Monday, October 31, 2011

Oakland protesters organize citywide strike for November 2

OAKLAND — Activists with Occupy Oakland are promoting a general strike across the city Wednesday and are urging other groups nationwide to organize similar events.

The Oakland group announced on its website that it is planning a march to the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth busiest, to "shut it down before the 7 p.m. night shift." The website says the strike will be "against the growing gap between the rich and everybody else."

On the day of the strike, the marches are planned at 9 a.m., noon and 5 p.m., so as many people as possible can participate, said Oakland resident Shake Anderson, 35, who is among those at the encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza at City Hall.

"We're asking people not to go to work and not to go to school that day," he said.

He said he was unsure of the timing of closing down the port.

The occupy protests in Oakland, which began Oct. 11, have resulted in more than 100 arrests and included a violent confrontation last week between protestors wielding bottles, rocks and firecrackers and police using tear gas.

The majority of protesters are peaceful, Anderson said. At a march Saturday night, some young men tried to rush the police line with homemade shields. Anderson said he and others stood between them and the police, shouting "peace" and telling them to calm down and not provoke retaliation.

Jordan Hunter, 40, of San Rafael, Calif., said she came from Occupy Marin to help rebuild the Oakland site after police removed it.

"It's kind of a big social experiment in living outside the expectations created by the economic structure we live in," she said.

Elsewhere Sunday:

• Police in Portland, Ore., arrested about 30 anti-Wall Street protesters, dragging and carrying them to waiting vans, after they refused to leave a park in an affluent district.

•In Nashville, about 50 demonstrators chanted "Whose plaza? Our plaza!" in defiance of an official curfew. As people danced to keep warm on a chilly Sunday morning, police monitored the activity but made no arrests.

State troopers began enforcing the curfew at Legislative Plaza on Thursday night, three weeks after protests began.

• In Phoenix, city officials said the demonstrations cost the city $204,162 in overtime for police, firefighters, parks employees and prosecutors since the protests began Oct. 14. Councilman Sal DiCiccio suggested charging protesters for the costs.

Oakland protesters organize citywide strike | The Indianapolis Star |

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