The camp was the most beautiful experience of my life. Then they tore it down. We responded by bringing tens of thousands to march on the Port of Oakland, declaring a General Strike in the city of Oakland. The night of the General Strike, everyone came back to the plaza and the police shut down the buses so I couldn’t go home. Someone let me use their tent and I didn’t mind staying out all night. It was my first time ever encountering police in riot gear, but the way that my comrades hurled things at them and chanted “fuck the police” gave me a whole new sense of empowerment.
I love Occupy Oakland because it has given me a new voice and a new strength that I never knew I had. It also gave me confidence and the knowledge that I can fight back; I do have a voice and a choice in this world. I can push change forward. I love being in such a diverse movement: Being surrounded by different races, different sexes, different cultures, different thoughts and opinions and different, creative ways we all come up with to communicate with one another makes me feel wiser, helps me think more creatively and inspires me to act more responsibly. Every time I go to a general assembly or a committee meeting I work with other people that feel the same way and that really is a beautiful experience. I’ve always helped people, always wanted to affect people’s lives positively, and Occupy has given me another way to do that.
I’m getting my SSI check cut every three months while my food stamps dwindle away. Housing isn’t easy either. I’m on Section 8 and they want you to bend over backwards to stay in your home. Then I got with occupy and I realized that everyone’s dealing with some bullshit. I’ve been homeless before, for four years in a row, and I don’t ever want to be homeless again. That’s why I fight to help homeless occupiers get what they need to stay on their feet.
The fight for prisoners and their families is my fight too: my husband’s locked up right now on some bullshit charges. Issac ran out of his medication and got into an argument with a corner store owner over religion. The response of the state to a poor man of color in our neighborhood acting out was to taser him and lock him up instead of getting him the care that he needs to stay healthy. This is just one example from my life where I’ve learned about the way mass incarceration affects families: Issac was a huge help around the house, going grocery shopping, watching the baby, helping me take care of my mother, helping financially when he could. Now I’m taking care of three children, including my three year old, on my own, who ask for him daily.
I’m in this mostly for my kids because I’m worried about their education. I have a three year old son whom I’m afraid might not have an elementary school to go to the way schools are closing at an alarming rate, especially in minority communities. I know why; because the threat of our children being educated scares the shit out of them. If our children knew what the rich and powerful know, our kids would take the power of the elite away from them, and they definitely can’t have that. My children march with me, protest with me and shut the banks down with me. I’m showing my children bravery, consistency and courage, admitting that there are wrongs in this society that my kids should be aware of while they’re growing up. The reason why I have them in marches and protests is so they can see how powerful it is when masses of people come together. They should always know they have the freedom to speak up about issues that affect them personally and the struggles that are going on all over the world. I know we might not see the effects immediately, but there are gonna be changes.
The only way to fight this selfish, greedy capitalistic society is to come together against the police, the mayor and the district attorneys. We need to fight back and occupy has given me a ground to fight back on. We need to occupy the courts, the schools, the university campuses, the ports, the banks, the Capitol, the White House, every capitalist institution that doesn’t give people a fair chance at life. I think whoever came up with the port shutdown and the general strike were geniuses. What a way to say fuck capitalism. What a way to say fuck you greedy bastards.
I wish more people would come out to see how beautiful this movement is. Occupy doesn’t just care about what’s going on in Oakland, we care about changing the whole world. Nothing in the world could stop me from being a part of this. No police, no baby daddys, no one can stop me from being a part of this. I want to be in Occupy Oakland ’til I die.
Occupy Oakland Protests Massacre of Sixteen Afghan Civilians
In response to the recent massacre of sixteen Afghan civilians in Panjwai, Kandahar, over one hundred people gathered in Fremont this Friday to protest the ongoing imperialist U.S. occupation of Afghanistan. Demanding ‘No more killings, No more apologies,’ protestors marched from Fremont BART to a nearby military recruitment center and successfully shut down Army, Navy and Air Force offices for the day. Organized by Afghans for Peace, Autonomous Afghans and SF Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War, and endorsed and supported by such diverse groups as Occupy Oakland, Decolonize Oakland, Education Not Incarceration and Courage to Resist, the non-violent action proceeded with a rally/speak out where the military industrial complex and U.S. war atrocities abroad were tied to racism, classism and xenophobia on the home front.
“I think its quite telling that that murder, of Trayvon Martin–along with many other murders by police and vigilantes of young unarmed black men and women in this country–occurred around the same time as the massacre in Afghanistan….both of those cases show/reveal the deeply embedded racism that exists in our country that is permeated within our police system, the judicial system, the military, the corporate system; every facet of our society is deeply embedded with racism.” [Adam]
The rally protestors then began marching toward the Little Kabul neighborhood of Fremont, which is home to the largest Afghan population in the U.S. After taking the streets, the march was met with aggressive police action from Fremont Pig Department. FPD pressured the back of the march, using their vehicles and sirens in futile attempts to intimidate protestors onto the sidewalk. Amid chants of “Justice for Trayvon, Justice for Afghanistan” protestors held the streets despite pigs’ best belligerent efforts and returned to Fremont BART without any arrests.
Supporting Our Comrades: A Visit with Eric DeSouza in Sacramento
written by Matthew on March 25th
The visit with Eric Desouza yesterday went smoothly. Three of his Bay Area comrades made the trip out to Elk Grove, and despite the discomfort of being in the jail and the sadness of seeing Eric on the other side of the glass, everyone was in good spirits given the circumstances…He is thankful that people are keeping him in their thoughts, and appreciates that there are continued efforts to spread the word about his situation.
Thankfully, he has reported that the guards at Rio Consumnes are treating him fairly. He has been reading a bit, sleeping a lot, and generally finding the rhythm of keeping his head down and doing his time without any complications…
As far as requests he has made, enough emphasis cannot be put on his desire for more emails. He should be able to receive ten per day, and they do wonders for his morale (and hence facilitate a more rapid passage of time). Anything is welcome, but keep in mind that messages that focus on his incarceration (“hang in there”, “hope you get out soon”, “we all miss you”, and other such well-meaning words of support) can serve as constant reminders that he IS incarcerated. Pretend you are communicating with a pen pal. Try sending him a poem, a short story, song lyrics, thoughts on the latest couple of movies you watched, a description of how your garden is coming along, etc.
He has specifically asked for any news of resistance, from Oakland as well as internationally, to be forwarded to him. Remember that his email will be read before it gets to him, and some content will be frowned upon. While “there were protests in Greece for four days” might be ok, “there were protests in Greece for four days and I can’t wait for that shit to spread here until we burn this motherfucker down” might not be.
He would also like efforts to promote his bail fund to be reignited. Enough thanks cannot be given for all those who gave to the fund in order to get him out after he was arrested, and it is understandable that those efforts waned somewhat after he was released, but his parents are still on the hook for another $5,700 dollars, and as retirees this presents them with no small difficulty.
Occupy Til the Day I Die
a poem composed by Jesus inside Santa Rita jail, to be recited in two parts
I’m gonna Occupy (1), Occupy (2), Occupy (1)
(1) till the day I die
(2) until the day I die
(1) let me tell you why
(2) let me tell ou why
I’m gonna (1) Occupy, (2) Occupy, (1) Occupy
(1) Mic check/ (2) Mic check
Can you all hear me
I’ve got something to say to thee
this isn’t the Land of the Free
like it’s suppose to be
rather we are in Slavery
fighting over money
just to care for family
This truly is insanity
Day in Day Out
this is all life’s about
I wanna choose a different route
but I don’t have time to pout
One day Someday
maybe it’ll ne a different way
when I can enjoy life and play
Not worry about a place to stay
That’s why I’m an Occupier
a better world I desire
I hope to see before I expire
those who stand up I admire
Cause we all know, the government’s a liar
these clowns, we need to fire
it’s time to change our empire
to what we envisioned years prior
A land of the free
for you and me
was our desiny
from one sea
to shining sea
we can agree
Our forefathers fout in history
so we can have this liberty
for all of us in society
to be able to live happily
this is not the way it be
But I hope to see
this once again
but until then
I’m gonna (1)Occupy, (2) Occupy, (1) Occupy
till the day I die (2) till the day I die
let me tell you why (2) let me tell you why
I’m gonna (1) Occuppy, Occupy, Occupy
Court Support Calendar 4/2-4/6
4/2: Ruling expected in the trial of Joe, arrested on J28. Wiley Manuel, Dept 110, 9am.
4/3: Arraignment of Ice Cream Three. Rene C. Davidson, Dept 11, 9am.
4/4: Kali, Gale Schenone Hall of Justice (Pleasanton), Dept 5672, 9am.