‘F*ck You, Libby Schaaf: We’ll Damned Well #BreakTheCurfew’


Libby’s ‘new interpretation of an old law on the books’ was a direct ‘fuck you’ to those who took to the streets in Oakland for the #SayHerName protests that I covered here on May 21, to general site boredom, much to my chagrin.  To my mind, it is a key new part of the movement, and past time, imo.  I was about to offer my constant credo that third world and other rabble women will bring the revolution, and help build a better and just world.  Oh, wait: I guess I just offered you the short version….

Here’s Woman Warrior Cat Brooks(ahem) reacting to LibbyLibbyLibby’s LabelLabelLabeling the protest illegal because: curfew.


“Police forced a peaceful march that was organized by Black women off the streets of Oakland last evening in an unusual show of force that heralds the first enforcement of a nighttime prohibition on street demonstrations. Last night’s protest was part of a national day of action called #SayHerName focusing on police violence against women and transgender people.
The rally began just before sunset in Frank Ogawa Plaza where about 200–300 people had gathered. After several speeches and recitations of poetry, the protesters announced their intention to march to the Oakland Police Administration Building seven blocks away. Demonstrators had not yet stepped off the sidewalk and into the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway when OPD addressed the crowd through an amplified sound system, stating that the march was “unpermitted.” As demonstrators walked into the street, police immediately ordered them back onto the sidewalk, citing California Vehicle Code Section 2800, which makes it an arrestable offense to not comply with orders of a police officer.

“The fact is we were threatened with arrest for marching,” said Cat Brooks, one of the facilitators of the protest. “This was a Black women’s and children’s rally saying to the police, please stop killing us, and our woman mayor organized the harshest response we’ve seen yet.”

The night before last, the OPD reacted to the challenge laid down by protestors by ‘detaining’ 50+ of them, arresting a small number of them.  Among them was Brown Blaze:

She’s out now, but took last night off to allow her bruises time to heal.

Remember: assault or battery on an officer includes ‘touching one’.

Now many of these women are likely the same ones from Bay Solidarity and the Blackout Collective who had bared their breasts in San Francisco on May 21, stopping traffic and creating human chains to do so.  I’m sure that didn’t appeal much to Libby.

Julia Carrie Wong:

“The protesters blocked the intersection at Market and Beale Streets starting around 8:30 AM, and planned to stay for about an hour. They carried signs bearing the names of black women who have been killed by police and painted designs and messages on their faces and breasts. Paint on one woman’s chest read, “I fight for survival.”  Another’s said, “For the murdered, missing, silenced, abused, exploited, unseen.” 

Chinyere Tutashinda, one of the protesters, explained the significance of protesting topless. Calling herself and her comrades “warrior women,” she said, “We are drawing a connection to West African women who have traditionally bared their breasts to say, ‘Enough is enough.'”

Tutashinda also criticized popular culture’s relationship with black femininity, saying, “Black women’s bodies are commodified and used to sell products. They want part of us but not all of us.” 

Last night’s #BreakThe Curfew:  ‘Whose streets?  OUR streets!

@blackoutcollect @BaySolidarity @TruthCastersTV ‘2 trans folks arrested @ #BreakTheCurfew had bail set at 15000 & 10000. Posting bail now.’

OccupythePort ‏@occupytheport  ‘We are waiting for some unions to stand up and denounce Mayor Schaaf and these classist/racist nighttime curfews.’ #Oakland #BreakTheCurfew

‘Group of about 40 circled up back at 14th and Broadway “tonight was for Rekia. Tonight was for Oscar” #BreakTheCurfew

Yes, kettling, snatching and grabbing even off the sidewalks, flash-bangs, many popo without body cams or name tags, noise machines, and the police are telling them ‘how much they respect protestors rights’.

Dave Id @DaveId  ‘Small interfaith gathering at #OscarGrant plaza determined to defy @LibbySchaaf and OPD tonight’. #BreaktheCurfew

Bacchus @theonlybacchus: Police have batons out as crowd has stopped marching and huddled together chanting: “No more stolen lives.”

@blackoutcollect: Cops are once again preparing to kettle in peaceful protestors out for Black Women’s Lives. #Oakland #BreakTheCurfew

Three of the four women arrested are out on bail and free, save for Nicole Deane, although I thought I’d also read: Ashley Yates.

Updated: Two trans folks who were arrested had their bail set at $10,000 and $15,000, apparently.  BayArea Solidarity says one was taken from the jail to the hospital, grrrrrr.

They and the blackoutcollective had given a shout-out the the Asians4BlkLives having their backs at the end of the attempted march.

Meanwhile, in Cleveland:

Occupy Cleveland @OccupyCleveland:  ‘According to #Cleveland Municipal jail, all 71 incarcerated protesters will be formally charged.’ #BreloVerdict

About two hours ago:

And of course Cuyahoga County Sheriff Clifford Pinkney is still stalling on his department’s ‘investigation’ into the November police killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice.

As so many say: Just watch the goddam videos. Sheriff Pinkney.  It doesn’t take all of this hoo-hah:

“My investigators have poured over thousands of pages of documents and conducted numerous search warrants and interviews with witnesses,” said Pinkney. “We’ve also reviewed any and all surveillance from the surrounding area and conducted a 3-D measurement scan at the Cudell Rec Center.”

Stir in this bullshit: according to the Twitterverse and this Cleveland news agency, Cleveland PD Officers Timothy Loehmann and Frank Garmback hadn’t even been interviewed as of May 19 as part of their oh, so very thorough ‘investigation’.




16 responses to “‘F*ck You, Libby Schaaf: We’ll Damned Well #BreakTheCurfew’

  1. Let me be blunt. The mayor of Oakland cannot order this to happen. The orders, if there are such, have to come from the City Administrator through the Chief of Police. The mayor is little more than a pawn in these situations. Just as Jean Quan was. And Jerry Brown was likewise during his tenure as Oakland mayor.

    When bad things happen vis as vis the OPD and Oakland residents, it is due to the conscious, deliberate and cynical decisions of Oakland City Administrator and the Chief of Police to make it so.

    While Libby is no doubt privileged, entitled scum, I sincerely doubt this is her doing, or rather her doing alone. It smacks of a tactical innovation that was hatched by the city attorney, city administrator, and police chief, with little or no involvement by electeds.

    The point is to control the Rabble by strategy rather than overt force. Gentrification requires subtlety, eh?

    Part of Libby’s job description is to publicly defend these actions, as was the case with Jean Quan and Jerry Brown, among other Oakland mayors of the past. Her defense borders on ludicrous, doesn’t it?

    By the way, these people have names:

    Sabrina Landreth was appointed Oakland City Administrator in February. She was Deputy Administrator under the horrible Deanna Santana and subsequently became City Manager of neighboring Emeryville. In other words, she’s returned to Oakland….

    Oakland police chief Sean Whent has certainly been less confrontational and lie-filled than his predecessors. And OPD hasn’t killed anyone in a couple of years now, basically since he’s been on the job. So that’s a good thing. Meanwhile, the Rabble must not be allowed to get above itself, as some actions by the noisy protesters have led to a bit of embarrassment for the city. Most of all, windows must not be broken, cars must not be torched, the black-clad anarchists must not be allowed to run wild and say naughty things. Thus, insisting that protests after dark stay on the sidewalks make perfect sense, no?

    Oakland’s City Attorney Barbara Parker has a fascinating motto:

    Defending Oakland’s progressive policies and initiating legal action when the community’s quality of life or economic interests are jeopardized.

    I have little doubt that she’s the one who came up with the novel interpretation of protest regulations that has led to this ridiculous situation.

    How they extricate themselves from this mess, I do not know, but it is entirely one of their own making…

    • oopsie, i just got it. it reflected your irritation that i couldn’t see past miz libby at the time. on that, you’re probably right.

      tonight: Round 3 #BreakTheCurfew #Oakland #SayHerName #BlackMemorialDay 9pm /RuptlyNewsroom

  2. i’m not grasping your ‘let me be blunt’ opening sentence, but i suppose you’re right, but the oh-so-gentrified flavor she brought to her campaign
    spoke volumes to me, as does seeing the visage and city agenda of her choice for veddy, veddy polished city attorney.

    whent i remember was the head of Oakland internal affairs, but i have no idea how he slots into this, save for the fact that he indeed sent out the orders to enforce it. but no, it really wasn’t about the sidewalks, not really, as the cops were grabbing folks off the sidewalks as well, and arresting them.

    miz parker’s motto just slots right into miz libby’s election rhetoric, no? it’s a humdinger, in any event. sure, the legal stretch does sound a bit on the john yoo side, so good for spotting that.

    meanwhile, the movement is honoring memorial day as one might hope; just a few for now:

    BLMLBC : Action Update: All #BLM chapters in LA County and 6 rally sites (LAPD & LBPD) now enroute Cerritos #BlackMemorialDay

    oh, my; medgar evers. RIP to all of them.

    • I guess I just can’t get too worked up over Libby’s perfidy, any more than I could over Jean Quan’s or Jerry Brown’s.

      My point is that in most American cities the mayor and city council have no direct authority over the police at all. They cannot direct them to do or not do anything, The most they can typically do is direct “staff” — the city manager’s office or the police chief or the city attorney generally — to “report” on something or other and ask for recommendations to the council and mayor for action. As a rule, if those reports are ever delivered (often they never are), they will be filled with lies and obfuscations, and the recommendations will almost always be to maintain the status quo or to enhance (ie: make worse) some already appalling policy.

      This is as true in Oakland as it is in most California cities and cities nationwide. There are exceptions, including some of the largest cities, but as a rule, it’s almost a complete waste of time and energy to go before a city council and rail about police actions or to lambast the mayor for something the police have done or failed to do. I don’t suggest not doing it at all, I merely point out that by itself it’s not going to result in the kinds of policy directions and outcomes most of us want.

      The people who need to feel the heat, long and hard, are the city manager/administrator, the police chief, and the city attorney. That’s why I name them whenever I can. Most people — even activists — have no idea who they are, let alone that they wield as much unaccountable power as they do. In most cities, they are not elected and they are not directly accountable to the People. So it’s tough to get them to listen let alone to “feel the heat,” because the only people they generally pay any attention to at all are their peers — other city managers, police chiefs and city attorneys — and the top echelons of the PTB in their particular cities. They rarely listen to the Rabble, very rarely even acknowledge them.

      I try to make this point as often as I can wherever I can, and sometimes the response is intriguing, especially where the focus is on railing against elected officials and/or changing which party is in control of the mayor’s office and/or city council. Appointed staff like city managers, police chiefs and city attorneys love to see elected officials getting trashed by the public, and it doesn’t matter to them which party is in control of the elected offices, because appointed staff is almost completely free to do whatever they want without consequences or repercussions. Yes, they can be fired, but they almost never are. And that’s essentially all the electeds can do to make them accountable.

      This particular effort to put a curfew on street protests in Oakland is one of the more misguided things to come out of that deeply dysfunctional city. It’s bad policy, and quite likely illegal, and it is being implemented against women and people of color with some of the worst optics since Occupy. Somebody needs to step in and say “This is stupid and it’s not working.” But who? Libby can’t do it. She has to support her staff and the police — at least in public. The police are under the direction and authority of the City Administrator anyway, not the mayor. The mayor can direct the administrator to “report,” but cannot tell the administrator what to do. The administrator (and the mayor and council) gets advice from the City Attorney, and we can see quite clearly what her priorities are. The city attorney’s position on law may be overruled eventually, but so long as there is no injunction, this crazy policy can continue to be implemented.

      I note too that there is apparently a plurality of Oakland residents who support this idiotic policy.

      And gentrification proceeds apace… Oakland will be tamed one way or another it seems…

      (Over the weekend, someone at the Bees and Seeds asked “Who here remembers Huey Newton???” I was one of a very few grizzled elders who raised my hand…;-)

      • yes, you do make the point often, and have done some great digging into various cities’ pyramids and structural bodies with regard to police. i just don’t believe most mayors are near the figureheads you do, is all. my recollections of jean quan, included. or mayor berry and others, that’s all.

        • When it comes to who’s actually in charge of police in most cities, I sometimes like to think I know what I’m talking about — since it comes from my personal experience dealing with the issue of police brutality and who can — and who can’t — do something about it.

          Mayors and city councils typically don’t have direct authority over police. They just don’t.

          Quan didn’t even pretend she did, and don’t get me started on Berry… ;-)

          • i yield to your far more expert knowledge then. except: one field in which some mayors hold authority over ‘public safety’ and police are budgets. but that may be a whole ‘nother discussion. and yeah, i’m thinking deblasio.

            added on edit: i think it may be time for you to get a twit account, and mention these closer analyses to the folks on the ground, yes?

  3. agent provocateur

    Reblogged this on Nevada State Personnel Watch.

  4. it seems that last night’s #break the curfew event went silly: mainly the opd showed up (no numbers stated), plus a helicopter or two. it’s been rescheduled for friday night.

    but miz libby is quite pleased with the repurposed law, noting that since its enforcement, vandalism is waaaaay down. of national lawyers guild rachel lederman, who helped craft the original policy pointed out that keep protestors on the sidewalks er…increased their proximity to those windows waiting to be broken…but how much this comes back to haunt oakland will be interesting to watch.

    oh, and the OPD had a *contingency plan*; one can only imagine what that was. last night they were in ‘a holding pattern, waiting for THEM to show up.
    but as THD had implied, it may be the inconvenience to *drivers* that’s most important.

    “”The real goal is to get them on the sidewalk or to public plazas like Frank Ogawa Plaza where they can continue peacefully and there is no danger of conflicts with people in cars,” Schaaf said Monday.

    Schaaf said protesters who get a permit from the police department can walk in the streets and the police will block traffic for them. But many of the protests have occurred without a permit. When the vandalism starts, she said police are allowed to declare an unlawful assembly and “that requires everyone to disperse, including the peaceful protesters.”

    She said she wanted to be clear that the change is not meant to be a curfew and that the city is on solid legal ground.

    “It’s these nighttime protests where vandals have taken the opportunity to do damage to our city,” Schaaf said. “We’re trying to find other ways for people to express themselves in a way that is much less likely to cause vandalism.”

    When asked how the new tactic decreases vandalism, Schaaf did not answer directly.

    “Our intention is that this practice of encouraging demonstrations to take place on the sidewalks will allow them to focus their attention on the content, which is really important, and less on the collateral damage.”

    (miz libby may need help writing her orwellian press gibberish, don’t you think?)

    • Interesting. It appears that Libby’s Bright Idea — even if it wasn’t her idea, she’s owning it these days — came from San Francisco Chronicle columns that gave her grief for not cracking down on the May Day demonstrations “that turned violent.” Those ever-precious windows were broken and a number of cars were vandalized and one was burned after the main demo dispersed. Can’t have that, no-no.

      Wells Fargo and other big ticket bizniz interests and the car dealers pitched a bitch, and the Chron’s opinion-pages burst forth with the bright idea of forbidding street protest after dark. Wah-lah, a few weeks later, Oakland’s mayor goes balls to the wall, forbidding after dark protests in the streets just as the #SayHerName demo gets under way.

      The optics could not have been more terrible. All these Robo-Riot Cops (oh yes, OPD still has them) confronting completely nonviolent women, children, and men, intent on memorializing the many all-but-forgotten women dead at the hands of police. And so it went on Saturday and Sunday night, too.

      From what I could tell, Monday’s FTP march was canceled and rescheduled for Friday due to a lack of participation (a few dozen showed up at 14th and Broadway, and that wasn’t enough, apparently, for a worthwhile FTP demo; far more cops were assembled to put down the impending riot….)

      East Bay Express is calling the street protest curfew a “whopper” of a fail, and saying Libby’s honeymoon is over. Awww.


      At least it’s official: windows and cars matter way more than dead people in Oakland… warms the cockles of one’s heart, no?

  5. that’s a great piece by gammon, and the comment section is quite interesting and instructional. i guess the first piece i’d read on the #sayhername demonstration had libby owning the repurposed law (post may day vandalism), as well as rachel lederman denouncing it as illegal. bad optics, indeed, and maybe another lawsuit.

    but how interesting to hear from whence the idea seemed to have come. ;-) well of course property is more important than dead people! especially the shiny new property, and hell, who’s gonna want to bring their new bidness to oakland when the rabble don’t have to get permits to bitch, or might disrupt traffic?

    is the federal judge gammon mentioned acting as ‘monitor’, then? i’ve forgotten the mechanics involved.

    yes, i finally saw numbers for night 4: 100 po-lice, about 30 demonstrators, though some calculated that half of them were likely undercovers.

    but you’ll no doubt get a boot outta this image from occupy the port:

    some comments under gannon’s op-ed:

    “you’d think that libby would have studied the lesson[s] of Quan and learned something. nope. most telling is the silence of her black female campaign advisor peggy moore. there’s already a recall libby campaign, just 5 months into her term….”

    “This is only the beginning. The mayor’s proposed budget adds $17M to the OPD budget. That $17M comes from cutting housing & community development funds by 50%.

    With OPD policy like this, Schaaf is essentially routing funds from community housing to pay for lawsuits. This is no way to turn Oakland around, and funds blown on OPD lawsuits mean less money for cops–and a more dangerous Oakland.”

    and to your original point:
    “Oakland mayors have no power to do what Schaaf has claimed authority to do. The Charter in Section 207 provides in part: “The Council shall be the governing body of the City. It shall exercise the corporate powers of the City and, subject to the expressed limitations of this Charter, it shall be vested with all powers of legislation in municipal affairs adequate to provide a complete system of local government consistent with the Constitution of the State of California.” When it comes to the powers of the Mayor the Charter in Section 305(b) says that the mayor has the power to “Recommend to the Council such measures and legislation as he deems necessary and to make such other recommendations to the Council concerning the affairs of the City as he finds desirable.” (Note the sexist term because this was written by and for Jerry Brown.) The clear message here is that the Mayor of Oakland does not have the power to do what Schaaf has done. Schaaf could be making a recommendation to the City Council, but she does not have the authority to make a policy, only the City Council does.”

  6. Video of snatch’n’grab arrest of Oakland Planning Commissioner Jahmese Myers:

    Oh, the optics could hardly be much worse.

    Already a recall petition, eh?

    Is it possible Miss Libby is dumber than Jean Quan?

    (A purely rhetorical question, y’unnerstan… purely rhetorical)

    • O what a sexist pig am I: when i’d seen her name…i’d thunk she was a he.

      glad it’s rhetorical, lol, but someone under gammon’s piece pretty much said she used to work for the port of oakland. i vaguely, vaguely recall that it may have been so. but i yam too lazy to go a-binging. and i need to try to get a tad of gardening done.

      yes, wonder on what grounds the recall petition might be? *that* i did look for, didn’t find. dude’s chimera, perhaps?

      next election bumper sticker:

      (wise ass printer might go with ‘SHAAFT’, eh?)

  7. okay, okay; no way can i make this a bit relevant. but: i heard ‘it’ wonderfu night’ last night, remembered ferguson’s puppets doing the number, but this may be my fave. (they even seem to know all the lyrics, for once.)
    let’s send it out to miz libby…

  8. let me see if i can weave this together into coherent thought, although i may work backward from my original ideas/spidey senses.

    in the opd consent decree was a section on boosting IT capabilities. related to that is this announcement via blackout collective on twitter: ‘Ten FBI Agents Joining Oakland Police Department‘:

    “The Federal Bureau of Investigation is committing $110,000 toward the creation of a state-of-the-art center for investigations in the Oakland Police Department, according to a briefing provided by OPD and the FBI at the Oakland City Council’s public safety committee meeting last night. The FBI funds will support the buildout of a $173,000 work space inside OPD’s Police Administration Building, and officials said the center will utilize the latest technologies to analyze social networks and track persons of interest across state lines. The joint effort will bring as many as ten FBI agents into OPD’s criminal investigations division to expand the department’s investigative capacity.”

    ….which of course reminded me of this piece at jacobin magazine that popular resistance sent this morning or yesterday: ‘The Demilitarization Ruse : President Obama touts Camden as a model of police demilitarization. But the city has taken counterinsurgency surveillance to a new level.’

    what he describes is nearly ‘total information awareness’, harnessing citizens to watch the many city cams, and the dangers of the double edge swords of all of it. he loses me on some of his theses and takes on clinton, the koch, and more, but for the most part, it’s rather clear about why military counterinsurgency and police are cut from the same cloth, and the Big Hardware is rather irrelevant. at least in camden, and for now, i’d guess.

    but my original wondering had to do with libby cracking down on the #sayHerName demo for a couple reasons: one is that the blackout collective is comprised (iirc) of lesbians and trans folks, and two, they are quite public about teaching direct action to all comers. and we know that they are insanely good at it: “wake up Libby”: remember? chaining themselves (but not actually) to the justice dept. doors for five hours? they do good theatre, to boot, which is a tool of nonviolent revolution akin to flashmobs. i’d even wondered if that movement might be more…dangerous somehow, but that’s not important.

    i can’t seem to name a theme to my loose construct, so i’ll leave it there for now.

  9. ‘new normal’ at oakland city hall

    wonder how that’s gonna work out.

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