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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons
Anticapitalist Bloc Marches Beyond Oakland Occupation on Day Five, 10/14/11: photos, 1 of 2
The first action beyond the perimeter of occupation of Oscar Grant Plaza was held on Day Five. An autonomous anti-capitalist affinity group had announced a rush-hour march through the streets of downtown Oakland -- and at least 200 people answered the call. As planned, the march left the plaza shortly after 4pm, headed to the Oakland jail in a show of solidarity with the second California prisoner hunger strike currently underway, and returned one hour later. There were no arrests.
[Pictured above: lining up for the march in the open area of the plaza at 14th & Broadway. Banners read "Decolonize Oakland, Occupy Everything," "Preschools Not Prisons, Solidarity with Hunger Strikers," and "Fight the Power, Take It All Back."]
Initially, the police presence was low, consisting of two Oakland police officers on foot and two unmarked patrol cars in front of the march. As the march progressed, the police presence became heavier with OPD motorcycles and more patrol cars. Eventually, as the march approached 8th Street on Broadway, a line of police in riot gear formed to apparently block marchers from reaching OPD headquarters at 7th & Broadway. The march then turned down 8th and proceeded on Clay Street where the march stopped in front of the Oakland jail, formally known as the Glenn E. Dyer Detention Facility. As was the case earlier this year at a Bay of Rage march during the first hunger strike, demonstrators chanted and spoke against U.S. police state militarism imprisoning millions of citizens to prop up our capitalist system for the benefit of the wealthy. Inmates inside the jail were heard responding to the crowd on the street below.
On the return to Oscar Grant Plaza, OPD blocked every side street with vehicles and dozens of police in riot gear, funneling the march back towards the occupation site. Without making any dispersal or "illegal assembly" orders, the presence of so many riot police was obviously intended as a show of force by OPD. Never mind that demonstrators at the jail, before departing, had loudly declared their intentions on a bullhorn to return to the plaza, and that the action was announced simply as a one-hour march, the first excursion beyond the borders of the occupation. Once back at the plaza, undercover police were seen roaming on the periphery of the occupation and riot police lined the sidewalks at the edge of 14th and Broadway. After protestations against their continued presence with chants such as "Pigs go home," riot police eventually backed off and assumed positions across the street from the occupation. Within an hour, virtually all uniformed police in the area were gone and the occupation returned to the police-free zone it has largely been since its inception.
Anti-capitalist March - Occupy Oakland!
For more information:
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Cash Rules Everything Around Me: Destroy Capitalism on San Pablo Avenue, with Oscar Grant Plaza in the background
See http://www.indybay.org/oscargrant for coverage of numerous demonstrations held in this intersection since the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police on January 1st, 2009.
Anticapitalist Bloc Marches Beyond Oakland Occupation on Day Five, 10/14/11: photos, 2 of 2