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.