Freed Cal Grad Hikers Speak At ‘Occupy’ Protest In Oakland

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — The three University of California at Berkeley graduates who were imprisoned in Iran on espionage charges spoke at an “Occupy Oakland” rally Monday.

Sarah Shourd, Shane Bauer and Josh Fattal spoke at the amphitheater on the north side of 14th Street just west of Broadway, where Occupy Oakland demonstrators have been holding general assemblies since last week in solidarity with New York’s “Occupy Wall Street” protests.

PHOTOS: Bay Area ‘Occupy’ Protests

Shourd, 33, and Bauer and Fattal, both 29, were arrested on July 31, 2009, after embarking on a hike in Iraq’s Kurdistan region near the Iranian border. Iran accused the trio of espionage but released Shourd in September 2010 because she was in poor health.

Bauer and Fattal were sentenced in August to eight years in prison, but were released on Sept. 21 following negotiations spearheaded by Oman.

According to the Occupy Oakland website, the three hikers were slated to talk about the connections that can be drawn between what they went through in Iran and the situation in U.S. prisons, as well as the hunger strikes taking place in California prisons.

The website states that this will be the first time the three will be speaking together publicly since their release.

Across the Bay, protesters in San Francisco took action Monday with a march that started at Justin Herman Plaza.

The group’s website,, said the march is “for basic human rights.”

The site states, “With many basic human needs and rights not being met its (sic) time for the people to take back what is rightfully theirs.”

The march comes after a violent Sunday night in which San Francisco police fitted in riot gear arrested five protesters who had set up tents in Justin Herman Plaza.

Police told the demonstrators that city laws prevented encampment there. When protesters refused to remove the tents, officers removed them and placed them into Department of Public Works trucks and vans.

Four protesters were arrested for in the roadway illegally and resisting arrest, while the fifth was arrested for battery on a police officer, police said.

San Francisco Board of Supervisors President and mayoral candidate David Chiu released a statement about the confrontation, saying “Both the Occupy SF protesters and the San Francisco Police Department need to redouble their efforts to avoid confrontations like the ones we saw last night.”

Chiu said, “As long as the Occupy SF protesters are obeying the law, the city should respect their rights of peaceful assembly and free speech.”

The anti-Wall Street protests that started in New York City in September have spread nationwide, with other Bay Area Occupy groups gathering in Richmond, Walnut Creek, Santa Rosa, San Rafael and other cities.

The groups cite an economic disparity between the richest 1 percent of the population and the remaining 99 percent, and are calling for increased regulation of banks and Wall Street investment firms, among other changes.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

  • Ed

    BFD !!!!!!!!

  • Mad Mike

    The fact that these three morons are going to speak in front of a large group of morons should not be a surprise to anybody.

  • Mad Mike

    I for one would have contributed to a fund for the Iranians to KEEP them!

  • Garrick Roshau

    Who cares if the speak…the Iranian goverment should of loked them up and threw away the key!!

  • Moock

    I would still have my head in a hole in the ground if I were them…

  • Bubba

    Wow….real live celebrities. LOL :-)

  • Jerry Frey

    An unscripted reality show, Occupy America is a populist movement in the tradtion of the nineteenth century Cross of Gold. Speculation (George Soros; hedge funds), long or short, oil futures, de-regulation, neo-liberalism, benefits the 1 percent connected class with no social benefit. Banks once organized and allocated capital in order to produce wealth, economic expansion, that benefited the many rather than the few. Globalists know no national loyalty and are detached from their nations.

    Get the $oney out of politics. Campaign contributions are the nexus of corruption in the capitol. Reduce the amount of money involved in re-election, which really is the name of the game, by promulgating free air time during elections. Keep the current system for primaries.

    History repeats itself: no leadership, no vision, no perspective, chickens have come home to roost…Selfishness.

    For example, there was an imbalance in trade between the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire, along with high taxation. Consider: the government lost control of its borders — Goths, Franks, Suevi, Alans — and society experienced moral decay.

    NeilSalemMA Why does all this remind me of France in the 1780s and 1790s?

    1) 1780s – The economy of France is in crisis. The civil population is poor and becoming poorer and they are starving.
    2) 1789 – The storming of the Bastille – the revolution begins
    3) 1791 – The King and Queen flee for their safety.
    4) 1792 – The King and Queen are arrested.
    5) 1793 – The guillotine – King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette are beheaded.
    6) 1793 – 1794 – the Reign of Terror. Over 16,000 people are beheaded.

    Our system of free enterprise is a corrupt oligarchy of the wealthy that drives more and more middle class Americans into poverty, even while the very rich get much richer. As happened over 200 years ago in France, the people will eventually rise up.

  • jen

    Wow, when they were in trouble, they were crying and begging for help from their country. They insisted they weren’t in Iran for political reasons,that they just weren’t good at geography, just three little innocents. But as soon as they are helped with their tails between their legs, they get involved in an anti-Amierica campaign. What were they really up to in Iran? I don’t trust them.

  • M2

    Send these lunatics back to Iran! Clearly, they are more comfortable in a dictatorship.

  • PLW

    After watching the 3 University of California Morons from Iran and the Anti-American Demonstrators, I am convinced more birth control is needed in America and 3rd world countries!!!!! The gene pool is turning into a cess pool….

  • Kevin

    The plan of these college grads has been launched. Venture knowingly into Iran for political or publicity purposes, feign that you did it unknowingly should you ever get caugh, have the US use millions of dollars in resources to get you out, then have your life set by the millions you’ll make spreading your less than truthful story on the speech and event circuit. God bless gullible America…….

  • Mac

    So what. Why is it the liberal media continues to support the Occupy Wall Street movement while bashing the Tea Party? I just wonder why the Tea Party was demonized by the press for asking that Washington change while OWS is held on some sort of pedestal. The Tea Party protests were generally respectful. Few, if any arrests were made. The OWS has created substantial unrest and many have been arrested. Sorry – I just don’t get it.

  • Jonathan

    How could they compare and contrast the American prison system to the Iranian prison system other than they would have been much more content in an American prison?

  • Tea Time at 5

    It;s the Tea Party vs. Flea Party. Seriously, amny of these squatters are infested. Gross!

  • Stanley

    This is what Joseph Stalin called “useful idiots.” Search it on the web.

  • DaPoPoMan

    It is so nice that these 3 fools are now free to roam around trash talking America. I bet they would find our jails and prisons a welcome relief over those in Iran. They cannot even draw a comparison between the hunger strike taking place in California prisons. Those inmates are in the Security Housing Units for a reason, not just at the whim of some evil warden. They are all verified die-hard gang members who would kill you in a heartbeat.

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