It’s very clear something new is being born

It’s very clear now to most that something new and mysterious and urgent is being born. It’s clear that people are finding their voices, their humanity, their common ground. We’re learning from one another. We’re also finding out the extent to which our society is broken & rigged, at a deep structural level.  We’re learning the extent to which it is brutal and uncaring to so many, both here and abroad. We’re discovering the extent to which this system is also breaking our natural home, mother earth, leaving most ecosystems in decline, if not outright collapse.

As a consequence, replacing a new figurehead here or there, a few new policy fixes here & there, or creating a few temporary jobs here or there, will be wildly insufficient. We need healing and a new footing. That means that a lot of people might feel like how I feel when an earthquake rolls through California…it’s disorienting and frightening.  We’ve got some big social & psychological earthquakes coming through. That’s the nature of earth, and it’s the nature of human society — sometimes they simply need to readjust. And sometimes it’s bumpy.

Our grievances are many & complex. But let’s not confuse complexity with chaos.

The movement is resonating everyday with more and more people as they realize the corruption & upside-down priorities of our society and realize we can do something about it. People are practicing participatory democracy. It’s also clear that the acceptable channels we have been taught for social & political change have revealed themselves to be dead-ends. This is in large part due to money in politics, the undemocratic manner in which our economy is run, and the undue power & influence of banks and big corporations.

So we are being inconvenient. We are practicing non-cooperation with unjust laws and corrupt institutions and disruption of the status quo. Like all births & growth, there are pains, confusion, and setbacks, but also revelations, joys, & new perspectives. The new birth also looks weird to some people, evoking mockery or derision or silly generalizations. It’s to be expected. But hey, aren’t we all weird? Eventually, those tirades will become tiresome. Because we’re all here, reclaiming democracy: grandmothers, teachers, students, firefighters, parents, professionals, small business owners, nurses, doctors, city council members, social workers, the differently-abled, punks, musicians, dog-walkers, atheists, Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, gardeners, advocates, artists, writers, lawyers, bus-drivers, homeless people, postal workers, pastors, whoever.

But this new birth is also threatening to those who are just fine with the way things are. Those with the most power, content with the status quo. This has invited some harsh responses from the official authorities. They want to try to hold the fault-line together. It cannot be done. There will be more & even harsher responses, this is certain. They will try everything to stop change, including lies, confusion, infiltration, and extreme force. However, we know that numbers turns the tide, and also makes it safer for even more to join. Some won’t join and some will try to co-opt us. Neither corporate political party represents us and have betrayed the people over and over. The militarized police will not join, but some will layoff a bit & even refuse orders, as has already happened in a couple of cities. Veterans and active duty are getting more involved everyday. Refusal of orders will be critical and you can see the flicker of it in some of their eyes.

Many people are still in the stands, in the role of spectator, asking and thinking and critiquing. And that’s good. Yet now it is time to choose. It’s time to act. Because it’s happening. It’s not going away as some would like. This is not your typical 24-hour news cycle story.

This is an earthquake. It’s time to dance on the rolling earth. There is room to get involved, to help chart the new direction, to help define the issues, proposals, tactics, to co-dream a better world for us and the next seven generations. One of the best chants i’ve heard in a while was at the Education march yesterday, sung with vigor by high school students: “I am somebody! I won’t be stopped by nobody! I got my fist in the air, and the movement in my feet, I got love for my people, but it starts with me.”


Nov. 2 General Strike & Day of Action: Schedule of Events

I’ve compiled a list of events & teach-ins for tomorrow’s actions. Below that is a general statement for the Strike/Mass Day of Action. These are only those of which I am aware. I don’t represent Occupy Oakland and am only one of thousands of community participants:

Main Schedule: Walk-outs of Work & School with Mass Gatherings at 9am, 12:00, and 5pm

March to Port of Oakland: Leaving at 4pm and again at 5pm; Critical Mass bike to Port at 4pm (to reach by start of shift by 7pm)

Events throughout day from Movement Generation: (

Food Justice Lunch & Teach-In: 12-5pm

OCCUPY THE BANKS! Foreclose on the 1%:

Children’s & Family Brigade:12-5.

“Don’t You Dare Steal Our Future” – Family Bike/Stroller Brigade: 3pm – meeting at Oakland Main Library at 14th St & Madison to march to Oscar Grant Plaza to join the

Disability Action Brigade: Big action being planned at 2 pm specifically to talk about disability/senior cuts at state and federal level, plus some of us are joining major action at noon (meet at 14th & Broadway) and march at 5 pm (with wheelchair-accessible shuttles).

Worker Coop Contingent, 12-3:

Ohlone & Miwok elders and activists & Nipponzan Myohoji Buddhist monks will be walking from Intertribal Friendship House in Oakland to Occupy Oakland. They will be arriving in at 10:30 am. For the past 2 weeks they have been walking from Diablo Canyon in prayer to protect sacred places and to bring awareness of the dangers of the nuclear fuel cycle.


Main Occupy Oakland website:

For the latest info, general assembly resolutions, flyers, media

Teacher Resources:

Facebook Event Page:!/event.php?eid=183924845023473

*Why You Should Join the Wednesday, November 2, Oakland General Strike*

You may have heard about this Wednesday’s General Strike, with mass
gatherings to be held at 9am, 12 noon, and 5pm — at 14th and Broadway in
downtown Oakland. The call for a general strike is not surprising given
that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe banks and major
corporations have too much power, support amending the U.S. constitution to
affirm that corporations don’t have the same rights as people, and believe
corporations have more control of our political system than average
citizens do.

For the past three decades the wealthiest 1% and their corporations have
been taking an ever-increasing share of the income we produce, leaving the
vast majority of us to make do with ever-smaller crumbs to survive on. Now
is the time to take a stand and declare that we absolutely will not permit
these outrages to continue.

This coming Wednesday, November 2, those in the greater Oakland area will
have a chance to make an extremely powerful statement by participating in
the Oakland General Strike. We will be using one of the most powerful
tools available to we the people — but a tool which has not actually been
exercised in this country for over 60 years, since we last used it here in
Oakland, in 1946.

The Occupy Wall Street movement and Occupy Oakland have now presented each
of us with a vital moral choice: Do we participate in the Oakland General
Strike and help shift the direction of this country? Or do we allow giant
corporations and the ultra-wealthy ever more free license to plunder the
resources and wealth of this nation, and of our world?

This is how you can participate in the strike:
* Do not go to work
* Do not go to school
* Or at least, do everything you can to minimize those activities.
* Do not patronize any banks or other corporations on Wednesday.

Instead go to 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland — especially for the
Wednesday mass gatherings at 9am, 12 noon, and 5pm.

Everyone is encouraged to participate in the Oakland General Strike,
regardless of where you live. For more details, please see:

Facebook Event Page:!/event.php?eid=183924845023473

If we now join together, we shall not fail with the great task before us.


If you can, please forward this message to friends, e-mail lists,
listserves, FaceBook pages, etc.


Note: Recent Occupy Oakland events have had as many as 3,000 people in
attendance. The general assembly vote to strike was made with over 1600
people participating (1484 in favor, 77 abstentions, and 46 against —
passing by 96.9%). The text of the strike proposal is here: — below the 2nd

Support Local Food, Green Jobs, and Social Justice by Supporting Planting Justice

I am writing a special personal appeal this year to call for your support for an organization I am involved with called Planting Justice, an Oakland-based food justice organization.

I have had the privilege of serving on the board of directors since its inception last year and have seen it grow from seed idea to full-fledged force for food justice and urban agriculture over the past year and half. While my role has often been along the lines of communications, board decisions, and supporting in whatever ways I can, I have often been involved with the on-the-ground work that characterizes the daily work of Planting Justice (PJ).  I can tell you personally that you will rarely find a more dedicated, passionate, smart, and skilled couple of people than my friends and co-founders Gavin Raders and Haleh Zandi. They and the rest of the PJ crew have their eyes simultaneously on food access and social justice and on both ecological and financial sustainability.

I have enjoyed the garden work-parties transferring plant starts on the rooftop garden in Temescal and at Explore College Prep Middle School where Planting Justice planted and cultivated a food forest and facilitated a school garden program with the help of the students; I visited San Quentin prison H-unit, where men are learning gardening skills in a collaboration between PJ and the Insight Garden Program.  PJ has just recently hired its first participant from that program, a San Quentin parolee, who without the opportunity of the program to have gained these skills and knowledge and care, may have more likely become another statistic in California’s deplorable recidivism rate. I helped build raised beds at an affordable housing senior center just up the road. I have gone door-to-door in Oakland to connect neighbors with PJ’s work. I learned how to install a greywater system with the low-cost laundry-to-landscape workshop that PJ’s Gavin Raders and Andrew Chahrour teach. On the Global Work Party day 10/10/10, I was one of over 50 who joined a food justice bike tour of West and North Oakland that PJ organized along with Walk Oakland Bike Oakland and Peoples Grocery. We ended the day helping transform a plain Bermuda grass-choked yard into a beautiful edible garden. Continue reading Support Local Food, Green Jobs, and Social Justice by Supporting Planting Justice

Inspirational Quote of the Week

In salute to the vets and others disobeying this week at the White House:

“Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is that people all over the world have obeyed the dictates of their leaders. Our problem is that people are obedient all over the world in the face of poverty and environmental destruction and are obedient while the jails fill with petty thieves, while the real thieves are running the country. That’s our problem.”  – Howard Zinn

We Support WikiLeaks Petition

We Support WikiLeaks

Join Daniel Ellsberg, Chris Hedges,  Barbara Ehrenreich, Arundhati Roy, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden, and others in supporting Julian Assange, Wikileaks, and freedom of the press– add your name to the petition on the Wikileaks is Democracy page.

We, the  undersigned, stand in defense of Julian Assange, WikiLeaks and their actions to safeguard and advance democracy, transparency and government accountability, as protected under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Wikileaks performs an invaluable service to the broad U.S. and global public with a commitment to the protection of human rights and the rule of law.  Government representatives have issued serious and unjustified threats against Mr. Assange and his non-profit media organization which serve only to maintain a cloak of secrecy around high crimes and violations of international law, including torture, tampering with democratically elected governments, illegal bombings and wars, surveillance, mass slaughter of innocent civilians and more. Continue reading We Support WikiLeaks Petition

towards a more just, peaceful, rational, & sustainable world


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