Monday, January 23, 2012

San Francisco columnists blaming Occupy Oakland for layoffs

Two regular San Francisco Chronicle columnists Philip  Matier and Andrew Ross have suddenly become concerned about the plight of working people.  They write in today's column that the city of  Oakland "continues to shell out hundreds of thousands of dollars a month for the Occupy protests."  The city has been providing 100 cops or a fifth of the force every week for the last month to work the Saturday night Occupy demo that is held downtown.

The cost of policing this demo they say is $50,000 a week and that city officials estimate the total cost to the city of Occupy Oakland is "$3 million and counting".  These two are offended at the outlay of such a huge sum of money, " a time when up to 400 city workers will likely be laid off Feb. 1 for lack of money."

If Occupy Oakland did not exist we are supposed to believe that these workers would not be laid off.  Matier and Ross are simply doing their job, in a sneaky way of course, as propagandists for the 1%.  They are pretending that they care about workers losing our jobs and that Occupy Oakland and its activities are to blame.  If the city wasn't spending money on these cops they could be in the working class communities of Oakland protecting residents and particularly black youth no doubt, from the criminals that lurk in the alleyways and dark corners of this city. The criminals that lurk in the office buildings downtown across the bay are not in Mattier and Ross' sights, after all, they own the paper they write for.

The money spent by the city due to Occupy Oakland's expensive and irresponsible behavior would put youth to work I suppose.  The ex Maoist mayor of Oakland Jean Quan as well as the former Business Agent for the molders Union and one time darling of the liberals at the Alameda Labor Council, Ignacio De La Fuente have presided over vicious assaults on the workers, youth and tenants of Oakland way before Occupy Oakland arrived on the scene.

Public sector workers that drive our AC Transit buses and those that operate our rapid transit system as well as the workers that keep the streets clean and educate working class children without the proper tools and under extreme circumstances have faced vicious cuts from the politicians that run the city on behalf of the 1% as have all public sector workers under the banner of "shared sacrifice".  Where have Matier and Ross been all that time?

Then there is the hidden plunder on the part of the developers, speculators, moneylenders and others who have their snouts in the public trough. We don't get to see the books, the details of economic activity on the part of the 1%. No, Matier and Ross don't fool us.

These two pimps of the corporations are simply trying to undermine a movement that has changed the debate in US society and pointed the finger at those who bear responsibility for the crisis that exists. They want us to blame this movement for making the situation worse. Like any movement that is rising to its feet it is not perfect and it has and will make mistakes.  But this assault on it from the leading mass circulation paper of the capitalist class in the area doesn't fool this writer. I know who my enemies are.

Behind Mattier and Ross' liberal facade is the Tea Party message itching to come out.

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