The Oakland cops suck.

The reference to “IRA” style attack is to the ‘double bombing’ strategy developed at some point by the IRA and mimicked later by Eric Rudolph and I’m fairly certain now used in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pull the fire alarm and when the fire trucks come shoot at them. (That was an analogy. Pulling the firearm is a bomb, shooting at them is a second bomb that is set to go off where you know the police will park their cars when they arrive.)

From Christopher Harmon’s Terrorism Today page 104:

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14 thoughts on “Video of IRA style attack on protesters in Oakland

  1. This… Isn’t too surprising.
    Police don’t have the best track record when it comes to peaceful protests..

    I do have a lot of respect for the guy in the naval uniform holding the flag.

  2. Do these idiots seriously not understand that this is the digital age? That their blatant lying and brutality has been, and will be recorded?

    I despise how those police are hiding behind that barricade and throwing smoke and flash grenades. Cowards, all of them. Notice how the little one that throws the flash bang steps back behind his fellow cops before he lofts it? Relying on the anonymity of his herd to protect him… too bad he got caught.

  3. Look, I hate this sort of thing as much as anybody (in fact, probably more than most), but “IRA style” is somewhat overstating things. If it really were an “IRA style attack”, the result would have been a large smoking crater festooned with assorted body parts. The IRA did not fuck around with tear gas, rubber bullets, and stun grenades – they preferred to employ substantial quantities of high explosive with the objective of causing multiple fatalities (often very successfully). That is unless you’re talking about their protection of their various organised crime rackets, in which case they would have merely blown some people’s legs off at the knees.

    • Only if you judge what I said in terms of what is in your head instead of mine. What I meant was the trick of getting people to come over to you then attacking a second time.

  4. I’m in the UK, and I grew up with the IRA blowing the living shit of out of all and sundry in various different ways as a pretty routine feature of the daily news, but I don’t ever recall them doing that. To what do you refer, specifically?

    Also, the point of writing is usually to get whatever’s in your head into your reader’s head, so if I’ve interpreted you incorrectly, that may not be entirely my fault. You weren’t exactly specific, and I’m not psychic.

  5. Regarding the bombings, I’m surprised you don’t know about that. This is also the style followed by Eric Rudolph. You might consulst Christopher Harmon’s Terrorism Today. Personally, I’m consulting my memory.

    ” the point of writing is usually to get whatever’s in your head into your reader’s head”

    Are we really going to have that conversation?

    “You weren’t exactly specific, and I’m not psychic.”

    I absolutely refuse to be forced to some arbitrary level of specificity a priori. This blog is my writing project, not your technical memo. Indeed, I often write in a way that both demands significant work on the part of the reader and at the same time includes things I know only some people are going to understand because of context. (This does not happen to be an example of that)

    Having said that, please note that we are having a conversation. You now know what I mean. I’ve even given you a reference. I may even amend the post slightly. And thanks for pointing out the ambiguity.

  6. @Dunc (#6)

    I’m in the UK, and I grew up with the IRA blowing the living shit of out of all and sundry in various different ways as a pretty routine feature of the daily news

    Yep, me too.

    but I don’t ever recall them doing that.

    Then either you weren’t paying attention or your memory is faulty. It wasn’t always a case of step 1: detonate device; step 2: wait for response and detonate secondary device though. There were a number of variations on the tactic. Phone in a warning for a particular time & place, but set the bomb close-by or to go off slightly earlier/later. Place a dummy device designed to be spotted and draw the response which is the target of the real, much better hidden, device. Place a real device plus one or more fakes nearby.

    Sometimes the goal was to kill or injure more people (most often soldiers or RUC), sometimes it was to cause more delay and disruption as security forces searched for/made safe further devices.

    Of course there are significant differences to what the Oakland police officer did here. For example, it’s likely this was an opportunistic act rather than a planned and premeditated one. I sincerely doubt an officer targeted Scott Olsen to draw a group to his aid and then another officer (or the same one) targeted the group that responded.

    None of that makes what he/they did any less reprehensible of course.

    • I agree that it was probably opportunistic, but I imagine, and would bet money on this, that the fucker who shot the second device into the crowd was enjoying himself his little joke.

  7. Greg, although I was alive then, I am too young to remember the 60’s at all. I was wondering if you remember them and if so, whether the current OWS actions are anything like any of the protests of the 60’s.

  8. Shawn: I think they are similar in some ways and different in some ways. OWS is better organized and a wider range of people are involved, and the total amount of violence from police we’ve seen so far in total for many weeks across the whole country would have been small compared to the police violence in any one of the major demonstrations in the 60s.

  9. Thanks, Greg. It looks like it’s better than sending in cavalry and tanks to break up the Bonus Army in ’32, while Hoover watched the camp burn to the ground and then went to bed. But, then again, today’s cops are probably better equipped than MacArthur’s forces back then, too.

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