who provide security for all things County (including Highland Hospital) have been dressed in their "Battle Blue" uniforms rather than their usual grey (they dress in blue when they have to go out on the street or are deployed for special events.

There’s lots of hype here on the trial. Recent graffiti along sidewalks saying "Meserle Must Die" amongst other things got top billing in the news.

Small businesses that were trashed by brain-dead anarchist rioters last time (African American women’s boutique, progressive silk screeners, etc.) are posting Justice for Oscar Grant posters in their windows, hoping that will keep the rocks and skateboards from smashing their windows this time. (Indeed, many of the owners are sympathetic to the police brutality issues, when they are asked about it.)

Today is rebuttal on the closing arguments down in LA, where the trial was moved, with jury instructions to follow. Many think the decision will come quick - possibly late Friday.

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