Spray Paint & Broken Windows Black Bloc style Tactics… Are they Good or Bad for Oakland?

In the aftermath of Occupy Oakland’s Historic General Strike and shut down of the Port of Oakland, there’s been a lot of talk about ‘violence’ and its varied and nuance definitions and property damage and whether or not its an appropriate tactic at protests and demonstrations..

During the day of the November 2 General Strike there were a number of marches that were designed to fan out into neighboring communities, bring attention to the strike and ideally get big banks to close their doors. One of the those marches was deemed the March Against Capitalism. Here you see folks donning Black masks and scarfs spray painting and tearing up a Whole Foods Grocery Store as well as a few nearby banks..

Those in support of the march and this activity say we shouldn’t get upset over property damage. We should be more upset with the damage/ violence the banks and big businesses have done on the average everyday person..

Banks can easily get their windows repaired, but can we easily get our economy that they destroyed by them repaired. In short the banks and big financial institutions are violent with us everyday… They refer to the people attempting to stop the destruction of property as ‘Peace Police‘ as they note that sometimes a broken windows are needed to shake things up make larger points.

Its also been argued that there’s no difference between violating the law by breaking windows vs those who decide they wanna take direct actions in violations of the law like stopping traffic in the middle of rush hour, setting up tents in the front of city hall or hanging a banner in a spot where no permission was granted. It boils down to what type of tactic one wants to use to get their point across…

It’s also been noted that those who believe in using these types of tactics have been apart of the Occupy Movement from day one…

March Against Capitalism Photo credit: Reginald James/ Black Hour

With respect to the property damage done at Whole Foods.. It was said to be done because the management threatened to fire any of its employees who partook in the strike..That allegation was reported to have been denied.

Those in opposition say that these types of tactics take away from the overall message of a demonstration especially if you are trying to win public support to a particular cause..

In addition there is a concern that these types of tactics bring about unwarranted crack downs by the police where folks who have nothing to do with the destructive activity get swooped up.

The other nagging question is why destroy anything in a struggling city like Oakland? Why not bring this tactic on the doorsteps of the 1% in more affluent areas like a Walnut Creek? Aptos? or nearby Piedmont? Why attach this to a march where the majority of folks aren’t embracing or willing to participate in such activity?

Peep the video below and give us your thoughts…Is this type of activity ever appropriate? Is there a difference between what was done with Whole Foods and the banks at these protestors in Oakland vs when we saw banks burning in Greece during their economic crises and many of us cheered? Did we view the unrest differently in places like London or France over police shootings vs the confrontations we witnessed last week after the General Strike in Oakland? Where do we draw the line?

For additional perspective on this you can peep the following article;

http://www.wsm.ie/c/eyewitness-oakland-general-strike-controversy-occupy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zz22OvY6FTY

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner

Rest in Peace Heavy D-A True Renaissance Man for Hip Hop

RIP heavy D

Needless to say this has been a tough week.. I don’t care what anyone says or how hard they act death takes a toll especially when its unexpected..That’s been the case all this week as we lost 3 iconic figures.. and while I understand that commentator Andy Rooney, boxing great Joe Frazier and golden era rap star Heavy D weren’t family members or folks in our immediate circles, they were important backdrops to our world.. For many they help define it. Their deaths can’t easily be shook, nor should they be.

Heavy D was a big part of Hip Hop. He helped shape it… Prior to Heavy D overweight men both in Hip Hop and the world in general for the most part were depicted as cartoonish..I think back to the days of the Fat Boys and recall when they first came out in the mid 80s it was all about them being comedic.

Heavy D flipped the script redefined what being big meant.. He made the big man sexy.. He made the big man fashionable.. He made the big man someone who can get on stage and dance with the best of them…Say what you will, but Heavy laid the ground work for artists like Biggie and Big Pun to bless the mic while being large and in charge while having much flava.

Heavy D opened doors…First he put his hometown Money Earnin’ Mt Vernon, which is right outside the Bronx, on the map. He helped bring his cousin producer Pete Rock to national prominence..

He did a song w/ which I think was the only in studio collabo w/ the late 2Pac and Notorious BIG called Let’s get It On..

Also as was pointed out by the tribute to Heavy D penned by AllHipHop, Heavy was the first to feature Biggie in a 1993 classic cut called A Bunch of Niggas.

Heavy was one of the first rappers to ever spit verses with the King of Pop Michael Jackson on his song Jam

Heavy opened doors on the acting tip being one of the first rappers outside of Fresh Prince (Will Smith) to have recurring role on a TV show..Him and Tone Loc were featured in the series Roc back in the early 90s..Later Heavy would have a recurring role in the TV series headed up by Queen Latifah called ‘Living Single‘. of course all of Heavy D’s acting opportunities came in the wake of him doing the theme song for the hit variety show In Living Color

Some note that Heavy D and his crew helped bring serious shine to a new fledging Coca Cola clothing line when they wore it in their debut video Mr Big Stuff. As was noted in this article HERE

The Murjani family who were the licensee of Coca-Cola apparel at this time, should really thank Heavy D & The Boyz for this free commercial and Product Placement spot. During the Golden era of hip-Hop this song and video helped mold the image of streetwear fashion of the time as well as helped propel Coca-Coal apparel to a $250 million dollar company.

What a lot of people didn’t know was the head men’s wear designer for the apparel licensee was a young man by the name of Tommy Hilfiger. After the brand dissolved due to poor management, brand quality control and the families rumored exuberant lifestyle. Tommy went to start his own brand named after his self a year later in 1988. Now the rest is history.

In his sudden passing,which reports are saying was due to respiratory failure, I think folks will rediscover his catalogue and have new appreciation for his body of work and him as a performer. We listed some of our favorite cuts and videos below..

In closing the few times I met Heavy D he was a cool dude..Very humble, smart and peaceful. I recall back in 89 how many of us in the Bay Area got upset with him because of a huge riot that broke out at a concert at the Oakland Coliseum…

Heavy D was opening for MC Hammer and he refused to perform until the they dimmed the lights. After some back and forth with him again stressing his refusal to perform, about 30 cats rushed the stage and started what would wound up being one of the worse concert fights in Bay Area history..It was total mayhem that lasted more than hour. When all was said and done, folks were mad at Heavy D and blamed hi for the drama..

It was an incident he was deeply sorry for. He later noted that he wanted to give the fans a good show and thought the sound people were trying to short change the audience. He was attempting to side with the people and had no idea that the lights were kept on to weed out trouble makers..

Seeing him evolve over the years as an actor and performer has been a gift for all of us in Hip Hop..

May Heavy D Rest in Power.

Overweight Lover’s in the House

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eXco_ity0fw&feature=related

Mr Big Stuff

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSRyCMExqk4&feature=relmfu

U Cant See What I can See

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J5uqPUZxZHg&feature=related

Blue Funk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vw9TUnECHE&feature=related

Don’t Curse

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iztp036z54

Black Coffee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_9Nuf8xUcg

Somebody Who Loves Me (Arsenio Hall show)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQTWfcDaePo

Let’s Get It On w/ 2Pac, Notorious BIG & Grand Puba

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GN8oZ4NyffI

On Point w/ Big Pun and 8Ball G

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAB8ncSq6wo

Jam w/ Michael Jackson

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZqYCh7T85g&feature=fvst

Jam Session w/ Notorious BIG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOoSx30NGw8

Living Color Theme Song

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J_M_2PyJQcU

Return to Davey D’s Hip Hop Corner