Occupy the Present Moment at Occupy Oakland General Strike
Participate with Other Buddhists, Meditators, and Faith-Based Groups
Last Tuesday, with the world watching, police in riot gear shot 2000 protestors at Occupy Oakland with tear gas and rubber bullets. The next day, the protestors could have responded with violence. Instead, people peacefully came together and called for a General Strike on November 2nd. Buddhist Peace Fellowship is proud to endorse the Occupy Oakland General Strike this Wednesday.
As a socially engaged Buddhist in the Bay Area, you have likely been following this story. You may be thinking about why engaged Buddhists support the Occupy Movement. Like us, you might have watched the horror of police repression, and deepened your commitment to get involved.
To support your engaged practice, Buddhist Peace Fellowship has compiled a list of Buddhist, meditation, and faith-based activities at Occupy Oakland. We will be updating this list on the BPF website and BPF Facebook event page. Please send any updates to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All events are scheduled for Wednesday, November 2nd at Oscar Grant / Frank Ogawa Plaza at 14th Street and Broadway, Oakland.
Occupy the Present Moment
On October 16, Buddhist Peace Fellowship convened a group to meditate in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. This group now meditates daily at noon and also is folding 1,000 Paper Cranes for Peace.
12 – 1pm: Meditation at the Plaza Steps
1pm: Folding paper cranes – we will have paper, but bring your own if you can
8am – 8pm: Sangha member Joe Weston will be sitting continuously at the Plaza Steps. All are welcome to join.
People of different faiths have come together and will have an Interfaith Tent and altar, starting November 2nd. This will be maintained as an on-going sanctuary on the grounds of the protest at Oscar Grant Plaza.
9am, 12 noon, and 4:30pm: Join for the prayer/meditation that will start off the three main marches of the day. Meet at 14th and Broadway.
Additional teachings offered from different faith leaders throughout the day.
What is Wise Response?
A conversation about faith-based responses within Occupy Oakland. How can Buddhists and other faith-based people participate in this ongoing movement of resistance? Join Spring Washam with East Bay Meditation Center, Dawn Haney with Buddhist Peace Fellowship, and others to have a conversation about how our practices and teachings can strengthen Occupy Oakland.
1:30 – 3:30pm: Conversation at the Interfaith Tent
East Bay Meditation Center (EBMC)
East Bay Meditation Center leadership will be offering meditations at Occupy Oakland. From EBMC: The Decolonize/Occupy Oakland movement is growing stronger, and is occupying many of our hearts, minds, and activities. Many of us are inspired, experiencing a collective feeling of waking up, not merely to the injustices of the world, but also to the idea that we can empower ourselves, and we can choose how and when to act. Many of us are participating, using this chance to work together to create a world that reflects our values of social justice and liberation.
11am: Sitting led by Mushim Ikeda-Nash at the Interfaith Tent
12 noon: “Moment of Connection” led by Spring Washam at the noon General Assembly
4pm: Sitting led by Spring Washam at the Interfaith Tent
Alphabet Sangha Affinity Group
Some members of the Alphabet Sangha for LGBTQI and Same-Gender Loving people at EBMC met to form an “affinity group.” (Affinity group activities are not affiliated with EBMC.) Join the Facebook group for further updates.
9:30-10am: Flash mob “I Will Survive…Capitalism”
10:15am: Sitting/walking meditation in front of Bank of America on 9th and Franklin
2pm: Sitting/walking meditation in front of Bank of America on 9th and Franklin
5pm: March to the Port of Oakland as part of a mass action by Occupy Oakland. Please contact Rosemary at email@example.com if you are interested in participating.
7pm: Alphabet Sangha at EBMC. Regular weekly meditation
8:30pm: Walk with candles from EBMC to Ogawa-Grant Plaza, activities to be determined.
Seminary of the Street
Seminary of the Street equips spiritual activists with the resilience, the unsentimental awareness, the skills, and the community support to respond to injustice in a way that does not replicate domination, exploitation, and violence.
Please be safe:
BPF is committed to nonviolent action. We saw last Tuesday, however, that when the police start spraying tear gas, there is no distinction made between those protesting in the street and those observing from the sidewalk. In whatever capacity you choose to participate, you can review your rights in case of arrest and learn ways to protect from and treat exposure to tear gas. Additional tips for keeping yourself and others safe.
You can still participate even if you can’t show up to the strike: You can sit at the same times as the folks at the strike or whenever you can. Remember the Sangha, and feel yourself as part of it. Remember the interconnectedness of all life. Send your metta prayers!
If you want to participate but have physical limitations: You might consider participating with the Disability Action Brigade. While the group is not faith-based, they are committed to non-violence and creating accessible opportunities.
To Get Future Updates from BPF about Occupy events
Buddhist Commentary on Occupy Wall Street and Beyond
- Occupy Wall Street: One No, Many Yeses: A Political History of the Occupy Movement by Joshua Stephens
- Reflections from the Occupy Movement, a multi-voiced blog hosted at Turning Wheel Media
- BPF offers a curated list of commentary from Buddhist and social justice activists