The Politics of Protests

Occupy_Oakland_General_Strike_bannerLast week, across the nation, organizers launched a new series of protests called “Say Her Name” –– seeking to draw attention to police violence against black women. These were disciplined, peaceful, powerful protests. But in Oakland, they ran smack into a new policy under which the city no longer allows unpermitted demonstrations in the street at night – that left police, responding to a protest about over-policing by shoving peaceful protesters onto the sidewalk. That’s spawned days of followup protests over what critics are now calling a “protest curfew” the police response has included the use of flash-bang grenades, tear gas, snatch-and-grab arrests, and mass arrests.

We bring you sound from the streets (h/t Hard Knock Radio’s Davey D), talk to one of the attorneys who helped draft the city’s crowd control policies, and talk to an insurrectionist about why he thinks smashing windows is worthwhile.


  • Rachel Lederman, civil rights attorney and President of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
  • “Ted” (not his real name), a self-identified Insurrectionist.


2 responses to “The Politics of Protests

  1. I was actually pretty disappointed that you didn’t challenge “Ted” a bit more. His definition of success was about increasing numbers of demonstrators. The problem is WHO the numbers are drawing. If you are just drawing in criminals who want to pillage, loot and get high off violence; I will be going the other way.

  2. Direct quote from Ted during his interview: “The level of buy in [to the smashing of windows] as a whole, in these crowds…they get tired of the marching, once they’ve sent the message, what’s the point of continuing to march…generally they [those that don’t buy in to smashing windows] leave the protest, and buy in becomes much greater.” Wonderful quote! This is direct proof Mayor Schaaf’s policy is the correct one.

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