News & Opinion » Letters

Letters for the Week of February 29, 2012

Readers sound off on redevelopment, Occupy Oakland, and foie gras.


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Ruth Miller, Oakland

"Think You Know Izakaya?," Restaurant Review, 2/15

A Foie-Pas

I'm shocked that a new restaurant would open with foie gras on the menu, considering that in several months it will be illegal in the entire state of California — and I'm shocked that an Express food writer would so casually describe it as one of the items served. How does a restaurant open in as progressive a town as Berkeley and not realize that they would be alienating many potential customers by serving animal cruelty?

Anne Martin, Berkeley

"Change Is Messy," Raising the Bar, 2/15

In Defense of Occupy

This is a great counter to the propaganda of those calling Occupy violent and insinuating there is "trouble" in the movement. Thank you, Jay! Occupy is totally peaceful and attempts to provide to the 99 Percent the social services that the city refuses to. A tiny fraction — who knows how many are police provocateurs — have acted out their frustration on property while the police beat, bomb, and break human bodies. The police attack with the meanness and cruelty of the 1 Percent's selfish capitalism, which enforces scarcity and deprivation. Occupy has brought this issue — the imminent threat of violence that capitalism requires to get people to submit to its inhuman and unconstitutional rules — to the forefront and should be applauded for this instead of criticized. This is peaceful protest, just as in the Sixties and Seventies, and it has been met with the same violent assault by the powers that be that plagued that movement. Why do so many want to forget this, and the entire history of police/thug violence against labor, and claim that media lie that calls Occupy violent?

Sandy Sanders, Oakland


Occupy Oakland deserves nobody's support because it is incapable of renouncing violence as a protest tactic. I'm sorry, Mr. Youngdahl, but you ought to read your history before filing such claptrap. Also, your editors should be ashamed for consistently neglecting to take seriously the failures of this movement.

Occupy Oakland's failure in this regard not only indicates an utter lack of functional and moral leadership on the part of the movement (which means it will never go anywhere tactically) but it also indicates a disregard for human life and dignity. Moreover, without renouncing violence, the movement is flying in the face of the past hundred years of effective progressive political action: civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, etc. etc. etc. — they've all been effective in one way or another and they all renounced violence.

David Fore, Oakland

"Café Intermezzo, Raleigh's to Re-Open ... In Tents," What the Fork, 2/15

In-Tents Excitement

Yes to the tents for Cafe Intermezzo, Raleigh's, and Gabriella's. Both Cafe Intermezzo and Raleigh's were beloved cornerstones of Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley. As a UC Berkeley student, I can safely say that the tent and beer garden idea will be popular with my fellow classmates — especially since we'll be able to enjoy scrumptious salads and pub food again! I hope that the re-opening happens in the beginning of May before the semester ends, because we miss the restaurants and they would probably see much more business then, as there are fewer students in Berkeley in the summer.

Amy Hu, Berkeley

"A New Way to Punish Police?," News, 2/15

Fantastic News

This is fantastic news that should hopefully take the wind out of the sails of the contingent of protesters who feel they need to resort to vandalism.

Vince Rubino, Seoul, South Korea

"Worst Slow Jams," Music, 2/8

Happy Accidents

I accidentally had sex while listening to Zappa's Burnt Weeny Sandwich. It was kind of awesome, but only because it was accidental.

David Kerin, Oakland

"It's Time for the Black Bloc to Go Away," Seven Days, 2/1

An Activist Against the Black Bloc

Very well said — the Black Bloc is fighting against everything that I hope to achieve by being an activist for a more just, more peaceful and beautiful world. I understand it's frustrating. I hate that things move too slowly. But I also hate violence as a means to change the world. I've been at rallies and actions in San Francisco, Oakland, and Miami and seen the amazing tenacity and creativity of the peace movement ... and then seen anarchists destroy the very things that we want to achieve: collaboration, peaceful alternatives, conversation and support.

I'm not suggesting that the peace movement continue to quietly rally on a Saturday afternoon when no one's world is inconvenienced. I'm not that naive. I believe we must actively shut down the dangerous, corporate-controlled, profit-hungry machine that is running this country and the world. But I don't believe we will sustainably shut down violence with gratuitous violence. We must make changes by offering viable alternatives. Let the Black Bloc go off on their own and throw and break things among themselves. And then the people working hard for peace and social justice can get on with the work of creating change. 

Jodi Selene, Berkeley


Why is 90 percent approval undemocratic? Isn't it excruciatingly democratic?

And euphemisms aren't automatically "Orwellian."

Regardless of your opinions about Occupy Oakland, this is a brain-dead, worthless article.

Kane Lynch, Oakland

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