Archive for the ‘california’ 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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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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In Defense of the Revolutionary Politics and Actions of Occupy Oakland
Introduction

I went on strike on November 2nd in Oakland. I am not from Oakland, nor do I live there. I live in the Central Valley of California, about an hour and a half away. I work two jobs. I pay a mortgage. I am a member of a union. According to the discourse of the mainstream media, I’m middle class. According to the welfare office, I live in poverty. According to the ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement, I’m part of the 99%.

I consider myself neither. I am part of the working class, which through our waged and unwaged labors creates everything. But I am also a proletarian. I strive for a world without class, towards a human community free of capitalism. I have been an anarchist for over 10 years. I was not in Oakland when the camp was raided, but I had been to the occupation several times before and many of my friends, from former Panthers to anarchists, were involved. On the night of Tuesday, October 25th, I, along with thousands others, attempted to retake Oscar Grant Plaza. I returned the next night for the general assembly which called for a general strike. I returned for the strike and in the days that followed began working on this piece in response to some of the critics of the day’s events.
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http://primaporta.tumblr.com/post/11989279781
This piece responds to a couple Jacobin-related things pretty directly, so let’s put them out there straight away:

First, Malcolm Harris’ observation in “Baby, We’re All Anarchists Now” that “the left has finally broken into the national consciousness by adopting the tactics, strategy, and slogans of a group of left-communist insurrectionaries at the Universities of California.”

Second, the Jacobin-sponsored debate at Bluestockings—which I’ll let readers watch for themselves: http://jacobinmag.com/blog/?p=1937

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http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2011/11/03/18697018.php

Last night, after one of the most remarkable days of resistance in recent history, some of us within Occupy Oakland took an important next step: we extended the occupation to an unused building near Oscar Grant Plaza. We did this, first off, in order to secure the shelter and space from which to continue organizing during the coming winter months. But we also hoped to use the national spotlight on Oakland to encourage other occupations in colder, more northern climates to consider claiming spaces and moving indoors in order to resist the repressive force of the weather, after so bravely resisting the police and the political establishment. We want this movement to be here next Spring, and claiming unused space is, in our view, the most plausible way forward for us at this point. We had plans to start using this space today as a library, a place for classes and workshops, as well as a dormitory for those with health conditions. We had already begun to move in books from the library.

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Following the severe violence and repression against occupiers in Oakland there is a positive development. Last night we heard the results of a vote at the Occupy Oakland General Assembly — out of 1500 people, 99.6% voted to organize a general strike.

Now the formal proposal is available here.

For the General Strike!

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Yesterday in Oakland

Posted: October 27, 2011 by D C in 2011, articles, california, October, sf bay, usa


The following was posted to the Bureau of Public Secrets website by Ken Knabb

http://www.bopsecrets.org/recent/occupy-oakland-raid.htm

This seven-minute video gives a pretty good brief impression of what happened in Oakland yesterday, following the police destruction of the Occupy Oakland encampment at Frank Ogawa Plaza. Among other things, I call your attention to a poignant interaction around 4:45 where a few marchers start pushing a dumpster, as if to start a barricade. A guy hugs one of them and pleads with them, “Oh, no, guys, come on, let’s be civil.” One of the others says, “Are they [the police] being fuckin’ civil?!” Hugging that second guy, he says, “I know, brother, they’re savages, they’re fuckin’ savages. But don’t be like them! Don’t be like them!” If you think that rhetoric is excessive, note the very end of the video, where lots of people are running away and one of them is hit by a tear gas canister and falls to the ground. Several of the others run back to help him, and as they are all crowding around, the police throw a flash-bang grenade right down into the group which explodes in the injured man’s face. Here is a clearer view of the same incident. The young man, an Iraq war veteran, has a fractured skull and is in critical condition. But I guess this sort of thing has to be done in order to maintain “public peace” and keep the Plaza nice and “hygienic” . . .