Archive for the ‘sf bay’ 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://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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T
oday is the day of the General Strike in Oakland, the first American general strike in over half a century. Reports from actions in Oakland are coming in: shops are closed in solidarity; unions are joining the action, including locals from the SEIU, UAW, Alameda Central Labor Council, Phillipine Airline Works, Berkeley Federation of Teachers, the IWW, and the Carpenters Union; and a series of marches are planned for today. Stay tuned for more media and analysis on this historic action that may augur the evolution of the occupation movement into a direct action movement.

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

http://bopsecrets.org/recent/oakland-general-strike.htm

[NOTE: This invitation is addressed primarily to friends and contacts in the San Francisco Bay Area (approx. 1000 people and groups), but I have also sent it to some 3000 other friends and contacts across the country and around the world, as well as posting it at this website, because I believe that many other people will be interested in hearing about what has been going on here. —KK]

Dear Bay Area Friends,

As most of you probably know, the police raid and destruction of the Occupy Oakland encampments last Tuesday, followed by the notorious police violence against protesters later the same day, provoked such an immense expression of outrage from thousands of people in the Bay Area and around the world that the Oakland city government was thrown completely on the defensive. The next day police were scarcely to be seen. The fence surrounding Frank Ogawa Plaza was still in place, but the occupiers calmly took it down and began reoccupying the same spot. That evening, by a vote of 1484 to 46 (with 77 abstentions), the general assembly decided to call for a General Strike in Oakland on Wednesday, November 2. You can see their declaration, a press conference, and other information at http://www.occupyoakland.org.

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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” . . .

Plaza – Riot – Commune

Posted: October 23, 2011 by globaloccupation in 2011, flyers, October, sf bay
Tags: , , , , ,

http://www.bayofrage.com/from-the-bay/plazariotcommune/

We are the generation of the abandoned, the betrayed. Tossed up on the shores of the present by 150 years of failed insurrection, by the shipwreck of the workers’ movement, the failure of a hundred political projects. But it is not only our once-upon-a-time friends who have departed. Today, even our enemies flee from us, even capital abandons us: no more its minimum promises, the right to be exploited, the right to sell one’s labor power. Abandoned, we greet the world with utter abandon. There is no longer any possible adequacy of means and ends, no way of subordinating our actions to the rational or the practical. The present age of austerity means that even the most meager of demands require the social democrats to pick up bricks. Betrayed by democracy, betrayed by the technocrats of socialism, betrayed by the dumb idealism of anarchy, betrayed by the stolid fatalism of the communist ultraleft.  We are not the 99%. We are not a fucking percentage at all. We do not count. If we have any power, it is because we are the enemies of all majority, enemies of “the people.” As the old song goes, we are nothing and must become everything.

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http://www.bayofrage.com/from-the-bay/occupyoakland-one-week-strong-at-oscar-grant-plaza/

Posted by on Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Social rebels from around Oakland have descended upon Oscar Grant Plaza and have created a genuine, autonomous space free of police and unwelcoming to politicians. Whereas other occupations have invited the police and politicians, or have negotiated with them, Occupy Oakland has carved a line in the cement. That line of demarcation says: if you pass this, if you try and break up or over shadow this autonomous space, you are well aware, as observed over the last couple of years, what we are capable of.

This article is a report back on the first week at Occupy Oakland, a reflection on problems we have been facing and some thoughts on moving the occupation forward; onto some next level shit.
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