Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Wed, 6/27, 4pm @ Lakeview, 5pm @ OUSD offices: People’s School Board Meeting

Share your vision for Oakland schools and your ideas for how to transform our public education system!
Hold Tony Smith and the school board accountable to the people they are supposed to serve!
Demand the district reverse the school closures, privatization trend, attacks on teachers, and special education cuts!

The People’s School Board Meeting
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
4pm @ Lakeview Elementary
5pm @ OUSD offices ( 1025 2nd ave.)

This Wednesday is the last OUSD school board meeting until the fall. All year, we have been attending school board meetings to protest school closures, union busting, cuts and privatization, and we have been ignored and silenced. The school board has pushed our agenda items until the end of their discussion, and after hours, we have been permitted just 2 minutes to share our concerns with barely present board members.

We refuse to continue to have our concerns ignored and dismissed! The school board doesn’t represent our communities, so we must represent ourselves. On Wednesday 6/27, the parents, students and teachers of the Lakeview Sit-in are organizing our own hearing – the “People’s School Board Meeting”! We invite all parents, teachers, students and community members to join us to share your vision for Oakland public schools, and speak out against the continuous disrespect Tony Smith and the elected school board members have shown the school communities they are supposed to serve!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

#OccuPride in SF - Radical & Peaceful REGARDLESS OF COLOR

Today was my first Gay Pride Parade experience. I have known about the parade before and never attended, I just watched what I could catch on tv about it. I guess I never really understood what all the colorful costumes, glitter and glam had to do with having LGBT pride. It's not like there is a Black Pride Parade every single year where celebration of a defining point of oneself is a common thing. So understanding the celebratory aspect of protesting and having pride is one that sometimes slips past me. Today was definitely a learning experience.

I've been to Occupy the Farm in Albany and I've checked out the LakeView Elementary School sit in (among other peaceful Occupy protests), and just like those there was an undeniable uniqueness in the event. This time, it really was party and be proud and put it in everyones faces... funny how much support they got. I saw entire families who came out in support of one another and it didn't matter much what anyone had on. Not the color(s) of their outfits, masks of various kinds, or if they barely had on an outfit at all. I was very inspired by the type of solidarity I saw in spite of different "tactics" on how to approach this march. Occupy Oakland has some who could benefit greatly from this type of thinking in my opinion. 

The thing that was also impressive was the amount of support that OccuPride received when stopping the parade for about 40 minutes and then protesting in front of, on the side of, and behind the Wells Fargo float. See how excited some people got in support of anti-capitalism http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jMthHgj0xU&feature=youtu.be The same had been planned for the Kaiser and Bank of America floats. I've heard that the group split up to do that, but I didn't personally witness that as I stuck with the Wells Fargo float protest majority of the parade. There were obviously some people who were upset that the parade had been stopped, and did their best to agitate all who had a socially conscious message against the corporatization. It seemed like the mind numbing glitter, bubbles and balloons was all they were concerned with, which could be considered a shameful turn on the radical and protesting element of pride in the first place. There was no violence. Nobody was hurt and everyone was able to still have their voices heard and see the parade.

Maybe if more of the protests are parade style there wouldn't be such a clash between the police and protesters. Can't you just see the FTP Parade in Oakland now? It could go all the way up and down East. 14th with a big black Raiders float with a huge shield and be shooting out bubbles with black and silver glitter confetti. All the Oakland residents tired of the police department getting away with attacking and killing it's citizens could celebrate. The NLG would have a legal observers float, and streamers would function as security keeping the police from attacking with no documentation. I don't think people would really go for this, but it sounds fun and you do get more bees with honey instead of vinegar. Turn the corporate tactics used to garner peoples support against the corporations?

Whatever the case, today was obviously a success. A busy and fun day that has my head reeling with so many ideas. Regardless of the blatant attacks man experiencing the LGBT lifestyle face day to day, there was a joy in the air and unity that couldn't really be broken regardless of very obvious differences. OccuPride successfully stopped the parade and spread the word and got people to come from the sides and support them in their protest against Wells Fargo. Small businesses who lined the streets made money from tourists once the parade hit the Tenderloin district and those living the LGBT lifestyle got to celebrate that without the hatred from the outside, and less accepting world. 

Thursday, May 10, 2012

#Chalkupy #OO Cause for arrest & $60,000 bail?

Yesterday, the DA filed felony vandalism charges against Cincinnati for participating in Chalkoccupy - particularly for a few words he wrote on the side of the BART elevator in chalk.  Chalkoccupy has been on going for over 10 weeks, and there has been no other arrests.  They are alleging that with the few chalk words, Cincinnati has committed vandalism in excess of $400, and holding him on $60,000 bail. What BART has done is, instead of washing off the chalk, as they have done previously, and with the area around the elevator by Oscar Grant Plaza, they chose to paint it over, and they painted the whole elevator, so that is what they are probably basing their "$400" figure on.  It is clearly a fabricated set-up.  What is more ridiculous, is that by painting on the chalk (which is still visible through the beige paint), BART maintenance has now permanently fixed the chalk to the wall. I am asking everyone to call Robert Raburn - who is the BART director for the 12th STreet BART Station, and tell him that BART should not be suppressing free speech, that chalk is not vandalism, and that it's BART's incompetent maintenance choice to paint over it, they have made the chalk permanent, not the chalkers.  Tell Raburn BART needs to tell the DA to "DROP THE CHARGES". District:   District #4 Current Term:   December 2010 to December 2014 Counties Included:   Alameda Stations Included:   Coliseum/Oakland Airport, Fruitvale, Lake Merritt, 12th Street/Oakland City Center, 19th Street, MacArthur (partial) Cities Included:   Alameda, Oakland (partial), San Leandro Financial Information:    raburn.pdf Contact Phone:    (510) 464-6095 Contact Fax:    (510) 464-6011 Contact Email:    robertraburn@covad.net Pass this along to everyone you know - and let's get the phone calls and emails and faxes going.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Political Motivation Using OPD Against the IC3

With all the speculation surrounding the Ice Cream 3 case with Nneka, Tear Drop & Cincinnati from Occupy Oakland, there is a real need to focus on the political motivation that taints the already questionable integrity of the police department. Unfortunately the police department, district attorneys office, judicial system and MSM aren't providing facts, they're providing political bias and fear mongering to a misinformed public in an effort to support the beastly ways of a very corrupt system fighting for survival.

The conversation & news articles should be about the fact that there is an abundance of crime in Oakland (see photo of crime statistics from 1/28 - 4/25/12). Why with so much crime of a very similar nature, is this one case so highly publicized? The best way to answer this is by referring to the enormous amounts of police misconduct complaints beginning with the inception of Occupy Oakland. So many that the Oakland Police Department has been under threat of federal receivership because of a lack of an ability to adhere to their own policies regarding crowd control, selective enforcement, journalist attacks and much more.

The slander campaign unleashed upon the affectionately named Ice Cream 3 (#IC3) by the police department makes it seem like Occupy and the IC3 are the new personal pet project of OPD. After all, there aren't several press conferences about the shooting on April 2, 2012 where 10 were shot and 7 died. The police failed to mention how they let the suspect escape, hide the gun and turn himself in to the Alameda Police Department after OPD had arrested the wrong person. There also is very little coverage about the shooting yesterday in West Oakland where the police have yet to find a suspect

These instances aren't advertised as much as an accusation of a hate crime & robbery when the accused are associated with Occupy Oakland... yes just an accusation. As a citizen of Oakland and a journalist, I'm both concerned by this and confused about why so much effort can go into branding people guilty when there is supposed to be a presumption of innocence in this country, and yet so many things go undone by this very same police department. In 2010 then police chief Anthony Batts claimed funding was the reason for lack of services in this NBC Bay Area article http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Suffer-These-Crimes-in-Oakland-Dont-Call-the-Cops-98266509.html This has resulted in millions of dollars worth of funding to OPD over the past two years. Unfortunately it seems that unless it's Occupy related that those funds aren't being used to serve the community.

Many calls to the police department as well as online reports & Internal Affairs investigations go unanswered by police in Oakland regardless of the amount of funding the police department receives from the City Council. According to this report by CBS San Francisco on April 8, 2012 http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2012/04/08/oakland-police-inundated-with-calls-unable-to-respond-to-all/ OPD still has trouble responding to calls and it's gotten so bad that some are even considering moving from Oakland.

When is it that there are always enough police? When there is an Occupy Oakland event you can assuredly find many police officers; often times armed with teargas, smoke grenades, riot helmets, several types of surveillance equipment and zip ties. All of which is very expensive and all provided by the same tax payers that are falling for the highly publicized, politically motivated misinformation served up by various public faces of the department. There seems to be no motivation to spare expenses when monitoring, arresting and launching attacks against those who passionately support the growing global movement.

This should make everyone question the real meaning of this case. Inherently OPD would not pursue a crime like this so aggressively, so the political motivation to silence the dissenting voices of the West Coast hub of Occupy Wall Street is obvious. There is a dangerous precedent that OPD, the Alameda County District Attorneys Office & Jean Quan (plus others) are attempting to set here, and that is basically punishing people for a thought at best. How is this possible? Well Cincinnati is the one being seriously targeted with robbery charges as Nneka & TearDrops names barely came up during testimony in earlier court proceedings. However, it seems as if the "dyke bitch" (or similar) phraseology allegedly used by others that compounds the charges and gives ground for them to be co-defendants.

Disturbingly enough this is basically stating that the goal is to hold any one person responsible for what someone else says or does. Here is where we see the fascist state rear it's ugly head. Since appeasement to try and devalue issues detrimental to society and violent police attacks have failed to keep Occupy Oaklanders from protesting for social/economic justice and equality; attacks against the movement have advanced. Now the fight is in a court room with a DA who seems to only hold citizens accountable for [allegedly] breaking the law while letting those who are hired to uphold the law truly hide behind the "exempt" license plates that protect the officers from more than just a traffic camera.

In debate, I would argue that this is ground explosion and thus abusive. Basically, the DA is trying to provide a broader definition of hate crimes so that it garners the advantage of prosecuting people who have not actually committed crimes. For example if I say I'm having breakfast, there are certain foods categorized and so most would guess typical breakfast foods. However, if I exploded the ground and said that all food is breakfast because you can eat anything in the morning. That can be deemed an abusive interpretation of the word to fit my preferred definition. Now while hate crimes and breakfast are not one in the same, the abusive interpretation of hate crime legislation used to target these 3 individuals is developed using the same type of ground explosion. Consider this scenario: one person is being accused of robbery & because someone else shouts angrily now everyone standing in the area are arrested of a hate crime. That's where this is heading.

The political big brother fascist attitude is that the current establishment doesn't like to hear the whistle blower like arguments against very prevalent current issues that come out of Occupy concerning the lack of schools and social programming, or the abundance of corporate money in politics, money for policing Occupy, tax dollars being used to save the same banks responsible for predatory home loans and using the very police who are supposed to protect & serve the community (and coincidently are paid by the people) to throw people out of their homes when they can't pay the loans and the banks refuse to do a modification {I just did my best to sum up this form of legalized robbery & oppression in a run on sentence *smile*}. This socially accepted attitude in mainstream society is the reason why when one person throws an empty plastic water bottle that bounces harmlessly off the bulletproof riot masks & vests worn by OPD; the entire crowd of hundreds will be teargassed and shot at with metal bullets covered in rubber & "bean bag" projectiles filled with metal. For those of you who are wondering, it's actions like these that have justified a million FTP marches in advance.

As a people we should all be concerned about this and do our best to fight against this exact type of systematic injustice. Not only is it riddled with political bias and financial motivations, precedent like what is being worked towards in the IC3 case is what provides State and Federal governments the loopholes necessary to circumvent Constitutionally protected rights. Clearly there are many of these types of laws in existence. For example, there only need be 3 people assembled peaceably for a redress of grievances with government and the police can declare an "unlawful" assembly. Couple that with various local penal codes like CA penal code 148 (a)(1) that states it is illegal to "resist, delay or obstruct" an officer regardless of the legality of the actions of that officer, or the civic duty of citizens to hold their government and law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions. The lack of an ability to assemble or even travel freely has been established as a readily acceptable way to handle the frustrated cries of Occupiers regardless of the fact that these are supposed to be among certain unalienable rights regardless of a persons job/class status.

For those who are motivated to stand against systematic oppression by way of the district attorneys office in the form of stay away orders (which is another blog all by itself) and enforcement & employment of unconstitutional laws feel free to contact the DA Office http://www.alcoda.org/about_us/contact_us or join Occupy Oakland in many creative forms of protest. You can find out about different events and committees by visiting http://www.OccupyOakland.org

The National Lawyers Guild has been working diligently on behalf of Occupy Oakland in a number of ways from training legal observers to obtaining legal council for those subjected to arrest during political protests. If anyone would like to donate to the IC3 bail & legal defense fund you can do so using wepay https://www.wepay.com/donations/103907

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

#OccupyTheFarm - Whole Food Not Whole Foods

#OccupyTheFarm - (City of Albany) Ppl who own the trees r really mad @ the UC 4 cutting the water offbecause of the trees! 510.642-7464 call the UC & get it cut back on!!

See all the hard work of the people trying to farm this land and provide free food to the community? Call the Chancellor with a message to turn the water back on at the research field on Marin & San Pablo in Albany.

Just because this was a land grant to the school doesn't mean that the University of California should ignore the wishes of the community. It doesn't mean that they should take the last grade A soil in the bay are and turn it into a cement parking lot, senior housing & university student housing or a Whole Foods.

This is just a subtle form of gentrification. Students trying to afford Berkeley & the expenses associated with housing aren't going to be able to afford to shop at Whole Foods, similarly neither are seniors living on a fixed income. One thing that could be more beneficial for the community is to farm this land, garner about 40 - 50 thousand pounds of food/year and give that to the community for free.

Quality of life for everyone goes up with free food, but that's not all that happens here at Occupy the Farm. People in the community who want to learn how to farm can come down and participate in various aspects of farming. This may include lessons from how to accurately plant seedlings to compost piles and how to use them instead of fertilizer.

This isn't exactly the type of thing most communities want to disappear. As a matter of fact, many Albany residents have come and expressed their happiness at this action. Talking about the glory of this area in the past and how it was both beautiful and open to the public to enjoy. These same residents were obviously saddened by the fact that the Department of Agriculture building a few blocks away, as well as the land on Marin & San Pablo have become overly "secure" and locked down to the public.

I'm personally interested in how the UC & the City of Albany are going to handle the farm. It's a bit difficult to move in & arrest everyone who is working so diligently towards a truly altruistic goal.

I'm also a interested to see how corporate media will be treated when the enforcement of the trespassing laws happens. The Constitution never stipulated that governement nor law enforcement has the right to decide who is and who is not "media" so will there be selective enforcement of trespassing laws as far as that is concerned as a way to back door the intent of the Constitutional First Amendment?

Whatever happens in the end, I know that this is an undeniably beautiful working camp/farm. People coming together and really being the change they want to see in the world. Even at the risk of possible police violence and arrest; people still farm to provide for the community & have a political protest against the sale & control of life sustaining products (food & water) and the capitalist system that profits off it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Email From Richard Lee Redarding 4/2/2012 Raid

On Monday, April 2, my school -- Oaksterdam University in Oakland -- was raided by the DEA, IRS, and US Marshals. Oaksterdam provides training to the medical cannabis industry, and is fully compliant with state and local law.

President Obama promised at the beginning of his administration to respect state medical marijuana laws. He has broken this promise time and time again -- and the consequences have been devastating.

This was a senseless act of intimidation. But I've been an activist far too long to become intimidated -- and with the majority of Americans and common sense on our side, I know this is a fight we can win.

With our government trillions in debt, why is our government using taxpayer dollars to come after me, Oaksterdam, and the thousands of patients who need medical marijuana just to get through the day?


Sunday, April 1, 2012

68 Year Old Veteran Killed by Police

On Sunday, April 1, 2012, Kenneth Chamberlain, Jr. wrote:
Below is an email from Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., whose father, a 68-year-old veteran of the U.S. Marines, was killed in his home by the police in White Plains, NY, on November 19, 2011. Kenneth created his petition on SignOn.org, a new site that allows anyone to start their own online petitions. You can read more about his father's death here.

We demand justice for Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., a 68-year-old veteran killed in his home by police.

Sign the petition
Dear MoveOn member,

On November 19, 2011, my father, 68-year-old Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., was shot and killed in his home in White Plains, New York.

My father was a 20-year veteran of the Westchester County Department of Corrections and proudly served the United States of America as a Marine. He stood about 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and he suffered from a heart condition.

The events that led to his killing began around 5 a.m., when his medical alert device was accidentally set off, sending a call to the City of White Plains Department of Public Safety. Everything that happened after that was recorded by an audio device installed in my father's home as part of his medical alert system.

When the police arrived at my father's home, he and the staff for his medical alert service told them that there was no medical emergency and asked them to leave. And yet they insisted that my father let them into his home, banging loudly on my father's door for over an hour. On the recording, the police can be heard calling my father a "nigger."

Ultimately they broke through his apartment door and first shot him with a Taser. He was wearing nothing but boxer shorts when the police began their assault against him. Shortly after that, he was shot with two 40-caliber rounds and killed.

My family is asking the Westchester County District Attorney to bring a criminal indictment, and we call on the United States Department of Justice or the New York State Attorney General to prosecute this as a hate crime.

Will you sign our petition? Click here to sign and please share with your friends: 


The petition says:

This petition is regarding the upcoming grand jury hearing in the case of Kenneth Chamberlain Sr., an unarmed elderly black citizen who was shot to death by the White Plains Police Department. 

This case not only brings into question the policies and practices of this department; but it is an open question whether it was inevitable, particularly in light of the audio tapes and video tapes witnessed by Mr. Chamberlain's family members and attorneys where racial slurs and expletives were used before ultimately shooting him twice in the chest and killing him. 

It is imperative that those tapes be made available to the grand jury, and that all other evidence be presented as well. I am concerned that secrecy so far—for example, the names of officers involved have not been released—bodes badly for transparency in this case as it moves forward. Nor am I aware of any public statements about the case from elected officials calling for openness. 

Members of Mr. Chamberlain's family and community—and a much wider circle of people who need to know there is fairness in the criminal justice system—seek reassurance that, no matter what the verdict, the process has been open, honest, and just. 

We, the undersigned, implore Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore to no longer allow police misconduct, brutality, or criminality to happen in this community and ask that these officers be indicted and charged with murder and civil rights violations.

Will you sign the petition? Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:



–Kenneth Chamberlain Jr.

The text above was written by Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., not by MoveOn staff, and MoveOn is not responsible for the content. This email was sent through MoveOn's secure system, and your information has been kept private.

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