Public Comment

Press Release: Berkeley Post Office Defenders Respond to August 28th Raid

From Mike Wilson, Jim Squatter
Friday August 30, 2013 - 10:03:00 AM

On Saturday August 30th at 11:30 AM a press conference, followed by music and a rally, will take place at the Berkeley Post Office, 2000 Allston Way. Berkeley Post Office defenders will present information about the August 28th encampment raid by the Berkeley Police and discuss future actions to be taken against the sale of the Berkeley Post Office and the privatization of our commons. 

On the evening of August 28th, many Berkeley Post Office camp residents and supporters were in Oakland celebrating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and protesting against the murders of Trayvon Martin, Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant and many others by police and police surrogates. The Berkeley Police Department saw fit to use this opportunity to raid the encampment and "confiscate abandoned property" that in fact they knew very well belonged to protesters, leaving homeless Berkeley citizens without bedding and possessions for the night. 

Using as a blank check a report released earlier in the week by the City Manager detailing incidents in and around the camp - some of which took place blocks away from the Post Office, some of which involved camp participants as victims, some of which had nothing to do with the encampment at all, and filled with lies, half-truths and distortions - some twenty BPD officers swept through the camp Wednesday evening, breaking up a working protest encampment which had provided food, mutual support, movies, study groups, resources and information outreach for over 30 days. 

Berkeley has a choice. It can defend the democratic will of its own people - as expressed vociferously in public forums and by its City Council and its elected representatives - by any and all means necessary, or it can meekly accede to a bureaucratic process whose end is now a foregone conclusion. 

As Mayor Bates so aptly put it just days ago in reference to the power brokers in Washington deciding the Post Office's fate, "They're a bunch of double-dealing sons of bitches." The Berkeley Police should be directed at such as these, not its own peaceful, if down and out, citizens.