Occupy Oakland: General strike update

November 2, 2011

According to various news outlets in the area, Occupy Oakland -- in the midst of its one-day general strike to close down the city of Oakland -- is currently between 5,000 and 7,000 strong, heading down Broadway downtown, making pit stops at banks which haven’t closed. Several eyewitnesses say even the closed branches have occupiers surrounding them, and a few have had their ATMs tagged with “99%”and other slogans.

At least one thousand students from the University of California at Berkeley are headed down Telegraph Avenue to join the Oakland march, as is a contingent from nearby Richmond, headed by Richmond’s mayor.

But Occupy Oakland’s biggest success may be in slowing down the Port of Oakland, the fifth largest in the country. Various news outlets report that lines are miles long. The ILWU, the longshoremen’s union, has expressed support for the General Strike.

Several businesses, including Men’s Warehouse and the Grand Lake Theater, have closed, posting signs in solidarity with the strikers. Already there are calls to support independent businesses tomorrow and in the days ahead for their support of the strike.

In the meantime, the Oakland Citizens Police Review Board has agreed to an investigation of the injury to Scott Olsen, the Iraq veteran hit in last week’s riots.

The Oakland Police, in the meantime, released a letter on their own website, damning Mayor Jean Quan for letting pretty much any city employee take a personal day today in support of the strike -- except the cops.

The cops, of course, are a source of tremendous tension in Oakland, given recent history. And today, speakers like Angela Davis, made them a target of the speeches and demands at Occupy Oakland.

There was some worry earlier, when a group calling itself the Oakland Liberation Front distributed flyers calling for confrontation with the police, but so far, police presence has reportedly been minimal and there have no incidents.

For this and other info, Mercury News has a live blog, as does Occupy Oakland, where anyone interested can follow the events. There's also this.