Video: Cops Raid Occupy Oakland, Citing "Public Drinking and Intoxication"

By Will Godfrey 10/26/11

Drunkenness and smoking in flammable tents were among the reasons given by OPD for yesterday's clearing of the Oakland encampment.

Teargas was also used. Photo via

This video shows an Oakland, California police officer throwing a flash grenade into a crowd of Occupy Oakland protesters attempting to assist a fallen comrade, following yesterday morning's police raid on the Oakland encampment that the city says was for "health and safety" reasons. The specific concerns listed in an Oakland Police Department statement justifying the raid include "public drinking and intoxication" and smoking in flammable tents, as well as reported assaults and "intimidating behavior," sanitation and rat problems, graffiti, litter and vandalism. An alleged sexual assault was described by one prominent supporter of Occupy Oakland, Rachel Jackson, as "basically like the WMDs of our struggle here." The pre-dawn raid resulted in over 80 arrests. The most recent poll has 37% of Americans supporting the Occupy protests.

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Will Godfrey is the former editor-in-chief of TheFix. He was also the founding editor-in-chief of, and previously co-founded a magazine for prisoners in London. His work has appeared in Salon, Pacific Standard, AlterNet and The Nation among others. He is currently the Executive Director at FILTER. You can find Will on Linkedin and Twitter.