Saturday, November 26, 2011


Ohlone Land & Black Friday

Today was officially Buy Nothing Day in Emeryville on Shellmound at the Bay Street Mall. Most people either do not know, or have chosen to ignore the fact that the Ikea as well as the Bay Street Mall were built on Ohlone burial land. This is a disturbing fact because I couldn't imagine the burial site of my loved ones being trampled on my eager consumers wanting to fund the very companies that desecrated the land. If more people would take the time out to really consider this from another perspective, I don't think this area would be so busy with shoppers. I think that this would be a good place to mention that some of the protesting was successful because there were a couple cars that I saw merge out of the turning lane to enter the shopping center while honking their horns in support. Thinking back on this now, I am happy that some people were attracted and intrigued enough by the spectacle of people and what they were saying to make a conscious decision to not support this shopping center.

Although I have not attended any of the previous Buy Nothing protests that have been held since the opening of this shopping center, I was told by several people there that this was a larger turnout than usual. I think that is because this particular Buy Nothing Day was endorsed by both Occupy Oakland and Occupy SF. Seeing that the Occupy Movement supports this as well shows that this movement is about community and reaching out to all of those who have experienced oppression, including but not limited to our indigenous brothers and sisters. Furthermore, I tried to go back and find articles about the bodies that were being found as IKEA was being built and I have to pay to access them. For those of you who do not understand the "money does not equal speech" argument check this out. You have to have money to access information and/or to put information out. Pay to check out the article here

I know that there are people out there who are still cynics but realize how you can make your money work for you. Don't spend the money where the company is more concerned about profit over people. Mom and Pop stores hire people too, but they can only afford to hire so many people when they have to compete with large corporations that can afford to have lower prices. Naturally the lower prices attract shoppers, but at what cost really? What happens when those small business can no longer stay afloat? Even though every major mall is not built on a sacred burial ground, shopping at these establishments still hurt the community because it empowers them. Being a consumer nation, we can create a shift but we have to be a conscious people and hold our government, corporations and ourselves accountable.

Friday, November 25, 2011

OPD Starts "The Thanksgiving Potty Police-Riot of 2011"

Since when has it been acceptable to do this to people. I haven't been "waiting" for this to happen to people I know, but Rasta and Marsha have been nothing but nice to me ever since I started following the Occupy Oakland movement. I remember meeting their son and everything. Now I didn't see any provocation that should have lead to an arrest and grabbing Rastas hair like that! I give major props to Marsha for standing (or laying) by her husbands side and doing her best to protect him! I can't believe that this is an appropriate response on Thanksgiving when people are trying to celebrate. I think it's humane to offer some bathrooms to people, so I'm not understanding why violence was the proper way to handle this.

Furthermore, What was his crime? Why was he being arrested? Why doesn't the "establishment" just allow bathrooms? I have to get down there today and see the aftermath of this madness and support the Black Friday movement with Occupy. I hope this doesn't happen to me, but it seems like people who are doing nothing wrong tend to get caught up in the violence a bit. Too sad a reality to live in. I hope to change that someday.


I was thinking to myself after writing this blog and I still don't understand why people deserved this type of response when it was a free Thanksgiving dinner being provided and people were just trying to use bathrooms. cracking down on free holiday meals?! Seriously?! Where is the spirit that is supposed to accompany these holidays? Is this the true spirit in America put right before our eyes? It's ironic to me that this act of violence would occur on Indigenous People's Day, when people were peacefully breaking bread. What exactly are we to be thankful for? The consistent abuse to the same minority people that have been the very backbone of this country? I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm an American and I love my country but things have been allowed to go too far for too long. So, I'm sitting here head still spinning from watching this video and wondering to my self YET AGAIN what the hell were the police thinking? Furthermore, why aren't more people pissed off enough at this response to come do something about it? Why are we as a people so well adjusted to injustice?

An interesting point was brought up to me in conversation at the occupy SF movement last night. The fact that most people don't want to admit that they have been (and continue to be) a part of the problem. I know that it's a hard thing to do, but overcoming denial is the 1st step to any solution. We have to be patient with people (and trust that's a hard thing for me to do, I understand you impatient people out there) but awareness and the direct democratic process that is being pursued takes time. Like decades maybe. So get used to the Occupy Movement. It's not going anywhere any time soon, because it's inherent in every aspect of our lives. Once we ALL see that, the change will come. Until we all start to open our eyes and really get involved to make the change, we are going to keep seeing things like this no matter how upset it makes you feel while watching.

Before the Occupy Movement I would always say things like "I'm not going to do this or that because no one else would do the same for me." I don't tend to feel that way as of lately. The sense of community makes me want to stand up even more so than I did before. It doesn't have to be every man and woman out for themselves, and it shouldn't be. Everyone who sees this video should support the Occupy Movement in some way. If the people who stand up for your rights are imprisoned and beat to the point of exhaustion or maybe even death, who will help you when all of your rights have been taken away? If we continue to let things like this happen to others, it will not be long before it happens to us. So fight when you see injustice, stand up for what you know is right. Don't let the tv lie to you, come check things out for yourself. Come support the people who are fighting for you.