Occupy Oakland General Strike, a set on Flickr.
I went to Occupy Oakland on Wednesday. First, I attended a USF class at the #occupySF camp where we donated a container garden and taught a lesson on plant botany. Then we hoped the bay and marched from Frank Ogawa Plaza to the port. We paraded through the streets, singing songs and getting people on the streets to join the whole the way. I shouted “FUCK MONSANTO!!” so many times to reciprocate all the “FUCK MONSANTO!”s I was getting. I saw “nice day for a revolution” signs and enjoyed the drug of power, for we were climbing on trucks and crossing signals and gridlocking trucks and boats.
Around 9, we decided to go back to the camp and have a meeting there at 10 and then return to the port at 3 to occupy for the next shift change. That meeting failed when they went to go get a mic system two blocks away and all the people dispersed. After a bit of wandering around, looking at the garden, and meeting the Vibe guy who was live streaming vibe from 14th and Broadway, we wandered around the corner from the plaza to 16th and san pablo where there was loud music and people dancing in a building. It was kickin, they played beyonce and kanye and the people were getting down.
As I noticed helicopters circling, we decided to back to the end of the street so we could escape if the police came. there was a human mic check done to alert people that police were coming. Then, we realized there was a blockade to keep police from entering our occupied building. Then a fire was started from trash on the other end of the street while we were witnessing a scuffle by our barricade, which could have been people stopping someone from starting a fire (and by someone, I mean the “Black Bloc” anarchists) on our side. Police showed up shortly after we realized there was a fire, and then we heard five consecutive, loud bangs from down where the fire was. Flash bangs and tear gas. Then the anarchists started breaking the not-even-repaired-from-last-time Police startion windows and getting into more fights with people.
Soon after they tear gassed our side. I was pretty far back and had time to get away. Then, my friends went up closer, and I took some photos of the standoff. I yelled, “Let’s all go home!” but I don’t think anybody heard me. Then the gassed us again, and I ran away, but it got me more that time, and after a searing and disorienting 15 seconds a medic squirted Milk of Magnesia in my eyes and I could open my eyes again. Thank god I had a vinegar soaked rag for my mouth! next time I’m bringing my goggles.
After we recovered, we wandered around a little, got interviewed, and learned that the police weren’t going to raid the camp. However, we did see one woman with a bike and medic crosses taped on her shoulder grab her tent, through her shit on the ground, and book it out of there. That’s when we decided to leave.