Occupy Oakland

Cal Tabuena-Frolli

In 2014, a small press published an anthology of poetry called “It’s Night in San Francisco but it’s Sunny in Oakland.” It is a collective memory of the winter of 2011, Oscar Grant Plaza, Oakland: the site of the encampments and acts of resistance staked in solidarity with Occupy Wall street.

 

Liza Veale looked at this anthology to see how poets captured the spirit of Occupy. Here’s what it sounds like in the language of poetry.

Ted Muldoon

 

Here’s something that maybe only happens in Oakland: a young bunch of hackers, artists and Occupy activists organize themselves into a collective and assume the lease of a defunct heavy metal night club. Once a month, a few of their members hold a live talk show event, called Oakland Nights Live.

They invited the city’s mayoral candidates to be guests, and many of the fifteen showed up. Over the course of two nights, front-runners, including the incumbent Mayor, came to introduce themselves to this very particular constituency.

Kyung Jin Lee

Last year, activists and residents took over an abandoned library at 1449 Miller Avenue in East Oakland. They set out books, planted vegetables, and declared it the “People’s Library.” But technically, their project was illegal, and no one was sure what would ultimately happen to their reclaimed space.

Kyung-Jin Lee

Book lending and community gardening continues in front of an abandoned library in Oakland’s San Antonio district despite a police raid earlier this month. The historic building, a gift from Andrew Carnegie to the city back in 1918, was a branch library until 1976. Two other ventures have come and gone, but the building’s been vacant since 2001. The city says it’s not safe to use.

The blighted property has since attracted drug use, prostitution, and violence. So when activists moved in to reclaim it, local residents enthusiastically joined the effort.

(SF Gate) // After much criticism, California State University officials say they will consider scrapping a policy that would allow them to pay new presidents 10 percent more than outgoing presidents. Instead, incoming presidents would earn the same salaries as their predecessors until 2014...

Photo from event page / Occupyoakland.org

Last night, members of Occupy Oakland gathered at the Grand Lake Theater to discuss the Oakland Police Department’s crowd control policies and their use of force in response to Occupy demonstrations. The meeting was held in place of a similar event that was to be hosted by the Citizen’s Police Review Board, an independent volunteer body comprised of residents of the City of Oakland. Originally scheduled to be held at City Hall, the CPRB event was postponed somewhat last minute.

California Assembly Speaker John Perez will introduce a bill today that reduces the cost of public, four-year university tuition for California students from families that make less than $150,000. The plan would cut the tuition by two thirds, returning it to levels not seen since more than a decade ago. If enacted, the bill will help students from families with incomes too high to receive financial aid, but not high enough to pay for their children's education on their own…

Ameen Belbahri

Maybe you support the Occupy movement, or maybe you don't. Or maybe you take this point of view:

NATO GREEN: I want to be for the 99%, but I don't know if you realize this, that's a lot of people, including a lot of assholes. And most of us given the opportunity would be able to say, would want to be able to say, "I'm for the 99%, asterisk, except some people." And then we'd have our own lists! 

Frustrated by cuts to the judiciary system, some Bay Area courts are pushing for legislation that would transfer control of the system's $3 billion budget from a central bureaucracy to lawmakers and local trial judges. The California Assembly votes today on the measure...