I went to the Oakland General Assembly (GA) today at Mosswood Park (specifically, at the amphitheater there). It was the group’s second meeting, the first for me. There were about 75-125 people there, probably 75 for the whole meeting. I’d say about 85% of the people were white and about 85% were young. The GA started at 5:00, lasted about 2 ¼ hours and then split up into 3 committees. I didn’t stay for the committees. (At that point I was too cold and achy from sitting on the rained-upon amphitheater concrete.)
The meeting began with a brief recap of the first meeting (yesterday) and an explanation of process. At the first meeting it was agreed that the Oakland Occupation will start 4:00 on Monday, Oct. 10 at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. The group had also agreed to rename the plaza to Oscar Grant Plaza in honor of the unarmed unresisting black man who was killed by a BART cop 2 years ago. Also, three committees had been set up to address things such as outreach, the media, propaganda, events, logistics, security, and food.
A couple of people spoke of other local Occupy activities. Someone from Berkeley said that Occupy Berkeley is about a week behind, schedule wise. Someone from San Francisco talked about last night, when the cops kicked everyone out and confiscated their belongings. The bright side, the person said, is that today the Federal Reserve (downtown SF) started erecting some sort of partitions or barriers, so that’s an indication that the PTB are listening.
There was some general talk along the lines of assume the cops will have the occupation under surveillance and assume there could a cop at the GA itself. A few people declared they weren’t cops :]
There was a core group of facilitators from yesterday’s meeting but it was fairly clear that many or most of the people today were new. It was also clear that the facilitators had hoped today’s GA would be much shorter than it turned out to be, it having gotten dark by the time the group broke up into the 3 committees. One of the biggest communications problem was being able to hear what people were saying. Read the rest of this entry →