On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, Oakland went on a general strike, in response to the violent dispersal of the Occupy Oakland camp by the Oakland Police Department a week earlier. Two major actions the general strike participated in was the shut down of branches of the “big banks” in downtown Oakland and a 24-hour shut down of the port of Oakland. Though reports vary (depending on the source), it can’t be denied that thousands upon thousands participated in the day long event. Some reports will focus purely on the isolated acts of graffiti and broken windows in order to paint the strike as “violent” and “disorderly”. But while people were very much angry over the heist Wall Street has perpetrated, the crowd maintained overall composure and organization. Not necessarily out of a respect for the bank’s private property, but in order to create a safe environment for people from all ages and sectors to participate in. Besides, the crimes these big banks and corporations commit against everyday people are more violent than any rock or spray can.
LFS participated in the general strike along with its allies from BAYAN-USA, GABRIELA-USA, AYPAL, CPA, POWER, and others. We strongly support the citizens of Oakland and throughout the United States to voice their anger and frustration over the current ruling system. We live streamed the actions against the banks during the morning and afternoon. But we had members participate in the late afternoon march to the ports, which swelled to an estimated 10,000 people. While there were no issues with the police in the day time actions, we watched via live stream as the police used the nighttime cover to once again fire tear gas and rubber bullets into crowds of unarmed protesters. It is a reminder that we must stay vigilant and organized. When we challenge the real source of power (the big financial institutions) in this current system, it is be expected that they will use whatever means to silence the peoples’ call for a system that works for the 99%, not the 1%.
“This system is about to die! HELLA HELLA OCCUPY!”