Letter to the Tribune:
Oakland millionaire developer Phil Tagami’s action “racking” his shotgun at the
Rotunda exemplifies why the Occupy movement is necessary. He personifies the capitalist system and its government valuing property over human life. Tagami was apparently prepared to kill for a building which he obtained with $12 million in long-term loans provided by Oakland taxpayers. He was an Oakland Port Commissioner when the police shot at anti-Iraq war protestors and longshoremen. Oft described as a ‘friend of Oakland Adult Education’, Tagami didn’t offer a penny to save that program which was terminated in June, setting 25,000 students adrift.
While I strongly disagree with the Black Bloc’s tactics, there is no comparison
between breaking windows or spray-painting property and the violence practiced
by Quan’s police and threatened by Tagami. Who gravely wounded war veterans Scott Olsen and Kayvan Sabeghi? – the same Oakland police department which has
been under federal “control” for years because of the Riders’ lawlessness. Chief Jordan’s vilifying the Black Bloc is obviously calculated to remove attention from the qualitatively greater violence committed by police.
M.L. King, Jr. said the U.S. government is “the greatest purveyor of violence in
the world today”. It wages endless war abroad and class war at home, giving the banks $16 trillion while 14+ million are unemployed, families have their homes seized, health care is unaffordable and the education system is undermined. As much of the Occupy movement looks to replace capitalism, so King came to consider democratic socialism as a necessary alternative.
involuntarily retired Oakland ESL teacher