Occupy Wall Street

Your Call: How has dissent shaped U.S. history?

Jun 11, 2015

On the June 11th edition of Your Call, we’ll have a conversation with historian Ralph Young on the key role dissent has played in shaping the United States. The book Dissent: History of an American Idea, chronicles a history of dissenters who went against the grain. It spans dissent from colonial times to the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements in the 21st century. What is considered dissent and what isn’t? What can the history of dissent tell us about how social change happens? It’s Your Call, with David Onek, and you.


Photo by Peg Hunter

Last Friday, 18 Occupy Cal protesters were detained in the early morning after setting up another on-campus encampment. On Monday, around 700 demonstrators convened at San Quentin to Occupy the prison.

If you assumed, as did I, that the coming of winter would mean the end of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, well guess again. Whether because of the unseasonably mild weather prevailing here and elsewhere, Occupy Wall Street encampments stubbornly persist. And despite increasingly more aggressive measures taken against them by local authorities, the “movement” appears to be growing.

The Julia Morgan Center for the Arts, built in 1910, is a rustic theater with 328 old-fashioned seats and high wooden beams. It’s not exactly the kind of place you’d expect to see a spirited performance from a troupe of teens, but that’s what happens there.

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.

Photo by Katie Styer

Michael Stoll is the executive director of the San Francisco Public Press – a non-profit, non-commercial journalistic outlet that started in 2009. Stoll reported for years in the mainstream media, including the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times. But he questioned the values of ad-driven papers. He wants in-depth, public service journalism to be available without any commercial influence. The San Francisco Public Press carries no advertising – it’s actually modeled after public radio – and Stoll is about to publish his sixth print edition.