Saturday Nov 19, 2011
Liberate Oakland, Shut Down the 1%
DAY OF ACTION TO EXPAND THE OCCUPY MOVEMENT
Out of the Plaza and Into the Streets:
Converge on Downtown Oakland
Oakland United for People’s Needs!
MASS RALLY & MARCH
14th & Broadway! 2:00pm
LONG LIVE THE OAKLAND COMMUNE
• Solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement
• End police attacks on our communities
• Defend Oakland schools & libraries
• Housing for all, No more foreclosures
• Against a capitalist system built on inequality & corporate power that perpetuates racism, sexism & the destruction of the environment
called for by Occupy Oakland & Bay Area Labor
A lot has happened the past few days for the Occupy Movement. In the past few days, Homeland Security have encouraged coordinated police raids to take place at occupations all over the country in an attempt to finally put an end to the movement. I realize I cannot discuss every single action that has happened at occupations across the country, so I am only going to cover a few recent events.
Occupy Oakland . Wow, where do I start? From the very successful General Strike, to their camp getting raided for the second time, Oakland has been a very busy, some even consider Oakland the ‘epicenter’ of action for the OWS movement. If you are in the area, and haven’t yet, we urge you to take part! In case you didn’t know, Oakland Occupy has a mass rally and march planned for Nov 19th.
The city of Portland, OR & PPD raided and evicted the Pdx Occupy camp a couple days ago. The city said that they would be evicted at 12:01 am, but by that time the city came down to support the occupation with numbers around 6,500 – 7,000 people. The police did not see this coming at all, minor clashes between the people and the cops took place, nothing major. The police ended up waiting until morning when people had tired and people had left to evict the occupation. This only strengthened the movement and made them more determined to take further action.
I think one of the most important thing to come out of this weekends eviction is Occupy Portland’s diminishing relationship with the police. Up until now, the movement in Portland has been working with the police, claiming that the police are a part of the 99%. Its not unusual to see people hugging police, taking pictures with the police, giving high fives and respecting them in general. But today, PDX OWS put out a statement declaring that their city/police liaison to the movement have resigned. The main reason being that the actions of the city and police this weekend showed their true intentions, ending the camp, and stopping the occupation.
“You claim to support us and yet you tell your police force to destroy us. Peaceful citizens are being injured in the process.”
If you want to stay updated with Portland Occupy, you can do so here.
A group in Chapel Hill, North Carolina took over an old abandoned building with plans to use the building as a community space. They put banners up with some saying “Capitalism Left this building Dead” and “And we brought it to life”. The occupation was only able to last overnight, in the morning it was raided by a SWAT team that used unnecessarily excessive force. Some frightening pictures of the event were captured, along with photos and video of the whole press conference with the cities mayor and police telling their story about what had happened.
Last night Occupy Wall Street was evicted from their camp at Zuccotti Park in New York City. Mayor Bloomberg’s reasoning to evict the camp was that that he was worried about sanitation problems, and that he was declaring the occupation a fire hazard and was ‘worried about the safety of the movement’. We have learned that the department of homeland security and the fbi have advised cities with occupations for reasons to evict them such as zoning laws, or curfew. They were also told to evict with force, and to do so when the press was less likely to be there. They were only given a mere 10 minutes to break down camp and leave the occupation without arrest. A group of 200-300 people had decided to stay and defend camp, a few of them even locking down in the camps kitchen to make it harder for the police to evict them. During the eviction, police used tear gas, pepper spray, and their batons on peaceful non-violent protestors. After everyone was removed, the park was cleaned, and barricaded with police on guard. This morning they were allowed back into the park without tents or sleeping bags. This is a really exciting time for the movement, and we would encourage you to take part!
Written by Josh Harper-Conflict Gypsy
Activists all over the world over know the story of N30, the name given to the 30th day of November 1999, when the World Trade Organization held it’s third ministerial conference in Seattle, Washington. Tens of thousands of protestors came out in opposition to the policies of the WTO, a group of unelected officials who make decisions which effect the lives of millions of people, entire eco-systems, and yes, billions of animals.
The story of the WTO protests have become the stuff of legend, even spawning a terrible Hollywood portrayal in 2007. The large scale participation, the police response, and the so-called rioting still generate discussion and contentious debate, with some details being dissected constantly since they initially occurred. Amidst all of this talk there is one piece of information that is often overlooked: The role animal liberationists played.
For months prior to the WTO protests animal activists traveled from town to town, encouraging anarchists, socialists, environmentalists, feminists, and others to come to Seattle. From hardcore bands speaking at shows, to Ben White gathering his army of people dressed as sea turtles, everywhere that vegans roamed they were told to make the journey to this historic protest. And they did, by the hundreds.
Despite claims to the contrary, animal rights folks are a diverse grouping and this was readily apparent at the WTO. Feminists roamed the downtown corridor with pro-animal slogans written on their bodies, Northwest Animal Rights Network members passed out leaflets in the streets, three people climbed atop a bus at a busy intersection and unfurled a banner reading “Vegan Revolution.” Not to be left out, those who were more direct action oriented made a large showing as well. It was an animal activist who broke the first window, setting off two days of economic sabotage against corporate property. That window belonged to McDonalds, one of many animal exploiters who suffered small scale vandalism during the resistance to the World Trade Organization.
The participation of anti-speciesists was not just about the place of non-humans in our world, it was also about showing solidarity with the rest of the oppressed worldwide. Far from being a single issue attempt at hijacking a larger protest, this was the animal liberation movement at it’s finest, demonstrating the depth of our politics and our unwillingness to stand by while the powerful run roughshod over the masses.
Those protests were just one tiny battle in a much larger struggle against myriad forms of exploitation and brutality. Since that time the state has become more savvy in controlling mass gatherings and also in targeting individuals who utilize non-mass forms of counter-aggression. Still, people from many backgrounds and causes have persisted, and in recent weeks an outpouring of frustration has led to the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its sister movement, Occupy Together. Unlike the WTO protests, few animal liberationists have been participating, and that speaks poorly of us. Non-human animals are very much victims of corporate greed and dominance. At the top of any chain in the world of systemic animal torture lay the banks, the brokerages, and those who speculate on the value of dead pigs, cow secretions, and other goods that come from animal slavery. Who lobbies congress for tougher sentencing of animal activists, and who holds stock in the labs, the breeders, the pharmaceutical companies? The very same people being protested by the Occupy movement.
Just as we saw at the WTO, it is time for animal liberationists to join and strengthen a broader movement, to give our support to all of the world’s underclass, and to make certain that the billions of non-humans in cages are understood to be part of the 99% howling for freedom from corporate governance. Vegans, to the barricades, to the streets, TO VICTORY! This fight is our fight and it’s well past time that we start swinging.
Harsha discusses the importance, and the role that black bloc activists have played during major demonstrations, we think this is very relevant to the #occupy protests and demonstrations, specifically the vancouver bc Occupy and Oakland Occupy actions. We think this is a very important video to see, especially for those demonizing and criminalizing the black bloc for ‘lack of tactic’. Don’t know what black bloc is? This website does a wonderful job discussing the what/why of black bloc.