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Several dozen protesters in a caravan gathered on Friday morning to close the port of Oakland as part of a nationwide action known as a popular strike. The group of about 50 cars started at the harbor before heading up Broadway to the Oakland Police Headquarters, then to the Oakland Unified School District Headquarters, City Hall, the Kaiser Permanente Mosswood Building and finally Whole Foods.
Although the people’s strike organizers describe the movement as a “growing coalition of workers, communities and political organizations facing the COVID-19 pandemic,” the May 1st date for nationwide action is not a mistake, and the list is The Group’s demands play an important role from the introduction of a basic income and universal health care to a range of housing and immigration reforms. However, the most time-sensitive focus of the annual International Labor Day protests has been on key workers striking to demand safer conditions during the coronavirus outbreak.
To that end, the group called for a one-day moratorium on spending money on Amazon, FedEx, Instacart, Shipt, Target and Whole Foods to support frontline workers demanding unpaid time off, hazard payments, sick leave, personal protective equipment and money Cleaning supplies.
Noura Khouri, a local organizer of the popular strike in the Bay Area, said Friday’s demonstrations were the first in a series of monthly actions that include rent strikes in support of tenants.
“This capitalist system doesn’t exist without our work,” Khouri said in a video tweeted from the port. “We want to make sure that we are the ones who determine our future and when we go back to work and when we are ready to open up the economy.”