In the aftermath of the mass arrests of Occupy Oakland protesters– and whoever else happened to be on the wrong street at the wrong time– on Jan. 28 in Oakland, there have been loads of reports and rumors about brutality inflicted on those arrested. Most of those arrested were held in Santa Rita jail.
I spent 20 hours in jail, and I saw some cruel treatment. I saw people suffering after being denied medication. I saw people with allergies to the food that was provided refused any substitute and unable to eat, sometimes for more than 24 hours. I saw people crammed into holding cells meant for groups a third their size, so that some people had to remain standing, sometimes for more than 24 hours. As many arrestees were wearing clothing coated in tear gas and pepper spray, those chemicals continued to waft through cells and affect all present.
I have reports directly from sources of arrested occupiers being beat up in jail with police batons. At least 20 people were zip tied, meaning their hands were cuffed behind their backs– (more…)