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Early Tuesday morning, what would have been the 18th day of the Sit-in and 12th day of the People’s School, the OUSD police, along with other police forces from across Oakland raided the encampment and school. While participants were allowed to remove their items, the police arrested a parent as well as a former student of Lakeview, and subsequently constructed a fence to block entrance to the school.
Lakeview Elementary has been a fixture of this neighborhood for nearly 100 years and supported the development of thousands of Oakland children. The moving trucks began to arrive this morning to clear out classrooms highlights the question: should Oakland allow the this space, so central to the vitality of the community, to be dismantled and made into district offices. The Lakeview building was critical to the maintenance of the People’s School. Although we have been evicted from a school that belongs to the community this does not signify defeat, or that the group has given up on the fight for quality education. The People’s School will continue next week on Tuesday and Thursday.
In a recent article Oakland Tribune education reporter Katie Murphy, she writes that Tony Smith believes “that schools can—and must—help transform entire communities through love and a sense of collective responsibility for children.” While the People’s School, and the Lakeview Sit In directly attempted this through providing free essential services to children, Tony Smith’s actions directly contrast this statement. The closure of schools and displacement of thousands of children to already overcrowded schools does not cultivate a loving supportive environment for children. Instead it negatively impacts the ability for parents to transport their children to school, ruptures the relationships of students from their teachers and one another, and destabilizes essential support systems for entire communities.
Tony Smith is quoted saying that he hears the “discontent with the current outcomes” and that he realizes “the change isn’t happening fast enough for everybody.” Currently the trajectory of Smith’s policies point to change in the wrong direction. If the change he wants is the cutting of services and programs such as adult education and special education, attacking teacher’s and school workers, school closures, and privatizing education, there will be nothing left of the public school system when Smith leaves.
The People’s School has been a success and provides a model which other’s can use for re-imagining a more enriching and empowering public education in stark contrast to the system Tony Smith is propagating. It has become a symbol of resistance and received positive support from the Oakland community, thus it will continue for two days next week.
Beyond the People’s School the Lakeview Sit-in continues to build a powerful community-labor alliance and picket sanctioned by the Alameda Labor Council to block the move-in of the administrative offices at Lakeview. In addition, in the continued effort to connect the fight against the criminalization of black and brown youth with the dismantling of the public education system members of the sit-in are joining the march for Raheim Brown, a youth murdered by OUSD Cops at a Skyline High Dance today Friday, July 6th at 11 am. His murderer was the sergeant who gave the dispersal order during the raid on the Lakeview Sit-in.
There will also be a celebration and convergence focusing on Public Education next Sunday, July 15th at 5pm at Splash Pad Park featuring performances by Boots Riley and other speakers.
The Fight Continues…
We have been evicted but not even close to defeated. The eviction was not unexpected and now we move on to the next steps of the struggle. Going forward we must stay organized and connected so that the next, inevitable round of attacks doesn’t catch us flat-footed. Join us and build a militant resistance to fight for quality public education. Here are our next steps to take back public education in Oakland:
1. We continue the free People’s School throughout the week in Splash Pad Park. Come by and show support for our children and teachers.
2. We will prevent them from replacing Lakeview Elementary with administrative offices by picketing and blockading. Already we have helped organize multiple labor unions to call on the Alameda Central Labor Council to declare Lakeview a sanctioned picket site. We will be out here as soon as they try to move in. Be ready for the alert. Schools Are For Kids, Not Administrators!
3. Join the “Justice 4 Raheim Brown March and Rally” on Friday. Rally at OPD HQ at 7th and Broadway @ 11A. Then we march to OUSD HQ. Education Not Incarceration and More Police!
4. Join us this Sunday evening (July 8) at 6P for a concert and rally featuring Boots Riley. Organize the campaign to keep neighborhood schools open and fully fund quality public education. We must build much, much more in the community.
5. Also, help oust current school board members and replace them with candidates completely opposed to the program of austerity and cuts, and who will fight to repudiate the state debt. There are a few progressive candidates, including three who have helped organize this sit-in: Mike Hutchinson (District 5), Therese Pecot (District 1), and Vicente Peña (District 3).
6. Organize to re-open the schools yourselves in your own neighborhoods.
In response to the police raid of the Lakeview Sit-in yesterday and in order to continue the struggle for these 5 schools and for quality, fully-funded public education we rallied at 5pm outside of Lakeview Elementary School.
After the rally we marched to Tony Smith’s house and arrived to his house chanting “Tony Smith: Re-Open or Resign”. We had various speakers in front of his house demanding that Tony Smith listen to the people, Re-Open our Schools and stop his destructive cuts and privatization of Oakland schools.
Tony Smith has succeeded in:
The rally and march of 250 children, parents, teachers and community members showed the power we have moving forward from the Lakeview Sit-in in the struggle for public education!!
Cops raided and evicted People’s School for Public Education
OUSD police arrived at 4am, backed by OPD
They gave order to leave at about 4:20am. The order was given by OUSD Sergeant Bhatt — the same Sgt.Bhatt who killed unamred black teenager Raheim Breown last year.
Cops arrested two for allegedly refusing to leave — a Lakeview parent and a Lakeview alumnus.
At 4:00am this morning the Lakeview Sit-in and People’s School for Public Education was raided by 40 cops.All people present were forced to evacuate and two arrests were made.
But the fight does not end here…
The People’s School for Public Education is continuing to hold classes today and throughout the week.And we are holding a rally at 5pm to continue the fight for these 5 elementary schools and for fully-funded public education for all students.
Come join us to support the Lakeview Sit-in and the Fight for Public Education! Spread the word!
At the rally we will outline our next steps for this struggle!
Lakeview Sit-In Raided in Late-Night Police Action
Oakland, CA—At 4am on Tuesday, July 3rd, at 4:00am more than ten Oakland Unified School District police arrived at Lakeview Elementary and a few minutes later ordered the group of parents, teachers, and community organizers there to leave. The group had been sitting in there for 17 days, while conducting a popular People’s School for Public Education at Lakeview Elementary to protest elementary school closures in Oakland.
You are Cordially Invited to:
Dinner and a Movie at the Lakeview Sit-In
Sunday, July 1st – 6 pm
Dear friends, comrades, neighbors, and colleagues,
Please join us to celebrate Day 16 of the Lakeview Sit-In and the People’s School with a community potluck and film screening this Sunday, July 1, at 6 pm. For two weeks now we’ve been running a free summer program out of occupied Lakeview Elementary, serving over 30 children with programming in social justice, art, PE, and gardening. At the same time, we’ve been organizing to pressure Tony Smith and the school board to reopen all five closed elementary schools, repudiate the state debt, stop busting teacher and school workers’ unions, reverse the cuts to special education, and fully fund public education for every student. This Sunday, we kick back and grub. The potluck starts at 6 pm at the People’s School (746 Grand Ave), followed by a screening of “The Inconvenient Truth behind Waiting for Superman.” Please bring a dish or a non-alcoholic beverage to share.
In love and solidarity,
The Lakeview Sit-In and People’s School for Public Education
Just to remind everyone, we are not in this struggle to simply reopen the 5 schools, we are here for the long-term commitment to quality public education.
IN light of that… The districts recent effort to cut back spending is now targeting some of the most vulnerable parts of our community, special education. We need to stand together in unity to protect every person’s right to a quality education.
A few things you can do to support the Special Education Struggle!
Please sign their online PETITION:
Here is an article on Katy Murphy’s Education Blog explaining the proposed budget and its IMPACTS:
And Check out their FACEBOOK page:
And COME OUT TOMORROW FOR THE BOARD MEETING!