Mon Feb 6, 2012, 05:57 PM
Feb. 5 report of Occupy Oakland from Boots Riley:
"Occupy Oakland has many upcoming campaigns for people to plug into. We'll be moving more folks into foreclosed homes, continuing to provide food and services for folks, building a new militant labor movement
, fighting for education, and creating a mass movement that can eventually change the whole system and get the wealth out of the hands of the 1%- and having the people control our own resources.
(Hmmmmm...what happened to the drum circles???? )
Tomorrow is the day that many folks that have been arrested at Occupy Oakland actions and events- from December up through last Saturday- have hearings.
We need to pack the courtrooms. Just to show that the movement is behind these folks and that we have organized solidarity. It really does influence the outcome of the cases. We also need to show those that have been arrested, those that will be arrested in the future, and the DA that people getting cuffs put on them doesn't tag them out of the struggle. Because that's what they're trying to do.
Most of the people that have received orders to stay away from City Hall are people who got charged with things NO WHERE NEAR City Hall. So what legal basis is there for a "stay away" order? This is a clear attempt to disrupt Occupy Oakland.
As with any movement in history, there are folks with valid criticisms of OO. But those aside, there has been an additional smear campaign against us.
KTVU exposed that OPD and city officials conspired to and lied to the public, telling people that OO had driven up crime by taking up police resources. Uncovered emails showed that they knew crime had gone down 19% while Occupy Oakland's encampment was there. But they skewed some people's view of OO.
The Oakland Tribune and city officials used the statements from one downtown business and the Oakland Chamber Of Commerce to say that the OO encampment was negatively impacting downtown business. They didn't mention the fact that the Chamber of Commerce represented NO downtown businesses, the board members live in Fresno and Antioch, and the head of the Chamber was a liar who got arrested by the FBI for embezzling millions. OO did a survey of 89 downtown businesses and 2/3 of them said that OO had a positive or no impact on their business. Many of the other third said that the police raids made a negative impact. Separately the daily national and international coverage of OO no doubt influenced the New York Times to list Oakland as the 5th best place in the world to visit. Hmmm. I wonder how much business that'll bring to Uptown restaurants? Folks from NYT have pretty much said that it was the focus on Occupy Oakland that made them think harder about the restaurants in Oakland.
We moved Gayla Newsome into her foreclosed home and The Chronicle did a hit piece on Newsome and OO basically sounding like a bank's PR person, saying that she should have paid her bills on time and deriding OO. (Gayla's still in there and the loan may be getting re-negotiated)
Mayor Quan lied to the public and said that OO tried to take over the YMCA and/or stormed the building. Video footage on youtube shows a very calm crowd of protesters being let in by supportive YMCA workers in order to escape being trapped by the police by walking through to the other side of the block.
She also lied to the public by saying that OO destroyed children's art when people went into City Hall. The truth came out later that, no, no children's art was destroyed. But the lie did the job of painting folks as frothing-at-the-mouth crazies.
People are so used to media that is on the police's side (decades of cop shows, cop movies, and biased news reports) that when they hear arrest numbers- 406 arrested on Move-In Day- that they assume that those folks were doing something that deserved arrest. However, youtube clips show at least two different instances of the police trapping people in, and giving orders to disperse. Meaning people couldn't leave and they got arrested. Out of 406 arrests, only 12 have charges currently. The arrests were used as part of the Anti-OO propaganda.
Even though the TAC announced, before Saturday's FTP March, that their march would be non-violent and asked folks to use those tactics for that march, the media falsely reported that they had the same parameters as before.
Most of these are the kinds of smears that can't be taken back. So, it affects people's approach to how the movement is talked about. As I've said before, none of the controversies- the city's lies, the honest critique from folks, the mistakes the movement has made- are new to any movement.
That being said- I attended a meeting of mostly Black SEIU members at Everett and Jones on Monday. They have a fight coming up and it seemed like every 4th and 5th word out of the mouths of speakers and attendees was "Occupy Oakland" in a very positive and hopeful light. When OO was mentioned, the crowd cheered. We have inspired them and they hope to unite with us in their fight.
We can't let them whittle us down with attacks by the District Attorney. Let's show them that it's not gonna be that easy for them.
Now is the time for massive solidarity.
See you there.
Below is posted the schedule for tomorrow.
We will start at 8:30am at the courthouse (7th and Washington).
Hearings start at 9am.
After that, we'll rally at Oscar Grant Plaza and March back to pack the courtrooms again."
Cross posted from Socialist Progressives: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1024819