Day after day, week after week, month after grueling month, members of Occupy Oakland as well as bystanders who simply spoke up when witnessing police violence, have been subject to arrest and abuse. While we recognize that such treatment is nothing new to many longtime Oakland residents, especially people of color, it is an issue that has been pushed to the forefront because of the frequency with which it has occurred at livestreamed Occupy Oakland events.
One of the most common chants during such abuse has been, “Who do you serve? Who do you protect?” While the questions are asked rhetorically, the answer is an important one. The job of the police is to enforce and defend the status quo. Therefore, the people they serve and protect are generally the people who benefit most from the status quo, the political, social, and economic elite. The police protect and serve the so called 1%, as well as the corporations themselves, the banks, the property owners, and the politicians whose careers depend on their ability to maintain “law and order” by any means necessary.
While this information is not new, it needs to be broadcast in a larger and more spectacular way. Therefore, we intend to hold a march in the style of Billionaires for Bush entitled the March for the Protected and Served. Participants in the march will dress in the stereotypical or even absurd costumes of the super rich – picture tuxedos, ball gowns, top hats, monocles, martini glasses, huge cigars, etc. – and march through the streets of Oakland holding signs thanking the police for being such good servants. These signs will, without resorting to violent language, still convey the message about the criminality of the police and the microscopic segment of the population whom they actually protect and serve. Press releases will be issued for this pro-police march, news agencies will be notified, and citizens of Oakland will be invited to join the police in continuing to serve us and protect our interests at the expense of their own.
We ask the General Assembly to endorse the formation of an official working group to develop this action. While the action itself will be autonomous, we intend to be as transparent as possible about plans and tactics and money requested from the Finance Committee. The action and working group will be open to all members of Occupy Oakland as well as the broader Oakland community. All meetings will be announced via the GA and/or the internet, progress reports will be given regularly through the GA, and no press release will be issued before it has been read to the GA first. We will need people to coordinate and plan, people to work on posters and other art, and people to participate in the march itself.