Forum In Oakland Brings To Light How Public Banks Can Fund Renewable Energy


By Staff of Public Banking Institute – September 25, Friends of Public Bank of Oakland organized a public forum to hear Wolfram Morales of the German Sparkasse (East German Savings Bank Association) explain how Public Banking works in his country to fund renewable energy development. The East Bay Times as well as Oakland North covered the event and connected it to how Public Banks here could do the same thing in the US that Sparkasse do in Germany: offer low-interest rates to companies providing solar and wind resources, driving development. “Though public banks are a fixture in Europe, the only one that exists in the United States is the Bank of North Dakota, Morales said. There are more than 600 in Germany, most of which are county-level, putting billions into renewable energy development. Those banks are able to offer interest rates as low as 1 percent on loans, which is much lower than what commercial banks offer. “Speakers at the forum talked about how a public bank can help give the community more control over its energy sources.”

Grassroots Organizing Leads To Success In Oakland


By Staff of Public Banking Institution – Last Tuesday ,Oakland City Council approved the $100,000 feasibility study for the Public Bank of Oakland, putting that city on track to create its own Public Bank. The city of Berkeley promised $25,000 toward the cost of the study and the city of Richmond and County of Alameda are likely to contribute as well, along with several private donors, making this a multi-city and community investment. This large step toward Oakland becoming independent of Wall Street — and toward our PBI goal of five public banks by 2020 — was taken thanks to tireless work by grassroots organization Friends of the Public Bank of Oakland, led by Susan Harman. Harman reminded the City Council before the vote, “We have slain all the dragons you’ve asked us to kill. Support the study now.” Their advocacy work brought the support of Oakland Council members Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan as well as Mayor of Berkeley Jesse Arrequin. The approved study is scheduled to take ten weeks.

Noose Discovery At Port Of Oakland Prompts Longshoremen Walk-Out

Trucks are lined up along the length of Middle Harbor Road due to a work stoppage at the SSA terminal at the Port of Oakland in Oakland, Calif., on Thursday, May 25, 2017. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

By HARRY HARRIS for OAKLAND — Operations at one of the Port of Oakland’s largest terminals were suspended for several hours Thursday when longshoremen walked off the job in response to nooses found on the property in recent weeks. They returned to work Thursday afternoon after negotiations and normal operations resumed, officials said. The longshoremen at the Oakland International Container Terminal left about 9 a.m., an hour after they had started for the day, under the order of union officials, officials said. By late morning, about 100 union longshoremen at the terminal, 1717 Middle Harbor Road, were on standby waiting to hear if they would return to work. Container trucks were backed up all around the port and on Interstate 880. Officials with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union were working to obtain surveillance tape that could reveal who is responsible for the nooses. Arbitration on whether the union members will get paid for their time during the walkout was under way.

Oakland Passes Public Banking Resolution, Reaffirmed As Sanctuary City


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.

Oakland Just Voted To Explore Public Banking


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.

Freedom Now Demonstrators Shut Down Oakland Police Officers’ Association


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.

People Power Kills Coal In Oakland And Likely Kills An Export Terminal

The White House is expected to announce a stricter rule for the disposal of mountaintop-removal mining waste into streams. Some Republicans in Congress are describing the move as the latest campaign in the Obama administration’s “war on coal.” JAMES MACPHERSON — AP  Read more here:

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.

Oakland Green Lights Drug War Reparations, Passes Marijuana Equity Program

War on Drugs is a war on us

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.

Urban Farming Of Acta Non Verba Invests in the Future

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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.

Banking On Coal In Oakland

BERT JOHNSON - Local environmental activists Lora Jo Foo and Aaron Reaven traveled to Utah to protest a planned investment in the Oakland Army Base that could result in the shipment of coal through Oakland.

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.

Oakland Protesters Burn Confederate Flag, Block Freeway, After Police Shooting

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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.

Why Oakland’s Crackdown On Protest Is Sure To Fail

In Oakland, California, peaceful demonstrators block traffic to protest the non-indictment of St. Louis police officer Darren Wilson, on November 24, 2014. (Photo: Amir Aziz)

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.

Oakland Adopts A Privacy Policy To Prevent Law Enforcement Abuse

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By Occupy Oakland – Almost two years after the Domain Awareness Center first crept onto the radar of Bay Area activists… it will be allowed to power up. Two years past it was a system spec’ed to spy over all of Oakland, incorporating traffic cameras, Shotspotter, school cameras, license plate readers and social media, with no controls on information sharing with other agencies like the FBI or ICE. Now, it is a system confined to take input from the Port of Oakland (at least without Council approval of further expansion). It may not use new technologies such as facial recognition without Council approval, it may not transfer data to other agencies without Council approval, and its use, at least conceptually, is restricted by the newly enacted Privacy Policy the City Council passed at 3:00 AM on June 3rd, 2015.

Oakland Protesters Extorted For Exercising First Amendment Rights

Oakland, CA May 23,2015. #SayHerName Protest. Photo: James Job

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.

Protesters Clash With Oakland Police Over Curfew Crackdown

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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.