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Occupy Piedmont?

As protests against everything from joblessness to corporate greed proliferate across the country, one commenter says demonstrators should target Piedmont.

Demonstrators are planning to fill up Frank Ogawa Plaza starting at 4 p.m. Monday as the growing Occupy Wall Street protest movement spreads to Oakland.

The marches and sit-ins protesting economic injustice began in New York's financial district Sept. 17 and have since been repeated in about two dozen cities across the country, including San Francisco.

In a comment posted on an East Bay Express article about the Oakland protest, a commenter named Max suggested Friday that instead of Frank Ogawa Plaza demonstrators should, "Occupy Piedmont."

"Income inequality and inequality of opportunity? Look no further than Piedmont, a little town surrounded on all sides by Oakland, full of rich people who have their own rich school district. Piedmont sends it's kids to Exeter, Choate and Stanford and Yale. Kids from Oakland all too often sent to San Quentin or Kandahar," the commenter wrote.

Do you Piedmont deserves to be targeted?

Tim October 12, 2011 at 07:41 PM
An absurd comment like Carl made above needed a response. I was labeled as a "tea party conservative" because I don't agree with Comrade Carl and the liberal pundits of msnbc. I hope you are directing your comment at Carl as well.
Kevin L October 14, 2011 at 05:25 PM
@Claudia You are show only your bias. The idea that Piedmont is "comprised of the conservative right" is complete BS. If you look at the publicly available information on political donations, you'll see that donations to Democratic candidates far outweigh those to the Republican ones--the main offenders you refer to. In my neighborhood, the Democratic contributions outnumber the Republican ones by 10 to 1, if not more. I'm referring to 2008. As other people have pointed out, you need to stop focusing on people that have attained success and start focusing on people that have screwed us all.
Jeff Schofield October 14, 2011 at 07:52 PM
Totally Wrong, Piedmont is the perfect place to protest. Many Piedomonter's are employeed by Wall street firms or big and small banks, all have recieved Bail outs from Uncle Sam, all the while other Piedmonters have lost there homes either due to job loss or loan terms favoring the home loan servicers
Richard October 14, 2011 at 11:43 PM
First of all, Pete Da Skeet, you rule. NEWSFLASH: LIFE ISN'T ALWAYS FAIR. Piedmont was founded as a wealthy place, and has maintained that since. If families are able to live in a place like that- they are obviously lucky. They have also probably worked very hard for that. It is unfair for you (Claudia "I hate Piedmont" Graham) to generalize all Piedmont people as snobby and all that other BS.
Carol Parker October 15, 2011 at 12:48 AM
Jobs Not Cuts Rally tomorrow (Sat. Oct. 15) beginning at 1 p.m. at Laney College with march afterwards to site of Occupy Oakland. Details on website: http://jobs-not-cuts.org/
Matte Scott October 15, 2011 at 01:09 PM
^ Thanks, Carol, maybe labor can help the occupiers get a little fresh air. If you ask a protestor why he's there, he might as well say- "what else should I do", when both of you know the economy is as stuck as the political system. Have we found the monkey-wrench?- That is, are the Super-rich the problem? If so, how do you expect them to communicate with the super-not? Consider the occupations a dialogue where the occupiers articulate their frustration, demand for answers and accountability, and determination... and the Man can only articulate himself with a police-force that ebbs and flows. The movement, having taken the biggest leap possible, has not opened up a very rewarding conversation... only something akin to a staring contest. But are the professional-class property-owners of piedmont bi-lingual? A bit claustrophobic, I'd much rather occupy the lake. Berkeley also starts in earnest today- lets see what tune they sing.
Peter Tague Lally October 20, 2011 at 04:04 AM
Rich school district? I need to bring tissues into my class because they won't pay for tissues
Roberto October 20, 2011 at 04:38 AM
Claudia, what business did you give up? There are only 4 retail establishments in Piedmont. Piedmont Grocery is in Oakland. I suggest you organize your protest on Piedmont Ave, 100% of it is in Oakland.
Roberto October 20, 2011 at 04:42 AM
OUSD needs more money than PUSD per pupil because they have to feed most of thier pupils because their parent(s) don't and have have to waste money on security guards and metal dectors.
Drummond Thompson October 20, 2011 at 04:56 AM
Peter is right. Every year our school district nearly doubles our amount of furlough days just to even out school expenses.
JC October 20, 2011 at 05:46 AM
As a former resident I think that a lot of what's been mentioned seems pretty unfair. Most people living there are NOT part of the 1% and the town's politics are mostly liberal--not compared to the rest of the Bay Area, but set against where I currently live and most of the US it's a liberal bastion. Of course, I may feel this way because the super-rich people never invited me to any of their parties. There are definitely a fair number of people in Piedmont who do fit the negative stereotypes and I'm not 100% sure this "occupy" thing is a bad idea, but it doesn't seem to me to have any real purpose beyond giving a middle-finger salute to Piedmont, and I think it avoids the real problem. If OWS and other groups are going to have any lasting impact, they need to translate the frustration into targeting powerful institutions and building a political organization as the Tea Party has done.
'09 Alum October 20, 2011 at 07:26 AM
Wow, there is a lot to respond to, clearly this has hit a nerve with folks, which honestly, I think is one of the main points, to get people talking. Growing up in Piedmont, I know how much wealth there is. There is money for gift-wrapping. Money for soccer uniforms. Money for under-grounding. And money for Maintenance. This is not to say any of this is bad; I am truly grateful and glad that I got to live in a community that invested so much back into itself. The city is what it is mainly because people can afford to reinvest, and it shows! It is because of this apparent wealth though that Piedmonters, can, and should, help others out. Teachers' have been laid off, had their jobs consolidated, and classes not offered because of not enough money, yet people are willing to donate (spend) gobs of money on Moraga Park? How is that right? We need to help others out not because we are required(taxes), but because we should. Life is not fair. Some people struggle to get dinner on the table. We struggle to schedule in a summer vacation between Camp Augusta and Schoolmates. This is just the way it is. Complaining about it will not make it less unfair, but it does give us the chance to think about it and change our actions. My point though is that we are lucky, and privileged. We have the ability to be altruistic. We are a global community, one that transcends city lines, and thus must look to help the good of the many, not just the good of the near.
'09 Alum October 20, 2011 at 07:34 AM
While this must be devastating, I'm sure you can manage. If you were able to get three solid meals a day, pay for school materials, and not have to worry about gang violence, than yes, I'm sure the lack of tissues is crushing. But seeing as many OUSD students face the previously mentioned problems, and more, I would doubt they would stand in solidarity for your pain.
Ivy League Student from Piedmont October 20, 2011 at 08:45 AM
Hello. Although I am a rich yuppie currently attending Princeton University who doesn't agree in the slightest modicum of mind with the merits of these pointless protests, alls of y'all don't know nothin. Listen up. 1) The resulting congestion from occupying Piedmont wouldn't affect "the rich 1%." They'll just program the satellite navigation in their 7 series bimmers to re-route their path to S.F. through Moraga/Montclair/Park Blvd rather than Oakland Ave. 2) Piedmont only has schools. Nothing commercial at all. You noobs really want to make little kids tardy/absent from class? Think of the children, you lack-linen louts. 3) Piedmont already is like 90%+ liberal and most rich people in this town probably support these whatevers (occupations?). I may not be the oldest person here, but I'm damn sure that I'm the smartest. Now get out of my town, hippies.
Peter Tague Lally October 20, 2011 at 10:43 PM
What do you mean life isn't always fair? Also, how'd you know my nickname was Pete da skeet?
Peter Tague Lally October 20, 2011 at 10:48 PM
@Andrew: Where in my comment did I say OUSD was entitled? I NEVER DID. I was simply stating one of the numerous examples of cuts that the PUSD has taken because our school district is soooooo "rich".
Carl October 20, 2011 at 10:56 PM
My comment still stands, can anyone on the right say they can work on politcal issues with the left? And vice versa? If yes then whats the hold up? If you cant then one side needs to be removed so we can get things done. BIPARTISAN is a pipe dream. (Hash pipe for many Piedmonters lately) Since everyone in piedmont is smarter than 99% of the rest of the country what is the redeeming social value of a two party system that only wants to ridicule and demonize their counterpart?
Roberto October 21, 2011 at 12:42 AM
Carl, or should it be Karl? or perhaps Colonel Carl? Lets turn the table - can any of you liberals work with the right? Why is it the conservatives must "find your way". Two party systems provide balance, unlike the recent toppled one party systems like Libya, Egypt, USSR (not so recent) and soon to be like Syria and Yemem. I wouldn't call 225 years of the most successful "experiment" in democracy a pipe dream, maybe you must be on some liberal supported medical marajuana.
'09 Alum October 21, 2011 at 02:12 AM
Peter- I was pointing out that it seems rather petty to be complaining about the lack of tissues when students in other school districts struggle with real problems. As I recall, the solution to problem was get some tp or buy your own. If you are so stuck on the schools lacking money, then make a fuss about the teachers not getting paid enough or limited class selection. Carl and Roberto- Clearly neither party has been truly effective at running this country. Not right now, not ever. FDR, one of the most successful Presidents in terms of amount accomplished (legislation), did so by almost supreme rule, and even he had to bow to the people. A democracy works by pitting ideas against each other, and seeing which stick. "Liberals" want to see progress, "Conservatives" want to see things stay the same, two diametrically opposed ideas, meaning the solution is going to come out of annoying, frustrating argument and gridlock. To whitewash the others' as being obstinate is to clearly miss the point behind a government built on individual beliefs and ideas. No one likes being told they are wrong, and as any kid can tell you, compromising is worse than losing, it's a lose-lose. So saying, "they won't compromise", is dumb, of course no one is going to willy-nilly just give up their mindset because someone tells you to. The point here is to find solutions, to fix the problems of our country, not delve into a debate on why one side is wrong or the other is inane.
Amy Jeffries October 24, 2011 at 04:39 PM
In the context of this thread, consider this tool created by the Wall Street Journal to rank household income: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2011/10/19/what-percent-are-you ... $250,000 puts you in the "4%".
Alex Moss October 24, 2011 at 10:10 PM
I would just like to know what would be achieved by a demonstration in Piedmont. The vast majority of residents do not fall into the 1% that is being targeted; most are part of the 99%, like those who aim to protest, so why do some of those who have commented choose to slander them with insults if they are on the same "side"? The Occupy movement was designated as a forum for discussing wealth distribution, and it saddens me to see such individuals insulting others in the name of Occupy Piedmont.
Amy Jeffries October 27, 2011 at 01:17 AM
This commentary, posted in the wake of the police raid on the Occupy Oakland encampment, again points to Piedmont: http://www.counterpunch.org/2011/10/26/the-fight-for-autonomy-in-oakland/
John Seal October 28, 2011 at 04:45 AM
Occupy Piedmont trending on Twitter.
Kevin Garrett October 31, 2011 at 01:40 AM
Damn, i thought we were supposed to be fighting the harsh reality that there is a unfair separation of wealth. Creating a whole new conflict is just un-cool. My old man is a hard worker, he's in construction. Worked from the bottom up. And he still does manual labor. I have hella respect for people that work from the bottom up. Props to em. If u inherit your wealth, ur a lucky as mother fucker and i wish i was in your place!!! Lol. But the real problem is corporations and banks having all the $$$. I think occupying piedmont is a dumb way to separate our town from the bay. But what's a 17 year olds opinion worth. -Kevin Garrett
Carl October 31, 2011 at 02:17 AM
It is always better to be profound than profane.
Anne MacMillan October 31, 2011 at 05:50 PM
I think it is interesting that it is assumed that an Occupy Piedmont would be done by "outsiders." It would be a beautiful thing to see the progressive Piedmont residents initiate Occupy Piedmont in solidarity with OWS. Probably would also be appreciated by the hardworking school staff and domestic workers of Piedmont. --Anne
Amir Stein November 07, 2011 at 11:06 PM
Piedmont is full of white rich scumbags
Kevin L November 24, 2011 at 04:36 PM
"Keeping Oakland down doesn’t help anyone." So, it's Piedmont that keeps Oakland down. Your shrill diatribe just went off the rails. Did you know that the current budget deficit in Oakland is around $58M. Did you also know that the amount Oakland has paid to settle lawsuits over the last 10 years for police brutality is about the same amount? Also, even saying that Oakland is responsible for all its own problems is just absurd. They are part of CA and the US, the health of which both contribute to the health of Oakland. When comparing Oakland and Piedmont schools, you can't just stop at the money available to both. It's been known for some time that parental involvement is a key factor in how kids do at school. How is Piedmont responsible for the lower parental involvement with Oakland students? Because I lived in Oakland for many years (longer than I've lived in Piedmont), and there is nowhere near the parental involvement in Oakland as there is in Piedmont. It is the deciding factor. If you want to focus on Piedmont as the scapegoat for your problems, you will never solve them.
Kevin L November 24, 2011 at 04:42 PM
@Amir The family to the right is Korean and the family to the left is Chinese. And, my household is not all white. Your bigotry is disgusting.
Kevin L November 24, 2011 at 05:01 PM
What so disappoints me about many of the comments is how the blame for unfairness is being shifted from those responsible for it. Who is to blame? The Bush era tax cuts, a dramatic increase in spending for two wars, and the financial meltdown of 2008 have created a crisis. This perfect storm of blunders by the leaders of this country has created an economic environment where everyone except the largest corporations are hurting. All those small and medium size businesses that actually employ most Americans are hurting. Add to this the dwindling revenue given to local governments and you have a recipe for disaster, as the safety net is further weakened. Protests are a great thing to show there is a will for change, but they are a blunt instrument. They aren't precise enough to tell the leaders what we want. For that, people need to voice their opinion to their representatives. Protests can also be co-opted by trouble makers, as was seen on the general strike day where Whole Foods was vandalized. The media will focus on them rather than the message from the majority of peaceful protesters. Oakland/Piedmont has Barbara Lee, who is a wonderful Representative. While she is on the correct side on almost every issue, it can't hurt to voice your opinions to her.

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