Yup. Hippies. Straight out of the 60's, looking oddly like grandparents these days. Hardcore labor unionists. Harscrabble activists. Street kids. Cal students. Throw in a few of Berkeley's famous homeless and They may think it's a movement (as Arlo famously put it). A movement to save the Berkeley Post Office and stop the Privatization of our Commons.
One hundred plus people rallied at the downtown Berkeley Post Office yesterday, celebrating 15 days of successful Occupation organized by an activist coalition from Save the Berkeley Post Office and Strike Debt Bay Area.
We're fighting to stop the sale of the Berkeley Post Office. We're trying to call attention to the seemingly inexorable push to privatize and de-unionize the entire Post Office, just one instance of the more general goal of privatization across the board - from education to Social Security, from Medicare to owning the roads. (For more on these issues and the Occupation see the articles referenced in Background etal at the end of this picture essay).
Let's start with the basics: Why Are They There?
Then move on to Rallying 101:
and Advanced Occupying In Tight Spaces!
No movement is complete without buttons. Thanks, George!
And what protest in Berkeley would be complete without marching onto the UC Berkeley campus?
Specifically stopping at the Blum Center, named for Diane Feinstein's husband, UC Berkeley regent and US Post Office Privateer Extrordinare.
Fedex and UPS are two companies that would dearly love to suck up the Post Office's money-making operations...
... and leave the rest, including the Universal Service mandate, to wither and die. We paid them a visit and let them know our feelings.
Alyssa explains the economics of Post Office privatization to the twitterverse, marching and tweeting with one hand behind her back (okay, not really).
Back at Our Post Office again, it's the Dog Days of summer. All is copacetic.
Selling Off the Post Office: Berkeley Calls Out Richard Blum.
How to Privatize the Post Office Piece by Piece, Step By Step.
Killing the Post Office on the Altar of Privatization.
Other Postal Occupation Diaries:
Enter the Postal Police: Day 10 of the Berkeley Post Office Occupation.
Civil Disobedience in an Age of Insanity. Taking a Stand, A Song and a Tent.
Save the Berkeley Post Office Web Site
Strike Debt Bay Area Web Site
Strike Debt Bay Area Facebook
Save the Post Office Website
Alyssa (@alyssa011968, Kossack allie123) provided the photos, as well as the tweets and twitpics. To be honest, this is really her essay - I just arranged the pictures - even if she didn't have one hand tied behind her back while tweeting.
10:41 AM PT: Check out the most wanted people in Wisconsin!
Wisconin's Most Wanted: Singers!