After a chaotic day of marches and confrontations between police and protesters Jan 28, I was arrested along with about 400 others who were trapped by police in front of the downtown Oakland YMCA. Seven of us were journalists.
The goal of the march was to take over an abandoned building — an the vacant Kaiser Convention Center, a city-owned building that's been closed since 2005, was a prime target.Read more »
I used to go to Grateful Dead shows at the Oakland Auditorium, which is now called the Kaiser Convention Center. One night I saw Bill Graham, the late concert promoter, ride a zip line from up near the ceiling to the stage in a giant paper mache joint called the "S.S. Columbian," which looked like it was going to fall apart at any minute as he swung back and forth 50 feet over the crowd, trying to smile and wave in a bizarre promotional stunt that confused even the deadheads. I bet he shit his pants.Read more »
In the aftermath of the mass arrests of Occupy Oakland protesters-- and whoever else happend to be on the wrong street at the wrong time-- on Jan. 28 in Oakland, there have been loads of reports and rumors about brutality inflicted on those arrested. Most of those arrested were held in Santa Rita jail.
UPDATE: We've corrected a few factual mistakes. We originally reported that protesters forced open the door of the YMCA; in fact, they asked to be let in and they were. We regret the error.
An Occupy Oakland march that turned violent Jan. 28 led to the arrest of 400 people, including me.
The march, which peaked at about 2,000 protesters, was organized with the intention of entering a vacant building -- the Kaiser Convention Center -- and turning it into a new “Social Center” that participants in Occupy Oakland hoped to use to gather, teach, and organize.Read more »
Dick Meister, former labor editor of the SF Chronicle and KQED-TV Newsroom, has covered labor and politics for more than a half-century. Contact him through his website, www.dickmeister.com, which includes more than 350 of his columns.
Unions? Organized labor? The AFL-CIO? Those words were nowhere to be heard in President Obama's State of the Union address, despite labor's vital role in the economy and strong support for Obama. The continued support of the labor movement is essential if the president is to carry out the bold plans he outlined and if he is to be re-elected.
The president's failure to mention one of the country's most important economic and political institutions was unfortunate. It was perhaps understandable, however, given the anti-union climate stirred up by attacks on public employee unions and their allies.
Obama's failure to mention unions and their leaders was ignored in the post-speech pronouncements of AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and other major unionists. They in fact proclaimed the speech a victory because of its endorsement of policies widely supported by labor. Read more »
Protesters from the Occupy movement and beyond gathered in front of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco on Jan. 20, calling for the adoption of a 28th amendment to the U.S. Constitution aimed at refuting the idea that corporations should have the same rights as people, a legal doctrine know as corporate personhood.Read more »
President Barack Obama has a choice for how he uses his State of the Union speech this evening. He could follow the advice of Blue Dog Democrats like Mark Penn, who wrote in The Hill today that Obama should avoid “rhetoric that could be interpreted as class warfare.” Or he can find his inner populist and give the speech that the 99 percent needs to hear by announcing that the rich and the Right have already declared that war, and now he intends to win it on behalf of the people.Read more »
After a long day of protest that began at 6 a.m., 1200 joined a march affiliatiated with Occupy SF last night. The march aimed to “liberate the commons”; organizers said they succeeded when they were able to enter a vacant building, the former Cathedral Hill Hotel at 1101 Van Ness.Read more »
A coalition from across San Francisco is hoping to make tomorrow – Friday, Jan. 20 – a monumental day in the history of Bay Area activism, the Occupy movement, and the fight against home foreclosures and other manifestations of corporate greed.Organizers call the day of protests, marches, street theater, pickets, and more “Occupy Wall Street West.”
Those that urged Occupy protesters to focus in on a list of demands should be pleased, as the day includes a list of demands on banks, including a moratorium on foreclosures and an end to predatory and speculative loans.