… there is something else even more important. It is the potent idea that the protesters represent the 99%.
This is what has changed, and it is a political shift as important as anything over the past generation or more.
We have been brought up to believe that the right represents the middle classes and the left represents the working classes. It is now clear that neither right nor left in conventional politics represent the interests of either… .
Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair rose to power with the support of the middle classes. But the middle classes in the UK, while they may not support the protests, are no longer prepared to put up with the financial status quo.” —http://www.neweconomics.org/blog/2011/11/02/why-the-protesters-are-going-to-win
WAYS TO PARTICIPATE ON NOVEMBER 2 GENERAL STRIKE & DAY OF ACTION
called for by Occupy Oakland
Occupy Oakland is calling for no work and no school on November 2 as part of the general strike. We are asking that all workers go on strike, call in sick, take a vacation day or simply walk off the job with their co-workers. We are also asking that all students walk out of school and join workers and community members in downtown Oakland. All banks and large corporations must close down for the day or demonstrators will march on them.
The Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly has vowed to picket and or occupy any business or school which disciplines employees or students in any way for participating in the Nov 2 General Strike. Please email OccupyOaklandLaborSolidarity@gmail.com if you are the subject of any disciplinary action.
Occupy Oakland recognizes that not all workers, students and community members will feel able to strike all day long on November 2, and we welcome any form of participation which they feel is appropriate. We urge them to join us before or after work or during their lunch hours.
Below are some action ideas for strike participants to consider:
Gather in Downtown Oakland to help Shut Down the City
- Join the Mass Gatherings at 14th & Broadway 9:00am, 12:00pm, 5:00pm. Strike Rallies will be held at these times with political speakers as well as time for open mic so that everyone can make their voices heard. There will also be action announcements made from the stage on this intersection for those who are interested in participating in pickets and shut downs of banks and large corporations.
- Lead a march from your neighborhood, workplace, school, community center, place of worship etc into downtown Oakland to join one of these three mass gatherings. Have fun and be loud along the way to let people know why you are marching downtown!
- Form a mobile blockade or flying picket that can take over important intersections in downtown with street parties and other creative ways to make our voices heard and shut the city down.
- There will be numerous pickets and actions at banks and corporations across downtown but we need more! Get a group of friends, family members, co-workers or fellow students together to form an affinity group and make your voice heard and your presence felt at any of these locations in downtown. Let the stage on 14th & Broadway know about your action so they can announce it to the crowd.
- There are many other autonomous actions planned for the day that will be occurring throughout downtown. One of them is the anti-capitalist march at 2pm meeting at the intersection of Telegraph & Broadway and another is the Feminist & Queer bloc against capitalism that will meet at 4:30 at 14th & Broadway.
- Join the marches from downtown to shut down the Port of Oakland. These marches will be leaving at 4pm and another will be leaving at 5pm for the 2 mile march out to the port to stand in solidarity with the longshore workers and shut down the evening shift of the port.
- Join the 4pm Critical Mass ride from 14th & Broadway out to the Port to join the shut down
- Best not to drive into downtown: It is likely that many streets will be blocked to traffic so please bike or take public transportation if possible. It will also be useful to have a bicycle to move between actions or to march to the port.
Take Action in Your Own Neighborhoods and Communities
- Gather neighbors, co-workers, or fellow students together and organize group walks and small marches around the neighborhood to have fun, raise awareness and encourage others to join you in the streets! Bring noise makers, signs, banners and let your community know why your are participating in the strike.
- Stop at banks, large businesses, chain stores, gas stations, corporate headquarters, large commercial media outlets, etc. to protest and picket
- Gather in neighborhood centers and on the corners of main intersections to hold speak outs, BBQs and street parties – make your voice heard and raise awareness by reclaiming space where fellow community members can join you and talk about the issues that affect them most and how we can organize together to build a powerful movement
- If you must shop, only spend money at locally owned stores and as much as possible purchase locally-produced goods
Nonprofit and Community Organizations
- Use your personal and organizational social media accounts (websites, facebook, linked-in, electronic newsletters, etc) to support the actions and keep your constituencies updated about what is going on in the streets of Oakland.
- In the event of police violence, use your organization to denounce police repression and call for the release of all arrested strikers.
- Provide resources for your staff to participate: allow time away to participate in direct actions; encourage work on projects aligned with general strike and occupy goals, host sign and banner making parties!
- Bring materials to make signs: Banner material. cardboard, poster paper, markers, paint, spray paint tape, dowels, etc
- Bring food and water to share!
- Bring noise makers, instruments, sound systems and other ways that we can transform downtown into a celebration of our collective power
- Write this legal number down on your body in case of arrest: 415.285.1011 The number will be staffed al day long and will coordinate legal support for those arrested in the strike.
- Remember these four common points that the General Strike Assembly has agreed upon:
- Solidarity with the world-wide Occupy movement!
- End police attacks on our communities!
- Defend Oakland schools and libraries!
- Against an economic system built on colonialism, inequality and corporate power that perpetuates all forms of oppression and the destruction of the environment!
A Few Chants For the Strike
- “Strike, Occupy, Shut it Down! Oakland is the People’s Town”
- “Every Hour, Every Day! The occupation is here to stay!”
- “Occupy Everything! Liberate Oakland”
- “Politicians & Bankers, Liars & Thieves, We’re taking it back! We’re not saying please!”
- “No more cops, we don’t need ‘em! All we want is total freedom”
- “Shut Down OPD! Not the Public Library!”
- “Let’s Go Oakland! Let’s Go!” [clap] [clap]
SEE YOU IN THE STREETS! MAKE OAKLAND PROUD!
The #OccupyOakland Twitter feed read like a report from Cairo’s Tahrir Square: ‘they are surrounding us’; ‘hundreds and hundreds of police’; ‘there are armoured vehicles and Hummers’. There were 170 arrests.
America is waking up to what was built while it slept: Private companies have hired away its police (JPMorgan Chase gave $4.6m to the New York City Police Foundation); the federal Department of Homeland Security has given small municipal police forces military-grade weapons systems; citizens’ rights to freedom of speech and assembly have been stealthily undermined by opaque permit requirements.
Suddenly, the United States looks like the rest of the furious, protesting, not-completely-free world. Indeed, most commentators have not fully grasped that a world war is occurring. But it is unlike any previous war in human history: for the first time, people around the world are not identifying and organising themselves along national or religious lines, but rather in terms of a global consciousness and demands for a peaceful life, a sustainable future, economic justice and basic democracy. Their enemy is a global “corporatocracy” that has purchased governments and legislatures, created its own armed enforcers, engaged in systemic economic fraud, and plundered treasuries and ecosystems.” —Naomi Wolf (via charlesbivona)
Occupy Oakland supports the efforts of people in all Oakland neighborhoods to reclaim abandoned properties for use to meet their own immediate needs. Such spaces are already being occupied and squatted unofficially by the dispossessed, the marginalized, by many of the very people who have joined together here in Oscar Grant Plaza to make this a powerful and diverse movement.
We commit to providing political and material support to neighborhood reclamations, and supporting them in the face of eviction threats or police harassment. In solidarity with the global occupation movement, we encourage the transformation of abandoned spaces into resource centers toward meeting urgent community needs that the current economic system cannot and will not provide.” —Occupy Oakland’s Declaration of Solidarity with Neighborhood Reclamations
In a hearing that exposed the breadth of the problems facing Oakland, a federal judge blasted the Oakland Police Department Thursday for failing to make court-ordered changes designed to reduce police misconduct and abuse.
Before a courtroom full of city leaders and police department brass, U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson highlighted a series of issues that “indicate to me the city and the department still don’t get it.”” — Judge Slams Oakland Leaders for Slow Police Reforms
Official Statement & Call to Action
Call to Action
The SEIU 1021 Executive Board calls on all members of SEIU 1021 to join a day-long “Peaceful Day of Action” in support of Occupy Oakland and against the banking industry and last week’s police brutality against the Occupy Oakland encampment.
To avoid misinterpretation: Occupy Oakland has called for a “general strike,” but SEIU 1021 is not asking any members to “go on strike” — that would be a violation of many SEIU 1021 contracts. Instead, we encourage members to use legitimate time off to stand in support of Occupy Oakland and join the day’s events at the “Peaceful Day of Action.”
City of Oakland Workers: The City has agreed that workers may use a day of comp time, vacation time, a floating holiday or leave without pay in order to participate.
Officer J. Traynor, One police officer’s reaction to Oakland/Denver
In 1943 the Danes managed to save 7,200 of their 7,800 Jewish neighbors from the Gestapo. They had no blogs, no television, no text messaging—and very little time to prepare. They passed their apartment keys to the hunted on the streets. They formed convoys to the coast. An ambulance driver set out with a phone book, stopping at any address with a Jewish-sounding name. No GPS for directions. No excuse not to try.
But what if it failed? What if the general strike proved to be anything but general? I thought Bush was supposed to be the one afraid of science. Hypothesis, experiment, analysis, conclusion—are they his hobgoblins or ours? What do we have to fear, except additional evidence that George W. Bush is exactly what he appears to be: the president few of us like and most of us deserve. But science dares to test the obvious. So let us dare.” —
This is from the 2008 essay by Garret Keizer in Harper’s magazine, “Specific Suggestion: General Strike”. When I heard the Occupy Oakland encampment is planning a general strike for November 2nd, I knew I’d want to track this down. He’s writing about Dubya but his arguments in favor of a strike are just as compelling today…and his predictions about what the next presidency would bring are prescient.
If you’re on the fence about striking, you should read it. Or if you want to read one of the best essays I’ve ever read. I’ll be posting excerpts throughout the week.
Carpenters Local 713 Supports Call for Nov. 2 General Strike in Oakland
Local 713 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. We support the right of all working people to organize and peacefully assemble to demand their rights.
We further agree that the 1% should not continue to go untaxed while the 99% face layoffs, pay and benefit cuts, foreclosures and the closing of our children’s schools and our public services.
We further strongly condemn the police brutality used against the Occupy Oakland movement and the devastating injury inflicted on Iraq veteran Scott Olsen.
We further resolve to support the call of the 2,000 Oaklanders at Occupy Oakland for a one-day strike in Oakland for Wednesday November 2nd, 2011, to protest our country’s rising inequality and the brutal actions of the police in the city of Oakland, California.” —http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/10/29/18695860.php
Agreed upon in Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly 10.29.11
The Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly vows to picket and or occupy any business or school which disciplines employees or students in ANY way for participating in the November 2nd strike and day of action.
• The Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly would like this warning to be known in the general community.
• Any worker who thinks they have been disciplined for participating in the General Strike may come to the Strike Assembly to ask for picket support against their employer.
• The Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly will keep meeting after the strike in case of delayed disciplinary measures by employers and will maintain an email list to mobilize for any measures after that. If workers cannot make the general strike committee they may email OccupyOaklandLaborSolidarity@gmail.com
• If any such disciplined workers are represented by a union, we will call on that union to join us in picketing.
November 2 Picket support from Occupy Oakland
Any group of workers who want are picket line at their workplace on November 2nd should come to the Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly meeting at 5 in front of Oakland City Hall or email OccupyOaklandLaborSolidarity@gmail.com