Back from marching with Occupy Oakland's successful march to close the Port of Oakland Wednesday—where it flew an Occupy Berkeley flag made the night before—Occupy Berkeley returns to a troubled encampment. Wednesday's planning meeting ("general assembly") in MLK Civic Center Park was cancelled so that Occupy Berkeley could join its big brother in Oakland. -more-
On October 22, a determined group of activists began a two-week interfaith peace walk from the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant near San Luis Obispo to the Bay Area. "With the tragedy of Fukushima in our hearts," they explained, "we will walk 15-18 miles a day looking into the safety of land and people along our route, the still-present danger of nuclear weapons, the poisonous nuclear fuel cycle and how to end the nuclear nightmare in California and worldwide."
With uncanny timing, the marchers reached Oakland on November 3, just in time to join the Occupy Oakland General Strike.
Louise Dunlap, one of the walk organizers, explained the genesis of the Sacred Sites Peacewalk for a Nuclear Free Future: "The Diablo Canyon plant defiled a site sacred to the Chumash people, and native lands still bear the brunt of toxic mining and waste disposal that mark the nuclear industry." Fittingly, she noted, the march was designed to conclude at another Sacred Site, Vallejo's Sogorea Te/Glen Cove, "an Indigenous sacred site of true power" that was recently the focus of a 109-day vigil to protect it from development. -more-
Supporters of the Occupy Oakland movement and some of its detractors packed an emotional Oakland City Council meeting to discuss the city's response to the protests. -more-
Chief Howard Jordan blamed what he described as "anarchists and provocateurs" for causing a confrontation with police at a vacant building early today that resulted in more than 80 people getting arrested. -more-
Berkeley Woman Who Prompts Chinese Government to Care for Female Orphans is 2011 Purpose Prize Winner
In 1996, Berkeley resident Jenny Bowen was stunned by a New York Times photo of a starving child in a Chinese welfare institution. Within eighteen months, she had adopted a girl child from Guangzhou, once known to the Western world as Canton. After a year of loving care, the twenty-month old girl was healthy. Later, she adopted another girl. Bowen’s daughters attend Berkeley High School and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School.
Flash forward two years. These experiences have led Bowen to launch an organization to transform radically the way China cares for its 800,000 orphans (a government statistic that is probably neither valid nor reliable.) The Half the Sky Foundation is among the first United States-based NGOs [Nongovernmental Organizations] to partner with the Chinese government. A pilot program was set up in two provinces: Jaingsu (Jiang Zhu) and An Hu (Anhui). Now, she is advising Beijing on investing $300 million to build three hundred model orphanages, and in the next five years Berkeley-based (715 Hearst Avenue) the Foundation will help to train all of China’s orphanage workers.
Her efforts will be recognized on December 1 when she will be one of five winners of San Francisco's Civic Ventures' Purpose Prizes.
Five $100,000 Purpose Prizes are being awarded to Americans who are making an extraordinary impact in their Encore Careers. Five social entrepreneurs over sixty years of age will each receive $100,000 for using their experience and passion to make an extraordinary impact on some of society’s biggest challenges. Now in its sixth year, the $17 million program is the nation’s only large-scale investment in social innovators in the second half of life. This year, for the first time, one of the five prizes – The Purpose Prize for Intergenerational Innovation, which Bowen will receive -- will be sponsored by AARP. The $100,000 will be used, she says, for “challenge” fund-raising with the Chinese government. -more-
After a mostly peaceful day of demonstrations at Occupy Oakland's general strike, incidents Wednesday night and Thursday morning became more violent as protesters clashed with police. -more-
Mid-afternoon today the renamed "Oscar Grant Plaza" in front of Oakland City Hall demonstrated the remarkable variety of Occupy Oakland supporters who responded to the call for a general strike. Everyone from librarians to geeks to hiphoppers seemed to have shown up (and some who might have filled all three categories.) There, then, everything was remarkably peaceful--and few police were to be seen. Plans for this evening called for a march on the Port of Oakland. -more-
Whole Foods in Oakland is shutting down for the day after windows were smashed and paint was thrown on the storefront during protests related to the Occupy Oakland's general strike today, a Whole Foods spokeswoman said. -more-
Hundreds of parents, students and teachers are participating in the general strike in Oakland today. -more-
One Wells Fargo branch has been shut down because of the general strike in Oakland today. -more-
Protesters have begun to gather in downtown Oakland this morning as the general strike organized by Occupy Oakland gets under way. As of 9:30 a.m., protesters had filled the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway, and cars could not get through. The manager of a Rite Aid at that intersection said the store's doors were shut because of the protest but that the store would reopen later today. -more-
When the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was signed, the country's financial giants knew it posed a threat to a host of "transaction fees" that helped banks and credit card companies rack up $16 billion in profits in 2010. (By some estimates, the reform legislation was expected to cut "fee revenue" by $8 billion.) But the Big Banks and Card Companies had already prepared an elaborate response that included the introduction of new fees and the creation of a front group designed to sabotage the law — by pretending to spearhead a consumer friendly "reform campaign" involving a popular Internet activism site. -more-
On Friday, October 28th, at the national Greek aniversary of OXI [that is, NO], taking its name from the answer given to the Italian Ambassador carryng Mussolini's demand that the borders of Greece should open to the Italian army in 28.10.1940, which marked the entrance of Greece to the 2nd WW, all over Greece the official parades were taken over by the people, who chased away the representatives of the government and paraded themselves in most cities. -more-
Police tear-gassing crowds. Reports of protestors throwing bottles at cops. A local arm of a widespread movement garnering national attention. These aren’t new to the Bay Area, but back in the 1960’s it was Berkeley, not Oakland, where the action was.
Occupy Oakland (and to a lesser extent Occupy San Francisco) have dominated the news this week, but Occupy Berkeley, which began October 8, has yet to make waves. City officials reportedly have said they have no immediate plans to break up the protest on the corner of Shattuck Avenue and Center Street, or the small campsite down the street at MLK Jr. Civic Center Park. With a crowd of around 30 people each night for its general assemblies, the movement is dwarfed by the thousands who gather at Occupy Oakland. In fact, when Berkeley students and protestors at other Occupy movements are asked about it, the response is generally ignorance -- “There’s an Occupy Berkeley?” -more-
Press Release: Labor Unions and Members to Join Occupy Oakland Day of Action; Labor to sponsor actions throughout the day, cook-out for all at City Hall
On Wednesday, November 2nd, Alameda County labor unions and members will be joining the Day of Action called by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly. Union members and the rest of the 99% will be participating in a massive city-wide mobilization to speak out in support of good jobs, protection from foreclosure and predatory banking practices, funding for quality public education and services, and a system where everyone, including the top 1% and the corporations, pays their fair share. -more-
Hundreds of teachers will be among thousands expected to participate in the general strike organized by Occupy Oakland on Wednesday.
Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint said teachers are being allowed to join the general strike as long as they provide prior notice to their supervisors so that proper supervision can be arranged for students.
"We support many of the ideals contained in the Occupy Oakland movement," Flint said. "We believe public education, and other social services are underfunded. It's impacting kids and families in a negative way." -more-
Press Release: Occupy Oakland Joins with Workers and Community Members to Call for a November 2nd General Strike and Mass Day of Action
Oakland, CA—On Monday October 31st, at 4:00 p.m., the Occupy Oakland Strike Assembly held a press conference regarding the General Strike and Mass Day of Action planned for November 2nd. Members of the Occupation as well as community, school, and labor representatives spoke in regard to the motivations and wide-reaching potential of the strike. The press conference was held at the intersection of Broadway and Telegraph, the epicenter of the 1946 Oakland General strike, the last general strike in the continental United States. -more-