The politics of economic obstruction
Occupy Oakland strike promoter Boots Riley, who penned “5 million ways to kill a CEO,” celebrates the attack on the World Trade Center
My new column spotlights the Occupiers’ “general strike” action scheduled for today — and climaxing tonight in an anticipated shutdown of the Port of Oakland (Calif.). Many of the same old agitators I’ve covered over the past decade are behind the latest manufactured chaos. I refresh your memories below of the Bay Area Left’s violent Oakland port shutdown in 2003 and the ignominious Oakland agitator and strike leader Boots Riley, and also connect the dots between Riley, Oakland’s Van Jones, Occupy Oakland, and the violent ILWU thugs and their supporters who kicked off the Day of Rage warm-up show in Longview, Washington in September.
Related reading: Here’s the scathing open letter from Oakland’s police union blasting the quivering Democrat mayor Jean Quan. She’s a UC Berkeley-bred moonbat now more interested in restoring her prog credentials than in cleaning up her dysfunctional city and standing up for law-abiding businesses and taxpayers. The organizers have distributed their chants for the day, including:
“Strike, Occupy, Shut it Down! Oakland is the People’s Town”
“Every Hour, Every Day! The occupation is here to stay!”
“Occupy Everything! Liberate Oakland”
“Politicians & Bankers, Liars & Thieves, We’re taking it back! We’re not saying please!”
“No more cops, we don’t need ‘em! All we want is total freedom”
“Shut Down OPD! Not the Public Library!”
“Let’s Go Oakland! Let’s Go!” [clap] [clap]
Perhaps they’ll throw some of Boots Riley’s violent rap lyrics into the mix, too.
The mob enablers in Oakland’s city government — and the voters who keep putting these stooges in office — have only themselves to blame for disgracing their basket-case city. Shame.
Occupy Oakland’s dangerous “strike” follies
by Michelle Malkin
The next stage of the Aimless Occupation of America is upon us: On Wednesday, rabble-rousers in the San Francisco Bay Area will walk off jobs they don’t have and encourage everyone else around the country to abandon work to protest high unemployment.
The Occupiers are calling their organized day of inaction a “Mass Day of Action.” The Carpenters Local 713, the Service Employees International Union, the United Auto Workers, and the Industrial Workers of the World have all endorsed the “general strike.” Longshore workers and their union agitators are rooting for the shutdown of the Port of Oakland. Teachers’ unions will push students and educators to play hooky. Their posters urge: “No Work. No School. Occupy Everywhere.”
A city suffering from chronic poverty, out-of-control crime, a $76 million budget deficit, and a 15 percent unemployment rate (nearly 50 percent for Oakland’s youth) can hardly afford such social justice follies. But a pushover Democratic mayor and an overwhelmed police force have left what’s left of gainfully employed Oakland taxpayers at the mercy of professional freeloaders and anti-capitalism saboteurs.
Instead of unequivocally condemning efforts to paralyze downtown commerce, Oakland city officials have all expressed sympathy for the protesters. For a brief moment, the city council president fretted meekly about the city’s image after a violent clash between Camp Chaos inhabitants and law enforcement officers last week. Nevertheless, city leaders — or rather, city enablers — have informed public employees they can use vacation or other paid time to ditch their offices and raise their fists in solidarity with the Occupiers.
Instead of targeting local bank branch managers and private-sector entrepreneurs, the protesters should be camping out at government offices asking where all the tens of millions in federal Obama stimulus funding for Oakland went over the past two years – including $40 million from the Department of Health and Human Services, nearly $30 million from the Department of Housing and Urban Development, $26 million from the Department of Justice, $24 million from the Transportation Department, $15 million from the Department of Education, and $5.3 million from the Environmental Protection Agency.
One local analysis found last year that the Oakland Housing Authority squandered nearly $11 million in federal project renovation and clean-up stimulus grants to create a measly 10.7 jobs.
It would all be an amusing object lesson on the impotence of the welfare state, if not for the looming shadow of violence that hangs like stubborn Bay Area fog over the movement. In 2003, a like-minded mob of police-provoking anarchists, anti-war organizers, and progressive activists descended on the Port of Oakland to coordinate a “Day of Action.” They hurled concrete, wood, and iron bolts at cops while attempting to block military shipments to soldiers in wartime – then whined about police brutality.
Fast-forward eight years. This week’s “Day of Action” is spearheaded by the likes of Oakland rapper Boots Riley, a militant, self-declared “communist” who penned “5 million ways to kill a CEO” (“Toss a dollar in the river and when he jump in/If you find he can swim, put lead boots on him and do it again”) and “Lazy Muthaf**kas” (“You ain’t never learned to drive or tie your shoe/I got my ear to the street and my eye on you/… You’re a lazy ********** ! Lazy **********!). After the 9/11 attacks, I reported on Riley’s appalling album cover depicting him partying in front of a doctored image of the World Trade Center being blown up.
Like fellow Occupier, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and Oakland community organizer Van Jones, Boots Riley has long stoked anti-police grievances. In “Pork and Beef,” he rapped: “If you got beef with c-o-p’s/Throw a Molotov at the p-i-g’s.”
Add to this toxic mix the thugs of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The planned march on Oakland’s port is being billed as an expression of “solidarity with longshore workers in their struggle” against grain importer EGT. In Longview, Washington, wildcat union workers cut train brake lines, smashed windows, dumped grain, and took hostages earlier this fall to protest the company’s decision to employ not non-union workers, but workers from a competing shop. A federal judge fined the ILWU $250,000 after it defied a court restraining order; even Obama’s National Labor Relations Board was forced to issue a complaint against the union’s “violent and aggressive” actions.
The unapologetic local union president vowed: “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”
Mark those words.
UPDATE: Men’s Wearhouse = moonbats.
Thousands of Wall Street protesters marched in the streets of Oakland on Wednesday as they geared up with labor unions to picket banks, take over foreclosed homes and vacant buildings and disrupt operations at the nation’s fifth-busiest port.
Demonstrators as well as city and business leaders expressed optimism that the widely anticipated “general strike” would be a peaceful event for a city that became a rallying point last week after an Iraq War veteran was injured in clashes between protesters and police.
Embattled Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, who has been criticized for her handling of the protests, said in a statement that she supported the goals of the protest movement that began in New York City a month ago and spread to dozens of cities across the country.
…Nurse, teacher and other worker unions are taking part in the protests, and Oakland is letting city workers use vacation or other paid time to take part in the general strike. About 5 percent of city workers took the day off Wednesday, according to City Administrator Deanna Santana.
About 360 Oakland teachers didn’t show up for work, or roughly 18 percent of the district’s 2,000 teachers, said Oakland Unified School District spokesman Troy Flint. The district has been able to get substitute teachers for most classrooms, and where that wasn’t possible children were sent to other classrooms, he said.
The day’s events in Oakland began with a rally outside City Hall that by midmorning drew more than 1,000 people who were spilling into the streets and disrupting the downtown commute.
About three dozen adults with toddlers and school-age children formed a “children’s brigade, gathering at Oakland Public Library for a stroller march to the protest in downtown Oakland. Demonstrators handed out signs written as if in a children’s crayon that read “Generation 99% Occupying Our Future,” which the marchers attached to their baby backpacks and strollers.
The protests were expected to culminate with a march to the Port of Oakland, where organizers said the goal would be to stop work there for the 7 p.m. shift. Organizers say they want to halt “the flow of capital” at the port.