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East Bay | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism

Occupy Oakland to Re-Occupy at 19th & Telegraph During Nov 19 Day of Action
by via Occupy Oakland
Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 1:07 PM
called for by Occupy Oakland General Assembly 11.17.11
During the Mass Day of Action on Saturday November 19, Occupy Oakland will set up a new occupation to continue the growth of our movement in the park and empty lot on 19th & Telegraph adjacent to the Fox Theater in the rapidly gentrifying Uptown neighborhood and entertainment district. The mass march planned for the day will end at this park and Occupy Oakland will begin setting up a new camp. All Occupy Oakland committees (food, security, medics, media, entertainment etc) should begin making plans in whatever way they can to support this new occupation and come prepared on Nov 19 to make it happen.

Proposal Background:

We believe that the park and unused plot of land located at 19th St and Telegraph ave and bordered by the Uptown apartment complex and the Fox Theater is the best candidate for Occupy Oakland’s re-occupation.

The park and adjacent land offer several strategic and symbolic advantages:

- The park is only three blocks from OG Plaza and 14th & Broadway
- The park is rarely used and features a raised platform that can be used for large meetings as well as tables and chairs for smaller meetings
- The park features a “remember them” sculpture with famous social justice and freedom fighter figures such as Coretta Scott King, Ghandi, Fredrick Douglass, Malcolm X, Cesar Chavez, and Harvey Milk among others
- The sculpture was overseen by the Chamber of Commerce which is a direct opponent of the Occupy movement
- The park is only one third of the block and the rest of the block is unpaved land that has been neglected for two years. Moving the occupation here cancels out the argument that we are taking up space that others are trying to use.
- This location is in the middle of an entertainment district with lots of foot traffic and many opportunities to interact with others who are visiting Downtown Oakland
- It is near numerous residential areas so any police operation to evict the encampment will happen in front of hundreds of onlookers
- The park is located in the uptown neighborhood which is the area that the Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association and Downtown Oakland Association, major real estate developers, and city hall are all actively trying to gentrify. These groups represent the interests of the 1% in Oakland and are also the groups that are directly trying to destroy Occupy Oakland. Setting up a camp here will be a symbolic move to put pressure on these groups and send a message that they only look out for the interests of big business and developers, not the needs of all people in Oakland.

FURTHER READING ON OAKLAND’S 1%:

East Bay Express:
Business groups dominated by representatives from large corporations lobbied for the crackdown on Occupy Oakland.

Indybay:
Lake Merritt/Uptown District Association calls on Mayor to forcefully end Occupy Oakland
Oakland Chamber of Commerce Represents Big Business and Multi-Nationals NOT Oaklanders

SF Bayview:
Whose streets? Oakland’s shadow government presses City Hall to end the occupation


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Puzzled
Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 1:20 PM
What happened to the proposal to occupy a large vacant building ? There has been a lot of buzz about that recently and many people (and not just the usual suspects) liked the idea. After all the the concept is hardly a crazy unreal one .
In San Jose even a evangelical preacher who works closely with homeless folks has loudly advocated that they occupy some of the many vacant buildings in that area
Of course no one wants a repeat of the 11/02 late night stupid half assed stunt , But a well planned non adventurish action could work and gain a lot of public support .
But is that off the table now ?
by Puzzled
Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 1:40 PM
I also don't understand why occupying a tiny park and parking lot is a good idea . Yeah it's probably a little better location than the one proposed by that ally of the City Govt. (the one midway between 580 and the OPD hq ! ) But it sure sounds like one that would have little visabilty or passerbys , other than maybe a few late night drunk hipsters .
BTW Who came up with this brainstorm ?
by Tall Guy
Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 5:58 PM
You want to move your encampment in the middle our residential neighborhood? There are 665 residential units here and a school all along your would be perimeter. If you knew how to keep yourselves in check and be good neighbors we might welcome you. But you've demonstrated that you do not. Host your general assembly here. I dare you. WE are the 99%. We will join your General Assembly and vote to disband you.
by uptowner
Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 6:32 PM
"rapidly gentrifying" uptown district? Not exactly. Want to guess what part of Oakland was the only part that didn't see a decrease in African American resident between 2000 and 2010 census? Uptown. It's the only part of Oakland that saw an increase in African American residents.

There's an affordable houseing development on one side of that park. Theres rental housing, not condos on the other side and they have a high percentage permanently affordable. That park is also next to a school. And the empty lot Occupy wants is supposed to be a sculpture park soon, very soon. Local artists sculpture park.

This is a really bad idea. The lot has a big fence around it with artwork done by school kids. Please don't knock it over. This is a really good way to make a lot of locals really angry at occupy. A bunch of apartments nearby that are definitely not one percenters even in the full price apartments. They will not like sound systems and weed smoke all night. This is crazy.
by R. Vega
Thursday Nov 17th, 2011 9:27 PM
The empty lot is private property. People that live in the Uptown are hardly in the 1%. They are middle class people.

Occupy Oakland has quickly become Destroy Oakland. Why don't you trash your own neighborhoods?
I think it disgusting that wage slaves who are in supposed agreement with our aims and goals to subvert the 1% are suddenly NIMBYs when it comes to establishing a new decolonization zone.

And as far as cannabis smoke is concerned, it's no more dangerous than inhaling second hand capitalism which unfairly victimizes people of color, LBTG, differently Abled, elderly and other historically under represented diverse peoples.

I look forward to the establishment of the new decolonized zone and you 1%ers and their sycophantic wage slave underlings better roll out the welcome wagon cuz we're gonna be neighbors.
by Puzzled
Friday Nov 18th, 2011 3:00 PM
I want to make it clear that my concerns are very different than that of the other posters. I'm worried about the visabilty of the new locale etc. And as i wrote it the first post i would far prefer that our goal was occupying a large vacant building as both a political symbol of class injustice and a practical indoor location for our movement .
I'm just not that concerned about the petty , exaggerated claims of a few condo owners. Of course i'm not knocking condo owners . Actually i think that any half socially conscious neighbor i would welcome such a historic drama right next door !
by Max Lewin
( maxlewin [at] gmail.com ) Saturday Nov 19th, 2011 8:24 AM
An Open Letter to Occupy Oakland:

I have lived, worked, played in and loved Oakland for over 20 years. I have, until now, been proud to call it my home. Oakland was like a secret gem, with so much potential, and I have been a booster for years. I have worked in social services (13 years), regular jobs and started a small business which I have struggled to build. I make a good living now, but it was not without sacrifice and hard work. I got no bank loans, no government help of any kind. I also started it with a lot of debt, but am now nearly debt-free. I live within my means. I save more than I earn. I still get up at 5:30 or 6:00AM most days and work long hours. I have created a handful of part-time positions with solid middle-class wages. I hope to do better than this for myself and others. It is called enlightened self-interest.

I attended very liberal, even radical, educational institutions (SIEE, Buxton, Antioch) and come from an East Coast leftist background. Your movement epitomizes why I have become increasingly conservative. Long on complaints, and short on solutions, violent, and, above all internally inconsistent and not interested in facts. Because of your movement, for the first time in my life, I am going to hold my nose and vote Republican in the upcoming elections. I'm not the only one.

We do actually have some common ground. I am also against corporate welfare, however I would add big government, big labor and the general desire for instant gratification to the list of things that have caused our present situation. Perhaps if your movement was not so focused on destruction there would be some space for dialog, but in the present moment none exists.

The uptown district is not "condos", and if it was, so what? I thought you were against income inequality in its extremes, not the middle class. Your movement smacks of petty jealousy and the desire to get something for nothing.

The Uptown is the lynchpin of the Oakland 10K redevelopment program, which has lifted downtown Oakland from blight, and contributed to a vibrant arts district where abandoned buildings and barely-surviving businesses stood before (not to mention the Sears Auto Center, which was closed due to corruption). There are 665 apartments here, 166 of which are subsidized (meaning affordable). This is a model that WORKS for urban renewal: low-income families are interspersed with the middle class instead of isolated in the ghetto. It is called "infilling" and it is a brilliant example of enlightened capitalism. This area, serving as the "hub" for various other "spokes" was and is responsible for a great deal of positive things happening in Oakland.

Uptown Oakland also houses other apartment blocks, small businesses, a kid's school for the performing arts, a women's shelter, housing for single mothers, the Veteran's Administration, SEIU, Churches which serve the poor, and Oakland Social Services. Are these your enemies as well? Do you want to drive them out?

The space you plan to "Occupy" is not owned by "big corporations" and even if it were so what? Are you now against all corporations? Where do you think your iPhones, laptops, digital cameras, etc come from? What kind of world would it be without them (hint for you younger folks: see history of Soviet Russia). The space is owned by the city of Oakland, and is slated to become a sculpture garden. It also was the site (as noted above) of Sears Auto Center at 2600 Telegraph, and there is some concern that the site is polluted by toxic hydrocarbons.

As evidenced by the former dirty, filthy crime-filled tent city at Frank Ogawa Plaza, you are not capable of controlling the environment which you plan to re-create. The fact that Oakland is a high-crime city does not make it OK to create an environment that fosters more crime. It was easy to predict (I did) that it would culminate in a murder. There is no reason to believe that this shantytown will be any different. Based on the fact that your movement cannot reach consensus on non-violence, it is reasonable to say that your movement and everyone in it, supports violence. YOU are violent either by direct action or implicit or explicit approval of violence.

I support your right to free speech and freedom of expression, however camping out and creating an unsanitary, loud, crime, drug and violence-infested tent city is not protected speech (see Clark vs. CCNV). You do not have the right to infringe on the rights of others to make your voice heard. I oppose camping on public property where not sanctioned in all cases. I respect the rule of law. You are trying to foster lawlessness and anarchy.

I know that those who have made up their minds will not hear me, but I ask those of you who have doubts about this plan to either not support it or join me in opposing it.

I love Oakland but if you destroy it, I have the means to leave and I will do so, bringing my talents and economic contributions elsewhere. Multiply this by many thousands, and Oakland will become a new Detroit. Those of you who live here will regret your actions, and those of you who don't will, no doubt, move on to your next pet social project, or grow up, get a job, get married, have kids, and look back on this time with bemusement.

I love Oakland and I hope to see it rise and become the beautiful, diverse, thriving city it could become. We have an amazing location, beautiful weather and folks like me willing to work hard to bring it up. You seem to hate Oakland: it seems you want only to destroy and have no respect for the people who actually live here. For those of you who were born and bred here, or have lived and worked here for some time, I have some respect and sympathy, even if I think you wrongheaded. For those of you who are Protest Tourists or Occuposers, I have neither sympathy nor respect.

Get off My lawn.

- Max Lewin, Uptown Apartments resident.

by Joanne
Saturday Nov 19th, 2011 10:10 AM
Occupiers,

The Uptown is APARTMENTS! They are normal people, about 1/3 of them are low income apartments, every race, creed, color and background.

The Oakland school of the arts overlooks the park! Pot, drugs, and violence are not something we need to expose those kids to, much less the large number of kids that reside in the Fox apts and the Uptown.

Are we trying to bring the Uptown neighborhood back into violence and drug use?

I think every one can agree that changes need to be made. However, the occupy movement needs new strategies and stronger leadership to be pivotal in those changes. Right now you are losing support of the 99% by your poor decisions and lack of meaningful actions.
by Anonymous
Sunday Nov 20th, 2011 6:55 PM
A Message to Mayor Bloomberg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8ohN-DlpOE
by Anonymous
Monday Nov 21st, 2011 8:00 AM
I am a resident of east Oakland and I think that Occupy Oakland is committing a tactical blunder in the choice of this park as a place to occupy and an enormous blunder in positing it as a demon of gentrification. The condos in the uptown are relatively affordable and house working class people from Oakland. Many of the people who are participating in the camping part of Occupy Oakland are from our wealthy neighbor cities of Berkeley and SF. Those of us who live in Oakland really worry a lot more about people getting shot on our block than about a condo or upscale restaurant going in near us. The rationale behind this recent choice of occupation site seems to show a much more upper-middle class set of worries than most Oakland residents have and serves to divide the occupation from the city.

I think that one problem that the Occupy Oakland movement is starting to run into is the fact that the Oakland flats are almost entirely a working class district (with the possible exceptions of Rockridge and Temescal). The more effective actions have been occupations by working class people of either the machinery that aids the ruling class (eg the port occupation) or the places that are increasingly denied to the working class (eg UC Berkeley). It may be much more meaningful and gain a lot more participation from Oakland residents for the Occupy movement to focus its occupation on places where the ruling classes live and work. So, Oakland residents could march through the Mission, the Castro, Pac Heights, etc. We could shut down the financial district of SF, barricade Google and Chevron, set up camps in Sausalito and Tiburon, or any number of things that would be much more effective.

I certainly still support Occupy Oakland, but I think there are much more effective actions to take than this one. The original OWS action initiated as people from around the buroughs of NYC occupying the district of the ruling class. What is going on in Oakland now would have been the equivalent of occupying a park in Queens.