From Oakland to Wall Street and across America, November 2, 2010 was a day for striking, marching, closing down the outsourcing of jobs, and demanding America back from the 1% who have looted the hard earnings of the other 99%.
In the end, though occupiers remained peaceful, 80 marchers were arrested, and police again resorted to rubber bullets and tear gas (in spite of a critical injury to a veteran from a police tear gas canister a week before). Occupiers were again injured, showing that the police and elite again forgot that this is this country is supposed to be of the people, by the people and for the people. However, the actions had succeeded in closing down the Port of Oakland one of the busiest ports in America, a symbol of why so many in America are out of work.
Across America, all eyes were on Oakland, where the people and over a hundred organizations had called for a general strike a week after a bloody night of police brutality had resulted in critical injuries to a veteran along with injuries to others and wide-scale arrests. Ironically, the police responded to this protest with further violence.
On November 2nd, the continuing peaceful action sprawled from the steps of the City Hall throughout Oakland’s financial. A visual scan of the crowd showed that more than 10,000 people had gathered by 3 P.M. as this new action was just beginning. Official estimates by the corporations being protested always undercut the actual numbers.
No organization was in charge. The people individually and collectively were united in standing up to the Wall Street tycoons who had stolen their government. There were a minimum of three or more assemblies with speakers, taking place simultaneously and harmoniously, giving voice to the various activists from the 99% in their midst.
There were a children’s area, tents for sleeping and meditation, medical and legal tents, food being given away, strolling musicians and a sense that this is what democracy really looks like. Everything was free from the food to the signs to the acupuncture and crafts.
In waves, the Oakland protesters, marched to the Port of Oakland. There were too many for one wave and so parade after parade marched forward. After closing down the port, Oakland’s people’s assembly returned back to the seat of the city government, which they were retaking from the Wall Street thieves.
Though many drove to the protest, hundreds of bicycles were present, showing a commitment to the environment. There was even a bicycle valet.
Hundreds of organizations participated, from labor unions to ad hoc citizens committees to environmental groups to human rights and political groups. Even the Patrick Henry Democratic Club of America, which has been standing up to tyranny within the Democratic Party for the last seven years, was well represented.
Troy Davis, who was tragically murdered by the State of Georgia in September, had a presence there, having inspired a strong movement to end the death penalty in California as well as across America. Protesters were busy gathering signatures on petitions aimed and finally removing the death penalty blight from this state.
Heavy duty midterms could not keep nearby Berkeley students from taking a strong stance in support of Occupy Oakland Cal (UC Berkeley) students organized an event at Sproul Plaza at noon and another at three. From Cal, students and students marched to Oakland join the Oakland procession to the Port.
Activities on campus were filled with support for the Occupy Oakland action. At an evening classical concert held in Cal’s Morrison Hall, classical soloist Natasha Hull-Richter, the young civil rights activist who founded the Progressive Caucus of the California Democratic Party and who (while in grammar school) convinced California leaders to give the people of her home state a voter-verifiable paper trail, belted out an aria in the midst of a shared excitement she had with her audience and fellow performers regarding the American uprising.
Natasha has longed worked for the day when Americans would wake up and take back their country and she is very excited that her dream of a people-run America is finally on the road to becoming reality.
Cal has always been at the forefront of the people’s rights movement in America and students intend to make sure it stays at the front when the people take back their country. It goes without saying that Berkeley’s representative in Congress Barbara Lee was the one vote against war in Afghanistan following 9/11. Now her district (which also includes Oakland) is standing up against police brutality, Wall Street bailouts, and oligarchy.
Occupation signs conveyed messages Congress and the purchased leaders have forgotten. One banner that had a lot of support called for having the Wall Street executives held as terrorists at Guantanamo.
On 9/11, 3000 Americans died. A multiple of that die every year as a result of starvation and from lack of medical insurance. Barack Obama’s policies favoring the rich are not just bad politics. They are killing Americans. The children who are dying in the streets of America may not be able to contribute as much to Obama as Goldman Sachs. But they matter to their families who grieve the demise of their loved ones to the greed of the rich in America.
Among other human rights causes, the event included opposition to the financial giveaways to Israel, a nation that uses weapons of mass destruction on children in brutally occupied Palestine. People lined up to take pictures of the sign, “Occupy Oakland, not Palestine.”
Even dogs got involved as signs marked their preferences.
Though the protest/march/strike participants were peaceful, police went out of control. So did the 1%. Not only did police attack the non-violent crowd and make unnecessary arrests, but peaceful protesters were struck and injured with a Mercedes, a seemingly intentional act of violence. As you look at the pictures of the protest included in this article, ask yourself if this peaceful group deserved the tear gas, rubber bullets, and automobile attacks to which they were subjected by the police and oppressors.
The author is the chairman of a liberal Democratic club that is working to move the Democratic Party towards it’s true base, the people. She has organized major political events and helped elect some of the most liberal politicians in America. She (more…)
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