Occupy Oakland Votes Overwhelmingly in Favor of A General Strike
On Wednesday October 26, the general assembly that meets nightly at the Occupy Oakland contingent voted to have a general strike on November 2nd. 1,607 people voted. 1,484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained, and 46 voted against it, passing the proposal at 96.9%.
The meeting was an auspicious one because the night before more than two thousand protesters clashed with police. The conflict began as the Oakland Police Department dismantled the tent city that was the heart of the protest. The tent city had around 160 occupants, and many well-organized temporary community spaces including medical services, gray water treatment, and a media center. The occupation centered around Frank Ogawa plaza, renamed by the protesters as Oscar Grant Plaza in honor of the young man killed by a BART officer on New Year's Day 2009. The use of stun grenades, tear gas and rubber bullets by law enforcement garnered national attention and renewed local support for the evening's assembly.
The general strike is a city-wide strike that includes all non-essential jobs and all students. Essential jobs usually include emergency responders, law enforcement, teachers, and hospital employees. The last nationwide call for a strike was the 2006 strike in support of immigrant workers' rights. The last successful city-wide strike was also in Oakland, CA, in 1946.
Other newsworthy announcements came out of the general assembly meeting, which boasted more than three thousand people. First, activists in Cairo will march on Friday to Tahrir Square in support of Occupy Oakland. Second, Occupy Wall Street has offered a donation of twenty thousand dollars to help the Occupy Oakland encampment reestablish itself.Continued on the next page