Tag: Occupy Wall Street movement
On March 27, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Stop Urban Shield Coalition claimed victory in its four-year battle to stop Urban Shield, a war games and weapons convention for cops held in Alameda County every year since 2007. I spoke to Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance and co-facilitator of Oakland Privacy, a citizen’s coalition that works regionally to defend the right to privacy and enhance public transparency and oversight regarding the use of surveillance techniques and equipment. She has worked with the Stop Urban Shield Coalition since 2014.
This Maafa Commemoration Month we continue to lift “A Love Supreme” as we organize a defense against state violence. Congratulations to Professor Aaliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, whose community vigil and program honored the lives of the Bayview Hunters Point revolutionaries killed 50 years ago when the community rose up after SFPD killed Matthew “Peanut” Johnson and more recently when the community turned out after SFPD killed Mario Woods.
The violent events of the past week have placed the country at a decisive moment. Words matter but deeds matter more. Leadership matters. President Obama spoke about the need for real change and new “practices” following the murders by police officers of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Philando Castile in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. Following this story is a Black Lives Matter statement on the murder of police and escalating protests to end state-sponsored violence against Black people.
Despite an original agreement to hold negotiations between the PMA and the ILWU negotiating committee in secrecy, which has been upheld on the union’s side since the contract expired on June 30, the PMA has chosen to go public with their offer in an attempt to negotiate the contract through the media. In taking these steps, the PMA is putting out an all or nothing proposition and challenging the union’s right to negotiate the contract under normal fair bargaining practices.
Our hunger strikes were the only way to effectively resist the nonstop assault on our humanity which is the inevitable consequence of burying us indefinitely in these sensory deprivation torture units. The success of the Occupy Movement, like the hunger strikes, requires sacrifice and strategic insight. The kind of sacrifices you exemplify – we love it, we love you and we stand with you.
As we celebrate the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 83rd birthday, let us remember that he not only fought for racial justice and equality, but also called on us to end poverty and eliminate war. In his Nobel lecture, Dr. King said: “(T)he poor in America know that they live in the richest nation in the world, and that even though they are perishing on a lonely island of poverty they are surrounded by a vast ocean of material prosperity. ... (T)he infection and sickness of poverty (must) be exposed and healed – not only its symptoms but its basic causes. ... (W)e must not be afraid to pursue the remedy no matter how formidable the task.”
As pressure builds for the Dec. 12 West Coast port shutdown, the capitalist owners and their media have begun a battle of ideas to blunt this powerful threat to their profits and control. But ILWU member Clarence Thomas says: "We don’t cross community picket lines. These ports are the people’s ports. Ports belong to the people of the Pacific Coast."
The key factor thus far in failing to harness the mass support of the people is the lack of broad-based, articulable demands around which the uncommitted people who may support our message but not our movement can be educated, organized and mobilized to join the movement and transform not only the nature and structure of U.S. society, but the WORLD.
All of this was more than a reaction to the Occupy movement. It’s best understood as the latest battle between police and residents in at least two years of civil unrest in the city, beginning with the killing of Oscar Grant by ex-transit officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day 2009.
On Oct. 16-17, SFPD conducted a brutal raid on the Occupy San Francisco encampment. Videographers recorded police stepping on backs, dragging protestors and striking them with batons. Before police dispersed, tents reappeared. San Francisco occupiers joined the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality in a short Bayview march protesting unrelenting police assaults on residents.
As we embark upon the fourth annual Breaking The Silence: Congo Week, Oct. 16-22, 2011, I greet you in the name of many Congolese youth who are seeking to ride the winds of change that blew from the African youth revolution in Soweto in 1976 to the streets of Cairo today, now making their way across the Atlantic to America, symbolized by the Occupy Wall Street movement.