We had started on a Saturday night, only a handful of us talking back and forth on email, and it went on well into the dark hours of Sunday morning; type email address, copy, paste, send, type email address, copy, paste, send, again and again until my fingers were sore. I was one of a hand full who were doing the mass emailing of the press release. We were in Oakland but there were people from up and down the West Coast involved in the planning of the action that we expected to be coming soon. We were sending out a statement announcing the mobilization of the Occupy Wall street groups from a number of west coast cities to support International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 21 in Longview, Washington, in its fight against the grain exporter EGT. There had been months of planning and discussion, often quite heated, leading up to the anticipated action. The press release announced our coming to meet the first grain ship that was to be loaded, and with ILWU Local 21, and other organized labor groups we were going to try to stop it.
There’s little like a spirited rally to get the blood pumping. There’s nothing like an Occupy-Oakland style march to get the heart beating double-time, even if you are in shape.
And there’s really nothing quite like having Scott Olsen showing up at your rally and marching with you, looking better than ever.
Eight days ago, the Lakeview Elementary School in Oakland was Occupied. The school session had ended, and the Oakland Unified School Board had long ago voted to close the school and use it for administrative offices. But concerned citizens have refused to give up.
The Oakland School District, trying to avoid the no-win situation of having police drag parents, teachers and students out of their once-and-hopefully-future school in full view of the media, opted to hope the protest and occupation would wither. They probably didn’t contemplate three hundred people showing up in support of the occupation after marching from Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland, led by a student brigade…
But that’s what happened today.
Seven years ago an Oakland police officer forced two men he had stopped to pull down their pants in front of spectators. After a lawsuit was brought and the City refused to settle, last year’s verdict resulted in losses to Oakland’s taxpayers of more than $1,000,000. You might have thought that at this point the City would have said no mas.
But you would be wrong. You have no concept to what depths of ass-kissing the people of Oakland’s representatives will go when there are police involved. (And quite frankly, even I was surprised at the giant sucking sounds emerging from City Hall last evening…)
The Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to pay $40,000 in punitive damages that a judge had ordered a former Oakland police officer to pay for making two men pull down their pants in public.
The city had no legal obligation to make ((officer)) Mayer’s payment, but the council voted 5-3 to do it anyway.
((City Council member)) Brooks said the police union had recently asked council members to indemnify Mayer.
OAKLAND, California - The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is closing 5 schools reportedly due to budget cuts. Parents, teachers, and community members are in an uproar as access to public education dwindles–particularly in poor communities of color. In protest to the school shut downs, a handful of community members set up a tent encampment outside the Lakeview Elementary campus on Friday, the last day of school.
On Thursday, four undocumented youth took over Obama’s campaign headquarters in Oakland, which sits just blocks away from Occupy Oakland’s Sunday General Assembly location at 19th and Telegraph. The said they would stay until Obama stopped deporting students.
The next day (today) Obama announced a plan which would allow hundreds of thousands of young people to remain in the US while attending school. Nonetheless, after deporting 1 million people in less than four years and seeing as how his statement is nothing more than a promise–which can be broken like every other promise he has made–they remain in the office.
With another occupation starting up today by parents and teachers at Lakeview Elementary, we now have two simultaneous occupations in Oakland starting within days of each other. Hopefully, this is just the beginning.
Photos by Clavo.