Yesterday, November 2, was the first General Strike in the United States since the 1940s. After the brutal police raid on the Occupy Oakland protest that resulted in many in the hospital including Iraqi war Veteran Scott Olsen, Occupy Oakland got a proposal for a general strike which passed at at 96.9% approval. 1607 people voted, 1484 voted in favor of the resolution, 77 abstained and 46 voted against it. The proposal also suggested marching on any corporations or banks that did not shut down for the day. Over 20,000 people turned out for the marches on the area, and about 800 teachers, parents and school children. hundreds of coordinated marches from schools, businesses and offices converged and join the main march that went across the city. The march literally flooded the freeway near Port in Oakland, one of the largest ports in the country.
The protest initially planned to interrupt the evening shift in the port and interrupt shipping to and from Asia, but the dock workers at the port, the longshoremen, already stopped work on their own. The Longshoremen union, although officially supporting the protest, did not intend to participate in the strike, but the workers themselves appears to have thought differently.
Several local businesses shut down in support of the strike and posted signs in the windows and messages in the marques, but several banks such as Citi bank, and Bank of America refused. Waves of protesters marched on these banks, setting up picket lines and stopping business for the banks themselves. It was encouraged to those who find it necessary to shop, to only spend money at local businesses.
The Strike and protest went with little violence, and injury. There were a few cases of people wearing black masks smashing the windows of banks and the Whole food store, but the vandals were stopped by the other protesters.
A silver Mercedes ran a red light at the intersection of 11th street and Broadway and hit a couple of demonstrators. Witnesses claim it was intentional, and say that the vehicle accelerated when a person was on the hood. The windshield was splattered with what is assumed a milkshake. People gathered around the vehicle after incident. The two who where hit were taken away in ambulances. They are reportedly in stable condition.
City officials ordered police to be on their best behavior and be more conservative in arrests. Mayor Quan and other city officials have been on the retreat since the incident of police violence a week ago. Police presence for most of the day was was almost non-existent. At around 2 am the following morning, November 3, Police surrounded protesters in Northern Oakland. Police ordered the protesters to leave or chemical agents will be used. Tear gas was used on demonstrators after they refused to leave the area. The police started the action calling the protest an unlawful assembly. Such a reasoning has been declared unconstitutional in several states by state circuit judges, including Tennessee, but has yet to be declared unconstitutional in California, or a case get past the state circuit.
Written by comrade Laghing-rabt
Laghing-rabt’s Anarchist blog: Black Rose Revolution