Occupy Oakland protesters are again pitching tents in the plaza in front of Oakland City Hall but Mayor Jean Quan and police Chief Howard Jordan said yesterday that they don't have any plans to remove the tents or the protesters at this time. -more-
Is Occupy Berkeley—Berkeley branch of the international anti-Wall Street movement—on a collision course with the city it occupies? -more-
It is 11 pm on Wednesday night, 10/27/2011, and I just got back from the most amazing meeting I have ever been to in my life. It was held at the scene of Monday's carnage in Oakland where the Oakland cops crushed one of the most amazing demonstrations I have ever encountered.
For those of you who didn't get a chance to get down to the OccupyOakland encampment, it was astonishing. The people there had set up a village. There was a kitchen, a restaurant, a café, a library, a first aid station, and an art department, and all of this surrounded by well over 150 tents set up on the grassy area of the plaza. They had water and sanitary facilities (provided by the OEA), a calender, and many really interesting meetings. The cops attacked Monday night around 3 in the morning, and demolished it.
I won't waste my breath trying to explain that there was no reason to do this. The attack is estimated to cost between 3 and 5 million dollars, where a couple of thousand would have maintained sanitation, and provided a few social workers to help smooth over the inevitable conflicts that occur in small spaces across class, across ideology, and across levels of sobriety, especially among people already living on the edge because of their unneutralizable marginalization at the property interests's hands. -more-
Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said today that she's "very saddened" by "Occupy Oakland" protests Tuesday night that turned violent. -more-
Demonstrators at the "Occupy Oakland" general assembly meeting at Frank Ogawa Plaza tonight addressed the critical injury of Scott Olsen, a former Marine who served two tours in Iraq, which occurred during Tuesday night's demonstration. -more-
The fences are coming down at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza this evening while a general assembly meeting continues among "Occupy Oakland" protesters. -more-
Remarkable footage posted by several reporters on YouTube seems to show that some police in Oakland deliberately aimed projectiles at those aiding a wounded Occupy Oakland protester. The eviction was managed by Oakland police, but Berkeley police also took part in the assault on the Occupy protesters. Some of the videos can be seen below: -more-
An Iraq War veteran was critically injured during "Occupy Oakland" protests Tuesday night when he was hit in the head with a police projectile, according to the group Iraq Veterans Against the War. -more-
Occupy Oakland will reconvene tonight at 6:00 pm Pacific time to conduct its next General Assembly, at the corner of Broadway and 14th. We urge the public to join us tonight and help us build consensus. We are the 99%, and you are too. Please participate in true democracy. -more-
Press Release: The City of Berkeley Police Department’s (BPD) Involvement in Occupy Oakland Dispersal
The Oakland Police Department (OPD) requested mutual aid through the Alameda County Mutual Aid Coordinator, who in turn requested mutual aid from various law enforcement agencies within the county. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office (ACSO) is the Operational Area Mutual Aid Coordinating entity. The basis of the request was that OPD was unable to address and manage the situation safely (and take care of the City of Oakland) with their internal resources. -more-
We have received several inquiries regarding the City of Berkeley's response to the City of Oakland's request for Mutual Aid assistance with recent events in and around Frank Ogawa Plaza. -more-
Oakland police officers in riot gear used "less-than-lethal" munitions on about 300 protesters Tuesday night after a day of police raids and riots when "Occupy Oakland" campers were evicted from a city plaza, an Oakland police spokeswoman said.
During another protest Tuesday night many officers were assaulted, doused and hit with hazardous materials and hit with large rocks and bottles, police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins said.
An Oakland police officer said officers in riot gear had bright blue paint thrown on them during the rallies Tuesday evening.
Perkins said this resulted in a declaration of an unlawful assembly and an order to disperse. To enforce dispersal officers used "less-than-lethal force tactics".
Using the police to clear out Occupy Oakland was exactly the wrong thing to do. -more-
Police at Oakland's Frank Ogawa Plaza have issued an order to disperse to hundreds of protesters for the third time tonight.
After police deployed tear gas on protesters earlier tonight, temporarily scattering the crowd of "Occupy Oakland" protesters, the group has reconvened at the plaza and officers have started to use rubber bullets on unruly demonstrators. -more-
Police said at least 75 protesters were arrested when officers wearing riot gear raided the "Occupy Oakland" encampment in Frank Ogawa Plaza early this morning.
Speaking at a news conference at City Hall that began around 9:20 a.m., interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said police are still processing those arrested and that the arrest total will likely increase.
The arrests were mostly for misdemeanor offenses, including unlawful assembly and lodging, Jordan said. -more-
After police enforced an eviction notice on protesters camped in downtown Oakland as part of "Occupy Oakland" this morning, transit through the area was affected. -more-
City officials are advising downtown Oakland employers to consider having employees delay their arrival downtown this morning after police action at the "Occupy Oakland" encampment. -more-
Oakland city officials said this morning police are enforcing a notice of violation issued last week to protesters at the downtown "Occupy Oakland" encampment. -more-
Southeast Berkeley was full of fear and chaos October 20, 1991. People poured down Tunnel Road, evacuating from the fire above. Emergency vehicles chugged and sirened in the opposite direction. Homes along some of Berkeley’s most charmed streets—Alvarado Road, Vicente Road, Roble Road—were ablaze, along with hundreds of residences in Oakland. For hours, it looked as if the Claremont Hotel would become a gigantic torch. -more-
Occupy Berkeley's Growing Tent City Occupied Saturday at Civic Center by Peaceful Bay Area Teachers; But How Long Will Peaceful Vibes Last?
A dozen bay area teachers, joining Occupy Berkeley, engaged in a peaceful "grade-in" Saturday at Berkeley's Martin Luther King Civic Center, but a growing tent city in the park could clash with the city if grounds maintenance problems are not solved. -more-
An Oakland city official has tipped off the Occupy Oakland protest group that a raid tonight is "highly probable." Such a raid would happen after midnight, and would most likely occur between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. -more-
Berkeley, CA – The teachers at Realm Middle and High Schools became the first charter schools in Berkeley to receive union recognition last week when they were informed by California’s Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) that their request to join the Berkeley Federation of Teachers (BFT), an affiliate of the California Federation of Teachers, had been granted. -more-
Another aftershock with a 2.5 magnitude struck this morning, after two small quakes shook the East Bay this morning, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. -more-
While no one’s paying much attention, a substantial part of the last remaining open space in flatlands Berkeley is being reconfigured by the Berkeley Unified School District in collusion with bureaucrats working for the City of Berkeley. There has been almost no meaningful public discussion either of the goals of planned lavish and well-funded building projects or of the schedule for carrying them out. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Here's something which really outrages me, both as an opera lover and as a journalist. Lisa Simeone is the host of the independently produced World of Opera radio series, live broadcasts of opera from around the country which have been distributed by National Public Radio. Evidently, she also took part in an Occupy action somewhere, sometime..
For the sin of having political opinions and acting on them, she (and her program) have been dropped from the NPR lineup, in spite of the fact that the show has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with politics.
And anyway, what if it did? But we won't even bring up that question, because this situation is bad enough. For full details, and to sign a petition to lily-livered NPR, consult the Fairness and Accuracy in Media website. -more-
Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following statement on Occupy Oakland:
“I shared my outrage and grave concern about the police brutality in Oakland directly with the Mayor. My thoughts go out to the injured and especially Scott Olsen. I strongly support the occupy movement and continue to stand with the peaceful protesters in this struggle for economic justice and equality.” -more-
The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) condemns Oakland Police excessive force against Occupy demonstrators and violations of OPD Crowd Control Policy. -more-
As a nearby resident of Civic Center Park, I've cast a wary eye on the "Occupy Berkeley" encampment since it metastasized away from the B of A circle. Dated signs ("No Taxes For Star Wars") reinforce my impression that Berkeley has never not been Occupied and this just becomes an excuse to put up tents in the park. I figured the ardor would cool come the rains. Friends who grew up here suggested the sprinklers would put an end to it (as they recalled some of their high-school evenings concluding). All saw a risk of People's Park West and wondered how it might conclude or how bad it might get in the meanwhile. -more-
To:Tom Bates, Mayor; Laurie Capetelli, Council person; Michael K. Meehan, Chief of Police
Why were police from the City of Berkeley involved in the violence of and by the police of Oakland (and others) on the the people of Occupy Oakland?
I am a tax-paying Berkeley homeowner and am outraged that my tax dollars were used to destroy that encampment-or any others; the more so because an already reduced police force was further diminished to be pulled away from their jobs. But that is not the major issue; it is that of both provocative and violent police actions toward citizens protesting peacefully. -more-
For all practical purposes I would be considered one of the 5% and yet I whole heartedly support the actions of the Occupy movement worldwide. My children are highly educated, underemployed and unlikely to ever own their own home unless I pass before becoming infirm or diagnosed with chronic disease. They are not alone. -more-
The California Nurses Association/National Nurses United today condemned the early morning police raid on the peaceful Occupy Oakland encampment, and criticized Oakland Mayor Jean Quan for joining the list of mayors employing repression against the occupy movement. -more-
The National Lawyers Guild San Francisco Bay Area Chapter (NLGSF) calls for the release of approximately 100 people who were arrested this morning in the police raid on Occupy Oakland. The NLGSF has learned that the arrestees are being illegally booked in Alameda County's Glenn Dyer Detention Facility in downtown Oakland and in Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. -more-
My grandparents came from Pennsylvania to live with us when I was little, dazzling us with schtick from their vaudeville days. Our meals became a riot of quick patter and music hall jokes. “The show must go on”, my grandfather used to say, “is what the ringmaster says to the clown with the broken leg.” -more-
November 8, 2011
To: Honorable Mayor and Members of the City Council
From: Councilmember Jesse Arreguin, Councilmember Kriss Worthington
Subject: Possible New Council Chambers – Options and Accessibility
That the City Council request a report back to the Council in no less than 60 days on the proposal suggested to vacate Old City Hall and relocate the City Council Chambers to a new location. The report should analyze feasible alternate locations for a Council Chambers, issues of accessibility for the disabled, proximity to transit, adequate seating for large crowds, and connectivity to technology including television broadcasting. -more-
A coward's way of killing
Murders from afar
Yemen body count:
Saleh's volleys kill 18
US drones kill nine. -more-
Terrorism is not a statistic for us.”—Asif Ali Zardari, president of Pakistan
This is a Pakistani truism that few Americans understand. Since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, Pakistan has lost more than 35,000 people, the vast bulk of them civilians. While the U.S. has had slightly over 1800 soldiers killed in the past 10 years, Pakistan has lost over 5,000 soldiers and police. The number of suicide bombings in Pakistan has gone from one before 2001, to more than 335 since.
For most Americans, Pakistan is a two-faced “ally” playing a double game in Central Asia, all while siphoning off tens of billions of dollars in aid. For Pakistanis, the spillover from the Afghan war has cost Islamabad approximately of $100 billion. And this is in a country with a yearly GDP of around $175 billion, and whose resources have been deeply strained by two years of catastrophic flooding. -more-
I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I have a fruit fly problem. It’s recent—within the last month or so—and specific to the kitchen. This is a novel experience. We have Argentine ant invasions now and then, and a resident spider population, but never before fruit flies. So far they have me, as my father would say, buffaloed. -more-
My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
My politics are those of privacy and intellectual obsession. They look to Dante’s immemorial summons voiced by Ulysses: ”We are not formed to live come bruta, but to follow virtue and knowledge wherever these may lead, at whatever personal and social cost.” It may be that such a conviction is in certain regards pathological and self-indulgent . . . at the same time, (it) seems to me to justify man -more-
We just returned from a tour of Central Europe. We visited Warsaw, Krakow, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, and Prague. On our drive from Warsaw to Krakow, we stopped at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oswiecim, renamed Auschwitz when the town and the surrounding area were incorporated within the Third Reich. -more-
While the organic Occupy Wall Street movement is similar to the spontaneous Arab Spring uprisings that began last December in Tunisia and Egypt, OWS is eerily reminiscent of the run up to the American revolutionary war.
Three ingredients fueled the original American Revolution. The first was egregious British taxation policy exacerbated by the fact that the colonies had no representation in Parliament. The second was the growth of liberalism and its concepts of natural rights and the social contract. Finally, Americans embraced the values of “republicanism” -- in its original form – which criticized both British corruption and the power of the English aristocracy.
For eighteenth-century American colonists, democracy was a novel idea, whose influence grew from 1763 onward and culminated with the publication of Tom Paine’s Common Sense. -more-
Have you seen the television commercial that advertises a new medication for children with hyperactivity and attention deficit? The commercial shows a well-behaved, sedated little kid doing his homework and being an angelic little boy, while at the same time a list of possible side effects is being read over the sound portion of the commercial. If you’re paying any attention to those side effects, it sounds horrific. If you’re paying attention to the portrayal of the child, you ought to be horrified. No child should be that well-behaved; it’s not natural. -more-
Arts & Events
Bay Area singer-songwriter Ira Marlowe is within days of pulling off a truly tricky treat. Since the first day of October, Marlowe has been posting a new, original and ghoulishly gleeful song for each and every day leading up to Halloween. Anyone can tune in for free. You just need to "friend" him on Facebook. (http://www.facebook.com/ira.marlowe) If you need another infusion of Marlowe's macabre melodies after this first bite, you're in luck: he's got two live performances scheduled for the next week (see below). -more-
Berkeley Symphony, conducted by Joana Carneiro, opens the new season with music by Enrico Chapela, Brahms and Shostakovich, Thursday at 8, Zellerbach Auditorium. -more-
Around & About Music: Kent Nagano Conducts at Gala Celebrating Alden Gilchrist's 60th Anniversary at Calvary Presbyterian
In his only West Coast appearance this season, former Berkeley Symphony music director and present emeritus conductor Kent Nagano will conduct the San Francisco Academy Orchestra at a gala concert to celebrate Alden Gilchrist's 60th anniversary as organist and music director at Calvary Presbyterian Church atop Pacific Heights in San Francisco, where Nagano has sung with the Chancel Choir, which will also perform, along with featured soloists, a jazz cycle by the Dave Scott Quartet and the Santa Rosa Children's Chorus, featuring music of Monteverdi, J. S. Bach, Mozart, Dvorak--and Gilchrist, Friday at 6 p. m, with a reception to follow. The community is invited, free of charge, but asked to RSVP: (415) 346-3832 x 60; firstname.lastname@example.org -more-
Programming the Nation opens at the Balboa Theater on October 28.
Jeff Warrick is a genial, affable fellow who looks like he might be a high school football coach but be forewarned: Warrick is a man with an obsession — and a mission. Instead of studying how to score goals against cunning adversaries, Warrick's goal is studying whether advertisers are using hidden, subliminal messages to score in the marketplace. Warrick's game plan is mapped out in a provocative and dazzling new documentary, Programming the Nation. If you have children, you should see this film. If you value democracy, you should see this film and invite your friends and neighbors along for the experience. (You'll have a lot to talk about over coffee afterwards.) -more-
Berkeley Playhouse, the professional Children’s Musical Theatre at the Julia Morgan on College Ave., opens with ANNIE on October 29. -more-
With Halloween just a week away, you'd be wise to stock up on candy to hand out to those little Trick or Treaters when they come knocking at your door. You may not know that Pope Gregory III designated Nov. 1 as a time to honor saints and martyrs. The evening before was known as Halloween's Eve and then later Halloween. Obviously this holiday has little religious meaning today. -more-