Oakland Labor March shows Occupy losing influence

Are the SEIU and unions ready to start throwing Occupy under the bus?

Since Occupy started, the group has made every effort to bring in like minded liberal-oriented organizations with some success.

But, according to SF Gate, with all the violence that Occupy has been involved with all over the Bay Area, Oakland Occupy “appeared to be losing some of its cachet”.

Attempts by Occupy Oakland adherents to join the March for Dignity demonstration – an annual event that predates the Occupy movement and involves thousands of demonstrators for immigrant and worker rights – didn’t go too well.

The March for Dignity folks had permits to march from the Fruitvale BART Station to Oakland City Hall. Occupy protesters apparently wanted to get in with this huge crowd and waited at San Antonio Park to join the tail end of the March for Dignity to City Hall.

“There were some heated conversations between Occupy and the organizers for the March for Dignity,” said Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan. “At one point (immigrant) marchers stopped and took a different route to avoid the Occupy people who were in the (San Antonio) park.”

The largest march in Oakland on Tuesday wasn’t organized by Occupiers. It was organized by Dignity and Resistance. And that group’s event had no incidents involving police.

In downtown Oakland, where Occupy protesters staged a demonstration, 39 people were arrested during the course of the day, police said.

“We’ve been planning this a long time,” said Miguel Perez, a representative of the group that organized the march. “This march is about immigration and labor. It’s not Occupy.”

Many marchers actually refused to go near the occupiers:

Many of the marchers cut their participation short at San Antonio Park, refusing to go to City Hall after hearing of the clashes Occupy was having with police there. Those who did continue to City Hall left when the march ended, packing up their signs and banners.

“We are peaceful protesters,” said Gary Jimenez, vice president of Service Employees International Union Local 1021. “We don’t condone the destruction of property or vandalism. We believe in using our voices.”

Note the rejection by the SEIU local vice president.  More disavowal by unions may be on the way.

Marchers weren’t about to be co-opted by privileged protesters:

The March for Dignity was a community event that included senior citizens, children and families all marching for a common cause – their cause. It’s hardly a recruitment center for mask-wearing, middle-class and privileged white kids who arrive by bicycle and try and win the crowd. These are people with varying degrees of legal residence who came to this country willingly – and most want to stay.

HT: Maddley Burns

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