100,000+ Occupy Oakland, NOT 7,000 as Government Reports

RAW VIDEO: Chopper footage of 100,000+ Occupy Oakland Takes back Highway


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Report filed by Zennie Abraham in Oakland


Oakland’s Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan (a capable and politically smart leader in a tough position) got the Occupy Oakland General Strike crowd count massively wrong: it’s not 7,000, but 100,000.


This blogger has been in Oakland since 1974. The largest crowd at Frank Ogama Plaza was for a speech by then-Senator, now President Barack Obama in 2007, and for which was estimated at 18,000. Barack filled the space with people.

The Occupy Oakland General Strike had that many people in the plaza for most of the day, while two huge crowds were outside of it: one marching down Broadway, the other a set of people walking around various parts of downtown Oakland with protest signs.

You can’t take a snapshot of an event like this, because of its time length; you have to think of it as a dynamic. In any population there are births, deaths, in-migration, and out-migration. For the Occupy Oakland General Strike, there were no births, thankfully no deaths, but a lot of in-migration and out-migration.

What was so amazing about the size of the crowd both inside the plaza and just outside of it, then marching to the Port of Oakland, was that it did not decrease in size; it increased. And that was with some people leaving it, and others coming in from BART and from around Oakland via foot or other parts of the Bay by car.

For that to happen all day long and considering the capacity of the plaza and the crowds outside of it points to 100,000 people. I’ve never seen anything like that in the entire history of this city.

And that is why it must be said that much of the media should be drawn and quartered for the most irresponsible coverage I’ve ever seen. Many outlets just waited for something bad to happen, or looked for it. But there were so many people more having a great time, that whatever happened was far away from downtown Oakland.

The Whole Foods Oakland Facility is on 27th and Harrison and outside of downtown Oakland, and a good mile away from City Hall Plaza. But to the media eye, the vandalism that happened there made headlines. Let’s just get this out of the way: it should not have happened, but that’s no excuse to get the whole story wrong.

The happy time lasted for much of the evening, but as the people either went to the Port (I did not go over there) or went home, a crowd of 100,000 shrank, like The Hulk turning back into Bruce Banner, to about a few 100 at best.

Here’s where the media – except the SF Appeal – really screwed up.

The violence happened because of a rather dumb attempt by some with Occupy Oakland to take over an abandoned building in downtown Oakland. Why this idea was allowed to pass the General Assembly I do not know, but Oakland’s Occupy movement is not known for thinking things through all the time. It’s too prone to make moves that are outside of the rules of the Occupy movement – moves that at times cause violence.

(And on that note, business people should be involved in the Occupy Movement, too. It’s something that can be impacted by the voice and involvement of business people. That’s why I think Oakland Chamber of Commerce head Joe Haraburda’s just plain out to lunch on this whole issue. He paints Occupy Oakland in “us versus them” terms, which just shows how much he doesn’t get the whole deal and how it can actually be FORMED to help Oakland business. More on this today, but it must be said there’s a case to be made for the need to be compensated for work. Business people can make that case in solidarity with the movement. Hey, there are Occupy Oakland t-shirts for sale – think about it.)

And that’s not to let Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and the police off the hook here. The main problem is there militaristic approach has only served to make sure that more and more of these skirmishes take place. Downtown Oakland businesses are suffering in the process. Quan has done NOTHING to convince Occupy Oakland to work to help businesses by patronizing them.

The punishment for both Quan and Police Chief Jordan should be to force both of them and their staffs to eat lunch and dinner at Flora, Max’s, Luka’s to start, then go bar hopping in the Uptown.

And I’ll join them.

But I digress.

The bottom line is all of this Occupy Oakland General Strike business has been misreported. The count is 100,000, not 7,000. And the night of activities should not be seen as marring a successful day of parties and festivities.

Stay tuned.

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Posted by on Nov 5 2011, With 0 Reads, Filed under Civil Liberties and Freedom, Corruption, Editor, Government, Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


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22 Comments for “100,000+ Occupy Oakland, NOT 7,000 as Government Reports”

  1. Probably closer to 35,000 in actuality.

  2. So there are 100,000 people in Oakland who have been duped by Washington instead of 7,000 people. That’s just great. Very discouraging. Why don’t you guys start doing your homework on this issue, please, instead of following this fake revolution movement like a bunch of mindless sheep? Google: “ows otpor” and “the revolution business” for starters. Then Google: “2011 international road of dignity”. After all, do you think Washington is really that stupid? Evil, yes. Stupid, no.

    • Looks like no one is listening to you? May have to find a new occupation.

      No Washington isn’t stupid, they created a fake “War on Terror” to cover criminal activity. Start with present and then work your way back, why did all of this occur? Very basic now isn’t it? Because the corruption was so vase, it liquidated the countries assets. Now AJ, regardless of what you say, its not going to work.

      That ideology was exploited to such extreme, no ones buying that old product anymore. However, I do enjoy the major media outlets for some laughs; they do employ some great comedians.

      Maybe you should try writing a good Alien Invasion thriller, have to write quickly……

    • Let’s see, massive amounts of US Tax dollars were spent creating large Homeland Security System…..hmmm. If that’s the case, why was the homeland sacked?

      Sounds like the opposite was being performed…..

  3. Gordon, you did it expose expose, now this protest can show the people can get things done fast. The Goldman Sachs scandal needed to be expose and the fact that Obama Treasury Secretary and the economist advising him were really protecting the system. They just did not dare move outside the box. And now we the people are taking care of the banks, it is a multi purpose multi value experiment, it will curb the arrogance of those too big to fail and provide needed funds to local banks to loan to small business. In the process it is a move away from big, impersonal, uncontrollable entities, back to manageable and transparent size.
    Now we need to convince Obama to get rid of his Secretary of the Treasure, he is too tied in with the crowd that lost all sense of humanity. We were moving into the book of “1984″ society.
    Next the draft, exactly and make sure the neocon will serve. Although it is time Obama let it be known that Israel is a sovereign state, responsible for its own action and while stating our objetction we keep out of it. As for US number one leader of the world, we the people can let it be know we can no longer afford it, for us it has been a costly and loosing game. And show who control Congress by visiting the people’s house during session and stop the opposition as they exit for relevant question not those from the Media..
    As long as we can keep the protest on target and we do not allow ideologues to make a try for their fantasies we will get there. And since the world reads this paper it will also cautions them to keep control by decisive and targeted actions. And of course we need jobs and the fastest response would be infrastructure, but the most solid evidence of recovery will come from the local back loans to the multitude of needs demanded by a community. Most of all lets stop looking abroad for skilled worker and train our own. Most free societies were born of revolution, we are doing no favor to masses of immigrant in situation where the problem is not natural disaster by political corruption or lack of government control over excesses, in such a case we would be more helpful to encourage those people to stand and fight, determine the problem and face it not walk away. So let worry about our community and how we can save it.

  4. Joe in San Francisco

    Mostly a good article, but this was not anywhere near a 100,000 person march. Our local SF news teams covered this from ground and air, and those numbers would have been very evident visually.

    • Right, the first tip of is they always pick a round number. The helicopter people take photos and they have good systems for doing the crowd size. They never disclose it because they always want the option of manipulating the numbers.

      That said he did say that people came and went all day. And state Freedom of Information act requests and make them turn over any written material that have. But when the want to be really slick, they just ask for a verbal estimate, two actually…one they will report and the other for the public.

  5. “Capable and politically smart” Police Chief Jordan is obviously a damn liar. Furthermore I was just reading how some of his boys attacked a former Army Ranger on his way to his home, beat the crap out of him with clubs, arrested him (for nothing), and left him injured and untreated in a stinking cell for 18 hours before he was taken to hospital and into emergency surgery for a busted spleen. All of which adds up to attempted murder of an honorable veteran who served his country.. a respectable businessman no less.

    Christ, these punk cops make me ashamed for honest uniformed men and women everywhere! First they pissed off the Corps.. now the Rangers. What’s next? Club a SEAL? These pricks sure know how to make some serious enemies! They should all get the Darwin Award for “intelligence”.

    • Exactly.

      I do hope people are taking videos of this and getting the names of the cops who are breaking the law. These thugs need to be removed from the force and charged for this. They need to go to jail. Not only should they be sued but, so should the city for allowing this to happen. He could have died in that cell. He almost bled to death! What the hell is wrong with these people? This is attempted murder!

  6. I love to see these numbers and energy. The fact the “violence” was extrodinarily limited is a testament to the potential of continuing this process. The NeoCons contiune to label the OWS as “Obama’s people”. Perhaps that was initially somewhat accurate in NYC, but does anyone else share that NeoCon opinion?

    • only those looking for scapegoats Dave ………..however they will not find it so ………power will go to the people of the world no matter what happens now…….and yes the fat lady will sing …….just watch and see……and it will be the “bitter sweet” sound that we all know ………

  7. Keep the heat up! Then turn it up!

  8. Gee the MSM lies that’s a shocker. They’re irrelevant and need to be treated as such. Oakland is just stunning! I am speechless really and so happy. Been wondering what’s going on in NYC though. Pretty quiet.

    • Big marches are a good trend. It pulls in a lot of ‘part time’ protestors as he mentioned by ‘rotating’ people through. When we had the heritage wars here in Georgia we scheduled a rotation of available people, the key thing we were doing is getting the public appearance schedules of the Governor and showing up EVERYWHERE that he did. It allowed us to piggyback his media, and old tactic.

      We had people commit to a once a month event, twice, weekly…who could do weekends and who weekday events. And we did not worry about big numbers…six to twelve was plenty because we were always out in front and very visible.

      The whole deal was to maintain doing it. Barnes had a $20 million campaign kitty, and he knew that the last two weeks we were going to put bigger crowds out, so what he did was NO public appearances. He just spent all his dough on TV. The rigged polls had him up by 6 or 7 points, and he lost my that much. It was a devastating defeat as I think the Rep candidate only had 4.5 million.

      And the whole process taught our people something. If you want to lose…just stay home. Works every time !! It taught them to take ownership of the problem. Of course the Repub new Gov turned on us once he got in, the NeoCons riding high telling him he had no future with Confederate heritage baggage, that our support could be replace with money.

      So all these Blue Dog Dems that we got to vote Repub for the first time…they just kissed them off.

      • Scott Walker is getting a taste of that here in WI. He can’t go anywhere without protestors showing up at his events. It’s great to see and will increase with the recall efforts going full swing now.

  9. Charlotte NC Bill

    We had 1/2 million-at least-at the anti-war March in NYC in ’03 ( I was interviewed twice with Veterans for Peace by Channel 9 NY and MSNBC…some pretty reporter I don’t remember her name-if I ever did ) and the media said it was ridiculously less….

  10. Wow, just wow. Good on you Oakland.

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