This segment of Oakland News is a sad one. It starts with a video of an assault that took place last week, March 13th, at Oakland City Hall Plaza (or City Hall / Oscar Grant / Frank Ogawa Plaza), and that has been seen just 9 times on YouTube to this writing, but that’s about to change.
The woman in blue was simply writing “Long Live Israel” in hebrew on the pavement, when the other woman with the long hair, in the amber blouse started to take her chalk away, and then started cursing, and eventually trying to kick and punch her.
The woman in amber was joined by three others, who then were following the Jewish woman to the intersection of 14th and Broadway, right next to City Hall Plaza. One guy with long hair, was saying “get the f-ck outta here.”
Here’s the five minute-long video:
UPDATE: On Twitter, some have gained the idea that this blogger was “for one side” in what they claim was an anti-zionist v. zionist clash. I am not taking a side; I’m blogging about an assault. I’m also quite concerned for my city of Oakland when people can’t have different views at the public square without resorting to violence. That’s what happened above, and we must take steps to stop it.
Then, on March 16th, a group of protestors affiliated with The Bay Area Radical Action Committee held their own protest. While the results of it were covered in the mainstream media, and because of the damage to several Downtown Oakland banks, no journalist bothered to check the account written on the Bay Area Radical Action Committee’s own blog; I did.
Note: The Bay Area Radical Action Committee has zero to do with Occupy Oakland. So anyone who says “Occupy Oakland is back” is wrong. How I know this is because I bothered to read their blog.
Here’s the blog post:
Let us begin by expressing our solidarity to the 250+ who were arrested in Montréal during the 15 Mars Manifestation Contre la Brutalité Policiéire…At 9:00 PM, a small group of anarchists that numbered around two or three dozen took the streets, with black flags and banners that read “FIGHT B(A)CK” and “Anti-Capitalist Anti-Police.” We marched south on Broadway, chanting “Anticapitalista,” “No Justice No Peace Fuck the Police,” and “All Cops Are Bastards ACAB.” We made our way down to the OPD station at 7th & Broadway, where we confronted maybe ten riot police. The cops appeared to be on the defensive, so after a few minutes we made our way north on Franklin. “FTP” was written with impressively large font across a Chase bank, and some of it’s windows were broken. Multiple ATMs along Franklin were vandalized, Oakland Tribune had some of it’s windows shattered. Union Bank had it’s front door smashed, Some windows on the Bank of California were broken. But this is an incomplete list of actions we’re sure. As we passed the park at 19th & Telegraph, we decided it was a good time to disperse as many police cars were speeding around the area. There were no arrests as far as we know. …We would like to thank the comrades who showed up, the NLG for lending us a legal observer. Much love and solidarity to everyone who demonstrates against the system, today or any day.
It’s also important to note that a representative wrote this comment:
We do not plan on conducting weekly marches, FTP or otherwise, as we do not see it as a valuable tactic. Our demonstration was to recognize International Day Against Police Brutality, which has been March 15 for almost twenty years now.
So, given that blog post comment, it’s logical to expect something like this one year from March 15th, 2013.
My personal take on this is that every society has some form of capitalism, even the state itself. To try and harm innocent people who are just living their lives and mean no one harm is really a terrible thing to do.
What the The Bay Area Radical Action Committee should work to do, and for all I know may be trying to do (I don’t know) is establish a sharing economy or a barter economy as an online alternative. But, get this, the minute they figure out how to make that work, as the numbers of users increase to giant size, someone will come along offering millions to buy it, and the second that deal is done, the makers of the site become beneficiaries of capitalism.
That scenario aside, a barter economy, even in micro-size, is an attractive something to build.
But back to the matter of the Oakland protests.
That protest on March 16th was should not be associated with one coming March 21st, and again planned for Oakland City Hall / Oscar Grant / Frank Ogawa Plaza. That one concerns the New York City Police killing of Kimani Gray. That’s not by the same group, and let’s pray that it’s not the focus of any vandalism by anyone not associated with the event producers – or any damage at all.
Occupy Oakland Not Sexy Anymore
And what happened to Occupy Oakland and the Occupy Movement? Lacking one solid plan that actually took a side politically, and an effort to screen out people who would come in and hijack the Occupy Movement and alter its path to meet their own purposes, what was once a noble effort to bring attention to the imbalances caused by rampant, unchecked home foreclosures, plant closings, austerity policy, and decreases in public spending for services, degenerated into a wave of events marked by vandalism.
Before all of that happened, the growth of the true Occupy Movement was marked by the emergence of what I called a “hot chick” who held up a sign at a New York Occupy protest. The sign and she were relatively unknown until I blogged and vlogged about it, and directly pointed out how her appearance showed that Occupy Wall Street became a movement.
This was my video-blog on her:
The video angered some, and I expected that because some people hate it when their baser instincts are pointed to as the reason for why they act, especially by a black guy.
Thankfully, the blog Jezebel took my bait,and the expected anger out on me, complained that hotness was “missing the point” without considering the cultural dynamics of why movements progress, and the rest is history.
But the one person who wasn’t angered by the video was the woman who was the focus of it: Tia Foster. Ms. Foster wrote this in the video’s comment section:
My name is Tia Foster, I am the girl in the pic. I am on facebook if you care to look me up and discuss things. I am not offended by you calling me a hot chick. In fact, it is very flattering. However, I must say that this movement is not after one single goal. Ending the fed is NOT the only thing we believe will help this society flourish. We are unhappy about war, systemic rascism, police brutality, free trade agreements, environmental destruction, exploitation of immigrants, foreclosures,…
The Mother Jones’ Mark Murrmann proved my point with this photo he posted for the May Day Protests of May 2012. The article called “Occupy May Day: Photos From the Oakland March” starts with a large 540-pixel photo of a woman dressed in black, with short-shorts and alot of athletic legs. That’s a sign that, up to May of 2012, the Occupy Oakland Movement itself still had some gas in the tank, and Mother Jones‘ Murrmann proved it.
I didn’t see anyone get pissed about the Mother Jones photo.
Gun Control Talk At Lucky’s Barbershop in Downtown Oakland
Kraig Debro, who regularly posts at Zennie62 both blog and YouTube channel, made this gem of a short video around a discussion of gun control and gun violence in Oakland and in America at Lucky’s Downtown Barbershop. It’s a good slice-of-life video, where young black men tell the truth about guns in America: that when President Obama, the nation’s first African American President, was elected, gun purchases went up. The men at Lucky’s also also wary of the government coming in and buying up guns. Listen:
I leave you to your own conclusions, but I personally want gun control.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
I’m with my Mother, not in Oakland, and remembering my Stepfather, Chester H. Yerger, Jr., who passed away today in 2005.