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Center Column Archives
Occupy Oakland Anti-Repression Committee writes:
"Over the past year, we have experienced many forms of overt police repression, from the camp eviction and night of tear gas on October 25th, to raids on the vigil, to snatch and grab squads on May Day. We have come to expect the riot-clad police, with their batons and chemical weapons, although repression comes in other forms as well. As a community, we have not been sufficiently attuned to these other faces of repression."
"The spectre of state repression has been growing over Bay Area radical milieus. Grand juries in the Pacific Northwest and in Santa Cruz, threats by police of using gang enhancements against activists, the recent string of mass arrests, the profusion of political divisions and threats, abundant conspiracy theories, surveillance of our social spaces, FOIA paperwork that references a confidential informer--The list goes on and on and on. Even though everything we hear cannot be entirely proven or disproven, recent events underscore the importance of preparing for a possible crackdown."
Surf City Locals write:
"Pamela Comstock is one of the only candidates to not accept voluntary campaign spending limits. She has raised more money than anyone in this city council race. Her money has paid for nice-looking glossy fliers, but they only tell half the story. Pamela Comstock is one of the founding members of Take Back Santa Cruz, a group that claims to advocate for public safety, but what has their role in the community really been?"
On October 10th, Homes Not Jails and their allies occupied a building in the Castro neighborhood in San Francisco in solidarity with the 3rd annual World Homeless Action Day. The action began with a rally in Dolores Park, followed by a march to the occupation site. Homes Not Jails reclaimed the vacant space in an attempt to provide housing through direct action and protest the criminalization of homelessness. San Francisco police arrested twenty people on charges of burglary, conspiracy, and vandalism. Homes Not Jails intends to continue “to take to the streets to and take direct action” by occupying vacant buildings until their needs are met.
Following the lead of Occupy Wall Street, Occupy San Francisco, and other cities across the U.S., Occupy Oakland established itself on October 10th, 2011, with a large rally of thousands in the Frank Ogawa plaza in front of City Hall. Regular rallies, marches, workshops, and skillshares began to emanate from within the encampment. A second smaller camp was established in nearby Snow Park. Despite the encampments having been destroyed by police, and throughout numerous dramatic ups and downs, large and small, Occupy Oakland in various forms has persisted. Occupy Oakland celebrates its one-year anniversary at Snow Park on Lake Merritt at 5pm on Wednesday, October 10th
Darwin Bond-Graham writes:
"All summer long the slaying of teenager Alan Blueford by a police officer festered in the city of Oakland, a metropolis already stained by its troubled police department which for nearly ten years has been spiraling toward federal receivership due to its institutionalized culture of brutality and misconduct. It was no surprise then that the first meeting of the City Council [September 18], in its new session after the Summer recess, was met by over one hundred outraged protesters and the family of the young man whose death at the hands of OPD frustratingly remains a mystery, with all known facts indicating an unjustifiable murder."
Over the last ten weeks, a series of raids targeting the homeless has been conducted as part of a coordinated effort by the Santa Cruz Police Department and the city's departments of Parks and Recreation and Public Works. In response, community members who are hoping to form a new coalition with the intention of ending the criminalization of homelessness and sleep in Santa Cruz, held a candlelight "tent" vigil on September 9th.