Approximately 300 members of several unions assembled at noon on Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue. Chanting slogans, they marched up the hill to the International House, where they picketed in support of unions facing opposition in Wisconsin and against a proposal to decentralize the funding of benefits for graduate students on campus and the pending confirmation of David Crane to the UC Board of Regents.
The march to I-House took place after AFSCME 3299 workers in that location were explicitly threatened by management late last week for silently protesting the outsourcing and subcontracting of their jobs. Rank-and-file wore stickers last Friday calling attention to this privatization push, but supervisors told them they would be sent home if they didn’t remove them immediately. These workers organized and defied their boss by coordinating an event at noon in which all AFSCME workers at I-House would wear these stickers in blatant defiance of the warning from management. The 300 students and workers gathered at Telegraph and Bancroft for the noon rally then marched east up Bancroft and joined these workers in solidarity.
Hundreds more gathered in Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland for a roughly simultaneous rally in defense of public sector union power. Meanwhile, Oakland teachers and their allies organized the shutdown of a Wells Fargo branch at 12th and Broadway, demanding that:
1. Wells Fargo publicly calling on the State to forgive the Oakland USD debt, which tripled to $100,000,000 during the state administration of the district.
2. Wells Fargo forming a consortium of banks to pay off the OUSD debt, as the debt is barely 1/500th of the bailout tax dollars given to Wells Fargo.
3. Wells Fargo publicly endorsing a local and state tax on bank and other corporate profits.
4. Wells Fargo supporting the return of the “split roll” tax to raise rates on corporate property.
5. Wells Fargo stopping foreclosures and lowering mortgage debt to reflect homes’ reduced market value.
Protesting Oakland Educators Association (OEA) members were joined by the longshoremen, who had shut down Oakland ports in solidarity:
Members of the ILWU Locals 10 and 34 were present in support and announced that they had shut down the ports in Oakland and San Francisco in solidarity with the “We Are One” national day of action. It was noted that a Wisconsin flag was hung from an Oakland port crane today.