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Thread: City of Oakland institutes Nighttime Protest Ban

  1. #1
    Hot Topic Punk Padawan
    Join Date
    Nov 2011

    City of Oakland institutes Nighttime Protest Ban

    Just in case y'all haven't been keeping up on the news, I figured I'd share some of what's been going down in Oakland lately.

    On Friday May 22nd, a large number of Black women organized the Say Her Name demonstrations nation-wide, to speak out against the police killing of Black women. In San Francisco and Oakland, these were organized by the Blackout Collective, Black Lives Matter folks, and the ONYX Organizing Committee.

    After a day of action in San Francisco, when demonstrators began a march in Oakland, they were told by OPD that anyone marching in the streets after dark would be arrested.

    For anyone unfamiliar with bay area politics, non-permitted street marches are common, and are a legal, protected form of speech and assembly. Of course, whether the cops follow the law is another matter, and OPD has more than a decade of brutal, repressive history showing otherwise, despite federal oversight and a Crowd Control Policy they are supposed to follow. Oakland's mayor, Libby Schaaf (previously a city council member representing the predominantly white Montclair district in the Oakland hills, in a city that is predominantly people of color), announced that there was no new city ordinance for the ban, but that they were "reinterpreting" existing laws to enforce them in a different way.

    This has sparked more protests in subsequent days to "Break the Curfew", in solidarity with Say Her Name and Black Lives Matter. Hundreds gathered on the nights of the 23rd and 24th to openly defy the Mayor and police, with the 23rd culminating in 50 arrests, as people sat in the street after being prevented from marching to the recently-gentrified Jack London Square and Uptown districts, to the south and north, respectively by police blocking the intersections and only allowing the marchers to go between Oscar Grant Plaza in front of city hall and the OPD headquarters a few blocks away.

    The reporting from the East Bay Express has been top notch, so I recommend reading there stories here:
    Day 1:
    Day 2:
    Day 3:

    Jahmese Myers, who was arrested on the 23rd and works on the city's Planning Commission, issued the following statement on her Facebook page:

    Friends, last night I spoke directly with our Mayor over the phone. I shared my story of being forcibly snatched from the sidewalk while complying with police orders to back up as they advanced. I told her that before any officers knew I was a Planning Commissioner, they saw me only as a Black Woman, and treated me as such; with unnecessary force, and they treated my other Black friends the same, some much worse. We all became victim to the very thing we were there to march against. Shameful...
    Our Mayor's primary concern at this time is with vandalism. She says she "refuses to see her City get trashed", that this level of vandalism gives Oakland a bad name, that she can't let it continue, and that allowing night marches in the street could compromise everyone's safety. At this time, she refuses to rescind the Ban....
    This is my City too, and I am more concerned about people than about windows. I'm against vandalism, but I'm also against oppression, and against the unavoidable violent force that comes along with police presence (not just during marches, but also in everyday interactions for Black and poor folk). I'm more afraid of cops than anarchists. I think more cops have killed and criminalized my people than the anarchists have. But I'd have to double check the data on that....
    The Mayor also says that working on this issue takes away valuable time to work on other things like gentrification and affordable housing policy. I understand that there are only 24hrs in a day, but I encourage her, and other decision makers to see the connection between the two; its not either-or. How she deals with this issue is a direct reflection of her position on those issues. I should of said that...
    I appreciate our Mayor's transparency and her willingness to call me and check in. At this time, I am looking for a leader who is willing to stand with their values, and stand for Oakland's most oppressed residents. I want a leader who will be vulnerable and humble enough to reconsider, and to choose justice over status quo. I shared this vision of leadership with her directly....
    I care about this City. I continue my long-standing commitment to be a productive thought partner with elected officials, fellow Planning Commissioners, and the larger community. I will also continue to support those in the streets, including me sometimes, who are fighting for all of us. None of us are free until we all get free.

  2. #2
    Cyberpunk as Fuck Punk to the bone yan tree's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    i know this is a zillion miles away from that protest & more power to all!!!
    back in the pre-feminist era...of course, were now in a post-feminist era (didn't you hear?))...of the 70's & 80's in the UK we had women marching under the banner of 'reclaim the night' probs against male oppression & the current-then wave of serial killers who targeted women...etc etc

    none of us are free until we all get free! never a truer word spoken
    this text will be spoken in the blackout...



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