Photo Essay: Occupy Oakland's General Strike
Cross-posted from Tikkun Daily
by Alana Yu-lan Price
A handful of images from Occupy Oakland's general strike on Nov. 2 have already become iconic: aerial photos of people streaming up a bridge to shut down the Port of Oakland, the silhouettes of protesters standing atop a railroad scaffold at dusk, a masked protester shattering a window of a Wells Fargo bank, and the flaming garbage heap around which confrontations with the police occurred during the night. Though an abundance of other images are being posted and shared by protesters, these startling, dramatic scenes captured by photojournalists have become a favorite pick for news outlets looking for an attention-grabbing image.
Most of these sensational photos were not taken from the perspective of the mass of people who participated in the day's protests. They were taken by news helicopters or by photographers who spent the day shadowing masked protesters in hopes of a perfect shot of breaking glass. They fail to convey a central embodied experience of the day: the intense sense of connection, warmth, and engagement experienced by the people who participated in the day's mass nonviolent actions.
Tikkun has put together a photo essay that offers a vision of the general strike from the ground, from the perspective of participants who were listening to speeches in the plaza, chanting in the streets, and marching en masse to the port. See the photos here.