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On the Ground with Occupy Oakland –
Photography by Naomi Pitcairn

Naomi Pitcairn, activist, photographer and contributor to Times Quotidian, has a choice—and she chooses Oakland. When my husband and I were contemplating a move to the Bay Area she was begging us to please be open to the East Bay with it’s diversity in art and culture. When the community calls she left the comfort zone of her sequestered studio work and took her camera to the streets to be a part of Occupy Oakland. Naomi is also a long time member of the Fresh Juice Party , “a politically prejudiced media group who produces custom media packets for causes we believe in.” FJP sponsored two free vegetarian lunch programs for the protestors via the sympathetic Fountain Cafe. The Fresh Juice Party Band has also been invited to sing on stage at several occupations.

Here is FJP’s song OCCUPY WALL STREET Occupy Everywhere. Solidarity.
Music: Craig Casey, Lyrics: Prathibha Gautam, Vocals: Jessica Czeck

You can download FJP’s OCCUPY WALL STREET from iTunes here.

Protesters here have renamed Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, the site of their encampment, Oscar Grant Plaza. Oscar Grant, 22, was shot in the back by policeman Johannes Mehserle, 28, while lying on the platform in a railway station on January 1st 2009. Mehserle claimed he had thought he had his Taser in his hand rather than his gun. The shooting, which was shown on YouTube, led to a riot in Oakland, and there were fears of further trouble if Mehserle had been found not guilty. The verdict meant the jury thought Mehserle had been criminally negligent but had not intended to kill Grant. The trial was held in Los Angeles because of the tension in the Oakland and neighbouring San Francisco over the shooting.

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