Proposal for 12/29: Funds for Occupy Oakland

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Proposal for Funds

From: Occupy Oakland

On September 17, tents sprang up here in Zucotti Park, blocks from Wall Street, to
protest a destructive economic and political system. What began with a few tents has
since ignited into a worldwide movement that has left the 1% shaking.

Since October 10, when an encampment began in Frank Ogawa Plaza – now Oscar
Grant Plaza – Oakland has been at the forefront of the Occupy movement. When tear
gas and flash grenades were sent into crowds of peaceful Oakland protesters on October
25, nearly killing Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, Occupy Oakland acted swiftly and
powerfully. Within a week, a massive General Strike was organized that culminated
in 30,000 people marching on the Port of Oakland and shutting it down. This action
was also in support of Longview Longshoremen in their ongoing struggle against EGT,
a grain shipping company owned by Bunge Ltd, a global corporation with massive
control of grain production and distribution worldwide, and with a long track record of
perpetrating economic and social injustice.

During the month of November, brutality escalated and Occupy camps around the
country were forcefully evicted – including the one here at Liberty Plaza and the
one in Oscar Grant Plaza. Occupy Oakland once again responded to the coordinated
repression of the 1% by calling for a coordinated response in the form of a West Coast
Port Shutdown on December 12. This massive day of action was coordinated with
Occupy assemblies up and down the west coast and across the country. In addition to
supporting the Longview against EGT, the action also called attention to the exploitation
of independent truckers on the ports.

The call to action on December 12 was an inspiration around the country and the day
was highly successful. Oakland, Portland, Seattle, and Longview ports were shut down,
along with partial shutdowns or support actions at Long Beach, San Diego, Hueneme
(Ventura County), Vancouver, Houston, Tacoma, Coos Bay, Anchorage, Hawaii, and
Japan. In Bellingham, WA protesters locked themselves to rail lines carrying Goldman
Sachs goods. In Denver, CO, Salt Lake City, UT, and Albuquerque, NM, demonstrators
blockaded Walmart distribution centers to protest its low wages and lack of adequate
health care for workers. Here in New York, Occupy Wall Street protesters stormed
financial institutions. When police brutality was carried out against protesters in certain
cities, Occupy Oakland kept its pledge to extend the port blockade, and hundreds stayed
into the night to shut down the port for a third time in 24 hours.

December 12 proved to the world that the Occupy movement was alive and kicking,
despite the camp evictions.

On December 21st, Occupy Oakland General Assembly took the next step. By a 98%
consensus vote, the GA voted to support the “EGT Grain Shipment Action,” a massive
picket of the Longview EGT shipping terminal. EGT, a subsidiary of Bunge, Ltd, a
multinational grain exporter, has been in conflict with the members of Local 21 of the

ILWU/Longshore workers for refusing to hire union dockworkers. Local 21’s contract
with the Port has not been honored, and EGT/Bunge, Ltd has done everything in its
power to break the longshoremen’s union – including bringing in scab labor from out
of state. The fate of this grain shipment, and whether it is allowed to be unloaded, could
decide the fate of the ILWU and the labor movement in the U.S.

Aside from union busting and highly exploitative labor practices, Bunge has used its
power in the grain trade to commit major abuses worldwide, colluding to set global grain
prices to enhance its profits, major tax evasion in Argentina, deforestation in the Amazon
forest, forcing Brazilian workers to work in near slave conditions, multiple violations of
the Clean Air Act, and much more.

This battle against EGT/Bunge is one of the most significant battles of our time, a classic
case of the 99% against the 1%.

To make this action a success, to ensure that the grain shipment is blocked, as well as to
reimburse costs incurred by Occupy Oakland to carry out the West Coast Port Shutdown,
Occupy Oakland requests $20,000 from Occupy Wall Street. $8,000 will go towards
reimbursing costs to Occupy Oakland for the Port Shutdown, for which there is a budget
breakdown and the necessary receipts. $4000 will reimburse Oakland for the costs of its
own shutdown, and the other $4000 will reimburse Oakland for $1000 it gave to each of
four cities on the west coast (Portland, Seattle, San Diego, and Los Angeles) to ensure the
success of their shutdowns.

$12,000 will be spent on the Longview action, specifically, providing lodging and
transportation for Occupy members around the country to go to Longview, and creating
flyers and publicity for the action. Much of the funding will be shared with Occupy
Portland and Occupy Longview, who are major coordinating partners for the action due
to their proximity to Longview.

This action is a continuation of the successful actions up and down the West Coast on
December 12, and directly in line with the principles of the Occupy movement.

If we are to continue to move forward as a movement – nationally and globally – then
we must continue the types of direct actions that Occupy Oakland has been pioneering.
These actions hit the 1% where it hurts most – in their pockets – and gain international
attention for the movement, helping to build the movement begun here in Liberty
Plaza. We hope that you will vote to act in solidarity with Occupy Oakland and Occupy
assemblies up and down the west coast by allotting funds from Occupy Wall Street –
much of which has come from donations meant to sustain the movement as a whole – so
that Occupy Oakland can continue to plan and carry out successful actions.

Thank you for the work you continue to do here in New York, and we hope that you pass
this proposal tonight so that we on the West Coast can continue to work for all of us – the
99% everywhere – to bring the 1% to its knees.

Amendments

An additional $5000 will be given to Occupy Oakland for a bail fund, bringing the total
in funding (reimbursements, Longview action, and bail fund) to $25,000.

The money will be transferred to Occupy Oakland as soon as OWS Finance/Accounting
Committee receives receipts from the December 12 action.

The December 12 action receipts will also be posted online.

25 Responses to “Proposal for 12/29: Funds for Occupy Oakland”

  1. Urbaned

    1. Why did the harming of Scott Olsen result in a strike? Is that an OWS sanctioned response?
    2. There are other committees in Oakland besides the the Port Shutdown Committee and Labor Solidarity Committee that would like to seek assistance from OWS, but don’t know how to ask. Many parents and community members cannot attend the GAs due to time and expense limitations. They are not present to vote. In speaking with a representative, they do not necessarily support a strike.
    3. 4 and 8 million dollars is chump-change to the 1%. But, losing wages of over $700/day is very harmful to members of the 99%.
    4. “For the past year members of Local 21 have had an ongoing battle with EGT and its corporate owners over work opportunities on Port of Longview land – where EGT built their shipping terminal.” Although this is an anti-progressive sentiment, it’s clear the issue began well before OWS started on September 17, 2011.
    5. “For the past year members of Local 21 have had an ongoing battle with EGT and its corporate owners over work opportunities on Port of Longview land – where EGT built their shipping terminal.” Again, not an OWS issue.
    6. OWS needs to create actions. However, a 3-month old organization should be more circumspect in its decision-making than repeating actions of the past that inconvenience many people and do not necessarily move us forward.

  2. Voter March

    We need to get clarification as to what funds, if any, have already been transferred to Occupy Oakland.

    Oakland Eviction Relief Funding
    October 26, 2011 in Assemblies, Past Proposals
    By: Direct Action Working Group
    We propose that $20,000 for legal/medical plus 100 tents plus shipping costs be sent to our fellow occupiers in Oakland.
    Amended to include commitment to working with other occupations to set up a national emergency fund.
    Status – Consensus
    See http://www.nycga.net/2011/10/26/oakland-eviction-relief-funding/

    General Assembly Minutes
    See http://www.nycga.net/2011/10/26/1482/

    However, the $20,000 distribution does not show up on the Accounting disbursements.
    See http://accounting.nycga.net/expenditures/

  3. decolonizedoaklander

    update on the OO money situation, based on the GA oakland had tonight:

    1. the oakland assembly was informed tonight by someone in OO that we needed to submit a videotape of our GA to OWS in order to support a proposal for the the $30,000. i am not sure why this was announced, because we livestream our GAs just about every single time, and they are easily accessed online.

    2. the statement that was read by this person in our movement had some verbiage in about about $18,000 for OO toward “reimbursement” of expenditures for the port shut down, and $12,000 for other cities involved in ongoing port actions. there is one in particular that is coming up in january in longview, washington that OO has pledged to support through networking and organization.

    3. the $18,000 figure was not itemized – not sure where that came from. on record we have spent the following:

    *approximately $1,000 for signs/posters – 11/27/11
    (i don’t know the exact amount – no record in the minutes or in the agenda notes)

    *$5,141 for megaphones, transportation, more posters, picket sticks, etc – 12/5/11
    http://occupyoakland.org/generalassembly/ga-proposals/page/4/

    -$4,000 for support of 4 other cities – 12/5/11
    http://occupyoakland.org/generalassembly/ga-proposals/page/4/

    -$800 for food – 12/7/11
    http://occupyoakland.org/2011/12/emergency-proposal-kitchen-committee-finance-proposal-for-800-1-on-queue-for-december-7-2011-ga/

    adding this altogether brings us up to approximately $11,000 that the GA approved, and that is being generous. it is possible that smaller amounts of $100 were spent without GA approval (as is our finance policy).

    *************************************************************************************************

    i strongly suggest that if OWS considers funding us $30,000, receipts need to be examined before the decision is final. this was an emergency proposal in our GA tonight – it happened quickly without much discussion or dialogue amongst ourselves. not many people knew the backstory and inside details. it’s a worthy proposal because we do need the money, but i believe we are not informed as an assembly to even ask for this kind of money.

    sure, 100 some odd people out of about 115 people agreed to this tonight, but who wants to turn down a large sum of money? no one wants to look a gift horse in the mouth, so to speak.

    i would argue for a lesser sum that covers what was approved originally in our GA’s to spend on the port action. if OWS would like to donate more based on the fact that we just don’t have a lot of fundraised funds right now, that is fine, but i think we need to be honest about what this money is really for and how it is going to be spent. $30,000, in my opinion, is an arbitrary sum that just *sounds* good – it has no basis in what actually occurred regarding spending, or what actually reflects our current financial status. hell – the assembly itself hasn’t even seen the receipts, nor have we seen an itemized list of costs/expenditures.

  4. decolonizedoaklander

    when i said “tonight” i meant the GA we had on 12/28…i’m up late…. :-)

  5. Yoni Miller

    I will make sure to read your comments to the crowd, thank you for your honest, and I think giving half would be fair, and future expenditures can be re-examined, We were opposed to your usage of microphones for example,

    • decolonizedoaklander

      thank you for reading all of the comments here. as it’s always said in OO, individuals only speak for themselves, so i guess i’ll repeat that here: i’m only speaking for myself, not on behalf of anyone else.

  6. quinn

    I have been corresponding with some folks in Oakland.

    I am concerned because Occupy Oakland refuses to adopt a non-violence stance and has, in fact, explicitly adopted the stance of “a variety of tactics”, which includes violence/property damage.

    According to one of the ppl at #OO, “All attempts at a formal declaration of non-violence have been defeated at the #OO GAs.”

    I am also concerned because #OO’s pre-action request for $25K was rejected, and #OO refused to match any funds #OWS provided because #OO was “livid” that #OWS wasn’t giving #OO more money.

    Regarding the request for money, one person has said: “The #OO request for money would pass if it were for the $9,000 that #OO spent. If #ows wants specifics the $30,000 is not gonna pass.”

    Yet another from Oakland says that it would be wise “to demand strict accounting and sources for such a large amount of money from #OWS IMHO.”

    I would like to know if OWS ever received any kind of accounting for the $20K for bail we sent. Bail is generally returned. If Occupy Oakland has not returned the bail to OWS, can’t #OO just use that money and apply it to the expenses they incurred?

    Also, they shot a video last night. I asked someone from Oakland about it, and this was their response:
    “One of the proposers (i won’t repeat his name here) said that someone from OWS asked him to submit video of the OO GA to prove that we all agreed that we needed the 30k to cover port shut down expenses. he didn’t say who it was that told him.”
    and
    “A lot about this 30k from OWS seems a little off. i’m hoping it’s just a hiccup in communication, nothing unscrupulous.”

    At NYCGA on Dec 27th, when this proposal was rejected, Bobby from Accounting said: “My understanding is that #OccupyThePorts did their own funding and specifically stated they did not need money from #OO. I’ve been in touch w/ #OO; they have raised some funds, but many expenses needed were covered by #occupations aside from the port shutdown group.”

    Stefan from #OO referenced an earlier request from #OO for $25K (which was not passed), and said: “I was involved in some of the discussion about the funding, and I know the first proposal was rejected, but we decided to request higher sum b/c we had the receipts.”

    As someone pointed out at the Dec 27th NYCGA, the OWS bank accounts have individual signatories that are personally liable for all the account transactions.
    Additionally, they have to be accountable to the NYCGA.
    #OO knows that we have a process for requesting money (they have used it before and received $20K from OWS) and it seems like this situation is kind of an end-run around that established process.

    • Haywood

      As for the bail funds, I know that Tim with OO’s finance comm has access to the 20k we sent him in his trust. OO has not spent much of the amount allocated and we are still awaiting receipts for the money spent on bail. OO should not be requesting any bail money at this point.

  7. A. Fleming

    It seems that this proposal consists of two separate items: reimbursing expenses related to the December 12th West Coast port shutdown and funding for an upcoming port shot down action. These should be two separate proposals.

    One the first count, if the numbers posted above (in this thread) pertaining to December 12th West Coast port shutdown are accurate then I think this proposal would easily pass here in NYC.

    On the second count, money for additional direct actions needs to be submitted separately. Further, the individual occupations involved in these actions should bring proposals directly to the NYCGA. Although I appreciate the organizational work of OO, I am not sure that OO is necessarily aware of some of the more contentious aspects of these direct actions in other occupations. (As I understand the Dec. 12th port shutdown was not as unanimously supported as we have been led to believe.)

    Also, we do get a larger portion of funding than other occupations. We have a responsibility to support other occupations. But OWS cannot be the sole financial provider. The suggestion to allow other occupations to be listed on the NYCGA’s donation page is a great idea. Also, other occupations need to develop ways of raising funds independently. The fact is that until we get our shit together her in NYC more than it is now and/or switch from passive to active fundraising– this present situation is not sustainable.

    Finally, if it is, in fact, true that OO has not adopted a commitment to non-violence in their GA, then I am not sure OWS can continue to provide them funding. It seems to be problematic to send monetary support for actions that we cannot be certain are going to proceed in line with our Principles of Solidarity.

    • quinn

      “Finally, if it is, in fact, true that OO has not adopted a commitment to non-violence in their GA, then I am not sure OWS can continue to provide them funding. It seems to be problematic to send monetary support for actions that we cannot be certain are going to proceed in line with our Principles of Solidarity.”

      STRONGLY agree.

  8. odd ah

    @A. Fleming twinkles *****on “We have a responsibility to support other occupations. But OWS cannot be the sole financial provider. The suggestion to allow other occupations to be listed on the NYCGA’s donation page is a great idea. Also, other occupations need to develop ways of raising funds independently.”

  9. decolonizedoaklander

    i appreciate the discussion that is taking place in this forum. i hope that the tenor of the discussion here is mirrored in the dialogues that will take place in the nycga tonight. i wholeheartedly agree that other cities should be listed on the main nycga donation page, maybe even with a brief descriptor of major projects that need funding. i also agree with local movements finding ways to fundraise or pool resources independently. i ALSO agree that occupy longview (or any other local movement) can make its own proposal and ask for money from OWS on its own behalf. maybe they don’t know the process that OWS has? they do have a pretty vital action coming up in january, and they do need help. maybe the person (or outreach committee) who has been in contact with OO should get in contact with paul nipper from occupy longview for more support, ideas, etc.

    it would be nice to receive a donation from OWS, but i would only feel ok with a concrete rationale for such a donation. that’s just my personal opinion…

    i’d like to address a few other points:

    *regarding the 12/12 action, i think that many people supported it, but the feeling wasn’t nearly as strong as it was for the november 2nd strike, here in oakland. there was some ambivalence expressed by different people for a variety of reasons, but i think that overall, people came out in force and were successful in shutting down the port of oakland. it was effective in putting our mayor and city council on alert – they are nervous that another port shutdown will occur in the future.

    *on diversity of tactics: this has been a huge bone of contention since october…before OO even started (during planning meetings for the plaza occupation). it is true that we have not come to a resolution on this matter. it has not been made clear where we stand – diversity of tactics or no? nonviolence or no? there have been some forums and talks about the subject in the last 3 weeks or so. i think people are slowly warming up to at least talking about these issues calmly in person, rather than being adversarial regarding their views. i think that in time we will come to some kind of resolution, but right now it’s very vague. as most people know, the nov. 2nd action did end in some impulsive, destructive actions from individuals (not representative of the whole lot of us). since then, there has been no reoccurrence of these kinds of tactics being used in large, massive convergences. that may be an indication that people have learned from mistakes made earlier, regarding a diversity of tactics.

    *about the $20,000 for bail/medical…i think we all need clarity on that, including those of us involved in OO. i could be COMPLETELY wrong about this….but it is my understanding that money does remain in this fund, and that some of it has been spent on bail already. as far as money being returned, i have no idea. our finance committee last reported to the GA that a spreadsheet of all transactions has been created and will be published online soon.

    • quinn

      Hi, @Haywood clarified the bail issue somewhat:

      “As for the bail funds, I know that Tim with OO’s finance comm has access to the 20k we sent him in his trust. OO has not spent much of the amount allocated and we are still awaiting receipts for the money spent on bail. OO should not be requesting any bail money at this point.”

      - Quinn

  10. Agi

    This proposal, although rich with background information, is incomplete. The crux of the proposal is the following sentence:
    “Occupy Oakland requests $30,000 for itself and other West Coast Occupies to make sure that the Occupy Longview action is a success. ”
    Without clearly explaining how that amount of money in critical for success of said action, and a detailed breakdown of how the money is to be spent, or if intended for reimbursement of monies already spent, it is impossible to think that anyone would approve it. That is the first sticking point. Secondary to that is whether or not the actions that the money is intended for are in alignment with the Principles of Solidarity of NYCGA.
    My own questions about the Longview action itself: what is the grain shipment’s destination, and will people go hungry if grain is not shipped?

  11. Erin Oliver

    I’m just going to put in my .02 here about some of the problems that we as an occupation are trying to redress in starting occupy silicon valley. That there are so far we’ve counted 25 tiny occupations all around the bay area that we are now trying to get under the umbrella of occupy silicon valley because in situations like this they are not counted. Not counted if they go to jail, not counted as having been a part of it. Another instance also is when we were asked by Occupy Berkeley to get people out the their camp to defend the eviction and we got 40 people out there all the way from Petaluma to palo alto, one of these people (she was tiny and you can see her in one of the videos) had the crap beaten out of her. But there was no money to take her to be seen later and occupation medics are great but it looks like a rib is broken from multiple baton bashes. It doesn’t empower people to take part of direct actions when they are ignored.

    I also was there the night of Oakland’s eviction and I’m not sure anything can describe what it felt like to have an army of riot suited police officers over 500 easy shooting rubber bullets, filling your lungs with tear gas and not being able to hear because of sound cannons. The west coast brutality by police officers has been more heinous than anything i’ve seen in my life (being beat with a baton by a police officer with a hard on no kidding) I think it’s important to know that people from everywhere flock into places like oakland or berkeley when needed but are getting low on themselves because they don’t seem to count. So seeing all this is kind of disheartening.

    We are trying to make a collective of occupations from east bay, north bay past san fran, and south bay because we are the second largest ecnomy — Silicon Valley companies are the bread and butter of Wall Street but locally the major reason of what came down and screwed us, cost of living is too high to live, and our privacy sold as a commodity. It;s too important to NOT have an occupy silicon valley and in reference to the shut downs all the people that came down from say Atherton (where Meg whitman lives, the COO of Facebook, Eric Schmidt of Google 2nd richest zip code in the us) feel totally excluded for something they took part of is damaging to the movement in general. that’s all.

    • decolonizedoaklander

      are you saying that you would advocate for other local movements, like “occupy silicon valley,” for example, to be included on the main nygca page for donations so that there is adequate support for direct actions smaller groups might take on?

  12. decolonizedoaklander

    agi, is it a part of the funding process to determine alignment with the solidarity principles of the nycga? that seems a bit unfair, but i’d like to know more.

    • Erin Oliver

      I think i just wanted to throw out there that we had a lot of other occupations in oakland during good and bad times and its not even about money Its about inclusiveness and I just hope everybody can realize that some of this brutality has been detrimental to peoples lives, mentality and even still they get each occupations act because that’s what we got into this movement to do. I just wanted to throw in a reminder about solidarity. I don’t want to hijack the thread more than i have to actually what OSV is looking to be because we’d actually like to have oakland and SF part of it. But as someone who just took a beating in Berkeley.. I don’t know I think attention should be really paid to the brutality that the west coast has especially endured and that perhaps finance is hard to do with medic and bail because people do go to other camps to help them out in solidarity. But i know we don’t have a bail out fund if we go to oakland and one of ours gets arrested..

      Message me off thread or email me at occupysiliconvalley@riseup.net sorry to hijack your thread.

    • Agi

      decolonizedoaklander: I guess the “funding process” is the GA, who hears the proposal and discusses its merits. Certainly, individuals can have opinions on whether they think money is being well-spent or not, and support or not support the proposal on that basis. You cannot separate the funds from what they are for.
      The Principles of Solidarity, as I understand them, are the core values that unite the various occupies into one movement. I would think that all proposals coming under consideration are heard through the filter of the Principles of Solidarity.

  13. Urbaned

    In general, police do not act “brutally” unless they have to. Some over-react. There is a ton of gang violence in this area, and that may make the police more hard nose. In general, when we have develop our alternative society with “worker co-ops, alternative banking, alternative economy, collectivism, intentional living/farming, and community gardening” (which is a quote from another OWS member) we will probably not have to confront the police. Striking is a form of violence, so sorry to say.

  14. Steve Worldpeace

    My opinion is…give the West Coast the needed funds.
    NYC OWS did receive limited rewards from initiating this movement in terms of receiving large donations when this all began.
    Movements in other cities did not get that large influx of money.
    I feel its safe to assume that many who donated to NYC OWS wanted the monies to benefit the overall cause, which has to include other occupy city groups.
    To speak badly about Occupy Oakland is just in bad taste. The overall Occupy Movement owes Oakland huge thanks for their tremendous contributions. Let us not be New York-centric.
    My assumption is that NYC OWS donations have lessened significantly and that NYC is eating its way through its assets. However, why should NYC, relatively speaking, be living large in the occupy world while other occupiers around the country and world are suffering. Let us not become the
    1 % of the occupy world.

  15. Laurie Polster

    As an Oakland resident, long-time activist, and someone who has participated in Occupy out here, I would suggest there needs to be more strategic thinking and democratic process within Occupy Oakland. The 12/12 port shut down action – while well coordinated and successful in terms of what OO set out to do – had mixed support locally from rank and file labor and independent truckers, as well as from many long time local activists who questioned the strategic tactic of calling for a co-ordinated west coast port shut down as the focus for Occupy protest. A number of folks are questioning the strategic goal of OO attempting to bus up lots of supporters to Longview in support of the ILWU protest against EGT in January, however laudable the cause.

    There are many activists in the Oakland/Bay Area, who have been unable to either attend the OO GAs, or find the OO GA process itself undemocratic and unwelcoming of those who don’t agree with the core group of OO activists’ tactics. This Occupy movement needs to be as inclusive as possible, so it can grow and have an enormous effect nationally. Along those lines, the issue of OO’s insistence on hewing to the use of “diversity of tactics,” and it’s refusal to endorse a position of non-violence is highly problematic. Agreed there are times when direct actions such as what Plowshares did – hammering bombs, in effect destroying them, thus doing significant property damage, but in this case to a weapon of violence – has it’s place and effectiveness in a political movement. But black-bloc tactics like smashing windows during a march (and using the unwitting peaceful marchers as decoy), or setting up barricades and lighting fires supposedly to diffuse the use of as-yet used tear gas (the tactics of which are sure to provoke police into wanting to use tear gas!), are not only not justified, but their use – and OO’s refusal to disavow such tactics – make many feel unsafe participating in OO actions, discourage others from participating, make city officials feel they need to be vigilant against potential of violence, and give the Occupy movement a bad rep. Fortunately there was no violence or vandalism at the 12/12 port shut down, but one of the reasons fewer people participated was for this reason. There have been 3 different non-violence proposal attempts at various GAs, and they have all resoundingly failed. Having monitored the GA’s via Ustream, I was disturbed by several comments during stack against these non-violence resolutions. At a fairly recent panel on “diversity of tactics vs. non-violence,” all 4 of the people representing the “diversity of tactics” position were from OO. Several people (audience and those on the non-violence side of the panel) raised the issue of the need for transparency in actions, and some of the OO panelist were clearly grappling with that issue. But all 4 OO activists wanted to maintain the use of “diversity of tactics,” and one professed that although he sees the value and uses non-violence tactics, there are times when violence is needed to get things done. (Several in the audience found this comment rather frightening.) So it’s still an issue that needs to be addressed.

    Something to note is that there are various small groups meeting outside of OO, trying to determine the best way(s) to become strategically active in Occupy out here, and to declare and maintain a position of non-violence in all actions from a strategic perspective. Along those lines Occupy Wall Street West – basically Occupy SF – has called for a day of non-violent action on January 20th against the financial sector out here. Their call is very inclusive:

    Separately Occupy Richmond in conjunction with the Progressive Alliance is protesting Chevron (our gorilla of a corporation in our backyard) which has the audacity to appeal $160M in property taxes (over the past several years) from Contra Costa County, this after having record 3rd quarter profits of $8B. If the county has to give back money to Chevron this will affect every social service in the city of Richmond, CA.

    I mention all this in that before those of you in NY consider allocating money for Occupy Oakland, let’s look at what else is happening in the Bay Area Occupy (and elsewhere), and figure out way(s) to explore how best to strategically move this movement forward, and then use what precious financial resources are available toward those goals (this said from someone who has significant non-profit organizing experience). There needs to be a democratic process for this, one that reaches out to a broad spectrum of interested, capable parties.