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Occupy Oakland occupies the city council

Well done TAC (assuming non-violence). So much more interesting than FTP. And the Koassacks work for the Czar.

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affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

Wednesday night the OO GA was cancelled because of credible threats of violence by one of the OO members against OO facilitators. Though many Occupies have difficulties with disruptive members, I think the credible prospect of violence against the facilitators reflects OO's tolerance (and at times encouragement) of violence and violent rhetoric. I've watched the individual responsible previously talk on livestream about the possibility of shooting police in retaliation for suppression of OO, and no-one discouraged these remarks. It could be argued that I'm being unfair in this assessment, since it's only one individual (and his relatively few supporters). But personally, I think this incident does reflect something about the culture of OO.
Shortly before the scheduled GA time, OO tweeted that the GA was back on, and asked OO member to gather for it.
People did gather (including the individual responsible for making the threats).
However, the attempt to resuscitate the GA was unsuccessful.
Meanwhile, the Oakland City Council was holding a meeting to discuss potential massive layoffs (e.g. laying off over 100 Oakland employees) because of a recent CA Supreme Court decision that stripped CA cities of redevelopment funds (the money would go to the state).
An SEIU representative came out and asked the gathered OO members to attend the city council meeting in support of SEIU. (TAC wasn't present or at all involved in this).
Some video
Of course, OPD was immediately brought in.
Several of the less militant OO members favor civic engagement, and have previously addressed City Council meetings.
(Folks in that last tweet are mostly the "civic engagement faction" of OO.)

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

On January 28, OO plans to take over a large building - the resolution passed by the OO GA specified a large auditorium, office spaces, etc.
This has spawned considerable controversy. When the proposal was passed, it seemed like a good idea to have indoor space. The logistics of trying to take over a large Oakland building, in the face of certain opposition from the city and OPD, was little discussed. The members of the committee planning the takeover are anonymous and the details of the plans (as well as the target building) are secret. The plan is to march to the building and take it over, followed by a two day festival at the building, including a film festival, yoga sessions, a barbeque, poetry, panel discussions, etc. Some have argued that these plans, in the face of certain city opposition to the building takeover, are essentially delusional. It has also been speculated that the most likely target (at least originally) was the Kaiser Auditorium, which wouldn't help the OO PRWar (relatively few Oakland buildings match the specifications in the proposal passed by the GA).
Wednesday, OO held a press conference to publicize the upcoming building takeover.

A letter was sent to the Mayor, OPD, and City Council, stating that OO would retaliate if the city interfered with the building takeover.
Since the beginning of the Occupy Movement when you have exacted violent repression on us we have proven that we are more powerful and diffuse than you. If you try to evict us again we will make your lives more miserable than you make ours.
This may be in one or more of the following forms:
-Blockading the airport indefinitely
-Occupying City Hall indefinitely
-Shutting down the Oakland ports
-Calling on anonymous for solidarity
It will be in our mutual interest if you respect our occupation by recognizing our residency and eminent domain.
The committee doing the planning has also placed restriction on livestreaming or filming from inside the building after the takeover.
Also, OO has announced that later that day, they'll hold another Fuck the Police march, and that they plan to reoccupy OGP with tents.

Some of the resulting conversation:
Boots Riley put his thoughts up on FaceBook:
It seems like a huge step to threaten to shut down the airport, or permanently occupy the port.Why even speak to the press if we don't even take into account how the public- who we're asking to join us- will perceive us? It doesn't even really work as a threat to the police or the city at this point because they know, just like we do, that we could never pull that off. Statements like these don't seem to be aiming to move the people of closer to joining the movement. I think that a few folks in OO don't have the goal of building a mass movement. People, sometimes purposely, aren't playing to win. It's an ideology that feels that spectacle- even the spectacle of people being crushed by the cops- gets more people ready to destroy the system than actual victories do. But this isn't true. In the end, it becomes a game of identity politics- "We're the revolutionaries- you're not". Ok. But you have just defined yourself as the "other". That won't work. You can't build a base of folks who trust and support you that way. Separately- even if it WAS do-able, an announcement of that magnitude about OO campaigns- by an official OO working group at a press conference- would need to get GA approval. And I doubt that it would.

affinis's picture
Submitted by affinis on

to violence, you're inviting provocateurs:

Also, a bit of discussion today regarding historical analogies