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Occupy Oakland: general strike shuts down port

In Oakland today, thousands of people (up to 5,000 people are estimated by the police, 10,000 by the media!) filled the downtown to protest corporate greed (the 20 BIGGEST CEO PAY RAISES are in THIS photo gallery; the 10 highest paid BANK CEO article is throwing a 404 error –  “J.P. Morgan Chase’s Jamie Dimon made $20.8M in 2010, a hefty 1,541% increase from the dark paydays of 2009“) and economic inequality, then marched to the Port of Oakland, shutting it down.

The Port of Oakland does about $8.5 million in export and import business every DAY!

It was the first general strike called in Oakland since 1946. Participants included young activists, “middle-class” wage earners, students, and homeless people and more. The generally peaceful strike was marred by only a few instances of vandalism, which interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said had been instigated by “60 to 70 anarchists … bent on causing problems.” There were NO arrests by evening. According to

“Today is about saying no to the 1 percent,” said Cat Brooks, co-chairwoman of the Onyx Organizing Committee, an Oakland grassroots organization.

Many downtown Oakland businesses, including Foot Locker, Rite-Aid, and Tully’s Coffee, closed for the day. Some stores that remained open said that they would accept only cash, to avoid sending credit sales to banks and multinational financial corporations. Windows were smashed at Wells Fargo Bank at the corner of 12th Street and Broadway, a Bank of America near Lake Merritt, and a financial office on Webster Street near 21st Street. The word “Strike” was spray-painted on a Whole Foods store on Bay Place, an apparent “mistake.”

More than 300 school teachers did not show up for work. Pat Kaplan, a fourth-grade teacher at Bridges Academy in East Oakland said:

We’ve had tremendous cuts at our school and lost four staff people,” Kaplan said. “We have no field trips and we have to ask parents for paper and pencils, but banks made billions of dollars this year.

A dramatic photo of THOUSANDS of protestors crossing an overpass is shown in an L.A. Times article.

-Bill at

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