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Scotty's Last Name

I took BART to Oakland yesterday morning to help a friend load his moving van. At 19th and Broadway, the percussive drone of a helicopter hits me from overhead as soon as I’m back above ground. The chopper doesn’t move the whole time I’m there, and my buddy (who has two young daughters) tells me it’s been hanging in that same spot all morning. Turns out the city was evacuating Frank H. Ogawa Plaza (aka, Oscar Grant Plaza, its unofficial moniker given in honor of the unarmed—and handcuffed, face down—shooting victim of BART Police on New Year’s Day, 2009) of its Occupy Oakland tenants. The helicopter is still hovering in that same spot when I walk back to the BART station a little later and, just after dark, the smart phone footage goes viral: Occupy Oakland demonstrators being assaulted with tear gas, flash bang grenades and rubber bullets (the veracity of the reports of rubber bullets has been disputed; the use of chemical agents and flash grenades has not).

(cont'd...)