Oakland California: Infinite Strike! Infinite Solidarity!
<table><tr><td> People began arriving at 19th and Telegraph around 7 pm and by 7:30 around 80 or so people left the park marching behind a banner reading “SOLIDARITE AVEC LA GREVE INFINIE”. Armed with pots, pans, and a few flags, we wound our way through the streets of downtown Oakland on what seemed to be a fairly busy Friday night. Chants such as “Montreal to Oakland We Ain’t Jokin! Cairo to Greece! Fuck the Police!" and “Oakland to Montreal! Capitalism Has Got to Fall!” could be heard rumbling off the windows of the office buildings that had been deserted for the weekend. The march first headed towards the lake and then snaked it’s way thru the streets towards the direction of Art Murmur (A monthly arts-walk that happens in Oakland on the last Friday of every month). Somewhere along the way a marching band joined in on the fun and for a few minutes our chants actually had some background music.
By the time we reached art murmur our numbers had swelled to around 110 and the mood was still very festive and joyous. More fliers were distributed to those attending the murmur and overall the response from the motorists and pedestrians was either enthusiastic or curious. Next the march headed back towards downtown as the next stop was going to be in front of the city jail. When we arrived at the jail everyone started to make as much noise as possible. The clamoring of the pots and pans provided the back drop to our chant "Our Passion For Freedom, Is Stronger Than Their Prisons!". At least a few people inside heard our noise and responded by waving their hands in front of their windows, this only caused our demo to erupt in even more cheers! The march then quickly strolled back to 19th and Telegraph and dispersed, but not before joyfully tearing down a very ugly chain-link fence.</td><td><img title="I liked that performance piece but hate the fact that they still believe in ART" src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2012/flowerbed.jpg"></td></tr></...
Though this march was not very confrontational, it was still a very positive experience to see that Oakland can pull that many people out on the street on such short notice. There were definitely some missed opportunities, but overall everyone who attended the demo left feeling pretty positive about holding the street for over an hour and distributing fliers about the current situation in both Montreal and Oakland.
Text from the flier below...
"Initially started as a student protest against tuition hikes, the situation in Montreal has now become something much more powerful, generalized social revolt. Recently seeing the 100th night of consecutive demos, the situation in Montreal has become much more uncontrollable than the student activists could have ever imagined. The situation in Montreal is a people's response to the war of austerity that is being waged against them.
The state was quick to enact repressive measures meant to stifle the growing dissent that they clearly saw as a threat. Bill 78, also known as the special law, criminalizes demonstrations not approved by the police and makes it illegal for anyone to wear a mask while participating in a demo. This Bill, and the subsequent crackdown are already responsible for placing over 2,000 of our comrades behind bars. But, in reality there is nothing special about this Bill. It is a predictable response to a special mobilization, a struggle that is unprecedented in it's size, popular support and ferocity in recent Quebec history.
The situation in Oakland may not be that much different. We already have the city council attempting to approve the ban of "tools of violence" at our demonstrations. While it is understandable for us to be outraged by such proposals, it is also a mistake to not be expecting such repressive measures. However, It is important not to participate in the discussion of rights and laws: Remember that our rights are granted to us by the same people who oppress us. We cannot settle for the rights they grant us, but must struggle to take what we can for ourselves and each other.
Now is the time for solidarity, solidarity with comrades in Montreal, solidarity with that which is uncontrollable. While this entire situation started as a response, it has grown into an attack. An attack on the existing misery that consumes our everyday life. From Montreal to Oakland: REVOLT FOR A LIFE WORTH LIVING!!!"
P.S.- Here's a link to a cool video someone made with footage from the demo.