By Sheng Thao for Cowboys On The Commons – The Resolution, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Kaplan, Kalb, and Guillen, directs the City Administrator to look into the scope and cost of conducting a feasibility study for public banking in Oakland and possibly the larger region. It also directs City Staff to solicit input from community stakeholders about the feasibility study, including suggestions of potential contractors and funding sources; and makes it clear that the study should cover the legality and feasibility of banking the cannabis industry. The Resolution generated support from Councilmembers and community members alike.
By Shara Smith for Public Banking Institute – In response to long-term economic instability and disappointment with the mainstream banking system, the Oakland City Council voted Tuesday to investigate a public banking feasibility study funded by money left over from the Goldman Sachs Debarment Proceedings. The resolution, co-sponsored by Councilmembers Kaplan, Kalb, and Guillen, also directs city staff to solicit input from community stakeholders about the feasibility study, including suggestions of potential contractors and funding sources.
By Dave Id for Indy Bay – Following the recent wave of demonstrations nationwide after the police murders of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, a call went out for Freedom Now protests on July 21 targeting the support infrastructure for police oppression, especially police “unions” for their constant and unequivocal defense of cops accused of brutality. In Oakland, the offices of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association were shut down. On July 20, a day early, Black Lives Matter activists in New York, Washington D.C., and Chicago shut down the offices of their local police associations. Lockdowns and demonstrations were held in Detroit, Ann Arbor, and other cities across the country.
By Erin Baldassari for The Mercury News – OAKLAND — During a raucous four-hour meeting Monday night, the Oakland City Council voted unanimously to ban the storage and handling of coal and petroleum coke in the city. Councilmember Desley Brooks was absent from the meeting. Hundreds of people filled the council chambers, spilling into overflow rooms, and offered several hours of commentary frequently punctuated by cheers, applause and outbursts from audience members on both sides of the issue.
By David Downs for East Bay Express – Oaklanders who’ve been jailed for pot in the last ten years will go to the front of the line for legal weed permits under a revolutionary new program enacted by the City Council Tuesday night. The first-in-the-nation idea promises to make international headlines, and redefine the terms of reparations in post-Drug War America. Council voted unanimously to pass the historic “Equity Permit Program,” which bucks national trends in legal pot policy. Normally, convicted drug felons are barred from entering the legal cannabis trade. Instead, Oakland will reward them.
By Sarah Small for Food Tank – The Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project is investing in the health and future of their community. Educators use the farm as their classroom to engage the underserved parts of the Oakland, California, community with fresh produce and to provide low-income residents with the knowledge and skills to grow and sell their own organic food. Their programs provide the seeds to build healthy habits and sustainable lives starting at an early age. Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Amani Ali, Office Manager at Acta Non Verba Youth Urban Farm Project.
By Darwin Bond Graham in East Bay Express – Last April, when plans to ship coal through the old Oakland Army Base became public, Phil Tagami, the master developer of the base, came under fire from local officials and community groups. Tagami, however, downplayed the news, claiming that coal is only one of many goods that might be shipped through a new maritime bulk terminal that he’s building on the base. He also said in statements to the press that a $53 million investment that four Utah counties hope to make in the marine terminal would allow these counties to ship potash, hay, salt, and other Utah goods, perhaps including coal, through the facility. But emails, contracts, and reports reviewed by the Express show that the proposed investment in the bulk marine terminal by the Utah counties is, in fact, driven by a secretive Kentucky-based coal company, Bowie Resource Partners, that wants to massively expand its coal mining operations in Utah.
By CBS SF Bay Area – Protesters burned Confederate flags and shut down a freeway in Downtown Oakland Wednesday night, hours after police fatally shot a man suspected in an armed robbery and alleged carjacking attempt. On Wednesday evening, a group of protesters took to the streets in the area of the shooting to voice opposition to police violence. Confederate flags and trash cans were set on fire during the demonstration. Windows of a Starbucks were also reported smashed. Around 10:10 p.m., a group of protesters briefly shut down westbound Interstate 980 near Interstate 880. The freeway was reopened several minutes later. The protest was in response to the police shooting earlier in the day.
By Rachel Lederman in Truthout – Under pressure from business after a large May Day demonstration, in which dozens of new cars and bank windows were smashed, Oakland’s new mayor, Libby Schaaf, has instituted a ban on nighttime street marches, which has outraged the Oakland activist community. The mayor’s directive violates a federal court order and has escalated ongoing tension between police and protesters – while doing nothing to address the serious issues of state-sponsored racism, extrajudicial killings and police impunity, targets of the growing movement. Banning protests doesn’t work as a way to stop property damage or squelch popular anger. Across the Bay, San Francisco tried it in response to vandalism during protests over the 1992 acquittals of the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King.
The night of May 23rd, 2015 was an interesting one for residents and activists in the city of Oakland. Nearly 50 people were cited, arrested, or at least confronted by the Oakland Police after an ordinance passed by Mayor Libby Schaaf condemned peaceful protests after 10 PM. Say Her Name Protests started on May, 21st to bring awareness to female lives lost due to unnecessary police brutality. Some women are protesting in the streets topless with the names of young black female victims written on their bodies. There was a curfew implemented to extort the protesters, with the obvious intention of deterring people from protesting. At 4:50 into the video, the police line forces the people backwards in disturbing fashion. Two people were taken into custody for unlawful assembly, when they were lawfully assembled on the sidewalk. While they were not exactly speaking kindly to police, the two that were arrested on a public sidewalk – one lady lost her candle in the process – did not appear to violate any laws whatsoever.
Several people were detained during protests in Oakland Sunday night, following clashes with police out in force on orders that violence and vandalism would not be tolerated. Police said officers used force in two instances but did not describe the tactics officers used. About 100 protesters, including several clergy gathered at Frank Ogawa Plaza upset that the city began implementing a law that requires that protest marches be permitted and that they be limited to sidewalks and take place before dark. The group then headed towards Oakland Police Department, but officers turned them back. Some of the marchers— and the police who followed— blocked a portion of Broadway. Many of the protesters left the scene at that point. Some of those who didn’t, got into a shouting match with police. According the the San Francisco Chronicle, police issued 19 citations and made four arrests in all.
It will mark the first time in more than a decade that the Port of Oakland employees have stopped work with the approval of business owners, according to a person familiar with the port’s labor operations. The protests come during a growing national debate and protests over police violence, most recently with death of a 25-year-old Freddie Gray of Baltimore. Port of Oakland longshoremen, represented by International Longshore and Warehouse Union’s Local 10 division, are leading the protests. “We’re going to be marching on Friday,” said Melvin Mackay, president ILWU Local 10. “It’s about the police doing the right thing.”
If you have driven in Oakland any time in the last few years, chances are good that the cops know where you’ve been, thanks to their 33 automated license plate readers (LPRs). Now Ars knows too. In response to a public records request, we obtained the entire LPR dataset of the Oakland Police Department (OPD), including more than 4.6 million reads of over 1.1 million unique plates between December 23, 2010 and May 31, 2014. The dataset is likely one of the largest ever publicly released in the United States—perhaps in the world. After analyzing this data with a custom-built visualization tool, Ars can definitively demonstrate the data’s revelatory potential.
“All of us unsuccessfully attempted to bring black non-violent direct action trainers down there, and when we got to Ferguson most of the training team were white allies. We noticed that there was a shortage of black direct action trainers,” Faison said. “We looked at each other and said we need to develop some more folks to train our people and coordinate actions. And from there burst the BlackOUT Collective on the frontlines around 11 o’clock at night in front of the police station.” Since then, the collective has helped black communities think through, facilitate, train, and execute numerous direct actions. One of their first projects was helping a group of young organizers in Oakland who wanted to take action. The result of that process was Black Brunch, an action, now expanded into other cities, in which protesters enter restaurants that cater to a white crowd at busy brunch hours and conduct a ritual for black people killed by police. This includes reading the names of those killed by police and vigilantes.