Lawmakers support Occupy Oakland’s strike

Local lawmakers support the general strike that Occupy Oakland protesters have called for tomorrow.

“Occupy Oakland’s November 2nd day of action is aimed at bringing attention to the great inequalities that exist in the United States. I join in solidarity with Occupy Oakland to confront the greed of Wall Street and the major banks and demand that the 1 percent pay their fair share,” said Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland. “As the movement grows, we are likely to see more actions aimed at underscoring the inequalities faced by the 99 percent and we should support actions with these aims in mind. I continue to stand with the peaceful protesters in this struggle for economic justice and equality.”

“The decision to call for a general strike was made by the Occupy Oakland protesters,” said a spokeswoman for Rep. George Miller, D-Martinez. “It appears that it was made to amplify the main reason why they and others in cities across America began protesting in the first place, which is to further call attention to the unfairness of the American economy and the difficulties that the middle class faces every day. We will see how the residents and workers of Oakland respond to the call. More than anything, though, we hope that the day remains peaceful.”

Assemblyman Sandre Swanson, D-Alameda, said he supports tomorrow’s demonstrators “100 percent.”

“This is a campaign to save the middle class, and it’s long overdue. I’m encouraging everyone to demonstrate in a nonviolent way,” Swanson said, adding he’s a longtime supporter of civil disobedience tactics. “I think this is about changing the economics of our nation and increasing opportunity for people all over. … This is an opportunity to have a demonstration that will speak well of the way we feel about each other in this country.”

Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi, D-Castro Valley, said, “I stand in full support of the peaceful protestors of Occupy Oakland and the Day of Action to achieve economic justice and jobs for the 99%.”

And, from state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley:

“As a part of the 99%, I support the Occupy Oakland movement and the Occupy Movements across the country. And this week, I will be adding my voice in support of the General Strike that has been called in Oakland.

“The Occupy Movement is a national outcry against the strangling influence of money and corporate influence on our economy, our political system, and on our national soul and reputation. I am grateful to them for rallying Americans from all walks of life to speak up and speak out against the forces that show them such disrespect. I am grateful that they are demanding a return to the American Dream of a strong and stable middle class.

“Every day my office intervenes to help people who are losing their homes and their jobs, or struggling to pay for their children’s education. I hear from frustrated and angry Americans worried about their retirement savings because of Wall Street greed and mismanagement.

“Unfortunately, I also see many of the biggest and most profitable corporations demanding more concessions from government — more tax breaks, giveaways, and special treatment, no matter what the cost is to our society. Every bill I have introduced in the Senate to make our tax system more equitable or take money out of politics has faced their powerful opposition.

“Peaceful civil disobedience is a basic human right and has been used ethically and successfully throughout the world. The violent response to peaceful disobedience last week could have been avoided and should be condemned. Oakland is a dynamic place where diversity is usually encouraged. It is tragic that Oakland is now known as the first and only Occupied City where violence has erupted.

“I urge the City leadership to work with the Occupy Movement – and the Occupy Movement to work with the City – to ensure that effective and peaceful protest can continue. As a person who has lived most of my adult life in the East Bay, raised my family here, and as a State Senator fighting for quality education, a healthy environment and economic equity for all Californians, I am ready to help in any way I can.”

UPDATE @ 2:05 P.M.: “We now live in an America in which income disparity is winnowing away the middle class,” said Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont. “Workers are angry as they struggle to find jobs while the richest among us gain ever more wealth. We have a long history of civic engagement and protest movements in our country. I understand the frustration of the Occupy movement. I hope their peaceful activism will bring about change.”

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.

  • John W

    All pain, no gain. Wonderful for retail businesses that will suffer income losses, and their employees who will lose wages. That’s stickin’ it to Wall Street! One caller to KGO’s morning talk show likened it to kicking your dog because the boss was mean to you. Oh well! As one high-minded occupier said to a woman business owner who noted that her sales were down 80% due to Camp Quan, “you were going to lose your business anyway because of the economy.” No A**h*** arrogance there!

  • Elwood

    Occupy Oakland and Bay Area dimmiecrat politicians.

    Both sickening.

  • David

    John W says “All pain, no gain.”

    I disagree. Oakland has the attention of the world. We have the opportunity to expand the movement against corporatism and police violence. Protests may not directly result in a change, but they can turn apathy into action and influence public opinion.

    Sometimes it takes sacrifice to accomplish something great. The small business owners will benefit in the long term if the influence of the banks and big corporations is reduced.

  • RR, Senile Columnist

    This dishonor roll of knee-jerk libs, some of whose work experience consists mainly of getting re-elected and raising cash from misty-eyed 1 percenters who feel guilty about being successful, would be disgracefully irresponsible if it were not so ridiculous. The economic crisis is “unfair” to everybody; what slump isn’t? Urging Oakland schoolchildren to “strike” is especially reprehensible. In most of America the Oakland schools are chiefly noted for abysmal standards and introducing the word “Ebonics” to American speech.

  • Elwood

    @ #3

    David, what have you been smoking?

    Is there any left?

    Can I have some?

  • Truthclubber

    Re: #5: Classic fascist vomit from Hellwoody — never attack the message, just act like a third grader and attack the messenger.

    Note how no one (outide the senile fossil, Arr Arr) comes to his defense against these paintings of himself (Hellwoody) as a fascist, through and through?

    Yo, Hellwoody — we’re not laughin’ with ya, we’re laughin’ AT ya.

  • Elwood

    You boys are going to love the KoolAid!

  • Jim B.

    Here is the “full quote” of Assemblywoman Hayashi: “I stand in full support of the peaceful protestors of Occupy Oakland and the Day of Action to achieve economic justice and jobs for the 99%. I call upon them to visit stores patronized by ‘the 1%’, such as Needless Markup, and walk out with a few high-priced items without stopping at a cashier first. It’s better for you capitalism-haters to have these necessities of life than the undeserving people who can afford to pay full price for them.” (Disclaimer – the last few sentences are entirely fictitious.)

  • rew

    8 CEO’s of “non-profit bay” area hospitals have 1 million dollar a year salaries, according to Contra Costa Times. Health care premiums going through the roof, health care system in shambles, and these CEO’s just continue to give themselves raises. CEO’s all over the US whistle while they work – at wages that are so fantastic you just can’t believe it – while the middle class suffers. I stand with the 99%, we’ve had enough of these plutocrats at the top. They are running US economy into the ground. Go Occupy movement!

  • Elwood

    @ #9

    Not to worry, Rew! O’bummercare will solve all the problems. He’s done so well in only 2 1/2 years!

    If you don’t believe O’bummercare will solve all the problems, just ask former speaker Pelousy who said don’t read the bill, just shut up and vote for it.

  • Elwood

    The freaks are taking over the streets of Oakland and blocking access to private property.

    Where are Commandante Quan’s cops?

    Hiding on her orders?

  • littleJ

    Cast your vote on rcall Oakland Mayor Jean Quan http://octorama.com/desktop/display-1758

  • John W

    Re: #3

    “Oakland has the attention of the world.”

    Statement’s a bit grandiose. But, okay. Oakland also has the attention of every employer who might consider ever moving there and is now thinking, “no thanks.” Not to mention having the attention of every employer already in Oakland who might think moving on up the road to Emeryville now sounds appealing. There’s redistributing the wealth for you! And I’m sure those suffering small businesses will appreciate your sentiment that they “will benefit in the long term.”