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

#OccupyOakland plaza blocked off [5:22AM PST] as police invade

Uh oh.

* * *

Good luck to them. This will only cause Occupations to spread.

Readers, RL calls. Please, anybody, follow along in comments. Note that getting a tweet into a comment is easy-peasy:

1. Right- or CTRL-Click on the tweet's timestamp to copy the URL (like any other URL)

2. Paste the URL into your comment.

3. If the URL looks like this:!/garonsen/status/136072501238312960

remove the #! to it looks like this:

4. Set the Input Format for the comment to Full HTML.

5. Submit the comment as usual.

UPDATE I don't like the original headline I used for the police action, "clear," because it concedes legitimacy to the suppression of free speech. So, I changed "clear" to "invade."

UPDATE Oh, and Read The Friendly Manual, via this roundup from Alternet.

No votes yet


coyotecreek's picture
Submitted by coyotecreek on

(8 AM EST)

Occupy Oakland Live Blog: Police start making arrests

Oakland Tribune
Posted: 11/14/2011 04:00:26 AM PST
Updated: 11/14/2011 06:16:15 AM PST

6 a.m. Police start making arrests
Police are starting to make arrests, of a group of interfaith protesters gathered in a circle near the plaza. The tent city has yet to be dismantled.

On the other side of the plaza, in the amphitheater, Paul Bloom,of San Francisco is waiting to be arrested. He had been at the Wall Street Occupy Camp, but returned after the first Oakland raid. He has been camping for the last 10 days. "I want to get arrested," he said, sitting near three others who were meditating. "I feel sad that we haven't communciated what we wanted to communicate. "This is a movement for future generations."

This will not stop the Occupation Movement. We will get stronger.

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

Well, Frank Ogawa Plaza has been swept. The protest was peaceful. I think everyone (even the cops) enjoyed watching the wedding performed in front of the police line - Bakesale married Amanda Hug-a-chicken - and their vows went out over the people's mic. OakFoSho (occupier and nonviolence advocate) livestreamed all morning. He's great. A bunch of clergy (interfaith) came in - to try to prevent the eviction, to try to help keep things peaceful, and to register their resistance via civil disobedience - they were all arrested. Three people performed silent meditation and were also arrested. OakFoSho also interviewed another nonviolence advocate (I didn't correctly catch his name - something like Elisha Gore) who had posted Gene Sharpe's "198 methods of nonviolent protest and persuasion" at - then he demonstrated the method of turning his back on his oppressor (the police line). Noticed one photo from thi morning with a couple guys apparently dressed as black bloc (not to be confused with the medics, who dress in black with red crosses), but I heard of no black bloc actions. The peaceful protesters there this morning did themselves proud.

Occupiers plan to “reconvene” at 4 pm at the main branch of the Oakland Public Library. Could be interesting. There are calls to re-coalesce OO around improved models.

OaktownMike Michael Siegel
#OccupyOakland 2.0 can begin today. Anyone with critiques should be @ Oakland Library, 14th & Madison, at 4pm. We have to own the movement.

OaktownMike Michael Siegel
@kateschatz This might be an opportunity as #OO re-coalesces. Create safe spaces to ensure participation across gender, class, generations.


On a related topic. Since Nov 3, I'd seen various OO folks arguing that Black Bloc tactics had not cost them support. That they were strong, and still had the full backing of the community.

GonzOakland tweet from a few days ago:
#occupyoakland GA Speaker: "We are really strong, we can do whatever we want." ... Wrong.

From DailyKos comments

And I would add further, union support for OO Has been endangered by how the black bloc issue has been dealt with. I really don't think you are in reality about how much popular support OO has lost over the past few days alone.

mic check oakland:
What do you base your assertion on?

It's not a fringe issue if we're losing support
And we are. It is also not just in my mind nor those at the camp who are concered or were concerned nor any number of people within the occupation. This is not a MSM concoction. This is something from within the Occupation itself. To paint it as other is wishful thinking, dishonesty, or deliberate deception.

As for "my criteria," I wasn't aware that I had any such thing, other than actually dealing with the issue (which OO has not done).

t's fine if you want to be in denial about the problem, but don't blame me when you ask if there is support for a large scale coordinated action spearheaded by OO (in part) and I gave you an honest answer.m

mic check oakland:
I guess the feeling around the camp was that black bloc was an issue, but not as much of an issue as police violently beating members of Occupy. Also, I haven't got any sense that we were hemorrhaging support since the people of Oakland appear to support our perspective and we continue to have the most diverse group in the nation. OO doesn't have professional spokepeople so if you are getting your information from cable/national news, chances are that you're just hearing the point of view of the city government and local chamber of congress. I believe that part of what catilinus was referring to.

Factually, it's hard to know what our actual support is from residents of Oakland without polling data. And without that we're all just left to speculate until the camp is removed again by the police. If it is and we draw popular support, we will persist in retaking the camp. If nobody shows up and the camp is crushed than we probably won't have the numbers for another port strike.

I suppose we'll all have to wait and see. Thanks for your input.

I can only tell you my perspective
I attended the meeting after Scott Olsen got put in hospital by the cops, where a general strike was called, and marched half way to Berkeley and back.

I went to the (much smaller) gathering that discussed the peace proposal and voted overwhelmingly against it I don't intend to go back if my participation simply acts as cover for those who commit violence.

Well, how did this all work out for the diversity of tactics advocates?

October 25 - crowd estimates for protests after the first camp raid - 3000-5000 people
Full backing for OO from multiple unions
OO GA that called the general strike - 1607 votes caste
At least 1,000 protesters held a candlelight vigil for Scott Olsen at Frank Ogawa Plaza.
For the General Strike march to the port on Nov 2, there are various crowd estimates - 40,000 is a common (and reasonable) one.

The eviction on the morning of October 25 was a surprize raid. The raid this morning was telegraphed far in advance. An e-mail was sent out to parents with children in a neighborhood school stating that the raid would happen Monday morning. A winter homeless shelter was opened today, a day early, to accomodate people displaced by the raid. By mid-Sunday the papers were announcing that a raid was expected Monday morning. And definitive confirmation of this (that the raid would happen about 4 AM) was provided by OPD by 10 PM.

OO started putting out repeated calls for reinforcements throughout the day (website, tweets, e-mail, etc.), for people to show up to resist the raid (e.g. tweet: ALL OUT TONIGHT TO DEFEND #occupyoakland. #ows #occupysf #occupycal. Raid is all but certain early hours of the AM.…). Started an #iamoccupyoakland hashtag campaign to really support, etc. During the weekend there were also frantic attempts to obtain union support to prevent the raid.

MT @susie_c: #occupyoakland Two ppl read long solidarity letter from Mexico. I kind of expected a bigger crowd tonight; maybe coming later

susie_c Susie Cagle
Ppl seem to have been counting on union picket line, which hasn't arrived. And still more alarmist official #OccupyOakland text msgs.

RT @eloft: 4 or 5 #union members here after call out email to create picket around #oo camp in case of police raid. #ows

garonsen Gavin Aronsen
The camp's still really dead. Boots Riley is talking strategy with a small group of people on the plaza's SW side.

occupyoakland Occupy Oakland
Numbers low at occ oak and cops have just left the coloseum.

occupyoakland Occupy Oakland
Numbers low at occ oak and cops have just left the coloseum. Need support NOW.

RT @EastBayExpress: ~200 people (and a big-ass drum) amassed at 14th and Broadway, waiting for the cops. "Whose streets? Our streets!" #oo
[The occupiers gathered at 14 and Broadway]

Oakland Tribune blog estimating 500 at 14th and Broadway here

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland 150ish in the intersection at 14 and Broadway, drumming up a storm.

shoeshine Shoshana Walter
union organizers estimate about 300 ppl at 14th/bdway. #occupyoakland

insidebayarea insidebayarea
RT @ProducerBB: #occupyoakland about to go down. A lot more police than protesters this go around.

JoshuaHol Joshua Holland
Group huddled in prayer at interfaith tent. Maybe 3 dozen in intersection of bway and 14th #OO

One can also get some idea of the crowd sizes from various pics (1,2,3,4,5,6 - most of these are at 14 and Broadway, where protesters gathered; also, photo 49 in the series here is an aerial photo of 14 and Broadway).
Also, here's video from Susie Cagle and video from OakFoSho. Since OakFoSho is walking around the area, I think it gives the best sense.

On Nov 2, success with the general strike (and port closure), and a sense that the movement was still building in Oakland (potentially even greater things to come). Only 11 days later, OO evicted and able to only recruit a relatively small number of defenders.

From comment I quoted above - mic check oakland: "I suppose we'll all have to wait and see." [i.e. We'll need to wait for the next raid to determine whether support has been lost due to use of black bloc and embrace of "diversity of tactics"].

So the raid's now happened. Empirically, as an effective protest strategy, how's black bloc and diversity of tactics working out?

Worth reading: "This is what the people of Oakland think of Black Block"


One interesting tidbit I came across - a Twitter conversation about the origins of the "diversity of tactics" position in OO. Seems that it might be a historical inheritance (from the proto-group that was planning the Frank Ogawa Plaza occupation). Good example of the critical importance of initial events/decisions - shaping all that is downstream.

careyalison carey
@jaspergregory @GonzOakland @davidcolburn Really. A quorum, I wonder?

jaspergregory Jasper Gregory
@GonzOakland @davidcolburn @careyalison how many people did they have? #occupyOakland did not exist yet. Complete manipulation #ows

GonzOakland GonzOakland
@jaspergregory @davidcolburn @careyalison yup. A small cadre passes militant bullshit. Later, many reasonable people need 90% to undo it.

jaspergregory Jasper Gregory
@davidcolburn @gonzoakland @careyalison that is so undemocratic. Small revolutionary vanguard wrote violence into our constitution #ows #o

GonzOakland GonzOakland
@careyalison @jaspergregory @davidcolburn agree. Hardcore militants have manipulated this since Mosswood park. Tim admitted as much tonight.

jaspergregory Jasper Gregory
@GonzOakland @careyalison @davidcolburn mosswood? Tim?

davidcolburn David Colburn
@jaspergregory @GonzOakland @careyalison (Or that's why I gathered from his comments at GA tonight---couldn't hear livestream very well.)

davidcolburn David Colburn
@jaspergregory @GonzOakland @careyalison The smaller group of proto-occupiers at Mosswood passed stuff like Diversity of Tactics etc.

careyalison carey
@jaspergregory Mosswood was the site of the first organizing meetings.

davidcolburn David Colburn
@jaspergregory @GonzOakland @careyalison Planning for the plaza occupation was conducted in GA's at Mosswood Park in September.

[Some of the folks in this conversation are now working to help set up Occupy Oakland Peacefully.]

Lambert - apologies for not embedding the tweets as shown above - I'd already compiled most as text copies. Will try using the url's when I next post.

Clonal Antibody's picture
Submitted by Clonal Antibody on

The story of Pancho on that fateful day - If You Want To Be a Rebel, Be Kind

The police had declared Monday, November 14th of 2011 as the day of the raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment. It was the first Occupy site to call for a general strike that shut down the fifth largest port in the country; it was also the first Occupy gathering to report a shooting and a murder, as police violence also reached new heights. With tensions mounting amidst political chaos, police escalated their violent crackdowns and the narrative of fear. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent in preparation for the raid, police from around the state were called in, and uncertainty filled the air.

The night before, Pancho Ramos Stierle heard about growing tensions in the community and thought, "If police are stepping up their violence, we need to go and step up our nonviolence." So on that Monday morning at 3:30AM, Pancho and his housemate Adelaja went to the site of the Occupy Oakland raid. With an upright back and half-lotus posture, they started meditating.

Submitted by Alcuin on

I had a subscription to Parabola many years ago. It is nice to know that it is still around. Would that more of us could be like Pancho!

Clonal Antibody's picture
Submitted by Clonal Antibody on

To me Pancho represents the core, and the heart of the Occupy movement. I don't know Pancho personally, but people I know well, know him.