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International Day of Solidarity at Occupy Oakland, Day Six, 10/15/11: video & photos
The sixth day of Occupy Oakland coincided with the International Day of Action in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. Actions were held in over 1,000 cities worldwide. The video below captures a slice of life from that day in Oscar Grant Plaza in front of Oakland City Hall. While certain serious issues have arisen since then that occupiers have been forced to work through as the autonomous occupation continues to develop, not much has physically changed in the last several days after this video was captured, despite the corporate media's unified attempt to unfairly paint the occupation as somehow descending into a desperate "lord of the flies" scenario. Many of the issues faced are the result of pre-existing conditions which stem from long-time societal neglect of the least fortunate amongst us. Occupiers are now handling these issues internally through direct democracy rather than relying on police as the one-size-fits-all "cure" for those who are the most in need of public assistance. Many of the city's otherwise disposable people are now being fed and provided clothing and shelter in the plaza, when normally they would have been merely ignored, except for by a small handful of local charitable organizations, and/or subjected to police interventions leading to unnecessary and cruel jail time.
[Pictured above: Occupy Everywhere. Oscar Grant Plaza]
The city of Oakland has now caved to the ongoing corporate media pressure, and perhaps pressure from OPD as well. Yesterday, on Day Eleven, the city served a Notice to Vacate to occupiers, blaming the occupation for issues that have long existed in the area, from public urination to litter to rodents to behavioral issues with mentally ill and drug addicted individuals who normally would be snatched up by Oakland police and sent through the revolving door of local jails rather than receiving minimally adequate care from the city. Occupiers didn't bring the rats with them, there has been no surge in rat breeding in the week-plus since occupiers arrived, and for health reasons food stuffs are well protected from infestations. The occupiers didn't create homelessness, drug addiction, and violence downtown. But the occupation is in the process of finding solutions outside of the status quo as to how to most humanely create an egalitarian society, or at least a tent city, that casts out no one. This vision being realized is in direct opposition to numerous city leaders who continue to erroneously believe that ever more police and prisons will solve problems that thirty years of more police and prisons have not solved. Nevertheless, as occupiers tackle such tough and entrenched societal ills, the occupation continues to thrive with its first collective action planned for this Saturday. If the city will follow through with its implied threat to forcibly remove occupiers remains to be seen. Rats, litter, public urination, graffiti, drug addiction, and mental illness will not magically disappear if occupiers are forced out of the plaza -- those issues will just be swept away, a bit more out of site, courtesy of the Oakland police department and the Alameda County Sheriff.
Saturday October 22 : All out for the very first official Occupy Oakland action!!
* 11am Rally * 12 noon March *
For more information:
Vocal background during walkthrough portion is Boots Riley of The Coup and the Street Sweeper Social Club performing the song "Underdog" a capella two days prior at Occupy Oakland: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/10/14/18693618.php#18693621