Occupy Oakland Returns to Oscar Grant Plaza – #O25 Photos & Video
“It’s going to be a shit show.” “Yeah, I don’t think it’s a good idea.” “No one will show up.” These are a few of the verbal road blocks placed in the path of planning #O25 in Oakland by media haters and even a few within the Occupy Oakland community. It was unfortunate to realize how much the mass media really did control the narrative, even within a tight-knit community such as OO. From the start, it was clear that this night was not about expressing anger in a confrontational manner, however, using simple phrases we have used over the year such as “fight back,” or “time to rage,” created an intimidating atmosphere, which seemed to keep the police at a distance and held the local media’s attention. It’s so easy to play on the state’s irrational fears…
The energy around the idea of OO returning to the plaza prompted area banks to pre-board up their windows, as if they were expecting a natural disaster or something. The fact is, Occupy Oakland has never planned an event which accepted the use of breaking windows as a tactic. However, there have been a few actions outside of Occupy Oakland’s planning scope that have included these tactics. What I’ve noticed, is that there are some within OO who tend to agree with the MSM narrative, by repeating over and over how they are against property destruction online, where the people who tend to use those tactics are most likely not listening. The only people who are listening are people within OO and the main stream sheep who now have validation of their trolling. But this blog isn’t about the never ending debate over broken things, it’s about what O25 actually was. A success.
For the first time in months, hundreds of people gathered in Oscar Grant Plaza to sit and talk about issues that effect their lives. New faces blended with friendly faces from the past as we all sat down for a unique general assembly. Groups of locals sat together to discuss ways to combat state and police oppression within their community, before sharing food with one another at OO’s mobile kitchen.
Hundreds took to the streets that night to re-visit a few spots downtown where the OPD has shown their true selves including: 19/Telegraph, the YMCA, the Kaiser Convention Center, Oak Street, OPD & OGP. Of course, being a politically motivated event, the police followed close behind. Some on foot, some on motorcycles, others in the rented white vans that used to stalk the FTP marches in the past.
By the end of the march, people’s spirits were high and there was a feeling of re-birth. Everyone was hugging & high-fiving each other as we approached OGP. The conversations continued into the night as we watched a slide show and shared some pizza. At around 11pm, OPD had the security contractors ask the remaining occupiers to leave the area, even though Mayor Quan said we would be able to stay for an all night vigil. We decided the best option would be to just call it a night, however before we left there were a couple people who made it a little more interesting. One man climbed the giant Oak tree in front of city hall and refused to come down, until a few of us with the help of security talked him down. A security guard offered him $25 and some pizza to come down safely, and he did. It was amazing. Moments later, a man was arrested when he yelled at a cop to “kill him.”
All in all, the night turned out great and gave people a feeling of renewal & empowerment. We reclaimed OGP & perhaps gave OO a nice kick start.
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