The Spiritual Monkey has a post today on a new development in Occupy Oakland’s “war on tents”– the takeover of a vacant lot that is in foreclosure proceedings, the status of which will make eviction and camp destruction more complex legally than at the various other Oakland sites. Of interest to Points readers, however, is the explicit statement that
The occupiers have voted to be a no-alcohol camp. They saw what it did to the energy of the last camp at OGP [Oscar Grant Plaza]. Reefer? This is Oakland. The herb is not to source of problems in these parts.
This is an interesting allusion to a participant point of view on the drug dynamics in the Occupy movements, about which I wrote last week. Occupiers who want to shed light on these issues, your comments are most welcome.
1 thought on “Update: Occupy Oakland”
As an Oakland resident who has only recently gotten more active in Occupy, I can only speak to what others who were around the OGP camp say about how alcohol affected the mood of the camp, ESPECIALLY after the first raid/police-riot combo-pack. But all reports are it got a fair bit more aggro. And alcohol did not bring out the best energy in people facing those circumstances.
But the smell of ganja is not in the least bit uncommon in downtown Oakland. Do people who have smoked weed go on to get into the kinds of conflicts endemic to a city with the multitude of problems Oakland has? Sure. Lot of the also probably had some coffee. Many will have eaten processed meat earlier in the day.
But most of the time the cat lighting up the doobie is asking if anybody wants some, the cat lighting up the Marlboro is asking if anybody minds. Not everybody tokes (far from it) but it’s pretty unremarked upon if you do.
If you ask Oaklanders “Are people on the street hootin’ and hollerin’ and causing shit high or are they drunk?” you’re gonna get a pretty consistent answer. We had the sweet green smell downtown, empty storefronts, janky-ass streets, pools of broken glass in the gutters AND the highest murder rate in Cali long before Occupy. Most people felt safer when the camp was at OGP because there were more people around.
Oakland got 99 problems, but weed (and the taxes we vote ourselves to pay on it) isn’t one of them.
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