Monday, October 31, 2011

Occupy Harlem


2011-10-28 "Group Seeks to Occupy Harlem" by Jeff Mays from "DNAinfo"
HARLEM — Occupy Wall Street is coming to Harlem, but don't expect any Zuccotti Park-style encampments.
Instead, a coalition of community groups is meeting in Harlem Friday evening to organize around the same issues that Occupy Wall Street protesters are highlighting, such as the government bailout of the financial system, high unemployment and home foreclosures.
"When you look at the conditions in Harlem you see massive unemployment, rising evictions because of gentrification and pressure because of rising rents," said Nellie Bailey, one of the organizers of the Occupy Harlem movement. She said the group will show its support with seminars, marches and rallies.
Among the groups involved are the Harlem Tenants Council, Harlem Fightback, and the People's Organization for Progress, NYC Chapter. Cornel West, an activist and professor at Princeton University who was arrested protesting the police department's stop and frisk policies in Harlem last week [], is also an endorser.
There is a noted lack of diversity among Occupy Wall Street protesters, but there shouldn't be, said Bailey.
"We need to address head-on the notion that Occupy Wall Street is a white thing," said Bailey. "I don't think (people of color) comprehend the stranglehold banks have on our institutions."
Black and Latino homeowners lost a huge amount of wealth in the foreclosure crisis and many middle class apartment complexes in Harlem are in jeopardy because of banks that allowed owners to over leverage the properties, Bailey said. Federal immigration policy is also an issue.
"Our communities are hit hardest from every direction: massive unemployment at a crisis level, the privatization of public schools backed by Wall Street hedge fund financiers, and racist stop-and-frisk policing that has criminalized a new generation of Black and Latino youth," said organizer Larry Adams.
Bailey cited the recent problems of Harlem's Carver Bank whose shareholders voted Tuesday to accept $55 million in loans from Wall Street banks and the government to prevent its collapse. Carver is the largest black-owned bank in the country and lends primarily to people in lower-income areas.
"Carver deserves more than a pittance and crumbs from the table, but real money to re-establish it as a vital financial institution for people of color," said Bailey. "The crumbs are not enough to satisfy us."
Nellie Bailey, one of the organizers of Occupy Harlem, speaks at a protest against the city's stop and frisk policies in Harlem on Oct. 21, 2011. (DNAinfo/Jeff Mays)

2011-10-31 "Occupy Harlem: 'Occupy Wall Street Is Not A White Thing'"[]:
The Occupy Wall Street movement went Uptown on Friday night, as more than 100 people filled the second-floor sanctuary at St. Philip's Church in Harlem for the first general meeting of Occupy Harlem [].
Unlike their downtown comrades, those in attendance were mostly black and Latino, save for a handful of whites who sat and listened intently, a few lifting their fists to shouts of "Power to the People."
This was a group of veteran activists and young turks alike, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. And it was a moment decades in the making for veteran Harlem activists, like Nellie Hester Bailey, who have fought and protested and rallied for fair wages, tenants' rights and against police brutality here for years.
"Occupy Wall Street is not a quote-unquote white thing. It is a white thing that the 1 percent and the bankers are representing white oligarchy and white plutocrats for the most part," Bailey said. "But this is an organic movement from the bottom up. Now we have to take advantage, seize the time and the moment ... and it is time that we become part of this landscape so we can begin to highlight our issues."
As Occupy Wall Street has spread to cities across the country and the world, the collective face of the movement has remained largely white and youthful, at times shunning or crowding out old-school activists and civil rights leaders []. But as the movement has continued to grow, more people of color have gotten involved []. There is Occupy The Hood, started by a single mother in Detroit and a substance abuse counselor from Queens. Rappers and entertainers have joined Occupy protests in New York, Oakland, Chicago and Houston [].
 On October 21, more than 30 people, including the scholar and activist Cornel West [], were arrested in Harlem while protesting the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, a practice that critics and community activists say unfairly targets blacks and Latinos. Many of the protesters made their way uptown from Zuccotti park.
According to a recent New York Civil Liberties Union report [], about 3 million innocent New Yorkers were subjected to police stops and street interrogations between 2004 and 2010, the overwhelming majority of those stopped and frisked being black or Latino. For organizers and protesters in Harlem, social issues such as police brutality, incarceration, housing needs and various social issues seem to be the focus, in addition to the economic issues at the heart of Occupy Wall Street.
"There is just something in the air now around standing up," said Carl Dix, a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party in New York. Dix has been deeply involved in planning the protests and was one of those arrested during the protests in Harlem.
 Dix said that Occupy Wall Street captured the media's attention after New York Police officers were filmed pepper spraying white, female protesters, and public outcry intensified. These experiences seem to have opened up some common ground between the young white protesters and their more experienced black counterparts.
"We saw that and figured you guys got a taste of this, but these things happen all the time in black and Latino communities," said Dix. "So we went down to the park and did a few mic checks [used the human microphone system] and really shared with that crowd. You know, what is going on is illegal, unconstitutional and intolerable, and we are going to stop it. You should join us."
"I am not of the mind, 'Damn, why are they getting attention?'" Dix added. "I'm more of the 'Let's make this something that can't be ignored.'"
Occupy actions have also spread to minority communities in Brooklyn and the Bronx. In Zuccotti Park, the staging ground for Occupy Wall Street, a people of color working group has been formed. (Organizers of Occupy Harlem have said an encampment would be discussed at subsequent meetings.)
"People of color should be at the crux of this movement," said Jon Stray, 39, who said he comes from a long line of "revolutionaries" and activists. "We are disproportionately affected by the 1 percent you hear everyone talking about now."
Stray said he is a member of the people of color working group at Occupy Wall Street and that the existence of the group within the larger campaign is in itself a "symbol of marginalization," but a way for minorities to get their issues to the forefront.
But Occupy Harlem appears different in more than just its complexion. While corporate corruption and the greed of the 1 percent are dominant themes at OWS, those in Harlem also spoke of the social issues that affect communities of color, including the privatization of public housing and youth violence. There also seem to be clear generational differences, with many of those in attendance being seasoned veterans. Only a handful of young black men attended Friday's meeting in Harlem.
As speakers took to the lectern to blast government waste, President Obama's alleged collusion with Wall Street villains and the NYPD's stop-and-frisk policy, many of the elders clapped their hands loudly while the younger people snapped or wiggled their fingers in approval. But there seemed, at times, an uncomfortable tension between the moderator, Bailey, and some of the younger participants who seemed more accustomed to the organizational style of Occupy Wall Street. Many grimaced as their hand signs and gestures went unreciprocated or unacknowledged by Bailey.
"There is a gap in a way they want to organize themselves. Youth seem to be less top down while the vanguard is staunchly top down. That produces somewhat of an organizational stalemate that slows down the process," said Craig Schley, executive director of Voice Of The Everyday People (or VOTE People), a Harlem-based community advocacy group. Schley said the depth of disenfranchisement in the black community and generational gaps in leadership have kept many blacks from participating in Occupy Wall Street and other recent protest movements.
Schley, a former congressional candidate, said that those who would naturally lead or embody a movement that represents the concerns of African Americans would need to be young men and women of color. Many of them are hampered by a number of social factors that go well beyond corporate greed, not the least of which is a history of black protests beaten back with force by the police.
"Our problem in northern Manhattan is moral and principled and not purely financial or financially driven," Schley said. "We don't occupy Wall Street because we occupy prisons. Once the protestors in Zuccotti Park get jobs, the protest ends."
"That's a different paradigm entirely," Schley said. "And if we are going to step out and occupy Harlem, we need to make sure we're going to occupy the needs of this community. And let's make it clear: You can't do it unabashed. When African Americans step out there, things tend to get hostile."
(In mid-October, in a somewhat snarky aside, the Village Voice published a commentary on why so few blacks showed up for the Occupy Wall Street protests []. "Thanks to our overwhelming no-show of numbers," writer Greg Tate, wrote, "49,000 shots haven't been fired at OWS yet.")
Nellie Hester Bailey, co-founder of the Harlem Tenants' Council, said that Occupy Harlem stands in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street, a movement she said is less about those "young white people" and more about the spotlight they shine on banks and economic greed and inequality. She added though that Occupy Wall Street should serve as a guide, but communities should determine for themselves what issues are important and what strategies could have the most impact.
"I think what is so exciting about this movement is that it is peopled deciding to come together collectively to see what needs to be done, and taking that synergy to come up with long-term strategic planning that is sustainable so that it's not a one-shot deal."
Oakland Commune resident in Halloween makeup greets a friend at Oscar Grant Plaza.
Photograph by Lacy Atkins from "San Francisco Chronicle"

Occupy Oakland: Occupy Vacant Buildings statement

Occupy Oakland: Solidarity & Support from "East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy"

Occupy Movement: Statement of Solidarity & Calendar of Support from "East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (EBASE)" [1814 Franklin Street - Suite 325 Oakland, CA 94612] [510.893.7106][]:Just like you, EBASE has been working hard for the 99% -- the underrepresented, the underemployed, and the underestimated!  And now, just like you, we are recommitted, re-energized, and re-inspired to continue this important, critical, and crucial work for a better Oakland, East Bay, and Nation. EBASE asks that you join us THIS WEEK: 

• TOMORROW, November 1st:  SWAGN 4 Justice, 4:30pm Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza [].
Rally organized by the youth leaders of Urban Peace Movement, who are a core partner of the Revive Oakland! coalition for good jobs [].

• WEDNESDAY, November 2nd:  General Strike & Day of Action
EBASE will have staff and allies at all of the following actions. Please come and join us for ONE or ALL! 
 Meet up with us by the Steps of City Hall for most of the following actions:
o 9AM  OCCUPY THE BANKS! Foreclose on the 1% (BANK #1)
 Meet at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza for General Strike convergence & 9:55am "I Will Survive...Capitalism" flash mob. 10:05am Morning March and Bank actions downtown.
o 12PM OCCUPY THE BANKS! Foreclose on the 1% (BANK #2)
 Reconvene at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza for General Strike convergence #2; food provided by local community food justice groups! 12:30-4pm Afternoon March and more Bank actions (different targets than morning) - the banks are kicking us out of our homes so we're MOVING IN on them!
o 12PM Family Bike/Stroller Brigades #1, 3PM Family Bike/Stroller Brigades #2
 Join Movement Generation and Oakland parents & families as they too stand in solidarity with the Occupy Movement. []
o 4:30PM Community and Labor BBQ
 The Alameda Labor Council will be sponsoring a cook-out for the entire Occupy Oakland community in Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza from 4:30-8pm.
o 5PM:  Occupy Oakland convergence at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza

o 11AM:  Solidarity action against the G20 with the California Nurses Association and Occupy San Francisco; 101 Market St
 o 5:30PM:  Join EBASE, partners & Allies at the special Oakland City Council Meeting. 
This council meeting will discuss Occupy Oakland, the violent police actions, and the tragic injury of Scott Olson on October 18th, as well as the on-going issues that Wall Street greed and corporation cause for our communities.  The meeting will be at City Hall.

Stay tuned & Click here for the city website and for more details about this meeting. 
Want to help volunteer to support this work, roll out with us this week, or have more questions?
 Please contact Rui Bing Zheng, EBASE Team Member
510.893.7106 X 315 or email:

Statement of Solidarity -
EBASE stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. We identify with the hopes, frustrations, and vision of the community that is Occupy Oakland.  We join with our neighbors to keep focused on the fight to end the inequity that Wall Street and corporations impose on Oaklanders, working families, and people of color. Since last week’s violent eviction EBASE has:
       • Demanded Mayor Quan stop the police repression of Occupy Oakland
       • Rejected the police brutality suffered by Oaklanders 
       • Continued to support  youth-led convenings that lift up the good jobs that Oakland needs 
 EBASE was founded 12 years ago on the principles of bringing labor, community, and faith together to fight the inequality and inequity in Oakland and the East Bay.  The collective power of the more than 100 organizations that have been partners in the past campaigns have brought real positive economic change to working people of color. 
We have learned that when we take action, we cannot be stopped.
EBASE has been building a better and beautiful vision through our shared struggles, campaigns, and fights over the past 12 years. Today, EBASE envisions:
       • a people’s port that can lead by creating cleaner air and good jobs for Oaklanders.  
       • a city that has empowered working people, who can afford to work and live in communities that are beautiful, clean, and safe. 
       • a city with government that is accountable and accessible to the people. 
 For too long Oakland, as a city, has been known for the wrong reasons: viscous police brutality, inefficient and mismanaged government, huge budget problems, broken promises to its residents, and for some of the highest rates of unemployment in the nation. EBASE, like you, knows the true Oakland is a land of opportunity, with a world-class port, in a region that has creative and dynamic people who support each other and have established high expectations of employers, government and ourselves.
Stand with us as we stand with you!
In solidarity, EBASE

Sunday, October 30, 2011

2011-10-30 "In the Midst of International People's Struggles, Students for a Democratic Society Prepare for 6th Annual National Convention"

by Stephanie Taylor []:
 Milwaukee, WI - On November 12th, over a hundred student organizers from across the country will gather here to participate in the 6th annual National Convention of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). SDS was re-founded in 2006 in response to the upsurge of war in the Middle East and the need for a united, national multi-issue radical student and youth organization in the United States. 
Convention organizers state, “War, corporate bailouts, and the privatization of should-be public sector institutions like schools, lie in direct contradiction to what the government should be protecting: housing, education, and health care.” 
In October, SDS chapters throughout the country took to the streets demanding money for jobs and education, not war and occupation. Within the Occupation Movement, students everywhere are saying “Bailout students, not banks!” and are calling for an end to student debt and the creation of student loan forgiveness programs. 
According to Stephanie Taylor of Students for a Democratic Society at the University of Minnesota, “Today, students are facing sky-rocketing tuition and attending universities that are more like corporations than schools. Most of us can’t afford an education, and either don’t go to college, or go and graduate with a lifetime of debt. Either way, students and young people are entering an economy with soaring unemployment and many are struggling to survive. The big banks are rolling in profits while the rest of us get deeper in debt. We say, 'Bail out students, not banks!'" 
This year at the National Convention, SDS plans to highlight the political repression that is faced by progressive activists, specifically those targeted by the FBI for their anti-war and international solidarity work. Speakers will include Stephanie Weiner, a Chicago-based activist who is active with the Palestine Solidarity Group, a member of AFSCME 3506, and a target of FBI repression and grand-jury resister. Also speaking will be Scott Crow, a community organizer, writer, and speaker who, because of his affiliations with progressive causes, was labeled a “domestic terrorist” and was the subject of FBI surveillance for almost a decade. 
Finally, Carlos Montes will be speaking via Skype. Montes was one of the founding members of the Brown Berets, an organization that fought for Chicano liberation in the ‘60s and ‘70s. He later founded Latinos Against War and was a main national organizer of the protests at the Republican National Convention in 2008. In May, Montes’ home was raided and he was arrested. He is now facing trumped up felony charges that carry up to 18-years in prision. 
Workshops and breakout sessions will provide space for SDSers to teach each other organizing skills and learn about political struggles going on throughout the country. Sessions this year will involve speakers on Occupy Wall Street, Troy Davis and the Injustice System, Campaign Building on Campuses, Protesting the NATO/G8, Gender & Sexuality, Building the Fight Against Political Repression and more. 
Mike Gold of Milwaukee SDS explains the importance of the convention, “I'm excited about the convention because it really allows us to grow closer as a national organization, which is better for our work. It's really cool to meet activists from all over and hear what they've been up to. Plus, it gives us new ideas for our own local work.” 
SDS chapters from New Jersey to Minneapolis, D.C. to Chicago, Florida to Vermont will converge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin to discuss new ideas for action, learn from each others successes, and lay the ground work for upcoming national mobilizations in the spring.


message from Josie Camacho, Executive Secretary-Treasurer for the Alameda Labor Council:
  Sisters & Brothers,
Excitement is continuing to build nationally and worldwide for the "Occupy Movement"! Workers, students, unemployed, homeless, seniors, those who have lost their homes to foreclosures and those who have lost their jobs -- the 99% -- are standing up and fighting back against the 1%! 
 We are experiencing the results of a failed economy and inability of the richest nation in the world to provide for the 99%. We know that the 1% is only getting greedier and richer. But, things are changing and this movement is catching fire.
Inspired by the spirit of the fight against Wall Street, the Alameda Labor Council urges all union members and your families to join us as we stand in solidarity with Occupy Oakland on Wednesday, November 2. This Day of Action on November 2 will be a public demonstration of support for the right to peaceably assemble without interference, and against the growing wealth and income inequality created by Wall Street and the actions of the richest 1%. 
 Individual unions and your members are encouraged to express solidarity in whatever form you find appropriate. These are some options for Nov. 2: 
 1. At your worksite. Before work or during lunch, come together to talk about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Wear We are the 99% stickers. 
 2. Noon Bank action. Meet at Oakland City Hall and join a Wells Fargo Bank action. 
 3. Mobilization at 5 pm. Labor's focus will be to turn out for this mobilization. We will converge at the Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Hall to join with Occupy Oakland. 
 Wear your union shirts and be visible so Occupy Oakland knows that labor is standing with them. 
 At 7 pm the Alameda Labor Council with our affiliates will be hosting a "cook out" and serving dinner to all in attendance. 
 What can your union do to support this effort?
Contribute to the "cook out". We expect to feed 1,000s at 7 pm on November 2. A detailed budget will be sent out tonight. Volunteer monitors needed for 5 pm mobilization. If your local can round up 4-10 monitors, that would be great. Contribute to fund a lead "occupy" organizer. The occupy movement requires experience, time and commitment to build good relationships. We will be setting up a dedicated fund to resource this level of organizing. If your local has staff you can reassign to this effort, let's talk.
 Please see the labor flyer attached and spread the word to all your families, friends and networks! To donate and/or volunteer, call 510-632-4242 x226 OR email:
We are the 99%!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

2012-10-29 "General Strike and Mass Protest on Weds. Nov. 2nd! Drop the Charges Against All Occupy Protesters!"

by Steven Argue from "Liberation News"
This is an article of Liberation News, subscribe free. []
Scott Olsen Cannot Talk Due to the Brain Injury Caused by Police Violence

On October 25, at about 5:00 AM, over 500 and cops including the Oakland Police and cops from 16 other jurisdictions attacked peaceful protesters at the Occupy Oakland encampment on 14th and Broadway. They moved in with armored vehicles and full riot gear and viciously attacked the Occupy Oakland protesters. Through the day the number of protesters grew to about 3,000 people despite continued police violence with protests moving to a number of locations. The protests were repeatedly attacked by the police, who clubbed demonstrators, fired concussion grenades, fired tear gas at least four different times, and shot protesters with wooden slugs, bean bag canisters, and possibly rubber bullets. Eighty five people were arrested.
Scott Olsen, a 24 year-old Iraq War veteran and member of Iraq War Veterans Against the War, was shot in the head by the police with a projectile. Scott was seriously injured and was knocked out in critical condition with swelling on his brain. He has now woken up, but cannot talk due to the brain injury caused by police violence. He has sustained an injury to the speech center of his brain.
Police forces across the country have been carrying out repression against the Occupy protesters with brutality and arrests in New York, Denver, Boston, Chicago, Oakland, and elsewhere. Unarmed protesters have been repeatedly beaten, maced, tear gassed, and arrested for exercising their right to free speech. Meanwhile, armed Tea Party protesters who have pushed an extreme rightwing agenda of austerity for the working class have showed up at protests armed, but are not touched by the police.
There is no question that there has been a brutal response by America’s rulers to working class people and students demanding change to benefit the majority. It is a mass movement has emerged because people are fed up with a society run by and for the wealthy. We are fed up with a society where a CEO’s salary is 475 times higher than the wages of the average worker, where unemployment has gone through the roof with official figures a lie and the real numbers at 17%, where the Democrats and Republicans are spending trillions of dollars on imperialist wars and dictators that are terrorizing the people of the world, where the Republicans are blaming Social Security and Medicare instead of war for the debt and Obama goes along with it putting “everything on the table” for cuts, everything that is except the war budget, a society where much of the working class is without health care and without a job, where Wall Street is bailed out but Obama waits for a Republican controlled congress and a looming election to unveil a half ass jobs program that now predictably has not passed, where youth who go to college face a depressingly downwardly mobile future, where U.S. corporations are making record profits at a projected 1.6 trillion dollars this year but the majority does not benefit, where the planet is in a deep crisis with climate change but Obama and the Republicans are easing environmental restrictions and not even considering the actions needed to save our world, where innocent people like Troy Davis are put to death, where Bradley Manning sits in prison for allegedly exposing U.S. war crimes in Iraq, and where the average person has absolutely no voice in mainstream politics and the mainstream media.
The capitalist government’s response to the protests? Typical violence and repression. At the heart of the capitalist system is a police force whose job it is to abuse labor, people of color, the poor, the homeless, and leftists. It is their job as professional thugs to protect Wall Street from the 99%. The hierarchies of police forces have purposely protected and promoted the most brutal police with the least connection to humanity in order to have a police force that is always loyal to the capitalist government and capitalist class at times like this. They work for the wealthy 1%, not us.

General Strike and Mass Protest on November 2nd -
In response to the Oakland violence, on Wednesday October 26, 2011 nearly 2,000 people reclaimed the square that police violence drove them from, renamed it Oscar Grant Plaza, and voted for a general strike and mass demonstration to be held on November 2nd.
Oscar Grant square is a fitting name. Oscar Grant was a working class Black man and father of a young daughter who was handcuffed and executed by an Oakland Bart cop while laying face down in 2009. The BART cop who murdered Oscar Grant is named Johannes Mehserle. It was only due to cell phone footage and mass protests that Mehserle was finally charged with murder. Yet, the criminal injustice system, which is routinely unfair to people who aren’t rich, unfair to people of color, and unfair to people who are leftists, let Johannes Mehserle off the hook despite overwhelming evidence murder. Mesherle was given a slap on the wrist and convicted of “involuntary man slaughter”. He did lose his job, which is unusual in cases of police violence, but he walks free today.
At renamed and retaken Oscar Grant Square 1607 people voted on the resolution for a general strike and mass protest on November 2nd. The vote tallies were 1484 in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained, and 46 voted against it. This passed the proposal with 96.9% voting in favor. The Oakland General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.
Some claimed this was not the decision of a union so it had little meaning. Yet, with polls showing the current popularity of the Occupy movement at 37% combined with the shock and anger caused by police brutality and repression, this call for a general strike was far more than some empty gesture. Unions are indeed taking it seriously.
Backing the call for the general strike is the 3,000 member Carpenters Local 713 that voted to join the strike and join protests at Oscar Grant Square. They passed a resolution that ends by saying they “resolve to support the call of the 2,000 Oaklanders at Occupy Oakland for a one-day strike in Oakland for Wednesday November 2nd, 2011, to protest our country’s rising inequality and the brutal actions of the police in the city of Oakland, California.”
Also supporting the strike are key leaders of the ILWU and IBU in the Bay Area who put out a statement titled, “Defend Occupy Oakland with the Power of Organized Labor”. They state, “As a first step, in defending our union and others against economic and political repression, we need to mobilize our members to participate in the rally and occupation November 2 in Oscar Grant Plaza. Shut it down!”
That ILWU / IBU statement also denounces other police violence including a 2003 Oakland Police attack on anti-war protesters using the same potentially lethal munitions as were just used. That police attack injured six longshoreman including Billy Kepo’s.
“Local 10 longshoreman Billy Kepo’o was hit in the hand by a police tear gas canister causing a bloody mess. Now, Iraqi war vet, Scott Olsen, was hit in the head with a police projectile, causing a fracture and putting him in critical condition in Highland Hospital. This is exactly what killed one of the strikers in Seattle in the Big Strike of 1934. That history of police violence against strikers is why our Local 10 Constitution bans cops from membership in our union.”
Further strengthening the coming strike on the Port of Oakland is a resolution passed unanimously by the Occupy Oakland strike assembly on Friday October 29 that calls for a march to blockade of the Port of Oakland. The statement reads:
“On Wednesday, November 2nd as part of the Oakland General Strike, we will march on the Port of Oakland and shut it down. We will converge at 5pm at 14th and Broadway and march to the port to shut it down before the 7pm night shift.
“We are doing this in order to blockade the flow of capital on the day of the General Strike, as well as to show our commitment to solidarity with Longshore workers in their struggle against EGT in Longview, Washington. EGT is an international grain exporter which is attempting to rupture longshore jurisdiction. The driving force behind EGT is Bunge LTD, a leading agribusiness and food company which reported 2.4 billion dollars in profit in 2010; this company has strong ties to Wall Street. This is but one example of Wall Street’s corporate attack on workers.
“The Oakland General Strike will demonstrate the wide reaching implications of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The entire world is fed up with the huge disparity of wealth caused by the present system. Now is the time that the people are doing something about it. The Oakland General Strike is a warning shot to the 1% – their wealth only exists because the 99% creates it for them.”
A shut down of the ports by the ILWU and IBU will be a powerful step in defense of democratic rights against the brutality being dished out by the Oakland Police and Mayor Jean Quan. The Port of Oakland is the fourth largest port in the United States and its shut down will be costly for the capitalists. In addition, this is an opening shot of proletarian power versus the repression of the capitalists and their state. The capitalists and their government want to avoid this type of action. Those in power would prefer the proletariat continue to feel helpless under a police state and two party system rather than begin to feel our power by shutting down production and transport.
It is no coincidence that after the General Assembly voted for a general strike Mayor Jean Quan tried to make an apology for her actions to an Occupy Oakland meeting the next day. She said, "Ultimately, it was my responsibility, and I apologize for what happened," and then claimed: "We can change America, but we must unite and not divide our city. I hope we can work together." Obviously she is feeling the pressure, but the fact she was willing to use police violence in the first place to shut down the constitutional rights of protesters indicates that she is a representative of the wealthy 1% who feels threatened by the Occupy movement. She was rightly booed out of Oscar Grant Square by people demanding she “resign!”
California Nurses Association Treasurer Martha Kuhl, an Oakland RN, rightly denounced this Democrat Party mayor saying, “This unwarranted attack on peaceful protesters places Oakland Mayor Jean Quan in shameful company with mayors like Chicago’s Rahm Emanuel and other cities whose response to public expression of protest is repression rather than respect for the rights of free speech and assembly.”
On November 2nd we will teach the ruling capitalists and their government that needed respect by shutting them down. Join the general strike and mass march November 2nd.

Shut Down the 1%!
General Strike & Mass Day of Action called for by Occupy Oakland!
Everyone to the Streets!
No Work! No School!
Mass gatherings at 14th & Broadway:
9:00am • 12 noon • 5:00pm
5:00pm start at 14th and Broadway and march to the port to shut it down before the 7pm night shift
All banks and corporations must close down for the day or we will march on them

Liberation News joins the Oakland Occupy General Assembly in Demanding:
• Solidarity with the worldwide Occupy Movement
• End Police Attacks on Our Communities
• Defend Oakland Schools & Libraries
• Against an economic system built on inequality & corporate power that perpetuates racism, sexism & the destruction of the environment
And Liberation News adds the additional demand: Drop The Charges Against All Occupy Protesters!
Read About the 1934 San Francisco General Strike: "The Big Strike" by Mike Quin []

Power to the People! Defend Education

The Public Education Coalition is a student, worker, and faculty group from UC Berkeley who oppose and actively fight against austerity measures in the form of fee increases, departmental cuts, decrease in ethnic diversity, layoffs, and furloughs. This October and November there are a number of ways that folks can get involved to help us spread the word and participate in our meetings and actions. Solidarity is necessary and democratization of the University of California system is within our reach!
On October 17th there began the 1st general assembly meeting at 105 Boalt Hall from 6-8 pm on the UCB campus.
On October 27th there was a rally and funeral for public education

On November 8th-9th there will be informational pickets at the California State Universities.
On November 8th-9th there will also be actions, workshops, and teach-outs at UC Berkeley in Sproul Plaza
On November 15th there will be a mass presence to protest the Regent’s meeting at Mission Bay in San Francisco.

For more information and to get involved visit:
Come to our general assembly meeting mentioned above on the 17th in 105 Boalt Hall from 6-8pm.
2011-10-29 "Chevron earns $7.83 billion in 3rd-quarter profit; $7.83 billion is more than double 2010's 3rd quarter" by David R. Baker from "San Francisco Chronicle"
The high oil and gas prices cursed by consumers brought Chevron Corp. a near-record $7.83 billion profit in the third quarter, the San Ramon company reported Friday.
That's more than twice what Chevron, America's second-largest oil business, earned during the same period last year. And it fell just shy of the company's highest quarterly profit - $7.89 billion in the third quarter of 2008, when oil prices briefly reached $145 per barrel.
Crude prices haven't neared that peak this year. But they have remained stubbornly high, despite the sluggish economy. Chevron's average U.S. price for a barrel of crude oil hit $97 in the third quarter, up from $69 a year earlier. Overseas, the company's average price reached $103 per barrel, up from $70 last year.
"We've entered an era when supply and demand are really tightly balanced," said Allen Good, an oil-industry analyst with the Morningstar market research firm. "Any sign of economic growth in Europe or America, with continued strong demand in China, is going to affect prices."
Chevron's third-quarter revenue jumped 26 percent to reach $61.3 billion, even as the company's worldwide production of oil and natural gas slipped 5 percent, down to 2.6 million barrels per day.
All big international oil companies have seen their profits surge this year. Exxon Mobil Corp. on Thursday reported earning $10.33 billion in the third quarter, a 41 percent increase from the same period last year. Royal Dutch Shell's profits doubled to reach $7 billion.
Although Chevron and its competitors make the overwhelming majority of their money selling crude oil, this year's high gasoline prices have boosted their profits.
Chevron's U.S. "downstream" operations, which include refining and marketing, made $704 million in profit during the third quarter, twice the tally from a year earlier. International downstream profits topped $1.28 billion, although $500 million of that came from selling a refinery and other assets in the United Kingdom and Ireland.
Gasoline prices have remained high despite weak demand in the United States. The country's average price for a gallon of regular now stands at $3.45, 64 cents higher than a year ago, according to the AAA automotive service. California's average stands at $3.84.
Prices usually drop during the fall, but that hasn't happened this year. U.S. refineries have been able to sell any excess gasoline to eager markets in South America, keeping prices from tumbling.
"My real worry is the spring," said Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. "We're looking at a spike in the spring, and the question is, is that going to be the straw that broke the consumer's back in the U.S. and Europe."
Chevron's top refining executive warned Friday that last week's decision by California regulators to create a cap-and-trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions would probably lead to higher prices in the state. Chevron operates two California refineries, in Richmond and El Segundo (Los Angeles County).
"California energy prices are some of the highest in the nation, whether you're talking about electricity or fuels," said Michael Wirth, executive vice president of Chevron's downstream operations. "By policy, this is designed to drive prices higher. And at some point, businesses have to confront that, as do the consumers of those businesses' products. And in a state where the economy is challenged, where employment is challenged, and where the fiscal situation is unsustainable, I think the effects here are predictable."

2011-10-29 Oscar Grant Committee re-occupies Oscar Grant Plaza!!!

Action Report and Meeting Alert from "Diablo MDS/SDS":
November OSCAR GRANT COMMITTEE General Meeting
Tues Nov. 1 , 7-9 PM
Neibyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave
north Oakland [near Alcatraz ]

The "Oscar Grant Committee, Against Police Brutality & State Repression (OGC)" held a dynamic 2 hour  "Speakout" Sat. evening "Against Police Brutality" at Oscar Grant Plaza in "Re Occupied Oakland", after the brutal police riot in the encampment a few days earlier.
Over 1000 people enthusiastically participated and a spontaneous night time march of 400 took place after-wards. Previous night time Oscar Grant marches have led to bogus mass arrests, but this time despite a little street dancing with the cops there was no violence or arrests.
Indeed 'The whole World is Watching".
Most leading OGC activists spoke at the "Speakout", including Uncle Bobby and Denika Chatman, (cop-slain Ken Harding's mother) and recently bailed out Fly Benzo (persecuted Bay View black 'cop watcher').
OGC speakers repeatedly called on people to attend Tues Nov 1, OGC meeting & the Protest Vigil  for police slain Derrick Jones on Nov 8  in East Oakland.
[signed] FRH, community organizer for "Diablo MDS/SDS" and "OGC"
P.S.: Check it out, look closely below and you will see some of the dozens of MDS/SDS/OGC picket signs carried on the march!
[Note from Dr.G.: "Diablo MDS/SDS" and "OGC" picket-signs have the red fist, which are produced through the efforts of FRH, who is an organizer for both organizations]

Friday, October 28, 2011

2011-10-28 "S.F. Labor Movement Key to Preventing Raid of Occupy SF Encampment"

by Alan Benjamin, a member of the Executive Board of the San Francisco Labor Council, AFL-CIO (as a delegate from OPEIU Local 3). He was among the unionists who stood with Occupy SF to defend the encampment against the planned police raid.
 The San Francisco Chronicle reported today (Friday, October 28) that the S.F. Police Department had mobilized large numbers of police officers and special riot troops late Wednesday evening to raid and take down the Occupy SF encampment under orders from Interim S.F. Mayor Ed Lee. But in the early hours of Thursday morning, the Chronicle reports, the mayor and Police Chief Greg Suhr reversed their decision and ordered the troops -- including a big contingent of riot troops that had mobilized from Treasure Island toward San Francisco at about 3 a.m. -- to back down and return to their home bases. 
The lead article and the accompanying piece by editorial writer C.W. Nevius noted that one of the main reasons for this about-face by the mayor and police chief was the large turnout by union officers and members who had come to help protect the encampment. Another reason was the all-night presence at Occupy SF of five Board of Supervisors members. 
The Chronicle articles are correct, but they don't tell the full story. 
On Wednesday afternoon, a group of labor and community organizations met with Mayor Lee to ask him if it was true, as had been widely rumored, that he had ordered a raid of Occupy SF late that night because of "sanitation concerns." 
Immediately following the meeting, Bobbi López, a member of SEIU 1021, sent out an urgent memo in which she stated that during the meeting Mayor Lee did not deny this rumor -- and this could only mean one thing: the order to raid had been issued. Sister López called on all unionists to gather at the encampment at 9:30 p.m. "to keep the movement going." A similar message was sent out by S.F. Labor Council Executive Director Tim Paulson to Council executive board members.
In less than two hours, an emergency-response labor phone and email tree was activated, and by 9:30 p.m. more than 80 San Francisco union members -- including Paulson, SFLC President Mike Casey, SF Building Trades Council Director Mike Therriault, SFLC Vice President Conny Ford, and six other e-board members -- were at the encampment. The overwhelming majority were ready to be arrested, if that's what it took to protect Occupy SF. 
We were joined as well by hundreds of youth and community activists -- many of whom had come as a group from San Francisco State University, City College, and the East Bay, to name a few places, to reinforce the defense effort. 
But this was not all: Before leaving City Hall after the meeting with Mayor Lee, the union and community activists knocked on all the doors of the S.F. Board of Supervisors members, urging them to get down asap to the encampment to help prevent the raid. And not only did five of the Supervisors show up, four remained at the encampment till dawn. Former Board of Supervisors Aaron Peskin also joined the group. 
Though the numbers dwindled a bit throughout the night, what was remarkable was that a majority of the union officers and members held firm till dawn. Everyone knew that if we did not all stay firm till the early morning commute, the raid would take place at 3 or 4 in the morning. 
We now know that the raid had been planned for those early hours. But the plan was foiled. This represents a first victory over the forces that have been hell-bent on shutting down Occupy SF. But it is not a permanent victory. Labor and community leaders and activists need to remain vigilant and prepared to act again on short notice should they be needed to defend Occupy SF.

Union Support for General Strike and Protests Nov. 2

[2012-10-28 statement from leading ILWU and IBU members supporting the the protests and general strike called for November 2 by Occupy Oakland]:

Demonstrators in downtown Oakland protesting the bank-driven economic crisis were brutally attacked by police from 18 Bay Area agencies on Tuesday Oct. 25. Mayor Quan, who was supported by ILWU Local 10 in the recent elections, ordered this bloody assault. Cops used potentially lethal weapons to break up the occupation of Frank Ogawa (now renamed Oscar Grant) Plaza just as they did in the port against anti-war protesters in 2003.  That police attack was even criticized by the UN Human Rights Commission and ended up costing Oakland over $2 million in civil suits.
Then-Local 10 longshoreman Billy Kepo’o was hit in the hand by a police tear gas canister causing a bloody mess.   Now, Iraqi war vet, Scott Olsen, was hit in the head with a police projectile, causing a fracture and putting him in critical condition in Highland Hospital. This is exactly what killed one of the strikers in Seattle in the Big Strike of 1934. That history of police violence against strikers is why our Local 10 Constitution bans cops from membership in our union.
Last year, Local 10 shutdown all ports to protest the police killing of young Oscar Grant. This year ILWU has been supporting Occupy Wall Street. Just last Monday the San Francisco Labor Council declared the Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Wall Street “sanctioned union strike lines” offering the protesters an umbrella of union protection.
ILWU is under attack from PMA employers, not just here in the port of Oakland but especially in Longview, Washington. Our jobs and the survival of the ILWU as a fighting union are at stake. We heard the report of our Longview Local 21 brothers at our union meeting last week and we pledged our solidarity, just as we did for other unions under attack, whether in Charleston, South Carolina or Madison, Wisconsin.
At the same time there is an outrage at the bankers and the capitalist crisis which has caused massive hardship on the working class. Occupy Oakland protesters have called for a General Strike on November 2. Whether this actually means real strike action by workers depends in large part on union participation.  Local 10 has always been in the lead in the labor movement and all eyes are on us. As a first step, in defending our union and others against economic and political repression, we need to mobilize our members to participate in the rally and occupation November 2 in Oscar Grant Plaza. Shut it down!
Anthony Leviege #9576, Ronnie Armour #9922, Troy Bell #9837, Tremaine Waters #9202, Richard Washington #9402, Anthony Manning #9986, Odis Rucker #9811, Robert Grissom #101284, Jack Heyman #8780 (ret.), Samantha Levens (S.F. IBU), Robert Irminger (S.F. IBU), Howard  Keylor #220447 (ret.), Clarence Thomas #8718

2011-10-28 "Resolution Passed by Carpenters Local 713 to Join the General Strike and Protests":
Carpenters Local 713 represents 3,000 mostly private sector construction workers in Alameda County, California and passed the following motion last night (Thurs October 27th,2011) by a standing vote with an overwhelming majority.
Please feel free to distribute widely. Thanks.
Local 713 of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters stands in solidarity with the Occupy Wall Street movement. We support the right of all working people to organize and peacefully assemble to demand their rights.
We further agree that the 1% should not continue to go untaxed while the 99% face layoffs, pay and benefit cuts, foreclosures and the closing of our children’s schools and our public services.
We further strongly condemn the police brutality used against the Occupy Oakland movement and the devastating injury inflicted on Iraq veteran Scott Olsen.
We further resolve to support the call of the 2,000 Oaklanders at Occupy Oakland for a one-day strike in Oakland for Wednesday November 2nd, 2011, to protest our country’s rising inequality and the brutal actions of the police in the city of Oakland, California.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Identities of the police agents who attempted to murder protesters during 2011-10-26 Occupy Oakland

Message from R.T.:
I've found a number of people are not aware of this, so I am posting what I've found.
The cop accused (please note, I'm -NOT- saying he did it - see below) of shooting Scott Olsen is Scott Bergstresser of the San Francisco Sheriff's Emergency Services Unit. See below:
A blog claims that "an official police list puts Ceciel Yambao, Scott Bergstresser and Hugo Aparicio as being on the center front police line during the shooting" - []. However, I don't see this information repeated elsewhere so I can't verify it. They are actually standing next to each other in various videos of the scene.
I've reviewed the YouTube videos that I have, and I cannot be absolutely sure since I don't have access to the original footage.

If you look at the video []
At about 1:54, you can see the guy who shot the canister. Two people to his right (left for person watching the video) there is another taller cop with a riot shield. Bergstresser is taller than the people on either side of him, and the same is true of the cop who lobbed the tear gas canister at Olsen after he was hit. But you have to assume the cops didn't move when the shooting started. I don't think there is a clear ID. If you look at the "Bergstresser" video on YouTube, all it shows is Bergstresser in the police line before the actual shooting.

"Footage of Scott Olsen being shot by Police at Occupy Oakland" []:
Uploaded by raleighl on Oct 27, 2011 
This footage is proof that Scott Olsen was shot in the face by police without provocation during the Occupy Oakland march on Tuesday October 25. 
The moment leading up to the shooting, Olsen was standing completely still.
He was then hit in the head with a tear gas canister, which is potentially fatal. 
At 1:17 You can see Scott Olsen being BLOWN BACK, and then his body hits the concrete. 
Also, no rocks or bottles were thrown before Olsen was shot, contrary to Police statements. 
Two angles of footage confirm this.  
Additional Footage courtesy of: Matt Kresling []  
Rina Palta, Ali Winston [
Will also be posted at: [
To help scott olsen, visit []

Fascists attempting to murder Occupy Oakland Commune!!!

2011-12-04 "Oakland Police Trained Alongside Bahrain Military and Israeli Forces Prior to Violent Occupy Oakland Raid" by David Harris-Gershon from "Tikkun" magazine
A month before Occupy Oakland was violently raided by riot police using chemical weapons, rubber bullets and flash grenades – a raid which critically injured Iraq war veteran Scott Olsen – the Oakland Police Department and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department trained alongside a military unit from Bahrain and an Israeli Border Police unit.
The occasion was Urban Shield 2011 [], an annual training competition which gathers heavily militarized police from the United States and across the globe to explore the latest in tactical responses and to promote collaboration. It’s a training that northern California police departments credited for their “effective teamwork” in dealing repressively with Occupy Oakland [].
Max Blumenthal, who broke this story in al-Akhbar [“occupy”-israelification-american-domestic-security] in an exhaustive piece on the militarization of U.S. police, describes the units alongside which multiple California departments trained before violently crushing Occupy Oakland:
[begin excerpt]
Training alongside the American police departments at Urban Shield was the Yamam, an Israeli Border Police unit that claims to specialize in “counter-terror” operations but is better known for its extra-judicial assassinations of Palestinian militant leaders and long record of repression and  abuses in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. Urban Shield also featured a unit from the military of Bahrain, which had just crushed a largely non-violent democratic uprising by opening fire on protest camps and arresting wounded demonstrators when they attempted to enter hospitals. While the involvement of Bahraini soldiers in the drills was a novel phenomenon, the presence of quasi-military Israeli police – whose participation in Urban Shield was not reported anywhere in US media – reflected a disturbing but all-too-common feature of the post-9/11 American security landscape.
[end excerpt]
That landscape is being revealed in full relief as militarized SWAT police across America continuously crack down on nonviolent, peaceful Occupy Wall Street protesters. Indeed, excessive, coordinated force – unparallelled in contemporary American history – is being used against both protesters merely assembling to air their grievances and against journalists attempting to merely chronicle such protests.
One needs to look no further than Urban Shield 2011 to see why police departments across the country are beginning to resemble repressive forces in countries such as, say, Bahrain.
Indeed, Urban Shield 2011 was held on the University of California, Berkeley’s campus weeks before university police used excessive force on students occupying a campus green. One of the departments that participated in Urban Shield 2011 was the University of California Police Department, Berkeley []. Is it any wonder, then, why campus police brutally beat and arrested students in early November in a crackdown on its Occupy Cal encampment? []
Occupy Wall Street is not going anywhere. Even as groups are evicted from their encampments, protest actions are creatively expanding – from reclaiming foreclosed-upon homes to flash occupations of commercial districts.
As these nonviolent protests expand, it will be telling how long Americans will tolerate militarized police responses to what is becoming one of this generation’s civil rights movements.

Militarized riot police stand against Occupy Oakland on October 29, 2011. Photo by Soozarty1.

2011-10-27 "ISRAELI trained Police Shot US Marine Scott Olsen + Hells Angels join OWS" by Rivero
Watch Entire 2011-10-27 Broadcast here: []
Keep an eye on []

We are hoping that Scott is going to recover fully from this assault on him but there is no question he has galvanized the attention and focus of the entire Military... we are hearing from every branch of the service that Veterans and serving rank and file are going to be joining with the occupy protesters in the streets of America because they realize they are being attacked, and they are watching as this super committee is savaging their veterans benefits... they are cutting of their medical care and Scott walked his talk, he put on the uniform of the USA and served two tours in Iraq and he comes home and this is how the government he fought for treats him when he dares to stand up and stay "I disagree with how the nation is being run." So they shoot him in the head.
The Oakland Police Department, who shot and critically injured an unarmed 24 year old U.S. Marine with a tear gas canister last night, has placed 2nd only to Israel in "terrorism" training exercises two years in a row.
The tactical similarities to Israel's treatment of nonviolent Palestinian protesters were obvious to many, but they go deeper than that. Max Blumenthal writes the Oakland police used many of the same weapons:
Same weapons of mass suppression used by Israelis and Oakland police: []
The police repression on display in Oakland reminded me of tactics I witnessed the Israeli army employ against Palestinian popular struggle demonstrations in occupied West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, Ni'lin and Bilin. So I was not surprised when I learned that the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police. The company is Defense Technology, a Casper, Wyoming based arms firm that claims to "specialize in less lethal technology" and other "crowd management products." Defense Tech sells everything from rubber-coated teargas rounds that bounce in order to maximize gas dispersal to 40 millimeter "direct impact" sponge rounds to "specialty impact" 12 gauge rubber bullets.

2011-10-26 "Police who nearly killed Iraq vet at OCCUPY protests trained by Israeli military" by Martin Hill from ""
Martin Hill is a Catholic paleoconservative and civil rights advocate. His work has been featured on, WhatReallyHappened, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, Rense, National Motorists Association, WorldNetDaily, The Orange County Register, KNBC4 Los Angeles, Los Angeles Catholic Mission Newspaper, and many others. You can view a full archive of his work at
The Oakland Police Department, who shot and critically injured an unarmed 24 year old U.S. Marine with a tear gas cannister last night, has placed 2nd only to Israel in "terrorism" training exersizes two years in a row.
Scott Olsen, 24, suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling and is in critical condition as a result of Tuesday's shooting.
 Participating in operation Urban Shield for several years, Oakland PD has come in second place for the last 2 years and  won first place in 2009 []. In a press release issued a week prior to Tuesdays shooting, Oakland PD boasted: "OPD Excels in SWAT Competition- "The Oakland Police Department placed 2nd among SWAT teams in the recently completed Urban Shield 2011 Training Exercise. In its 5th year, Urban Shield is the nation�s premiere tactical training exercise competition that tests the capabilities of first responders. The event is hosted by the Alameda County Sheriffï's Office and has obtained international recognition with representatives coming as far away as Israel and Jordan."
 The full press release can be found here [], and reads in part: "The 48 hour event consisted of 30 SWAT teams that competed in sustained exercises that involved 26 realistic training scenarios based on real world threats that were spread across the Bay Area. The scenarios included hostage rescue, maritime/train interdiction, weapons of mass destruction, infrastructure sabotage, and a SWAT fitness assessment. Teams were required to successfully respond to each of the staged scenarios with proper tactics using specialized weapons and equipment. ....Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan, who attended the closing ceremony, stated "I am extremely proud of the Oakland Police Department's Tactical Team. They consistently rank among the best performing Tactical Teams in the region."
 In a more subdued statement [] in wake of criticism over his departments handling of "Occupy" protests, Chief Jordan assured the public that "The City is committed to facilitating peaceful protests and constitutional policing".
The 2011 police press release also states "The Oakland Police team was made up of eight SWAT team members who where led by Sergeants Roland Holmgren and Chris Sansone". On youtube is an interesting video [] titled "Roland Holmgren Instigates Oakland Police Brawl. Watch Here, and GET MILITANT COMMERCIAL"
 In October 2010, The Oakland Tribune reported [] "An Oakland police SWAT team finished second in a prestigious, internationally known training competition this past weekend, losing out to a group of Israeli police but beating more than two dozen other Bay Area law enforcement agencies that participated."
 The year prior, reported "URBAN SHIELD 2009 Terrorizing Oakland & Bay Area This Weekend at Invite of Alameda Sheriff" [], noting "The exercises include "competitions" between various departments and is funded in large part by ever-flowing Department of Homeland Security dollars that blur whatever lines might have existed between domestic police and national armies."
 Among those listed on the drill's official website,, under 2010 Supporting International Agencies / Organizations [] are "State of Israel National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA)", "State of Israel National EMS System, Magen David Adom", and "State of Israel National Police".
The ADL  participated in the first annual Urban Shield Training Exercise in California [].
 Max Blumenthal, in his article 'The arms firm behind the suppression of #OccupyOakland and Palestine's popular struggle' [] notes "the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police. The company is Defense Technology, a Casper, Wyoming based arms firm..."
See also 'Palestine in Oakland' by Adam Horowitz [].
 Johannes Mehserle, a former Oakland area BART officer who shot and killed an unarmed subdued man in the back on New Years day 2009, spent only 365 days in jail before he was released.

2011-10-26 "The arms firm behind the suppression of #OccupyOakland and Palestine's popular struggle" by Max Blumenthal

With the rise of the Occupy Wall Street, a new generation of mostly middle class Americans is learning for the first time about the militarization of their local police forces. And they are learning the hard way, through confrontations with phalanxes of riot cops armed with the latest in “non-lethal” crowd control weaponry. Yesterday’s protests in Oakland, California were the site of perhaps the harshest police violence leveled against the Occupy movement so far. Members of the Oakland Police Department and the California Sheriff’s Department attacked unarmed protesters [] with teargas canisters, beanbag rounds, percussion grenades, and allegedly with rubber bullets, leaving a number of demonstrators with deep contusions and bloody head wounds. It is not difficult to imagine such scenes becoming commonplace as the Occupy protests intensify across the country.
The police repression on display in Oakland reminded me of tactics I witnessed the Israeli army employ against Palestinian popular struggle demonstrations in occupied West Bank villages like Nabi Saleh, Ni’lin and Bilin. So I was not surprised when I learned that the same company that supplies the Israeli army with teargas rounds and other weapons of mass suppression is selling its dangerous wares to the Oakland police. The company is Defense Technology, a Casper, Wyoming based arms firm that claims to “specialize in less lethal technology” and other “crowd management products.” Defense Tech sells everything from rubber-coated teargas rounds that bounce in order to maximize gas dispersal to 40 millimeter “direct impact” sponge rounds to “specialty impact” 12 gauge rubber bullets.
A teargas round fired at Occupy Oakland was manufactured in Casper, Wyoming, the home of Defense Technology:

Defense Tech’s literature concedes that “information is somewhat difficult to obtain” on the damage its weapons can do to the human body []. However, company researchers were able to determine that a beanbag round fired from a 12 gauge shotgun exerts the same kinetic impact as a .22 caliber bullet. “The result is blunt trauma with no penetration,” Defense Tech researchers wrote. Wounds suffered yesterday by protesters in Oakland provided vivid confirmation of the conclusion.
Defense Tech products have injured numerous protesters attending the weekly demonstrations in Bilin, an occupied Palestinian village waging an unarmed struggle against Israel's confiscation of its farmland in order to build its separation wall. Jawaher Abu Rahme, a 36-year-old resident of Bilin, died this year of asphyxiation from Israeli tear gas rounds. Her brother, Bassem, was killed two years earlier when he was struck in the chest by a high velocity teargas shell (see video of his killing here []). Activists arriving on the scene after Jawaher Abu Rahme's death found spent teargas shells marked with the Defense Tech label (Correction: The label was for another USA weapons company named "Combined Tactical Systems, Inc", based in Jamestown, Pennsylvania []).
Occupy Oakland demonstrators retrieved a shotgun shell used to propel beanbag rounds and an alleged rubber bullet:

Some Occupy Wall Street activists have argued that Palestine must remain segregated from the movement's agenda. It is a distraction from the essential economic issues that drive the protests, they say, and turns the majority of Americans off. But the issue is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid now that the protesters are confronted with the very same weapons Israel uses to crush unarmed Palestinian resistance.
Defense Tech is owned by BAE Systems [], a global weapons manufacturer with customers in more than 100 countries. BAE is currently trading at 280 pounds a share on the London Stock Exchange [].
2011-10-27 "For a Radically Democratic Oakland without Cops, Politicians, or Bosses! Oakland on Strike!" by MIKE KING and GEORGE CICCARIELLO-MAHER
Mike King is a PhD candidate at UC–Santa Cruz and East Bay activist.  He can be reached at mking(at)
George Ciccariello-Maher is an exiled Oaklander who teaches political theory at Drexel University, and can be reached at gjcm(at)
A major victory has been won. For only the second time in Oakland’s recent political history, mass action in the street has forced the hand of city government. If last time it was the rebellions that greeted the state murder of Oscar Grant that forced city and state officials to switch tack, arresting the shooter Johannes Mehserle and putting him on trial, the stakes have now changed and generalized in the local and national swirl of the Occupy Movement. Now, building on that history of resistance, but not without significant barriers in the near future, Oakland and the Bay Area is poised for a General Strike on the level of 1946.  Or beyond.

“Citizen’s Arrest” -
However, things didn’t look so good Tuesday night. As one of us stood in the increasingly desolate streets of Oakland at the intersection of 14th and Broadway, ignition point for rebellions past, the debates that emerged amid the hours of swirling tear gas from the OPD and 17 cooperating police agencies seemed to have moved backward since 2009, not forward.
A peculiar dialectic emerged, in which black youth out for a good time at the expense of police, had that fun doubled. When they would throw plastic bottles at the police in full riot gear, the young and mostly white liberals and peaceniks, in the street to support the displaced Occupy Oakland camp with little more than a peace sign, would preemptively and rapidly retreat in anticipation of another round of tear gas – before the police line had so much as shrugged.  This must have been immensely fun to watch on one level.
At this point, an older white man with a mega-phone, whose face was not a familiar one in local organizing or at the Occupy encampment of the past two weeks, began saying, “This is a peaceful movement.  Violent people are not part of this movement.”  He was pointing out the direction from which the plastic bottle had come and where, at this point, the only people of color in the intersection were standing.  The race and class dynamics of this, as well as the absurdity that someone was making this argument 30 feet from where a young Marine had been critically wounded by this same specific group of cops, was far more distasteful than the dozens of cans of chemical gas I can still taste writing this 36 hours later.  I walked up and, shouting down the man with the mega-phone, told him that he was doing the cops work and was dividing the movement.  I also told him that, while in the context of the moment I would agree that throwing bottles was counter productive, I would never play good protester / bad protester and point people out to cops, let alone show up here for the first time that night and appoint oneself king.  We don’t need cops and we don’t need any “Yurtle the Turtle” of unprincipled pacifism.
After shouting down the man with the bullhorn and an 18 year old kid who tried to shout me down, I was confronted by a young, white man who told me: “We are making a citizen’s arrest.” As he and a group encircling me and attempted to grab my wrists and arms I pulled free and walked away – to a mix of boos from that group and shouts of encouragement from other sections of the protest.  I had committed no crime and nothing anyone could construe as “violence”, aside from deviating from the worst of US pacifist history.  Far from the Civil Rights sit-ins or the work of the Catholic Workers, people who took risks for social justice that disrupted the existing order, this broader and more prevalent pacifism is not about “principled tactics.” It is about creating a false moralism built around comfort and privilege in which those who know all too well what real violence looks like are silenced, and those who act on a critical analysis of the existing social order are “criminalized” and discursively expelled from the presumptive liberal “we” of the movement.
It is baffling that people who take hours of rubber bullets, concussion grenades, and assorted chemical weapons still come back to the same exact police line that has been bombarding us with chants that they too are the 99% in an attempt to “win them over.”  It is even more so when they turn around and form a liberal peoples’ militia for the police State.  We all need to be clear on one thing: these cops are not your friends and even though we will disagree, our most basic strength is in solidarity.  At many other points in the last few days, that solidarity has started to grow and crowd out these tensions and disagreements among us.  We must build this solidarity to the point where it like a natural reflex in the movement.  All cops of the existing order out of Oakland!  Including the ones in our heads.

Who’s Gonna Run The Town Tonight?
Just weeks ago, police chief Anthony Batts, the subject of a heavily trumpeted national search in 2009, resigned to protest the limitations the mayor’s office was placing on his leadership and attempts to reform the notoriously corrupt and violent agency. But it was not until another pro-police grouping, partly enraged by Batts’ departure, set into motion an effort to recall Quan from office that the Mayor acted, clearing the Occupy camp with the brutal force of 800 officers in the misty darkness of Tuesday morning.  The tables appear to have turned.
By cowing so unhesitatingly and obviously to the demands of the police lobby, Mayor Quan did a massive service to the movement, showing in the brightest light of day what many of us have known for years: that OPD runs Oakland. A parasitical and colonial force which draws its members predominantly from outside Oakland, the OPD nevertheless demands the lion’s share of the budget and political control of the city, and this is what Batts’ resignation meant more than anything: this still is not enough, we want more.
Perhaps Quan’s biggest error was to trust the OPD, a body that was already calling for her ouster in all but open terms. The military barrage they unleashed on the protesters will also mark a turning point in Quan’s legitimacy, in part because of Scott Olson, a 2-tour Iraq War veteran who returned unscathed from war only to be shot in the head by a tear gas canister by OPD. When other protesters attempted to rescue the injured Olson, video showed OPD coolly and callously tossing more flash-bang grenades to disperse the rescuers. At last notice, Olson had entered into brain surgery at Highland Hospital in an attempt to repair the damage. Without minimizing Olson’s suffering, however, it’s worth noting that his injury came in an attempt to reclaim Oscar Grant Plaza. Both shootings – Olson’s and Oscar Grant’s – were caught on video, and much could be learned from the intertwining of these two events in Oakland’s history.
It seemed as though some did not get the message, and still believing that Occupy Oakland can only exist with the grace of the state began to again do the work of that state. When the crowds began to re-converge at 6pm Wednesday, Oscar Grant Plaza was a maze of tall fencing: Quan would make one last effort, albeit a weak one, to maintain order and her own dignity. Not knowing their own power, many simply followed these tangible, man-made orders in their midst, refusing to touch and some even actively protecting the fences. There was not a police officer in sight, and yet the police in the heads of many remained.

Drive the OPD out of Oakland by “Offing the Pig” in your own head  -
As 3000 people began to crowd the fenced-in park, the only open space was the concrete amphitheater directly in front of City Hall. More than half of the Occupiers were cut off from the General Assembly that was about to start, forced down the sidewalks a block away. Tearing down the gates would allow for a democratic mass meeting, not to mention the fact that there was no risk of arrest and it is a public park. Beyond that, it is our park – whether they put a sign up to the contrary or put 2000 cops in it. This should not be a contentious proposition.  But it was.
A small group of us simply ripped open the fence and opened up a 50 foot hole.  Three times as many protesters grabbed the fence away from us and closed it back up, as a large crowd of people looked on.  Those of us who had come into the grassy part of the park were yelled at, called “vanguardist” and “agent provocateurs” for re-occupying a public park with a group of people who were here, ostensibly, to do one thing – occupy that same park.  The General Assembly met for a full hour, with well over 1000 people cut off from participation and over 100 feet out of earshot, unable to hear announcements and proposals, because on this moment we had more respect for a metal fence than for democratic assembly.
All of this filled me with an intense and contradictory mix of sadness and anger, but also hope.  Sadness, for the obviously large amount of growth we all need to go through to overcome our own limitations and lack of experience.  When we force the police to fully retreat, come back to the park with 3 times the numbers who have been there in the last weeks, and we stare blankly at a little fence and hurl insults at people who try to take it down, one wonders what our capacities are.  On the other hand, I was filled with immense hope.  The cops overplayed their hand and lost this round.  The park was ours, our numbers had doubled again, we would soon get 97% approval for a general strike, and I think we will actually win.
After a generation of free market class war, wars on the black and brown communities (a.k.a. the war on drugs and gangs), imperial wars and social atomization – we need to find the ability to imagine a better word and have the courage to make it real.  We have to harness those instincts to tear down every “fence” that we see along the way.
Yesterday’s fence was eventually torn down and carefully stacked in one section of the park.  The General Assembly allowed itself to actually become a General Assembly and we came together to put forward and approve a call for a General Strike on Wednesday November 2nd – no work, no school, shut it all down.  A mass speak-out against police brutality in Oakland’s communities of color has been autonomously called for 6 pm Saturday at 14th and Broadway to make central the long-ignored, and everyday, violences in Oakland and to build for Wednesday’s mass action. I am confident there will be tens of thousands of people in the streets and actions in every section of the city next Wednesday.  Oakland is home to the last General Strike in the US, which took place in 1946.  It will be home to the next.  From the immediate support we received from the around the country and world last night – from NYC to Egypt – it will not be the only one either.
This strike vote could be a Pyrrhic victory if we allow ourselves to divide ourselves.  If we allow non-profits to become the “soft power” of the police and mayor (as they were during the Oscar Grant movement) and shepherd us into irrelevancy we will have no one to blame but ourselves.  If we allow the mayor to appear to come back to the right side of history only to sell us out to the police one more time, we will have blown one of the biggest radical political opportunities in modern US history.  We are smarter than that and this is our time.
After the General Assembly, well over 1000 protesters boisterously chanted throughout downtown Wednesday night, chasing off small groupings of police with our mere presence.  We were able to stop once and debate taking the Bay Bridge or marching down West Grand.  We never reached an official consensus, but after discussion we organically decided that the bridge would be a trap and had no strategic value at that point.  This was a powerful moment. But it was a luxury created by retreated police force.  We should not always expect to have such time or space.  We can however develop a working “diversity of tactics” based on solidarity and knowing our real enemies.
Whether from the police or the mayor, or reactionary non-profits or union bureaucrats, forces will conspire to shorten our reaction time and force us to hone our emerging, radical reflexes, and attempt to play on old divisions.  They will undoubtedly attempt to co-opt our marches or message, divide us, or simply hang their dead weight on our evolving, organic and radically democratic strength.  History teaches us that movements and pivotal moments in history transform “regular people” who grow those movements to transform society and themselves.
The time has come to shut “their” city down for good and realize the vision of the Black Panther Party that was born in this town 45 years ago.  For the creation of a radically democratic and self-determined communities – in a vibrant movement that involves people from every race and class – in the conscious pursuit of the destruction of the existing social structures of race and class, as well as every other axis of oppression, that divide and oppress in this society – “All power to all of the People!”
Liberate, Decolonize, and Transform Oakland!
2011-10-27 "Occupy Oakland Photo Brings Global Solidarity" by Brenda Norrell from "Censored (Indigenous) News"

OAKLAND, Calif. -- When this photo by Justin Warren was posted of Occupy Oakland on Wednesday night -- after the violent repression by Oakland police on Tuesday night -- it was retweeted by Egyptian activists, and brought solidarity from people around the world.
 Voices of support and solidarity came from Western Shoshone in Nevada and from Santiago, Chile, China, South Africa, New Zealand, Spain and Romania. Messages of love and support came in from Fiji, BC, Canada, Germany and Wales.
 On Censored News' Facebook, (brenda.norrell) the photo was "liked" and shared more than 2,000 times within 12 hours. Elsewhere on the web, there were 15,000 views.
 Veterans for Peace released a statement concerning Scott Olsen, the US Marine who was hit in the head by an Oakland police projectile on Tuesday night, and suffered a fractured skull and brain swelling.
 A video shows Olsen and Navy veteran Joshua Shepherd, both member of Veterans for Peace, standing in front of the crowd to protect them.
 The video shows Oakland police firing tear gas canisters directly at the veterans, who were separated from the crowd behind them by police fencing. It shows police firing at Olsen a second time while friends attempted to rescue him as he was fallen on the pavement.
 In a second video, a young man who helped carry Olsen from the scene describes a second projectile crashing close to Olsen's head as they were moving him to the hospital. Olsen's condition was upgraded to fair on Thursday and he was reported breathing on his own.
 Watch videos and read statement: []
 Occupy Oakland filled the streets on Wednesday night, as Occupy San Francisco prepared for arrest with a huge dance party outside, with a California senator and city officials present to ensure the peoples rights were not violated as they were in Oakland the night before.
 At the same time, Occupy Oakland took to the streets. In a general assembly on Wednesday night, Occupy Oakland voted for a city-wide general strike on Nov. 2.
 To prevent Oakland protesters from joining San Francisco, the Bay Area Rapid Transit system (BART) stations were blocked by police in Oakland and closed near Occupy San Francisco, at the Ferry Building in San Francisco.
 When Occupy Oakland began considering taking the Bay Bridge, BART suddenly announced the stations would be opened again.
 In San Francisco, as people prepared for arrest, Senator Leland Yee said he was there to make sure the peoples rights were protected. San Francisco City Supervisors were also present.
 Thanks were sent out to Wikileaks and the hactivists at Anonymous. One of the reasons that the Occupy movement began was because the banks and PayPal froze all Wikileaks accounts. The US used the banks to silence the truth, after the Wikileaks' exposures of the US killing of civilians and journalists in Iraq and Afghanistan.
 In the midnight hour, Oakland activists began catching rides to San Francisco after BART blocked its doors in Oakland. Eventually, the police raid in San Francisco was called off in the dawn hours of Thursday.
 Thanks resounded around the world to Occupy Oakland, photographer Justin Warren and the global community.
Photo copyright by Justin Warren/Oakland Oct. 26, 2011

2011-10-27 "How Occupy Withstood Police Action"
I’ve been visiting Occupy SF every chance I get, over the last couple weeks. Last night was a victory for the fledgling camp.
Occupy SF remains in Justin Herman Plaza today ( - after help from Occupy Oakland (which has retaken the plaza they were gassed out of earlier in the week - removing chain-linked fences, and are now occupying again, peacefully), at least a thousand citizens who showed up to defend the camp, public defenders, and SF mayoral candidates, who arrived on the scene at midnight, when the police planned to break up the camp.
The protesters were diligent in spreading the message to remain peaceful and calm. They were prepared with gas masks and medicine, linked arm-in-arm.
The SFPD were spotted, gearing up in multiple vehicles with SWAT gear and handing out flyers to surrounding businesses, preparing them for ‘increased police action.’
However, the media attention and political personas showing up at the plaza made them think twice.
Today, the SFPD claim it was simply a ‘training exercise.’
From everything I saw myself, and heard about, that is total bullshit. They also closed off BART, coming into SF from Oakland, to try and cutoff Occupy Oakland from joining SF in solidarity. However, the people took to the streets and marched across the Bay Bridge anyway.
Technology like Twitter and other forms of social media help us all bear witness to the reality of the growing movement that’s happening all around us. In accurate fashion. I am thankful to be able to share in this movement, with information filtered through sources other than ‘mainstream’ media.
Last nite was an inarguable example of the ongoing threat to and disregard of our constitutional rights.
It was also a shining demonstration of the power of peace and solidarity. When enough is enough, and we keep it up, the Power of the People can effectively oppose forces of injustice. And, hopefully, as it has in the past, contribute to real world change.
I’m hoping those who complain about the methods or alleged concerns of these groups ALL ACROSS THE COUNTRY AND THE WORLD, will realize how myopic their fear, anger, or anxiety truly are. Whether people agree with the movement or not, we should all know everyone has a place alongside those who are already a part of this. Left and right. Citizens and law enforcement. Men and women. Everyone.
It’s not about fighting for the right of a small group to sleep outside. It’s about fighting for the right of millions to sleep inside. It’s showing the common man cannot be crossed indefinitely by the 1% in blatantly disrespectful, criminal ways. We are demonstrating our limits. And our infinite strength.
‘Never doubt a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.’ - Margaret Mead