What do you want? Unless they’re ordering coffee, it’s a question most women aren’t usually asked.
A new documentary web series called The Desire Project is looking to change that. The project is the brainchild of Victoria Floethe, an editor who, as her bio puts it, “believes sex is the best story, if you can tell it.”
And that’s exactly what Floethe is trying to do. Two years ago, well before Fifty Shades of Grey made female fantasies a trending topic, Floethe began interviewing women about their desires.
“It didn’t matter who it was. I found that women, when given the opportunity to talk about their desires, speak a new language, an almost spontaneous poetry,” Floethe said. “I asked myself, can people actually speak in full sentences on the internet? Is that allowed? Will it be compelling?”
As it turns out, yes. Watching these short videos, you realize something surprising: We’re not used to watching intelligent, articulate women speak on camera. Sure, Floethe’s subjects are well-lit, and yes, many are almost painfully beautiful. But the real reason it’s impossible to look away? These are real women being honest about their desires.
Take Emma. She’s freckle-faced and a member of the naturally beautiful, sans-makeup. She makes sincere eye contact with the camera as she speaks slowly.
“I like doing things knowing someone’s watching them, and constructing a narrative along with someone,” Emma smiles. “I think women are much better at mythologizing than men…so when I find someone who appreciates the small details I’ve cultivated — almost particularly for the purpose of being noticed by them — then that’s the greatest thing to me. It’s really precious.”
Not that desire is always about romance. Floethe said she’s done interviews where women define their desires professionally, even athletically. But most of the time, a conversation about desire means a conversation about sex.
“Desire’s a very powerful concept,” said Cindy Gallop, a noted TED lecturer and Desire Project interviewee. “And it’s a concept that doesn’t get enough credit, particularly when it comes to sex. Female desire, especially, doesn’t get enough credit. Because a lot of research on sex and sexuality has historically been done by men.”
Most women are not willing to admit to their sexual impulses. Which has lead to some media confusion over the sudden popularity of Fifty Shades of Grey. Katie Rophie tried to articulate the conflict in her recent Newsweek cover article.
“Huge numbers of women are eagerly consuming myriad and disparate fantasies of submission at a moment when women are ascendant in the workplace,” Rophie wrote. “We may then be especially drawn to this particular romanticized, erotically charged, semipornographic idea of female submission at a moment in history when male dominance is shakier than it has ever been.”
While she acknowledges that submission fantasies are “always there,” Floethe doesn’t believe that’s what Fifty Shades of Grey’s popularity is really about.
“I’ve been communicating with Elyssa Krietzer Stern of Diva Moms, one of the Mommy Bloggers who made the book big. She throws these parties for Fifty Shades of Grey,” said Floethe. “These women get together and talk about wanting to feel sexy, wanting to be sexual creatures, wanting to be turned on. And that’s what it’s about. It’s about sex.”
That’s not to say sex is simple. Floethe’s interviews revealed that women are grappling with conflicting feelings about their sexuality. One Desire Project participant, Alix, tried to explain her feelings about sex.
“Whenever it’s a little bit dark or demented, or inappropriate, I’m like, ‘Yea, let’s do it,’ ” Alix tells the camera. “But then I don’t necessarily act on them, because there’s the two sides that always pull: the Superego and the Id. Where I want to be slapped around and taken advantage of, but at the same time [I think to myself] that’s inappropriate, and I can’t do that, and I shouldn’t want that as a woman.”
Guilt over sexual desire is nothing new. But worrying how submissive fantasies relate to your post-post-feminist identity? Well, that’s probably a new one.
“It’s unique to our time. We’re very hyper-conscious of what we should be doing,” Floethe said. “For women, I think there is this divide between what goes on in your mind, and what actually happens in bed. And a divide between what you say you want in bed because you think you’re supposed to say you want it, and what you actually want.”
And to make matters more complicated, women usually learn what they’re ‘supposed’ to want from Disney movies. Nearly all the women in The Desire Project’s interviews trace their earliest sexual memories back to cartoons.
“I got caught masturbating by the babysitter. I was watching cartoons at the time,” said Julie, describing the fantasy she used to have surrounding The Little Mermaid.
“Prince Eric, as a cartoon — and in my imagination, he was a cartoon, not a real man — he would come save me. And I would be on the beach, and I was naked, and he would wrap me up in some kind of sailboat,” said Julie. “They were hot and heavy dreams for me. I was probably four or five.”
It might sound like a silly fantasy, but it’s one many women can relate to. To Floethe, the act of sharing these stories is nothing short of empowering.
“I think we’re often too polite. And in the end, we become victims of ambivalence. Should I stay or should I go? Must I manage my expectations? Should I go for excitement or respectability? We agonize over every decision we make, ” Floethe said.
“I think things can be simplified through storytelling; through the very act of fessing-up and saying what you want — how you want your life to be, and how you want sex to be. I mean, why not? What do you have to lose?”
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For a class about milk and cookies, the subject matter sure was shaping up to be a bummer. The teacher was telling the students all about factory farming and slave labor chocolate when mercifully, Oreo cookies came up.
“Did you know Oreos are vegan?” One Brooklyn Brainery student chimed in. Which, somehow, led to a half hour student-led discussion on the raw milk movement.
“When you drink raw milk, you can actually taste what the cow ate. It’s amazing, you’re like, wow, this tastes like grass,” said one student with horn-rimmed glasses.
“Wow, can you imagine if factory farms made that sh*#? We’d all be dead,” said Jonathan Soma, co-founder of Brooklyn Brainery, and the only man in the room. In the classroom next door, fourteen women (and one man with a handlebar mustache) are taking a class called Into Home Canning.
It’s just a typical night at Brooklyn Brainery, if there is such a thing. The small school is hard to explain — even for its co-founders, Jennifer Messier and Jonathan Soma.
“We used to call it a book club on steroids, but that’s not really true anymore,” says Messier.
When Soma, 28, and Messier, 27, founded Brooklyn Brainery back in 2010, it was based on a crowdsourced education model. Which means what exactly?
“Let’s say we were teaching a class called ‘meat’. I wouldn’t actually teach it, it was more like administering,” says Soma. “So I’d say ‘You go research the T-bone, you research braising, you research meat in the microwave.’ And then everyone would come together and share.”
But that proved to be an unsustainable model. Even though Brooklyn Brainery only charged $25 for four weeks of class, students didn’t feel like they were getting their money’s worth.
“It quickly became apparent that even though that’s a very appealing model to pursue, we could just go down the street and find a butcher,” says Soma. “They would love to come into class and talk to us about their work, and it would do way more than having someone read Wikipedia in class.”
Which is the model Brooklyn Brainery runs on today. Not quite profitable, not quite co-op, the school is actually innovative in that it’s something in between.
“We were looking at other people who had interesting takes on education,” says Soma. “And everyone was like an anarchist collective, or they were saying ‘We’re going to destroy universities!’ And we were just like—look– we just want to learn some stuff! We like learning things, and we want it to be accessible.”
To Soma and Messier, accessible means not charging more for classes than they would want to pay themselves. Classes range from as little as $10 for one class to $50 for three classes. Instructors are paid $30 an hour, which means they’re mostly teaching out of love for the subject matter.
Messier and Soma are uncomfortable with the idea of charging more money than they need to cover costs. Which makes you to wonder why they wouldn’t run Brooklyn Brainery as a nonprofit.
“Here’s what happened,” explains Soma. “When we started I was like, ‘Hey we should be a nonprofit because if you’re a nonprofit you get money for free! That’s how it works, right?’ And Jen and her boyfriend, who’ve both worked at nonprofits, were like ‘No! That’s not how it works.’ ”
“I couldn’t even imagine if I had to worry about fundraising, on top of everything else,” says Messier, who runs the busy day-to-day operations of Brooklyn Brainery. Messier often works over twelve hour days, but she says it’s worth it.
“Any time people bond enough that they go out after a class, that’s so rewarding,” says Messier. “We had a zombie makeup class once, which I loved because it was super weird and out there. And I was so happy because I know for a fact two people who did each other’s makeup totally became friends afterwards.”
Zombie makeup, raw milk debates and home canning? It’s easy to see why a recent New York Times profile of Brooklyn Brainery called it “A hipster schoolhouse started by a pair of underemployed polymaths, where students can learn abstruse subjects like the secret lives of bacteria, taught by teachers with few teaching credentials.”
Harsh. But Soma insists the school is made up of more than a bunch of artisan-cafe-dwelling-twenty-somethings.
“The people who come here aren’t really hipsters. When we first started we thought it would just be a bunch of people from Williamsburg, but it’s not,” says Soma. “People who are retired come in. It’s people with kids, people from Queens, all kinds of people.”
While that may very well be true, if three audited classes are any indication, Brooklyn Brainery’s students are mostly under thirty, white and women. But then again, that goes for a lot of Brooklyn clubs.
“We’ve talked to other people who run stuff like and basically anything that happens outside of the home and away from the TV seems to be dominated by women,” says Soma. “Women leave the house, and they do things that involve other people.”
Back in The History of Milk and Cookies, the instructor, Nicole Brownstein, has moved from factory farming to sexual politics.
“If you think about it, milk and cookies have historically been paired with the idea of the good mother,” says Brownstein. “She should have them waiting when the kids get home. But really, what mother has time for that? Mine sure didn’t.”
Brownstein passes out an article detailing how Hillary Clinton served cookies in the primaries in an effort to soften her image. As they read, students munch on the cardamom cookies Messier baked for the class. Next door in Intro to Canning, you can smell the anise-infused pears and carrots being boiled.
Hipster? Maybe. A school away from home? It would seem so.
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Thousands of protesters halted a 6 p.m. evening shift at the Port of Oakland on Monday, and an early morning shift at 3 a.m. Tuesday, which resulted in 24 hours of stalled work. The port closure was the largest event Occupy Oakland had organized since its encampment was evicted nearly a month ago on Nov. 14.
Protesters took the Port of Oakland without confrontation yesterday morning at 5:30 a.m. and last night around 6 p.m.
“Attention please, the 6 p.m. shift has been cancelled,” a self-identified anarchist named Matt shouted into a megaphone. “We won! Please head to the general assembly to decide whether or not to extend the shutdown.” SF Gate reports that “a small band of activists” successfully shut down the 3 a.m. shift as well.
An hour before the general assembly, Oakland Occupiers seemed to be in a celebratory mood. As some protesters smoked against palm trees, a dad played tag with his son and a live punk band entertained the crowd.
“We f!@#ing won!” The front-woman for the band screamed into the mic.
“What’s next though?” the singer continued. “I’m for some campaign finance reform. Are you guys familiar with Citizen’s United? Corporate personhood? We need to get money out of politics. We need to take our system back.”
A few feet away from the band, Jason Wallach was manning True Justice Bike Repair. Wallach has offered free repairs to bikers since the beginning of Occupy Oakland actions.
“The movement has always been about more than occupying a physical space. It’s about creating a conceptual space for a utopia. Like in my utopia, people should have access to transportation that doesn’t kill the planet.”
Wallach noted that the original Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa plaza was a helpful way to mobilize the movement.
“I’m an advocate of trying to figure out how we can occupy a space again. But while we’re in this phase we need to demonstrate our power as a movement. And this, tonight, is a great way to do it.”
Photos provided by Rachel Krantz and Ethan Stark.
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As students and faculty strike on the Cal campus today, UC regents have announced they will be canceling a meeting scheduled for November 16 at the UCSF Mission Bay campus.
The regents cited “a real danger of significant violence and vandalism” as their reason for canceling tomorrow’s meeting. University police told them “rogue elements intent on violence and confrontation with UC public safety officers were planning to attach themselves to peaceful demonstrations expected to occur at the meeting.”
Whether or not these threats to the regents are real, it is true that Occupy Cal had called for a protest of Wednesday’s meeting. Activists say the regents are acting on behalf of the 1%, implementing budget cuts and fee hikes for university students.
Occupy Cal points out four board members in particular as part of the problem: Monica Lozano, Dick Blum, Leslie Tang Schilling and Paul Wachter.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
“It’s telling that the regents don’t want to face people who are calling on them to make the 1 percent pay for re-funding public education – including their own companies, like Bank of America and Wells Fargo,” said UC Berkeley doctoral student Charlie Eaton, an organizer with the graduate student employees union, which has worked on the protests with a group called Refund California.
Lawmakers have cut hundreds of millions of dollars from UC’s state allocation over the past few years, including $650 million this year alone. Another $100 million could be cut this winter if state revenues fall short as expected.
At the same time, the regents have consistently raised tuition and fees, tripling them in the last decade to $13,218, while cutting campus services.
Turnstyle News looked into the board members some more:
- Dick Blum: Dick Blum is an investment banker and the husband of US Senator Diane Feinstein. He is also the President and Chairman of Blum Capital, an equity investment management firm. An article on Theava.com, (a news site delivering news around Mendocino Country) had this to say about Blum:
Richard Blum is a San Francisco-based finance capitalist presiding over a business empire that is, to say the least, expansive. Hedge funds? Blum owns one outright and wields a significant share of various others. Real estate? His primary investment vehicle, the $7 billion Blum Capital Partners, owns the largest real estate brokerage firm on the planet, CB Richard Ellis, of which Blum is chairman of the board. Construction? Until public scandal prompted him to sell off his holdings, Blum was a majority partner in a construction and engineering company that did billions in business with the US military among other government clients.
According to Spot.us, a community-funded investigative newsgroup, Blum strongly falls into the 1% bracket, as noted by IRS statistics that place the 1% above $347,000 in earnings.
Mr. Blum’s spouse, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), whose wealth is estimated to be as high as $100 million, and whose 200-plus page disclosure statements are almost exclusively dedicated to tracking the labyrinthine activities of Blum Capital Partners.
- Monica Lozano: Lozano serves on the board and is a director of Bank of America. According to Wikipedia, she is also a member of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. She has also served on board at UnionBanCal Corporation, a San Francisco banking company. She is the publisher and Chief Executive Officer of La Opinión , America’s largest Spanish Language newspaper. According to Spot.us, Lozano may have had conflicts of interest while serving on the Board of Regents:
In 2008, while Lozano served on the board of Bank of America and Walt Disney, the UC General Endowment Pool owned about $5 million in Bank of America bonds and $530,000 in Walt Disney bonds; while the UC Retirement Plan held $99 million in Bank of America bond investments and $8.5 million in Walt Disney bonds.
Lozano’s annual income is also in the hundreds of thousands per year, which puts her in the top 10 percent of earners in the U.S.
According to Forbes, Lozano made a total of $127,376, which includes $47,376 in stock awards, as a director for Bank of America in 2008. And she apparently earned a total of $234,842, including $71,909 in stock awards, $52,090 in options and $17,093 in other compensation, as a member of Walt Disney’s board during the same year.
- Paul Wachter:According to his website, Paul Wachter is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Main Street Advisors. Main Street Advisors provides a wide range of financial, strategic and asset management advisory services to a select group of high net worth individuals and companies. Wachter serves on the Board of Directors of Time Warner Inc. and as a special advisor to the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth.
- Leslie Tang Schilling: According to The Regent’s of The University of California website, Tang Shilling is s Founder and Director of Union Square Investments Company, a commercial real estate investment and management firm. After 10 years as a Director of the Pacific Bank N.A., she was a director of Golden West Financial since 1997 and retired from its board in 2006 when it was sold to Wachovia Bank. According to Spot.us, Tang Shilling’s earnings would put her in the hundreds of thousands:
As founder of Union Square Investment Co., which was valued between $100,001 and $1 million, Schilling said in 2008 she received a salary of more than $100,000. And she received between $10,001 and $100,000 in income from L.T.D.D., according to 2008 disclosure forms.
Spot’s investigation also cites a past potential conflict of interest since Tang Shilling has served on the Board of Regents:
In May 2006, mortgage-lender Golden West Financial was sold to Wachovia Bank for $25.5 billion while Schilling served on the board of the company and fellow Regent Russel Gould was involved in business development and partnerships for Wachovia in California. Both were Regents at the time.
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Occupy Cal held an emergency press conference today to alert the public to their plans for a campus strike tomorrow, November 15th.
Tomorrow’s strike calls for all students and teachers not to attend class and to participate in Day of Action activities. At 2 PM there will be a rally against police violence , and at 5 PM there will be a general assembly at Sproul Plaza on Berkeley’s campus.
“I hope tomorrow’s strike will get people talking about what’s happening at Berkeley,” said Eva Hagberg, a Graduate Student at UC Berkeley and an organizer with Occupy Cal.
“As soon as I told my students what was happening — about the fee hikes — they all wanted to participate,” Hagberg said.
Occupy Cal is calling for a strike tomorrow largely in response to violent police action against protestors last Wednesday. Organizers are calling for accountability from Berkeley Chancellor Birgenau, who claims that last Wednesday’s protestors action of linking arms was “not non-violence”.
A group of students beaten by police that night announced that they are filing a lawsuit against the The University and campus police. The group is also calling on Chancellor Birgenau to resign.
“I chose Berkeley for its history of activism and free speech,” said Francisco Alvarado, a Graduate Student participating in the lawsuit. “We have an administration that mocks this history with police brutality. That administration needs to change.”
Jessica Shaffer, another Graduate Student who was says she was beaten last Wednesday, agrees.
“I plan to strike on tomorrow,” Shaffer said. “I was in the front row when police came in [last Wednesday]. I did not follow orders to disperse because I was not camping. I was hit in the jaw, and knocked to the ground by police. I stood up, and having nowhere to go, I was once hit again in the jaw by a baton.”
Several other students shared stories of being beaten by police that day, and stressed that their emotional trauma was even worse than any physical bruises. Still, many are hopeful for their movement’s future, and say they are not deterred by violence.
“I want to thank Chancellor Birgenau for galvanizing this movement and inspiring so many other students to come out and support it,” Shaffer told a cheering crowd.
Occupy Cal’s official statement emphasizes that tomorrow’s strike is not just about protesting police brutality. Also at the top of the list are demands that the University allow protestors to set up tents, and reverse recent tuition hikes.
“UC Regents have accelerated their push to privatize the University,” Occupy Cal’s statement reads. “[This is] subjecting students to unsustainable levels of debt, excluding increasing numbers of students, and further resegregating public education in California.”
A formal inauguration of Occupy Cal’s Day of Action will commence at 12 PM tomorrow at Sproul Hall.
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Port officials issued the statement themselves: Peaceful protesters have effectively shut down the Port of Oakland.
Police estimate that as many as 7,000 people marched to block the port early Wednesday night. By around 9 p.m., those numbers had dwindled somewhat, but the port entrance remained securely blocked by protesters’ bodies.
Mahasan, a 23-year-old participant, says she came over to the port later than most.
“On the way here some people told us ‘There’s hella people still there [at the port]!” I thought that was really funny–you know we’re in Oakland,” Mahasan said.
Like many people at the port, this was Mahasan’s first day participating in the Occupy movement.
“I like the bikes, the people of color–it’s a beautiful sight to see,” Mahasan said. “I’m optimistic. I think a lot of times people are frustrated and pissed off. But when you see things like this it’s inspiring.”
The atmosphere at The Port of Oakland on Wednesday night was decidedly calmer than last week’s attempted clearing of Frank Ogawa Plaza. Few police were present at the port, and those who were there kept their distance.
Still, there were some protestors who seemed ready for a fight. One man began belligerently yelling at another protestor saying ‘He’s proud of murdering Iraqis!’ but was quickly told by other demonstrators to settle down .
And later, a contingent of a few hundred got rowdy. This excerpt is from a Mother Jones report:
After most protesters had left, a contingent of several hundred occupied the abandoned Traveler’s Aid building and barricaded surrounding streets; when police moved in, protesters set barricades on fire, and police deployed tear gas.
“Don’t fight the bait,” said Fred Werner, a demonstrator with the Jewish Occupy Oakland Contingent.
“At almost any level, almost any violence is unnecessary,” said Werner. “People are reacting out of fear, pain and hurt. Violence in a situation like this totally counterproductive.”
When asked what he thought the end goal of the Occupy movement should be, Werner said that wasn’t the issue.
“The beauty of this is there isn’t one single law, bill, or candidate that people are out for. After 30 years of a strong tilt towards depersonalization–where we’ve been seen as basically consumers and taxpayers and nothing more–there’s finally enough people fed up with that for a course correction,” said Werner. “I’m so excited that for the first time in my life it feels like there’s a movement to change the way we treat each other.”
With a food truck giving out free ice cream and 80′s hip hop blasting out of speakers, protesters at the port were feeling the love. 24-year-old Rina Harring, another first-time participant, said she was glad to be there.
“This is my first day being involved. I think it was the general strike that convinced me. I was like ‘Well, now I have no excuse not to come,’” Harring said. “We dont know where we’re sleeping yet, but we’re going to stay here till tomorrow morning because that’s what they said to do. We have to get up early in the morning anyway.”
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Oakland’s Chinatown is only a few blocks away from Frank Ogawa Plaza, the site of today’s Occupy Oakland general strike, but it wasn’t business as usual.
“Business is very slow today,” said Amy, owner of China Star Express. “It’s been quiet for the last few years in this neighborhood. People are scared to come here. I don’t like the people who made the [protests] outside. Many businesses here are moving to San Leandro.”
Walking around Chinatown, it’s obvious the recession has hit this Oakland neighborhood hard. Numerous businesses stand vacant, abandoned for lease.
As for the businesses that are normally open, many were closed today in anticipation of the Occupy Oakland strike.
“I don’t think a lot of these businesses in Chinatown are closed today to strike,” says Chris, an Oakland resident. “I think they’re more concerned about safety. With the Oscar Grant protests, Chinatown had plywood boards up from early on. They were more prepared than a lot of places even closer to the center of things.”
Still, not all businesses in Chinatown are concerned about today’s strike. Phillip, a dollar store owner who didn’t want to give his last name, says he isn’t worried. “I didn’t think of closing today. They know we’re merchants and we’re not who they’re fighting,” says Phillip.
Albert, a pharmacist at Oakland Pharmacy, says the store has no choice but to stay open.
“I’m too busy trying to survive as a business in Chinatown,” says Albert. “I say leave politics to the politicians. I’m too busy trying to keep afloat. We pay so much a day to be here it’s not worthwhile to close.”
Along the walls, protesters had been plastering flyers about today’s protests. But one resident who identifies himself as a 99 percenter, didn’t appreciate the brashness of the posters.
“I’m tired of them trashing my town. They tried to break windows here. This is supposed to be peaceful,” says Bill. “I live here. I’m part of the 99 percent. I live on social security, $500 a month. But I don’t believe in defacing buildings. How’d you like someone shitting in your front yard?”
A bystander named Ernest chimes in with his opinion.
““Until they get an agenda I don’t see the point. You have to have a main goal. Who’s accountable here? How are you gonna get it done?”
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Police arrested 30 Occupy Portland protestors early Sunday morning after they refused to obey a new midnight curfew. The AP reports:
As police moved in around 2 a.m. most of the protesters backed off but a core group of 27-30 sat in a circle in the park and awaited arrest.
An Associated Press photographer said most of the protesters went limp and police carried or dragged them away. There was no violence during the arrests, which took about 90 minutes.
Portland, a city known for being progressive, has allowed Occupy protestors to remain camping at other parks. But Occupiers say they want to remain in the wealthy Pearl district, where they feel their point is best made. The AP continues:
Some protesters said they want to camp in the Pearl District because they view its residents as part of the wealthy demographic they’re protesting.
Police have allowed the demonstrators to remain in the adjacent Chapman and Lownsdale parks since Oct. 6 despite policies outlawing camping. The parks are surrounded by office buildings, mostly for the government.
But Mayor Sam Adams said last week he would not allow the demonstrators to take over any more parks. In a letter to demonstrators, Commissioner Randy Leonard said it would be inappropriate to expand the demonstration into a neighborhood park.
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Occupy Oakland is expanding its plans for an upcoming citywide strike November 2nd.
According to the Occupy Oakland blog, demonstrators will not just be staying home from work and school November 2nd. They will also attempt to block The Port of Oakland and shut it down. Here’s what the blog’s statement says:
We will converge at 5pm at 14th and Broadway and march to the port to shut it down before the 7pm night shift.
We are doing this in order to blockade the flow of capital on the day of the General Strike, as well as to show our commitment to solidarity with Longshore workers in their struggle against EGT in Longview, Washington. EGT is an international grain exporter which is attempting to rupture longshore jurisdiction. The driving force behind EGT is Bunge LTD, a leading agribusiness and food company which reported 2.4 billion dollars in profit in 2010; this company has strong ties to Wall Street. This is but one example of Wall Street’s corporate attack on workers.
The Oakland General Strike will demonstrate the wide reaching implications of the Occupy Wall Street movement. The entire world is fed up with the huge disparity of wealth caused by the present system. Now is the time that the people are doing something about it.The Oakland General Strike is a warning shot to the 1% – their wealth only exists because the 99% creates it for them.
Whether or not the November 2nd strike helps get more Oaklanders involved in the Occupy movement remains to be seen. So far, it seems like general support may not translate into large strike numbers. The Mercury News reports:
So far, both a nurses association and an Oakland teachers union have come out strongly in support of the Oakland protest’s goals, but have fallen short of giving their full endorsement for a general strike. Some teachers have expressed support for the strike, but said they would not bring students along for reasons of “legal liability.”
“However energetic we are about the cause, we also are law-abiding organizations that are very cautious,” said Matthew Goldstein, president of the Peralta Federation of Teachers. ”A general strike on the order of the 1946 general strike in Oakland is an ambitious goal, especially in just a few days,” Goldstein said. “It requires groundwork to be laid. There is still much to be determined.”
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Occupy Nashville protestors say they will continue to challenge a 10 PM curfew to their encampment. This comes despite 3 nights of continued arrests. Their cause has had some support from the Nashville magistrate Tom Nelson, who has thus far refused to jail the protestors for violating curfew.
The AP reports:
All 26 people arrested Friday night were charged with trespassing; two were also charged with public intoxication; and one was also charged with criminal impersonation,Department of Safety spokeswoman Jennifer Donnals said. The judicial commissioner refused to issue warrants for any of the charges.
So why is Occupy Nashville being ordered to end overnight camping? The reasons cited by Governor Bill Haslam sound similar to those given by Mayor Quan in Oakland.
The administration of Gov. Bill Haslam has cited what officials described as deteriorating security and sanitary conditions on the plaza, saying that acts of lewd behavior had been observed by workers in state office buildings.
Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons said it was unrealistic to meet requests from protesters for a stronger law enforcement presence to help deter thefts and altercations often involving homeless people who had attached themselves to the encampment.
“We don’t have the resources to go out and in effect babysit protesters 24-7 … at the level that would have been necessary to address their concerns,” Gibbons said during a press conference Friday.
That’s a confusing statement for those who’ve seen police have the resources to arrest Occupy Nashville protestors for the last 3 nights.
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