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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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

#OccupyCal UCB Chancellor Birgeneau resigns! Let's win all our demands - BAMN mtg Thursday

From: Ronald Cruz
Date: Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Subject: VICTORY: UCB Chancellor Birgeneau resigns! Let's win all our demands - BAMN mtg Thursday
To: Ronald Cruz

Victory for the Movement—Birgeneau Resigns!

Keep Fighting to Win All Our Demands!

BAMN Meeting Thursday (3/15) 7:00 pm, Room 141 Giannini Hall, UCB


In a major victory for the new student movement, UC-Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau announced today that he will resign at the end of the year. (BAMN press release below.) This has been one of the top demands of the movement. What we now need to do is fight to realize the other demands of the movement: doubling underrepresented minority student enrollment at UCB, dropping the charges against protesters, and reversing the fee hikes, cuts, and privatization at UCB.

Come to BAMN’s meeting this Thursday. Our proposed agenda is to plan two major initiatives this spring:

A. Direct Action on April 6 to demand (1) the end to the political witch-hunt and that UCB and the District Attorney drop the criminal charges against November 9 protesters and (2) immediate doubling of underrepresented minority student enrollment at UCB for this year’s incoming class.

B. Coordinating a slate for UC-Berkeley student government: the Defend Affirmative Action Party (DAAP). We need leaders in the ASUC who will be the voice of the movement to defend public education and who are committed to building the movement.  Come to Thursday’s meeting and learn more about running and supporting the DAAP slate.

- Yvette Felarca, Northern California coordinator of BAMN (Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, and Immigrant Rights and Fight for Equality By Any Means Necessary)


Movement celebrates victory today: UC-Berkeley chancellor forced to resign

Students also demand that Birgeneau withdraw the criminal charges filed against Nov. 9 protesters before he leaves
BAMN and other movement activists are celebrating the movement’s victory today forcing the resignation of UCB Chancellor Robert Birgeneau.

At the press conference will be YVETTE FELARCA, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit brought against UC-Berkeley for police brutality from November 9, BAMN’s Northern California coordinator, and now a defendant facing criminal charges from Birgeneau and the Alameda County District Attorney for being at the November 9 protest.

“The new student movement demanding the preservation of public education and the restoration of affirmative action has won a major victory today,” Felarca said. “Chancellor Birgeneau’s resignation has been one of the top demands of the movement ever since he authorized police to beat me and countless other protesters who were standing up for public education on November 9, 2011. Birgeneau had to go. No chancellor can survive after doing what he did to his own students.”

“Birgeneau’s resignation is a confession that his policies of privatization, police brutality, and prosecutions have been a disaster,” said Monica Smith, BAMN attorney representing many protesters from November 9. “Before he leaves, he needs to withdraw the criminal charges he has brought against November 9 protesters and bring this political witch hunt to an end.”

“This victory is the result of the increased social power that students now have to determine the character of our education and the policies of this society,” said Matt Williams, UC-Berkeley senior and BAMN organizer. “On April 6, 2012, students will take direct action to double underrepresented minority student enrollment for the fall class and demand that all charges stemming from the November 9 protest be withdrawn and dropped—UC-Berkeley is a public university and must be democratically run and opened up to all of California.” 



this came from the BAMN email announcements list.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

#OccupyTheMail #NationalSolidarityCall from #OWS

So we were brainstorming because the United States Postal Service union came up to ask for support and solidarity on March 17th. As you know, March 17th is the 6th anniversary of Occupy Wall Street, so we said that we would stand in solidarity with them but it'll be a busy day...

A few of us got to brainstorming...
What could we do to show solidarity to a huge union that stands in support of us?

The idea:
Get an #Occupy Pen pal!  (Or 2 or 3)
Write a letter!
Send it! 
Write #OccupyWallStreet or #OccupyOakland or #OWS or #OO on the back!

Ideas that we are working on:
Create some kind of preparation kit to give to people who are interested
Postage stamps (Custom Occupy Stamps, or maybe have a stamp drive to get stamps for interested parties)
Post Cards (Have a postcard drive or custom made Occupy postcards)
A pen + Paper
Possibly an address that we can give to a potential pen pal!
As long as the USPS can tell that it's from Occupy, we feel that it will build great support and community with this particular Union, and since they seem to be very involved with a lot of the communities that they deliver mail to could prove to be a good form of outreach as well. They'll see the occupy name on every letter that is being sent (and we can even add a message like #OO Stand in Solidarity with the USPS or something on the back) So that they know we are doing what we can to support them. 

Imagine if everyone #Occupier was to send out at least one letter per week (or even two to three!) to another #Occupier. What kind of message would that send to the United States Postal Service as a message of solidarity from us to them? 

Launch Date: March 17th

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Final Comments on #OOMedia - Bottom Line. SO WHAT?!

Ok fine. I see I have to write a response to this #OOMedia shit even if I don't want to.

Here it is. First of all, I don't even care that much. I'm autonomous media and from an outside perspective it just looks like a bunch of people who stopped getting along had a power struggle and this is what came of it. However, let me touch on a couple more points because after this I'm done and don't want to hear anything else about it. I would RATHER FOCUS ON THE POLITICAL PRISONERS THAT NEED TO BE FREED!

1) The media committee was. Legitimized by the consensus process of GA. That means a group of people came together to ask permission to do shit they could be doing on their own anyway.

2) the GA approved the group and they colaborated to build a site. That site is official because it was put together by the legitimized media group.

3) SOME writers came together and wrote an article weak in the facts department and heavy in the pointing fingers at an individual within the movement. That was wrong. With the gravity of this situation and the accusations being INDIRECTLY made, more research should have been put in AND when the facts were FOUND (more than 1 confirmation of this) those facts that were in opposition of the article were denied/rejected/not published and it was pursued anyway.

Now comes the issue of accountability

Should the individuals who signed it be held accountable? Well if that were an option it might have been employed, however, because some wish to remain anonymous we have no clue who that is.

Why are people defending them rather than saying it was wrong? There has still been no apology. Everyone is attacked who think this was childish and foolish by not the individuals who are known to have written and publish it, but others in the media group. This makes me wonder if you are the anonymous ones.

Also, for all the talk of abuse. It constantly seems that the self proclaimed pacifists are the ones constantly waging rhetorical war on those they do not agree with which is both hypocritical and decidedly more dangerous to the sustainability and growth of the movement. This is people breaking up the movement on their own.

With the "transparency" and openness of Occupy, or at least what Occupy is supposed to be there are several infiltrators, undercover agents etc in our midsts. Guess what? You probably don't know who the hell they are! Stop all this constant fear mongering and fighting.

Imagine what we could be accomplishing if we weren't all biting each others heads off over articles on the Internet while vicious lies are printed all the time anyway.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Federal Receivership: Good or Bad for Occupy Oakland?

There has been a lot of talk about federal receivership for the Oakland Police Department in the past few weeks, and considering much of the readily available content online via YouTube, various blogs, and live streams, many would say that is a well deserved fate for many recorded incidents.

Thinking about all the defensive statements from Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan, one would be inclined to think that the Occupy Oakland protesters are really crazy and/or violent and should be jailed, or forcibly put in mental institutions for their behavior. It’s unfortunate that these same individuals have the power to send out highly publicized press releases that broadcast their damaging statements against people demanding social change and governmental responsibility at the very least.

However, there are some interesting facts that I have yet to see covered on CNN, or other means of Corporate Media....

For More please visit: http://ripperhollow.com/federal-receivership-good-bad-occupy-oakland/

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Did the Bill Of Rights Ever Mean Anything?

There is freedom of speech and right in there is freedom of the press. The press are supposed to be able to film and/or be close enough to record the names of individuals when they are arrested. This being said, I am curious about the individuals wearing press badges, who have self identified as press and been recognized as such and have been arrested covering Occupy Oakland protests. Is this legal when the Constitution protects them being close enough to adequately document the events taking place?

Is it only my opinion that the highest law in the land is the Constitution? The reason I ask this question is because the press is supposed to be able to document so why is it that journalists get charged for things like CA penal code 647c (malicious obstruction of a sidewalk) when standing on the sidewalk filming police activity? Not just journalist but being that the freedom of the press is under the First Amendment granting freedom of speech to the citizens, are they not granted those same rights when documenting even if for their own purposes? This article is particularly disturbing Arresting someone for loitering is trivial and doesn't trump the freedoms granted by the First Amendment. So how is it these laws are being enforced and upheld by the judicial system in the form of stay away orders?

For those of you who think these Constitutional violations have only been occurring with the Occupy Movement, know that they have been happening in the past as well in many other places aside from Oakland. In New York a woman was arrested for filming an officer from her home. That article can be read here Something has to be done before even the facade of a democracy and Civil Liberties fades away. Let's stand up as a people and do what needs to be done to save our rights from our government.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

@BellaEiko Speaks on Measure Y - #J17 #OakMtg

So here is a copy of my speech to City Council on Jan 17th. Hope you like and go out to speak at your next City Council Meeting. It doesn't guarantee that things are going to get fixed right away but it does help hold the people you voted for responsible for the decisions they make.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Obama breaks FDA ties with Monsanto - Occupy Goals pursued in Politics?

President Obama appointed former Monsanto vice president and lobbyist Michael Taylor as senior advisor to the Food and Drug Administration commissioner.

This is a classic example of the fox guarding the henhouse. President Obama should isolate the FDA from corporate influence by asking Taylor to step down immediately.

That's why I created a petition to President Obama on SignOn.org. Click here to add your name, and then pass it along to your friends:


The petition says:

President Obama, I oppose your appointment of Michael Taylor, a former VP and lobbyist for Monsanto, the widely criticized genetically modified (GM) food multinational, as senior advisor to the commissioner at the FDA. Taylor is the same person who as a high ranking official at the FDA in the 1990s promoted allowing genetically modified organisms into the U.S. food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety or risks. This is a travesty. 

Taylor was in charge of policy for Monsanto's now-discredited GM bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is opposed by many medical and hospital organizations. It was Michael Taylor who pursued a policy that milk from rBGH-treated cows should not be labeled with disclosures. Michael Taylor and Monsanto do not belong in our government. 

President Obama, Monsanto has been seen as a foe to family-based agriculture, the backbone of America, by introducing dangerous changes to plants and animals and by using strong-arm legal tactics against farmers for decades. Naturally occurring plant and animal species are permanently threatened by the introduction of DNA and hormonal modification, Monsanto's core businesses. 

FDA scientists once regarded genetic modification of the food supply as the single most radical and potentially dangerous threat to public health in history. As early as the 1991, a body of scientific research began to form which now includes articles in over 600 journals. As a whole, these offer scientific evidence that GM foods, hormones, and related pesticides are the root cause for the increase of many serious diseases in the U.S. Since GM foods were introduced, diagnosis of multiple chronic illnesses in the U.S. has skyrocketed. These illnesses include changes in major organs and in hormonal, immune, digestive, and reproductive systems. These modifications to foods and food production may also be contributors to colon, breast, lymphatic, and prostate cancers. 

Experts are discouraged that regulators and GM companies systematically overlook potential side effects of GM. Monsanto's objective to use biotechnology to change the world's food supply is the opposite policy direction your administration should pursue. Your legacy of supporting Monsanto to have free rein in U.S. food policy is a nightmare scenario that is against the interest of all Americans and world citizens.

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



–Frederick Ravid

The text above was written by Frederick Ravid, 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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Sunday, February 5, 2012

Safer Spacer Healing Circle with Occupy!!

Dearest Safer Spacers!

Please join us this Sunday, February 5, 6:30-8:30pm for a Healing
Circle for Occupy Activists with:

Starhawk, and fellow healers Luisah Teish, Riyanna, George Franklin,
Evelie Delfino Sales, and more.

In recent weeks, activists with the Occupy movement have been hard-hit
by police violence, arrest and imprisonment. Join us in a safe space
to acknowledge, release and heal from the pain, fear, rage and trauma,
so we can come back stronger. In sacred space, we can connect from the
heart. Open to those of all spiritual persuasions—or none at all!
Sponsored by Occupy Oakland Safer Spaces.

Oakland Peace Center
Fellowship Hall 29th St. at Fairmount
BART 19th St. Station
51A Bus

Safer Spaces contact: Erica psychrights@gmail.com

@OakTownMike Gives His Position of Streaming Protests!

Our Position on Livestreaming Protest Depends on Our Theory of Social Change
By Michael Siegel (@OaktownMike)
I have recently found myself in an online discussion with various people involved in publishing live video footage of Occupy Oakland protests.  At issue is whether it is fair to call a person a police informant or “snitch” if they broadcast footage of protesters committing unlawful acts.
Of course, because we are having this conversation over Twitter, and not across a table, the tone of our conversation is regrettably hostile, and probably not productive.  I thank @BellaEiko for inviting us to publish commentary via her blog.
Stepping back from our back and forth, and looking at the bigger picture of law enforcement, electronic surveillance, Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the prison industrial complex, I realize that the dispute within Occupy Oakland regarding livestreaming is really a proxy for the political divisions that are increasingly emerging within our movement.
I would characterize this division as a split between liberals and radicals.
The radical position here is a belief that the law is illegitimate, in whole or in part, and that our movement has no interest in exposing our people to police investigation or incarceration.
The liberal position requires a certain amount of faith in the law, and a belief that certain lawbreakers within Occupy Oakland (i.e., property vandals or bottle throwers) are properly subject to criminal sanctions.
Thus, whereas a radical videographer would decline to film certain conduct by protesters, and would change focus if inadvertent filming occurred, the liberal videographer would continue filming.  The former would believe that there is no good reason to expose anyone to police prosecution.  The latter would assert that each of us chooses whether or not to commit criminal acts, and to the extent that we do so, we are rightly exposed to incarceration.
The radical position is founded in a belief the law in the United States is illegitimate, in whole or in part.  From this view, the system is founded upon selective law enforcement, designed to benefit the 1% and a white supremacist ruling class.  The law is corrupt because it began with the genocide of sovereign peoples, because it justified chattel slavery and indentured servitude, and because it applies post-Civil War civil rights laws to provide increasing power for corporations and their elite backers.  The prison system – the ultimate destination for those subject to police enforcement – is a gulag of political prisoners and victims of race and class-based oppression.
The liberal position, on the other hand, must begin with a faith in our ability to manipulate the current economic, legal, and political system in a way that is fair.  In this vision, we are a few reforms away from an equitable society; the police are largely performing necessary functions on behalf of the community; and the prison system is largely populated by people who deserve to be there.  The liberal argues that, to the extent that a protester injures an innocent party, the law will give them a just consequence.
Now, I say all of this, while favoring a more radical position, but also acknowledging that we have a real issue within the Occupy movement, in the sense that there is not accountability for people who violate community agreements or expose other participants to unwanted criminal sanctions.
But to develop accountability as a movement, we need to nurture the bonds of solidarity.  We need to develop common agreements and processes of restorative justice.  We need to develop an organization, or multiple organizations, where we provide each other with mutual aid and support, and also criticism and accountability.
Accountability does not involve exposing our people to incarceration or even deoprtation.  The prison-industrial complex rehabilitates almost no one, and instead perpetuates an unjust social order that we, as a movement, have committed to resist.
I hope that livestreamers within the Occupy movements will balance ideals of “freedom” and “transparency” with a real appreciation for the consequences of their documentation.  The police agents that watch these streams are directed to pursue a particular agenda – one that has failed to create a safe or equitable society.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Response to MotherJones Article http://bit.ly/x95Kti

I am writing this before school to clear a couple things up. Not to bash the author of this article for I don't think he did a horrible job based on our conversation. There are a few things however I would like to clear up so he we go.

1) "Many of the Oaklanders see it as their duty to fight back. In October, Oakland police critically injured a peaceful protester, the former marine Scott Olsen, when a projectile shot from police lines at an Occupy march downtown fractured his skull. Video shows police lobbing a flash-bang grenade into a group of protesters who were trying to help him. "The police are being paid to protect them, but they're attacking them," says Jessica, a 28-year-old Occupy Oakland member who tweets under the name @BellaEiko. "Most people feel that kind of nullifies the contract.""

The contract I speak of is the social contract that basically is the permission given by the people to be policed and pay for it with their tax dollars. This contract seems to be invalid within the City of Oakland whether it is Occupy related or not. When more people feel victimized, criminalizes or intimidated by the police who are supposed to protect them, the social contract is terminated organically. This will be seen in the reactions of citizens, and has been seen. With the Oakland Riders case, and the federal take over in a few weeks, obviously there are problems with the Oakland Poice Department as a whole. One has to wonder how much good will a federal take over be anyway. The Occupy Wall Street movement gained momentum and continues the fight against corporate greed & GOVERNMENTAL CORRUPTION. So if the entire government is corrupt, how much help can Oakland really expect to get?

2) "The upshot is that ballot measures to put more cops on the street are a tough sell in Oakland even when crime is high. And to this day, many Oakland residents equate calling the police to snitching. "You can see the Black Panther mindset becoming more and more present in the Occupy movement by the actions that are being taken during the marches," says the occupier Jessica, who is black. "On Saturday, for example, when the police came out with shields and gas masks, there were protesters out there that had shields and gas masks. They were ready as well. You can see that the militant stance of the Black Panther Party is being emulated. It may actually, at some point, graduate to the carrying of firearms.""

So, I was talking about self defense. I was talking about the fact that the protesters had shields and masks, and the police had guns along with smoke bombs and teargas. You can see the self defense mindset of the Black Panther Party arriving from the abuses the police department subjects protesters to. I don't think Occupy will ever be about violence, it isn't now. What I was talking about was the probability of people using 2nd Amendment rights to protect the 1st. It's all about self defense. Unfortunately the people are protesting against those in power of not only the place and govnment, but media as well. This allows for lies to be spouted in the mainstream media to make it seem like the police were responding to violence instead of instigating it (once gain, not attacking Josh Harkinson). Instead, maybe I should have been more clear about this, over a span of years if the voices of the people continue to be muted, the attacks on protesters continue to elevate in violent nature, and the media continue to lie about what's happening; then yes I think it might graduate to the 2nd Amendment being used. Like a line of legally armed, well trained militia just standing there looking at the police making sure they don't attack those who are gathered peacefully. There is nothing illegal, or bashing in that statement. No endorsement for violence should be interpret here. If anything this is a possible and legal way to make the violence stop.

When I was growing up, my Dad used to say to me "If there are 2 men in a room and only 1 of them has a gun, then only 1 of them has the respect. But if they both have guns, there is equal respect in the room." The alternative to this is to only let the police have tasers and pepper spray, but we have seen examples of that not going very well either. Some may or may not agree with this analogy, but this is my opinion and I'm entitled to it. I welcome the discussion in comments about gun rights, ownership and proper time for using it to defend yourself.

3) "While critics complain that many militant protesters come from outside of Oakland and don't have its best interests at heart, occupiers like Jessica see room in the movement for a "diversity of tactics," especially ones that target property owned by the 1 percent."

When things got trashed at the Oscar Grant marches, I thought that was crazy. Why do that? This is the Occupy Movement, against corporate greed. So although, you're not going to catch me breaking a window out, I can still understand that corporations are being attacked. In all ways possible, by all types of people. Corporations are multinational, so a Bank of America in San Francisco is the same as one in New York. Even if the 99%ers that work there are nice and hand things out to protesters, some still just hate the corporation you work for andso it's a target regardless.

The more interesting and in my opinion productive question to ask here is how does Occupy hurt the 1% without hurting those who have to work for them to pay to afford their lives? This is why it's so difficult to get and keep community support. Strikes that shut down jobs make it so people aren't making the money they planned to. With most living paycheck to paycheck this is not the best side effect. However, there are some jobs and products and services that have had a sudden spike. Coffee, battery packs, bandwidth etc are all in high demand among other things like gas masks, vinegar and chalk.

4) "You can see the Black Panther mindset becoming more and more present in the Occupy movement by the actions that are being taken during the marches," says the occupier Jessica, who is black. "

Ok so I know that I have dark skin, I'm not saying that I'm ashamed of being part Black and all but I don't really appreciate the written "Jessica, who is black" comment. I was raised by my Grandmother who was Japanese. So if anyone wants to use my cultural background to solidify a point I was making as my observation, please clarify how I identify. I am Creole and Japanese. I can trace my family from both sides to the original settlers. I have black blood because like many here I have slave blood. I had to address this statement because my skin color has nothing to do with the fact that I have made this observation. I would say it was more my ability to think critically after analyzing a situation.

Do I regret doing the interview and the things that were said? No. It's my opinion based on basic speculation for one possibility of the future.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another Note on #BlackBloc & #PropertyDamage w/in the #OccupyMovement

‎"One does not and cannot 'negotiate' with brutality, nor give it the benefit of the doubt. The moral absolute should be: if and when, in any dispute, one side *initiates* the use of physical force, that side is wrong--and no consideration or discussion of the issues is necessary or appropriate." - Ayn Rand

Black bloc should not be blamed for self defensive tactics after first being pressed by OPD. The more people who are brave enough to see the violence first hand, and get caught up in it may change their perspective. Those who use physical force against nonviolent Occupiers are wrong. Any defensive action taken is not, and should not be unexpected. It should also not be judged.

Property Damage

It is a movement against corporate greed. Why are people defending banks, coffee conglomerates, and car dealerships that are being targeted by some protesters? Personal property should be off limits as the movement is fighting for economic justice. Thus fighting for the people. Let's discuss what black bloc really is and what it isn't. That clarification must be made. Let's also continue the what is self defense conversation. I think that's the way to clear this entire mess up.

I could be wrong, but let's give it a try before we let the movement die because of it.

About the fact that property damage hurts the under paying jobs of the 99%

Yes this is true.it is an unfortunate backlash of fighting against the 1% who is in control of many of the jobs that a catering to a systematic oppression based on the fact that people aren't being paid a livable wage. So by trying to hurt the profit of corporations, there are going to be 99%ers put in the crossfire so to speak. This is why we need to build more bridges.

If more people were willing to make sacrifices to have the movement sustain then the major actions, and some other tactics may be slightly more accepted. Not only that but I have a new question. What about how the rigid nonviolent stance otherizes and mutes the voices of those who have been systematically oppressed so long that they want to protest in ways tht you aren't comfortable with? Is this going to be how the movement becomes the house divided and the law enforcement agencies that are corrupt and the government and corporations can just watch people fight among theirselves; creating yet another distraction so that the bigger problem is not focused on and can be modernized yet again when our attention is on each other instead of corporate greed and governmental corruption?

I just want to find balance, be inclusive and work on all the problems. I don't think we should be judging each other so much as trying to understand each other. Work together instead of fighting.... That's what benefits us most in my opinion.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A New Perception on #FTP & #BlackBloc within #OccupyOakland

Well, I've been sitting here thinking about the events on Saturday Jan 28th and I can't help but see how there may have been a perception shift within Occupy Oakland and the BlackBloc tactics that have been so controversial in the past. Before we can get into the shift, lets first talk about the original perception.

From what I gather talking with Occupiers and sitting at some general assembilies, there were mixed emotions. Some people were adamantly against the blackbloc tactics while others thought it was a little cool even though they wouldn't do it themselves and of course there were the outright supporters. After the start of FTP (Fuck the Police march held every Saturday night)in response to the violence the Oakland Police Department has subjected the Occupy supporters to during the course of the almost 6 month old protest; the divide in opinions about blackbloc tactics deepened. This happened because of the bottle throwing that made many marchers be kettles by police and then chased several blocks by riot police. I think this divide is organically dissipating.

On Saturday many peaceful protesters who were not necessarily supporters of the blackbloc tactics seem to be more grateful for the shields, vinegar, malox and other defensive supplies that come from the blackbloc tactics as well. I saw the march to move in turn into a FTP march because of the violence that the protesters encountered. I almost think it helped merge the people who were previously split because now some people who have been against some tactics are aware of the fact that they are not against them all. Here may be the organic beginning of a warmer embrace to the diversity of tactics :)

Not that I'm for violence. I'm not, but I'm not a pacifist I do think I have the right to defend myself in the event of severe violence. Especially if it is unjust, like I didn't commit a violent crime deserving of a violent response. I'm sure most feel that exact same way, and the way the march turned into FTP hours before it was scheduled because of what was happening was pretty telling in my opinion. I think this push into acceptance will allow for more a more open minded approach to the decisions made within the movement from this point on.

A good example of preemptive decision making, it seems equally fortunate that the General Assembly decided to move to 19th & Telegraph because there was a statement that almost 100 protesters that were arrested on Saturday are also under a threat of a stay away order. Well. Unfortunately the stay away could be from the entire area of Downtown Oakland. That s a new blog post altogether though so I'm going to move on.

The point that I wanted to make with this blog is that Occupy is a truly inclusive movement. There is room for all types of different autonomous action as long as it has the same goal. When the militarization of the police department is successfully dealt with Occupy Oakland is going to probably look more like Occupy Wall Street, but may be forced to approach it differently than other occupations. There needs to be a discussion about what property damage is, what violence is, and what self defense is.

Once these different conversations get started, I can imagine that many people would start to see how their viewpoints may actually be more similar than they all believe. Making it to where the infighting about FTP and blackbloc tactics will quiet down. They might quiet down because the understanding that self defense is necessary will be understood. Those who are more responsible will understand that there isn't much that you can do about people who want to throw bottles and fruit randomly after being tear gassed or having smoke grenades thrown at them. People will start to understand that the political movement that has corporate greed as a target, might break a window at Bently or Starbucks. Spray paint the City Hall where abusive orders come out of from the Mayors office with obscene messages that are sure to be seen since the heartfelt cries of concerned citizens & Occupiers are ignored at City Council meetings, and through the form of emails and complaints to representatives and the Internal Affairs department of the Oakland Police Department.

Although I understand these tactics, I don't partake in them. I just can understand and without criminalizing those who feel strongly enough for that to be their desired way of protesting. I can understand that some may also feel as if picket signs get ignored because the world is so well adjusted to injustice. Maybe that is a part of the "imagine a new world" scenario. The one in which instead of sitting there like sheep, people are fighting back in any way they can to secure economic justice. To address police misconduct all the way to the abusive department policies and the way rights are infringed upon while protesting against governmental corruption and corporate greed.

Monday, January 30, 2012

My Response to the Official Oakland City Council posting about #J28

The first thing I would like to say is that yesterday was about giving back to the community. In my opinion, it was a symbolic action as it should have been known that the Oakland Police Department would enforce eviction. I didn't expect them to even allow possession of any property, that becomes the understatement of the year after the events from last night.

In response to the official statement, I am going to first put what was said and then give a response. These statements can be found at http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca/groups/ceda/documents/pressrelease/oak033083.pdf

1) "Ms. Santana outlined the damage that protesters inflicted to Oakland’s historic City Hall which included breaking an interior window to a Hearing Room, tipping over and seriously damaging the historic model of City Hall, destroying a case containing a model of Frank Ogawa Plaza, breaking into the fire sprinkler and elevator automation closet, stealing the flags from the grand staircase landing and burning one flag in front of City Hall."

No where in here does it say that children's art was destroyed. I'm also hard pressed to find images of the destruction of children's art released to mainstream media. Also, upon several of my own interviews I found out that the doors to City Hall were open (as they usually are before 9pm on a Saturday). There is usually a guard on staff, and the later it gets MOST of the doors are locked but not all. So I'm more inclined to believe the claims of Occupiers at this point than the Mayor. This seems to be dependent upon her credibility which is fading with me and many in the city of Oakland.

About the "damage inflicted to Oakland's Historic City Hall" most of the people feel like their Civil Liberties are being destroyed by the government, so any burning of the flag, or symbolic way of expressing disrespect for the very government that is supposed to protect the rights that the people feel are violated is not only to be expected, it also seems appropriate (not to mention the Supreme Court ruled it was Constitutional and the was Civil Linerties are being trampled on I can understand the protest). There have been people who have sustained broken bones, been beaten, dragged through the street, arrest and violated through intrusive searches, pepper sprayed, teargassed, snatched off the street and arrested for nothing (like really, not the guilty nothing. The real just walking down the street nothing). Press is even being arrested for filming and trying to comply to aggressive officers giving very unclear orders. Not only that but let's be real here, a building window and a statue are not people so why use such a sensitive way to describe the property damage? These are tax payers who broke the window, and their tax dollars will obviously fix it. Regardless of what people think, most within the support circle of Occupy do have jobs and if they are paying for the police to sit around and play angry birds until the next impending raid, then I guess they are willing to chip in on a window too.

The fact that people don't know why things are getting broken is what surprises me. How much can people take really? I guess the Oakland Police Department and Mayor Quan are determine to find out.

2) "The City’s Public Works staff has been working diligently throughout the day to remove offensive graffiti by power washing the hardscape in Frank Ogawa Plaza, removing debris from City Hall and Plaza area and fixing the damaged sprinkler system."

Some of the "offensive graffiti" was also things like The photo that I just tried to upload from this iPad (hope you can see it) saying all you need is love. Many of the drawings were done by children, and adults. These are the community projects happening. What is not said is how all of those drawings were power sprayed off the sidewalk, but all the trash and dirt that was kicked up from the crevices in the sidewalk were allowed to just sit there in a pile to be cleaned by whomever took it upon themselves to do so as the city workers trucks pulled away. It all seemed like a waste, because the obscene language was spray paint and it wasn't coming off.
An interesting thing to think about is oil based chalk... But I'm sure they have some sort of fancy tax dollar cleaner to get it all up regardless.

About the broken sprinkler system. It needs to be broken. The amount of water that is being sprayed into the stupid lawn is turning it into a mud pit where only the huge rats can run over. It's disgusting, and a big waste of money ESPECIALLY knowing how much water bills are these days. It's these type of tactics that are not exactly working, nor are they cost effective. Why is it that the flowers and the garden weren't allowed to stay? Instead have a mud pit that serves no purpose except keeping people off of it in a public park? It doesn't quite make sense...

3) "“It became clear that the objective of this crowd was not to peacefully assemble and march, but to seek opportunity to further criminal acts, confront police, and repeatedly attempt to illegally occupy buildings,” said Chief Jordan.
Chief Jordan also noted that the response to Occupy activities was accomplished while the department received 1,776 calls for service – including 482 calls to 911 – and while maintaining the City’s ongoing strategy of addressing violent crime in the 5% of Oakland neighborhoods where 90% of the crime occurs. “Personnel and resources dedicated to Occupy reduce our ability to focus on public safety priorities,” said Chief Jordan."

Ok so the whole march was about a move in to a secret building. It was an occupation. College student Joshua Hewitt was escorted off of campus from Chabot College for passing out flyers inviting people to check it out if they were interested. So it didn't "become clear" that was how the march was portrayed. People were marching to the occupation of a building. Even on the flyer, it starts to talk about the fact that there are more vacant homes than homeless people. If that's not clear, then whoever is investigating Occupy needs to go back to school, assuming that the school that's offering classes isn't full and defunded. While Mr. Jordan claims that the demand for presence is needed at Occupy and that it reduces the ability to cover crime elsewhere, he seems to forget that the Oakland Police Department has long since stopped responding to public safety before an hour was up years ago. In some cases, not even showing up. So to claim that Occupy is the reason, is to place all the fault of a traditionally irresponsible police department on a movement that has only been around for a few months. IF the police had been doing their job and protecting the people in Oakland all this time, why did all of these people continue to show up? I think that the people of Oakland are desensitized to the violence in a way that allows them to say it happens every day anyway, so they might as well come fight against it with Occupy. For people who are supposed to protect and serve the community, it sure seems like many in the community do not regard them as public servants to say the least.

4) "Yesterday, a crowd of 500 protesters unsuccessfully attempted to break into the historic Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center, members of the crowd charged skirmish lines at Oak Street and pelted officers with bottles, metal pipe, rocks, spray cans, improvised explosive devices and burning flares. The Oakland Police Department deployed smoke, tear gas and beanbag projectiles in response to this activity."

Ok so I had a lot of fun until I realized the march was about to be split up and have no choice but to funnel through the Laney Junior College campus in Oakland on 9th & Fallon. By fun I mean riding on the truck and filming a really good view of the crowd who were all dancing and singing, eating, talking and otherwise socializing. Once the crowd funneled through the college because of police blockades on every other possible route, we were met by the police in riot gear divided by a deep trench. The police had on their riot gear minus the shields at this point, and we're announcing that gathering by the Henry J Kaiser building was an illegal assembly. Coupled with that announcement was a threat of physical force and the use of chemical agents which would likely lead to injuries. We were given 1 minute to vacate an area that took more than 5 to leave.

Before anyone could really leave because of how large a crowd was present, the officers deployed a smoke bomb, or grenade. I don't know what it's called, it I'm sure those of you who have seen video have seen the white smoke. That is the smoke bomb that I'm referring to, which I later found out was military grade. This did not motivate people to leave the area, even though they were planning on moving on. The threat of violence made people stay, which I understand. It was civil disobedience. Someone got pretty mad and threw an orange at the police, while others tore down a fence. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm not the most agreeable person after having a smoke bomb shot at me. I think some of the people there felt the same way. So you see, the protesters threw fruit after being shot at. I'd say it's pretty clear who the aggressors were.

After that there was another blockade when protesters left the area father about 5-10 minutes. The police were there every step of the way, very aggressively snatching people down, beating people with batons and shooting rubber bullets at the make shift shields made from garbage can halves. I saw a woman get thrown to the ground right in front of me and an officer run up and draw a large rifle, shotgun looking thing on her. I begged him not to shoot her at which point and time he raised up his gun and trained it on me. I screamed for him not to shoot again. This was all happening so fast, and as press standing on the sidewalk with my press pass, I couldn't believe that we would be chased down for documenting the event. I put all of this here so that people can know that the violence was not on belhlaf of the protesters on many occassions, but the officers.

5) "After ignoring a dispersal order, at approximately 6:30 pm, protesters invaded the YMCA and were arrested.
Simultaneously, a different group of protesters burnt an American flag in front of Oakland City Hall before breaking into the historic building and damaging property. Arrests were made"

Ok so, in front of the YMCA there was a dispersal notice given. Yes there was. [CORRECTION, THERE WAS NOT A DISPERSAL NOTICE, THERE WAS AN ANNOUNCEMENT STATING THAT PEOPLE HAD NEGLECTED TO DISPERSE AND WOULD BE ARRESTED, ]However, it was also very clear at that point that the police had no intention upon letting people go the entire night. Both 23rd as well as 24th & Broadway were blocked off by several police officers in a line backed by more vehicles on the 24th side than 23rd. Many people rushed up to the stairs of the YMCA while others stayed out in the street and on the sidewalk in front. Media (by media I mean Citizen Journalists) were in the crowd scattered about to get footage for viewers. Interestingly enough there are a lot of stories saying that people broke into the YMCA this is not true. There is video footage of people begging to get in and being let in, not breaking the door down.

So the protesters found a way to disperse, that is the point here because the police did not provide a way. Another interesting fact is that the only thing that was declared as unlawful assembly was at Henrey J Kaiser, 19th & Telegraph (protesters had to tear down the fence to disperse because a way was not provided at that instance either) and then later at 14th & Broadway. The police just said they would arrest people in front of the YMCA, they were not given a chance to leave. The sad part about what im saying is, the police chased people around and turned a peaceful assembly into a frantic chase. Where the protesters had to beg to be let in so that they could have a chance to escape to safety. This is called systematic oppression, especially when the mayor and interim make statements to criminalize the people they are oppressing while put in a position to help and protect the citizens. Not to mention a total violation af 1st Amendment rights.

6) "The City of Oakland received mutual aid from the following law enforcement agencies: the California Highway Patrol; Sheriff’s Departments of Alameda County, San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, San Francisco County and Marin County; the cities of Fremont, Hayward, Berkeley, Pleasanton, San Francisco and Union City/Newark; and the University of California-Berkeley"

The city of Oakland has to pay $1000/day/officer for the Alameda County Sherrfis Department. There were several of them there. I was told by the PIO (Thomason I believe) that if it is emergency mutual aid the it comes as no cost. I will have to look into this when I don't have homework and there isn't an Occupy event or impending raid to film. I don't even want to get into how much it costs for every one else. But it makes me think, was this Mayor Quans way of getting help for FTP without paying for it if this is true?

Chabot College and Hayward residents, know that Hayward police came tonight in swat vehicles and full on riot gear. So the next time Occupy Oakland shows up in support of something in Hayward, or does an action there don't be mad. This is not the first time the Hayward Police department has come to give mutual aid in Oakland related to Occupy matters. Know that this has not gone unnoticed.

Berkeley, I couldn't have sworn that the mutual aid contract between you and Oakland was done and over with. What were you even doing there? Is it because you had such a great experience the last time you handled this situation? The presencen of this department had to be one of the most surprising.

Anyway, it's almost 2 in the morning and I have school. I just wanted to clear up a few facts from what I saw the entire time I was out there I will be happy to elaborate and invite comments always. Thank you to all who watch my stream and read the blog.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Facebook comments about Chabot College

So I can't help but notice some of the comments by people on the thread telling people to stop bitching when protecting their rights. If people feel the need to express themselves about their rights being violated, how exactly is that wrong? I want to clear up some things.

1) When Josh was escorted of campus by security he missed classes as a result. He was threatened with arrest which made him be under a temporary albeit not official suspension. Not to mention there is video of the security guards telling him he is suspended so for everyone who feels as if their an expert on that, go ahead and explain it away because you're still well adjusted to the injustice happening. That's fine, but know that it's falling on deaf ears now. Thank you.

2) Occupy Oakland was there as a result. Period. Now while I don't always agree with everyone's preferred way of protest, I still can be open minded enough to see the point there. I think it's ridiculous that people would ignore someone who has taken to yelling in a quad. How do you ignore what's being said if its that important to someone? Have people become that heartless where you have to comply to a certain way of complaining about a relevant issue so that people will care? I'm sure if a police officer went to their home and told them to not leave any more stupid ass comments on Facebook or twitter or else they would be subject to arrest all of a sudden the situation would be different. Nobody mentioned the fact that we had met another student who this had happened to because she was passing out flyers about sickle cell. She was really passionate about it because her daughter suffers from it. The response was to escort her off campus and to make her miss classes because of a temporary and forced suspension. Nobody wants to admit that it is a problem.

3) Since when does policy run your life? The last time I checked we have a democracy where the people have a say. This if a policy is corrupt and/or abusive you have the right (supposedly) to do something about it. Especially in California! How is it that protesting an outdated and abusive policy is wrong? Why is it not patriotic to stand up and be ready to fit for what's right?

4) Everyone needs to step back and take a breath. If someone keeps agitating me, I won't care what you're saying. Most Occupy nay Sayers understand this concept only as if applies to them. They don't understand that if they agitate an Occupier that the Occupier will probably think the same way. I frankly don't appreciate some of the things that are being said, and I am much more agreeable when not being agitated by people who want me to understand their perspective.

Here are some of the comments that have spurred this. They can feel free to comment on this blog as well..

Belal Assef: listen i dont knw wat u guys are complaining about i would have done the same thing if i was keith.WHy? Moore told the kid that he had to go to student life and get those papers stamed thats all but the kid didnt listen.. He deserved to get suspened.. In this case there is nothing to occupy or even complain=)

Belal Assef: but your not getting the point in this case.. It doesnt matter how u feel about moore he did his part.. Officer moore told him that he had to go to Student life and get the flyers stamped the guy that didnt listen to him deciced to just walk away.. He didnt follow CC rules so thats why he got suspened and on top of that arrested.. There is nothing to bitching and etc.. If the guy that got suspedned would have gone to OSL everything would have been Ok.. Its his fault the way i see it..

Joshua Scott Hewitt: Belal you can let the system keep fuckin you over and over but not me and especially if it's MY school I PAY to go to and it's PUBLIC , so maybe your not seeing the picture. I've been in school for 16 years and never have I once been suspended and who the fuck knew you could get suspended in college ? Cause I sure didn't I didn't know passing out papers of a FREE COMMUNITY event was something to get me suspended and risk arrest. I wasn't gonna say anything for how ignorant you sound but I had to

Andrew Michael Quirk: So yeah man, I'm not taking sides here, I think that information should be able to be distributed freely. I beleive in diversity of tactics. I mean it seemed like at the rally their was lacking a dialouge. Responsibility for this lies upon the student body but it also lies upon those who start the conversation. If the message sent is music blaring "fuck you". And incendiary speech that is accusatory then it automatically puts people on the defensive. They won't want to participate. Now understand also that the officers, that occupy rallies against, are there serving under the oversight of a unjust system, where the majority are grossly misunderepresented. We can all agree to this.There are ways to address this, some more effective than others. The key question is what methodology do we employ ? I say we walk in the steps of Martin Luther King or Ghandi. The tactics used today only gain us, less credibility and more illegitimacy in the eyes of the public and our student body. We have seen for too long the effects of a aggressive, misguided, impotent government, do we want to mirror that in this movement. Because this IS NOT WORKING. Time to get past the stage of anger, stop being victims and take some action steps. seriously.
21 hours ago · Like · 2

Belal Assef: OK u make a good point Andrew but do u really think that chabot college students give a crap about oakland occupy? or even wat was happening today.. noooooooooooooooooo They dont give a crap.. Im just saying bro its just a waist of time and energy casue nothing well get done..Everything well be the same..

Andrew Michael Quirk: You know, I mean don't get me twisted. I am for free speech and think people have the right to say whatever they want to say, however they want to say it, as long as it is not impeding on the rights of others. It's just I look at it. And it dosen't sit right with me. Im sick of hearing complaining, and being a victim, why not move towards sustainability,responsibility and taking action. Work within the confines of reality and make it happen. Yelling at a wall isn't going to bring it down. Of course it may rally those of us inclined to action, to tear it down, but it is only the first step.

Ryan Belden: ‎Jessica Hollie the issue needs to be understood for what it is. It isn't a matter of having to registar with an ID. it is a matter that policies were violated, and the necassary action was taken. There is a reason the majority of students don't honestly care about this. The only ones that care are the ones that want to cause trouble because for some reason it is seen as the only way to change things when history tells us otherwise. Remember to be the change you want to see you have to be that change, and if you want an anarchical world, with no laws, no rules, and a lawless nation where crimes is rampet and no one is ever punished for wrong doings, then Occupy should continue the course they are on. However, if they truley want a just world where things are equal and everyone gets a fair share the world they claim they want exisits, then the direction of Occupy in general needs to change. Yesterday was sad and pointless, it did nothing. Why do you think no one stopped and gathered? Why do you think no one walking by stopped what they were doing anf joined the rally? No one cares. Ok let me re-frase, almost nobody cares, and these days almost nobody wants to be associated with Occuppy Oakland. Those are the facts about Occupy and how people see it, sorry but that's how it is. Here is to hoping you find a better way to enact change, and here is to all of us finding a better way.

Belal Assef: I agree with ryan i mean i have said for a million times nobody especially at chabot gives a crap about the occupy.. There to busy getting an education or with ther own lifes..
about an hour ago · Like · 1

Ryan Belden: ‎Andrew Michael Quirk I agree with what you are saying but a few things. Yesterday they were impeading the rights of other students to get an education and not be interupted or disrupted. And as long as you are associated with Occupy Andrew, you will be a victim. A victim of a group of people that think they are above the law and a group of people that don't want rules, laws, or reprectutions to commintg violent acts, or acts like robbery, or distruction of property. These are people that do not understand things for what they are, and that some how violence will change things. You are a victim now Andrew, don't be a victim. Run as fast as you can from Occupy and get involved in service to really make the change that needs to be made.

Belal Assef: i mean at the end of the day the government well still be the same..
about an hour ago · Like

Vanessa Suzann Sadsad: Let me extend my earlier response: Not following campus procedure that protects the institution as a whole is bad. While a violation of ones 1st Amendment right and prejudice to do so is unjust as well as discrimination.

Let there be recognition for both and a physical occupy at Chabot for intent and NOT revenge.

I do not agree with A LOT of policy and procedure, yet, it is my own recognition that this is life and the status quo. I am still very much learning that it takes time ...and progressive change is just that ..Progressive. ---- shouting obscenities from the top of your lungs to justify a right is moot and hypocritical on the imposition of another's own rights. Yes, Chabot like that of the state and the world are cracked systems and institutions yet it is upon the individual to do that ...rise above. you play poker spy games. not suicide bombing. i've learned that you either play the game or get played.

Ryan Belden: ‎Belal Assef, right, however it isn't just at Chabot. People in genreal don't care and don't like the movement. I can prove it, the day a few months ago Occupy marched and shut down the Oakland docs, thousands of workers at the docks begged them not to do it because that would negitavly effect 73,000 jobs. They did it anyway, hurt the economy, hurt the very people they are suppsoe the be standung up for, and lost all ligitamacy. Then they decided to occupy retailers on black friday, yeah because that will hurt the corporations, it ended up hurting the average retail associate, the very people occupy are suppose to be defending. Lets get real here


I was going to post more but there's no need. Closed minded individuals are very frustrating. Like I said before, stop criticizing those who are doing something. If you don't like it, go do your own action and YOU stop your bitching.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Occupy Oakland Caravan to Longview Preparation Meeting- Sunday 4.30 at 410 14th st

Occupy Oakland Caravan to Longview Preparation Meeting- Sunday 4.30 at 410 14th st

Hello Caravaners! Occupy Oakland will be caravaning  to Longview, WA to join Occupy Portland, Occupy Seattle, Occupy Olympia, and Occupy Longview to blockade the notorious EGT ship who is busting Longshormen jurisdication. EGT is a multinational grain exporter rsponsible for economic and enviromental devastation around the world. While the date for the arrival of the ship in Longview is uncertain,it IS approaching quickly!!  Here in Oakland we need to have a preparation meeting to get ready for our caravan. We will be meeting Sunday January 22nd at 410 14th st, between Broadway and Franklin, at 4.30 (after the GA).

In this meeting we will discuss everything - how we'll be alerted, how the actual caravan will be organized and who is going with who, where we'll meet, what to bring (and not bring), what to expect during the day of action in Longview, etc. We will be hosted by Occupy Longview and Occupy Portland who are very excited to take action with Occupy Oakland!
Every chance you can get, tell people to sign up or donate at on our website occupytheegt.org !!

Thanks, see you all on Sunday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Chabot Student Kicked Off Campus for Passing out Flyers - Can't Be Anonymous

Many of you within Occupy Oakland may know Josh who is a student from Chabot College who has been a blessing to Occupy Oakland in many ways over the past few months, from bringing food and clothes to helping many events work and facilitating many rides, and more. Well today, January 19th, Josh was at school in Hayward, CA passing out flyers for an Occupy Oakland action on Jan. 28th.

While passing out the flyers he was approached by campus security (one named Nathan Moore) and told that he could not pass out the flyers without registering with the Office of Student Life first. Upon that time Josh protested having to register because he was already a student at the school who actually pays for classes and he feels as if the 1st Amendment is his right to pass out flyers to those who are interested. When I spoke with Josh he told me he didn't want to pay a fee to hang the flyers up, because to hang flyers that are not associated with a club on campus costs money even if you are a student. Upon doing a little more research with the Office of Student Life I found out that there is no fee to pass out flyers. The interesting part is that they need a copy of my photo ID and the material I'm passing out. I find that disturbing because Occupy is a political movement. Not everyone wants their name and face documented with the movement for fear of the police showing up at their door. At that point, I not only understand but also respect a persons desire to remain anonymous at their discretion.

Knowing that this was very popular on twitter soon after Josh called me, I went to speak with the Director of campus Security at Chabot College, Keith W. Stiver and he said that Josh was told that he could not come back to the campus because of the dispute that he was having with the officers and the fact that he was refusing to go register with the Office of Student Life. I should take the time to say that Josh was standing outside the campus radio station (where he works) and was just passing out the flyers, he wasn't yelling but he was passing them out to people. Mr. Stiver says he welcomes any questions or comments and left me his contact information : 510-723-6663 or you can email him at kstiver@chabotcollege.edu Anyway after being escorted off of campus Josh was then made aware of the fact that he would be contacted by Dean Gerald Shimada (which in my experience he has been a very reasonable man in the past) and he would be arrested by Hayward Police if he returns before that phone call. This is excessive, and didn't happen to me when I was suspended for almost having a more serious event on campus in the past.

Now, while I am not a fan of the way this situation was handled at all, and I do not agree that a student should have to leave a copy of their photo ID to pass out flyers when faculty does not have to. If it is going to be approved to pass out the flyers just tell me the appropriate time and place, this is something Mr. Stiver discussed with me. My thought on this was this is true, because the Supreme Court did give authority to authorize time and place for free speech, but I don't remember any stipulations about recording my identity to access that right. How is it that I can even afford to protest this as a student who is very close to graduating and cant afford to be kicked off of campus or suspended while trying to access my Constitutionally protected rights? This seems really similar to the systematic oppression that Occupy Oakland has been experiencing like the stay away orders from Frank Ogawa Plaza, in front of City Hall where they cannot access their own elected representatives. I'm not blaming the law enforcement here, I am blaming the system that has hired them to protect abusive processes on college campuses.

Do we need tents? I've never put up a tent even though I've spent countless hours every day at Occupy. So I'm not the one to ask that, but every time that conversation comes up there are some who will and some who won't agree with it. So I'm not going to answer that question, I'm going to let my viewers answer that for themselves. However, when asked the question should we reevaluate and protest this process my answer is yes. Hell yes even. Sorry, but my inner activist can't help but declare that I feel like this is some bullshit, and as a people we need to rise up against systematic oppression. However, I also embrace diversity of tactics. There are many ways to protest and reach a goal, and putting tents up in Hayward could solidify more of a working relationship between the Oakland Police Department and Hayward Police Department, which Occupy really does not want to happen. With Berkeley Police Department declaring no more mutual aid to Oakland, and Richmond Police Department seemingly following suit (a little slower but they are on their way) we don't need to make the Oakland Police Department be solidified in any of their now deemed wasteful and abusive practices. I just ask for this to be thought of for whomever is planning actions for Chabot because I know that they are coming and I don't oppose them.