9.11.11

Occupy Oakland, Tear gas, Reclaimation, General Strike

I'm not going to say much even though y'all know I talk a lot. Just that I support revolutionary change. I'm not going to attempt a run down of the Occupy movement, go google it. Protests ain't new, they ain't the BE all to END all either, rather they're a strategy among many to rally sleepy heads and to let oppressors know what time it is(we see you). There have been hella organizations, teachers, artists, musicians, regular working class folk like your momma or mine, and activists in the bay working for education, jobs, immigrant rights, freedom of speech, media objectivity, LGBTQ rights, Human Rights, etc etc. This Occupy movement, inspired by uprisings in the middle east is growing from these everyday fighters here in the bay and across the nation. I was skeptical at first, still am, but like you I am curious. So I went to an action in SF against Wells Fargo and I went down to Occupy Oakland with my son. Yes I work, yes I'm a parent, yes I have freelance shit to do, and many projects bubbling, but this is a pivotal thing happening!
See my photos from the camps before the police came in and shredded a peaceful act of protest. The photos at night are from the infamous night OPD shot teargas at all of us who were out there, and a few shots from the peoples response to the police and Mayor Jean Quan's after that. Oakland's first general strike for decades.
What has happened? Oakland joined the Occupy movement, along w/ San Francisco and several hundred other cities. People, not just hippies, but ordinary people like bus drivers, navy officers, students, etc have been sitting together through the nights at city hall breaking into groups and making decisions about how to let Oakland residents know what is up and to make demands. On a local level, Oakland has just shut down several schools. In the past year or so they've cut many jobs, cut libraries, de-funded school, the death toll from violent murders has been hovering above 100 for i don't know how many years, programs, increased police funding, and people here are pissed off. What happens if the city ignores them? Strike! I mean, if you knew half of the shit corporations like Citibank and Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs or even folks like Standard Oil have done with US tax payers money here locally and internationally...you would be real pissed off too. And they claim there's no money for basic shit? Bull! Stuff is hot out here and it's about to heat up.
On a positive note, my son, my family, mom, step father, my crew, and countless homies including some of my kids school teachers came out to the day of strike and it was a beautiful day. The media estimates 4-5000. I say there was more like 30,000 out there. Families, union workers, kids, queer folks, hood folks, folks from all over the bay came and shut the port of Oakland down. My son was so inspired, many tmes that day he began shouting with his friends all by himself. Adults and kids around us joined him and handed him a megaphone. Proud Daddy moment for sure! I don't watch much TV, and have had some shaky net access for the past month, so I'm sure there are many reports on Oakland (google it), but I like what Davey D had to say here. I'm brainstorming how I can contribute artistically to inspire and inform. The post about the TYS show we did the same week of the strike is coming up. Oh yeah, and Oakland took back the downtown occupy space after the cops tried to barracade it. For all you nay sayers and fence riders, in the words of James Brown "Get involved" if what you want to say is not being said.

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