Occupy standoffs continue as poll finds public support for the movement

OccupySF, now one of the nation's largest Occupy encampments, could be raided soon.
Steven T. Jones

As OccupyOakland moves to reoccupy Frank Ogawa/Oscar Grant Plaza today and the burgeoning OccupySF encampment braces for another long-threatened raid by police, a new Field Poll finds that about half of registered California voters identify with the Occupy movement and support its goals, which include taxing the rich and limiting the ability of large corporations to corrupt the political and economic systems.

As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, 46 percent of respondants said they identified with the Occupy movement and 58 percent agree with the cause that prompted it, compared with 32 percent who say they disagree with it. Unsurprisingly, those on the left were more likely to support Occupy while those on the right were more likely to oppose it. A previous Field Poll at the height of the right-wing Tea Party movement found it had only about half as much support as Occupy now enjoys.

Still, as it enters its third month and winter descends on the encampments, Occupy faces myriad challenges. In San Francisco, the mainstream media -- particularly curdmugeonly Chronicle columnist CW Nevius -- has regularly highlighted conflicts and other conditions in the camps and pushed Mayor Ed Lee to follow-through on his threats to clear the tents from Justin Herman/Bradley Manning Plaza. Rumors abound that a raid could come on Wednesday night, when SFPD beefs up its staffing for training exercises.

In Oakland, the site of some of the most violent police crackdowns on Occupy encampments, OccupyOakland members are right now (noon, Tues/29) marching back into their former home and pledging to set up a 24/7 protest in defiance of city officials. While they seem to be stopping short of a full-blown occupation and tent city, they claim to be setting up a model for the next phase of the Occupy movement.

The group’s press release follows:




Phil Horne, Esq., Occupy Oakland Vigil Committee

415-874-9800; occupylaw@riseup.net



On Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at noon, Occupy Oakland activists will retake Frank Ogawa a.k.a. Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland with a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week vigil.  Occupiers hope to create a model for a new wave of "Occupation" protest throughout the United States. With the vigil, Occupiers will continue asserting rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution to assemble, speak, and petition government for redress of grievances.  The vigil is not the product of a bargain with Mayor Quan, nor is it negotiated with law enforcement--permission from the city is not required to exercise these constitutionally guaranteed rights.

The structures in the plaza will be symbolic and part of the vigil protest. A teepee will remind the public of the former Occupy camp and historic struggles of the Sioux Indians on the Plains of the U.S.; homeless workers in Hoovervilles during the Great Depression; the “Bonus March” to Washington D.C. by unpaid and unemployed veterans in 1932; Resurrection City following the assassination of Martin Luther King; the AIDS vigil of 1980s San Francisco; and the redwood occupations of Judi Bari and Running Wolf.

Occupy Oakland continues its occupation because residents of Oakland and across the US are still fighting for food, shelter, medical care, school, childcare, and other necessities.  The 1% enjoy 40% of U.S. wealth and 50% ownership of Wall Street stocks and bonds.  The bottom 80% split 7% of the former and just 5% of the latter.  The average 35-year-old in the 99% has a net worth less than $3,000.00.  Occupiers ask the public to consider, “How long does it take an unemployed member of the 99% to go through $3,000.00 and become homeless.” In Oakland, the unemployment rate is nearly double that of the national average. These are issues of crucial relevance to our city.

Occupy Oakland’s vigil declares, “If the 1% won’t share voluntarily through a sense of morality and concern for the well-being of all, then through protest and direct action, we will force change!  Occupy the Plaza!  De-colonize the 99%!”

Occupy Oakland will have sign-up sheets starting Tuesday at 11 am. at the Plaza, but sign up is not a prerequisite for participation in the vigil. Supporters are encouraged to come out day or night to participate.  The Plaza is fully accessible to the differently-abled.

About OccupyOakland:

Occupy Oakland is an emerging social movement without leaders or spokespeople. It is one of 1,570 occupations currently occurring around the world in solidarity with Occupy Wall St. For more information about the other occupations, see: http://www.occupytogether.org/

An up-to-date calendar announcing Oakland actions, and more information can be found at:








I just don't understand how having these manky campers out there 24/7 is helping to advance them at this point. They started a conversation which has influenced the national debate - time to declare victory and move on.

Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 3:01 pm
Posted by anonymous on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 4:27 pm
Posted by Aragorn on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 4:34 pm

The problems aren't going away so why should the protesters. I say keep shining the light on the issues until something is done about them.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 5:03 pm

So the actual plan is to keep complaining until someone else does something about it? Brilliant.

Posted by Guest on Nov. 30, 2011 @ 12:10 am

Troll alert!

Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

Remember this delightful thread:


>>>Posted by Longtime Lurker on Nov. 18, 2011 @ 11:26 pm

Uh, the numbers are clear, the support is there.

Politicians fuck with Occupy at their peril.

Posted by marcos on Nov. 29, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

who is the real Aragorn?

Posted by Chromefields on Nov. 30, 2011 @ 11:05 am

millions more out in the streets

more spectacular beatings and spraying of people

some deaths of us 99-percenters

costing cities big bucks in police costs

more of us arrested

until those conditions are met politician will peek out their windows and figure things aren't bad enough to address the concerns of the common folks...and they will continue to be fed money by corporations, special interest and the 1-percenters.

what really stands out is the contrast between non-violence and violence...every peaceful movement in the world has been surrounded by violence. our country was founded by violence. it is the only thing the country understands even though "we the people" understand peace and non-violence.

oh, and don't expect the media's help in covering OWS much.

Posted by Guest will on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 10:56 am

One of the more positive developments from the Occupy Movement is its focus on the banking, real estate, government debt and private Federal Reserve systems, and their complicit conspiracy to bankrupt millions of families across the country.

The Savings & Loan caused real estate spike in the late 1980's cost US taxpayers over $1 trillion to bail out the industry's bad real estate loans . This latest real estate meltdown might reach $10 trillion of new govenment debt by the time all of the banks and mortgage owners are bailed out by taxpayers.

In the early 1990's real estate vultures bought houses for 20-30 cents on the dollar from the government, who were having S&L fire sales to get the bad loans off bank's books before anyone noticed the good deals being given to the housing speculators, often government insiders like ex-Treasury Secretary Bill Simon.

We're seeing the same situation now where a large percentage of all home sales are private landlords buying houses on the cheap, while turning once tight ownership communities into rental wastelands, sucking every last rent dollar out of these new downscale communities, keeping the poorest families even poorer.

Reforming the Federal Reserve system will take at least 5-15 years. Dennis Kucinich's recently introduced bill is a good start. But it will take tens of thousands of serious, committed people coming together to iron out differences in approach and details to make something like this happen, which may be be possible among the usually fractured left. But it's definitely worth the long fight to reclaim something as basic as a country's money system so let's hope some of the Occupiers stay with the fight over the long term.



Two recent articles on Salon.com discuss various aspects of the ongoing mortgage/government debt crisis, including the real world consequences to millions of families when once-thriving communities are devastated by foreclosures. Towns across the country are becoming rental wastelands where private landlords rule the roost and suck as much rent from the community as possible. The patriarchal Feudalism System redux. Such progress for the "greatest country on earth" to return an economy from the 1300's.



Another story explains well the outcomes we can expect when the government, banking and real estate industries work together to declare and win the economic war against the Amercian public across the entire country.

"Evangelina Rodeiles works the night shift at the cafeteria at the Venetian casino-hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. Her house value has dropped from $155,000 to $80,000 in the past six years. Her husband is an underemployed construction worker.

"I want to believe things are getting better, but I don't see it," she said.

West, whose idyllic neighborhood has been overrun by foreclosures in recent years, said there is no bright side.

"We are losing our community," she said."


Occupy National Day of Action - Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Posted by Guest on Dec. 04, 2011 @ 2:30 pm

It seems inevitable that going forward the Occupy Movement will continue to come up against major divisions over tactics and strategy that could get contentious and divisive, turning off some of the strong current public support. Occupiers have said they are speaking for "the 99%," but this means most of them will, at one time or another, be advocating policies they might personally oppose. Supporting a larger group interest over our own self-interest is very difficult even for the most altruistic and big-hearted.

If The Occupiers can survive the inevitable internal battles that will occur from time to time without serious damage to their movement, trying to coalesce around the crucial touchstone issues of economic injustice - government budgets, taxes, and employment policies - will be equally difficult. The left has always had some weakness articulating coherent and sustainable economic policies. The status quo endures if proposed policies don't seem to make sense or inspire people. Even the most basic and important decision a politician makes, "Who should pay the taxes we need to run a government?" quickly almost always breaks down in a cacophony of different priorities and methods.

In the Sacramento Sunday paper was a summary of the tax measures being proposed for next November's presidential election ballot. As any of us go down the list we say "yes" or "no" to the various spending and tax proposals in each measure. The Think Long spending proposals make a lot of sense (except the public safety part), but it's based on a regressive sales tax that should never be supported since there are far better taxes to target the wealthy, such as graduated excise taxes on high passive incomes such as dividends, rent income, capital gains and interest income.

The 'Restoring California' income tax proposal is great (3% > $1 million, 5% > $2 million), but I'd never vote for 'infrastructure' since it's mainly a subsidy for landlords and speculators that should be paid for with high taxes on rents and capital gain taxes on non-homeowner land sales.

Governor Brown's proposal has both a bad tax (sales tax) and bad spending priorities, so that will be the easiest to vote "no."

The "Our Children, Our Future" proposal is my favorite. I pay a little extra tax of $200, but 100% of the money will be spent on K-12 education and early childhood development, which I completely support.


Of course most people will disagree with my spending and tax biases. But the key point is they likely won't agree with each other about tax and spending preferences. That's when the Tower of Babel effect seems to kick in. Our differences become more important than our similarities. Our inability to understand each other, or develop a common language, or respect one another, or focus together on a desired outcome destroys any chance for positive outcomes.

Here's a good example with two outspoken "left" activists, Van Jones and Kevin Zeese. Kevin makes some good points, but the demeaning tone doesn't win him any points.

Reading comments on the Bay Guardian website provides an almost daily barrage of similar vitriol and hatred some people have for each other or for different points of view. Anger. Hostile language. Lack of respect for others who are different. Posturing and demeaning others to tear them down so we can appear better than them (which always has the opposite effect.) Any of these common human behaviors kill the positive buzz and growth in movements and organizations every time.

If the Occupier sympathizers can’t get past basic respect for the others - inlcuding the vast majority of people who comprise the 99% - they can forget about trying to agree on contentious issues like budget spending and tax priorities since no one will be listening by then.


Posted by Guest on Dec. 06, 2011 @ 4:48 pm