BART has closed the Downtown Berkeley station after a PG&E power outage was reported, a utility spokeswoman said. -more-
What do you do when your demo is overshadowed by San Francisco's and Oakland's, if not more than 240 anti-Wall Street protests across the nation?
If you are clever young activists, you brand yourself, and that is exactly what Berkeley's version of the growing national movement is trying to do. And doesn't Berkeley have a few moves when it comes to protest?
"Occupy Berkeley," is the first branding step. Pending approval by the protest's communication committee (the protest is governed by committees open to all--even provocateurs.) -more-
"Occupy Oakland" demonstrators who converged on Frank Ogawa Plaza on Monday afternoon remained camped out in front of Oakland City Hall this morning.
Dozens of tents dotted the lawn, and about 75 people gathered under a large tarp at the camp to discuss logistical plans for the open-ended protest.
A homeless protester who gave his name only as Adam explained that there is no one in charge of the movement or the camp. He said that about 1,000 people attended Monday night's general assembly. -more-
Actor and activist Danny Glover has accepted an invitation to speak at a “Jobs Not Cuts” march and rally in Oakland on Saturday, October 15.
In addition to Glover, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates, Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, and community leaders will add their voices to the public outcry for government to invest in jobs and stop cutting needed programs for the poor and middle class. -more-
Enactment of these two bills represent the culmination of a perfect storm, which runs the risk of repetition often in the days ahead. But first explanation of what they are.
SB 292 was the special interest bill to facilitate approval of a new NFL stadium in downtown Los Angeles. The project proponent is AEG Enterprises, Philip Anschutz' empire that includes many of the world's major sports and entertainment stadia, and ownership of several professional sports teams in hockey, basketball, and soccer. AEG claims they need special treatment under CEQA in order to bring an NFL team to Los Angeles; the asserted fear is that a lengthy CEQA lawsuit would delay the arrival of a team they acquire from elsewhere, leaving that team stranded in its present location. AEG also claimed discrimination because two years ago the Legislature gave a competing Southern California promoter categorical exemption from CEQA. AEG built a political consensus for its project and CEQA exception by touting the tens of thousands of jobs that would be created by stadium construction. -more-
Twenty-three- year old Nelini Stamp became an activist at the age of 17 when her family was evicted from their apartment in New York City. She is one of the young generation of organizers who responded quickly to the call of the Occupy Wall Street protests.
“I went down there and didn’t realize it was going to change my life,” said Stamp, who is a member of the Working Families Party. “I started sleeping on cardboard (and began) pressuring labor organizations and community organizations to come on down and check it out.”
“We don’t need demands,” she explained in response to mainstream press criticisms. “If we tell them demands, it’s saying they have the power. And we have the power because we have strength in numbers.”
Stamp was among the 2,0000 veteran and newly emerging leaders from around the country who came together recently in Washington, DC to spark what they hope will become a national coalition and movement to “ Take Back the American Dream” from bankers, corporate CEOs and the lobbyist-owned politicians who have turned that dream into a nightmare. -more-
As Jimmy Durante used to say, ever’body wants tuh ged in tuh duh’act. (If you’re too young to remember him and/or don’t come from Brooklyn, Everybody Wants to Get into the Act.) After a frustratingly slow start, the Occupy Wall Street action finally has legs.
Over the weekend, it became front page news in the big national papers. They all ran approximately the same story, recounting how the previously invisible campers took to the road and were arrested in impressive numbers while trying to cross the Brooklyn Bridge in the auto lane. Most of the stories featured approximately identical quotes from various Poli Sci professors at second-tier institutions, ones easily located in the metropolitan areas where the newspapers were published, on the order of “If they want to accomplish anything, they’ll need a program and identified leaders.”
Well, no. The most useful analysis of what seems to be going on could be found on the front page of yesterday’s New York Times Science Section, in a fascinating article about slime molds. Here’s the basics: -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
The advantage of the melting pot is that it undermines tribalism. One gains a distance from one’s own national folly. Fashionable present-day multiculturalism, with its naïve call for ethnic pride, sounds to me like an attempt to restore me to precisely that state of mind my parents ran away from in Europe. The American culture is a strange concoction prepared and cooked by each individual in his own kitchen. It ought not to come in a package with a label and a fake list of wholesome, all-natural ingredients.
—Charles Simic, poet, NY Times Book Review, 12/20/03 -more-