Eighteen Police cars, vans and even a mini-tank lined 14th St. as Occupy Oakland peeps came together on October 10th to do such nefarious activities as
- Chalking! (aka vandalism)
- Catching up with old friends! (aka conspiracy)
- Eating! (aka feeding without a permit)
- Listening to awesome speakers! (aka talking without a permit)
- Watching cartoons, documentaries and movies! (aka creating a public nuisiance)
thereby terrorizing downtown Oakland’s usual residents who had to endure vast quantities of nutritious food prepared by OO Kitchen peeps and Food Not Bombs instead of their usual fare.
Large squads of police ringed the plaza but could only stand by helplessly as people committed laughter, joking, art and gluttony.
A rundown of the day’s activities:
In one of Occupy Oakland’s best traditions, hundreds of people were fed throughout the day. Festivities began with an intricate and beautiful Chalkupy taking form, from the poster designed by OO’s Sandy Sanders.. Laura Nelson, a singer hailing from San Francsico, provided some early afternoon entertainment, followed by Rocker T.
Dan Siegel, a movement lawyer who is working on cases involving Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford and the Prisoners’ Hunger Strike, gave us an update on the legislative hearings on solitary confinement that took place Wednesday, October 9th in Sacramento – one result of the latest Hunger Strike. He also provided the interesting historical note that Occupy Oakland was one of the first, if not the first, entity to stand in solidarity with the 2011 California Prisoners’ Hunger Strike, and that those who took part in that struggle and those who are taking part in this lastest one remember that and appreciate it muchly.
Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we were not able to get Fred Hampton Jr. to speak to the crowd over speakerphone.
Our live guest speaker Sarah Shourd, captured by Iran and held in solitary along with her husband and a friend in 2009, provided an emotional, moving account of her experiences both during her captivity and after her release. This is a video of her talk:
I have not yet been able to find a video of Laleh Behbehanian’s amazing speech. Rest assured it was as spirited and uplifting as Laleh’s oratory has always been. Laleh talked of of how we came together two years ago to form a community outside of the bounds of our fucked up society and of what it means to Occupy now – to continue the struggle for a just and equitable future for all. Here is an excerpt:
What is this thing we call Occupy Oakland? We know that it isn’t simply some group, or organization- it’s more than that. It isn’t merely some space – it’s so much more than the physical space of Oscar Grant Plaza.
Occupy Oakland is what we did here in this space – we Occupied it. Which doesn’t simply mean we claimed it – it means we came together to collectively build here a radically different world.
Reports/announcements from Strike Debt Bay Area (Margaret), Berkeley Post Office Defenders (Mike), Anti-Repression (Mindy), Justice 4 Alan Blueford (JP), Urban Shield Resistance (?), Labor Black and Brown (Charles), and the October 22nd rally against police violence in Sacramento (Ali) were given. A shout out was made to all those who helped in any way saving Jodie Randolph’s house – even if we could not save Jodie from cancer (JP). I’m probably forgotting some of the reports. Forgive me.
There was literature available, including a brochure listing “Contact information for Occupy Oakland Activities and various East Bay Groups with past or present Occupy Oakland members.” Check out Alyssa’s picture of the brochure.
After Ed had brought the last, best entrees, and with eighty people still present, a resolution in solidarity with BART and AC workers and in support of a strike, should they decide to execute one, was passed without dissent and with one stand aside. (Update: the strike is currently on hold until at least Monday).
Finally it was movie time!
The Blow Out, aka ‘Porky Pig and the Anarchist,’ a 1936 Loonie Tunes short was first up, followed by OO Occupy The Sierras, an epic one minute tale by Daniel of some Occupy Oakland peeps journey away from their home to a land full of trees.
Some seventy people were still around to watch Autumn Sun, a new 25-minute documentary about Occupy Oakland by David Martinez. David took Q&A after the showing.
I left at that point, so I do not know what other offerings, if any, were shown. Or what the ultimate fate of the vast squads of Oakland Police – forced because stupid to stand around, earn overtime and watch people watch movies – was.
Alyssa took the picture of the gaggle above.
Ray Pensador took the first shot of the Chalkupy. The second was from Fresh Juice Party’s facebook album of the event.
The video of Sarah Shourd is by “Treberos.”