As we arrived back at Sproul Plaza, what joy! Occupy Oakland, evicted from their camp the day before, had voted to join forces with Occupy Cal, and marched all the way from downtown Oakland to join us! Cheers and tears.
The two Occupations merged, and our numbers were suddenly tripled. Sproul Plaza was completely filled.
Of course, when you merge with Oakland, playtime is over and things quickly become a bit more hard-edged. This Oakland Occupier, for example, came ready to battle the cops with anarchist-black shield and helmet, sporting yet another of those unnerving orange tape symbols.
Oakland brings its own unique style.
This picture encapsulates the difference between Occupy Cal and Occupy Oakland. In the foreground we have two clueless 19-year-olds with a stereotypically Berkeley-style sign, a muddled self-indulgent metaphor about economics involving “banana stands” (apparently a reference to the appropriately-named TV show “Arrested Development”) which of course also has a message Arabic (“The people want the system to crash” according to a commenter), to prove our commitment to diversity. And in the background, an Oaklander with a sign declaring “NOT nonviolent.” Culture shock.
I always laugh when the the daring cutting-edge anti-authoritarians burn paper money to prove their dedication to total revolution…but they always manage to only burn $1 bills, because…well, we still need money, at least for now!
When they start burning piles of $100 bills, then I’ll take them seriously.
In case anyone tries to claim that the Occupy organizers were simply unaware of the major communist presence in their midst, here we see a revolutionary socialist booth right next to the “Official Occupy Cal Information Table.” Side by side. Physically and philosophically.
Eventually the “General Assembly” started.
I managed to get ahold of the agenda. To prove beyond any doubt that this whole thing is just a dramatic re-enactment of the 1960s, the very first order of business is “Excerpt read from Mario Savio’s 1964 speech.” The rest of the agenda is shown here for cultural anthropologists to analyze.