December 12th: West Coast Port Shutdown

On December 12, Occupy movements in different cities will stage mass mobilizations to march on the ports, create community pickets, and effectively shutdown the hubs of commerce, in the same fashion that Occupy Oakland shut down the Port of Oakland on November 2nd, the day of their general strike. Blockades will be launched in Oakland, Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Longview, Hueneme, and Anchorage.

In Los Angeles, folks are congregating at Harry Bridges Park (1126 Queens Hwy) in Long Beach at 5AM on the 12th. UCLA Fights Back will be there and so will you.

Stay informed: Occupy the Port
See you at the Port to shut the puppy down!
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Videos from the Nov 9 UCLA Day of Action

Here’s a small sample of some of the video that was taken from the Nov 9 UCLA ReFund Rally and March, which concluded with the arrest of 11 students performing Civil Disobedience in the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Boulevard.

Here’s a pretty good edited version that captures most of the days events:

This is a man-on-the-street version, shot by a random guy who happened upon the protest.  Pretty good commentary:

Here’s a video that shows the final moments before the arrests happened:

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Understanding the Upcoming Regents Meeting

The Regents will be meeting on Nov 16 & 17 at UCSF to discuss, among other things, the UC budget.  We have received word that the Regents will not be voting on the 81% tuition increase at this meeting, or any tuition increase for that matter.  However, this is no cause for relief.  Here’s why.

According to the agenda, on Thursday Nov. 17, 10:30am the Regents Finance Committee will be meeting about an action item called “Approval of University of California 2012-13 Expenditure Plan for Current Operations and 2012-13 Budget for State Capital Improvements.”  By voting on the budget and expenditures during this meeting they are making tuition hikes and further cuts something that will have to be voted on and approved at a future meeting.  In other words, this action item is a de facto way to increase fee at a later date.

This is clearly a political move on the part of the Regents. They are throwing the ball to the State, saying “we approved X in expenses, and if you don’t fund them, then we’re going to increase fees by Y”.  A student response should take into account, then, that we need just as much presence and pressure on Nov 17 as we do on the 16th for the Regents Meeting.  We need to stop the approval of their expenditures.  Failing this, we need to pivot our efforts immediately to the State…and then back again to the Regents.  So to save our energy, we should probably just shut down the meeting on the 16th & 17th. : )

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Nov.2 LA March in Solidarity w/ OccupyOakland General Strike!

Exhilarating  night last night!  This march in solidarity with OccupyOakland’s General Strike was organized beautifully by OccupyLA’s COMMITTEE TO END POLICE BRUTALITY – arguably one of the most vital committees operating within OccupyLA. And we aren’t too proud to mention that one of the key organizers for the event (and the committee) is one of our very own UCLA Fights Back compañeras, Alejandra Cruz!

The march started at 6pm from OccupyLA’s main site at City Hall.  A few hundred people of all ages, color, gender, sexuality, and ability, joined forces to speak out against the violent police crackdown that occurred in Oakland last week, and has been occurring frequently in many of our Los Angeles communities for way too long.


We moved through the downtown skyline with the setting sun at our backs. “Black, Brown, Asian, White – We support the General Strike!” bounced off buildings near and far.  We took over the 2nd Street Tunnel and impeded traffic, refusing to stay on the sidewalks, or obey police orders.


“Power- Occupy, Organize, Strike!” and other solidarity chants carried the crowd’s momentum all the way back to LAPD Headquarters next to City Hall, where people bumrushed the steps and the marble LAPD sign with banners and bodies.  The crowd occupied the LAPD for a few hours with speeches and chants and artwork.  The march organizers completed the evening’s event by taking the names of people murdered by the LAPD and taping them to the wall.  All of the names and dates of death were read allowed.  It was a truly powerful gesture, especially when considering that many of the communities who have lost loved ones at the hands of the LAPD were celebrating the holiday of Dia de Los Muertos that evening.

The police encircled protestors fairly quickly, and prepared themselves to push back against the crowd.  They decided ultimately to allow the crowd to dissipate on its own. Smart move on their end considering it was a march to end police brutality.  None of that, however, stopped Mario Brito, one of the “managers” who has emerged to “govern” OccupyLA, from working with the cops to find out how to disperse the crowd from police headquarters.

Brito, pictured above on the right, has made every attempt during this Occupation to appease the police.  This has led to Occupy participants who are critical of the police being labeled “rabblerousers” or a “dangerous faction”.  But it has been difficult for many of us in the Occupy movement to turn a blind eye to the violent police crackdowns happening in Oakland, WallStreet, and in many of our own LA communities.  The solidarity march w/ the Oakland General Strike exposed that there is a growing number of people in this Occupy Movement who are not only critical of Wealth and Power, but critical of the way the Police, as an institution, are set up to defend, sometimes violently, the Wealthy and Powerful.

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Nov.1 Prop 209 Rally

Yesterday Nov 1, a lot of inspired students of color and working-class students joined forces to rally here on campus against prop 209 (the anti-affirmative action proposition that was passed in CA in 1996).  I was really taken aback by a spoken word performance by a brilliant UCLA undergrad from Oakland by the name of Eric Adams.  He was kind of enough to share the poem with me.  With Eric’s permission I’m posting it here.  Amazing passion, brilliant analysis, genius.

By Third Grade – Read
I came in bright, new, bronze and beautiful,
baby hair my only hair and brain open to possibilities,
I am ready to take in the world,
I heard that grown-ups do this thing, called reading,
and that the children that couldn’t do it by third grade became statistics for jail cells built,
my stilted hopes loft over what could be mass made speeches and the knowing the lessons  a book teaches, reading,
but when I came to you, you never really got to teach me how.
And now I’m in fourth grade looking at letters, sputtering sentences that I have to repeat after my classmates,
the time it takes to teach one child to read is the same time it takes to plant one seed, you must, soft insert pressure in fertile soil, introduce letters to a child’s understanding, insert seed, drop knowledge of sound on child’s tongue,
and pray for interconnectedness of nature to take place,
and watch, and see, and help the seed flourish.
With a child, you must do the same, you must nurture, and express, do not hinder, but uplift, you,
could have saved my now seventh grade semester of relearning letters and sounds with your 4 weeks of careful watching,
my 8th grade humiliation that I can’t even spell my own name, speaking with another month’s anticipation of the things
I could begin to know from
books, and zines and newspapers abundantly strewn, news buzz in my head, you,
forgot about my needs, you planted no seeds, I still cannot read, I needed, water,
you were supposed to be my valley,
and sadly now I am unable to graduate,
another student sentenced to the same sad fate of illiterate oblivion,
I am now 20 and jobless, and all this leads to
Late night drop offs of substances and
Playing hero to these hoodrats slanging
Heroin to pay the rent, can’t put a dent in my bills
The only thing I can even read these days
Am now in cell block d, makes sound like duh, like damn, I can’t understand these lines on these pages
which I tried to learn in 1st 5th and 10th grades repeatedly
Over and again
tell me,
what time was taken to tell me these things when I was still a field of fertile soil in which to plant community freedom and justice,
and it’s just this,
the forgotten fulfillment of letters and sentences and books to hold comfort,
tell me,
how many trees did you save by obliterating the possible forests of my knowledge,
tell me,
what time was taken to water my seeds.
students and children need to read.
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AWDU – what a Fighting Union looks like

great post by the new UAW Recording Secretary Zach Williams.

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Press Release: OccupyOakland solidarity March Nov.2 downtown L.A.

Emergency Mass March This Wednesday
Solidarity with Occupy Oakland Protesters

Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Meet at 5:30 PM – Occupy LA (1st and Spring, City Hall)
March at 6:00 PM – through downtown Financial District

Stop the attacks on the Occupy Protests!
End racist repression by Police!
Drop all charges on all Occupy protesters!
Defend the right to free speech and assembly!

A week ago in early hours of the morning in Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown
Oakland, the essential function of police in the United States became
evident once again. An army of police descended on sleeping people whose
crimes included providing free communal food, creating a library, hosting
classes and public discussions, and making public the vast disparity
between rich and poor which positions some in lives of underpaid labor and
others in lives of obscene comfort. The OPDs arrests, beatings, and
gassings sent a veteran named Scott Olsen to the emergency room.

The Oakland response to this police violence was clear and immediate: our
comrades rallied and regained the plaza, supported by large crowds; their
response demonstrates with perfect clarity that a police attack against us
will only grow this movement.

Wednesday November 2nd at 5:30 pm we will gather to march in solidarity
with our comrades in Oakland, continuing the struggle against the brutal
LAPD who have claimed the lives of over 25 people this year and perpetuated
the cycle of surveillance and incarceration which has devastated
communities in South and East Los Angeles over the last 30 years.

We also express our deep joy that the assembly in Oakland called for a
general strike on November 2nd. We can only hope that our own solidarity
rally tomorrow at 5:30 pm will strengthen the bonds of mutual support and
collective outrage that will fuel a similar General Strike in Los Angeles
in the coming months. Our city has not forgotten the success of the May 1
2006 shutdown of business as usual that said no to war on Afghanistan and
Iraq and that said no to racist immigration crackdowns.

May 1st also said no to the police that profile and incarcerate in poor,
working and of color communities and that frustrate what would surely be a
mass and complete shutdown everywhere of an American and globalized
economic system that has produced this time of massive unemployment and
concessions to the wealthiest. We also remember fondly the Longshoremen
strikes of the 1930s when labor movements made good on threats and produced
successful general strikes in multiple cities across the state.

Occupy LA sends all revolutionary solidarity to Oakland. From Long Beach to
the Bay, from Pelican Bay to Attica: don’t stop, we won’t. Long live the
Oakland Commune.


The Committee to End Police Brutality @ Occupy LA
Julia Wallace               310-404-6729
Orlando Pardo            562-787-3939
Alejandra Cruz            562-298-8569

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