Occupy Oakland Freestyle Rap

I had the most fun in the entertainment section of the plaza. I danced to the drums with Athena and we listened with great interest to these two freestyle rappers who could have gone on all night, and maybe did… The library says that they are accepting donations, and I saw a sign requesting shoes. (More photos from more great photographers on the night of the raid…)


Voices From Occupy Oakland

Here are a handful of interviews from 10/30 at Occupy Oakland. The scene was very calm, moving and insightful. The first guy held up a sign that read, “The police and hospital put me in this chair and won’t help me now.” The second guy has been here since day 1, and the third joined us while we were waiting for t-shirts. An artist brought a shirt press and black paint as he pressed “Occupy Oakland” in between a clenched fist on hundreds of shirts that people handed over. (I scavenged online to find photos from the Oakland Occupation – the photographers deserve credit, but I don’t know their names…)

The Police Continue To…

I don’t understand why the police continue to protect the one percent. I don’t understand why the police line up in riot gear to fight the protesters who are fighting on their side. I don’t understand why the police don’t turn their weapons around and point them in the other direction.

Habit. Routine. The way it’s done. Doing the job by the books. Following the orders of superiors. These guys? The ones who control the streets? What about the division in the force between those who serve justice and fight corruption and those who fight justice and serve corruption. The one percent pays them shit.

There will always be protesters who look upon the police as the enemy, and vice versa, but more people need to come to the other side. The police are doing their job for their paycheck. The protestors are camping out in protest of the lousy paychecks that everyone receives. The illusion that we need to be fighting each other is the most crushing illusion of them all.

The question remains. Are the police truly of the one percent? They answer that question each time that they fight the ninety-nine percent. They solidify that answer every time that they come out in numbers to oppose the freedom of assembly. They are provoked, and they provoke. Are they just doing their job, or is this their ultimate calling?

The lines are so deeply drawn it seems unbelievable to even consider that they may one day shift. But that shift starts with the belief in the possibility of change. The change starts with the realization that we each have free will at any moment to eradicate routine, habit, tradition, and to ignite the change that will one day be. One conversation will get quashed. And then another. But if the discussion continues to spread, and the people continue to move, will they come out in riot gear against their families, their neighbors, their friends?

The police could be an organization that serves and protects the ninety-nine percent instead of the one percent. They could be an organization rooted in justice instead of racism and brutality. They could defend the constitution that purports to protect our rights instead of defending the powerful few who continue to abuse it.

When the police realize that we are on their side, we win. The Russian Revolution happened when the army turned their guns around and pointed them at the czar. Impossible? Maybe. Improbable? Definitely. Unthinkable? Strip down the uniforms and exchange the creed.

Noam Chomsky on Occupy Wall Street Protests

Here’s a five minute interview from Chomsky. “About two-thirds of the public thinks that the entire Congress should be thrown out.” This is from October 2nd.

A list of demands?

I can’t sleep. I want to believe that it’s real. 1500 cities. 80 countries. Four continents. And who knows how many two people protests in small city centers that went unnoticed and unreported. I still can’t sleep…

And I don’t want to.

It’s a decentralized movement that people are trying to centralize. The big players are coming in to try to contain it. Are they of the 99%? Some of them are. Most of them aren’t. They dream about the one percent at night if they aren’t there already. They want a government that spreads it out a little more evenly. A little.

The list of demands should never be made. No demands need to be made. Making a demand to those in power continues to endow them with power. The change is happening without their concessions. The change is happening through the swell of energy that is spreading among the 99%…

We are the 99%.

Which is why we must wait. For months, for years, for as long as it takes until the 99% are all present. Until your parents, your children, the police officers, the military, and the supposed supporters from government leave their positions behind and join us. When the 99% are all joined together, no demands will need to be made.

But watch out for those one percenters. They are going to make appearances. They are going to make speeches. They are going to talk about a government that represents the 99%. But actions speak louder than words. I hate to state that cliche, but it holds true every time. We have heard their stories. We have heard their lies. We have seen what they have done.

No, when the 99% gets together, there will be no need for the one percenters. Their masks will crumble quickly off. When the 99% comes together, we will not need their permission to do anything. We will create clean structures with clean hands instead of demanding that dirty hands wash dirty structures. When the 99% comes together we will spread the wealth evenly among ourselves instead of begging the one percenters to give us our little slice. Mmm. The pie’s so good!…

When the grandmas and grandpas and sisters and brothers and cousins and aunts and uncles and friends and coworkers all realize that we are on the same side, their power will be instantly gone and Wall Street will be instantly crushed.

And that’s how you can tell the one percenters from the 99%. It’s the vision of Wall Street. The one percenters don’t want that baby to end. And it doesn’t have to. It will be irrelevant.

We can do this without them. We are the 99%.