Oakland Local: How were you involved in Occupy Oakland during this time last year? (September/October 2011)
Pamela Drake: I was down there everyday for about five weeks, attended numerous GAs and some committees. I also attended the General Strike including at the port. I was on the business committee briefly and the Move to Amend committee. I photographed lots of it and wrote about it.
OL: What impact did the movement have on you?
Drake: It made me feel hopeful again and less anxious about my economic situation until some point when I realized that it was led and run by anarchists who only wanted to confront our city not work with it (not all anarchists believe in that sort of activity). I also parted ways when local small businesses began to be negatively impacted and the Left sectarianism got very fractured and antagonistic.
OL: What impact do you think it had on Oakland?
Drake: Ultimately, it was negative, but I am still proud of Oakland as a hotbed of political and structural change. It wouldn't have come here if were it not.
OL: How do you feel about Occupy in Oakland looking back?
Drake: I have to remember how much it moved me before the disillusionment set in and the fear for the lack of respect for my community changed my feelings completely.
OL: Are you involved in political activism right now? If yes, in what way?
Drake: Yes, always, for the last 25 or so years here in Oakland and before that in San Francisco, police accountability, small business, education, electoral politics, you name it.
OL: Any other thoughts you want to share?
Drake: Read my past writings on Occupy:
Pamela Drake is a long-time Oakland resident and activist and occasional writer for OL.
Reflect on a major focus this past year in our city-- take a look at Eric Arnold's essay "Occupy Oakland: One Year Later (Analysis)" at http://bit.ly/UDv0G7. We also share with you some new Community Voices pieces that look back at the Occupy movement:
Pamela Drake: Look back at Occupy Oakland, 2011 (Community Voices) - http://bit.ly/Qk6Hab
Glenn Turner: A look back at Occupy Oakland (Community Voices) - http://bit.ly/UKjvN7
Needa Bee: Look back at Occupy Oakland 2011 (Community Voices) - http://bit.ly/W4E7xC
Naomi Pitcairn, Chalkupy/Fresh Juice Park: Look Back at Occupy Oakland 2011 - http://bit.ly/RynGpf
T Thorn Coyle: A look back at Occupy 2011 (Community Voices) http://bit.ly/W4J09T