At the 16th Annual Youth Speaks Poetry Slam Finals, thirteen young people between from across the Bay Area held the audience captive with their poems on everything from young love to the broken economy. Hear their poems in this interactive audio piece.
For Gutierrez, weekdays start the same. At work by 4 am, Gutierrez punches in and heads to his locker. He reaches for his uniform: black slacks, a navy blue hat, a bright yellow reflective vest, and a light blue collared shirt with a badge on the sleeves that says he’s an employee of the state of California. He grabs a coin bag, a currency bag, and his black AM/FM radio, which he uses to listen to Journey, Motown or the news. By 4:30 am, he’s at work in one of the seventeen yellow boxed tollbooths on the cement island overlooking the San Francisco Bay.
As the number of homeless and illegal boat dwellers has increased, they say, so has a chronic wave of thefts that has kept marinas on both sides of the Oakland estuary under siege. Meanwhile, they complain, the illegal estuary dwellers are causing a host of environmental problems by disposing of sewage in the water or abandoning their boats, which can leach toxic substances as they disintegrate.
At least 100 people gathered outside the West Oakland BART on Tuesday afternoon to march to a vacant house in West Oakland to protest the foreclosure of a family’s home. The protest was organized by Occupy Oakland and Causa Justa, an organization that advocates for tenant and immigrant rights.
Since Youth Alive launched its first violence prevention program 20 years, some of the crime and gun violence trends in Oakland have changed, but two things remain consistent: Young people make up a high percentage of Oakland’s homicide victims, and many are killed by someone using a firearm.
Despite the rain and cold, scores of Occupy Oakland protesters gathered Sunday morning around what remained of the group’s latest makeshift campsite, a vacant lot at 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue. Once again, earlier in the morning, police had cleared away tents and told Occupy protesters they could not camp in the city overnight.
Since Occupy Oakland protesters announced they would hold a general strike on November 2, unions from across the city and the state have sent a flurry of endorsements in support of what they are referring to as a “day of action,” rather than a strike. In the final moments before Wednesday’s events, union organizers have been working to encourage members to participate.
In coming months, the first of hundreds of prisoners will be transferred from state facilities back to the counties’ care. Derreck Johnson, the owner of Oakland’s Home of Chicken and Waffles, has a message for other employers: Don’t be afraid to hire people with records. At his family-style restaurant, it’s a tradition that works.
It’s been 11 days since Occupy Oakland took over Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, and now the tent city is bigger than ever and facing eviction. Over 550 people occupy Oakland’s plaza, even after they received an evacuation notice from the City Administrator’s Office on Thursday evening. Among the concerns listed on the notice are graffiti, vandalism to plaza infrastructure and “the historic tree,” and the disruption of the plaza for public use by groups who had to relocate events which had previously been scheduled at the plaza.
More than 700 people filled the gymnasium at Laney College on Saturday for the Neighborhood Safety Summit, a day of discussions about crime and violence in Oakland hosted by Mayor Jean Quan, who presented a new crime reduction plan that she said will focus on the city’s most violent streets.
Since Occupy Wall Street protests began nearly one month ago in New York, similar actions have erupted across dozens of US cities, including Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco. Since 4 p.m. Monday, nearly 100 Oakland residents have built a tent city on Ogawa Plaza’s grass field.
Forget about being grounded. Beginning next week, Oakland’s young people could be violating city laws if they’re not home on time. In response to the spike in violence by and against youth, the city council will be voting this Tuesday on a proposal to implement a citywide teen curfew.
Carrying signs that read, “Execute Justice not People,” and hoisting a large peace sign embellished with yellow, pink, and white flowers, about 40 people gathered Friday at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland to protest the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia.
The 31-year-old Oakland resident who died in Wednesday’s shooting on 52nd Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way was identified as Remilio Myers, Oakland police said Thursday.
A man dressed in jeans and a t-shirt kneels on the ground, his hands held at an awkward angle by the chains that bind him to a drag king who is standing behind him wearing a sharp suit. Like a marionette, he is forced to bring his trembling hands to his face and smoke. The scene unfolds next to a 4-foot cardboard replica of a cigarette, as Maroon 5’s “Harder to Breathe” blares from the speakers.