We are honored to continue to work to fulfill our mission, and help Dr. Bernard Lafayette help fulfill his promise to Coretta Scott King: to continue to spread Dr. King’s philosophy with the highest integrity.
We are also excited to announce that Dr. Lafayette will finally be coming to the Bay Area!!! Please join us on the eve of the International Day of Peace for this exciting event.
UPDATE: Program will also feature performances from local youth who have attended a Kingian Nonviolence workshop, and a video presentation of PPWN’s national work with youth.
Co-Sponsors of this event include: YES!, Youth Spirit Artworks, BAY-Peace, PeaceWorkers US, the Church for the Fellowship of All Peoples, and EndBigBanks.org. If your organization is interested in becoming a co-sponsor ($50 fee), please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Lafayette will also be leading a two-day introductory workshop in Kingian Nonviolence that weekend, the 22nd and 23rd. CLICK HEREfor more information and to register.
Please help us spread the word about these two events!!! Hope to see you all there!!!
Go to http://www.ustream.tv/channel/oaktownlive# for the stream
Just wanted to let people know that for the rest of the month of May, Team Oaktown Live will not be streaming much if at all.
Partially it’s because Pirate will be on the road working & just plain won’t be available. On top of that, TOL also has a WHOLE LOT OF FOOTAGE from the last several months that we’ve hardly had time to process, in particular from May Day. We’ve got a lot of editing to do of a lot of looong footage from which we want to make highlight clips that people can actually go back and watch.
Regarding livestreaming: the ability to connect live video of newsworthy events to the world is a powerful tool. When somebody tells Pirate that they were watching the stream earlier and came out to participate in person, or when a commenter on the social stream says they’ve learned things about Oakland they didn’t know before, it feels like we’re making a difference, even if it’s a small one.
But streaming is also quite an expensive tool right now. Part of TOL’s downtime will be to spend some time considering how we want to continue with this “Oakland-based citizen journalism” project that we feel called to, and how to do it without letting it eat up such a huge chunk of the TOL household budget.
One of the new tools TOL is looking to add to the CJ toolkit is Signal. It’s being called “The Instagram for Citizen Journalists” and looks like it’s got a lot of potential. We’ve signed up as beta testers and look forward to its roll out.
Love, peace, justice, compassion, meaningful life pursuits, and generally all good things to everyone everywhere, nobody excluded…
So, the other day I filed a Public Records Act with request with the cops asking for their footage. Here’s their response:
Dear Mr. Beck:
This is in response to your public records request #9559, dated May 7, 2012, submitted to the Oakland Police Department asking for all archived livestream video footage recorded by the Oakland Police Department on May 1, 2012.
The Department is in the process of reviewing all video related to the Occupy Oakland activities, including May 1, 2012. Video must be reviewed and in some cases redacted. Some video may be exempt pursuant to California Government Code 6254(f) as investigation records or investigatory files related to an open and ongoing investigation. To the extent possible, the Department is working to process the video in date order.
Due to the Department’s limited staffing resources, the numerous public records requests related to Occupy Oakland, and the hundreds of hours of Occupy video to review for numerous occupy operations, it will take several months for the Department to complete your request. Video that is not exempt will be provided on or before December 31, 2012.
Kristin Burgess-Medeiros Oakland Police Department Office of Inspector General 455 7th Street, 9th Floor Oakland, CA 94607
Here are the raw video segments from the TOL May Day 2012 Broadcast.
All Team Oaktown Live videos are Creative Commons licensed (reuse,remix/non-$/attribution). Any booshwa from YouTube about “Matched Third Party Content” is in dispute as these were all captured at public, newsworthy events and come under “Fair Use”.
GoPro’s Wifi BacPac, the winner of the Well-liked Mechanics 2012 CES Editors Option Award, will be available for sale at Pointofviewcameras.com when it is released. The wifi BacPac attaches to the back of GoPro HD Hero 2 cameras enabling your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch to live stream through it is built in wifi network. With the GoPro App users can see the live video output of the camera as nicely as control camera settings. Moreover, the wireless accessory can manage up to 50 separate cameras with the Wifi Remote kit for extraordinarily sharp circular sweeping shots.
These orders require people to stay 100 to 300 yards away from Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza or, in the case of the UC orders, away from ANY UC PROPERTY IN THE STATE, with the exception of going to class or to work-related activities. One of the recipients of a UC-related stay-away lives in student housing and had to get a court order to be able to legally return home.
These orders have been issued against people who have been charged but not convicted of any crimes. Like anti-gang injunctions in Oakland, they are considered by many local activists to be targeted repression against citizens with unpopular political activities and affiliations (in this case, Occupy). The Oakland injunctions in particular make it impossible for people under such orders to attend the Occupy Oakland General Assembly (held at the Plaza) or the Oakland City Council Meetings (City Hall abuts the Plaza). As the plaza has also been a center for organizing and meetings related to Occupy, the orders also prevents people from assembling and partaking in protected political speech.
The ACLU has filed suit against the DA, asserting that these orders are a fundamental violation of people’s civil rights, especially since the people they have been issued against have not been convicted of crimes and are for the most part charged with nothing worse than misdemeanors; moreover, virtually all of the alleged incidents happened nowhere near the plaza, and often many blocks away in Oakland.
Wednesday afternoon, while attending an OO rally in support of Oaksterdam after Monday’s Federal raids, Joe caught up with Team Oaktown Live and was ready to talk about his situation, his experience with the stay-away orders, and how he never got arrested before Occupy.:
Big thanks from the Team to Joe for sharing that with the world. TOL is not about shoving the camera in people’s faces who don’t wanna talk, and nobody should ever feel bad about saying “no, I don’t want to talk now.” And… wow, that was absolutely worth waiting for.
This is the situation on the ground in Oakland. This is what Americans are facing as they speak out against economic injustice and a system rigged in favor of the powerful few: police repression and the substantial weight of the legal system coming down in a full-on assault against some pretty basic American rights of assembly, expression, and presumption of innocence until proven guilty by a court of law.
Team Oaktown Live very much recommends you pick up a camera and show the world what’s happening where you live. Be the media. And always remember… FILM THE POLICE!
So Team Oaktown Live were rolling home after watching the waterway for a while, when suddenly something caught our eyes. For Pirate, it was the shape of the silhouette and the color scheme. For Lexica, it was the wording on the license plate.
The unmistakeable van, that symbol of nosy kids putting butting in where they don’t belong to help someone out who’s being taken advantage of.
Right here on the streets of Oakland, THE MYSTERY MACHINE. A full-on, teal, green, and orange MYSTERY MACHINE with full-on legit California plates that readJENKIES.
This wasn’t a classic car show. This wasn’t a county fair or a convention or anything like that. This was a fully functioning, real-life, drivin’ on the roads of Oakland MYSTERY MACHINE.
Well, not driving, sitting on the side of the road giving off a terrible stench from the brakes, but still.
This was so awesome.
The Team pulled our bikes over to the side of the road, and found four guys hanging out, including the proud new owner, Mr Domino.The guys were just coming back from picking it up.
We introduced ourselves and spent some time chatting, enthusing about the classics (NO SCRAPPY DOO, NO SCOOBY DUMB!), how the new cartoons they put out a few years ago are fucked because the aliens & ghosts are real and the whole fucking point of the originals was exposing people who was abusing a ghost legend or something for ill-gotten gain.
Highlights from the Oaksterdam/Richard Lee Raids in Oakland Pt 1
Monday 4/2/2012, TOL streamed live and direct from Oakland, CA, during most of the IRS/DEA/Federal Marshals raid against California cannabis activist Richard Lee and businesses associated with him. Here are some of the highlights from that day
The DEA rolling down the purple gate at the Oaksterdam Gift Shop. Not a popular move in Oakland.
Raw Video: DEA, IRS, & Federal Marshals raid Oaksterdam University/Richard Lee w/aid from OPD - 4/2/2012
We’ll be posting clips to highlight incidents (interviews, arrests, etc.) as soon as our excruciatingly slow net connection and correspondingly creaky computer hardware allow. In the meantime, here’s the raw video.
Direct action in fremont CA to protest the US occupation of afghanistan and to hold the military accountable for the trauma it inflicts.
2:00pm – Meet at Fremont BART 2:30pm – March to Army Recruiting Center (39194 Paseo Padre Pkwy)
Communities in Oakland have been struggling against police violence, surveillance, criminalization, and incarceration for generations. Police here are becoming more and more militarized daily, there are joint trainings between local police, the U.S. military, IDF, and Bahrainy security forces. Soldiers, trained killers returning from war, are joining the local police forces. Local police departments are investing in and using military grade weapons for low intensity warfare upon civilians here. We experienced the raids and night raids here in Oakland. Many of us were beaten or brutalized by rubber bullets, bean bags, and tear gas canisters; even more of us were witness to those violent actions on the part of the Oakland police department. Now imagine that situation under the conditions of actual warfare with soldiers using live rounds, grenades, and bombs.
Those are the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan every single day. The massacre of 16 Afghans in Panjwai, Kandahar, nine of whom were children, is not an isolated incident. It just happened to get media attention. We’re outraged not only about this latest atrocity, but by the drone attacks, the night raids, the “kill teams” murdering for sport and collecting body parts as trophies, the urinating on dead Afghan bodies while filming it, and the burning of Qurans. In addition to the recent wave of atrocities, there is an agreement being negotiated known as the “U.S./Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement,” which, if passed, will extend U.S. military presence in Afghanistan until 2024 and beyond.
In Afghanistan and throughout the worldwide Afghan community, people are rising up to military and police violence and holding mass protests. As Afghans, Muslims, and people of color, we call upon communities of resistance, upon Decolonize Oakland, Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF, and other allies, to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people. We ask you to stand up and join us and our nonviolent direct actions. We encourage you all to have your own autonomous actions as you see fit as well. We need to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people and end the military occupation that is having devastating consequences on communities both at home and abroad. We also need to stand in solidarity with economically disenfranchised youth of color who are targeted by military recruiters and end up joining the military as their only way out of systematic oppression at home. Recruiters with quotas target our children, not only in high school but middle schools, so we are talking about 12 year olds.
For these reasons, as our first nonviolent direct action, we have chosen to shut down the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Fremont.
*** We’d like to clearly state that this is a NON-VIOLENT direct action. ***
Guerrilla camping is a tactic du jour for some in Occupy Oakland.
After a night and a day of occupying Mosswood Park (renamed Huey P. Newton Park by the occupiers), the expectation was that if the park remained occupied at 10pm Thursday night, the OPD would clear the park per the posted closing times.
While pedaling up Broadway I heard an Occupier holler at me from in front of Luka’s. I pulled over quickly and was told that the park had been abandoned… BUT, there was a super-secret replacement camp being set up at a different location.
Then came the kicker: the occupiers setting up the camp were requesting a total media blackout: no tweeting about the secret camp, communication via trusted word of mouth only, and no livestreaming. The rationale given was that the occupiers wanted to avoid police harassment at least until dawn when the park opened, and that livestreaming would likely give away their position.
I learned the location of the park through non-public channels. Its existence wasn’t even being tweeted about, that I was aware of. But I knew where it was.
I thought about TOL’s position re: Sunshine Bloc and what that means and came to the following decision: In my role as citizen journalist I would go to the camp, camera off. If the cops showed up, I would go live. I decided to respect the request for media blackout (discussion of this choice below) in exchange for being able to go in person to take some notes and pix.
When I got to the new camp, it was about 11pm. Tucked off in a grassy corner without a direct view from the street were 3 small and 1 large tents, with more laid out on the ground awaiting poles. A large easy-up canopy with a broken, jagged metal spar was being jury-rigged into service and hung with an “Oakland Commune” banner. Around a tree were several smaller occu-signs, as well as the now notorious red Occupy Oakland sign.
My estimate is that there were around 15-20 occupiers, but it was dark and some of the tents were already occupied. Several unfortunate souls were puppy-piled together on top of a tarp without benefit of tent. Others were sitting around smoking cigs, toking on/passing the pipe, and generally cccu-chatting in the dark.
Then someone checking Twitter mentioned that people were tweeting about the existence of a secret camp, and wasn’t that something they should have thought better of? The location wasn’t mentioned, but the fact that there was a camp was brought up. Hello, media blackout?
Around 11:30, some guy walking through the area started laughing quite enthusiastically. People speculated as to whether or not seeing all the tents with Occupy Oakland signage was the cause of his mirth.
A little before midnight, with most of the camp bedding down for the night, I bid them farewell and mounted my bike for home thinking about what I’d seen.
On the one hand, the “War On Tents” has been most vigorously prosecuted here in Oakland. An out-of-town livestreamer planning on coming to town asked where the Occupy camp was, where he could pitch a tent. I told him don’t try it in Oakland.
That being the case, the ability to set up an encampment, even for one night, is almost an act of counting coup against the city and the OPD for Occupy Oakland activists. With so many Occupy camps torn down by so many police departments, any time we hear of a camp that still has tents… MASSIVE UPTWINKLES! Oakland ain’t never gonna forget October 25, 2011.
Counting coup, but a small private one. A night full of secret tents somewhere in the East Bay is not gonna affect the Oakland City Manager or the OPD or the 1%. In many ways, it’s a tiny, possibly insignificant gesture. [Transparency note: half of TOL thinks the gesture is pointless and insignificant but still worth paying attention to.]
But Winter is ending here in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s hard to maintain a camp during the cold, wet, dark season, even with permission. A lot of people have been talking about Occupy having gone into hibernation.
The following is a joint section by both members of Team Oaktown Live. The super-secret second camp episode has raised the question, “Given that Team Oaktown Live espouse Sunshine Bloc, was it right for Pirate to participate in the media blackout around Secret Solidarity Camp 2? Would it have been better for Pirate not to have gone at all, rather than accede to the ‘No livestreaming except in an emergency’ request of the occupiers?”
What do we mean by Sunshine Bloc and embracing transparency as a value?
Believing in the values of Sunshine Bloc does not mean living in a glass hothouse. As Lexi’s mother used to say, “Some things are nobody’s business.” Both members of TOL appreciate being able to pick our noses in private, for example. Sunshine Bloc also doesn’t meant trying to force everybody around one to live in public 24/7. There are places and times when people have reasonable expectations of privacy. Because it’s not an on/off, all-or-nothing thing, some of the places and times when a greater expectation of privacy is reasonable do happen in public; for example, you’re unlikely to find Pirate busting the privacy of somebody smoking a joint in the alley behind a club.
Sunshine Bloc doesn’t mean everything that happens is equally newsworthy. The first time a flag gets burned on an FTP march, it’s worth showing. The seventh time… less so. Sunshine Bloc does not mean being a passive transmitter of recorded images with no judgment or decisions. Where the person holding the camera chooses to point it makes a difference; it affects what’s being shown and what conclusions viewers are likely to draw from what they see.
Sunshine Bloc doesn’t mean “if it’s not live, it has no value”. And it doesn’t mean “choosing not to go live means you’re trying to hide something.”
What TOL feels Sunshine Block is about is being as honest as we can be about what we’re doing, how we’re doing it, and doing our best to do so in “Fairness to the Truth”. Not all sides are equally valid, spin is not on equal footing with more honest interpreting of events, and true objectivity may be humanly impossible to achieve.
There are absolutely times when secrecy and confidentiality are warranted. Sunshine Bloc is not at odds with that idea.
When Pirate learned about the Super Secret Second Camp, its location and even existence were something of a secret, which went into his decision-making process. If the situation had been different — if the existence and location were being discussed on Twitter at the time and OO groups were openly having meetings — that would have been a much more public situation, with a correspondingly lower expectation of privacy, and Pirate probably would have refused to participate in a media blackout.
Pirate made the decision to go along with the media blackout because giving away the position of the secret camp did not (to his analysis) seem newsworthy or of public interest. Streaming live would probably alert the police, something the occupiers were attempting actively to stave off.
(For what it’s worth, Lexi’s feeling is not that going somehow violated Sunshine Bloc principles, it’s that it wasn’t a good use of time. It was too late at night to be able to interview the people there to find out what they thought and why they were doing what they were doing, it was too dark to get any good pictures, and nothing happened to give Pirate any new or different ideas about the importance (or not) of camping. Given that, Lexi feels like Pirate did a rapid late-night ride to UnspecifiedLocationSeveralMilesFromHome and back and wasted several hours in the process just to be on hand “in case OPD does something”, without gaining much/anything in the way of new ideas, perspectives, images, sounds, or video.)
So to those who think transparency and Sunshine Bloc principles matter: What do you think? Did Pirate make the right call this time? Are media blackouts something Sunshine Bloc should participate in?
Disqus is enabled on this tumblr, or you can email us at TeamOaktownLive@gmail.com. We may post some of the more thoughtful responses to a future “Viewer/Reader Feedback” page, so if you don’t want your name/userid mentioned, or if you want us to paraphrase you rather than quoting directly, please let us know.
The tent will be declared a "Legal Sanctuary" for anyone given a stay-away/”no loitering” order by the city who wishes to attend the interfaith service at the Plaza and the General Assembly afterwards. Clergy members will be on hand to offer escort to/from the tent to the edge of the 300yd exclusion zone if necessary.
Many attendees of to tonight’s event are expected to be wearing masks events so as to offer camouflage of numbers for possible stay-aways who plan to come.
Team Oaktown Live expects to be live and direct from approximately 5:15. Not expecting to stay for the entire GA. But one never knows.
BIAS NOTICE: Team Oaktown Live believe that the Oakland stay-away orders are bullshit and fundamental violations of the rights to peaceably assemble. The Plaza has, from the very beginning, been a place of gather and organizing for Occupy Oakland. It also directly abuts Oakland City Hall.
The orders, given to people with misdemeanor charges that occurred blocks and blocks away from the Plaza, are specifically designed to target political activism/free speech/lawful assembly, including attending Oakland City Council meetings. The boundary is also ill-defined, leading to a somewhat subjective risk.
TOL fully supports Interfaith Tent’s Sanctuary action and the tactic of a “Mask Bloc” in nonviolent defiance of this abuse of official power trying to squelch free speech. TOL does not consider hunting for possibly masked stay-aways in the crowd to be newsworthy.
On the other hand, if any of the Stay-Away Club openly accept the offer of escort/sanctuary and defy the OPD to arrest them, Sunshine Bloc would consider filming that to a gesture of solidarity/publicity, to show the world, live and direct, just what the fuck Oakland is trying to deal with regarding free speech.
And of course, if OPD wish to make a big deal of things…
“My hand grips the seat, awkward in debate
500 vacant boots lying, tagged, awaiting voyeurs of war
One name I know is there, Spc. John K. KLeinsmith, Jr, age 25
And I can’t face it
Unable to face myself, my ailment
I imagine paying respect as I did in Baghdad
Saluting the onyx bag, the gleaming of the planes lights
Refusing to tear
Coward that I am, I choose not to go, not to cry, not to dissolve my fear
Not to see more names I know
I hear of those that went
Of mothers and fathers who kiss and hug their children’s boots and clench those that are with
To smell them one more time to light memory
I bristle and breathe, fighting
Buckets of water splashed onto windows
Wipe tear and snot onto sleeve or tissue
Holding onto denial that is burning cancer into hope
and furthers immerseive video games
As long as it’s played, the thoughts are kept in reserve”—
Ruben Paul Santos was an Iraq War veteran and poet who lost his battle with PTSD on October 16, 2009.
Eyes Wide Open, the American Friends Service Committee’s widely-acclaimed exhibition on the human cost of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, features a pair of empty boots honoring each U.S. military casualty. The exhibit started in January 2004 when the US casualties in Iraq numbered 500 as a local project in Chicago. As the casualties grew so did the exhibit and it toured the country extensively until May 2007, when the casualties in Iraq numbered 3500 and it was determined to split the exhibit up into smaller state-based exhibits. Eyes Wide Open has been seen by millions of people across the country and has involved thousands of volunteers. Eyes Wide Open continues to tell the story of the human cost of war in 46 states with boots representing US deaths in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and shoes representing Iraqi and Afghan civilians.
I found it profoundly moving. I’ll probably have more to say about this tomorrow, after I sleep on it and process a little more.
The war is over, and yet the violence in Iraq continues. The damage that so many vets have brought home with them continues.
Today members of IVAWSF held a press conference where they read out each the 481 names of military Californians killed in Iraq. Then a member of the Iraqi community in the Bay Area read out a mere fraction of the names of Iraqis killed.
Then in the memory of every veteran who died by suicide since Sept. 11th, 2001, the vets observed ONE SECOND OF SILENCE while standing in pretty ordered ranks blocking the crosswalk across Polk st in front of the SF City Hall stairs.
One second per veteran suicide since Sept. 11th, 2001 took an hour and forty minutes. While there was some doubt for a while, in the end SFPD allowed the action to go forward and didn’t arrest a bunch of Iraq vets observing their fallen comrades by blocking one of the lesser used stretches of San Francisco for a little while.
Good call, that.
Today was the ninth anniversary of the Invasion of Iraq. President Obama declared it a “National Day of Honor”. Great. So how much are you increasing the VA’s budget?
I’ll write more tomorrow, maybe just expand this post. But for now, I’m gonna embed some links and call it a night.
The epic rain of the last few days seems to be backing off. Unfortunately, the stabilizer Pirate ordered arrived without an essential part, and the company we ordered it from hasn’t called back like they said they would. Gotta write a “shocked, appalled, and dismayed” email. So Pirate’s Mighty Bamboo Pole of Transparency is still on duty.