by Efrain Nieves
Yesterday the #OccupyOakland protest turned in what seems like a riot scene from the 60s. The police, armored in riot gear, threw tear gas, flash grenades and shot rubber bullets at protesters in downtown Oakland.
The Oakland Police Department justify their actions by stating “We were in a position where we had to deploy gas in order to stop the crowd and people from pelting us with bottles and rocks,” (latimes.com).
There is no difference in Puerto Rico where thousands of students protest the rise of tuition rates. These students have also felt the hard batons, dispersed with tear gas and shot with rubber bullets.
In both cases, police have justified their actions as self defense. But is it really self defense or abuse of authority?
In my opinion, when the people’s right to peacefully protest are pushed back with force, it’s considered an violation of the people’s freedom. The police should be held accountable and justice served to the people. Let’s stop this abuse of power.
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