The Omni Commoner
Issue 1, April 2016

The Omni Commons currently hosts over a dozen collectives committed to the mission of equity and community.  We’re actively recruiting new members for existing groups as well as entirely new organizations to collaborate with us.  Please visit to learn more, or contact with inquiries on how to participate!

We’ve been changing the exterior of the Omni to increase security, accessibility, and improve the buildings appearance. You may have seen our beautiful new front door that improves wheelchair accessibility. Exterior lighting has been repaired and we will add more as finances permit. After long discussions about privacy and security concerns, we have developed a security camera system that ensures footage can only be used when necessary for increasing the safety of our community. You will soon see security cameras mounted to observe key areas of the exterior and sidewalk. The cypress trees have been pruned back, but there is discussion about problems with them, such as providing hiding places for both people and objects, and the mess they leave on the sidewalk.



Are you connected to an aligned group looking for occasional or permanent space? We have space available and are actively seeking new member collectives to rent it out! Apply to be a member collective at !

We’re always welcoming new volunteers to participate in various working groups – in particular finance, building & maintenance, commons (event management), and fundraising. Check the calendar for the next working group meeting, or visit
to join the relevant mailing list.




Updates From Member Collectives



Greetings from Omni’s newest collective project, Agua Viva! We are remodeling the Entrance Hall to create a cafe and infoshop that will serve as a welcoming and inspiring space for newcomers and oldtimers alike. Aiming to open by mid-summer!


In the months of April and May, Liberated Lens is presenting Local Filmmaker series with directors present for Q&A. So far we’ve screened Chicago Confessional by Bryan Gibel, First Friday by Mario Furloni and N’Jeri Eaton and A Fierce Green Fire by Mark Kitchell. The screenings coming up in May will be: The Waiting Room and Rezoning Harlem.




Weekly sudo room meetings are now socials! Stop by on a Wednesday, 7pm, to kick it with your friendly neighborhood hackers and learn more about the various projects, meetups and resources available in sudo room! Meeting-flavored parties are 2nd Wednesdays.



Outside the Perimeter: Interview with Counter Culture Labs in the Daily Californian!




Have a Question?

Chances are the answer is already on our website or wiki at – Come visit and send us a comment or feedback at
or check out the calendar of ongoing events at!



Recurring Events

Fundraising / Buy the Building / Until the Revolution Working Group, 6pm in the Blue Classroom – Working on fundraising strategies for the Omni and the logistical tasks toward buying the building – until the revolution, when property becomes obsolete.

Synthetic Biology, Biohacking and Cheese, every other Monday at 7pm in Counter Culture Labs – Real Vegan Cheese is a not a cheese substitute! It all starts with regular old baker’s yeast. Through synthetic biology, we engineer our yeast to become milk-protein factories. Our milk proteins are then combined with water and vegan oil to make Vegan Milk which is ultimately converted into Real Vegan Cheese through standard cheese-making processes – just like cheese made from cow or goat milk!
The Art of Science, the Science of Art, 4th Mondays at 7pm in Counter Culture Labs – Come by CCL at Omni Commons to show, tell and share anything that you are interested in relating to the intersection of art with science, math and engineering.


Hardware Hack Night, 7pm in Sudo Room – Come learn about any aspect of hardware hacking and hack with others. The giant robot arm would like to let you know that everyone is welcome.
Biohackers and Mad Scientists Social, 7pm in Counter Culture Labs – Come meet our Biohackers and other Mad Scientists in our new space at the Omni Commons to discuss science, brainstorm projects, learn more about Counter Culture Labs, and plot world domination. And hey – free pizza! See you there!
Birdhouse Art Collective Weekly Meetups – 7-9pm in the Omni Entrance Hall.  More info here.
Film Night @ The Omni, every other Tuesday, 7pm in the Disco Room – Regular film screenings hosted by resident radical film-making member collective Liberated Lens.

Sudo Room Weekly Social, 7pm in Sudo Room – Open to all! Potluck! (optional)
East Bay Homes Not Jails Meeting, 7pm in the Blue Classroom – Homes Not Jails is a consensus-based collective of squatters and squat supporters who believe housing is a human right. Our goal is to open as much vacant housing as possible and to keep it open as long as possible.
Fermentation Station­ MycoFermentoOmniMon­do, 7pm in Counter Culture Labs – A Chatauqua style event with several hands on activities going on concurrently with occasional focus for attendees on one or more of the activities. Sort of a three ring circus style in a sideshow presentation with a potluck format.
Open Source Insulin, 7pm in Counter Culture Labs – Developing the first open source protocol to produce insulin simply and economically. Our work may serve as a basis for generic production of this life-saving drug and provide a firmer foundation for continued research into improved versions of insulin.
BACE Timebank Monthly Meetups, 1st Wednesdays at 6:30pm in the Treatment Room – The Bay Area Community Exchange Timebank promotes and facilitates the use of Time instead of money in the exchange of goods and services.


Omni Delegates Meeting, 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 7pm in the Ballroom – Open to all! We’ll give space for brief announcements, updates from working groups, proposals up for consensus, and discussion around important issues.

Commons Working Group, 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 7pm in the Entrance Hall – Coordinates scheduling, maintenance, and use of the common spaces. We discuss issues that arise in the commons, meet with folks who have in-depth questions about the space, and review pending event requests.
Finance Working Group, 2nd and 4th Thursdays at 6pm in the Blue Classroom – Mission: To ensure the continued financial health of the Omni Commons.


Featured Upcoming Events
April 19th, 12:30-4:30pmTeam Building Work Retreat for FQHC Services UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland  (private event).


April 21, 6:30-10pm – Film(s) and a panel about squatting
Homes Not Jails will be screening films about squatter movements from around the world, followed by a panel and discussion about the films and squatting in general. Donations will support East Bay Homes Not Jails and Omni Commons. 


April 23rd, 9am-5:30pm Catalyst Project’s Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation – Training for local groups supporting white people involved in anti-racist work. This event is by invite only – contact info ‘at’ collectiveliberation ‘dot’ org 

April 24th, 1-3pm – Revolutionary Mothering – Part of a book tour for Revolutionary Mothering, featuring workshops by the book’s editors, centering on experiences from mothers who are of color, low-income, queer, trans, and other identities on the margins.  

April 29th, 10am-5pm – The Omni Commons Fair – Showcasing the power within interdisciplinary collaboration and grassroots community organizing. The all day event will include a panel discussion about cooperatively-organized arts groups featuring arts and cultural leaders in the Bay Area, an array of interactive booths which showcase Omni’s interdisciplinary, creative, and practical endeavors, and guided tours of the space. A community dinner will be served at 5pm by Dos Manos, a new catering cooperative initiated by two longtime Omni volunteers.



Recurring Events (cont.)
Javascript Study Group, 7pm in Sudo Room – Weekly get together where we work through javascript tutorials and projects, ask each other questions, or ignore each other while we code (up to you). Self-paced, and all experience levels welcome!  
BAAM Mushroom Lab, 1st & 3rd Thursdays, 6:30pm in CCL – This meetup is for people interested in mushroom cultivation at all experience levels. Beginners (primordia) are welcome, and experienced cultivators are encouraged to bring their own ideas, cultures, and experiments to the table.

Hegel for Communists, 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 7pm in the Treatment Room – Studies and close readings in Hegel’s Phenomenology of Mind.

Bernard Stiegler Reading Group, 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 6:45pm in the Disco Room – We will begin by making our way through Bernard Stiegler’s Technics and Time, 1 // The Fault of Epimetheus. We will keep a blog to follow the group:

Heidegger for Mystics, 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 7pm in the Blue Classroom. This reading group will investigate Heidegger’s esoteric and “poetic” writings about language and the event, texts composed approximately between 1936-1942.


Synthetic Biology project: Engineer an evolved bacterial sunscreen, 10:30am-12pm in Counter Culture Labs – Come get your hands dirty with some of the most advanced genetic engineering concepts – synthetic biology, directed evolution, and more!


Liberation Ministries Sunday Service, 9-11am in the Omni Ballroom – All Welcome.

Open Insulin Lab Day, 12-3pm in Counter Culture Labs – Regular meeting to do lab work.

Oakland Jericho: Prisoner Writing & Analysis, 3-5pm in the Basement Hall – We will review prisoner writings for the purpose of analyzing their thoughts, views and revolutionary ideologies and develop a working model in which we are able to publish their writings so others may learn and benefit. In addition, we will be writing our CA Political Prisoners, and others- in order to get to know their needs, form relationships and provide services per Oakland Jericho’s missives for Political Prisoners.

Community Democracy Project Weekly Meet Up, 6:30pm in the Basement Hall – Participatory democracy is real democracy–join us to say: Local People, Local Resources, Local Power!

Liberated Lens Weekly Meetup, 7pm in the Ballroom Mezzanine – A radical digital filmmaking collective at the Omni.  Contact to join, learn and collaborate

Open Circle: Families Fighting for Justice! – Every 4th Sunday from 3::30-5:30pm in the Entrance Hall or Disco Room. Open Circle, first and foremost, is an opportunity to build community with one another. Secondly, it is a space to reflect and collaborate on strategies and actions to bring about justice for the families who’ve lost loved ones to police terror and to bring an end to these egregious crimes.


Thanks for reading!


With love from:


Agua Viva Cooperative Cafe – A worker-owned cafe dedicated to creating a warm, public space for learning about the Omni, aiming to open by mid-Summer 2016.

Bay Area Public School – A free, self-organizing, anti-capitalist school with radical and contestatory politics.

Birdhouse Art Collective – A new collective bringing art and artists to the Omni Commons.

Building Bloc – A new collective for people who love Omni and want to help it thrive!

Buried Seeds Medicinal Herbal Cooperative – Dedicated to the production & accessibility of Earth-based medicine.

Chiapas Support Committee – Supporting autonomous health care and education in Zapatista communities.

Counter Culture Labs – A citizen science and DIYbio space that is open sourcing biology.

Food Not Bombs – Bringing free food to parks, political events, neighborhood gatherings, & social centers since 1991.

Global Womens’ Strike – Omni Collective: International network working toward the return of military spending to the community, starting with women, the main caregivers everywhere.

Liberated Lens – A radical film & video collective dedicated to social change.

The Mess – A theatre troupe & collective of writers, dancers, actors, & mischief makers who are out to do comedy that is a reflection of the Bay Area’s diverse culture.

Phat Beets – A food justice group building farmers markets and gardens in North Oakland.

Sudo Room – A place to build, learn, reclaim technology for the people, and create alternatives to the tech industry.

Timeless, Infinite Light – An Oakland small press focused on contemporary poetry and critical theor




The Omni Commoner – Debut Edition!

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