The goal of the day’s actions, Mr. Brill adds, is to target the same transnational corporations that have been the target of the larger Occupy movement from its inception in New York City on Sept. 17. “We’ve gotten statements of support from all over the world,” he says. “We even saw a sign on TV coverage of Tahrir Square in Egypt saying ‘We support Oakland.’ ”
But Oakland has its own particular issues, which provide additional fuel for Wednesday’s planned actions, says Mr. Brill: "We have a long history of police officers being out of control.”
The call for a general strike follows a violent clash last week after law enforcement officers moved on Occupy Oakland protesters to dismantle the local tent encampment in downtown Oakland, firing tear gas into the crowds. An Iraq war veteran was severely injured when he was struck in the head by a tear gas canister, sending him to the hospital.
“We have people in our town who can’t allow their children out at night, not because of gangs, but out of fear of police actions,” says Brill. He is quick to add that “we consider the police part of the working 99 percent, but we want accountability for those few who think they are outside the law and can act without oversight.”
Over at Oaklanders Assistance Center, a community liaison group between the mayor’s office and residents, liaison officer Linda Teixeira says detailed preparations are being made, with an emphasis on preventing violence.
The mood in the city is calm, Ms. Teixeira says, adding that many businesses have phoned her office for help on how to be ready. She notes that there appears to be widespread support for the mass action in the community. The participation of the large unions actually might help to calm things down a bit because they are very organized and used to doing big strikes,” she says.