It seems like hardly a week goes by without the Chronicle publishing some good old fashioned Oakland bashing. And this week is no exception.

And for the most part, we residents of Oakland are game for it. Yes, we know the city has its share of problems, from three sports teams who want to leave town, a football team that only wins one game a year, a police force loaded with misconduct lawsuits, and a mayor who can’t seem to govern.

But C.W. Nevius in his latest piece has crossed the line. In Protesters go at it with S.F. cops—hey, it’s just like Oakland, he proposes to send San Francisco’s anarchists and rabble-rousers to Oakland. If only the Chronicle focused a fraction of their effort reporting on violence in Oakland to documenting Oakland’s latest artistic renaissance, the paper would be more widely respected by people in Oakland. And to San Francisco, yes, we’ll take your artists, your chefs, your food trucks, and even your journalists, but please don’t send over your anarchists.


The Residents of Oakland

CW Nevius column on SF protesters


Matt Werner is author of Oakland in Popular Memory, co-author of Bay Area Underground, and editor of the satirical news site Oakland Unseen.

About The Author

5 Responses

  1. Matt of West Downtown

    I have good a source that claims that many Chronicle reporters are raging alcoholics. Which is fine until it impacts your judgment at work… then it’s time to get help. Get help C.W.

  2. todd

    Okay. I get it. Took me a minute or two, but now I understand. You’re one of the idealists here in town who think people in the streets smashing windows…looting stores…lighting bonfires…closing freeways…are locals expressing their First Amendment rights. I can only assume that because Nevius’ article was spot on. Such behavior is always unacceptable. And we are the city in the Bay Area where those looking for sport congregate whenever their might be an opportunity for smashing windows…looting stores…lighting bonfires…closing freeways. Those arrested are rarely Oaklanders. And the gatherings always dissolve into smashing windows…looting stores…lighting bonfires…closing freeways. Or maybe you don’t work in a part of town where the building needed to be locked down? Maybe you don’t need to ride your bike through the debris on the streets to get to work? Maybe you weren’t kept up night after night by the hovering helicopters? Maybe you weren’t out there helping any of the business owners wash the graffiti off their buildings? Your Oakland must be very different than mine. Regardless, the anarchists already come every chance they get. From frisco and from everywhere else. And for you to not see that, nay mock the very idea of it, makes me think you’re signing off for the “Resident’s of Oakland” awfully vain. And wrong.

  3. Rico

    Todd: Looks like you missed Matt’s point. *Nobody* wants anarchists or all the destruction. Neither do “we” (because I agree with Matt) want the Chron or disinterested outsiders at large continually bashing Oakland.

    On the other hand, maybe we do want the bad press so the snotty privileged a-holes can stay in SF and we can keep this gem to ourselves.

  4. Emily in Oakland

    I love how he goes to the trouble of noting that 50 out of 79 people arrested didn’t even LIVE in SF. Most Chronicle articles about Oakland protests provide a similar account about arrests, but the proportion of Oakland residents is typically a LOT lower.

    “This isn’t Oakland,” is how he punctuates the article, implying that if you’re going to be an outsider causing mayhem, go do it next door where it’s way more common and everyone there is super used to it. Way to be a great neighbor, Nevius!

  5. OaklandNative

    So what if anyone bashes Oakland. If anyone don’t like Oakland, he or she can stay out.

    And if that person lives in Oakland, he or she can move.

    It’s that simple.


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