Occupy Oakland General Strike Today

LA Times:

The revived Occupy Oakland movement has called for a citywide general strike Wednesday that has garnered nationwide support from activists and the philosophical backing of labor unions, while triggering growing consternation that the city’s strained economy could suffer further.

The call for businesses to close and residents to demonstrate at banks and later march to the Port of Oakland came after last week’s heavy police response to protesters speaking out against the razing of the movement’s City Hall encampment.

Demonstrations in support of Oakland’s strike are planned in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and elsewhere, and organizers, who were allowed to reestablish their camp, said that letters of solidarity have flooded in from around the world, most notably from Tahrir Square demonstrators in Cairo.

“Tomorrow is going to be a test of what’s possible with this historical movement, how far this will go,” said Tim Simmons, 28, among the encampment’s residents.

The Port of Oakland was chosen as the protest site because the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has a rare contract clause that allows workers to honor certain community picket lines. If workers arriving for a 7 p.m. shift decide not to cross the line, a shutdown could result.

Most unions, in contrast, have “no strike” clauses but are offering general support to the Occupy Oakland action. Some members, including teachers and nurses, plan to skip work and attend the marches.

It remains to be seen how effective and peaceful the strike will be. I’m not making any predictions.


The Oakland Police Officers Association released a statement Tuesday noting that after officers cleared the Occupy Oakland camp early on Oct. 25, Quan allowed the protesters to start returning the next day. The raid was accomplished with the help of 16 outside agencies, and follow-up protests turned violent that night, resulting in serious injury to a military veteran who was demonstrating.

The camp is now larger than it was before the raid, with more than 300 people squatting before City Hall in more than 100 tents.

“As your police officers, we are confused,” the union said.

The city is allowing employees to participate in the strike that Occupy Oakland has called, the union said, while all officers have been ordered to work.

“That’s hundreds of city workers encouraged to take off work to participate in the protest against ‘the establishment,’ ” said the union, which represents 645 officers. “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?”

The union’s president, Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, said, “There is no clear mission here. The mayor is painting this picture that we’re the bad guy. We’re just doing our jobs, carrying out her orders, and we need some big leadership now.”

Asked about the police union’s beef, interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said, “They have a legitimate reason to be concerned.”

Quan released a statement saying she hoped the strike would be peaceful, but she did not address the police criticism.

Sounds like the Mayor likes her bread buttered on both sides.

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25 Responses to Occupy Oakland General Strike Today

  1. myiq2xu says:

    Occupy Oakland’s dangerous “strike” follies

    A city suffering from chronic poverty, out-of-control crime, a $76 million budget deficit, and a 15 percent unemployment rate (nearly 50 percent for Oakland’s youth) can hardly afford such social justice follies. But a pushover Democratic mayor and an overwhelmed police force have left what’s left of gainfully employed Oakland taxpayers at the mercy of professional freeloaders and anti-capitalism saboteurs.

    Instead of unequivocally condemning efforts to paralyze downtown commerce, Oakland city officials have all expressed sympathy for the protesters. For a brief moment, the city council president fretted meekly about the city’s image after a violent clash between Camp Chaos inhabitants and law enforcement officers last week. Nevertheless, city leaders — or rather, city enablers — have informed public employees they can use vacation or other paid time to ditch their offices and raise their fists in solidarity with the Occupiers.

    Instead of targeting local bank branch managers and private-sector entrepreneurs, the protesters should be camping out at government offices asking where all the tens of millions in federal Obama stimulus funding for Oakland went over the past two years – including $40 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly $30 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $26 million from the Department of Justice, $24 million from the Transportation Department, $15 million from the Department of Education, and $5.3 million from the Environmental Protection Agency.

    One local analysis found last year that the Oakland Housing Authority squandered nearly $11 million in federal project renovation and clean-up stimulus grants to create a measly 10.7 jobs.

    • votermom says:

      I saw somewhere the comment that at least the call for a strike is doing something, which beats just camping out in tents. That’s a point, I guess.

      • DandyTiger says:

        I agree. I don’t think it will end well for anyone involved, but at least there seems to be some definitive effort for some sort of effect vs. just a camping holiday and pathetic mumbo jumbo.

  2. Lulu says:

    This mayor has put her law enforcement officials in an impossible position. The mayor needs to publicly state what she wants the police to do, such as nothing, a little bit while OWS runs wild, or round them up and off to jail. If she will not do this, the union needs to inform the public she is trying to play both sides and they are not playing since it involves public safety, both theirs and the public at large. And get it in writing or video as she will change her tune and cannot be trusted. What a mess.

    • myiq2xu says:

      And get it in writing


    • DandyTiger says:

      The mayor has created a bizarre predicament for the police. They’re in a really bad lose-lose situation. I’d kind of like to seem them stay away from the protest area and let the mayor be responsible for what happens.

  3. votermom says:

    Remember how Bloomberg was going to clean up Zucotti Park and then for some mysterious reason the owners told him to back off?

    Maybe Quan wanted to stop them camping and then someone(s) leaned on her to back off too.

    Just a thought.

  4. yttik says:

    The mayor really has put the police in an awkward position. You can’t have it both ways.

  5. myiq2xu says:

    NYC arrest records: Many Occupy Wall Street protesters live in luxury

    Yeah, but they have to live in the basement and their parents won’t let them smoke pot.

    • votermom says:

      That’s typical of revolutions though, isn’t it? The rich kids are the heart of it. They have time, money, more passion than sense and are easy to manipulate.
      The poor are generally too busy getting by and too canny to believe in empty promises.

      • WMCB says:

        Also, rich kids are the ones with a lot of guilt over mommy and daddy’s money. Also guilt over being white. Which is in many cases just resentment of their parents, transferred to their wealth and race. See, it’s so pedestrian to resent your parents and have issues with them. But to rail against wealth and privilege is cool! So let’s sublimate all our daddy and mommy issues into that.

        Poor and lower middle class people have too much real survival going on to spent much time agonizing over this and that and bottling up impotent rage against Daddy.

  6. votermom says:

    Bros b4 hos?

    Fast and Furious: Napolitano thrown under bus to protect Holder?

    “It’s hard to believe that Napolitano was not briefed on the link between Operation Fast and Furious and the killings of two of her subordinates with guns from that ATF operation. She must have known that Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was killed with a Fast and Furious handgun. If not then she’s incompetent,” said former police detective and intelligence officer Mike Snopes.

    “However, I wonder if in his zeal to protect the job of an incompetent attorney general, Obama is actually throwing Napolitano under-the-bus, which is this president’s M.O. There have been numerous calls for the resignation or firing of both Holder and Napolitano,” said Snopes.

  7. WMCB says:


    Report on Occupy Baltimore rape and heroin use.


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