Teachers and parents in Oakland are crying police brutality after they stormed a recent school board meeting to protest privatization and charter schools in the district.
Oakland Unified School District officials erected metal barriers between the public and school board members ahead of a meeting Wednesday after several prior protests, but the temporary structures weren’t enough to hold back the mob of parents, teachers, and union members who easily blasted past and stormed the stage, the East Bay Times reports.
More than dozen police officers and security guards attempted to keep the crowd under control with billy clubs and pepper spray. Officers eventually arrested six of the protestors, including some who are now alleging police attacked unprovoked and left them with serious injuries.
“Oakland PS arresting PARENTS at an OUSD School Board meeting,” parent AliJ posted to Twitter with a video. “Excessive force. No one touched anyone! Peaceful protest. HELP make this go viral!! SHAME @OUSDNews”
“Here’s abuse of power in your backyard,” the activist mom wrote in another video post. “Oakland PS using batons and pepper spray against ELEMENTARY parents and teachers peacefully protesting to stop school closures. Who will stand up for the children of Oakland against this corrupt school Board and @SupKylaOUSD”
The Wednesday night meeting at La Escuelita education center started around 6:30 p.m., when one of the agitators addressed the school board with a series of demands.
“I’m speaking on behalf of Oakland is Not For Sale. We’re a coalition of parents, teachers, students and community members with the following demands,” the woman said as a large crowd of protestors approached the barricades.
Police and school security guards lined up on the other side as she continued.
“Scrap the failed blueprint process and declare a moratorium on all school consolidations and closures until the summer 2022. Close the school to prison pipeline. Do not fund a new $70 million Alameda County probation camp, where 40 percent of students are from Oakland and instead of fully funded Oakland traditional public schools,” the speaker demanded.
The group told the school board to “fight back” against the “charter school takeover” – essentially the district’s plan to reverse decades of failure, mismanagement and embarrassingly poor student performance. The speaker also demanded officials give parents influence over the district’s budget and issued a threat if the group doesn’t get its way.
“We will continue to disrupt these meetings and there will be no more business as usual,” the woman shouted to a roaring applause. Several in the mob then jumped over the barriers, while others pulled them down as police and security attempted to keep them off the stage with board members.
Video shows several protestors charge at officers while several women screamed hysterically.
“You’re hurting my leg, ahhhhhh,” one of the protesters yelled at police, while many others chanted loudly: “Oakland is not for sale.”
Some of the “activists” attempted to unfurl a banner on stage but were quickly arrested.
Click here to see more.
SOURCE: The American Mirror – Victor Skinner