Archive for the ‘articles’ Category

Occupy Oakland is Dead. Long Live the Oakland Commune

reposted from Bay of Rage (May 16, 2012)

THE COMMUNE

For those of us in Oakland, “Occupy Wall Street” was always a strange fit. While much of the country sat eerily quiet in the years before the Hot Fall of 2011, a unique rebelliousness that regularly erupted in militant antagonisms with the police was already taking root in the streets of the Bay. From numerous anti-police riots triggered by the execution of Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day 2009, to the wave of anti-austerity student occupations in late 2009 and early 2010, to the native protest encampment at Glen Cove in 2011, to the the sequence of Anonymous BART disruptions in the month before Occupy Wall Street kicked off, our greater metropolitan area re-emerged in recent years as a primary hub of struggle in this country. The intersection at 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland was, more often than not, “ground zero” for these conflicts.

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In May 2011, tens of thousands occupied plazas throughout Spain in a protest movement that prefigured similar occupations around the world, including the Occupy movement in the United States. On March 29, 2012, a nationwide general strike erupted into massive street-fighting in Barcelona, as participants wrested control of the streets from riot police. How did this come to pass, and what can it tell us about what will follow the occupation movements outside Spain?

Here, our Barcelona correspondent provides extensive background on the riots of March 29, tracing the trajectory from the plaza occupations to the general strike, and explores the questions that have arisen as anarchists face new opportunities and challenges.

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http://nothingiseverlost.wordpress.com/2011/12/13/against-the-bosses-against-the-unions-for-occupations-with-teeth-thoughts-on-west-coast-port-shutdown/

Yesterday saw a major escalation in the tactics of the Occupy movement, as a concentrated effort was made to shut down ports across the West Coast. This kind of direct economic action is a very welcome development, made even more interesting by the movement’s reluctance to name specific reforms that would allow it to be bought off. These actions aren’t about a clear-cut attack on capitalism itself, but they certainly have elements that point in that direction, and they’re a lot less limited than many other protests in recent memory. Another interesting development is that the actions took place against the explicit opposition of the International Longshore Workers’ Union. As the very different example of the electricians’ struggle in the UK also shows, the unions will only support action that stays within the rules written by the bosses and their politicians, so it’s necessary to break out of their control in order to win.

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In this post:

(1) A Reply to Cal Winslow on the West Coast Port Shut Down

(2) Interview With ILWU Members About D12

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http://www.kosmoprolet.org/node/70

Translation of the editorial of Kosmoprolet #3

All over the world, events are keeping up with the pace of a crisis, the end of which was just recently cheerfully proclaimed by people who thought ludicrous amounts of sovereign debt to be the recipe for an economic miracle. By racking up debt to their ears, governments worldwide were able to contain the so-called financial crisis; but then, the rating agencies presented them a bill that they promptly passed on to wage workers. The whole maneuver did not lead to recovery but to an even more menacing state budget crisis, the handling of which through uncompromising austerity measures has aroused anger. Resistance is mounting. We are at the threshold of a social crisis. Those who feel the effects of the governments’ austerity programs in their everyday life are starting to realize ever more clearly that these are not temporarily painful, yet necessary sacrifices. They are becoming aware of the fact that the drastic cuts will not only last for years or even decades, but that their own future is becoming ever bleaker. We are probably at the start of a new era: Ever since society was brought back down to the earth of cold hard economic facts, the culturalist carnival of differences has come to an end. Society’s colorful superstructure has scaled off to reveal, in Orthodox Marxist terms, the drab, universal base. And the crisis has achieved what activists striving to link struggles have been incapable of for decades: millions have taken to the streets simultaneously with the same purpose. All they’re left with is an ever more precarious survival under the reigning conditions. For them, it’s all or nothing.

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http://pugetsoundanarchists.org/node/1161

On a wall in the occupied building, Thomas Münzer's 16th century slogan, meaning roughly "Everything for everyone!"

Background: Last night around 75 people entered an enormous empty building on Capitol Hill after a march entitled, “You Can’t Evict an Idea! Occupy Everything”. Hundreds of people came in and out of the building: writing slogans, dancing with friends to live bands, giving speeches, and sharing food. The building is set to be demolished shortly for luxury apartments. Police and SWAT raided the building at 3AM that morning. 13 arrests.

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http://viewpointmag.com/2011/12/01/a-new-aggressive-movement-the-founding-and-defense-of-the-santa-cruz-social-center/

There were no broken windows. So that particular liberal defense is off the table. Those who have decided to side with the state instead of this new and radical social movement will find that it is now their illusions that have been shattered.

We had heard murmurings all week about a new autonomous action emerging from the Santa Cruz occupation. The conditions of social life in Santa Cruz involve a visible homeless population, and they have not been absent at Occupy Santa Cruz, which stationed itself outside of the courthouse, right across from the county jail and a bail bondsman. It’s easy for the media to dismiss occupations as a collection of bums, but the truth is that the homeless need a place to sleep; and now, with chilly nights and fierce winds, the activists at the occupation, like the homeless every year, need more than tents.

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