By Marc Garman
Approximately forty five people turned out this morning for the Occupy Vallejo May Day rally on the steps of Vallejo City Hall. The event began just after 10:30 AM and the group present gathered in a circle beneath the flagpole and took turns speaking. The rally hosted by Joel Schor of the Peace and Freedom Party focused on the May Day themes of labor, unionism, freedom and human rights.
Among those speaking were Frank Running Horse an activist with Occupy Contra Costa as well as octogenarian political firebrand Joyce Scharff, Guillermo Herrera of Ozcat Radio and Northbay Uprising and many others who took their turn to speak out. Topics ranged from outrage at the behavior of banks, the real estate industry, race issues surrounding the death of Oscar Grant and Guy Jarreau as well as one speaker who spoke with righteous indignation over the “construction of toilets,” (NOT happening...please keep up folks.) “over the graves of ancestors” at Glen Cove. Stenciled signs with slogans such as: Beat Back Austerity, Justice for Guy Jarreau, Free Leonard Peltier, Schools not Jails. Workers Power and Fight like an Egyptian were handed out and waved about.
The backdrop for all of this was a cluster of investors engaged in bidding on foreclosed properties on the steps of City Hall. The 1% serving as a backdrop for the 99%? This was apparently not just an ironic juxtaposition. It appears to have been a genuine source of friction caused by two diametrically opposed ideologies bumping. As a mater of fact, the foreclosure auctioneer offering his inventory to investors felt compelled to make a not so friendly gesture at the protesters...repeatedly. I guess some things have not changed very much.