Breaking Down Occupy Oakland for the Layman and/or Politician: Updated

Posted on November 4, 2011

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A note on this entry. Up until the time that Shake Anderson accused me of being a terrorist–a charge he made without evidence of any kind, and indeed with a vast amount of evidence to the contrary readily available–we never had problems of any kind.

Indeed, I saw Shake several nights before the accusation was made and we had a pleasant conversation. After he decided to make the accusation, he continued to do so for at least a year, despite it being proven wrong beyond a shadow of a doubt. I have no idea if he still puts it forth, but he has never retracted it or apologized. Here is a link to an article I wrote about the experience, which also includes the document that Shake and others published on an Occupy Oakland branded website.

I leave people to make up their own mind about what kind of person displays that kind of behavior, and if any of the things he said that I took precious time of my life to transcribe are true. Or what truth would even mean to such a person.

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One of the last formal interviews I conducted at Occupy Oakland, with audio recorder and critical questions, was with Shake, who I found to be one of the most articulate and forceful proponents for OO that I’ve ever talked to.

Shake has been at OO from the very beginning, and in this excerpt from testimony at last night’s city hall meeting, he eloquently expresses some of the same fantastic things I noted from Occupy Oakland from the beginning.

Hello my name is Shake Anderson…I’m here representing Oakland as a third generation resident. So as a third generation resident, someone that’s been here, I’ve seen this city transform, and I’ve seen what’s happening with this occupation movement. I’ve been here from day one on the ground, dealing with people…I know how to deal with people, I deal with conflict resolution as a part of my life and some of these people are mentally ill, some of these people don’t have homes, some of these people don’t have opportunities to do anything

…what this occupation actually has done for these people is give them a purpose, is give them a reason to actually get up in the morning and be useful in a society that has forgotten all about them. And the society says, cause you’re a drug dealer or a drug addict you have no value, this gives them value. They have a reason to do something that’s productive for society, even though its a small society…it reflects the overall society.

We have GA’s which is exactly what this is, where we talk about issues. But the difference about occupation? A lot of times, those issues we talk about, we actually do something about it.

My key point…is to address the simplicity of what we’re doing here. We’re feeding people and we’re giving them a place to stay and that’s exactly what you should be doing. But you’re not, and we’re doing it for you. So all we ask is to help. Don’t hinder this, help  it. All you’re doing is stopping what’s already happened…helping people and giving them the opportunity to be valuable in a society that’s forgotten all about them.

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