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Indybay Feature

Occupy Oakland General Strike and Mass Day of Action

Wednesday, November 02, 2011
12:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Event Type:
Oscar Grant
Location Details:
Oscar Grant Plaza, Oakland

General Strike!
Added to the calendar on Wed, Oct 26, 2011 11:49PM
by Occupy Oakland
Liberate Oakland, Shut Down the 1%
Wednesday November 2, 2011

Below is the proposal passed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly on Wednesday October 26, 2011 in reclaimed Oscar Grant Plaza. 1607 people voted. 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%. The General Assembly operates on a modified consensus process that passes proposals with 90% in favor and with abstaining votes removed from the final count.


We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland and shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we propose we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

The Strike Coordinating Council will begin meeting everyday at 5pm in Oscar Grant Plaza before the daily General Assembly at 7pm. All strike participants are invited. Stay tuned for much more information and see you next Wednesday.

by distribute
§General Strike Poster
by autonomist
Here's a poster to post up for the general strike next week!

(Color and Black and white versions below)
by autonomist
by autonomist
by autonomist
§original poster
original poster
§Occupy Oakland (Free Poster)
by Not My Government
Free Poster to download, produceand and distribut as you see fit.

These poster is in attempt to enliven debate and criticism about social, political and economic life in American society as well as internationally. There is a history of social criticism through artistic expression. Art is a powerful tool in educating society, and expressing ideas to masses of people that progressive art shows or demonstrations cannot touch. Touching people in their everyday lives touches them when they are actually going throught the struggles we are taking about. We hope we are adding a loud voice to many voices of resistance against the state. Our goals, along with others of it's kind, will fill our hearts and minds to strengthen our commitment in resisting USA imperialisms rampage around the world

These posters are here for the public to download, produceand and distribut as they see fit. Fund raise for your political group; INFO Shop, Food Not Bombs, Anti-war, Anti-imperialist etc. Artists retain rights to their work. Please use only for, non-commercial, or informational purposes.
§Occupy Oakland
by Not My Government
§Strike While the Iron Is Hot
by Occupy Oakland
Strike While the Iron Is Hot
§General Strike - Liberate Oakland
by Occupy Oakland
General Strike - Liberate Oakland

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Miketivist
Is the general strike just for the oakland area or all over usa?
by the a area
This is great. Now Oakland can take the lead in showing what kind of radical actions are needed to bring substantial change to this country. Solidarity and direct action everywhere!
by Sanity
The general strike is not going to happen. Instead of building relationships with workers, the activists have decided to arrogantly tell workers to strike. They're not going to do it! Just ask them if they are.

This is just a hallucination coming from a group of people turned inward. It will only serve to demoralize people. If you want to build for a general strike, then look at how the last ones happened. Hint: there was a lot of ground work done. I don't see any here.
by saner response

There were a lot of trade unionists out on Tuesday night, supporting and actively participating in the struggle to take back Oscar Grant Plaza. Members of the ILWU, IWW, OEA, SEIU, and many others have been supporting the occupation by the Oakland Commune at the plaza from day one. The Teamsters even delivered water to the occupiers one day.

The general strike coordinating meetings have been huge. This isn't some small committee of a dozen people, and no one is telling anyone what to do. That's not how the Occupy movement does things, and if you'd spend some time at the General Assemblies, you would know that. There is tremendous popular support for this movement, and there are many workers participating in this effort. In fact several ILWU members have come out in support of the strike. See their statement, which is being distributed far and wide, here:

Sounds like you're demoralized already, Sanity. But there is nothing demoralizing about calling for a general strike, regardless of whether it happens or not. At least a seed has been planted in the minds of working people, a suggestion that they have the power to shut down the capitalist economy if they so choose. That is powerful in and of itself. Maybe if you got involved yourself, and made an effort to do the things you believe are lacking, ie. talking with the unions, you might not be so pessimistic and demoralized, and help get this thing off the ground.

If you look at the history of general strikes, they usually started spontaneously, with righteous outrage. Many were injured in Tuesday's police riots. There is a great deal of outrage about the war the cops waged on our comrades, and people are finally coming together to defend our communities. Whatever happens on Wednesday, it's going to be worth celebrating!
by Anarchist
I support shutting down the banks.

I support confronting power where ever it pops its ugly head up.
by Mediator
Banks and large corporations should definitely be shut down. But shouldn't we leave the worker-owned co-ops alone, at least for Wednesday's strike? Technically, I think that most co-ops are still "privately-owned means of production", but they seem to be one of the best alternatives that's currently actually functioning out there.

While we may be firmly against capitalism as an economic system, I think that for Wednesday the banks and other major corporations should be what we do go after, eh?....
by Union activist
I'm concerned that the Call to march to the Port of Oakland is for the evening not the Morning . That's contrary to numerous successful Community pickets that ILWU #10 (Longshore) and ILWU #34 (Ship Clerks ) have honored over the years starting with the Anti-Apartheid actions in the 1980's. Also sometimes ILWU #10 have directly refused to work as on April 1 2011 in Soldarity with the Wisconsin Workers . But whether that happens Nov 2 Longshore and Ship Clerks will almost certainly honor a MASS (a couple of dozen just won't do ! ) Community picket . It needs to be in the Morning though . Mobilizing at the Port by 6Am . Or earlier if marching from Oscar Grant plaza .
Of course if things go well for the Morning shift then have another mobe for the evening . But the Morning shift is the largest and most significant . It would be nice if the Morning corporate news has to report that the Port isn't working !
by Occupier
At the Occupy Oakland general assembly meeting we were told (by none other than Boots Riley himself) that the ILWU was in agreement with us, in going for the 7:00 pm evening shift.

While the Port is obviously a great location to focus on, it's definitely not the only focus of the strike, or of Occupy Oakland -- or of the Occupy Wall Street movement as a whole. I think that most would say that the banks, and perhaps some other large corporations, are even more important places to protest at. So since we can't do "everything" right now (after all, this is our first general strike, and the first general strike that this country has seen in over 60 years, since the 1946 Oakland general strike), everyone was pretty much in agreement that a 7:00pm evening Port action would be fine, as it fit into the overall actions planned for throughout the day.

In addition, please also remember that Occupy Oakland is about Direct Democracy, where everyone is able to participate. Even though I can't actually remember if anyone brought up about the pros and cons of having the Port action at 7:00am instead of 7:00pm, but if they did, given especially that the ILWU already supported the evening action -- the general assembly meeting -- openly, and overwhelmingly -- decided that the evening action would overall work best for us.

See you on Wednesday!.....
by Union Activist
Boots Riley is a good musician and Social commentator . But the Brother is not a member of ILWU#10 or any other ILWU local . Also ILWU#10 has not have any meeting re Nov. 2 . So where does his infro come from ?
Once again Check the record . There have been several pickets over the years . ALL have been in the Morning . ALL .
So i really don't understand why we wouldn't have our picket when it would be most effective and gain the most press attention (and encourage workers in other jobs to walk out , call in sick whatever )
The General Strike & Mass Consumer Boycott are reasonably peaceful tactics (non-violent non-cooperation) with the Masterclass exploiters who want everything & would enslave the world to get it. Greed is their religion & political-economy. It must be put down. The People have allowed objective conditions to deteriorate much too long as it is; for at least the past 30 years, since the advent of Reaganism-Thatcherism. During that time the monstrous institutionalized means of oppression, financial imperialism & war have merely been strengthened & perfected. It will take much courage to defeat the money-mad power-crazed death-oriented monetary-royalist class enemy. But in the end the working-class will win. Of that I've no doubt. The real test will be not winning but holding. What comes after victory over the Oppressor? There's so much at stake this time around. It is imperative that a genuine worker's democracy be established & defended to the utmost.

Did anyone actually see the face of the police officer who shot Scott Olsen? If so, I would like to talk with you about trying to identify him (assuming a him, most likely).

-- John
Why You Should Join the Wednesday, November 2, Oakland General Strike

You may have heard about this Wednesday's General Strike, with mass gatherings to be held at 9am, 12 noon, and 5pm -- at 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland. The call for a general strike is not surprising given that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe banks and major corporations have too much power, support amending the U.S. constitution to affirm that corporations don’t have the same rights as people, and believe corporations have more control of our political system than average citizens do.

For the past three decades the wealthiest 1% and their corporations have been taking an ever-increasing share of the income we produce, leaving the vast majority of us to make do with ever-smaller crumbs to survive on. Now is the time to take a stand and declare that we absolutely will not permit these outrages to continue.

This coming Wednesday, November 2, those in the greater Oakland area will have a chance to make an extremely powerful statement by participating in the Oakland General Strike. We will be using one of the most powerful tools available to 'we the people' -- but a tool which has not actually been exercised in this country for over 60 years, since we last used it here in Oakland, in 1946.

The Occupy Wall Street movement and Occupy Oakland have now presented each of us with a vital moral choice: Do we participate in the Oakland General Strike and help shift the direction of this country? Or do we allow giant corporations and the ultra-wealthy ever more free license to plunder the resources and wealth of this nation, and of our world?

This is how you can participate in the strike:
* Do not go to work
* Do not go to school
* Or at least, do everything you can to minimize those activities.
* Do not patronize any banks or other corporations on Wednesday.

Instead go to 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland -- especially for the Wednesday mass gatherings at 9am, 12 noon, and 5pm.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the Oakland General Strike, regardless of where you live. For more details, please see:

If we now join together, we shall not fail with the great task before us.


If you can, please forward this message to friends, e-mail lists, listserves, FaceBook pages, etc.


Note: Recent Occupy Oakland events have had as many as 3,000 people in attendance. The general assembly vote to strike was made with over 1600 people participating (1484 in favor, 77 abstentions, and 46 against -- passing by 96.9%). The text of the strike proposal is here: -- below the 2nd graphic).

by A
Open Letter to the Community of Oakland from the Port of Oakland
November 1, 2011

These are challenging times, with high unemployment and tremendous uncertainty in the economy. In such times, open, respectful, honest, and informed communication is essential. That is why we are writing to you today.

We understand that Occupy Oakland has voted for a general strike in Oakland tomorrow, November 2, 2011, and further plans to march to the Port of Oakland at 5 PM. We also understand that there will be participation from people who do not live and work in the City of Oakland, which is understandable given the global nature of the Occupy movement. At the same time, this is our home, and it is our responsibility to respect it and ensure that others do too.

It is our privilege, indeed our right in this country, to peacefully assemble and freely express our grievances to government. And it is our responsibility as Oaklanders to ensure that our city is a safe and peaceful place to live and work. Oakland has a long, honorable, and innovative tradition of social justice action. So it is understandable that the citizens of Oakland want to show solidarity with the worldwide movement for economic and social justice. It is also imperative that any and all expressions of protest be effective without being violent. Every individual on all sides of this event must take personal responsibility to ensure peace. Each one of us at the Port is committed to a peaceful and safe march for all involved.

As you may be aware, there are multiple layers of security governing our nation's ports, involving our local police department, regional, and federal agencies. Since becoming aware of the proposed march to the Port, we have been engaged with our public safety and security partners at the local, regional, state, and federal levels of government. We are all emphasizing the need for a peaceful and respectful assembly and expression of free speech.

We at the Port of Oakland understand the frustrations and issues at the heart of the Occupy movement:

We have over $1.4 billion in debt and annual debt service payments of over $100 million a year for the foreseeable future, constraining the jobs we can create and investments we can make.
Economic conditions at the Port have forced us to reduce our workforce by 40% over the last seven years.
Air passenger volume is down over 30% since 2008.
We are operating at just over 50% capacity at our seaport, while there is increasing competition from alternative shipping gateways around the country and the world.

Despite these challenges, Port activity generates over 73,000 jobs in the region, and every day we work to create more jobs. From our maintenance staff, to our custodial workers, our truckers, to office workers and dock workers, the Port is where the 99% work. It is essential for the economic development of the City and region that the perception and reality of Oakland is stability, safety, and inclusion.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. We hope it will contribute to the civic dialogue that the Occupy movement has initiated. For additional information about the Port, you can also find us on the Internet at, on Twitter or on Facebook.


Omar R. Benjamin
Executive Director

Pamela S. Calloway
An Open Letter to the Citizens of Oakland from the Oakland Police Officers’ Association

1 November 2011 – Oakland, Ca.

We represent the 645 police officers who work hard every day to protect the citizens of Oakland. We, too, are the 99% fighting for better working conditions, fair treatment and the ability to provide a living for our children and families. We are severely understaffed with many City beats remaining unprotected by police during the day and evening hours.

As your police officers, we are confused.

On Tuesday, October 25th, we were ordered by Mayor Quan to clear out the encampments at Frank Ogawa Plaza and to keep protesters out of the Plaza. We performed the job that the Mayor’s Administration asked us to do, being fully aware that past protests in Oakland have resulted in rioting, violence and destruction of property.

Then, on Wednesday, October 26th, the Mayor allowed protesters back in – to camp out at the very place they were evacuated from the day before.

To add to the confusion, the Administration issued a memo on Friday, October 28th to all City workers in support of the “Stop Work” strike scheduled for Wednesday, giving all employees, except for police officers, permission to take the day off.

That’s hundreds of City workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against “the establishment.” But aren’t the Mayor and her Administration part of the establishment they are paying City employees to protest? Is it the City’s intention to have City employees on both sides of a skirmish line?

It is all very confusing to us.

Meanwhile, a message has been sent to all police officers: Everyone, including those who have the day off, must show up for work on Wednesday. This is also being paid for by Oakland taxpayers. Last week’s events alone cost Oakland taxpayers over $1 million.

The Mayor and her Administration are beefing up police presence for Wednesday’s work strike they are encouraging and even “staffing,” spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars for additional police presence – at a time when the Mayor is also asking Oakland residents to vote on an $80 parcel tax to bail out the City’s failing finances.

All of these mixed messages are confusing.

We love Oakland and just want to do our jobs to protect Oakland residents. We respectfully ask the citizens of Oakland to join us in demanding that our City officials, including Mayor Quan, make sound decisions and take responsibility for these decisions. Oakland is struggling – we need real leaders NOW who will step up and lead – not send mixed messages. Thank you for listening.
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