Posts Tagged ‘#occupySF’

May Day 2012

1 May 2012

OAKLAND, California – Demonstrations for International Worker’s Day began in Oakland with scheduled actions focusing on anti-gentrification, anti-capitalism, and anti-patriarchy. Demonstrations began around 8:30am at different locations through out the city. By early morning, banners hung from several overpasses along 980 and other freeways.

A number of arrests occurred in the morning, particularly at the anti-capitalism march. Around 11:30am, the anti-capitalist and anti-patriarchy marches converged on 14th & Broadway (adjacent to Oscar Grant Plaza), where dozens of marchers embraced each other, cheers rang out, and people danced in the streets.

Shortly afterwards, the crowd was informed that banks in downtown were still open despite targeted shutdowns by the anti-capitalist march earlier. A crowd of some 400 on 14th and Broadway responded by heading north up Broadway to shut the bank branches down. The march successfully entered a few banks, but were stopped by police in riot gear along much of the march. The marchers were prevented from turning down several roads, until eventually pouring out onto Lakeside Dr. As the march passed the Bank of America branch, more police spilled in front of the wide glass exterior. After some tagging and vandalism, the march continued back to Oscar Grant Plaza. During the return to the Plaza, the police brazenly entered the crowd near 15th and Broadway, partly splitting the crowd in two without apparent purpose.

As the crowd reached 14th and Broadway, police attempted to evict the demonstrators from the intersection reportedly using flash-bang grenades, tazers, batons, and other “non-lethal” weapons. [Several people were arrested during the altercation with police, including some who were injured and taken to the hospital].

By around 1pm, the crowd swelled to about 1500 demonstrators at Oscar Grant Plaza for a rally. Police continued apparent intimidation tactics by forming police lines at various walkways into the Plaza, making their presence felt within the former perimeter of last Fall’s tent city. Around 2pm, police evicted demonstrators from Oscar Grant Plaza; some left to join the march leaving from East Oakland, while others seemed to disappear into other parts of downtown. During this confrontation, Alameda County Sheriffs deployed an armored vehicle equipped with what appeared to be LRAD sound cannons.

Around 3:30pm, a march left from Fruitvale BART station to head toward Oscar Grant Plaza. By 4pm, the march had reportedly swelled to thousands strong, while as many as a [few thousand] wait at San Antonio Park to join the Fruitvale marchers.

Update:

5:10pm – The Fruitvale marchers have arrived at San Antonio Park. As many as 5000 demonstrators now rallying, waiting to continue the march to the Plaza.

Marchers from Fruitvale arrived around an hour later, ending with thousands in the intersection of 14th and Broadway for a rally. As the sun set, numbers dwindled. Notably, police held a heavy presence all afternoon, keeping several dozen officers on the north end of the plaza, as well as on neighboring streets and alleyways.

When darkness fell, the approximately thousand person crowd muddled about on 14th and within the plaza. The heavy police presence and the lack of clear objectives for the evening created a sense of uneasiness in the crowd.

Eventually the tension was cut by a police instigated maneuver, apparently targeting people holding shields constructed of wood and corrugated metal. As the 500-600 strong police force squeezed into 14th and Broadway from three sides, some demonstrators were trampled and arrested. Police reformed lines multiple times, gave multiple dispersal orders and eventually pushed the crowd north on Broadway towards 15th. In the final standoff, the police charged the crowd, viciously tackling and beating protestors to the ground. The remnant several hundred traveled further north along Broadway or scattered.

For the next several hours hundreds of police roved through streets on foot, on motorcycle, in squad cars, and in rented white vans. The police targeted previously arrested and well known Occupy Oakland demonstrators, while playing a cat and mouse game with the larger groups vandalizing property.

As the night wore on, a few hundred demonstrators returned to 14th and Broadway. However, police were eventually able to separate and push demonstrators away from the intersection. Notably, a few dozen police on motorcycles aligned themselves next to the demonstrators and began loudly revving their engines and blasting their sirens.

LOS ANGELES, California – Some 1200 United Service Workers West Union members have shut down normal operation of some terminals at LAX. Traffic has remained tenuous through out the day with dozens of marches.  There have been small altercations with police throughout the day with a few possible arrests, but police are allowing protesters to gather at Pershing Square in Downtown LA for the evening events.

Read more:

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Despite the high anticipations for the Golden Gate Bridge shutdown, plans to occupy the bridge were called off only days before May 1st. However, Ferry service in SF was shut down due to striking workers. In the early afternoon, the 888 Turk building was reoccupied.

Update:

  • #888Turk was raided before dawn on May 2nd. Read more.

Related:

Advertisements

Vacant SF Building Occupied

1 April 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – A building that has been vacant for the past five years in San Francisco was occupied during the late afternoon on Sunday by organizers associated with OccupySF. After a rally and march beginning at Union Square, demonstrators eventually arrived at the building with opened doors. The building located at 888 Turk St., reportedly a former mental health center, has been expropriated from the Catholic Archdiocese of San Francisco and dubbed the SF Commune. A flyer released by organizers reads that,

We understand The Archdiocese of San Francisco and it’s subsidiary, Real Property Support Corporation have kept this space at 888 Turk St. vacant for 5 years, while those of us seeking shelter are forced to sleep outside. We will not tolerate the systems that force 7,000 San Franciscan’s to remain homeless while over 30,000 housing units sit vacant.

According to mainstream news, the Archdiocese has requested that police not take immediate action until they review the situation the next morning. Occupiers are planning to turn the empty building into a social center. A post from OccupySF reads that,

This Turk St. building is owned by the Church and the owners, therefore, pay no property tax for it.  It has been vacant and unused for over five years and no services have been provided here. Further, the owners have failed to register the building as vacant, avoiding their duty to pay vacancy fees to the public coffers. The building is now occupied by a group of people willing to offer services such as food, housing, education, and community-building skills for free.

Updates:

Monday, April 2

9am: Police have cordoned off the area, blocking anyone from reaching the doors of 888 Turk st.

~1:45pm: Police are raiding the occupation.

2:25pm: Growing crowd outside police line chanting, “Long live the SF Commune!”

~6:30pm: Around 50-100 people marched down to the jail to wait for arrestees to be released. Most arrestees were charged with misdemeanor trespassing. [Some arraignments are scheduled for April 10th, some are scheduled for as late as May 1st.]

More:

Occupy Wall Street West Action

20 January 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Demonstrators from OccupySF organized a day of action for Friday against banks, which began early in the morning. Actions were scattered through out the city, particularly in the financial district re-dubbed “Wall Street West”. Despite inclement weather and brutal police, demonstrators blocked traffic to a number of bank branches and a handful of other corporations, including Bechtel. Around 5pm, they gathered at Bradley Manning Plaza and began a march that traveled to a Bank of America branch where demonstrators had locked arms using pipes and performing a sit-in at the entrance of the branch. Around 7pm, riot police intervened the march and attacked demonstrators using batons and pepper spray. Shortly afterwards, a luxury car dealership’s windows were smashed.

As things settled back down, word came to marchers that the empty Cathedral Hotel, located on Franklin and Geary, was occupied (by Homes Not Jails). Marchers proceeded to go and support the occupation.

A complete timeline of the day’s events is available here.

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.

#OccupySF Justin Herman Plaza Raided

7 December 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – The #OccupySF encampments began along with #OccupyWallStreet in September. Since then they’ve had to relocate, they’ve expanded to hold multiple encampments, and they’ve been raided multiple times. Justin Herman Plaza is the largest encampment, and it was raided and cleared early this morning, 7 December, around 2am. Police woke occupiers up and gave them a 5 minute warning to disperse. Police proceeded to clear the park, arresting 70 people through the course of the evening. None of the occupiers’ property was merely confiscated, but rather thrown into dump trucks and crushed. In response, there will be a noon rally at the 101 market encampment and 6pm rally at Justin Herman Plaza today, 7 December.

Read more:

Related news:

  • #OccupySantaCruz [partially] disassembles encampment in response to an eviction notice today, 7 December. Police raid the next morning arresting 6 people. Read more.

SF Market St Occupied

20 November 2011

SAN FRANCISCO, California – In response to this morning’s raid on #OccupySF, demonstrators called for a rally this afternoon. Since 4pm, demonstrators have been at 101 Market st. discussing the raid. After some tense police confrontations and at least one arrest, a standoff between police and demonstrators took hold in the street. Police shut down traffic to the street and demonstrators began setting up tents starting around 5pm. As of 10:45pm, there are 7 tents up and hundred or more demonstrators. Demonstrators are cooperating with MUNI to allow public transport to continue. At midnight, tents were moved back to the plaza; one demonstrator remained and was arrested.

Related:

  • The 19th and telegraph Oakland occupation was also raided this morning, but was completely cleared unlike the occupation at 101 Market in SF.

#Occupy Digest

8 October 2011

In the wake of the recent #Occupy movement, we wanted to create a running digest of some helpful resources for information and critiques. (None of the following are endorsements. This list is not comprehensive.)

#Occupy Critiques/Analysis:

#Occupy News Sources:

#Occupy on Twitter:

Using twitter to find out what’s going on is sometimes your best bet. Go to the search page on twitter and type in “#Occupy” and then the city name all in one word, eg. #OccupySF (note, it’s not case-sensitive). #OccupyWallStreet is also shortened to #OWS. FYI, the hashtags are twitter users’ way of categorizing tweets. Here’s a short list of some users who frequently post news:

See Also:

  • This statement from #OccupyBoston about supporting a diversity of tactics.

Night of Barricades

6 October 2011

from BayofRage:

On the night of October 6th San Francisco Police attacked the Occupy SF encampment at the Federal Building on Market and Drum. After a day in which 800 people marched through downtown San Francisco in solidarity with the occupation of Wall Street in New York and elsewhere around the country, hundreds gathered at the site of the occupation. However by evening the police had administered an eviction notice to the occupiers claiming that the police would move in at midnight alongside the Department of Public Works to clear the plaza. Roughly around 10pm the police began to gather a block away from the occupation. Word circulated quickly and as both the occupiers and the police prepared roughly 150 people assembled at the occupation. After a few hours of waiting, debate, and nervous conversations within the occupation the police finally made their first move. Marching down the street, adorned with helmets and batons, the police escorted a line of Department of Public Works Vehicles. Standing between the occupiers and the living spaces that had been created since the occupations’ beginning, Department of Public Works workers were then forced to begin eradicating the space of any materials related to the occupation. The trucks were quickly filled with the same rapidity as the mood in the air began to intensify.

Almost spontaneously a large wooden pallet that the vehicles had not yet managed to collect was brought in front of one of the trucks. Immediately others began to follow bringing bodies and all material left behind in the encampment and surrounded the police and Department of Public Works vehicles. People grabbed anything they could find – garbage cans, street signs, cones and even the police’s own metal barricades to prevent the trucks from leaving as well as corner the police. While the police had tried to encircle and intimidate the occupation those there quickly used the opportunity to encircle and intimidate the police. As the SFPD closed in on the trucks standing off with what was now hundreds of people on market street and beautifully constructed barricades, they began to make way for the vehicles to leave. This created a series of small scuffles. Eventually the vehicles left and the barricades stood proudly on market street between the starry twilight of 230am and the confused fright of the SFPD.

The night was an incredibly powerful reflection of not only what is possible but  the emergent potential of the Occupy movement. After the police announced that the occupation was going to be raided the occupiers began to decide what to do. The conversation was disparate, timid and unstable. This was directly caused by a few dominant voices controlling a decision making process in a situation that needed immediate attention. As the police came in this timidity, instability and disparity disappeared as all collectively participated in activity that reflected the needs of the immediate situation. No longer was the conversation dominated, but all voices flourished in the streets. People also held together and refused to be the targets of police violence. Instead people collectively resisted the attacks by the police by directly interfering with their ability to function as police by constructing barricades. Their antagonism towards the police was a direct reflection of the immediate goal of responding to a police raid. This act of self-defense was also an offensive direct action and strengthened both the solidarity amongst the participants and the potential for antagonistic expansion.

If these occupations are to both survive and continue they must be protected from the police by any means necessary.

Read the Statement from Occupy SF regarding the attempted police eviction last night

As the barricades multiply almost everywhere, though within a limited perimeter, the security forces receive reinforcements from units that had until then been positioned outside the Latin Quarter and close down the area, which with each passing minute takes on an insurrectional air. – Le Monde, May 12-13, 1968