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Friday, June 22, 2012

Oakland Parents Pitch Tents Occupy-Style

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 8:39 AM

click to enlarge Parents go back to school
  • Parents go back to school

For the past week, the parents and teachers of Lakeview Elementary in Oakland have staged an Occupy-style sit-in on the grounds of the school, which is one of five elementary schools the District plans to close this year

The Oakland Unified School District says it plans to turn the building, located at Grand Avenue near Macarthur Boulevard, into administration offices in the fall. But parents and teachers hope that this highly publicized sit-in will disrupt this plan and pack the pressure on Oakland's school board to keep it open.

Just like occupiers, the parents have pitched tents on the school grounds, using the site during the day to teach summer classes to former students. And just like Occupy, police have issued eviction notices.

But the campsite is about the only thing this movement shares with Occupy.

Though Occupy has certainly been a source of inspiration, Lakeview organizers are quick to note that their sit-in is much different than what Occupy did last fall. For starters, organizers note that although they need community support to succeed in re-opening the school, this peaceful action is really limited to the parents, teachers, and students affected.

In other words, this isn't Occupy Oakland.

So if you care about education and plan to join these parents and teachers at the camp site, they have a few rules, as any good parent and teacher would: No booze, no drugs, and no fights with the cops. They ask that you all keep the peace, and please, no Black Bloc tactics.

Participants are also very hopeful this sit-in might influence the upcoming school board elections.

But more importantly, this camp is focused on one demand, and it has nothing to do with Wells Fargo: to re-open the closed schools.

The parents and teachers will be at Occupy Oakland's home base (that's Frank Ogawa Plaza on Google maps, Oscar Grant Plaza in the Occupier's dictionary) on Saturday for a noon rally and march to Lakeview. If you can't make that one, there will be more rallies at the school steps every day at 5 p.m. sharp.

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About The Author

Kate Conger

Kate Conger has written for SF Weekly since 2011.


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