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Occupy Oakland Calls For Tuesday General Strike

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Occupy Oakland Calls For General Strike

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Occupy Oakland members are calling for a general strike on Tuesday—May Day—as a show of unity between union and non-union workers.

Group members announced their plans at a news conference Thursday morning at Telegraph Avenue and Broadway, which was the starting point for a general strike in 1946 as well as for a large Occupy Oakland protest last Nov. 2 that culminated in a march to the Port of Oakland to shut it down.

Occupy Oakland is calling for “no work, no school and no business as usual” on Tuesday.

Member Steven Angell said, “We want people to get out of work and get out of school and join us on the street.

However, Angell said, there aren’t any plans to shut down the Port of Oakland this time around.

Occupy Oakland members have also said they will attempt to shut down the Golden Gate Bridge Tuesday if bridge, bus and ferry workers, who are involved in ongoing labor negotiations with the bridge district, decide to strike.

Occupy Oakland spokeswoman Lauren Smith said earlier this week that the Golden Gate Labor Coalition reached out to the group, citing its experience organizing massive blockades.

“Occupy Oakland has and will continue to support picket lines,” Smith said. “We stand in solidarity with workers.”

The website for Occupy Oakland states that buses will be available Tuesday morning to take protesters from Oakland to the bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District spokeswoman Mary Currie declined to comment on the negotiations earlier this week but said district officials were preparing for the potential strike.

“All I can say is that it is unlawful and it will not be tolerated or allowed,” she said.

“We need to work on our union situation, not play it out in the media or play it out with a closure or potential closure,” Currie said.

Angell said Occupy Oakland is planning “decentralized actions” leaving from three or four key commercial areas outside of downtown Oakland at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Those actions could take the form of strike enforcement brigades, such as pickets, blockades and marches, he said.

There will be a mass rally from noon until 1 p.m. at 14th Street and Broadway, and there will be themed actions and marches around downtown from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

At 3 p.m., Occupy Oakland protesters are encouraged to join the “March for Dignity and Resistance,” which is stressing worker and immigration rights.

That march will begin at the Fruitvale Plaza, continue to San Antonio Park, on Foothill Boulevard between 16th and 18th avenues, and wind up in downtown Oakland.

Angell said Occupy Oakland protesters and participants in the March for Dignity and Resistance will then converge downtown between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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