--by Mike Adams
Dear Mayor Quan,
First, I'd like to thank you for your willingness to serve as Mayor of Oakland. Being a public servant is a difficult and usually thankless job. In fact, I've been asked by several members of my community on a few occasions to run for school board. Having been assured that my chances of election are high due to the fact that I'd likely be unopposed, I declined, primarily because I've seen how our public officials are treated and it seems that I'd be volunteering to stand in the middle of several disagreeing groups of people and saying to them all, “Hey, I'm here...you may begin throwing rocks now.”
That being said, I write to you today about a troubling topic and I assure you that my intention is to avoid throwing any verbal or ontological rocks.
I write to you as a former Bay Area resident and frequent Bay Area visitor. I currently live in Los Alamos, New Mexico, but spent sixteen years of my life in the Bay Area and I love Oakland.
Today, when I came home from work, I logged into facebook and saw links to news reports, youtube videos and video news feed of Oakland police using teargas, flash bang grenades and rubber bullets against unarmed and peacefully assembled Occupy Oakland (Wall Street) protesters.
I find this deeply troubling, particularly coming from the city, which only a few years ago held a public protest against the invasion of Iraq, where the city's mayor led the procession. I find it heartbreaking and very shocking that one of the places I consider home, one of the municipalities that I have grown to admire, a place that I have been willing to point out as an example of how the rest of this troubled country should conduct the business of governance has now taken a leadership position in attacking it's citizens with force and brutality because the city's government has decided that it is time for these citizens to stop asserting their right to publicly assemble under our Nation's first amendment.
I beg you Mayor Quan to do all that you can to prevent any further violence from the police against the OWS protesters. Not everyone agrees with their message, however, they are merely exercising their first amendment guaranteed right and for that they ought not be retaliated against.
Our times are tumultuous and our people are troubled. Real unemployment hovers near 15% nationwide, our governments are burdened with a mountain of debt, there are an average of four unemployed people for every available job vacancy and many of us fear that our children's futures have been sold to multi-national corporations. Please, Mayor Quan, do not allow the citizens engaged in this effort to reclaim our children's future be treated with brutality.
Sincerely, Michael Adams