Archive for the ‘Oakland’ Category

Oakland Commune Retrospective

23 January 2012

Oakland Anti-Police March Stormed and Kettled by Riot Police

7 January 2012

OAKLAND, California – At approximately 9pm on Saturday, January 7, a 200-250 person anti-police march began at Oscar Grant Plaza in response to the dozens upon dozens of arrests that have occurred over the past few weeks during vigils at the plaza. (Watch this video, recorded shortly before the march, for a description of the recent arrests. Start the video at 1hr 10min).

The marchers were able to reach the police station, but were greeted by a few hundred police. A few rocks or bottles were thrown at police, but the marchers continued to move on their way. The march zig-zagged down different roads avoiding lines of police. A half an hour later, police eventually blocked marchers and prevented them from continuing forward. A small bonfire was lit in the center of the street around 30-50m away from the police line. The police began moving forward to extinguish the flame and in that process blocked exits of bars along the street. Police then charged the crowd and tackled a few individuals and arrested them. Some demonstrators were beaten with batons, including observers. One demonstrator was shot in the face by a rubber bullet. In total 6 were arrested.

Police kettled the crowd at 9th and Washington for 15-20 minutes. Police eventually gave a dispersal warning and allowed demonstrators to leave. The crowd then regrouped at Oscar Grant Plaza.

Police appear to have targeted specific individuals. Reportedly one BART train was stopped and searched by police for fleeing demonstrators. At least one medic was arrested while giving medical attention to someone the police injured.

Update:

According to the OPD press release, “[during] the march, protesters broke patrol vehicle windows, vandalized a media van, threw bottles at the police, and lit an object on fire at the intersection of 8th Street and Washington Street.

As of 11:00 p.m., six protesters have been arrested. Offenses ranged from assaulting officers, possession of explosives, resisting/delaying officers, and vandalism. One of the protesters arrested was in possession of an explosive device described as a quarter stick of dynamite.” (via graphic journalist Susie Cagle)

Related videos:

  • PunkboyinSF
  • Oakfosho
  • Watch this video of an #OO videographer being arrested last week during a police raid on a vigil.

Related News:

  • An OccupyOakland demonstrator is facing a lifetime prison sentence and will be having a hearing in Pleasanton, California on Monday at 9am. Read more. Update: Khali’s pre-trial is set for February

Read More:

Upcoming January Events

27 December 2011

NYE – Prison Solidarity March and Party – 9pm Oscar Grant Plaza

1 Jan.Oscar Grant Memorial – 1pm Oscar Grant Plaza

7 Jan.Anti-Police Repression March – 8pm Oscar Grant Plaza

8 Jan.Feminist/Queer Block – Noon to 5pm at 19th & Telegraph

9. Jan. – American Licorice Strike/Picket – Beginning at 5am at 2477 Liston Way, Union City, CA. Additional support is needed at 2:30pm to 11pm.

19 Jan.UC Regents Meeting at UC Riverside Protest

22 Jan.Justice for Kenneth Harding Jr – Noon at Third & Palou in Bay View, SF

  • More on Kenneth Harding Jr.

28 Jan.Occupy Oakland Building Occupation – 5pm Oscar Grant Plaza

Related:

  • #OccupyOakland establishes a new encampment on Tuesday, 27 December at 21st and Mandela in West Oakland. The encampment is being called the Cypress Triangle. Update: Cypress Triangle was evicted shortly after being established, much like at many other reoccupations.

Oscar Grant Memorial: Gone But Not Forgotten

23 December 2011

West Coast Ports Shutdown

12 December 2011

OAKLAND, California — On Monday, in coordination with numerous other West Coast “occupy” groups, Occupy Oakland has blockaded the port of Oakland in an attempt to halt the flow of goods which serve to further enrich the capitalist class. These synchronized actions involve blockades in Anchorage, Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego and solidarity protests in Hawaii, Dallas, Chicago, Boston, New York, Houston and beyond; and though the event has not been endorsed by the ILWU, it was planned in solidarity with rank-and-file dock workers struggling against grain exporter EGT, which has been trying to undermine union contracts.

Early morning, before dawn, the port of Oakland was effectively blockaded by 1300-1500 demonstrators. There are around 300 protestors at each of the half-dozen Berth entry-points. The numbers continue to swell as protestors march from the West Oakland BART station. Read below for updates.

Read more:

LOS ANGELES, California — Despite uncharacteristically poor weather two brutal arrests, a rally of approximately 300-400 occupiers has shut down parts of the Port of Long Beach, which is the largest Port of entry in the United States. LBPD has announced that the demonstration is an unlawful assembly and is attempting to corral the crowd back into a near-by park (ironic, given the resources spent recently getting occupiers out of parks).

As of around 10am, demonstrators were forced to leave the intersections blocking the ports.

SAN DIEGO, California — Similar to the #OccupyLA port shut down, demonstrators blocked a terminal beginning around 6am with small crowds of approximately 150 at two intersections, a north and south gate. Police dispersed demonstrators at the south gate around 9:45am, arresting at least 4. As of 11:30am demonstrators are still rallying at the north gate, however trucks are able to get in and out of the port terminal. As of around 4pm they’ve regrouped at Chicano Park to plan for further direct actions.

Read more:

PORTLAND, Oregon — Demonstrators have been effective in shutting down two terminals of the Port of Portland, with about 400 protestors at each gate. Police are reported to be targeting specific individuals and preparing to disperse the blockade with riot gear. Later, in the evening a third terminal was also shutdown.

Read more:

BELLINGHAM, Washington — A hundred or so demonstrators have blocked commercial railroad tracks since noon; some have u-locked their necks together to prevent them from being moved. Beginning around 3pm, the demonstrators with u-locks were being arrested. Watch it live.

Around 5pm the last of the demonstrators were cleared from tracks.

Read more:

LONGVIEW, Washington — Work was cancelled today for longshoreman at the Longview port, so a small rally was held in solidarity with the west coast port shutdown.

SEATTLE, Washington — Hundreds gathered in Westlake Park around 1:30pm. As of 2:30pm, they’ve begun to march to the Port of Seattle. By around 3:15pm, a growing crowd has reached the port. Watch it live. Police are in riot gear and appear to have pepper spray and rubber bullets ready.

Read more:

Barricades erected at Port of Seattle

VANCOUVER, Canada — A few dozen attempted to block ports early in the morning on Monday, resulting in a disruption for about an hour. A rally held midday gathered more demonstrators who marched over to the port, but the police presence prevented a blockade. 5 were arrested in police confrontations.

See more:

HOUSTON, Texas — Protesters who have chained themselves together face-down on the ground, to block trucks from entering the port there have been contained and detained by police in a large inflatable tent, presumably as part of an attempt to remove and arrest them. Rumors that the tent was to be used for administering a gas of some sort appear to be mistaken; the tanks were for inflating the tent.

DENVER, Colorado — In solidarity, a handful of demonstrators from #OccupyDenver gathered in front of a Walmart distribution center in Loveland, Colorado. 13 arrests were made after demonstrators began to block a truck entering the distribution center. The demonstration ended around 5pm.

Related:

Updates:

10:06AM: Arbitrators give the official word that the Oakland port is shut down.

11:04AM: Day-shift canceled in Portland.

1pm – A few berths are open at Oakland now due to dwindling numbers blocking the port, a few scabs, and police presence. However organizers are urging people to go to the 3pm rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and march at 4pm. Alternatively, there is a march at 5pm from West Oakland BART station. Organizers are saying the 1300-1500 folks that came at 5am this morning to shut down the port were successful in shutting down the berths with ships. These ships were unable to load cargo. Around 3 were arrested at one of the berths. Live at the port. Live at Oscar Grant Plaza.

1:30pm – Port blockers in Oakland are asking for donations of food, water, usb-powered back up batteries, and beer.

3:25pm – One of the entrances to the Port of Seattle is shut down.

4:10pm – Oakland begins to march on port. The march from OGP to the port takes a little over an hour, watch it live.

5:00pm – Oakland arrives at port. In Seattle police begin to attack port blockers as they try to remove makeshift barricades. Tear gas, flashbangs, and pepper spray have reportedly been deployed by police. At least one demonstrator was trampled by a police officer on a horse.

5:20pm – Ports have called off work for the evening shift in Oakland.

5:50pm – Seattle port blockers still holding it down at Terminal 18, Terminal 5. While trucks and other traffic is open, no workers appear to be in Terminal 18; however Terminal 5 appears to still be working. Around 8-9 were arrested in the earlier scuffle including 2 marked medics.

6:05pm – Police appear to be staging to clear the Seattle port blockers.

6:40pm – Police appear to now be leaving the port in Seattle – seemingly corroborated by a reporter from the mainstream media.

8pm – Oakland Commune decided at their General Assembly moments ago to continue the port shutdown into tomorrow in response to police brutality at many of the other shutdown locations.

Tuesday, 13 December

2am – While demonstrators have been holding down the port of Oakland all day and all evening, they’ve begun to picket again in preparation for the next shift of workers. They need around 100 people at all of the berths of the port of Oakland.

3:45am – Port workers are being sent home. Arbitration – the process by which solidarity strike clauses and safety issues are resolved to satisfy legal requirements for workers to be sent home – is not needed, as bosses told workers the shift is cancelled. People are discussing to end the port shutdown extension now after 24hrs. Supportive ILWU rank and file members spoke to blockers and asked them to end the shutdown to continue to stand in solidarity with longshoreman’s interests. Port blockers calling it a victory and have voted to go home.

#OccupyOakland Thanksgiving Attacked by Police

25 November 2011

OAKLAND, California – During #OccupyOakland’s take on Thanksgiving, called Day of Gratitude, porta-potties were delivered to Oscar Grant Plaza. Police intercepted the truck carrying them in and refused to allow the porta-potties to be unloaded. Subsequently, as occupiers confronted the police, the police reacted by arresting a few of the occupiers.

Read More:

Foreclosed Empty Lot Occupied in Oakland

22 November 2011

OAKLAND, California – A foreclosed [empty lot] on 18th and linden was occupied Monday night in solidarity with #OccupyOakland.

Update:

Tuesday, 22 November

9:45pm – Police claim that the landowner never gave approval to occupiers to encamp the plot, despite rumors suggesting otherwise. Police came and told occupiers to vacate.  However, moments later police leave. Police don’t appear to have the proper documentation to prove that the encampment is illegal. Folks decided to march to Oscar Grant Plaza to hold a 24hr vigil.

Riot Police Clear New #OccupyOakland Encampment

20 November 2011

OAKLAND, California – Occupiers retook a space last night at 19th and Telegraph; an empty lot next to small park. However, around 8am this morning approximately 30 riot police showed up to evict the few hundred occupiers that camped out through the night. The police gave them a 20 minute warning to leave the premises.

8:16am – Police are now giving a 10 minute warning

8:22am – 5 minute warning

8:36am – the plot has been cleared. Occupiers are on the sidewalks adjacent to the plot with their tents and equipment.

8:54am – Occupiers are still present next to the plot, at an intersection of 19th and Rashida Muhammad St. discussing what to do.

8:56am – Occupiers chanting “Let’s Go Oakland!”

9:55am – Police are clearing out the intersection where occupiers have been assembled for the past hour.

10:15am – Demonstrators are returning to Oscar Grant Plaza

No reports of arrests. A General Assembly has been scheduled for 6pm at Oscar Grant Plaza.

Related:

  • A 5pm Assembly at Oscar Grant Plaza for today has been called to help organize the December 12th West Coast Coordinated Port Shutdown.
  • 6 people were arrested at #OccupySF early this morning, when the police removed the tents on the sidewalk next to Justin Herman Plaza.
  • 15 arrested at #OccupyFresno this morning.

Oakland Commune Assembles to Retake a Space

19 November 2011

OAKLAND, California – The Oakland Commune’s general assembly called this past week for a march to reclaim a space today. This day has also been called as a day of action against police repression by the Oakland Commune’s GA. As of around 2:30pm, around 1000 people have assembled in Oscar Grant Plaza and at the adjacent 14th and Broadway intersection, which has been shut down.

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The crowd is still forming and growing. There is a strong showing of unions here including ILWU members from Oakland and Longview, WA.

2:38pm – the soundtruck is here

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2:50pm – march beginning shortly

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3:15pm – the march began 25 min ago, some 2-3000 here

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3:30pm – hip hop artist rebel diaz on mic. Going passed lake merritt now

3:54pm – marching east on grand, passed lakeside park

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(Above: Photos of the rally at Grand and Santa Clara Ave. Speakers from Oakland Education Association explain the city cuts to k-12, leading to closures of 5 schools and how it will impact learning.)

4:45pm – going back downtown

5:15 pm – the fences are down at 19th and telegraph lot. It is now occupied by a 2-3000. The childrens art along the chain link fencing has been preserved.

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5:21pm – occupiers requesting tents and sleeping bags and bodies to help occupy

5:30pm – There are perhaps more than 3000, its difficult to tell. When we arrived there were cops lined up on the telegraph side of this empty lot, but the overwhelming crowd was able to surround the lot and the fencing went down. Now the fencing is lining the sidewalk

5:37pm – the police are present lining the shops across the streets from the occupied plot.

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5:41pm – a dance party is taking place, the whole block is occupied by throngs of people

5:45pm – rumors that the snow park occupation is being raided.

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6:36 pm – around 20-30 more cops showed up, but not in riot gear. Were still dancing

6:45pm – cops arent doing anything, just standing off to the side under the awning to stay dry. Its raining a little but the crowd is still strong. Most of the crowd is either dancing or under tarps and tents

6:49pm – good news, there appears to be no raid at snowpark. Crowd at new occupation chanting “ooooakland, ooooakland!”

7:30pm – the crowd has dwindled a bit, in part due to the rain, but hundreds still here. Dance party continues.

10:15pm – soundtruck is packing up and encampment is settling in.

~10:30pm – Soundtruck which has been a part of the march all day today and previously on November 2nd has been impounded by the police!

Sunday, 20 November

Around 7am on Sunday

8:30am – Evicted!

See More:

  • Photos from Indybay: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Related:

  • 6 people were arrested early this morning (Sunday) at #OccupySF when police removed tents on the sidwalk next to Justin Herman Plaza, which itself remains untouched.

Letter of Solidarity from Mexico to Oakland

17 November 2011

Compañerxs,

Hace unos días, hicimos circular esta carta invitando a compas en México a sumarse a una campaña de solidaridad con el movimiento de Occupy Oakland, en California, EEUU.
El 10 de noviembre la Comuna de Oakland cumplió un mes, y en las últimas semanas ha surgido como un espacio muy importante de resistencia y organización autónoma en una ciudad emblemática por su fuerte legado de militancia y activismo anticapitalista. Después del primer intento de desalojo del acampe el 25 de octubre, miles de personas marcharon y la policia respondió con brutal represión, usando “armas químicas” contra los manifestantes. El 26 de octubre después de otra marcha, en la Asamblea General de Occupy Oakland 3000 personas aprobaron una huelga general para el 2 de noviembre. El 2 de noviembre, la Huelga General de Oakland (la primera desde 1946), fue un enorme éxito, logrando bloquear el Puerto de Oakland y contando con la participación de más de 50.000 personas. Desde entonces, el movimiento de Occupy Oakland sigue resistiendo, junto con movimientos relacionados en todo el mundo, y estamos muy preocupados por la posibilidad de otro intento de desalojo y más represión en los próximos días. Por eso, sentimos que es muy importante mandar este saludo solidario a nuestros compañeros del Otro Lado, para mostrar nuestro apoyo.

Saludos rebeldes,
jóvenes en resistencia alternativa

English

Comrades,
A few days ago, we sent out this letter inviting comrades in Mexico to join our campaign in solidarity with the Occupy Oakland movement, in California, USA. On November 20, the Oakland Commune celebrated its one-month birthday, and in the past few weeks this movement has emerged as an important site of autonomous resistance and organization, in a city emblematic with a strong legacy of militancy and anticapitalist activism. After the first attempt by the police to evict the camp on October 25, thousands took to the streets marching in protest and the police responded with brutal repression, using “chemical weapons” against the protesters. On October 26, following a second march, at the General Assembly of Occupy Oakland 3000 people approved a call for a General Strike on November 2. The Oakland General Strike on November 2 (the first in the city since 1946) was an overwhelming success, blockading the Port of Oakland, with more than 50,000 people participating. Since then, the Occupy Oakland movement continues to resist, alongside related movements throughout the world, and we are very concerned by the possibility of anothet eviction attempt and more repression in the coming days. For these reasons, we feel it is extremely important to send this message of solidarity to our comrades on the Other Side of the border, to show our support.

Saludos rebeldes,
jóvenes en resistencia alternativa

[The letter continues here.]

Oakland calls for Day of Action Against Repression

17 November 2011

from OccupyOakland:

The last week has seen a coordinated attack against numerous major occupations in the US– Portland, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Denver, Oakland, San Francisco, New York and other cities across the country.  Several news reports have indicated that these simultaneous attacks were directed by the Department of Homeland Security, in consultation with local mayors and police departments. It should be clear to us that this is happening not because we are weak, but because we have become a real threat to the status quo, and the US government fears the new, more forceful direction the Occupy movement has taken in recent weeks. If our adversaries in the government can coordinate a national offensive against the Occupy movement, then we too can coordinate a response that draws upon the considerable depth, breadth and diversity of our occupations. Occupy Wall Street’s national call for a two month birthday celebration on November 17 is an important step in this direction.

To continue this national momentum, we call on all other occupations to join our day of action against state repression on November 19. Oakland has already decided that, after our second eviction from Oscar Grant Plaza early Monday morning, this is the day for us to expand and re-establish our occupation. However, we encourage other occupations to participate whether they have been attacked recently or not. Each occupation is encouraged to interpret this call and respond to it as it sees fit. Through a day of coordinated actions we can demonstrate and build upon the potential that the occupy movement holds in fighting the ruling authorities.

Oakland This Saturday

15 November 2011

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#OccupyOakland Returns to Oscar Grant Plaza (Again)

14 November 2011

OAKLAND, California – After a second eviction by police that occurred earlier today, #OccupyOakland reconvened at 4pm on the steps of a public library. After a rally, they marched back to Oscar Grant Plaza (formerly, Frank Ogawa Plaza). As of 5:45pm, around 1000-2000 people are holding a general assembly on the future of the occupation.

Updates:

8:00pm – So far, two members of Mayor Jean Quan’s staff have resigned in response to police raids on the Oakland Commune including Sharon Cornu, deputy mayor, and Dan Siegel, Quan’s legal adviser .

Oakland Commune Raided Again

14 November 2011

OAKLAND, California – Over the past several days, the Oakland occupation has received a series of eviction notices, as well as inside information that the raid would occur this morning (Monday). Occupiers have been up all night on watch for the police. A few minutes before 3am, they received word that police massing near the Oakland coliseum were on their way over to Oscar Grant Plaza. Around 6am, police began the raid on the encampment. Around 32 people have been arrested including people from an interfaith tent. By 7am, no one was left in the plaza, [except for a single individual with a gas mask on, sitting in a tree house made of pallets]. So far police from Hayward, Santa Clara, and San Jose have been identified aiding the Oakland police.

The Oakland Commune will reconvene at 4pm on the steps of the library, at 14th and Madison.

Oakland has agreed to pay for 700-to-1,000 officers from numerous agencies to be deployed over the next three days, according to an Oakland official who agreed to speak on the condition of anonymity. The operation was shaping up as the largest and most expensive police action in Oakland in recent memory.
The cost of the operation could reach $1 million, the official said. Combined with the city’s previous effort to evict the protesters, including at least two violent clashes, cleanup and private security that may be hired to prevent the protesters from resettling on the plaza, the overall cost of Occupy Oakland could reach $5 million, he said. (via BayCitizen)

This Building is Ours! Chapel Hill Anarchists Occupy Downtown Building

13 November 2011

from trianarchy:

In the midst of the first general strike to hit the US since 1946, a group of comrades occupied a vacant building in downtown Oakland, CA. Before being brutally evicted and attacked by cops, they taped up in the window a large banner declaring, “Occupy Everything…”

______

 Last night, at about 8pm, a group of about 50 – 75 people occupied the 10,000 square foot Chrysler Building on the main street of downtown Chapel Hill. Notorious for having an owner who hates the city and has bad relations with the City Council, the giant building has sat empty for ten years. It is empty no longer.

Following the Carrboro Anarchist Bookfair, a group “in solidarity with occupations everywhere” marched to the building, amassing outside while banners reading “Occupy Everything” and “Capitalism left this building for DEAD, we brought it back to LIFE” were raised in the windows and lowered down the steep roof. Much of the crowd soon filed in through one of the garage door entrances to find a short film playing on the wall and dance music blasting.

People explored the gigantic building, and danced in the front room to images of comrades shattering the glass of bank windows 3,000 miles away in Oakland. Others continued to stay outside, shouting chants, giving speeches, and passing out hundreds of “Welcome” packets (complete with one among many possible future blueprints for the building – see below for text) to passersby. The text declared the initial occupation to be the work of “ autonomous anti-capitalist occupiers,” rather than Occupy Chapel Hill, but last evening’s events have already drawn the involvement of many Occupy Chapel Hill participants, who are camped just several blocks down the street.

Soon several police showed up, perhaps confused and waiting for orders. Three briefly entered the building, and were met with chants of “ACAB!” Strangely, the cops seem to have been called off, because they left as quick as they came. For the rest of the night they were conspicuously absent, leaving us free to conduct a short assembly as to what to do with the space and how to hold it for the near future. The group also decided to move a nearby noise and experimental art show into the building. As some folks began to arrange the show, others began filtering across town seeking things we needed for the night.

Within 30 minutes of the assembly ending, trucks began returning with everything from wooden pallets, doors, water jugs, and a desk, to a massive display case for an already growing distro and pots and trays of food donated by a nearby Indian restaurant. Others began spreading the word to the nearby Occupy Chapel Hill campsite, and bringing their camping gear into the building.

Over the next few hours more and more community members heard about the occupation and stopped by, some to bring food or other items, others just to soak it all in. All the while dozens of conversations were happening outside with people on the street. The show began eventually, and abrasive noise shook the walls of the building, interspersed with dance music and conversations, and ending with a beautiful a capella performance, and of course more dancing.

More events are to follow tomorrow in our new space, with two assemblies from the anarchist bookfair being moved to the new location, and a yoga teacher offering to teach a free class later in the afternoon.

As of the early hours this Sunday morning, the building remains in our hands, with a small black flag hanging over the front door. The first 48 hours will be extremely touch and go, but with a little luck, and a lot of public support, we aim to hold it in perpetuity. Regardless, we hope that this occupation can inspire others around the country. Strikes like the one in Oakland present one way forward; long term building occupations may present another.

-some anti-capitalist occupiers

(more…)