THE OSCAR GRANT PLAZA GAZETTE
Saturday, October 15 2011 Day 6.
“the commons is back”
MORNING AT THE PLAZA
So cities built by the people go up: fast and designed to meet needs (food, shelter, protection from harm, health care, education, and art), and represent who’s there. The making is so constant – the flow of skilled, inventive, creative work overlapping as folks move in and out of and among the space and spaces of the Occupy Oakland Oscar Grant Plaza Camp. It’s glorious and we should not forget that. All of us who have lived in isolation and told again and again that our needs can only be met if we buy the right stuff and vote for the right politicians are here and making this place what it is: a dream made real: site of resistance: a site of solidarity.
It doesn’t mean there aren’t struggles within the camp. Of course there are: it’s a human community. We’ve been abused by our culture in different ways. We have different degrees of risk in being here. Some of us can go back to our houses or apartments at night, others have no other place to sleep but here. Also, let’s remember that, though at the moment we are here with the city’s blessing, we are under siege. The way of life we are demonstrating is a threat to the existing system, and the different apparatuses of control are just waiting on the corner to step in and crush what we’ve created here. That’s a tense way to live. So let’s keep meeting each other, talking to each other, educating ourselves about all the different ways that this society works against us, and all the different ways we can change that.
Observed today: The Raheim Brown Free School and Library banner went up; donated BBQ grill!; People of Color & Queer People of Color tent going up!; sign-making for campers’ tents (STOP RAISING THE PRICE OF EDUCATION), a “knit-in”, and the first temple in the camp (check it out near the Children’s Village!); more visitors exploring this autonomous direct democracy multiplying on public land; more kids!; a long-haul truck-driver, A., who saw the Gazette on fb and showed up here today, throwing his arms around this observer in sheer joy; Seminary of the Street volunteers facilitating a workshop on racism in the occupy movement (i.e. in our society) – the Gazette hopes to bring a report on the conversation tomorrow!; one man counseling another man to “check your anger at the door”; pedal-powered hot spot!; an argument in the moment of escalation, calmed because a young person happened to walk in between the two arguers; not one but two sessions of morning yoga!
“ . . . the most revolutionary thing we can do is strive to create new social relationships within our own territories.” Raúl Zibechi, from
Dispersing Power: Social Movements as Anti-State Forces
Occupy Oakland community members : we are doing this! We are creating new social relationships within this “occupation of occupied [Ohlone] land”!
Workshops on Sunday, 10/16
11am? Contemporary Uprisings! (Greece, Chile, Oaxaca, Egypt, Tunisia , etc.)
1pm Occupy Everything! Connecting the University Occupation Movement and the Current Occupation Movement
2 pm Occupy! An Oral History- Workshop on Recording and Giving Oral Histories.
3pm U.S. Labor history
4pm Work It! Own It! Discussion and Workshop on Developing Worker Cooperatives at Occupy Oakland.
Performance & Other Events
12pm Group reading of poems inspired by the radical political tradition. Bring a poem and join in! Choose one piece from the revolutionary / radical tradition. Bring books/zines/etc to read from and share. Plan to be brief, we want to hear everyone! Bring materials and tools for an on-the-spot zine making project (paper, clear tape, pens, staplers)!
4pm Singer Imani I Ameni will lead our young ones in song! Please come join us! Word is he may bring some musician friends with him! A good time is guaranteed for all – this is a treat for the young and the young at heart! Please bring healthy snacks to share!
I could give you all of the facts and statistics from the hundred or so articles and independent policy studies I’ve read; … I could give you a reason for every day of the year to explain why this bill and budget, this declaration of class warfare, this overtly racist denial of a decent education to any child whose parents are not wealthy, this stripping of every right we’ve come to hold dear, this slap in the face of human dignity, is not only unethical or amoral, but criminal. I could give you that, but it is so dark there/here – a cavernous dark to which the eyes never adjust – that I can only manage to write today about the lights I remember.”
from Brenda Cardenas, “Bread of the Earth: One Worker’s Perspective on the Wisconsin Struggle for Justice”, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, March 4, 2011
The Oscar Grant Plaza Gazette aims to be a voice & record of the historic Occupy Oakland movement, part of a national & international movement of resistance. Please consider writing your thoughts, reflections, opinions, and what you’ve seen — you are part of this movement & we want to get your words out there !