We can be Snowden-confident that the NSA did not miss the protest that took place against their little cousin the Domain Awareness Center (DAC), February 4th, 2014, at Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland, nor the fact that it took place in the amphitheater that once held the massive General Assemblies of Occupy Oakland.
Some 200 people participated in the light brigade, rally, entertainment (thanks, Clowns Not Bombs!), and march to the site of the not-quite-yet activated Domain Awareness Center located, more than ironically, on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Dan Siegel, noted civil rights attorney and currently a candidate for Mayor of Oakland, again denounced the DAC (e.g. having tweeted some time ago "If I were Mayor the DAC would be history."). He spoke of the "willful ignorance" of those in power for failing to heed the well-known lessons of the history of the government's abuse of surveillance. Here is his speech with an excerpted transcript, and below is a tweet/photo essay on the night's events.
... Let's suppose you or I got a suitcase and we went to the airport, and we went through the machine, and the cops there opened it up and they said "Man, this thing's full of heroin." And I'd say "Really? I didn't know that." And they would say "Yea, right." And I would go to court and be convicted because willful ignorance is not an excuse.
Now you wonder, why am I saying that? Because the folks working behind me ((in Oakland City Hall)), the City Council, the City Aministrator, the rest of them, they're engaged in an exercise of willful ignorance: that this DAC is going to help make our streets safer from violent crime.
But you know our friends in the East Bay Express have investigated the matter, and what they see is that this is not about violent crime, this is about us. The emails, the plans, about Occupy, it's about Port protesters, it's about unions. It's about The. Police. State.
... In 1920 they did something called the Palmer raids in the United States... Palmer was the Attorney General. But you know who his assistant was? His assistant was J. Edgar Hoover... And you know what J. Edgar Hoover had? He had... 420,000 index cards with information about radicals, progressives, labor union activists... And they used them to carry out these Palmer raids, because there was activism, there was protest about ... World War I, there was an anti-imperialist movement..., there was an anti-capitalist movement, and the Palmer raids crushed it.
Fast forward to 1960. J Edgar Hoover is now the head of the FBI, and he's got - funny it's coincidental - he's got 430,000 file on activists that they got by snooping around, talking to people's neighbors, writing down their license plates... taking pictures, and they used that to arm McCarthyism and the right wing...
Now that's the lesson for us. Except now they don't need index cards... they
are going to have everything... license plate readers, microphones. There are Shotspotter microphones all over the city... those microphones are not only good for picking up ((gun)) shots, they're good for picking up conversation. So if you and your neighbor are having a conversation about what you might want to do in terms of organizing a protest, or organizing a labor union, guess what? You're on tape! ...
And now... they can tap into our social media feeds, so they can say "What's trending on twitter here in Oakland? What's up on Facebook here in Oakland? And they are putting together electronic dossiers on all of us... Oakland is Exhibit #1, the guinea pig for what's going on... And those fools in back of us are guilty of willful ignorance. They are closing their minds, they are closing their eyes, closing their ears to what's going on.
... We have to put a stop to this. We have to get after them to make sure that Oakland is not the first beachhead of the NSA...
Against the DAC: A Twitter Photo and Video Essay.
What would a rally at Oscar Grant Plaza be without Feeding the People?
In america they spy on us and try to crush us for feeding the hungry- that interfers w/profit & exploitation http://t.co/...— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
Glad I came. All we need is 4 ppl to pull heads out of asses and join us! These spying bitches need to know we r not scared of them.— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
The amphitheater. The calm before the rally. City Hall is to your left, out of the picture.
Elaine Brown, speaking eloquently as always while blocking from view a very large rat. (No not City Hall! A real, larger-than-life paper-mache rat holding a check made out to the DAC from the City of Oakland...)
Elaine Brown is up now - speaking- Domain Awareness center is not about crime its 4 repression. pic.twitter.com/3SlVphLObU— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
We have to know this is not at all about crime. This is about repression. This came from the Occupy Movement and this is about instituting a police state in the City of Oakland to protect corporations...I told you it was a rat... In this shot you can see the ears and the outlines of the check!
This is about eliminating undesirable people. That's all of you, that's everybody that's poor, that's Black people, that's Brown people and anybody who opposes the system...
They have betrayed the agenda. They have turned their back on the people.
Power to the People!
Cat, Onyx is up- She is a good speaker. I like her- Oakland was called last revolutionary city& that's what DAC us 4 pic.twitter.com/9p94XnQWBc— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
No D.A.C in O.A.K.
It's always a scary thing when the government which you're so very clear is oppressing you, murdering you, beating you, killing from you, miseducating your children, kicking you out of your own city, pushing you out of your neighborhood, preventing you from having health care, all of sudden wants to invest, how much? ten-million dollars "to keep you safe" by watching Every. Single. Move. You. Make.
All the emails show this is about repressing us- Oakland last revolutionary cit not a coincidence - pic.twitter.com/IfAH0deClQ— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
Enough talk of revolution! Time for an act. Bring out the Clowns (Not Bombs)!
The Brass Liberation Orchestra. Warming up (and it was cold out there!) in preparation for the march.
Here we are at 17th & MLK, having marched about five blocks from City Hall, standing in front of the almost-armed-and-not-yet-operational DAC. That would be me, center left and bald, in the brown coat. Why is there a giant puppet to the left of me and a bit up? Why not?
Not sure how much longer this is going on pic.twitter.com/ZGXMqA8bvn— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
Why this place? The Oakland Domain Awareness Center. It's the evolution of the National Surveillance State towards acceptance, above ground.— Eddan Katz (@eddankatz) February 5, 2014
Ruh roh. Guess none of the hundreds of Oakland's outstanding murder cases warranted any effort tonight. Fortunately the rat, the puppet and all of us made it safely back to the Plaza...
I hate police pic.twitter.com/6ROSsaDORp— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
... as you can see here. We take the intersection at 14th & Broadway for a quick dance party, undaunted by one of Oakland's mini-tanks (in the picture at the right).
The surveillance moon is in the ascendant.
But not for long.
I should be sleeping! But last night re energized me and I would to hurry up and get this revolution started!— Alyssa (@alyssa011968) February 5, 2014
Video by Daniel.
Tweets as indicated.
Rat by Gabby et al.