Posts Tagged 'Oakland'

Ferguson, Missouri and Oakland, California

I hate that this was so predictable.   Tonight the grand jury announced that they would not indict the officer who shot and killed Michael Brown.

Meanwhile in Oakland, there’s protesting that seems to have turned into vandalism, broken windows, and bonfires.

As I type this, it seems that there’s a large group that is blocking the freeway.   I don’t really think that’s such a big deal, but it’s gotta be frustrating to anyone who might be stuck in traffic trying to get home.

Of course this is a big deal in Oakland because of the long history of police officer misconduct and brutality in Oakland.

And the precedent in Oakland is that a group gathers to peacefully make their point known, and at some point, it turns into this situation where damage and destruction begin.  It’s actually not this bad this time.   But every time this happens, most of the people who are arrested are not from Oakland.   I wish they would stay home and break their own stuff.

I believe in demonstrating.  I believe that people have a right to be upset, and it makes perfect sense.  This is not an isolated incident.

Breaking windows won’t solve it.  Setting fires won’t solve it.

 

Stay angry, but stay safe, Oakland.

And don’t break my shit.

Rethinking A Few Things

I spent last week in New York.  It was a work trip that had been planned for a while.  It wasn’t really good timing, and it wasn’t really a thing I wanted to do, really.   I thought perhaps that it might distract me from some things which will remain unsaid.   It was distracting, and it did put certain things out of my mind, but yet, the things that replaced those thoughts were perhaps not what I was expecting.

It wasn’t so long ago, visiting for another work trip at a different job entirely, that I thought that I could easily move to New York at any time.  In fact, I even envisioned myself going to NYU for grad school.  I didn’t even care what the field of study might be.  The point was that I would be living the student life, probably sharing an apartment in an exotic borough, like the Bronx.   I always thought of it as a sojourn.  I felt that I would spend a few years in The Big Apple, but eventually the Bay Area, specifically the East Bay, was where I would end up for good.  I have never felt that I belonged anywhere the way that I feel that I belong here at home.

As the years went by, it was a dream I sort of forgot about.  I knew I wouldn’t lay down permanent roots somewhere else, so I just settled into my roots here, and forgot about moving away.   I explored more of the world, even further outside of New York and the United States, and everywhere I’ve ever been, no matter how much I liked it, I always was happy to come home to California, to Oakland.  I am more Oakland or East Bay than anything else.

So, it didn’t surprise me very much to find myself not really digging New York.  I mean, strongly not digging.  I could not wait to get the heck out of there.  I didn’t want to listen to the endless honking, and I didn’t want to get bumped and jostled down the street.  I had no desire to squeeze myself onto an overpacked rush hour subway train.  I didn’t want to wear a hat, a hoodie, a coat, a scarf, and mittens. Every part of my body seemed to be screaming in protest to my surroundings.  And at the end of the day, I was so tired.

New York City is exhausting, and it wears my soul out.

When I finally got home, and walked to work on Monday, the sun was shining, I was wearing a light hoodie, no one bumped me as I walked down the street, and I think maybe I heard one car horn honk.  I am so happy to be home. Home, sweet, peaceful Oakland.

dorothy

Just sayin’.

OK, I Was Wrong

I was saying all day that they wouldn’t get violent again.   The Bacon was in custody.   And OPD would be all over it.

Well, I was wrong.   Right now, on the news they’re saying about 40 people are running around downtown breaking windows.    

It apparently started very peacefully, with about 1,000 protestors.  Once most everyone went home, a small group started smashing windows.   I think it’s pretty clear that this is not a case of some people who were overcome by the tension or emotion of the protest.  These are the folks who had every intention of doing this from the start.   

I’ve seen some comments online over the last few days, people who seem to have something against capitalism.   They’ve been talking about targeting business.

What the fuck?!?

What, if anything, does this have to do with the issue?   Do they even remember what happened?   Are they thinking of Oscar Grant and his family at all?   This is not how change is achieved.    

I’m really bummed out, and completely pissed off.   

I don’t even know what else to say.   It’s so . . .  frustrating.

Walking Around Today

Over at Oakland Living, they have posted a list of businesses that were vandalized during the riots last Wednesday.   I decided to go and visit one of my favorite take out spots which had their windows broken, Take It Easy.   

Also, the tattoo parlor where I got my first tattoo in November, Temple Tattoo, had their windows broken, too.    

While I was on my little walk, I saw some inspirational signs of what I think is true spirit of Oakland..    I snapped these two shots on my iPhone.

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Oakland is Angry

My city is angry, and I understand why. A young man, who was held down on the ground and handcuffed, was then shot by a police officer. (Fucking cops!)

Compounding the issue is that there hasn’t seemed to be any real action on holding any of the officers involved accountable for the death of the young man, 22 year old Oscar Grant who was laid to rest yesterday.

So, people took to the streets. They met in protest at the BART (subway or tube to the rest of you) station where he was killed. They gathered to speak about the young man, and to express their anger towards the bullshit that went down on New Years Day at that location. And some folks then marched that location to downtown Oakland.

And some of those people, well, I don’t know what the fuck their problem was. Some shitty shit happened, yes, but does that justify burning cars, dumpsters, garbage cans and breaking windows in stores?  Hell no!

I saw none of it. I was not in downtown. When I got off work yesterday, I got on my bike and rode home.

Some folks were there – Richard and Becks wrote great blogs about being there.

I love this city, and I hope we can find a way to work it out and express our anger without burning the whole city down.

Just sayin’.

Really Big Change

I have a new job, which I will be starting in about two and a half weeks.   I had to give my current job two weeks notice.    This new job is going to be very cool; I’m convinced.

I’m sure this will lead to lots of jokes within my extended family.  Last time I called my uncle, the first thing he did was go through this list of questions, “Did you move?  New job?  New boyfriend?”

Yeah. Yeah.

Anyway, the new job is in Oakland, very close to home.  I’ll no longer have to commute into the fog, and I’ll no longer be taking the casual carpool.   That’s too bad, because I’ve had some interesting and entertaining times with casual carpool.

Anyway, it’s the same type of work that I’ll be doing in online advertising.  However, the new company is not a Huge Corporation.

I’ll update again once I start the new job.   Things for me are changing a lot right now, but it’s mostly good stuff.

Cool Picture of the Day 3

Oakland at Night


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