Friday, November 4, 2011

Friday Must Read: Oakland Council Refuses to Back Occupy Oakland; ‘Black Bloc’ Vandals Rip a Hole in Occupy Movement

By Robert Gammon
Fri, Nov 4, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland City Council last night declined to vote on a resolution in support of Occupy Oakland, after it became clear that the measure lacked the votes needed to pass. In addition, a council majority, along with Mayor Jean Quan, indicated that they wanted Occupy Oakland to go away, although it remains unclear whether the city will again try to forcibly remove the protesters. The council’s decision to not voice support for Occupy Oakland came after city business leaders said the protests were harming existing businesses and scaring away others. Although nearly everyone appeared to agree that the General Strike and massive protest on Wednesday had been a roaring success, the vandalism, violence, and chaos orchestrated by a small group of demonstrators early yesterday appears to have severely harmed the movement.

2. The splinter group of black-clad vandals who used so-called “black-bloc” tactics early yesterday in an obvious attempt to launch a battle with police and turn the protest into chaos also have ripped a gaping hole within Occupy Oakland, the Chron and Trib report. Many Occupiers denounced the splinter group but others in the protest have been unwilling to do so. The resulting divide and the possibility that the vandals will wreak more havoc on the city are also raising serious doubts about the long-term survival of Occupy Oakland.

3. Nonetheless, the Occupy protest against Wall Street greed continues to expand throughout the nation and the world. Tomorrow is Bank Transfer Day, in which progressives are urging citizens to withdraw funds from big banks and deposit them in community financial institutions and local credit unions. California Watch, however, is noting that not all credit unions are equal and that some engage in predatory payday loans. Experts are urging people to do a bit of research before transferring their money.

4. A new report, meanwhile, is adding fuel to the Occupy Movement’s protests over corporate giveaways. The report shows that thirty major US companies paid zero federal taxes in the past three years, including Wells Fargo Bank and PG&E Corp., both based in San Francisco, the Chron notes. Wells Fargo, in particular, benefitted from generous government loopholes and subsidies.

5. Greenhouse gas emissions jumped dramatically last year around the globe, the AP reports. The amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere by human activity rose 6 percent, and most of the increase came from the US and China.

6. And executions in California are on hold for at least a year, as the state attempts to answer questions about its lethal-injection procedures, the Chron reports.

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