Of Umbrellas and Justice

Posted on December 19, 2011


Vigil people and the OGP Interfaith Community dealt a powerful, if absurdist, blow to city hall and OPD today. In their attempts to find any way to suppress political expression in the shadow of city hall, police made the mistake of expressing a local ordinance as a prohibition on umbrellas. Such one dimensional brinksmanship seems to have been the best the city administrator could come up with to foil attempts by interfaith occupiers at creating a public religious expression using a canopy. With the obvious shortcomings of this strategy, Occupiers have had no shortage of ways to “flout” the law, by using umbrellas in the park. Stupified police are doing their best to pretend that there is indeed some prohibition on umbrellas, and even gave out one citation today, before the Pythonesque character of their policing method forced them to hang their head in shame elsewhere.

Later, Umbrellaed-Occupiers visited the city administrator’s office with a multitude of questions about the discriminatory practice of the law. Answers were few in coming.

If you’re traveling in, or to, Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza, and are wondering about the legal status of carrying an umbrella, please contact Arturo Sanchez for clarification:

Email: ASanchez@oaklandnet.com
Phone: (510) 238-7542