Citizenship

oakland: my fair city

I have a lot of love for Oakland, California, where I lived from 1994 to 2010. Here are a few new reasons to love Oakland:

General Strike poster

Love this General Strike poster. The illustrations, typography, and colors are pitch-perfect. Hard to make out the artist's name: R. Black? Source: OccupyOakland.org.

John Robb, from Fairfax, California, managed almost singlehandedly to shut down a Chase bank branch.

"John Robb, from Fairfax, California, managed almost singlehandedly to shut down a Chase bank branch" reported Adam Gabbatt, blogger for the Guardian (UK). Photograph: Adam Gabbatt/guardian.co.uk

“I got here at 10.30am, one my own,” Robb told the Guardian from his position seated in front of the entrance.

“Security kept pushing me away, but I stayed by myself for another 30 minutes. Then someone else arrived, they still pushed us away. Then the big march came past and we called everyone over, they came and the bank locked the doors.”

…Some protesters voiced their desire to smash the bank’s windows; other protesters stood in front of the bank and prevented them from doing so.

(As told to Adam Gabbatt for the Guardian, Nov. 2, 2011)

Skeptics demanding OWS’ demands ought consider this:

Occupy Oakland shuts down a Chase bank during today's General Strike.

Occupy Oakland shuts down a Chase bank during today's General Strike. (Source: Facebook, photographer unconfirmed.)

I think the message is pretty clear. If this doesn’t do it, how about this: We’re fed up with Big Banks, Wall Street, and rising inequity that grossly rewards the top 1%.

Not in Oakland, but it's a solidarity movement. This Brooklyn Bridge occupier's irresistible optimism is positively winsome. Source: OccupyWallStreet.org

Not in Oakland, but it's a solidarity movement. This Brooklyn Bridge occupier's irresistible optimism is positively winsome. Source: OccupyWallStreet.org

This photo is from a movingly penned post which proclaims:

And in our own backyard, in thousands of backyards, from Augusta and Jackson, Springfield and Sioux Falls, Vegas and Santa Rosa* and Green Bay: Americans celebrated the occupation in its infancy. Jobs with dignity. Housing fit for families. Education. Health care. Pensions. The very air we breathe. What can those who want democracy demand from the king, except his crown? Regime change is in the air. America is looking at itself, it’s place in the world and who we are to be.

This is not a demonstration. It’s participation.

(—Jed Brandt and Michael Levitin, originally printed in the Occupied Wall Street Journal, and reposted on occupywallst.org.)

(*My first hometown!)

Plus…

OWS artwork by the illustrious JL. Source: @justinlimoges.

Hallow's Eve papercut by the illustrious JL. Source: @justinlimoges.

While 10,000+ occupiers were reported to peacefully protest all day yesterday, an unruly few have marred the nonviolence with acts of vandalism, early the following morning. Once again Adam Gabbatt from the Guardian reports:

Adam Gabbat for the Guardian: "10.33am GMT: Some of the Occupy protesters have been repairing the damage done by a small group of people who did employ violence." Posted about 30 minutes after another posting about the "third use of tear gas," presumably the haze in the photo? (Photo: Adam Gabbatt; source: Guardian.co.uk.)

Adam Gabbat for the Guardian: "10.33am GMT: Some of the Occupy protesters have been repairing the damage done by a small group of people who did employ violence." Posted about 30 minutes after another posting about the "third use of tear gas," presumably the haze in the photo? (Photo: Adam Gabbatt; source: Guardian.co.uk.)

I suppose the saying about spilt milk could be updated in regards to broken glass. Still, the intention to make amends—however futile—for those who don’t understand the reasoning behind a nonviolent strike, is heartening. Cynics may lump all of Oakland and her protestors together, but they act independently, and many, as we see above, act with good intentions.

Standard

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s