If you have "no place to go," come here!

Occupy Oakland March Live Stream

wuming's picture

Live stream of the march, happening right now:

The march is supposed to lead into a building takeover.


affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

Well, OO #J28 went almost exactly the way I thought it would. A militarized and at times out-of-control police force plus OO "diversity of tactics" stupidity and poor planning. Short version in top three tweets (and linked stories).
An assortment of tweets from throughout the day:

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

Realized that I forgot to mention numbers above. The best estimate for the first march, targeting the Kaiser Auditorium, is close to 1000 people. For the second march, which initially targeted the Traveler's Aid Society building, there were probably around 500, a little over 300 of which were arrested at the YMCA. The FtP march was much smaller (given that the mass of protesters were under arrest) - probably around 100. It's not clear what proportion of the demonstrators today were from Oakland.
Apparently, out of the 20 people arrested on the first march, 3 were Oakland residents.

Of course OPD knew the target. Apparently, there's only one building in Oakland that really matches the specifications in the building takeover proposal passed by the OO GA (i.e. the Kaiser Auditorium). So everyone knew the probable target over a month in advance. And since the OO vanguard revolutionaries who developed this brilliant plan seem to fundamentally lack creativity, they followed the script to the letter, and marched straight there (with some apparently actually believing that their threats to disrupt the city if thwarted would lead to Oakland's acquiescence to the takeover of this high-value historical city building).

And for the BB perspective for today:

Addendum: BTW - It's been confirmed that OOers who got into City Hall did vandalize the children's art exhibit inside.
Absolutely fucking brilliant. Wonderful PR.

ChePasa's picture
Submitted by ChePasa on

The Revolution is messy.

PR is obviously beside the point for many of the activists -- while it is apparently the main point for others. Is the Revolution a product to be marketed to the masses or an action to be taken against oppression? Can it be both simultaneously and succeed?

No synthesis is likely to be achieved.

But if it's going to happen, Oakland might just be the place where it does.

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

It's worth remembering that the American Revolution didn't have the support of the entire colonial population- so it's certainly possible to overthrow the established order without overwhelming public support.

But it's a whole lot easier that way, especially when you can't count on a rival power to mess with your enemy on your behalf. I don't see our France coming over the hill with their naval and logistical support, at least not yet.

ChePasa's picture
Submitted by ChePasa on

and you will find that most of the heavy lifting is not done by the masses -- most of whom, quite understandably, just want to be left alone. Please.

The fancy people in the Oakland Hills are not going to be at ease among the activist rabble down below, no matter what. The social and economic gulf is too vast. The activist rabble doesn't care (much) whether the fancy people approve of or like what they are doing or not. They're going to do it anyway.

The rabble is not always well organized, nor do they have a sophisticated planning and marketing arm, nor do they want any such thing. They want a better quality of life for themselves and their posterity, and they want not to be subjected to the sorts of brutality and oppression that Oakland's powerful and authorities are notorious for around the world.

They are taking on the challenge of making it so. They are taking life risks day in and day out that would probably make most of the fancy people of Oakland faint dead away. Even Spencer Mills who has been documenting so much what's going on in Oakland and all over the country says time and again how much he does not want to get arrested. How he will not get arrested. There were hundreds of arrests in Oakland yesterday of people who took the risk. Some of them were injured in the process.

This is the course they've chosen to make clear that they will not easily be forced to submit to an authority they have deemed illegitimate. When the officers on their loudspeakers kept repeating over and over again: "Submit to arrest," it was really pathetic.


That's what the struggle is about in a nutshell.

The answer is, "No."

jumpjet's picture
Submitted by jumpjet on

shared by the majority of the population. It may never be shared- except after the fact.

My goal in this business is the same as yours: success. I have a more personal goal as well, that goal being that we do not repeat history. I don't think history is ever really repeated, but in this case I would prefer not to even come close. I want something new. La Vita Nuova. Or if we cannot truly escape history, I would at least like to see all the old pieces assembled in a novel way.

ChePasa's picture
Submitted by ChePasa on

are you referring to?

Oakland's activists are trying to chart a new course, and from what I can tell from a safe distance (I'm not there after all, I'm a good eighty miles away, and my contacts on the ground in Oakland aren't involved in everything that's going on) it's going about as well as can be expected.

They are not trying to duplicate anything, they are trying to figure out what will change things for the better. Nobody knows going into it what it will take.

Confrontations with the police have evolved. The fact that the Oakland police are now under threat of federal receivership is directly a consequence of their behavior toward crowds last year.

The intent to occupy vacant buildings is becoming more and more focused and more and more determined, though because the United States has no lasting history of urban squatting of this kind, it's very difficult to establish such occupations.

The whole point of it is to create something new (or renew what's been lost) -- whether it is on-the-scene live media or direct democratic political, social, and economic systems, or to set up community feeding sites where no such thing has ever been.

It can't happen in an instant, but it's happening.

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

I'm going to re-post Boots Riley's analysis of a basic issue here. In prior statements, he's made essentially the same argument vis-a-vis OO (i.e. movement building and being dedicated2winning versus acting for different ends/motivations). Though I might disagree with Boots Riley on various other points, I think he gets this exactly right.

It seems like a huge step to threaten to shut down the airport, or permanently occupy the port.Why even speak to the press if we don’t even take into account how the public- who we’re asking to join us- will perceive us? It doesn’t even really work as a threat to the police or the city at this point because they know, just like we do, that we could never pull that off. Statements like these don’t seem to be aiming to move the people of closer to joining the movement. I think that a few folks in OO don’t have the goal of building a mass movement. People, sometimes purposely, aren’t playing to win. It’s an ideology that feels that spectacle- even the spectacle of people being crushed by the cops- gets more people ready to destroy the system than actual victories do. But this isn’t true. In the end, it becomes a game of identity politics- “We’re the revolutionaries- you’re not”. Ok. But you have just defined yourself as the “other”. That won’t work. You can’t build a base of folks who trust and support you that way. Separately- even if it WAS do-able, an announcement of that magnitude about OO campaigns- by an official OO working group at a press conference- would need to get GA approval. And I doubt that it would.

ChePasa's picture
Submitted by ChePasa on

gives me hope that if a synthesis between the mass-movement marketers and the revolutionary activists is to be found, it will be found in Oakland.

Given the fact that many thousands turned out for the OO actions this weekend, I think it's clear that there is a very solid base of support for action in Oakland -- action that may well involve confrontation with authority.

I understand the intense desire for a carefully planned and essentially ingratiating mass movement that avoids alienating anyone -- for fear of spoiling the brand if you will. But I also think that kind of movement is purpose-designed to get nowhere -- except its own perpetuation while accomplishing as little as possible. What it does in the end is support the status quo.

I think I get Boots's point regarding not making claims and statements about intentions and actions that haven't been reached through consensus and the un-wisdom of dividing on purity lines. If that's what happened, then he's right, it's a recipe for failure.

But there's no consensus definition of "winning" yet. I can't say that what happened in Oakland over the weekend was a "win" -- but neither would I declare it a "failure".

It was an announcement.

Certainly got attention.

Submitted by lambert on

Violence? That's the issue, right? Underneath all the "diversity of tactics" bullshit?

Can I let a link on crowd size? Not that estimates are ever easy. From the live streams I was able to see, the crowds on the streets weren't dense, and certainly nothing like the port closing. For obvious reasons, I would think.

UPDATE I like "ingratiating." Then again, I've never been one to hide in the back of a crowd, throw shit over the crowd at the cops, so the cops charge into the front of the crowd. Maybe some consider that ingratiating. YMMV!

ChePasa's picture
Submitted by ChePasa on

The confrontation in Oakland over the weekend was set up by the OPD, lambert.

They chased the demonstrators all over the city itching to mix it up. They assaulted numerous demonstrators -- and media -- prior to and after launching their attack on the crowd in front of the Oakland Museum. They fired flash and smoke grenades, rubber bullets and tear gas into the crowd in front of the Museum, injuring at least one demonstrator, and then they fired into those who came to help the downed demonstrator just as they fired on those who came to help Scott Olsen on October 25. Of course when they fired the tear gas into the wind, it blew back on them. Pity.

What violence are you talking about? Define your terms.

The police arrested over 400 non-violent demonstrators who were given no order to disperse nor any means of egress prior to their arrest -- in direct violation of OPD's own protocols. Half a dozen or more media personnel were detained and/or arrested, in direct violation of OPD's own protocols.

Whose violence?

The police issued statements about what happened that were filled with lies -- about IEDs and god knows what else they were being pelted with. They lied because it is part of their culture to do so. They were pelted with their own fucking ordinance that they had fired on the crowd! Maybe they ought not to fire on the crowd, eh? What a concept.

Whose violence?

I just did a Google search on "2000 Oakland protesters." Almost 1000 hits. All the ones I checked referred to J28. Here's one from Pittsburgh. It's at the bottom of the column.

Of course crowd size estimates are subject to dispute. Make of them what you will. If you only saw a few protesters, that's what you saw.

What should the police have done in the face of so much self-pwnage, violence and lawbreaking? Maybe shown maturity, restraint and discretion, but that's not part of the OPD culture. Apparently they have to be ordered not to fire on crowds.

But but but but somebody burned a flag!

Conveniently right in front of the AP's camera, too. Lucky AP, eh?

Submitted by lambert on

And then you can answer with another question, instead of being clear about what OO actually proposes. Kidding!

When a believer in black block tactics in the back of the crowd throws a bottle over the crowd at the police and the police charge the front of the crowd, that's violence (two instances of it).

1. Please tell me whether it's an acceptable instance of violence.

2. Please tell me when this tactic is justified.

UPDATE Thanks for the Google info. It never would have occurred to me to run a search. Kidding! Actually, I was wondering if you had personal knowledge; perhaps I didn't make that clear. In any case, the numbers are clear far below the port closing. I wonder why?

ChePasa's picture
Submitted by ChePasa on

As you see there are hundreds of cites mentioning thousands of demonstrators in the streets. You asked for a link, not my personal knowledge. People who were there said it was "thousands."

So I feel pretty confident there were thousands, and that's all that's relevant. This was not a general strike or another shut down of the port, so comparing crowd sized is not really germane. If it were in the tens, that would be something else again.

I do not see evidence of the actions you describe in the videos I have seen of what happened in Oakland in front of the Museum or in front of the Kaiser Center or in front of the YMCA.

I described clearly the violence I saw in the videos of what took place in confrontations with police in Oakland last weekend. All of the violence was initiated by the police. ALL of it.

The only times I saw anything thrown at the police was after the police had fired on the crowd. And what I saw almost all looked like ordinance thrown back at the police that they themselves had fired at the crowd. Almost all of the things thrown at the police were thrown from well in front of the main body of the demonstrators, not the back.

A link: About 14:00 in the police commence firing from their 10th Street formation at the corner of the Oakland Museum. The crowd is about 50 yards from the police line.

A vanguard of the crowd moves a bit closer to the police line following the initial volley of ordinance; they are kneeling on the pavement behind makeshift shields about 30 yards from the police line. The police fire again, directly at the demonstrators, hitting their shields as well as (apparently) some of the demonstrators. Flash-bangs and tear gas are fired directly into the crowd. At this point, the only things I saw thrown at the police were their own ordinance thrown back at them. After the second volley of flash-bangs, smoke grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets, most of the vanguard retreats. Flash-bangs and gas grenades continue to explode among them as they do. After another volley of rubber bullets, the shield bearers retreat. Nothing has been thrown at the police that I can see since the first volley. Then, after the crowd and the vanguard retreat, someone throws a garden chair toward the police. It lands ten yards or so from their line. At this point, the police line begins to break up because they are enveloped in their own tear gas. They pause in their assault to put on their gas masks.

More tear gas is fired at a demonstrator in a green jacket who is taunting the police. The main body of the crowd has retreated at least 100 yards from the police line. I don't see anyone throwing anything at this point, just shouting and taunting.

Once suitably masked, the police line somewhat haphazardly re-forms. The man in the green jacket keeps taunting them. No one is throwing anything that I can see. There is ordinance on the pavement, however.

A stand off ensues during which a man carried an upholstered chair along the sidewalk in front of the Museum and sits down within 10 yards of the police line. It sounds like he's saying something about the violence inherent in the system... He's sitting in his comfy chair and recording the action with his camera phone, possibly live streaming, but I don't know.

At this point, Spencer says "things are being thrown from the back now" -- but they don't show on the video, and he does not show where the crowd is at that point. They were at least 100 yards away from the police line. Spencer says he doesn't know what's being thrown, but it looks like it might be charcoal or a rubber bullet that was already fired (must not be bottles, eh?) and it isn't really reaching OPD. He doesn't show the crowd nor does anything that is thrown show on the video. He does show officers aiming their weapons at the crowd and announces their helmet numbers.

A man in a pink shirt approaches within about 20 yards of the police line and shouts "Cops go home, cops go home." Weapons are aimed at him by helmet numbers 160 and 079. It sounds like a round is fired, perhaps rubber bullet. There is someone on the pavement, looks like a woman holding her leg. The man in the pink shirt approaches her and bends down to speak to her. She lies down on the pavement. The man in the pink shirt stands over her. (Assuming it's a woman, not possible to tell for sure.) Several people on the periphery of the crowd are taking photographs of the person on the ground and showing a good deal of concern.

The crowd advances toward the police line, chanting "Cops go home, cops go home." The shield bearers crouch down about 40 or 50 yards from the police line. The crowd has thinned quite a bit, there may now be only half the number originally on Oak Street. The original number was impossible for me to judge because the video did not show the back of the crowd, but it was dense and filled the street.

Calls for a medic go out. The person lying on the pavement is injured. The shield bearers move forward and members of the crowd try to protect the apparently injured person lying on the pavement. One gestures to the police to stop firing. Shield bearers get between the injured person and the police line attempting to protect her(?) until medical aid can be summoned.

Something is thrown at the police line. It does not look like a bottle but rather a rubber bullet casing or a gas canister. The police fire at the crowd immediately. Canisters continue to be thrown back at them. Some land among the police.

The police are firing directly at the shields and the demonstrators.

It looks like more ordinance and possibly rocks are being thrown at the police while members of the crowd shout "Shame on you" at the police. They fire again, directly at the crowd -- which is now quite small. The crowd breaks and runs. Flash-bangs and tear gas are going off among them. Another call goes out for a medic. It's impossible to tell what has become of the injured person who the shield bearers had originally tried to protect. She(?) is no longer visible on the pavement. What's left of the crowd retreats, except for a couple of people who stay with one of the wheeled carts that are used as shields. One of those people taunts and curses the police as they charge up the street.

The police wheel the shield cart out of the way and begin shouting at and assaulting people on the sidewalks and the ramp of the Museum. It appears that those who don't get out of the way fast enough are being arrested unless they are "press."

The crowd has retreated to 11th St at least. The police line re-forms about midway between 10th and 11th St on Oak in front of the Museum. Indecipherable announcements are made over a loudspeaker while a helicopter buzzes overhead.

The man in the green jacket moves toward the police line and re-commences his taunts. Police run to grab him and hustle him behind their lines.

The demonstrators retreat down 11th Street headed toward downtown.

The confrontation in front of the Museum is over.

There's another hour or so of video on this segment but I don't have time to do more play by play today. You can watch it yourself and come to your own conclusions.

I would just say that in Oakland, throwing back ordinance that has been fired at non-violent demonstrators -- as was the case in this instance -- is justified. I did not see anyone in black throwing bottles at the police from behind the crowd. But if there had been someone doing that I would suspect a provocateur. A lousy one at that. The people I saw throwing things were at the front, not the back of the crowd, and they were throwing ordinance that had been fired at them without necessity or provocation.

The police did not charge in this instance because someone was throwing bottles at them, they charged when the crowd was thinned enough for their sense of safety.

If you saw people in black throwing bottles from behind the crowd and precipitating police charges on demonstrators, it would probably be good to cite the evidence, for that is not what happened in front of the Museum.