At the Home of the Free Speech Movement the UCPD appears to have suppressed Free Speech Again! Please join us in questioning this behavior and challenge the UCPD to respect the Free Speech Rights of Occupy Cal. -more-
Police have broken through a line of protesters on the University of California at Berkeley campus this afternoon and are taking down a half-dozen tents set up by the demonstrators. -more-
Students and University of California at Berkeley employees are setting up an encampment on the campus today to protest tuition and fee increases for university students and funding cuts to all levels of public education. -more-
It was a beautiful late October day, ideal weather for enjoying the sweeping panorama from atop the hills north of the Berkeley Marina. It was a lovely day for soaking up the sun and inhaling great gasps of fresh Bay breeze. And it was also a perfect day for grabbing pick-axes, shovels and a hundred small boulders to gussy up the perimeter surrounding the César Chávez Memorial Solar Calendar. -more-
In the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 25th, police raided the encampment of Occupy Oakland. We'd gotten word that it was likely to occur this night, and, as I headed out to join my companions at the Plaza, I was thinking of an incident from local history--the police attack in the Port of Oakland on the morning of April 7, 2003. -more-
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-
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-
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-
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-
Back to Berkeley, after the excitement in Oakland seems to have settled into a long slog, this week we have an example of the unintended consequences of the city management’s latest attempt to squeeze more moolah out of the citizenry.
You may remember that The Management, rubberstamped as usual by a complaisant group of electeds, has been sold Smart Boot, a computerized scheme for rapid collection of outstanding traffic tickets. Like many innovations which glom on to “Smart” branding, it’s a dumb idea which is looking dumber and dumber all the time. -more-
On Monday night, you might have thought that the fabled Millenium had finally arrived, only 11 years or so too late. At our front door, easy walking distance from the lavish displays on Russell near College, a generous sample of all branches of the human race appeared, all beautifully dressed and with perfect manners. Really Even the shambling teenage boys who knew in their hearts that they were too old for trick or treating, the ones who had no costumes, just funny hats or masks, even those boys said thank you and smiled beatifically. -more-
The Editor's Back Fence
Here's a link to an excellent blog entry on last week's events in Oakland by hip-hop's Davey D, followed by some excellent comments from readers, forwarded by reader Joseph Anderson. -more-
Beginning with Occupy Wall Street in September 2011, a protest movement spread across the United States to 70 major cities and hundreds of other communities. Similar actions emerged in scores of other nations.
For the first two weeks, the corporate-owned mainstream media along with NPR did what they usually do with progressive protests: they ignored them. These were the same media that had given the Tea Party supporters saturation coverage for weeks on end, ordaining them “a major political force.”
The most common and effective mode of news repression is omission. By saying nothing or next to nothing about dissenting events, movements, candidates, or incidents, the media consign them to oblivion. When the Occupy movement spread across the country and could no longer be ignored, the media moved to the second manipulative method: trivialization and marginalization. -more-
Between 2001 and 2006, there was a dramatic increase in Listener Support at KPFA due to the expanding economy and interest in the Iraq-Afghan War. KPFA added many paid staff during this period; however, between 2007 and 2010 Listener Support declined dramatically as the whole economy crashed. -more-
Around the bay area, all the Occupy franchises are Occupy_______(add your city's name), but in some parts of the world, occupiers have gamed the name. -more-
Berkeley Bowl West has three parking lots: one underground, one adjacent to the store, and one across Heinz Avenue on the old Hustead's Tow lot. The store opened 2 years ago with the first 2 lots, the third (tow yard) was purchased later and immediately relieved the burden of employee and costumer cars on our neighborhood streets. You might remember that the City of Berkeley did not require the Bowl to provide employee parking. This lot boasts over 150 spaces and is very well-used.
Fast forward to today, when the Bowl ownership wants to demolish a warehouse also on this parking site and rehab another warehouse for wholesale and retail usage. Their application is before the City currently. -more-
they can take all of our houses
those of us who have houses
they can take all of our jobs
those of us who have jobs
I felt very much at home at Occupy Oakland’s General Strike yesterday after I heard a young rapper with butt-length dreds and saggy blue jeans remind the crowd that Oakland was the birthplace of the Black Panther Party. He pumped his fist in the air and yelled “Power to the People,” then, just like the Panthers did, admonished the cheering crowd to “watch out for provocateurs.” -more-
In our local media it was reported that in the City of Arcata CA, even the Mayor was out in support of the "Occupy Wall St." protesters. This provokes me to point out that while many in Arcata support the right of these "Occupiers" to hold up their signs with any number of statements and demands, if one of them dares to include a request for donations on one of those signs, they will be in violation of that city's Anti-Panhandling Ordinance--over which, as covered on the NCJ's Blog I am currently suing the City of Arcata in State Court. If we wish to support free speech for Tea Party Members and Wall Street Occupiers alike, we need also then tolerate free speech by panhandlers. -more-
The people of the Berkeley have a unique opportunity to let their voice be heard and to stand up for those who protest this unjust system. Demand that the Council modify Mutual Aid agreements to ensure that BPD is not used to stop the exercise of free speech. -more-
Concrete proposals are needed for the 1% to step up to the plate rather than feed at the trough, now that they have been identified (as part of the problem). -more-
Press Release: NLG Calls for Police Accountability After Another Violent and Disproportionate Attack on Occupy Oakland Demonstrators
On November 3, 2011, tens of thousands of Oaklanders participated in a historic General Strike to protest economic injustice and demand accountability for last week’s police brutality. The day was full of families, young and old, and people from all backgrounds marching, rallying, and engaging in nonviolent civil disobedience. After midnight, however, National Lawyers Guild (NLG) Legal Observers witnessed the Oakland Police Department (OPD), the Alameda County Sheriff Department, and other agencies acting under their direction, violently attack protesters for the second time in eight days. The NLG is now preparing legal action to enforce the court ordered Crowd Control Policy, stop the abuses and obtain redress for persons who have been unlawfully injured or arrested. -more-
Have you noticed that songbirds are getting bigger? Good. Neither had I. But it’s happening, according to an article by PRBO Conservation Science biologist Rae Goodman and colleagues recently published online by the journal Global Change Biology. (Has enough time elapsed that we don’t have to say “formerly Point Reyes Bird Observatory” any more? These people may have a branding problem; maybe they should hire another consultant, or try a contest.) The differences are subtle; we’re not talking about chicken-sized song sparrows. They are, however, measurable and consistent—and may be related to global warming, if in an unexpected way. -more-
Why is the Obama Administration creating obstacles and throwing cold water on talks with North Korea, and why is it binding itself to right-wing South Korean President Lee Myung-bak, whose politics just took a shellacking in the recent race for mayor of Seoul?
The answer seems to be a convergence of U.S. concerns over the growing power of China, a desperate battle by American arms manufacturers to fend off military budget cuts, and a fantasy by President Lee of a uniting the Korean Peninsula under the banner of the South. -more-
Maybe it is time for Americans to contact the members of the Super Committee to demand that its recommendations include raising taxes on the rich with that money to be used to provide relief for those Americans on the bottom of the economic pile, and no cuts in Medicare, Social Security, and other vital programs. A failure by the Super Committee to compromise will be just another symbol of a failed government. -more-
New: My Commonplace Book (a diary of excerpts copied from printed books, with comments added by the reader.)
There are no friends; only moments of friendship.—from the journals of Jules Renard (1864—1910) -more-
It’s a “hearing aid that cuts out all the clatter” according to the New York Times, and it’s called a hearing loop. The technology, already widely adopted in northern Europe, has been installed in stores, banks, museums, subway stations and other public spaces as well as in homes. -more-
The preamble of the United States Declaration of Independence declares: “…whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter and abolish it, and to institute new Government.” Occupy Wall Street is an assertion by 99 percent of Americans that our government denies us “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” The movement should create a new Declaration of Independence.
In the eighteenth century, the momentum for the American Revolution was fueled by egregious British taxation policy. Initially, colonists were loyal to King George III and asked him to intervene with parliament on their behalf. When George instead declared them to be “in rebellion,” representatives of the original thirteen states adopted the Declaration of Independence.
Momentum for the current American Revolution, Occupy Wall Street, has been fueled by egregious fiscal policy that has worked for the benefit of the wealthiest 1 percent and to the detriment of everyone else. At the onset of Occupy Wall Street, the 99 percent remain loyal to America. They’ve asked Washington to intervene in their behalf. Some conservatives have declared them to be “in rebellion.” This sets the stage for a new Declaration of Independence. -more-
A statistic says medication helps a third of people with schizophrenic symptoms, while a third remain ill and are not helped by medication, and the remaining third of people get well without needing medication. The exact causes of mental illnesses are still not fully understood. However, we do know it runs in families, genetics plays a large role, and the parents are not usually to blame for the illnesses of their offspring. -more-
Arts & Events
Around & About Music: Opera Lab's reading of Massenet's 'Sapho'; Greenlief, Kjaerkgaard, Perkis--and Empty cage--at Berkeley Arts Festival; Dazzling Divas at Bateau Ivre
—Massenet's 'Sapho' will receive a staged reading by Opera Lab, its cast of singers accompanied by Robert Ashens, this Sunday at 3 at the Chapel of the Chimes, 4496 Piedmont Avenue in Oakland. Sung in French with explanatory commentary. Refreshments will be served. Free. Donations requested. Reservations (space limited): firstname.lastname@example.org
—Sunday night, Berkeley Arts Festival will feature the trio of Phillip Greenlief, tenor saxophone; Soren Kjaerkgaard, prepared piano; and Tim Perkis, electronics at 8, followed by Empty Cage--Jason Meers, saxophone & clarinet; Kris Tiner, trumpet; Ivan Johnson, bass; Paul Kikuchi, drums, at 9. $10. 2133 University Avenue by Ace Hardware (near Shattuck) berkeleyartsfestival.com
—The Dazzling Divas--Pamela Connelly, Kathleen Moss and Eliza O'Malley, accompanied by Hadley Mc Carroll--return to the Bateau Ivre next Wednsday, November 16, 7-9, with arias and duets from Puccini, Verdi, Bellini, Bizet and Delibes--plus a new trio from Mozart. No cover. 2629 Telegraph. 849-1100 -more-
Reviews: The Residents' Randy Rose at the Marsh; 'The Internationalist': Just Theater at Ashby Stage
—An old bum in a trench coat and hat, a spray of white hair under the brim, steers his walker—smiley-face helium balloon floating above—through the audience towards the stage at The Marsh, Berkeley ... With the grudging help of a deadpan pianist, the arriviste starts to talk, then sing, croon, put on a show—a kind of manic geriatric cabaret, but not the type you see indoors, at least not on a stage; maybe in the mirror of a furnished room ... -more-
Around & About Theater: "Cracked Clown'--David A.Moss at the East Bay Media Center; 'Shoot O'Malley Twice'--Virago Theater; Gesture Vocabularies, lecture & video on mudras in Indian ritual & traditional theater at UCB
—David Moss, a talented performer on Bay Area stages over the past decade and more, will reprise his show 'Cracked Clown' Friday & Saturday the 11th & 12th at 8 p. m., the same show that sold out here in August, at the East Bay Media Center, which has initiated a live performance series over the past few months. 1939 Addison, just west of Milvia, in the Berkeley Arts District. $12. 843-3646; eastbaymediacenter.com -more-
Improvisations conjured by Fred Frith; roaming drunken shaman expelling high-end drugstore vibrations on a mystical pocket fm radio and guitar along with Theresa Wong; cave dwelling amateur magician and high priestess of the vocal disorder meet in trio for the first time with court jester and pianist, Søren Kjærgaard to channel anything, everything and sometimes nothing through spirited sonic outbreaks. -more-
Embassy, Central Works at the City Club; The Rep: How to Write a New Book for the Bible; Actors Ensemble: Doubt; Cal Performances presents John Malkovich in The Infernal Comedy and Toni Morrison's Desdemona;ACT stages Mamet's Race; Ragged Wing Ensemble's triumphant Inanna's Descent. -more-
The San Francisco Guitar Quartet--Mark Simons, David Duenas, Patrick O'Connell and John Mendle--will play Telemann's Concerto for Four Guitars, two mazurkas by Karol Szymanowski, Suite of Six Trios by Phillip Houghton, At the Sound by John Lennon andother contemporary pieces, 8 p. m. Tuesday, November 8 at the Berkeley City Club, 2315 Durant, followed by a wine and cheese reception to meet the artists. &12.50-$25. 525-5211 (Berkeley Chamber Concerts); 878-7800 (City Club parking & dining); berkeleychamberconcerts.org -more-
Around & About Theater & Fine Art: Exhibit & Auction of Paintings of Noh Theater to Benefit Japanes Performing Arts, Earthquake-Tsunami Victims
An exhibit and silent auction of paintings depicting the extraordinary costumed and masked performers of Noh theater, the Japanese classical dance-drama tragedy, by Hideki Noh and other painters will be held at Yoshi's, San Francisco, from noon till 4 this Sunday, featuring an address by Japanese Consul-General Hiroshi Inomata, commentary on the paintings by excellent Hosho School Noh actor Masayuki Fujii, choral music by the Forest Choir--including Ainu folksongs (the aboriginal people of Japan) and Buddhist sutras, and a Kyogen comedy--the complement to Noh tragedy, resembling Chaucer's tales in stylized movement--by Theatre of Yugen. Proceeds will go to the promotion of classical Japanese performing arts in America and to the Japanese Red Cross for earthquake and tsunami victims. -more-