Thursday, November 3, 2011

Live From the Occupy Oakland General Strike!

Remember this?

The chaotic scene in Oakland, California on the night of October 25th. Former Marine Scott Olsen received serious head injuries after being shot at very close range by police clearing the Occupy Oakland site and streets.

An investigation has been called into police actions. The Mayor apologized. The injury to Olsen invigorated Occupy Wall St protesters and others around the country.

The ugly violence, played out on TV's around the world, also caused other Mayors to reconsider, and let their Occupy protesters stay.

By November 2nd, activists called for a General Strike in Oakland. The results were mixed with some unions cooperating. But the transit system, most institutions, and the big shipping port of Oakland remained open.

Until the evening, when the crowd of a few thousand grew upwards to 5,000 or much more. They marched to the Port gates and forced operations to shut down, at one of America's biggest shipping zones.

Late that evening I received emails (and audio) from several Oakland protesters and media activists who were satisifed with the peaceful occupation of the city.

Occupy Oakland went from police brutality to widespread public engagement,with hardly any police around.

But later that night, in the early hours, with a dwindling crowd, there were a few break-ins, window smashing, and more confrontations with police.

The next morning, November 4th, the tent city called a meeting to discuss the "destructive anarchists" as one blog called them. Occupy Oakland campers considered an apology, and a work-crew to clean up broken glass downtown. The assembled group re-affirmed their non-violence.

This is just one of the divisions and challenges in the midst of the Occupy movement. The majority favor non-violence. A minority want to go much further, into violent revolution if need be.

Meanwhile, a Radio Ecoshock correspondent from the Bay Area, long time media activist Karen Nyhus, sent us a series of short on-the-scene recordings of another big topic in the Occupy movement: the role of the 99% opposing governments dominated by fossil fuel billionaires, intent on profiting from damage to our climate. They want justice.

Here we go - actuality from the Occupy Oakland protesters, November 2nd, the day of the general strike. You hear a fascinating set of interviews, from activists to the down-but-not-out.

You'll hear cat-calls from corporate media. Would you believe Rupert Murdoch's Wall St. Journal keeps writing headlines that it's all over, or the protesters are just drug-addicted bums? What a surprise!

Big TV interviews all the Mayors and Chiefs of Police.

We interview the people who were there.

All recordings are by media activist Karen Nyhus, thank you Karen - keep it up!

If you have audio for Ecoshock, use to send your mp3 file to this address: radio at

Please send an email first, asking if your audio idea will work for our program.

I'm Alex Smith, thank you for listening.

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