OccupyOakland rings in the new year with protests against police

OccupyOakland remains defiantly active despite repeated crackdowns by police.

Occupy Oakland kicked off the year with two marches protesting police and prisons. A march to the Oakland City Jail on New Year’s Eve was followed by a march against police brutality on New Year’s Day, ending with a rally against police violence. Speakers at the rally indicated that the Bay’s most radicalized Occupy group may focus on an anti-police repression theme in the new year.

About 300 people attended a nighttime demonstration in Oakland City Center on Dec. 31. Protesters left Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza at 9:45 and marched to the city jail. About 20 Occupy Oakland protesters remain in jail after several different incidents of arrest in the past weeks.

At the jail, protesters spoke about police repression, set off fireworks, and chanted “inside or outside, we’re all on the same side.” Many reported seeing solidarity fists sticking out from between bars on the jail’s windows.

The demonstration was part of a national call for New Year’s Eve jail solidarity protests, and similar “noise demonstrations,” in which protesters made noise outside jails to show solidarity with inmates. Similar protests took place in 25 cities around the world.

The march featured a giant banner stating “Fuck the police.”

Around 11:30 pm, protesters marched back for a dance party on the plaza. “At midnight, we did the countdown like everyone else,” said Patrick, who has been involved in OccupySF and Occupy Oakland.

A banner dropped in the plaza read, “Out with the old. Occupy 2012.”

At 1 pm on Jan. 1, Occupy Oakland participants gathered once again. They marched to Fruitvale Bart Station in an anti-police brutality march commemorating Oscar Grant. The unarmed young Oakland man was killed on Jan. 1, 2009 by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle, who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter for the shooting and given a two-year prison sentence.

The march was followed by a rally and speak-out with about 500 in attendance. Several women with sons and grandsons who had been killed by police in San Francisco and Oakland shared their experiences. Adam Jordan, member of the Oscar Grant Committee for Justice, said that Occupy Oakland had helped unify the local community against police brutality.

Several speakers agreed that police violence against the poor and people of color and recent arrests at Occupy Oakland, as well as tear gas and other weapons used against Occupy Oakland protesters, are all connected. “It’s all systemic. It’s the same problem,” Jordan said. “The police that are attacking everyone in Occupy Oakland now have been attacking black people for centuries.”

Members of Oscar Grant’s family, including his mother, his young daughter, his fiancé, his uncle, and several cousins, were also present, and many spoke.

Gerald Smith, an organizer with Occupy Oakland and member of the Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and Repression, read aloud a message from Angela Davis, who has proposed nationwide demonstrations to free political prisoners on Feb. 20. He also talked about several proposals to continue to protest against police violence in the East Bay, including picketing the Alameda County District Attorney’s office and emergency meetings the following day every time an Oakland resident is killed by a police officer.

In a reference to the leaderless, “horizontal” structure that has defined Occupy groups around the world, Smith said to the crowd, “How much will we do this? It’s up to you. I hope you know by now, you decide everything.”


Posted by guest on Jan. 03, 2012 @ 4:11 pm

We've actually working on that, possibly for a story in next week's Guardian.

Posted by steven on Jan. 03, 2012 @ 5:23 pm

Ever with the spin, huh?

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 12:26 am

Simple: I consider every person in jail for possession a political prisoner. The laws exist to lock up citizens for the purpose of making politicians look tough on crime. Plus there might still be protesters in jail.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 12:49 am

Resisting arrest isn't?

Criminal damage?

Causing pain and suffering?

Er, OK.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 5:01 am
Posted by anonymous on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 5:20 am

Inclusing murder in Oakland, rape in another city and numerous drugs charges.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 6:31 am

Why do people insist on connecting dots which have no connection?

The murder happened close but not next to or in the Oakland camp.

Rape happens wherever you go, the fun fact is it sometimes also happens in a jail yet you do not lament the jail system for it. A camp is inherently open, everyone can walk in yet you assume the perpetrator was also a protester.

Drugs? What drugs? Kindly point me to a single article

Posted by CryoAnon on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 3:17 pm

Arrested for resisting arrest. You do not see the problem?

Posted by CryoAnon on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

Protests, disruptions, violence, and of course nothing that would ever attract business to the city, therefore ensuring it's continual decline.

Sad for a once proud city that this is it's public face.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 03, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

I think you missed the part were this demonstration was a protest AGAINST violence.

Posted by CryoAnon on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 3:19 pm

I thank the Guardian for having articles which are informative on the inside of Occupy which is different from the main media. There are slants both on the inside and outside which I get by checking more than 2 sources.

My suggestion for working with jail solidarity is posting the individuals who consent to being publicized with their charges.
As a member of Occupy San Francisco, I understand that this may need to go through the process of the legal representation of said individuals. I will bring this up in our own legal meeting about our 2 "political prisoners" Maybe I will ask someone to ask the Bay occupies about this all together.

Posted by Guest Derek on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 12:00 pm

Oh wait, you're too cheap and are a fair-weather socialist.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 1:37 pm

There may be a multitude of reasons why they do not post bail for one it might be too expensive. Remember that OccupyLA protesters faced a $5000 bail for refusing to leave the camp while refusing a police officer usually results in a bail of at most 100$

Posted by CryoAnon on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

if you've been paying attention at all to the state of this country, half of American's are low income or in poverty. not really putting any of us in a position to post a bail which is probably hiked up in just another example of the gov't screwing the people they aim to keep down.
the examples of crimes you've mentioned are true. they're also quite few in number compared to the size of the movement, and have mostly stopped. the protestors lately who have been arrested have been arrested for "disturbing the peace" or "resisting arrest", and even more of the protestors who have been arrested haven't been given a trumped charge for ANYTHING. you're probably misinformed (note I say MISinformed, because you probably follow it closely so you can have more ammo to put it down- only WHERE are you getting your information that makes you so against it?)
if people can't handle the truth of the state of this country, of this WORLD (because Occupy has become a global movement with over 1,500 Occupations around the globe) then that shows you just another symptom of the huge problem of complacency, apathy, and chosen blissful ignorance.

Posted by you don't deserve to call yourself 'Anonymous' on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 3:34 pm


Try paragraphs, capitalization, coherent syntax. Stop the weird misuse of words, and points capitalized for emphasis, it's ridiculous if you don't start your sentence with a cap.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 04, 2012 @ 5:52 pm

I wish more people realized that good grammar and spelling is not about rule-following as much as it's about legibility.

Posted by Guest Ashton on Feb. 10, 2012 @ 11:28 pm

New Years Eve is going to be here before you know it and there's one Party in San Francisco that everyone will be talking about. Voted "Best Event of 2012" (Under 8000 attendees) by the San Francisco, California Music & Culture Association and the #1 NYE on the West Coast by Huffington Post.We welcome you to take a step back in time to the prosperous Roaring 20's and let your inhibitions loose at San Francisco's newest venue, Per Diem. Tucked away in the commercial District, Per Diem is a 2 level speakeasy that is the perfect setting to enjoy sf new years eve parties with your closest friends. Inspired by Gatsby's elaborate parties in the masterpiece by F. Scott Fitzgerald, we will be re-creating the secret "West Egg" soirees that were paid for with prohibition-fueled bootlegger money.

Posted by sf new years eve parties on Jun. 22, 2012 @ 11:49 am

they can't do that!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:49 pm

they can't do that!

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:50 pm

why my comment can't be show out

Posted by Guest on Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:53 pm

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