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Sep 11, 16

Oakland: Prison Strike Solidarity March Report Back

Submitted to It’s Going Down

This is a short report back from a militant who participated in the September 10th Prison Strike solidarity march which took place in Oakland, California. I intend to only speak from my perspective and can not account for oversights or particulars which I may have missed. If you were at this action, you are encouraged to provide a more detailed account.

On September 10th, about 200-250 agitators participated in a street action in solidarity with the nation wide prison strike that began on September 9th. The following is a short timeline of the events:

1:00 PM: Individuals begin trickling in to Latham Square in downtown Oakland. At first only a few, then more in pairs and finally large groups. The crowd coalesced around speakers who orated in solidarity with the strikers and others participating in actions around the country. Many were dressed in black, though most did not cover their faces. Trailing closely behind the group is an unmarked OPD van, which had previously been confirmed to be full of pigs.


2:45 PM: The march departed, immediately taking Broadway and then making two turns to end up on Franklin Street. The crowd chanted “brick by brick, wall by wall, we will make your prisons fall”. The march is predominantly led by a contingent carrying red and black flags.


3:15 Arriving in front of an AT&T property, a speech was read detailing AT&T’s use of prison labor.

3:35 The group continued down Franklin until just a few blocks away it reached the UPS store, another prison labor profiteer. Another speech was made, immediately after which masked militants pounded on the building’s windows and began redecorating its facade with spray paint.

3:55 March continued to snake slowly through downtown Oakland, blocking traffic for about a block in both directions, until it eventually reached a Bank of America building on the edge of Lake Merritt. Upon reaching this location, the majority of the group rushed up its lawn and began immediately spray painting the exterior, pounding on pane glass windows and engaging in minor destruction of the bank’s sign. Slogans painted on the building included: “Death to Capitalists, Abolish all Prisons, Abolish Prison Labor, Fuck Prison Labor and Don’t Forget Attica.” The pigs, clearly lacking the resources to react, stayed inside of their van on the opposite side of the street.


4:25 The march doubled back toward downtown and at the same time the original OPD van is finally joined by a second as pigs began to disembark and don riot gear. Heading back up Harrison, the pigs begin to form a line behind the march. Quickly, an OPD snatch and grab team is dispatched and attempts to nab some members of the march. In the ensuing struggle, one person is knocked unconscious and is dragged away by the pigs. Two more are successfully nabbed as well, despite resistance.


4:50 Undeterred, the march makes its way toward OPD headquarters, whereupon it was met with a more formidable police presence. Unable to make its way to the front of the station, militants sufficed by lighting and throwing fireworks at the police line.


5:00 The march successfully disbands without any further arrests.


Solidarity to the strikers!
Fire to the Prisons!

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