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Oakland Teachers Lead Shut Down of Wells Fargo Branch
by Jonathan Nack
Tuesday Apr 5th, 2011 8:39 AM
Teachers and supporters block entrance to Wells Fargo branch at Broadway and 12th Street in Oakland on April 4, 2011
Photo: Jonathan Nack

Oakland Teachers Lead Shut-Down of Wells Fargo Branch

by Jonathan Nack

OAKLAND, CA - Teachers led a shut down of the main branch of Wells Fargo bank in Oakland on Monday, April 4. The protesters called for a bailout of schools and services, not banks, and to stop foreclosures.

The protest was organized by leaders of the Oakland Education Association (OEA) and joined by other unionists and community members. Wells Fargo bank managers decided to close the branch rather than face the wrath of the protesters.

The bank protest was part of a day of activities in Oakland and around the country called, “We Are One,” in solidarity with state workers in Wisconsin. Thousands rallied blocks from the protest at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that it had shut down the entire Port of Oakland in solidarity with the We Are One events.
§Jack Heyman tells the protesters that the ILWU shut down the Port
by Jonathan Nack Tuesday Apr 5th, 2011 8:39 AM

Jack Heyman, a retired longshoremen, speaking at protest at Wells Fargo branch, Broadway and 12th St., Oakland, on April 4.
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Transport Workers Solidarity Committee
by Jonathan Nack Tuesday Apr 5th, 2011 8:39 AM

At protest at Wells Fargo branch, Broadway and 12th St., Oakland, on April 4.
Photo: Jonathan Nack
§Police unsuccessfully try to get OEA leaders to stop the protest
by Jonathan Nack Tuesday Apr 5th, 2011 8:39 AM

Photo: Jonathan Nack

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Max Allstadt
Tuesday Apr 5th, 2011 11:19 AM
Three times in three years, the Oakland Education Association has opted not to support tax measures that would have put a lot of funding into Oakland Schools.

In '08, they opposed a parcel tax to fund OUSD. In '10, they didn't support a parcel tax to fund OUSD. In '11 they opposed Jerry Brown's tax extensions which would have helped fund education statewide.

So basically, if OEA is looking for someone to blame for the lack of funding in OUSD, it's fair to blame the banks for screwing up the economy on a national scale, but locally OEA should blame itself for refusing to support taxes that would have helped Oakland schools and teachers.

OEA seems to be pretty good at shooting itself in the foot. It needs new leadership. Young rationalist teachers should consider organizing, running against the incumbent baby boomers, and bringing some pragmatism to an organization crippled by ideologues.