Although it may not be as significant as the original Occupy Wall Street protest, the Occupy Oakland movement has garnered attention as perhaps the most significant in the state of California since it began weeks ago.
On Wednesday, thousands are participating in a general strike organized by Occupy Oakland. This will include several rallies and marches throughout the day at 14th Street and Broadway. Organizers said they plan to gather at 5:00 p.m. and march to the Port of Oakland in an attempt to shut it down.
Hundreds of teachers from the Oakland Unified School District are expected to join in, as district officials have made contingency plans with substitutes on hand.
City workers have also been told that they can participate in the strike by either using a vacation day or paid time off. This has drawn the fire of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association, which sent an open letter to Oakland Mayor Jean Quan slamming her shifting stance on the Occupy movement. They are questioning why the city is beefing up its police presence while allowing city workers to participate in the event. They have also questioned Quan’s decision to clear the protester’s encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza last week, then allowing it to resume a day later.
The Oakland movement has been a lightning rod for the West Coast Occupy protests as Oakland police and other local law enforcement agencies have been criticized for their use of tear gas, rubber bullets and what some deem excessive force to put a stop to the protests.
Oakland police officials said that all available officers will be on duty Wednesday and they are hoping the protests will be peaceful in nature.
Photo Credit: www.occupyoakland.org