Scenes from a general strike
Xin Fong Huang, 74, participated in the general strike to support working conditions for home care workers. Photo: Rosa Ramirez
By Heather Tirado Giligan
The general strike in Oakland yesterday had the feeling of a street party. The ebullience didn’t seem to suggest that people took the problems facing the 99 percent lightly – the many people who showed up appeared relieved to have a venue for their frustration. The crowd was genuinely diverse and peaceful. There were many reported incidents of self-policing, where protestors bent on destruction were stopped by people determined to keep the gathering peaceful. Union members showed up in force, as did parents, and the elderly and disabled gathered for a time in break-off protest in front of the state building, just behind City Hall. Crowd estimates for the march to the Port of Oakland vary, as these kinds of guesses do – I saw the numbers put at anywhere between 3,000 and 10,000. I’m not much of a crowd counter myself, but the low range seems unlikely to me. The wave of people flooding into the port were literally jaw-dropping, as the photos here suggest.