Yesterday, Occupy Oakland moved to convert a vacant building into a community center to provide education, medical, and housing services for the 99%. Police responded with tear gas, rubber bullets, beanbag rounds and mass arrests. The state has compounded its policy of callous indifference with a ruthless display of violent repression. The Occupy movement will respond, as we have always reponded: with an overwhelming show of collective resistance. Today, we take to the streets. Across the country, we will demonstrate our resolve to overcome repression and continue to build a better world grounded in love and solidarity for one another. All eyes on all Occupies.
SOLIDARITY SUNDAY, 7pm EST, Sunday, January 29. Check your local Occupation for convergence points.
Washington Square Park 7PM
Photos from the ongoing police-protester standoff in Oakland right now. All of the photos were taken by Intifada Tent, a Twitter user currently live-tweeting from Oakland. The tear gas canister pictured above is, according to @IntifadaTent, the same brand used by the Israeli military.
A few snapshots of Occupy Congress
Records reveal that the #OPD put officers with histories of using deadly force on the frontlines during Occupy Oakland protests.
Former U.S. Marine Scott Olsen, whose injury during clashes between Oakland police and protesters last month galvanized the Anti-Wall Street movement, has been released from the hospital, friends said on Friday.
“He is out of the hospital as of yesterday or today, thank goodness,” Adele Carpenter, 29, told Reuters.
Iraq Veterans Against the War spokeswoman Dottie Guy also confirmed Olsen’s release to Reuters.
Olsen is focused on healing right now, Carpenter told Reuters, but she added that “he is following the Occupy protests closely, as well as the vets march against police brutality today.”
“He sent words of affirmation to friends during the Oakland General Strike and has been excited to hear stories from people who could attend,” she said.
A man was shot this evening near the Occupy Oakland encampment outside City Hall, witnesses said.
The man was shot outside the 12th Street BART station at 14th Street and Broadway about 5 p.m.
Witnesses said four to six shots were fired. Oakland firefighters performed CPR on the victim, who was taken away in an ambulance.
Two longtime Occupy Oakland campers said they did not recognize the victim and that they did not believe the shooting was related to the encampment.
“This was not an internal incident,” said one of the campers, 35-year-old Shake Anderson. “What happened was the result of neighborhood violence. Don’t forget, we’re in downtown Oakland.”
The tensest moments so far have come when dozens of protesters clustered in front of bank branches, which quickly shut their doors and let in only a few customers at a time. Demonstrators pounded on the doors, chanted slogans including, “Don’t feed the greed,” and drew graffiti with the same sentiments on windows and walls…
At another Wells Fargo branch, at Franklin Street near 20th Street, managers locked the doors at 12:30 p.m. as a crowd converged. Protesters drew “jail bankers” on the walls and covered the ATM with yellow caution tape. Later, other protesters came and washed off the graffiti.
“There’s been every effort to keep people peaceful while making our point that banks need to be held accountable,” Joshua Deutch, a 30-year-old Oakland gardener, said as he slammed his fists on the windows.
As Micky Randhawa, Wells Fargo regional president for the East Bay, lamented to a reporter that customers were having a hard time getting into his business, teacher Christine Martin, 30, handed him her ATM card. “I would like to close my account,” she said, adding that this was her way of joining the day’s demonstration.
Randhawa told her the branch was closed.
|—||Coverage from the San Francisco Chronicle on the Occupy Oakland General Strike’s march on banks earlier this afternoon. (via carton-rouge)|
From the San Francisco Chronicle:
Thousands of workers and students have taken to Oakland’s downtown streets today as part of a daylong general strike called by Occupy Oakland organizers to protest economic inequity and corporate greed.
The crowd, which has forced the closure of some downtown streets, has been peaceful and almost celebratory - a band played and walked with the group and a “flash mob” broke out in dance at one point. Traffic, including AC Transit buses, is being diverted from the area around Frank Ogawa Plaza.
Protesters plastered signs and blocked customers from using ATMs at downtown banks. Many downtown businesses closed for the day.
By noon, the crowd had swelled to 3,500 for a lunchtime rally at 14th and Broadway. Police reported no damage and no arrests but were girding for the possibility of unrest later in the day.
Here’s more of the day’s developments:
- The Port of Oakland was severely delayed after many longshoremen walked off the job in support of the General Strike.
- More than 360 Oakland Unified School District teachers did not show up for work today, along with 5% of city workers.
- Banks were closed across the city, as Oakland officials recommended that the ones who were still open ‘only let customers in one at a time.’
- Large marches were held around several bank branches including Bank of America, Chase, Citibank and Wells Fargo.
- Many (if not most) businesses downtown were closed.
- There were a few reports of broken windows at the Lakeside Drive branch of Bank of America, and at a Chase branch. Others reported “anarchists” attempting to cause damage to a Whole Foods, but dozens of marchers surrounded them and forced them to stand down. The Whole Foods was targeted over rumours that their employees were not allowed to participate in today’s work stoppage.
We will have more as things continue into the evening.