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Gaza Peace Activists Chain Themselves To Ship Headed To Israel

A large demonstration calling for a ceasefire in Gaza was held at the Port of Oakland Friday as activists attempted to prevent a federal ship from leaving the port. A banner displayed at the protest read, “No US military aid to Israel.” “Cease Fire Now Action” activists held up Palestinian flags as they marched on a dock beside Cape Orlando, a reserve U.S. military vessel. Videos sent to KRON4 by the Arab Resource and Organizing Center show the crowd standing on the dock and chanting toward crew members on the moored ship. The crowd chanted, “Oakland Port blood on your hands,” and, “We charge you with genocide.” Law enforcement officers responded to the protest scene, including members of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Why Was Oakland Cut Out Of State Plan For High-Speed Internet?

Oakland, California — The mission was supposed to be simple: At a moment when millions of students were being educated exclusively online, California’s leaders decided that high-speed internet should be available everywhere, even in places where residents struggle to afford it. So in 2021 the state directed millions in federal pandemic relief dollars and other funding– a total of $3.87 billion — to bridge the “digital divide” by installing fiber-optic cables that would bring high-speed internet to neighborhoods where it did not exist. Two years later, those ambitious plans appear to have been slashed disproportionately, threatening to leave some urban communities, including East Oakland and South Central Los Angeles, further behind.

‘Big Bargaining’ In Oakland Led To Big Gains

After a seven-month contract campaign and a seven-day strike, the Oakland Education Association won substantial raises and broad benefits, including “common good” demands. It was a hugely popular tentative agreement—ratified with a 90 percent yes vote, with nearly 80 percent of members voting—in large part because of our “big bargaining” approach, meaning an expanded bargaining team with robust communication back and forth with the members. Thanks to big bargaining, the union has 50 new leaders who have developed confidence and skills. Now they want to learn how to keep up the fight at their schools by enforcing the contract.

Housing Can Help Cultivate Connections

Oakland, California - Shortly after the opening of Tassafaronga Village, a renewed 7.5-acre community in East Oakland, the Acta Non Verba: Youth Urban Farm Project put down roots in the adjacent park. Founder Kelly Carlisle had been looking for a place to start a community farm and was inspired by the bright new neighborhood. After returning to East Oakland, where she’d spent some of her youth, as an adult, she was on the lookout for a place to make a local impact and seized on the opportunity presented by the new housing. Her nonprofit farm project – named after the Latin phrase for “actions, not words” – set out to invest in youth through urban agriculture, creating a secure and creative outdoor space for East Oakland’s youth and families.

The 2023 Oakland Teachers Strike: An Assessment

At the end of May, I closed the books on my tenth year as a classroom teacher, my seventh in Oakland Unified. When the year got underway back in August of 2022, I was hoping for something that had eluded me for most of my time in OUSD: an uninterrupted school year. While contract negotiations were set to take place, I did not anticipate any major escalation on the union front. For most of the year, that proved to be the case. But then shortly before spring break, word spread that the Oakland Education Association (OEA) bargaining team wanted to escalate to a potential strike before the end of the year.

Common Good A Big Subject In Oakland Schools Strike

The 3,000 teachers and support staff of the Oakland Education Association walked out May 4, shutting down all 85 elementary, middle, and high schools. Community support was immediate and widespread—parents were already familiar with the cuts the district had inflicted or proposed. Many donated food and joined our picket lines to walk, dance, and chant in solidarity. Eighty-eight percent of teachers had voted to strike, after it became clear that our demands were not being taken seriously at the negotiating table. The Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) had stonewalled us—delaying meetings, failing to show up, and presenting vague proposals that demonstrated a limited understanding of what’s really needed day to day in schools.

When Wildfires Choke California, This Activist Gets Masks To People In Need

Each time a fire breaks out in Northern California, local activist Quinn Redwoods and their collaborators spring into action. Walking through Oakland, Redwoods distributes masks to as many people as they can. They hand out masks in places where no one else is paying attention, like crowded underpasses where unhoused people have no options to escape the smoke. They’ll even stop UPS drivers to offer them a mask. Redwoods describes the activity as “organically emerging.” It all started back in 2017 during the Tubbs Fire, when it was so smoky in the San Francisco Bay Area it wasn’t safe to be outside.

Jen Angel Wouldn’t Want Her Death To Be Used to Incarcerate Anyone

Jen Angel, an activist, journalist and baker who was fatally injured during a robbery outside of a bank in Oakland, Calif., in early February, believed in building a society without police and prisons, and she would not have wanted her assailants incarcerated. Doing so would only distort her memory and what she stood for, and many of those who were close to her have come together since she died to try and protect that legacy. Angel, 48, died February 9, three days after she was dragged 50 feet by her assailants’ getaway car, her head hitting the pavement. She spent several days in intensive care before being removed from life support.

Trucker Protests Bring Work At Port Of Oakland To A Halt

For the third consecutive day, hundreds of independent truckers protested Wednesday at the Port of Oakland. The truckers' main demand is the repeal of provisions in California State Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), which would eliminate much of the independent trucking industry on the docks. Hundreds of truckers blocked the entrances to the docks with their trucks, bringing operations to a standstill. Similar actions have taken place throughout the state, and are being loosely organized through informal social networks and social media. The protests in Oakland have grown significantly since Monday, when roughly 100 truckers took part. This grew Tuesday to between 900 and 1000, according to FreightWaves. Operations were heavily impacted Wednesday. The action is set to continue through the week, and truckers are also discussing the possibility of a demonstration at the state capital of Sacramento.

Oakland Parents Occupy Elementary School To Stop Its Closure

Oakland, California - On the last day of school at Parker Elementary, following tearful moving up ceremonies for fifth and eighth grades, one group of mothers — frustrated over a decision to permanently shutter the school — refused to leave. Over 50 days later, they’re still there, occupying the school alongside a network of community activists and other supporters. In the meantime, they’ve started “Parker Community School,” which offers free summer programming for schoolchildren and adults. Even as the next school year approaches, they’re refusing to back down, with plans to expand their efforts as part of a broader fight against educational racism and inequity in Oakland and across the country. “Our kids are important to us — and that’s the reason why this has to happen,” said Misty Cross, a mother of two in the district who has been one of several parents sleeping at the school.

Schools And Labor Against Privatization

Oakland, California - The Schools and Labor Against Privatization (SLAP) coalition held a barbecue on June 26 at Parker School, which the school board has ordered to be closed and eliminated. But the East Oakland elementary school is still operating this summer unofficially as a community school for its majority Black and Brown student body. “The billionaires are not really that interested in educating working-class youth,” said Oakland teacher Divya Farias at the barbecue, “just like they don’t seem to care about preserving working-class jobs in the port of Oakland.

Local Organizations Unite Against Housing Crisis

Oakland, California - On Saturday, several local organizations kicked off their plan to end the growing housing and homelessness crisis in Oakland. Gathering in Oscar Grant Plaza, in front of the new art installation that calls out police murders of Black people, the groups sought to mobilize the crowd around another kind of racialized violence: displacement. “The stress of worrying about being evicted creates health problems that are killing people. It’s not just gentrification. It’s genocide,” said Sharena Thomas. She is one of six organizers, now known as Moms 4 Housing, who sparked an international call to make housing a human right with their occupation of a home in West Oakland in 2019. Speakers painted a devastating picture of the housing crisis in Oakland.

Oakland, California, March To Stop School Closures Reaches Thousands

Oakland, California - Students from three Oakland area schools, scheduled to be closed at the end of this school year, led a spirited march and rally today. Young people from Parker Elementary, La Escuelita Middle School and Community Day School chanted from the sound truck, carried signs and banners and spoke about how teachers in their neighborhood schools have changed their lives. Rank-and-file members of the Oakland Education Association, parents and community members participated in today’s action. Since February, a grassroots community-led coalition has come together to stop the Oakland Unified School District’s plans to close or merge 11 public schools serving primarily Black, Latinx and other students of color in East Oakland.

Oakland Students Petition For School District To Go To Remote Learning

Oakland, Calif. — Following a planned “sick-out” on Friday where more than 500 teachers across the Oakland Unified School District called out of work sick, hundreds of students within the district have come together in an online petition demanding increased COVID-19 protocols or else they’ll strike. Students at schools in Oakland Unified School District are now demanding increased COVID-19 protocols and supplies. If their demands are not met, they plan to boycott showing up for in-person classes. “We are demanding KN95 masks for all of the students because they’re not easily accessible to them, twice a week PCR and rapid tests for everyone on campus and more outdoor spaces to eat safely when it rains or if the district doesn’t want to give this to us, we demand a shift to online learning,” said Ayleen Serrano who a 10th grader at MetWest High School in Oakland.

Oakland School Board Votes To Remove Police From School

After about a two-hour debate the Oakland School Board tonight voted unanimously to eliminate the Oakland Unified School District Police Department from campuses. The “George Floyd Resolution” eliminates the school districts police force of 10 sworn officers and 50 unarmed campus safety officers. The Board also added several amendments to the final proposal. One requires the superintendent to ensure all staff receive training. Citing the disproportionate arrests of Black students by Oakland’s school police, as well as the district’s “obligation to promote the healthy development of each one of its students” and the many alternative ways to handle discipline inside schools, the board directed the superintendent to take steps required to eliminate the department.
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