Last year Burger King made $117,000,000 in profits. Walgreens made $253,000,000.
Hundreds of fast food workers in NYC & Chicago recently participated in a strike to demand $15/hr. It is time to bring the Fight for Fifteen campaign to Oakland.
We will gather at Oscar Grant Plaza at 14th St. & Broadway for a rally on Wed, May 1st at 5 PM for a rally followed by a noise demo march throughout downtown Oakland at 6 PM. There will be food at the rally and also after the march back at the Plaza.
With the cost of rent driven up by gentrification, plus childcare, healthcare and other bills, $8/hour is not enough to survive in Oakland. Mayor Jean Quan says Oakland is “rising” but the lowest paid workers, who are more likely to be people of color and women, are left behind.
$15/hr livable wage for all Oakland workers!
Expose the practices of corporations who thrive off of low wage labor.
And, as we all know, whatever they do in back east, we can do better in Oakland.
As individuals, families, and communities, most of us are drowning in debt for the basic things we need to live, including housing, education, and health care. Even those of us who do not have personal debt are affected by predatory lending. Our essential public services are cut because our cities and towns are held hostage by the same big banks that have been bailed out by our government. All of us are outraged that big banks don’t have to pay their debts, but we do.
Debt keeps us isolated, ashamed, and afraid—of becoming homeless, of going hungry, of being crippled or killed by treatable illness, or of being trapped in poverty-level jobs. Those facing foreclosure, medical debt, student debt, or credit card debt feel alone, hounded by debt collectors, and forced into unrewarding work to keep up with payments.
Strike Debt is building a movement to challenge this system while creating alternatives and supporting each other. At the Debtors’ Assembly we will come together as a community and begin to rethink debt, not as an issue of individual shame, but as a political platform for collective resistance and action. Come to the Assembly to learn about tools for escaping the closing walls of debt, to share resources and skills, and to magnify our assembled energy. As we share our experiences we can begin to take back from the financiers what they have taken from us: our freedom and our future.
Debt resistance is just the beginning. Join us as we imagine and create a new world based on the common good, not Wall Street profits.
ORGANIZATION INFO: Strike Debt Bay Area is the local chapter of Strike Debt, an international movement of groups working to build popular resistance to all forms of unjust debt. Strike Debt has organized the Rolling Jubilee, the Debt Resistors Operations Manual, and local debtors’ assemblies. Strike Debt supports the creation of just and sustainable economies, based on mutual aid, common goods, and public affluence. We owe the financial institutions nothing. It is to our friends, families and community that we owe everything.
On October 25 of last year, the Oakland Commune at Oscar Grant Plaza was raided with enough brutal force to gain international attention. Since then, continuous state repression and police brutality have sought to divide Oakland and keep its residents from reclaiming public space in a time of local, national and global austerity.
The Oakland Commune served as a socio/political refuge for Oakland residents. It was open and free to all and provided a space where people could traverse race and class divides in order to share food, discussion and visions of a more just world. During this time, it was reported that crime within the beat that contained Oscar Grant Plaza went down 19 percent, which highlights the social efficacy of the community when allowed to come together and care for itself.
This Thursday October 25, Occupy Oakland will take back Oscar Grant Plaza with the intention of reclaiming the commons and the right of the people to organize in City Centers. This is a call out to all those who either experienced or were intrigued by the power of the Oakland Commune to come and contribute to the evening’s planned discussions on racism, patriarchy, state repression, and bridges to building a mass movement. A pot luck, community forum and general assembly are scheduled to begin at 4:00pm, followed by a march at 7:00pm. Films will be shown in the evening.
I was there. When it came down to it we decided that I would not be arrested. One of the reasons for that was so I could upload and distribute this video I took within minutes of us entering. This is before the march and media made it up here. In the video you will see Obama's staffers push us when we tried to move chairs so we could sit in the middle of the office. I got pushed which made me drop my phone and then a man brandished a chair against me.
8/17, 11:30am: Livestream replaced with video clip recorded last night. Six of the seven people, including veterans, were arrested during the nonviolent sit-in. The office was shut down for the night.
11pm Eastern: Scott Olsen and members of Iraq Veterans Against War are currently sitting in an Obama Campaign Headquarters in Oakland demanding Pfc. Manning's release. Dozens of supprters are also rallying outside; some police are on the scene.
The building unveiled today as the Victor Martinez Community Library was part of a Carnegie Foundation endowment of four libraries given to the city of Oakland between 1916 and 1918. Oakland’s librarian at the time, Charles S. Greene, believed that the city’s people would benefit most from libraries placed within their communities.
Despite this vision, the building was one of seven branch casualties of budget cuts in the late seventies, severing vital library life-lines in poor and working communities. From the early 70s untill the late 80s, this building was a school created during the Chicano Movement called the Emiliano Zapata Street academy. Since then, the “Latin American Branch” library building located at the corner of Miller and 15th st. has mostly sat empty, despite the fact that the next nearest library is miles away, and increasingly difficult to access in a city like Oakland with an increasingly expensive transit system. With its eroding chain link fence and decaying, armored exterior, the building is much more than an eyesore; the unused, but inaccessible, space creates a life-draining dark vacuum of stability that serves at best as a convenient place for the unscrupulous to dump their old mattresses, couches and assorted garbage.
This morning, a group of activists opened this building again for use as a library. Inside is the modest seed for a library and community center—hundreds of books donated by people who envision the rebirth of local, community-owned libraries and social and political centers throughout Oakland. We’ve named the building after recently deceased author, Victor Martinez, who overcame a young life of hard agricultural work to become a successful writer in the Bay Area. His semi-autobiographical novel, Parrot in the Oven, has become a seminal work of the Latino experience. Martinez died last year at 56 of an illness caused by his work in the fields.
If you live in this community, we only ask that you think about how you can use this building. Name it anything you like. Purpose it to any goal that benefits the community—library, social or political neighborhood center. All we ask is that you consider keeping it out of the hands of a city which will only seal the fence and doors again, turning the space back into an aggregator of the city’s trash and a dark hole in the middle of an embattled community. The doors here are open. And there are many others simply waiting to be.
Update: Occupy Oakland announces a community potluck at 6pm local time and poetry/spoken word reading at 7pm at the Library tonight! Community members are requesting gardening supplies, trash pick-up, and other help. Check their Twitter account for more Update, 8/14:Late last night, dozens of Oakland police arrived on scene, confiscated donated books, looked the gates with zip-ties, and boarded up the building to make sure it remains a blighted, decaying building. Thanks for keeping the neighborhood safe, OPD! Community members are meeting to discuss future plans.* Update, 8/15: The Library lives on, now on the sidewalk! Though the inside remains closed, the space continues to be a much-needed community center outdoors. They have requested donations of books, especially children's books which are very popular with the neighbors. There is also a community garden and supplies would be helpful. Hooray community building! Follow them on Twitter for the latest events and ways to get involved at the Library.