Occupy Oakland Block Party & Cookout Series: N.E.W. (North, East, West) Oakland Community Outreach Program
After the high profile clashes of the J28 Move-In Day and in the lead up to what we expect will be an exciting spring climaxing with the planned General Strike on May 1, we feel that this period is a crucial moment for Occupy Oakland to do outreach and connect with the many neighborhoods and organizers across Oakland in order to build a stronger movement and lay the groundwork for our collective future.
In this spirit, Occupy Oakland will be holding a series of community block parties and cookouts on Saturdays in a different neighborhood each time over the course of March and possibly early April. The block parties will bring Oscar Grant Plaza to each of these neighborhoods for a day with the intention of building lasting connections and projects. They will also be a tool for building connections and momentum towards the spring offensive and May 1. We are tentatively planning on holding four of these events, and each would give our comrades across the city a low tension and friendly environment to participate in OO activities and help shape the direction of the movement. It would also be a chance for existing OO committees to promote and advertise their work and upcoming plans to a broad range of Oakland residents.
We imagine a lively BBQ in a different neighborhood park or lot each Saturday with music and speakers and various activities such as arts and crafts, bike repair workshops, setting up a mobile health clinic, a children’s village, and more. We would also prioritize holding a community speak out at each event where neighbors, comrades, and members of OO could all share their views on issues affecting the city and how we can build our movement. At the end of each block party, we would organize a small action such as a march to a house in the neighborhood that is being defended against foreclosure or possibly a march back to OG Plaza. These would be more outreach opportunities, as well as ways to build more connections with the plaza and other OO projects.
In order to plan the specifics of this block party and cookout series, we will create a new assembly which will meet every Sunday at 12:30 and every Wednesday at 4:30 before the GAs. This will be where we plan all the details of the events including the exact dates, activities, locations, promotion, etc. We want as many committees within OO as possible to be a part of this tour, and we invite all to participate in the assemblies. So far we are coordinating with: the Move-In assembly, TAC, Occupy Patriarchy, the Arts & Crafts Committee, Occupy Oakland Foreclosure Defense Group, Kitchen Committee, Media Committee, Sound Committee, members of the OO Medic Team, and the Local Business Liaison Committee.
This series will require some funding to make it happen, and we plan to bring a separate finance proposal to the GA in order to cover for the costs of providing free food and printing outreach materials that can be used in all the neighborhoods. We will seek donations wherever possible.
We plan to finalize and publish exact locations and dates within the week.