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 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

@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

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 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.