Letter to the Mayor, OPD and City Council on Occupy Oakland’s Move-in Day
Dear Mayor Jean Quan, Oakland Police Department, and Oakland City Council,
As you probably know, Occupy Oakland is planning the occupation of a building on January 28th that will serve as a social center, convergence center, headquarters, free kitchen, and place of housing for Occupy Oakland. Like so many other people, Occupy Oakland is homeless while buildings remain vacant and unused. For Occupy this is in large part because of yourselves, having evicted us twice from public space that was rightfully ours. For others it is because of the housing bubble, predatory lending, the perpetual crises of capitalism, and far reaching histories of imperialism and systemic violence.
Our families, friends, and communities built the buildings that sit empty in post-industrial Oakland. Now these buildings outnumber the homeless and represent the theft of our collective labor as the class of the unpropertied and dispossessed. Allowing this building to remain vacant while so many are in need is injurious theft, injustice; its extralegal occupancy is not.
When Occupy Oakland was first evicted on October 25, we organized a General Strike on November 2nd with only a week to plan. November 2nd proved our strength and relevancy. Conservative estimates said twenty thousand took the streets, but for those of us who marched on the ports it could have been a hundred thousand. November 2nd was an inspiration for the Occupy Movement and public condemnation of your violent repression.
Eventually we reoccupied Oscar Grant Plaza only to suffer a second violent eviction on November 14th. At this time there was a national crackdown on the Occupy movement as evictions were happening in Boston, New York City, Atlanta, Portland OR and elsewhere. It was revealed that you, Jean Quan, had been coordinating with federal agents how to best repress dissent. In response Occupy Oakland was the impetus for a West Coast Port Shut Down, in solidarity with Longview ILWU workers whose union is under attack by EGT. The action escalated to a national and then international action as more occupations signed on. In Oakland alone the shutdown cost some $8.7 million dollars in lost revenue and proved that when civic and economic institutions do not serve us, we can shut them down.
Since the beginning of the Occupy Movement when you have exacted violent repression on us we have proven that we are more powerful and diffuse than you. If you try to evict us again we will make your lives more miserable than you make ours.
This may be in one or more of the following forms:
-Blockading the airport indefinitely
-Occupying City Hall indefinitely
-Shutting down the Oakland ports
-Calling on anonymous for solidarity
It will be in our mutual interest if you respect our occupation by recognizing our residency and imminent domain. We are sure that we all look forward to the needs of Oakland’s people finally being met.
Don’t fuck with the Oakland Commune.
Occupy Oakland Move-In Assembly