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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism
Occupy Oakland Kicks Off Hella Strong on Day One, Speakers & Crowd, 10/10/11: photos, 1 of 2
On the first day of Occupy Oakland, nearly 1000 people gathered at Frank Ogawa plaza at 14th & Broadway, now dubbed "Oscar Grant Plaza" by occupiers. Around 50 tents went up into the night, including one by Oakland city council member Desley Brooks, as occupiers danced to songs bumping out from an amplified sound system. Oakland police tried to come in and have the music turned off, but were immediately met with chants of "get out!" and "pigs go home!" No further police presence was seen near the occupation during the night.
[click image above for larger version of just a portion of the crowd present at 4:30pm]
The rain throughout the evening and night was probably good for the first day, to get folks past their fears of messy weather as winter (rainy season) approaches in Northern California. If it has been sunny and glorious the first few days, followed by the rain of Day One, that might have dampened spirits further into the occupation. As it is now, clear skies are expected into the foreseeable future. The occupation has already been tested by inclement weather, albeit without some of the powerful winds that often come with larger winter storms.
As for the stand-off approach of Oakland police compared with the unfortunate behavior of police at other Occupy Wall Street solidarity actions such as Occupy Sacramento, perhaps that is because OPD was aware that Desley Brooks was inside one of the tents with her family and friends. Personally, I attribute it at least in some part to the strong history of resistance and struggle in the East Bay. Through decades of the blood, sweat, and tears of countless freedom fighters and martyrs -- from the General Strike of 1946, the Free Speech Movement, and the Black Panthers, to the more recent Oscar Grant Rebellions, Bay of Rage anti-austerity and prison solidarity marches, and police-accountability shutdowns of BART stations -- Oakland has earned the right to have a successful occupation. And not unlike San Francisco's defense of its occupation, Oaklanders will resist to defend Occupy Oakland.
So far, so good. Occupy Oakland is off to a hella sweet start. Occupiers are working on organizing a number of exciting workshops, performances, and more as the occupation evolves.
Hella Occupy Oakland, Day One, Surveying the Scene Just After Dark, 10/10/11: video
For more information:
Occupy Oakland Kicks Off Hella Strong on Day One, Tents Rise, 10/10/11: photos, 2 of 2
Occupy Oakland Kicks Off Hella Strong on Day One, Speakers & Wall Street Call, 10/10/11: audio