Category Archives: Action Alerts/Past Actions

Photos from SF Pride — ORWC and OSJ Attended!

Widespread public outrage over the San Francisco Pride Board’s decision to unfairly revoke Bradley Manning’s status as grand marshal for SF Pride 2013 resulted in a huge turnout for the Free Bradley Manning contingent in the parade.

There were about 500 to 600 people representing dozens of different organizations, including Occupy Redwood City, Peninsula Direct Action, and Occupy San Jose.

Photos can be viewed here:

Photos – Part 1 of 3
Photos – Part 2 of 3
Photos – Part 3 of 3

Bradley Manning is an LGBT hero and whistleblower who should be celebrated and defended by the queer and trans communities, not thrown under the bus for a mainstream gay agenda subservient to corporate interests and the U.S. war machine.

With a sign saying, “I was Bradley Manning,” Pentagon Papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg rode in the parade with Veterans For Peace. Mr. Ellsberg has been a vocal advocate for Manning and rode in the parade as the People’s Grand Marshal, a surrogate for Bradley Manning. Ellsberg had been planning to do this even before Manning’s status as grand marshal was revoked.

Whistle-blowing is not a crime! FREE BRADLEY MANNING!

ORWC’s Redwood City Free Market Returns!

(Estás invitado a un ¡MERCADO VERDADERO GRATIS!)

Sunday, April 14
1pm -5pm
City Hall, 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City

Domingo, 14 de Abril
1pm-5pm
Ayuntamiento, 1017 Middlefield Road, Redwood City


A place to give and get all sorts of items 100% for free! Help keep usable items out of the landfill, while connecting with your community. This is not barter (trade), but a gift economy. Don’t have anything to give? That’s okay! You’re still welcome to come and take what you need.

Un lugar para dar y obtener todo tipo de artículos ¡100% gratis! Ayúda a conservar las cosas útiles fuera de la basura, mientras te conectas a la comunidad. No es el trueque, ni negocio, pero es para regalar al que lo necesita. ¿No tienes nada para regalar? ¡Está bien! Todavía eres bienvenido a venir y llevar lo que necesites.

Please DON’T Bring: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazardous materials, animals, anything illegal.

Por favor NO traigas: Drogas, alcohol, armas, materiales peligrosos, animales, o cosas ilegales.

Please DO Bring: Anything else! Examples include clothing, food, books, housewares, and services that would be helpful to people.

Por favor SI traigas: ¡Todo el resto! Incluyendo: ropa, comida, libros, artículos para el hogar, y servicios que serían útiles para las personas.

Please DON’T: Leave any items behind. If no one takes home an item that you brought, please take it back with you.

Por favor NO: Deje ningun articulo detrás de usted. Si nadie se lleva una cosa que usted trajo, por favor llevarla de regreso con usted.

Please DO: Join us and have a great time!

Por favor SI: Únase a nosotros y ¡te divertiras!

Another Economy is Possible: Be a Part of It!

OTRA ECONOMÍA ES POSIBLE: ¡SER UNA PARTE DE ELLA!

ORWC and OSJ Speak Out for Marriage Equality

On 12 February 2013, ORWC and OSJ went down to speak out in favor of marriage equality at San Jose City Hall:

20130212_sjcc

To show support for equal marriage rights, councilmember Ash Kalra (with members Don Rocha, Kansen Chu, and Xavier Campos) proposed that San Jose sign on to and join in San Francisco’s argument to the United States Supreme Court that the same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional.

Passive-aggressive maneuvering by the City Council’s Rules Committee, engineered by anti-gay mayor Chuck Reed, meant that this issue was heard last on the agenda, at the end of the meeting, after a loooong list of other items. This meant that all the people who showed up at 1 PM to speak ended up not speaking ’til about 7 PM, or not at all. Many people left because they had other commitments they could not miss. The huge crowd of people who had turned out to support marriage equality dwindled down to about twenty people when finally, the agenda item was ready to be heard.

Despite this maneuvering, the remaining few spoke passionately, and ORWC and OSJ folks in particular called out the council and the mayor for their heartless attempt to push back the agenda item and delay it until few people were left to speak. Occupiers involved with Peninsula Direct Action spoke out directly at the City Manager Deb Figone, referencing the group’s media event outside her house that highlighted her attack on union workers and public safety in San Jose.

One Occupier spoke passionately about his experience as “a queer, Asian person” living on the Peninsula and said he drove down from Redwood City because he wanted Redwood City to follow San Jose’s lead in being willing to hear matters like these. Other Occupiers spoke just as urgently and highlighted the importance of supporting locally issues of national importance that affect people everywhere in the country.

The motion passed, by a surprising 9 to 1 vote (with one abstaining). The lone no vote was by the anti-gay mayor, Democrat Chuck Reed. Shameful vote by Reed, considering that even the conservative Republican Pete Constant voted yes on the grounds that he did not think he should impose his Greek Orthodox religious beliefs on others.

P.S. One bit of gossipy news: When ORWC and OSJ folks tried to speak to the representative for BAYMEC (an LGBT elections organization) after the meeting, he literally RAN from us from inside an elevator we were all in right as the doors were closing! Pretty rude considering we were just making small talk and wanted to connect with his group after speaking in solidarity with him during the meeting. Was he afraid he would catch Occupy cooties? :D

P.P.S. The representative for the South Bay Labor Council was far nicer to us and thanked us for coming. ;)

Anyway, enough gossip! For more info, check out this article and this article.


As of April 5, 2013, ORWC is now posting updates for OSJ. To read all OSJ updates, go here.

Photos from Hyatt Strike Action in Santa Clara (Apr. 4, 2013)

(Current and former members of ORWC, OSJ, and Peninsula Direct Action, as well as a whole host of other allies joined striking Hyatt workers back on the picket line in Santa Clara! Over a hundred people turned out for this inspiring action. After the demo, we headed back to the offices of Unite Here! Local 19 for an intimate reception with our friends and comrades. :) Lots of peeps were out and representin’. SOLIDARITY!)


As of April 5, 2013, ORWC is now posting updates for OSJ. To read all OSJ updates, go here.

TODAY: We Join Save Pete’s Harbor and OBAU in Menlo Park!

Media Contact
ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

ORWC and Save Pete’s Harbor
“Occupy the Dream Home” with OBAU

MENLO PARK, TODAY (10 AM) - Occupy Redwood City (ORWC) is proud and excited to announce that together with members of Save Pete’s Harbor (SPH) we will join Occupy Bay Area United (OBAU) and other anti-foreclosure and anti-eviction activists at an “Occupy the Dream House” press conference and speakout.

DSC_0176
Photo by James Hensperger.

The event will take place at 3 Patricia Place in Menlo Park, the site of a $4.1 Million Silicon Valley dream house that is to be raffled off to a lucky winner.[1] ORWC, OBAU, other foreclosure fighters, and local Silicon Valley residents like those of SPH who just want to reclaim the American dream of stable home ownership without threat of eviction are gathering the day before the raffle winner is chosen to bring attention to economic injustice and call on local communities, elected officials, and government agencies to do more to help their neighbors stay in their homes.

(To arrange interviews with members of ORWC or residents of Pete’s Harbor, please contact James Lee at the phone number above. Press photos of Pete’s Harbor can be downloaded for general use as long as credit is given to photographer James Hensperger.)

BACKGROUND:

The “Occupy the Dream House” action will demonstrate the stark contrast between our hardworking neighbors at Pete’s Harbor who are trying to save their homes, and the rich, uncaring landlord of Pete’s Harbor, Paula Uccelli. After making hundreds of thousands of dollars in rent from her tenants over the past several decades, Uccelli is colluding with an out-of-state developer known as the Pauls Corporation and her friends in Redwood City government to fast-track the eviction of her tenants, despite the fact that the outer portion of the harbor is leased from the state under the condition that it be maintained as a commercial marina, a type of place that includes liveaboard tenants. Ms. Uccelli only recently paid less than half of the $400,000+ balance due on this state lease after having neglected to pay the state for almost thirty years, and the outer harbor is public land that she is in no position to give away.

Despite the clearly complicated nature of the land in question, and despite the fact that the Pauls Corporation may not be the right developer to build on a shoreline area at high risk of flooding and liquefaction[2], Ms. Uccelli and city officials have been deaf to pleas to slow the development process and hold off on evictions until all these concerns are resolved. Instead, the City Council unanimously approved a consent agenda item at a November meeting limiting public input and restricting the ways in which land use appeal hearings like the one filed by SPH will be managed.[3]

“Dream house raffles for opulent homes like 3 Patricia Place serve as distractions from the realities of life in the Silicon Valley,” said James Lee of Peninsula Direct Action. “In reality, we have the influx of high-tech industry employees to the Peninsula creating an economic boom that has hurt the hard-working people of our communities. The rising demand for luxury housing is encouraging unsympathetic local governments like the City of Redwood City to build high-end luxury condos in the path of sea level rise at the expense of a sustainable floating community like Pete’s Harbor.

“Pete’s Harbor is one of the Peninsula’s last affordable housing communities. In contrast, the City of Redwood City has over a thousand new housing units in their development pipeline and none of those units are set aside for affordable housing. Thanks to the actions of landlords like Ms. Uccelli who have profited off their tenants and elected officials who care more about property tax revenues than creating communities where you can build a life regardless of your income level, hard-working everyday people are being pushed out of Silicon Valley.”

Jess Hansen of ORWC added, “We’re really happy and excited to be working closely with other Occupiers from SF and across the Peninsula in this action. The problems of the 99% are all around us. We are excited to send a message to underwater homeowners and people living under threat of eviction that they are not alone! We are ready to help them fight back.

“We also want to send a message to lawmakers that they have to do more to protect the working- and middle-class people in their communities. Colluding with rich landlords and out-of-state developers at the expense of their own constituents is a shameful practice, and it shows that our political culture needs to change. We are excited to go to Menlo Park and demand that change, and we invite the public to come join us.”

*

[1] Silicon Valley Dream House Raffle
[2] Homeowners Sue Millbrae Condo Developer
[3] OP-ED: The City’s New ‘Guidelines’ for Public Meetings

###

ORWC’s Really Really Free Market Returns!

(Estás invitado a un ¡MERCADO VERDADERO GRATIS!)

Sunday, October 7
1pm-5pm
Main and Beech Streets, Redwood City

Domingo, 7 de Octubre
1pm-5pm
Calles Main & Beech, Redwood City

A place to give and get all sorts of items 100% for free! Help keep usable items out of the landfill, while connecting with your community. This is not barter (trade), but a gift economy. Don’t have anything to give? That’s okay! You’re still welcome to come and take what you need.

Un lugar para dar y obtener todo tipo de artículos ¡100% gratis! Ayúda a conservar las cosas útiles fuera de la basura, mientras te conectas a la comunidad. No es el trueque, ni negocio, pero es para regalar al que lo necesita. ¿No tienes nada para regalar? ¡Está bien! Todavía eres bienvenido a venir y llevar lo que necesites.

Please DON’T Bring: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazardous materials, animals, anything illegal.

Por favor NO traigas: Drogas, alcohol, armas, materiales peligrosos, animales, o cosas ilegales.

Please DO Bring: Anything else! Examples include clothing, food, books, housewares, and services that would be helpful to people.

Por favor SI traigas: ¡Todo el resto! Incluyendo: ropa, comida, libros, artículos para el hogar, y servicios que serían útiles para las personas.

Please DON’T: Leave any items behind. If no one takes home an item that you brought, please take it back with you.

Por favor NO: Deje ningun articulo detrás de usted. Si nadie se lleva una cosa que usted trajo, por favor llevarla de regreso con usted.

Please DO: Join us and have a great time!

Por favor SI: Únase a nosotros y ¡te divertiras!

Another Economy is Possible: Be a Part of It!

OTRA ECONOMÍA ES POSIBLE: ¡SER UNA PARTE DE ELLA!

Occupy Redwood City’s First Overnight: You’re Invited!

It isn’t camping… or even sleeping… but it IS our first overnight Occupation in Redwood City! It’s a place for the 99% to express our concerns for the economy and more.

This event begins Friday, September 28th, in front of Redwood City’s City Hall (Jefferson and Middlefield). From the end of our General Assembly (usually around 8) to the early morn, we will have activities to keep you awake, enjoying yourself, and occupying. Practice your right to peaceably assemble, while taking back our common space that is all too often corporate-controlled. While this “encampment” will only last one night, physical occupation has been a powerful tactic and symbol for our movement against income inequality. This is the perfect opportunity to attend your first ORWC event, or to occupy along with your friends and family who have not yet been involved. Stay as long as you’d like. We hope that this will be a big, lively event with lots of people. Your presence matters!

The official program of activities will be announced a week before the event. This is YOUR event and we want your input! What do you want to do? Skill shares, crafts, games, discussions, performances?  Let us know!

What to bring?  Warm clothing, food for yourself, water for yourself.  If you have them:  Something to sit on, like a blanket or camping chair; a lantern.  Amusements such as board games, musical instruments, craft supplies, etc. if you like

***Note: You are welcome to set up “structures” such as tents, but be forewarned that they may be confiscated by the police. Do not bring “structural” items that you mind parting with***

To quote this lovely chalk drawing, Occupy is far from over!

TODAY: ORWC Promotes Green, New Economy on Labor Day Weekend

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORWC PROMOTES GREEN, NEW ECONOMY
ON LABOR DAY WEEKEND

TODAY, Redwood City, 1 PM - In promotion of a green, new economy, Occupy Redwood City’s (ORWC) newest working group has put together a Labor Day weekend community event that will serve as an example of a green alternative to the usual Labor Day festivities, and one that calls attention to the plight of workers across our country who labor every day to make a living.

This new working group, the Environmental and Food Justice Working Group, will be hosting ORWC’s Really Really Free Market (RRFM) at the corner of Main and Beech Streets. ORWC is proud to be joined by Green Sangha, a group dedicated to bringing spiritual practice and environmental work together to heal our communities.

No exchange of money or bartering is allowed at the RRFM. The RRFM is a living example of a “gift economy” in which people bring the items and services they want to give away and take what they need. ORWC has been hosting monthly RRFMs since Earth Day 2012 and Green Sangha will be holding their second annual “Solar Cooking Demonstration and Food Offering” at ORWC’s RRFM today.

Because RRFMs are devoted to the re-use and re-gifting of goods and services that would otherwise go to waste, they are an inherently green form of interaction and an active rejection of the current economic model. As income inequality increases and as corporations and the 1% stifle the voice of the people via massive financial influence within the halls of government, it is no surprise that people are looking for these alternatives to the traditional economic model that is disenfranchising them.

ORWC’s newest working group has also begun monthly dumpster diving expeditions in coordination with the RRFMs. The food reclaimed from these monthly actions have fed countless people in our community: ORWC’s July dumpster diving evening generated enough food to help feed about thirty people at Occupy San Jose’s (OSJ) “Occusoup” event, in which food was prepared and donated to our sisters and brothers who were homeless or at-risk; some were Occupiers themselves. In light of the recent revelation that 40% of our nation’s food goes in the trash, ORWC considers our monthly dumpster dives to be small but important acts of reclamation and resistance to a culture of waste and ungratefulness.

Labor Day weekend is a time when working people are supposed to be celebrated and honored. Instead, everyday workers are facing attack from all levels of government and within all facets of the current economic system. Amidst this atmosphere, ORWC is proud to have played a small part in helping our fellow members of the 99% get by with our monthly food reclamations and RRFMs. We understand that helping our embattled neighbors doesn’t just involve putting pressure on the corporations and government bodies that disenfranchise us: it also means fostering a culture of direct action and giving within our own communities. We are proud to be involved in this way and challenge all corporations, government bodies, community groups, and individuals with a conscience to begin emulating some of our practices as we look ahead to the holiday season.

***

ORWC continues to fight against the new jail and will be speaking out at the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors’ Sept. 11 meeting with like-minded individuals and groups such as Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) and All of Us or None. The details of ORWC’s planned solidarity actions in coordination with larger city Occupy groups on Sept. 6 and Sept. 17 will be announced at a later date.

ORWC continues to rally every Friday at 5 PM at City Hall in Redwood CIty, with General Assemblies commencing at at 6 PM.

###

ORWC’s Really Really Free Market Returns!

(Estás invitado a un ¡MERCADO VERDADERO GRATIS!)

Sunday, September 2nd
1pm-5pm
Main and Beech Streets, Redwood City

Domingo, 2 de Septiembre
1pm-5pm
Calles Main & Beech, Redwood City


A place to give and get all sorts of items 100% for free! Help keep usable items out of the landfill, while connecting with your community. This is not barter (trade), but a gift economy. Don’t have anything to give? That’s okay! You’re still welcome to come and take what you need.

Un lugar para dar y obtener todo tipo de artículos ¡100% gratis! Ayúda a conservar las cosas útiles fuera de la basura, mientras te conectas a la comunidad. No es el trueque, ni negocio, pero es para regalar al que lo necesita. ¿No tienes nada para regalar? ¡Está bien! Todavía eres bienvenido a venir y llevar lo que necesites.

Please DON’T Bring: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazardous materials, animals, anything illegal.

Por favor NO traigas: Drogas, alcohol, armas, materiales peligrosos, animales, o cosas ilegales.

Please DO Bring: Anything else! Examples include clothing, food, books, housewares, and services that would be helpful to people.

Por favor SI traigas: ¡Todo el resto! Incluyendo: ropa, comida, libros, artículos para el hogar, y servicios que serían útiles para las personas.

Please DON’T: Leave any items behind. If no one takes home an item that you brought, please take it back with you.

Por favor NO: Deje ningun articulo detrás de usted. Si nadie se lleva una cosa que usted trajo, por favor llevarla de regreso con usted.

Please DO: Join us and have a great time!

Por favor SI: Únase a nosotros y ¡te divertiras!

Another Economy is Possible: Be a Part of It!

OTRA ECONOMÍA ES POSIBLE: ¡SER UNA PARTE DE ELLA!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ORWC to Speak for a Jail Alternative

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORWC TO SPEAK FOR A JAIL ALTERNATIVE

TODAY, Redwood City, 9 AM - After attending a successful town hall in East Palo Alto dedicated to opposing the new county jail and to standing in favor of alternative projects that are truly just and worthy, Occupy Redwood City (ORWC) will be sending representatives to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting to speak out concerning two alternative jail designs that Sheriff Munks will present to the Board.

While the Sheriff has said that he welcomes any feedback, he has also articulated that nothing will be voted on and that he is not looking for direction. We are disappointed at how well his comments reflect the way in which the jail planning process has shut out the voice of the general public so effectively, and we intend to make the vital concerns of our community heard.

The two alternative designs being proposed are both being sold to the community as “green” jail proposals, as an improvement on facilities like the Women’s Correctional Center, the conditions of which even the Supervisors have described as atrocious and deplorable. In order to win over those in our community who are compassionate or who are skeptical of expanding incarceration, the new jail has been sold as a sleek, humanitarian, eco-friendly, and feminist upgrade for the community, with the Sheriff going so far as to refer to the future jail as “a place of hope.”

Unfortunately, this transparently focus-grouped narrative of a kinder, gentler jail does not pass the laugh test. Featured on the website of HOK (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum), the design firm contracted by the county for the new jail, is a line that reads: “The greenest square foot is the one you don’t build.” The ACLU, who are experts on public safety realignment throughout California and have studied the best practices of counties that have successfully avoided costly construction by taking common sense steps to reduce their jail populations, filed a letter of opposition to the new jail in January, arguing among other things that the Women’s Correctional Center could be closed safely without a new jail.

ORWC would like to present an alternative design plan for the community at tomorrow’s meeting, one that would allow the county to bring union-backed construction jobs into the county and to keep their contracts with HOK and with Sundt|Layton, the construction firms hired to build the jail. While we remain opposed to a new jail in our county, we argue that if county dollars are to be spent on building they must be invested in the building of mental health facilities, drub rehabilitation facilities, and facilities that house programs for youth and re-entry programs for people leaving the jails we already have. In the light of ECHO’s (El Camino House Organization) recent closure, the need for the county to step up and fill in the service gaps that are being created in our communities due to the economic downturn is ever more apparent.

People who have spent time in jails and prisons have a very different perception of what a jail is than do the people in office who are “not looking for direction” from the very people to whom they answer. For those who have experienced firsthand the benefits of receiving critical services instead of just being incarcerated, hearing elected officials and law enforcement officials discuss “green” jail designs and “hope” borders on the absurd and does not convince them of our need for more incarceration. When a Sheriff who lives on a multi-million dollar, 3,500-square-foot property in Portola Valley describes his jail as a place of hope simply because he has made sure that the cage has been expertly gilded, the only message being sent is that there is a clear disconnect between those in power and the 99% they are elected to serve.

When the ceremonial groundbreaking was held last month on the future jail construction site, Sheriff Munks said himself that statistics indicate children of inmates are five times more likely than children of non-offenders to become incarcerated themselves. It is precisely because we agree with the Sheriff’s insight that ORWC opposes a new jail in San Mateo County, and urges the Board to consider viable alternatives that even without a new jail will still bring in union jobs and honor the contracts already awarded.

***

On Bastille Day, ORWC came out and joined the fight against the new jail, speaking out at the new jail site with like-minded individuals and groups such as Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) and All of Us or None. Community members from throughout the county also participated in a town hall in East Palo Alto on August 25 aimed at stopping the new jail. Occupy San Jose voted unanimously to join ORWC in opposing San Mateo County’s new jail at their July 30th General Assembly.

ORWC continues to rally every Friday at 5 PM at City Hall in Redwood CIty, with General Assemblies commencing at at 6 PM.

###

ACTION ALERT: Add YOUR NAME to Our Letter to Stop the New Jail!

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

PLEASE CIRCULATE!
ADD YOUR NAME TO OUR LETTER TO STOP THE NEW JAIL!

Good afternoon Occupiers and all those who stand with us in solidarity,

The group Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB) has been building a coalition to fight the construction of the San Mateo County jail. As you will know if you’ve been following our website, ORWC is part of that coalition. :)

This is just a reminder to PLEASE sign on to the excellent letter drafted by CURB which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on September 11. ORWC needs all signatures of support from residents and organizations, particularly those located in San Mateo County.

Please read CURB’s letter to the Board and then SIGN ON. :)

To add your name or organization to the letter, please send an email to [email protected] before September 7th, 2012. If you sign on as an individual your name will be listed as “Firstname Lastname, resident of Yourcity.”

ORWC and OSJ (Occupy San Jose) have already asked to be placed on the letter as supporters, so you may be wondering why you are receiving this message. We are sending this out to other Occupiers and those who stand with them in the hopes that you will sign on as individuals, and that those of you connected to other activist groups or community/faith-based organizations might consider asking your group to sign on to this letter, or at least as individuals themselves. :)

Again, we will be presenting with CURB the above letter at the September 11 Board of Supervisors meeting. We are hoping you can help us circulate the letter to get additional sign-ons by Friday, September 7th. We are especially interested in building the list of people who are residents and organizations that are located in the County. (San Mateo County includes: Atherton, Belmont, Brisbane, Burlingame, Colma, Daly City, East Palo Alto, El Granada, Foster City, Half Moon Bay, Hillsborough, La Honda, Menlo Park, Millbrae, Moss Beach, Pacifica, Pescadero, Portola Valley, Redwood City, San Bruno, San Carlos, San Mateo, South San Francisco, and Woodside.)

Again, please send sign-ons to [email protected] ASAP.

Thank you!

ORWC’s Really Really Free Market Returns!

(Estás invitado a un ¡MERCADO VERDADERO GRATIS!)

Sunday, August 5th
1pm-5pm
Main and Beech Streets, Redwood City

Domingo, 5 de Agosto
1pm-5pm
Calles Main & Beech, Redwood City


A place to give and get all sorts of items 100% for free! Help keep usable items out of the landfill, while connecting with your community. This is not barter (trade), but a gift economy. Don’t have anything to give? That’s okay! You’re still welcome to come and take what you need.

Un lugar para dar y obtener todo tipo de artículos ¡100% gratis! Ayúda a conservar las cosas útiles fuera de la basura, mientras te conectas a la comunidad. No es el trueque, ni negocio, pero es para regalar al que lo necesita. ¿No tienes nada para regalar? ¡Está bien! Todavía eres bienvenido a venir y llevar lo que necesites.

Please DON’T Bring: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazardous materials, animals, anything illegal.

Por favor NO traigas: Drogas, alcohol, armas, materiales peligrosos, animales, o cosas ilegales.

Please DO Bring: Anything else! Examples include clothing, food, books, housewares, and services that would be helpful to people.

Por favor SI traigas: ¡Todo el resto! Incluyendo: ropa, comida, libros, artículos para el hogar, y servicios que serían útiles para las personas.

Please DON’T: Leave any items behind. If no one takes home an item that you brought, please take it back with you.

Por favor NO: Deje ningun articulo detrás de usted. Si nadie se lleva una cosa que usted trajo, por favor llevarla de regreso con usted.

Please DO: Join us and have a great time!

Por favor SI: Únase a nosotros y ¡te divertiras!

Another Economy is Possible: Be a Part of It!

OTRA ECONOMÍA ES POSIBLE: ¡SER UNA PARTE DE ELLA!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: ORWC to Speak Against Proposed Jail Tax

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORWC TO SPEAK AGAINST PROPOSED JAIL TAX

TODAY, Redwood City, 9 AM - Occupy Redwood City (ORWC) will be sending representatives to the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors meeting to speak out against a proposed resolution to put a half-cent sales tax increase for county residents on the November ballot.

Over $44 million of San Mateo County’s $80 million budget increase this year is earmarked for the new jail. As a group standing in solidarity with others who are opposed to a new jail in San Mateo County, ORWC is firmly opposed to a provision in the proposed ballot measure that would allow the Board to retain full discretion over where the projected $60 million in increased annual revenue will be spent. We stand against the proposed tax measure because we already know that the Board is looking to use this money fund the construction and operation of the new jail the majority of them have been pushing for despite recommendations from their own commissioned experts advising them to explore other options before embarking on such a costly project.

Roger Brina of ORWC points out, “If it wasn’t bad enough that our tax dollars will be used to fund incarceration, sales taxes are regressive taxes that disproportionately impact working-class families and low-income families of color. The Board of Supervisors is basically proposing that the communities disproportionately harmed by our county’s rush to incarcerate people be the same communities that bear the brunt of funding a new jail.

“Along with their harsh treatment of undocumented youth, the concerted push by those in power in San Mateo County to get this jail funded and built in the face of expert advice to explore other alternatives really underscores the racist and overzealous nature of our county’s enforcement priorities. Our dollars should be kept away from this system and spent instead on jobs, healthcare, green spaces and affordable housing.”

James Lee of ORWC adds, “Even if the board guaranteed on pain of impeachment that not one single cent of the anticipated tax revenue would not be spent on the new jail, the fact remains that the jail represents a huge debit in the county’s balance sheet that they are under pressure to make up for by cutting even more union jobs and extracting even more concessions from their remaining workers. It’s absurd that a new jail is even up for consideration at a time like this.”

Residents from throughout the county have been speaking out against the new jail since it was proposed, and ORWC is proud to have recently joined this broad coalition of local and statewide groups who have formally declared their opposition to the construction of a new jail in San Mateo County, including All of Us or None, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), and Occupy San Jose (OSJ).

ORWC calls on county government to stop ignoring expert opinions on how to safely reduce our jail population without building a new jail and is looking forward to speaking out at tomorrow’s board meeting. We invite all like-minded people to stand with us at the meeting and speak out against the funding of a new jail.

***

On Bastille Day two weeks ago, ORWC came out and joined the fight against the new jail, speaking out at the new jail site with like-minded individuals and groups. Community members from throughout the county will also participate in a town hall in East Palo Alto on August 25 aimed at stopping the new jail. OSJ voted unanimously to join ORWC in opposing San Mateo County’s new jail at their July 30th General Assembly.

ORWC continues to rally every Friday at 5 PM at City Hall in Redwood City, with General Assemblies commencing at at 6 PM.

###

ORWC at Oakland’s Unwelcome Obama Protest

Good morning,

As some of you know, ORWC endorsed and attended the Unwelcome Obama action in Oakland last week Monday, standing in solidarity with anti-war/anti-torture peace activist group World Can’t Wait. An ORWC member who was at the protest has contributed a personal report back below.

- – - – -

It was quite an inspiring time! :) I got to Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza shortly before 4 PM, where hundreds of medical pot activists had been rallying for hours protesting Obama’s betrayal of his 2008 promise not to raid medical pot clubs. Oakland as many of you may know is home to a strong medical pot presence and the city has been the subject of harsh crackdowns from the feds, disenfranchising countless legitimate PATIENTS suffering from pain and representing yet another move in the ongoing, constant criminalization of Oakland’s population. People of color are disproportionately arrested, fined, and jailed for marijuana use/possession.

Activists had created an impressive piece of chalk art at the Plaza:

After checking out the Plaza I headed over to the barricades blocking off the nearest intersections leading to the Fox Theater where Obama was due to speak. Pro-Obama and anti-Obama supporters were already gathering.

One nice thing about this event is that, unlike the February protest of Obama in SF that some ORWC and OSJ members went to, and unlike the May protest of Obama in RWC that ORWC endorsed, this event had very few, if any Tea Partiers or other racist/fascist protesters in attendance. Back at the Feb. and May events the racists and the anti-choice folks and other right-wing folks definitely seemed to outnumber the protesters on the left and the Occupiers present.

By contrast, the dissent in Oakland on Monday was thoroughly dominated by those of us on the other side: environmentalists demanding that Obama reject Arctic drilling; medical pot activists calling out Obama for his broken promises; Iraq Veterans Against the War, Veterans for Peace, and World Can’t Wait calling out the president for the continued operation of Gitmo and continued presence of 1,000s of troops in Iraq and the escalations of civilian killings via drone strikes in Af/Pak; Courage to Resist calling for the freedom of Bradley Manning; DREAM Act supporters marching against continued deportations under Obama; Occupy Oakland and other locals pissed that Obama had the gall to show up in Oakland after making no supportive comments about the Oscar Grant tragedy or the continued police violence in Oakland against people of color or the crackdown on OO protesters; anti-capitalists and black bloc protesters; and more.


(More photos here.)

So we rallied at the barricades, and despite corporate media claiming that there were only 50-60 people present, there were well over 100-150, swelling to nearly 200 at some points, and that is a conservative estimate on my part. The crowd was large enough that we naturally filled up the large thoroughfare intersection of 19th and Broadway right by the barricades closest to the Fox and the line of Obama supporters going in. We claimed the intersection and shut down traffic without even really meaning to – I know some in the crowd were hoping it would happen but it seemed to happen organically and not in any planned way.

By about 5:30 – 6 PM many of us were getting bored of standing around in the intersection, especially since now that traffic was blocked no one was driving by and really seeing our signs or our impressive numbers. We got together, started discussing a march, and after taking some turns speaking out on World Can’t Wait’s megaphone we all took off.

We marched around the perimeter of the Fox Theater, taking the streets and stopping traffic, chanting “whose streets? Our streets!” and “Puff puff, pass pass, the President can kiss my ass!” (for the medical pot folk, lol!) and “1, 2, 3, 4/we don’t want your racist war!/5, 6, 7, 8/stop the killing, stop the hate!” We stopped to rally at various intersections and barricades, shutting down traffic as we went and blasting our message out to the onlookers hoping to catch a glimpse of the president. Many people were pissed at OPD and used the points where the march stopped at barricades to give the police officers gathered a piece of their minds. While a couple people were definitely exploiting the situation to be opportunistic and shout ~edgy~ insults at the PD, most of the yelling came from Oaklanders/OO folk who have had to put up with police violence and brutality for ages, and their pain and rage was fully justified.


(More photos here.)

After we were done marching we rallied at the last barricade and had another speak out. When we saw the doors to the Fox open up a little after 8 PM and the attendees start streaming out, we quickly rallied and marched to the exit point so that we could chant and rally and wave our signs as the people left. People were chanting “Four More Years” when they saw us but we chanted back “Four More Wars” and drowned them out. We managed to make enough of an impact that PD routed the guests to another intersection where they could exit: no matter, we just marched on down to that next exit point and did our thing again. :D

After that the march, which up until this point had been around 100-150 people, dwindled to about 40-50 of us as some OO folk and other radicals continued down past OG Plaza and headed down to OPD HQ to rally against police brutality/violence in Oakland. I marched with them for a while but had to duck out early, as it was close to 9 PM and I had to catch the next BART and get home.

Tidbits:

My sign read “F*@# CRUISE MISSILE LIBERALS.” One of my favorite journalists uses the term “Cruise Missile Liberals” to describe folks who profess to be progressive and peace-loving but advocate hawkish, imperialist, and bloody ways to conduct foreign policy.

One “pacifist” organizer of the medical pot march got physical with a masked protester (who de-escalated by turning and walk away from the confrontation), shoving him and unfairly accusing him of carrying explosives. That organizer later said sorry.

There were a few snipers on the roofs of buildings. OPD and Secret Service were filming all the protesters, trying to record faces in particular.

There was a great moment in the middle of the march where we came across a large “Welcome to Oakland—99% Obamaland” banner. Naturally most of the marchers were pissed and one person used his huge picket to tear the “99% Obamaland” portion down:

Several of the pro-Obama folks rallying earlier in the day got aggressive and confrontational with us. One person waved his large, heavy Obama sign in a threatening manner in an Obama protester’s face every time the guy tried to speak and they nearly got into a fight.

It was unusually hard to get corporate media to pay attention to ORWC. Not a single journalist I talked to about ORWC, from Telemundo to KTVU to CBS to KGO-810, gave me the time of day. Usually I can get a few seconds of speaking time at events like these if I keep pressing journos for a short interview, but they weren’t having it. Phil Matier’s (KPIX) cameraman was an asshole: he literally told me to get lost before I could even say hi. Either MSM in Oakland isn’t used to dealing with friendly Occupiers who want to talk to them (I did get a few surprised looks, including from Phil, when I said I was an Occupier and would like to talk to them), and/or ORWC wasn’t important enough (in their eyes) to cover.

BellaEiko of OO was lovely. She remembered me from the #Occupride march in SF last month and took the time to say hi again and hang out for a minute. She’s a fantastic speaker as well and got into more than one confrontation with pro-Obama folks who were trying to silence her when she was speaking out:

- – - – -

More photosets are available at the links below. And while you’re at it, compare the report above (from our ORWC member) to the mainstream media reports in the Chronicle and Mercury below. They don’t come close to telling the whole story:

- Political Fail Blog
- Glenn Halog Photo
- San Francisco Chronicle
- Mercury News

###

Media from ORWC’s Bastille Day Rally Against the New Jail:

We here at ORWC received local, national, and international press coverage for our Bastille Day rally against a new San Mateo County jail!

Click to listen to a short phone interview conducted by Press TV!

Press TV also posted our press release on their site. Occupy Wall Street’s website promoted our press release as well!

KTVU (Channel 2) filed a decent, if short report on our protest. Check out their video here:


(Click the link if the video is not visible on your browser: REDWOOD CITY: Local Occupy movement protests against new jail.”)

Univision 14 and ABC 7 both reported on our event as well! We have not yet been able to find video of our appearances on those channels so if you can find anything please let the media working group know (at ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com). What we heard from those who saw the broadcasts said that the pieces were actually pretty fair and decent.

Finally, our efforts to fight back against a new county jail are also covered by IndyBay HERE. ORWC’s Bastille Day protest is in fact currently a feature story on IndyBay’s front page! :)

ORWC to Welcome Coalition of Groups at Rally

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORWC TO WELCOME COALITION OF GROUPS AT RALLY

TODAY, Redwood City, 1 PM - In order to “Occupy Bastille Day,” Occupy Redwood City (ORWC) will be rallying at the site of the county’s newly approved future jail to protest its construction in our community (location: Maple and Blomquist Streets).

We are proud to be joined by our friends at Occupy San Jose (OSJ) at this rally, as well by representatives (or members) of many groups on the Peninsula and the wider Bay Area who have already been speaking out and leading the way on this issue, well before ORWC’s inception:

Some of the many groups that will be represented at today’s rally will include the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ), Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), Silicon Valley De-Bug, ACLU Northern California, Nuestra Casa East Palo Alto, and Legal Services for Prisoners with Children.

Like us, these groups understand that our prison system is both a moral blight on our society and an overwhelming economic burden, taking away much needed resources from schools, health care, and affordable housing. They have long been organizing against the construction of a new county jail in favor of more cost-efficient and just alternatives that would provide greater long-term benefits for our county and for low-income communities and communities of color.

ORWC is proud and honored to have their support today as we join the cause, and we hope today’s event marks the beginning of a deeper collaboration with these groups that are also committed to true justice.

***

After attending an educational town hall organized by YUCA, ORWC passed a resolution at their last General Assembly to condemn the San Mateo County probation department’s continued practice of reporting arrested, incarcerated juveniles to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation. San Mateo County is one of the worst offenders in the state and the nation when it comes to the deportation of minors. ORWC stands with YUCA and other immigrant advocates who call on Stuart Forrest, chief of the county probation department, to put a halt to the practice immediately.

ORWC now rallies every Friday at 5 PM in front of City Hall in Redwood City, with General Assemblies commencing at 6 PM.

*** END ***

SATURDAY: ORWC to Protest New San Mateo County Jail!

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORWC TO PROTEST, SPEAK OUT AGAINST NEW JAIL

SATURDAY July 14, Redwood City, 1 PM - On Bastille Day, Occupy Redwood City (ORWC) will be rallying at the site of the county’s newly approved future jail to protest its construction in our community (location: Maple and Blomquist Streets).

We are proud to be joined by our friends at Occupy San Jose (OSJ) at this rally and to be standing in solidarity with other groups on the Peninsula who have already spoken out and led the way in organizing against the construction of a new county jail in favor of more cost-efficient and just alternatives that would provide greater long-term benefits for our county and for low-income communities and communities of color.

At a recent General Assembly ORWC passed a resolution strongly rejecting the new jail for the following reasons:

  • Our county commissioned the Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ) to do a study on our inmate population. The CJCJ strongly recommended that the county at least explore cost-effective, evidence-based ways to reduce that population before resorting to building a new jail to combat overcrowding.
  • For example, 72% of our inmates have yet to be convicted of a crime and are being held simply because they don’t have money for bail. Neighboring counties have adopted innovative programs that allow many of these people to be released until they have their day in court, and indeed, the CJCJ recommended alternatives to solve San Mateo County’s overcrowding problem such as pretrial release, expedited court processing and transfer, and expanded probation supervision. The Board of Supervisors rejected all these recommendations in favor of a new jail.
  • Our county is already cutting jobs and services. The new jail will cost the county $160 million to build and will create a new, annual $44 million operating expense for the county. While state government will pay a large share of the construction cost, it will not pay for future operations. A new jail will require more staff, locking in a larger fraction of the county budget spent on Sheriff’s deputies guarding the jail instead of on those intervention workers who would go out into communities to provide health, counseling, safety and other services that would mitigate the problems that lead to most crime in the first place.
  • Under the recent state “realignment” plans, more low-level offenders are being held by counties, rather than being sent to state prison. This is not a bad idea, but it will only lead to truly just outcomes for these low-level offenders if counties find them alternatives to incarceration. Unfortunately, as a response to the injustice of mass incarceration, San Mateo County is just building more jail space, and in doing so is missing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do the right thing by creating a more fair and humane justice system.
  • As in most other counties across the nation, it is young men from low-income communities and communities of color on the Peninsula who are disproportionately incarcerated in San Mateo County jails. We do not need to spend our public money and go into further debt building more jails to house people from these communities. The millions of dollars allotted for this new jail should be going to programs in these communities instead to provide critical, valuable services.
  • Local building trades unions have fought for a new jail in San Mateo County because they were guaranteed these construction jobs, and as people who stand in solidarity with the labor movement as a whole we respect the right of labor to organize for their interests. However, we think a new jail represents a missed opportunity for our community. A jail that is projected to be as costly to our county as this one is will result in chronic budget shortfalls that will require our county to continue cutting services and to continue laying off good public sector union workers. We ask our labor sisters and brothers who are advocating for this jail to consider the harm it will do to other union jobs down the line, and to work with the county on other projects that will benefit the entire community, instead of on one construction project that will cause unnecessary long-term damage.
  • ORWC rejects the argument that the new jail will be beneficial to the community because it will have a focus on rehabilitation, job training, and other programs to reintegrate inmates into society. We know that such services are the first thing to get cut during deficit years and lean budgets, and in light of the $44 million additional annual operating expense that the jail represents we are not optimistic that these programs will be permanent fixtures in the new jail. We also demand that if the county is so concerned about promoting such services, they can and should be funding them within the communities that need them before spending millions in public funds building jails to house these programs.

These are just some of the reasons ORWC will be demonstrating our opposition to this misguided project, for which the first $16 million has already been approved, and we hope to stop this senseless misallocation of our resources. The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789 as part of a people’s uprising against the monarchy is now recognized as the spark that ignited the French Revolution. ORWC will be speaking out at the new jail site, connecting this past history to our current culture of incarceration and systematic mistreatment of low-income people and people of color.

Our prison system is both a moral blight on our society and an overwhelming economic burden, taking away much needed resources from schools, health care, and affordable housing. The prison system is corrupting our society and making us less safe, rather than protecting us as its proponents claim. It is a system built on fear, racism, and the exploitation of poverty, and it has no place in a society that aspires to liberty, justice, and equality for all.

We invite all like-minded people to join us on Saturday and show their opposition to the new jail!

***

ORWC is proud to join groups like the CJCJ, Californians United for a Responsible Budget (CURB), Youth United for Community Action (YUCA), Silicon Valley De-Bug, ACLU Northern California, and many others in opposing a new jail in San Mateo County, and we appreciate the messages of support and promises of attendance that we have already received from some of these groups for our Bastille Day rally.

ORWC continues to rally every Friday at 5 PM at Courthouse Square in Redwood CIty, with General Assemblies commencing at City Hall at 6 PM.

*** END ***

ORWC’s Really Really Free Market Returns!

(Estás invitado a un ¡MERCADO VERDADERO GRATIS!)

Sunday, July 1st
1pm-5pm
Main and Beech Streets, Redwood City

Domingo, 1 de Julio
1pm-5pm
Calles Main & Beech, Redwood City

A place to give and get all sorts of items 100% for free! Help keep usable items out of the landfill, while connecting with your community.  This is not barter (trade), but a gift economy. Don’t have anything to give?  That’s okay!  You’re still welcome to come and take what you need.

Un lugar para dar y obtener todo tipo de artículos ¡100% gratis! Ayúda a conservar las cosas útiles fuera de la basura, mientras te conectas a la comunidad. No es el trueque, ni negocio, pero es para regalar al que lo necesita. ¿No tienes nada para regalar? ¡Está bien! Todavía eres bienvenido a venir y llevar lo que necesites.

Please DON’T Bring: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazardous materials, animals, anything illegal.

Por favor NO traigas: Drogas, alcohol, armas, materiales peligrosos, animales, o cosas ilegales.

Please DO Bring: Anything else! Examples include clothing, food, books, housewares, and services that would be helpful to people.

Por favor SI traigas: ¡Todo el resto! Incluyendo: ropa, comida, libros, artículos para el hogar, y servicios que serían útiles para las personas.

Please DON’T: Leave any items behind. If no one takes home an item that you brought, please take it back with you.

Por favor NO: Deje ningun articulo detrás de usted. Si nadie se lleva una cosa que usted trajo, por favor llevarla de regreso con usted.

Please DO: Join us and have a great time!

Por favor SI: Únase a nosotros y ¡te divertiras!

Another Economy is Possible: Be a Part of It!

OTRA ECONOMÍA ES POSIBLE: ¡SER UNA PARTE DE ELLA!

URGENT: ORWC to Put the Pride Back in Pride

COMMUNITY, NOT COMMODITY

Media Contact: ORWCMedia at Gmail.Com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ORWC TO PUT THE PRIDE BACK IN PRIDE

June 24 (SAT), San Francisco, 10 AM - Occupy Redwood City (ORWC) passed a resolution at their June 8 General Assembly to put the PRIDE back in SF PRIDE and Occupy during the festivities with Occupy San Jose (OSJ), OSF, OO, and other like-minded groups who will come together as OccuPride.

ORWC is NOT protesting to attack the SF Pride parade or its organizers, nor are we attempting to disrespect any ongoing work of members of our community. We are taking a stand and attacking the commercialization of the parade and the attempted co-opting of our community by corporations who only care about their bottom line.

The Pride celebration has become increasingly taken over by corporate interests that use our struggle for liberation as a market for commodities and as a way to boost profit. Sponsors of SF Pride include corporate criminals like Comcast/Xfinity, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Clear Channel:

Whether it’s foreclosing on the poor and people of color, censoring progressive views, spending millions on right-wing politicians or lobby groups that work on anti-gay legislation, cutting healthcare and pensions for their rank-and-file workers, investing in prison-building companies, or lobbying for harsher immigration penalties for the undocumented while same-gender bi-national couples live in fear of separation and deportation, these corporations have no problem spending millions of dollars on policies that hurt the most vulnerable members of the queer and trans communities, particularly the poor, homeless, people of color, and the undocumented.

“These companies come to SF Pride and throw a paltry fraction of their marketing budget at the parade to have their logo plastered all over the festivities for one day, while working against the LGBTQIA community 365 days a year,” says ORWC member James Lee. “We do not accept this paradigm and say that this profiteering off our community must stop.”

Join Us for OccuPride! :)

The queer and trans communities are more than the affluent: we are also the disenfranchised, the homeless, the sick, and the sufferers of discrimination and violence. We will Occupy Pride to honor and reclaim its radical roots in our fight for full liberation for the 99%: women, people of color, immigrants, the disabled, all the oppressed and marginalized. We intend to celebrate our forgotten histories and those of us excluded from Corporate Pride.

Together we will remind people of the origins of Pride: a march for the liberation of all oppressed peoples! From housing to healthcare, living wages to protection from discrimination: human rights are queer rights and queer rights are human rights!

Join us as we Put the Pride Back in Pride!

ORWC continues to rally every Friday at 5 PM at Courthouse Square, with General Assemblies held an hour later at City Hall.

*** END ***

ORWC’s Really Really Free Market Returns!

(Estás invitado a un ¡MERCADO VERDADERO GRATIS!)

Sunday, June 3rd
1pm-5pm
Main and Beech Streets, Redwood City

Domingo, 3 de Junio
1pm-5pm
Calles Main & Beech, Redwood City

A place to give and get all sorts of items 100% for free! Help keep usable items out of the landfill, while connecting with your community.  This is not barter (trade), but a gift economy. Don’t have anything to give?  That’s okay!  You’re still welcome to come and take what you need.

Un lugar para dar y obtener todo tipo de artículos ¡100% gratis! Ayúda a conservar las cosas útiles fuera de la basura, mientras te conectas a la comunidad. No es el trueque, ni negocio, pero es para regalar al que lo necesita. ¿No tienes nada para regalar? ¡Está bien! Todavía eres bienvenido a venir y llevar lo que necesites.

Please DON’T Bring: Drugs, alcohol, weapons, hazardous materials, animals, anything illegal.

Por favor NO traigas: Drogas, alcohol, armas, materiales peligrosos, animales, o cosas ilegales.

Please DO Bring: Anything else! Examples include clothing, food, books, housewares, and services that would be helpful to people.

Por favor SI traigas: ¡Todo el resto! Incluyendo: ropa, comida, libros, artículos para el hogar, y servicios que serían útiles para las personas.

Please DON’T: Leave any items behind. If no one takes home an item that you brought, please take it back with you.

Por favor NO: Deje ningun articulo detrás de usted. Si nadie se lleva una cosa que usted trajo, por favor llevarla de regreso con usted.

Please DO: Join us and have a great time!

Por favor SI: Únase a nosotros y ¡te divertiras!

Another Economy is Possible: Be a Part of It!

OTRA ECONOMÍA ES POSIBLE: ¡SER UNA PARTE DE ELLA!