Similarities between Occupy Oakland and Stand for Oakland

Zenophan Abraham‘s Zenni62.com youtube channel posted a video of Boots Riley confronting  supporters of Stand for Oakland.

Boots Riley has a point. I think Stand for Oakland needs to come to a General Assembly and bring a proposal in support of non-violent action at future protests/demonstrations.

Like all other government institutions Occupy Oakland is organized democratically..

There are some in #OO who believe in non-violent protest but they are out voted. If there is enough people to support a non-violent proposal, enough people to speak up in support and refute those against, a proposal would pass and the organization would have to follow. Right?

There are other ironic similarities between both movements.

Can’t escape violence

The man in the video can’t seem to separate the violence that occurs at Occupy protests from Occupy Oakland movement in general. However, the anti #OO movement isn’t immune to the problems inherent to Occupy Oakland either. During the Oakland City Council Meeting last night, someone testified that Occupy Oakland was being threatened with violence by some who are against #oo, and showed a flyer that said “Kill the Occupiers”. Can we attribute violent behavior of a few anti #OO individuals to the Stand for Oakland group as a whole? I would hope not.

Conflict is newsworthy

Stand for Oakland took the time out of their day to protest in front of City Hall, disrupt the peace of Frank Ogawa plaza to protest Occupy Oakland’s protest. They had news coverage.. the irony is that the only coverage worth mentioning was when there was conflict. When I turned on MSM ( main stream media ..Channel 5 news specifically) about the Stand for Oakland event, it wasn’t all positive.  It was “Shouting match at Frank Ogawa plaza” ..etc. Was that what Stand for Oakland was looking for in the coverage of the protest?  If the MSM can so easily turn something that was supposed to be positive into a negative about Stand for Oakland..imagine what they can turn an Occupy Oakland event into?

Everyone uses free speech

It seems both groups are using the same tactics to influence law makers:  protesting in downtown Oakland to attract media, in order to influence the city government to take action.

  • Stand for Oakland and the Business community doesn’t thing the City is doing enough to protect residents from #Occupy Oakland.
  • #Occupy Oakland doesn’t think the city is doing enough to protect residents from big Business and OPD and helping those that need help.

Neither one of the groups seem to want to cooperate within each others system to make change. Stand for Oakland says they agree with Occupy Oakland’s movement in general. GREAT: then go to General Assembly and participate. Make your complaints there and work on solutions there!

Occupy Oakland ..I have to hand it to you, you went to City Council last night to protest the proposal to protect the Port of Oakland by increasing police enforcement of laws against blocking streets and assembling without a permit. The proposal did not pass. But it wasn’t a win for Occupy Oakland (IMO).  It was a win for freedom of speech and the right to assemble.  The shouting match that went on between #OO and some Council members was horrible (IMO). The counsel listened to you quietly as you gave your speeches.. but when it was their turn some of you would not let them speak.

It not only bugs me (personally because I am a quiet person and I don’t like yelling)..but it gives MSM and those against #OO credibility in their arguments against you. What if a bunch of roudy Stand for Oakland folks went to General Assembly and shouted YOU down? Would you like that?

There is something to be said about catching more bees with honey.

My point in all of this is that it seems that both organizations are working to have a better Oakland. I think everyone needs to take to the time to listen to each other, respectfully, and figure out a way to work together to make it happen.  Do your research. Don’t just listen to the inflammatory language of MSM, or the Police, the Mayor, Occupy Oakland (either side essentially) and let it mislead you.  Don’t let the violent actions of a few distract people from the point of your protest.

Further comments I would like to make and rant about:

To Anti Occupy Oakland:

  •  Occupy Oakland isn’t made up of only young white out of towners!
  •  Occupy Oakland didn’t bum rush YMCA.
  •  Occupy Oakland isn’t all violent.
  •  City of Oakland: Street protest and broken windows and graffiti isn’t violence. Murders and robbery is. I wish the city and OPD would redirect their priorities on their own. People are dying in the streets and you CHOOSE to focus your efforts on Occupy? REALLY?

To Occupy Oakland

  •       PLEASE .. choose sustainable winnable actions. Taking over the Kaiser building was not one of them. Make a clear distinction between symbolic actions and real change.
  •       Random acts of vandalism may express anger but it is pointless. You love Oakland..you hate the blight that is found in other areas of the city..contributing to it does not help. I liked it when after the Nov. 2 protests groups of people cleaned up after the vandalism. Continue doing that. That would bring goodwill and will help separate yourself from the ‘violence’
  •       Be thorough in your research –  the City Council does not control OUSD  or give them funding. The State of California gives funding to the school districts. Go to Sacramento and protest there.  (THAT would be FUN!)

TO EVERYONE: I hate cigarettes..QUIT SMOKING!!! <— wait..am I yelling here? 😉

 

EDIT: Davey D just posted a an article about Black Bloc and ‘diversity of tactics’ Check it out:

Are Black Bloc and diversity of tactics hurting or helping the Occupy Movement?

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8 Comments

Filed under Advocacy, City Council, Oakland

8 responses to “Similarities between Occupy Oakland and Stand for Oakland

  1. tiredofitall

    On the news I watched (not sure which channel, but one of the broadcast networks local news shows) the “shouting match” was between Occupy Oakland and the police who were confiscating their loudspeaker equipment. The Stand for Oakland people stood silently from what I could see.

  2. andrew park

    Go Tanya! Love it – I’m a fan. Thanks for posting. Honey is what it is. And AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-men to the comment that OPD should re-focus on real crime and not Occupy – stop listening to politicians and businessmen downtown and command yo=self!

  3. Thanks for a great post. Kinda unrelated, if folks are looking for work in public health, Contra Costa Health Services is hiring. Here’s the posting for a Tobacco Policy related job: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/eby/gov/2829877367.html

  4. Jim Ratliff

    OO is not organized democratically. Democracy is rule by the majority. OO’s modified-consensus ruled require a supermajority (basically 90% last I checked) to pass anything, including overturning an earlier decision. Requiring an across-the-board super-majority is anti-democratic. That’s not meant as a judgment (democracy has both pros and cons) but just a fact about the relation between OO’s decision making on the one hand and what “democracy” means on the other.

    • Good point. However I get the impression that #OO feels that there methods are ‘truly’ democratic because everyone gets to weigh in and they aren’t influenced by ‘money’.

      I do agree there are other ways to have unfair influence..and that is by merely not having a representative majority.

  5. Anouk

    I think Boots is being totalitarian by insisting that nobody is allowed to criticize Occupy Oakland except by joining it. I don’t join cults, and I get to say whatever the hell I like about them, in whatever place or way I like. Boots Riley does not give me permission.

    • My only comment about that is..you can criticize something all you want, but you cant expect something to change by just complaining.

      You have to be willing to put real sustainable action into it. It helps if that action is in cooperation with the who/what you want to change: otherwise it becomes this contentious battle that we are seeing today.

  6. Pingback: A new understanding of violence and nonviolence as a tactic. | Love, Health and Advocacy

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