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Is Occupy Oakland as Bad as They Say?

Not if you keep using its ever-so-useful products, it isn't.

The first time I wrote about the recent re-appearance of the IWW black cat logo, I said "Notice the black cat in the center. It originally was the secret symbol used by revolutionary Wobblies to advocate sabotage in factories. Since no modern anarchist trustafarians work in factories any more, they've adopted the black cat sabotage symbol as a general call for sabotage against modern society." Now I just think it's a hollow gimmick to look edgy.

Not everybody was unaware of the hypocrisy associated with "using the capitalists' tools to destroy capitalism," as various New York OWS protesters justified their iPhone and iPad addictions. Or maybe she was just a Droid marketing manager?

The legendary megaphone which Mother Jones pointedly mentioned to imply that the Oakland Occupiers were reasonable and mainstream made another appearance in the march, but the guy holding it never seemed to say anything -- he just carried it around. I will say that it was just about the only pro-Obama artifact that I saw all day.

This is the reason why Oakland is in such trouble: The city has a terrible crime problem, but seemingly half the residents see the police, and not the criminals, as the problem. Any attempts to increase patrols or hire more officers are met with fierce resistance.

I think many people will be pleased to hear that.

Rule #451 of protest sign-making: If you put a unicorn on it, no one can accuse you of malice.

Rule #523: Paper lasts a day, cardboard a week; but a quilt lasts forever.

Fascinating to see how Robert Reich is now quoted by activists, like some radical revolutionary hero.

Because everyone knows that a "spanking" is the most severe punishment ever meted out to "enemies of the people" after a revolution.

And to think there are still pundits who try to claim that the Occupy movement isn't anti-capitalist.

It's rare that I see a protest message I've never encountered before; this one certainly is unique. Anti-foreigner protectionism in the Occupy movement? Who knew?

Eventually we walked all the way around the lake, but my camera battery conked out right around here. There were a couple of futile "group pout" sit-in-the-street moments, and a couple attempts to shout slogans in a bank branch, but nothing particularly exciting before we made it back to base camp.

Well, I guess that depends on your definition of "exciting": here's a video taken by one of the Occupiers of the bank invasion later in the march:


(This video is a replacement for an earlier similar one that was taken down after various unsympathetic sites linked to the video. All that remains of that original video is its YouTube description, which pretty much describes this one as well:)

After marching from Oscar Grant Plaza and around Lake Merritt on October 22nd, Occupy Oakland occupiers and supporters stopped in front of the Chase Bank branch on Lakeshore Avenue. Demonstrators began to stream into the bank, filling the branch and chanting, "Chase got bailed out, we got sold out." Bank withdrawal and deposit slips were thrown into the air and within a few minutes demonstrators exited the bank and returned to the thousand-plus marchers in the street. Several protesters remained behind to pick up bank slips from the floor and were locked inside when police moved in to secure the bank. With loud chants of "Let them go, let them go" from the street, those inside were allowed to leave and the march continued on to shut down a Wells Fargo Bank branch by surrounding it before returning to Oscar Grant Plaza.

More info on the video here.

Also see interviews with Oakland Occupiers (taken on an earlier day) in "The Revolutionaries' Revenge."