Browsing All Posts filed under »by Jaime Omar Yassin«

Earning the Ticket: An Interview with Tarcilo Caldera, Oakland Port Trucker and POTA activist

November 22, 2013


Tarcilo Caldera is a thirty year old member of the Port Trucker’s Association [POTA]. He moved to the US from Nicaragua with his family at the age of five—his father has been a Port trucker since 1989 and his mother is a janitor in San Francisco. Trucking is in Tarcilo’s blood. He spent summers with […]

Scraper Bike Heroes and Other Gloriously Chaotic Casualties of the “Outside Agitator” Narrative

July 24, 2013


Volumes have already been written about the protests in Oakland that exploded after the Zimmerman verdict on Saturday, July 13. I won’t delve deeply into some of the so-called “controversies”, because they are political constructs created by city officials and OPD. Trying to camouflage their own complicity in maintaining the system of police and systemic […]

Racist and Deracinated: Towards a More Inclusive White Supremacy

July 15, 2013


One of the public sphere alleyways that keeps cropping up around the murder of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman is the issue of the “race” of Zimmerman. The main current holds that Zimmerman is ‘white’, with a pushback from those that counter he is mixed race and/or Latino, because of his Latin American heritage. The […]

Banner Drops Against Adult School Cuts in East Oakland

May 22, 2013


We went to two former adult schools in East Oakland today to do some support outreach and visibility for tonight’s action at OUSD–The Bond Street Adult School Annex in Fruitvale, and Edward Shands Adult School right next to Eastmont Mall. We set up our materials and painted our banners and did chalk messages on the […]

The Last Cut for Adult Ed in Oakland

May 21, 2013


A few years ago, OUSD cut 90% of its adult education budget. Annexes and buildings that were once free centers of learning for the families of young adults and children struggling in OUSD’s classrooms, became encaged useless husks. Adult ed teachers lost their jobs and many of them were never able to return to teaching. […]

The Triumph of Activism

May 19, 2013


 The last several decades have represented an extended period of decline for the idea of “activism”. Protest, which in its golden hey-days of pre-institutional labor, anti-war, and civil rights, was an organic powerhouse, using a flexible diversity of tactics. Movements were not tied to a single form of protest, but it was clear that the […]

DA’s Frivolous Prosecution of Black Activist Comes on the Heels of Back to Back Exonerations of Black Oaklanders

March 20, 2013


Last year on May Day, a boisterous but mostly peaceful demonstration promoted by Occupy Oakland and other groups, was aggressively attacked by an OPD assault force. There really is no other way to describe the events [I wrote about that day here, and that attack in "Part 2"]. As the march, which had surged around […]

Distracted by Dorner, Updated: Expert Opinion on Use of “Burner” gas; update on number of rounds fired at false ID pickup

February 13, 2013


After a week of round the clock Dorner coverage, one thing remains clear: the generations-old criticisms about LAPD are as true as ever. LAPD  nurses a culture of corruption, racism and violence and it deliberately protects its brood from the prying eyes of the public or accountability. From beginning to end of this fiasco, LAPD […]

Biblioteca Popular at the Crossroads: an uncertain future for the six month old ad hoc people’s library

February 3, 2013


After over five months of unbelievable transformation–from dark blighted encaged dumping ground to accessible garden and outdoor library—Biblioteca Popular is once again in crisis as the city has moved to shut down the space. On Wednesday, city workers abruptly arrived and removed our “Biblioteca Popular” sign, and the next day they put a lock on […]

Mordor, Orcs, Pigs and Capitalism

October 25, 2012


 Its been a long painful and hopeful year for activists around the country. The Occupy Movement that began in New York was a bright light in an otherwise dreary and demoralizing decade of failures of activism and direct action. What began as unprecedented demonstrations that aggregated tens of thousands to what had once been manifestations […]

Biblioteca Popular Victor Martinez Update: Occupy Tactics Meet Community Organizing in the Murder Dubs: Updated

August 27, 2012


Whatever happens in the coming days and weeks of the Biblioteca Popular Victor Martinez, the action has so far brought together an unprecedented union of local activism with Occupy tactics and community organizing. Though bottomliners began with humble expectations—filling the library with books, dropping the banner, inspiring communities to oppose austerity by taking issues into […]

Update on the People’s Library in Fruitvale

August 16, 2012


On Monday morning, in the first recent action of its kind, anti-austerity, Occupy activists and radical librarians converged on a newly opened derelict building in the Fruitvale district and began to stock it with books. The building at 15th and Miller Avenue had been a library for over six decades, then an alternative continuation school […]

An Argument for Unsound Acts and Unrealistic Expectations: The Lakeview School Occupation’s End Run Around Conventional Wisdom

July 18, 2012


On June 15, an Oakland coalition of educators, parents and activists moved forward with a plan to occupy a recently closed elementary school as a protest against a recent wave of closures. They had little chance of lasting the night; their funds were non existent, they lacked active public support and had few bodies. Against […]

Reverse-Raptures, Magical Murder Maps, and Other Things That, at a Distance, Resemble Justice

June 11, 2012


Biking home last night on Foothill Avenue, I happened upon Oakland’s 50th homicide. This isn’t the first time that I’ve biked past a murder scene in Oakland; for anyone who’s lived here long enough, its not as uncommon as one would hope. But the murder, and another in East Oakland the day before, intruded on […]

Of Farming, Cloud Communities and Issue-Driven Occupation: A Model for Occupy 2.0

May 19, 2012


Part 1: to plant, you must supplant On an overcast and damp Earth Day 2012, a small but boisterous group of activists made their way to a rusting gate off of San Pablo Avenue, at the Berkeley-Albany border. Led by a marching band, carrying a shiny red soil tiller and trailers full of tools, the […]

Update on Occu-Farm

May 9, 2012


I and other farmers were awakened this morning to the sound of police bullhorns, informing us that UCPD were barricading the West entrance of the Gill Tract on Jackson St. and that they were deploying at the East entrance on San Pablo. In response, occupiers have moved some of their tools and infrastructure off site, […]

‘Good Protesters’, ‘Bad Protesters’ and Lessons Learned on May Day

May 7, 2012


Part 1: As the electoral cycle begins both locally and nationally, it’s not surprising to find various formulations of the increasingly toxic 99-meme spreading virulently. At its heart, the Occupy movement has been characterized by a rejection of status-quo organizing, electoral end-runs and “progressive” establishment institutions. A decades-long frustration with illusory gains from orderly city-certified […]

Misquotes and the Mainstream Media’s “Fissure” Fetish

April 29, 2012


I was horribly misquoted in an article in an SF Chronicle article by Kevin Fagan and Carolyn Jones. In my twenty or so minute phone interview with Jones, I never once mentioned the word violence, and neither did Jones. She did at one point, ask me, in a vague formulation, about Occupy Oakland’s “aggressive” actions, […]

Politicized ‘Hate Crimes’, the OPD and District Attorney O’Malley: Update

March 15, 2012


As I’m doing the sound check for our interview, I ask Adalberto Castellon the perfunctory question designed to elicit a few seconds of continuous speech—it’s the usual, “what did you have for lunch” question. Adalberto, who goes by Adal, tells me that he had a protein shake, and then explains that it’s all he can […]

OPD’s “Less than Lethal” Lessons from Military Forces

March 9, 2012


The story of American law enforcement has always been that of once-private protection firms for 1% elites in search of a social mandate. Despite the obvious primary role that police have in protecting the property of the richest and most powerful, life in a democracy is tough for elite guards—they must grow and assume forms […]

Propaganda, Lies and Suppression of Constitutional Rights by the Oakland Mayor’s Office, DA and OPD: Update, Update 2

March 3, 2012


Months ago, District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, in collusion with Mayor Jean Quan’s office and the direction of Deanna Santana, began a series of strategies designed to silence free speech—that is, from their perspective, the wrong kinds of speech directed at powerful local actors. As a recent dump of emails show, Quan was quite keen to […]

Captain Tacmerica

February 28, 2012


District Attorney O’Malley’s Strange Relationship to the Truth

February 24, 2012


On Sunday, while Occupy Oakland prepared for a mass day of action protesting the prison/industrial complex, Alameda County DA Nancy O’Malley published a torrent of disinformation in the form of an Op-Ed in the SF Chronicle. O’Malley’s obvious intention was to justify the city’s use of constitution-violating “stay away orders” from city government, city hall, […]

Oakland: a City of Radicals

February 14, 2012


I began to be radicalized in my twenties by my experiences as an Arab American traveling in Spain, the ugly racism and blood-thirst of the first US invasion of Iraq, and police repression during the protests that erupted after the Rodney King verdict in California. When I lived in Barcelona I was arrested in a […]

What Lies Beneath the “Violence” Discourse

February 4, 2012


I had a frustrating interview on Voice of Russia radio earlier this week. I’ve been on the show a couple of times before, and I’ve found the hosts to be level-headed and fair. So I was deeply shocked and surprised, when, after this last weekend’s events, they kept coming back, again and again, to the […]

The Reoccurring and Baffling Case of the Unscheduled Court Hearings & Subsequent Bench Warrants Issued Thereupon

January 22, 2012


Last week, I wrote about an Occupier whose charges—previously not pursued—were suddenly resurrected at an unannounced hearing. Had it not been for the fact that several other occupiers happened to be in the courtroom on the day of the unscheduled hearing when they heard their friend’s name called, that Occupier would now be facing several […]

Unpacking Homelessness on Move-In Day

January 21, 2012


On December 28, in the midst of Occupy Oakland’s continuing battle against the city and OPD at Oscar Grant Plaza, another kind of Occupation battle was taking place in Sacramento, largely out of sight of both activists and media. Homeless campers were experiencing another raid, as police cleared out their encampment. Despite the fact that […]

The Case of the Disappearing Dynamite and Other Stories of the Ongoing Oakland Occupation: Update: Mysteriously Scheduled Hearings

January 17, 2012


Stay Away Orders: At least two Occupiers have, or have been told they will receive, stay away orders from Oscar Grant Plaza. Ironically, these 300 yrd. stay orders given as condition of release on bail for protesters arrested for expressing their freedom of speech rights, also bar them from engaging in city hall, visiting their […]

Interview with Leila from the Kitchen Committee

January 13, 2012


A week or so ago, many people were horrified by video of riot-gear clad Oakland police rushing a woman fleeing on a bike, and then beating her as she fell off her bicycle. That woman was Leila, and that bicycle with its trailer has brought countless meals and supplies to Oscar Grant  plaza in the […]

American Licorice Post Mortem, Update: Video of Police Escorting a Delivery Truck Past the Picket Line

January 12, 2012


A lot of Occupiers who went out to support the strikers of Baker’s Union Local 125 were excited to be in the picket line, working toward an achievable short-term goal with that long-mythologized Occupy-hating community, “working folks”. The excitement was mutual. The striking workers, –many of them Latinos–were happy, if not curious, about their new […]

Two Issues; Only One is Important

January 8, 2012


There was a lot of bullshit at the “fuck the police march”. I think throwing bottles from behind, and doing other childish hijinks and disappearing into the crowd is the height of immaturity. What’s more, its difficult to believe that with all the antagonisms people of color in our group rightly have against police after […]

Misinformation, Disinformation and African-American Lynchers

January 6, 2012


Several news sources and articles, as well as the OPD Press Release dated January 3rd, 2012,  have misstated the facts surrounding recent city and police actions at Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa plaza. For the record, here are some facts to counter some misinformation caused by lazy mainstream media reporting: 1. The Tipi Vigil was the product […]

Insane Priorities in an Impoverished City and a Troubled Time

January 5, 2012


Enthralled with the beauty and community of the new 247vigil at Oscar Grant Plaza last night, I let go of all worry of a police raid. There was an almost holiday spirit of giving and sharing; everywhere you turned in the South End of the plaza people were laughing warmly or having intense political and […]

Occupiers Face Harrassment and Poor Treatment in Jail, Part 2

January 4, 2012


Now that many of the arrestees from December 30th have been released, we’re hearing disturbing stories of targeted harassment against Occupy Oakland activists. Occupiers have all shared similar details; they have had the letters OK put on their wristbands, a practice apparently not being done to other detainees. According to several detainees, they were held […]

City’s Increased Repression of Oscar Grant Plaza Vigils Producing Ironic Results, Updated:

January 3, 2012


Shortly after police raided Oscar Grant Plaza for the second time, an intrepid, but disparate group of campers began to organize themselves autonomously to maintain a presence in Oscar Grant Plaza. On the night of the raid itself, some OGP campers scaled a tree and—over the next week or so—erected a series of platforms that […]


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