by Ali Winston
The holiday season did not offer a respite from clashes between Occupy Oakland protesters and Oakland police. Over the past few weeks, at least eighteen demonstrators have been arrested by OPD, including twelve people at a January 4 vigil at Frank Ogawa Plaza and more recently, six people during a “Fuck the Police” march on Saturday that will apparently be a weekly occurrence.
For their part, city officials say they are trying to keep Frank Ogawa Plaza clean and safe, and protesters had violated the rules of the once-permitted vigil by serving food and storing personal items in a symbolic tepee that was set up in November.
Although the clashes between Occupiers and OPD are more low-key than the chaos that broke out on October 25 and the evening of the November 2nd General Strike, recent events have upset some members of the hacktivist group Anonymous. A YouTube video reposted on January 6 is directed at OPD and Oakland City Officials, and vows retribution for the crackdowns on Occupy Oakland. In the video, a synthesized voice delivers the following lines:
“You have gained our attention. We have seen your actions on the protesters of Oakland and find it absolutely appalling. We have no ultimatums to give or demands to make. We are way past that stage now. We have changed course and Oakland, we are headed your way. You will all regret the day you decided to use force to subdue the protesters' freedom of speech and right to assemble. This is a right given to us by our creator and you have no right to subdue it. Our actions will be swift and without regret. Oakland, you should have expected us.”
The first inkling of Anonymous' actions against Oakland officials surfaced early Sunday morning, when City Administrator Deanna Santana's address, work history, telephone numbers and relations were posted to the filesharing website Pastebin. In late December, Anonymous crashed the website of the California State Law Enforcement Association and leaked personal information and sensitive documents, another tactic Anonymous may use against the City of Oakland.
Correction: The Anonymous video posted to YouTube on January 6 was previously posted in November.