So last weekend was a bit exhausting. Me and Brandon Jourdan followed Thursday’s protests in Berkeley and Oakland against University fee hikes and overall government-imposed austerity. There was a huge march from the University all the way to downtown Oakland, with much festivity, chanting, running, and an excellent banner drop.
The march ended at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland and after several speakers and lots of energetic chants and songs, a smaller group of some two hundred people marched away from the main rally. Brandon and I followed, cameras in hand, following them on several twists and turns through downtown and eventually onto the 880 Interstate onramp where they stopped rush-hour traffic and marched down the freeway with banners and bullhorns. At that point the Oakland riot police came charging in like a herd of bison and started swinging their truncheons and arresting folks, despite the fact that we were clearly media, Brandon and I were arrested and spent the next twenty-or so hours in the Santa Rita jail along with the rest of the protesters.
Here is a picture of myself being arrested, wearing headphones and with camera on the ground in front of me, being arrested. Note the corporate media cameraman being politely shown the way out of the police cordon. Thanks to John Gibler for the picture.
But before this came the cops and their batons were flying. We made this short video about those moments and via the interweb it has now spread far and wide. This is what happened on the 880 Interstate last Thursday, March 4th, 2010, at about four o’clock in the afternoon: