The Jewish Press' Lori Lowenthal Marcus did some real reporting:
Ogawa Park was named for a civil rights activist who was the first Japanese member of the Oakland City Council. But Ogawa Park was “renamed” by Occupy Oakland protesters to “honor” Oscar Grant, a felon who had been imprisoned for drug dealing and weapons offenses, and who was shot by Oakland police 1n 2009, while resisting arrest.Read the whole thing.
An area in the Park is specifically designated for public expression; it has been the scene of many boisterous protests, including the long-term occupation by Occupy Oakland, last year.
Last week a perfect example of what so much of the anti-Israel movement is built on, was on display in Ogawa Park. In this “free speech” park taken over by “peaceful” protesters of all kinds of oppression, a young woman who was drawing a message of peace was physically assaulted, cursed out with the foulest possible language, and thrown out of the public park by people who claim to be, and are referred to by the mass media, as “peaceful,” “non-violent,” “free speech” activists. In truth, they are frequently abusive, intolerant, violent anarchists who believe the highest form of expression is provoking violence with what is usually aggressive resistance, but occasionally spills over into outright violence.
This is what happened.
...Channa decided, after looking around and finding no one interested in talking about why they hate Israel, to take a piece of chalk from one of the communal bags that had been placed around the Plaza for people to use to ‘express themselves.’ She began to draw, underneath a message in large block letters – FREEDOM TO SPEAK – and drew in large letters, “Am Yisrael Chai.” Why? “I’m from Israel, I love my country, and they are attacking my people, my culture.”
Channa said she was simply writing a message of peace, but before she could finish her short message, a harpy descended on her, yelling, “you can’t write that here,” grabbing at her chalk, screaming, cursing and shoving her. It was Gabrielle Silverman, a resident of Oakland, formerly of Brooklyn, and full-time, long-term “peace” activist. Name a major protest – one in Washington, D.C. against the International Monetary Fund in 2000, when she was only 17, Occupy Oakland, Black Bloc attacks in San Francisco, and Silverman has been involved in some way. She’s been arrested for violent, destructive behavior, as recently as this past October.
The attack, shown in the video, went on for several minutes, with more and more people coming to assist Silverman in menacing and ejecting Channa. The crowd assisted Silverman in shoving Channa and her friend David out of the public square.
Freedom of speech? Nah. Freedom to assemble? Nope.
The Jewish Press reached Silverman late Saturday night, and asked her “why you felt it was justified to attack someone who was expressing a view – even one you find abhorrent – in a public place.”
We had created a space at the Plaza to chalk the names of our dead friends and people who have suffered because of state or corporate violence. (“freedom to speak and assemble” was written either semi randomly or as a statement on the wittling away of constitutional rights that we are experiencing in the present time.) It was over this memorial space that they intruded. They came to pick a fight with us on the anniversary of Tristan’s shooting. I want to say that I don’t like or respect the right wing, but I would never disturb one of your memorial spaces, and I find their targeting of an event for Tristan Anderson to be cowardly and unethical. They are a shonda for the goyim.
She added, “I also want to add that my only regret is calling her a whore. Solidarity with whores everywhere!”
“As a former soldier, I was trained to maintain my composure in the face of that kind of provocation,” Channa said.
I saw on Twitter that the Oakland police are looking at this incident.