Sunday, October 16, 2011

Occupy Oakland Mobilizes Thousands of Demonstrators in Support of the Occupy Wall Street Movement-- Saturday, Oct. 15, 2011



Oakland Police Surveillance of the Crowd in the Sky Above City Hall

There the State Goes Again with their Police Surveillance--But the People Are Not Intimidated!


Last Saturday, October 15, 2001 thousands of citizens in Oakland, California gathered downtown at City Hall where a very large contingent of tents has taken over much of the public space in front of the major local government building to march in support of the now global 'Occupy Wall Street' movement and to demonstrate political and ideological solidarity with the fundamental aims and objectives of the rapidly growing monthlong 'Occupy Wall Street' movement throughout this country. What was particularly striking about the demonstrations and the very diverse crowd was the overall political clarity and the sober, serious sense of disciplined purpose brought to the event by the masses of people and the organizers alike. Below the veteran activist and actor (and Oakland resident) Danny Glover passionately addresses the crowd:

October 17, 2011

Danny Glover, Cornel West Speak Out at Occupy Protests as MLK Memorial is Dedicated in D.C.

In the United States, police arrested hundreds of people over the weekend at demonstrations and occupations inspired by Occupy Wall Street. Arrest totals include: 175 in Chicago; 100 in Arizona; 92 in New York City; 19 in Raleigh, North Carolina; 19 in Denver; and 19 in Washington, D.C., including Princeton University Professor Cornel West, on the steps of the Supreme Court. West was arrested shortly after attending the dedication ceremony for the new Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. At the dedication, President Obama said, "It is right for us to celebrate Dr. King’s marvelous oratory, but it is worth remembering that progress did not come from words alone. Progress was hard. Progress was purchased through enduring the smack of billy clubs and the blast of fire hoses. It was bought with days in jail cells and nights of bomb threats." We also go to California, where actor and activist Danny Glover addressed Occupy Oakland.

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to the United States. Here, people—the police arrested hundreds of people over the weekend at demonstrations and occupations inspired by Occupy Wall Street. In Illinois, police arrested about 175 Occupy Chicago protesters after they refused to leave Grant Park, the site of President Obama’s election night victory rally. In Arizona, nearly a hundred people were arrested at the Occupy protests in Phoenix and Tucson. Nineteen members of Occupy Raleigh in North Carolina were charged with trespassing for refusing to leave the State Capitol grounds. Twenty-four protesters were arrested at Occupy Denver.

In Washington, D.C., Princeton University Professor Cornel West was one of 19 people arrested on the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court during a protest against money in politics.

CORNEL WEST: We want to bear witness today that we know the relation between corporate greed and what goes on too often in the Supreme Court decisions. We want to send a lesson to ourselves, to our loved ones, our families, our communities, our nation and the world, that out of deep love for working and poor people, that we are willing to put whatever it takes, even if we get arrested today, and say we will not allow this day of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s memorial to go without somebody going to jail, because Martin King would be here right with us, willing to throw down out of deep love. And I want to add a special word for our brothers and sisters in the police force, because we want to let them know that we are standing with them as working people, as well.

We’re here to bear witness with, to be in solidarity with the Occupy movement all around the world, because we love poor people, we love working people, and we want Martin Luther King, Jr., to smile from the grave that we haven’t forgot his movement.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Princeton University professor, civil rights activist, Cornel West, being arrested on the steps of the Supreme Court, not far from where the Martin Luther King Memorial was being dedicated by President Obama.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: It is right for us to celebrate Dr. King’s marvelous oratory, but it is worth remembering that progress did not come from words alone. Progress was hard. Progress was purchased through enduring the smack of billy clubs and the blast of fire hoses. It was bought with days in jail cells and nights of bomb threats. For every victory during the height of the civil rights movement, there were setbacks and there were defeats.

AMY GOODMAN: That was President Obama dedicating the monument to Dr. Martin Luther King, one of the most famous practitioners of civil disobedience in the world.

This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. Meanwhile, in Oakland, actor and activist Danny Glover addressed the Occupy Oakland movement Saturday. He talked about what the national and global protests should be accomplishing.

DANNY GLOVER: It has to be a reimagining and a rethinking of what we mean by democracy. It must be a reimagining and a rethinking of what we mean by work. It has to be a reimagining and a rethinking about what we mean by education, and what we mean—what it means—so importantly, what it means to be a human being. What does it mean to be a human being? What does it mean to be a human being in the 21st century? That’s what we’re talking about. That’s what we have to be. That is what we mean. But it’s not simply a revolution; it has to be a revolution and evolution and transformation. We have to be the change that we want to see. Are we willing to stand up for that? Are we willing to stand up for that? Are we willing to stand up there? Young and old, young and old, it’s not only taking back our democracy. We have to remake it. We have to transform it. We have to build something better than that. That’s what we have to do. It’s let us down. It’s failed us. It’s failed us in our homes. It’s failed us in our communities. It’s failed us state by state. But it’s also failed this fragile planet we live on, this fragile Mother Earth, which nourishes us. It’s failed us, too. We are on the basis of—we’re on the basis, right on the precipice of ecological collapse. And yet, it goes on. It talks about growth and development and growth and growth and making more money, transforming the commonplace into private property and private wealth. It keeps doing that. But we have to change that. And we have to be here tomorrow, the next day, the day after tomorrow and the tomorrows after tomorrow, and not only to change it, but to ensure that its transformation is institutionalized. Just as the transformation into a country controlled by corporations has been institutionalized, we have to take it back and transform it into one that is for the people, by the people, that works on behalf of the people, and works on behalf of the planet.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Danny Glover addressing Occupy Oakland over the weekend. Interestingly, following actor Danny Glover’s public criticism in November of 2001 of the use of military tribunals, the Modesto, California, city council attempted to disinvite Glover as the featured speaker for the official celebration of Martin Luther King Day. That was back in 2002. Glover wondered if King, who called the United States the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today, would have been invited to his own birthday celebration if he were still alive.

This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. This, on the same weekend that the monument to Dr. Martin Luther King was dedicated in Washington, D.C. We’re going to go to a break, and then, when we come back, we’ll find out what happened in New York and in Denver and in cities around the country. Stay with us.

Danny Glover's distinguished and extensive history of political and cultural activism 1967--Present

Glover speaks at a March for Immigrants Rights in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2007.

While attending San Francisco State University, Glover was a member of the Black Students Union which,[17] along with the Third World Liberation Front and the American Federation of Teachers, collaborated in a five-month student-led strike to establish a Department of Black Studies. The strike was the longest student walkout in U.S. history.[18] It helped create not only the first Department of Black Studies but also the first School of Ethnic Studies in the U.S.

Hari Dillon, current president of the Vanguard Public Foundation, was a fellow striker at SFSU. Glover now sits on Vanguard's advisory board. Glover is also a board member of The Algebra Project, The Black AIDS Institute, Walden House, and Cheryl Byron's Something Positive Dance Group. He was charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful assembly after being arrested outside the Sudanese Embassy in Washington during a protest over Sudan's humanitarian crisis in Darfur.[19]

Glover's long history of union activism includes support for the United Farm Workers, UNITE HERE, and numerous service unions.[20] In March 2010, Danny Glover supported 375 Union workers in Ohio by calling upon all actors at the 2010 Academy Awards to boycott Hugo Boss suits due to Hugo Boss announcement to close a manufacturing plant in Ohio after a proposed pay decrease from $13 to $8.30 an hour was rejected by the Workers United Union.[21]

In January 2006, Harry Belafonte led a delegation of activists, including Glover and activist/professor Cornel West, in a meeting with President of Venezuela Hugo Chávez.

Glover was an early supporter of former North Carolina Senator John Edwards in the 2008 Democratic presidential primaries until Edwards' withdrawal,[22] although some news reports indicated that he had endorsed Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich,[23] who he had endorsed in 2004.[24] After Edwards dropped out, Glover then endorsed Barack Obama.[25]

Glover was an outspoken critic of George W. Bush, calling him a known racist. "Yes, he's racist. We all knew that. As Texas's governor, Bush led a penitentiary system that executed more people than all the other U.S. states together. And most of the people who died were Afro-Americans or Hispanics."[26]

Glover's support of California Proposition 7 (2008) led him to use his voice in an automated phone call to generate support for the measure before the election.[27]

On April 6, 2009, Glover was given a chieftancy title in Imo State, Nigeria.[28] Glover was given the title Enyioma of Nkwerre, which means A Good Friend in the language of the Igbo people of Eastern Nigeria.

Glover has become an active member of Board of Directors of The Jazz Foundation of America.[29] Danny became involved with The Jazz Foundation in 2005, and has been a featured host for their annual benefit A Great Night in Harlem[30] for several years, as well appearing as a celebrity MC at other events for the foundation. In 2006, Britain’s leading African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi appointed Danny Glover as one of its three Patrons, joining Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jocelyn Jee Esien opening the organization’s tenth anniversary celebrations (Sunday 2 February 2008) at Theatre Royal Stratford East, London.

Glover is also an active board member of the TransAfrica Forum.[31]

On January 13, 2010, Glover compared the scale and devastation of the 2010 Haiti earthquake to the predicament other island nations may face as a result of the failed Copenhagen summit the previous year. Glover said "...the threat of what happens to Haiti is a threat that can happen anywhere in the Caribbean to these island nations... they're all in peril because of global warming... because of climate change... when we did what we did at the climate summit in Copenhagen, this is the response, this is what happens..."[32] In the same statement, he called for a new form of international partnership with Haiti and other Caribbean nations and praised Venezuela, Brazil, and Cuba, for already accepting this partnership.

Activism against Iraq war and invasion

Danny Glover has been an outspoken critic of the Iraq war before the war began in March 2003. In February 2003, he was one of the featured speakers at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco where other notable speakers included names such as author Alice Walker, singer Joan Baez, United Farm Workers co-founder Dolores Huerta and Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. Glover was a signatory to the April 2003 anti-war letter "To the Conscience of the World" that criticized the unilateral American invasion of Iraq that led to "massive loss of civilian" and "devastation of one of the cultural patrimonies of humanity".[33] During an anti-war demonstration in Downtown Oakland in March 2003, Danny Glover praised the community leaders for their anti-war efforts saying that "They're on the front lines because they are trying to make a better America... The world has come together and said 'no' to this war – and we must stand with them."

On Obama administration

On the foreign policy of Obama administration, Glover said, "I think the Obama administration has followed the same playbook, to a large extent, almost verbatim, as the Bush administration. I don’t see anything different... On the domestic side, look here: What’s so clear is that this country from the outset is projecting the interests of wealth and property. Look at the bailout of Wall Street. Why not the bailout of Main Street? He may be just a different face, and that face may happen to be black, and if it were Hillary Clinton, it would happen to be a woman... But what choices do they have within the structure?".