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East Bay | Police State and Prisons

Unfinished Acts: January Rebellions
by Unfinished Acts
Monday Jun 15th, 2009 1:05 AM
After the small print-run debut of Unfinished Acts: January Rebellions at the San Francisco and New York Anarchist Book Fairs we are happy to finally make this magazine available in digital format.

From the introduction:

Unfinished Acts is a collective recounting and analysis of events surrounding the shooting of an unarmed 22-year-old Black man in Oakland. Oscar Grant III was executed by Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) police officers during the first hours of 2009 on the platform of the Fruitvale station. Unfinished Acts was written collectively by a group of anarchists who were and still are actively present in the rebellion following Oscar Grant’s execution.

.....

The following pages include a few short histories of a few significant social movements to help contextualize the rebellions. This history acts as intermissions for a documentary dramatization (but factually correct!) of some of the events that unfolded in the streets during the first month of 2009. We have reconstructed the narrative and dialogue from collective stories, personal experiences and videos of the rebellions posted online. We conclude with our own analysis and lessons.

.....

In conversation,

Unfinished Acts

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by 51@
Monday Jun 15th, 2009 4:07 PM
Straight up, this is the best document I've seen come out of the bay area Anarchist scene in recent memory. I gave a copy to my mom, and after reading it she told me she was proud of me for being out on the 7th. The critique of the "peace police" on J14 should be required reading for all bay area activists. Mad props to all the people who made this, y'all brought the bodies that rock the party. See you soon.
by veteran of the rebellions
Wednesday Jun 17th, 2009 8:56 PM
As someone who was out at the Jan. 07 protest and other Oscar Grant protests and actions, I have to say this isn't very good. 1) I can not really understand what is trying to be said. It comes off really pretentious. Some kind of anarchist critique of the left. That has nothing to do with Oscar Grant, so stop turning the issue into it! I really get sick of all of these different far left groups that are using the Oscar Grant case and trying to co-op this struggle to further their own agenda;especially when they condone random violence 2) There is no reason to condone the violence. ' Greetings earthlings we come in violence' ???? You lost me right there. Nobody like aliens that come down to earth to destroy the world or cities that people live in. If that is what you want to be portrayed as, that is your decision, but I won't support you. The bottom line is, that violence further hurts the situation. The Grant family has spoken out against it and maybe you should too. Why would you support the smashing of those small bussinesses? They had nothing to do with the shooting. That was just unchecked violence and chaos and was not a way to express one's anger about the shooting. The last thing I want to see is another riot break out in which someone really gets hurt or killed. Are you going to praise violence then? 3) Why the hell were you playing the race card in this piece? You seemed to capitalize every other ethnic group other than white. I don't know what your race is exactly, but I kind of think that you are caucasian, most anarchist are. We are all suppose to be unified here no matter what who we are, and that means that everybody's race is suppose to have a capital letter in front of it.

I have not read the whole piece, but from what I did read, I did not like it and I think that it only further inflames the situation and creates divisions. Sorry, I thought it sucked! :(
by @@@
Thursday Jun 18th, 2009 4:12 AM
---As someone who was out at the Jan. 07 protest and other Oscar Grant protests and actions, I have to say this isn't very good. 1) I can not really understand what is trying to be said. It comes off really pretentious. Some kind of anarchist critique of the left. That has nothing to do with Oscar Grant, so stop turning the issue into it! I really get sick of all of these different far left groups that are using the Oscar Grant case and trying to co-op this struggle to further their own agenda;especially when they condone random violence

Actually if you read the magazine, it has everything to do with police violence and the politics of daily life. Try again. They say they don't speak for everyone but speak as "anarchists associated with the left engaging race politics."

---2) There is no reason to condone the violence. ' Greetings earthlings we come in violence' ???? You lost me right there. Nobody like aliens that come down to earth to destroy the world or cities that people live in. If that is what you want to be portrayed as, that is your decision, but I won't support you. The bottom line is, that violence further hurts the situation. The Grant family has spoken out against it and maybe you should too. Why would you support the smashing of those small bussinesses? They had nothing to do with the shooting. That was just unchecked violence and chaos and was not a way to express one's anger about the shooting. The last thing I want to see is another riot break out in which someone really gets hurt or killed. Are you going to praise violence then?

This argument is dumb.

---3) Why the hell were you playing the race card in this piece? You seemed to capitalize every other ethnic group other than white. I don't know what your race is exactly, but I kind of think that you are caucasian, most anarchist are. We are all suppose to be unified here no matter what who we are, and that means that everybody's race is suppose to have a capital letter in front of it.

Really? Your big critique of all the ideas here is you were offended by "white" not being capitalized? You want "government" and "god" be capitalized to show due respect? Whiteness is a political alliance, not something to be respected but to be destroyed. Try reading a book about race politics, any book.

---I have not read the whole piece, but from what I did read, I did not like it and I think that it only further inflames the situation and creates divisions. Sorry, I thought it sucked! :(

Yup, you haven't. Sorry, you suck.
by anon
Thursday Jun 18th, 2009 1:56 PM
We can tell where "veteran" is coming from just by their using of "playing the race card." That's some Reagan Fox News shit.
by author
Thursday Jun 18th, 2009 4:55 PM
Veteran's comments aren't necessarily someone who is on the Right, like anon has suggested. I think that veteran was concerned because the article seemed to defend the violence and destruction of Jan.07 protest. I actually thought that veteran made some legitimate points, compared to @@@ whose rebuttal was: 'This argument is dumb'. Well if you think the argument is dumb, then back it up and make your points. Also, maybe veteran used the wrong words when he/she said: ' playing the race card', but I have to also agree with veteran when he/she made the point about all the other races, except for White, in the article beginning with capital letters. As if to say that White people don't deserve that same amount of respect as other races. And being white is not a ' political alliance' like @@@ has suggested. Being White is a race or an ethnic group, not something political. White Supremacy and White Nationalism may be political alliances or political ideologies that are dangerous to our society and should be destroyed, but just because your White does not put you in that categorie of being a racist, White Supremacist/ Nationalist or whatever. Anarchists should know that, most of them are white, just like veteran suggested.

Anyways, I can see this turning into a serious flame war and Indybay is going to ultimately censor all of these postings.
by anon
Monday Jun 22nd, 2009 1:08 PM
Some people are going to use methods you don't typically associate yourselves with. Point is this had the potential to become a strong movement for grant and against police brutality but authoritarianism within the movement was strong for the sake of being "proper". It was to the point where people couldn't march because it was declared over. God forbid if 10000 plus people fought back against the police when they attack, right? It's partially liberal activist groups that think it's their job the 'keep the peace' and set a 'structured environment' while making it their job to prevent direct action from occurring that weakens movements in the U.S. You know why other nations have mass mobilizations (Greece, France, etc) filled with a variety of actions? They most likely don't have activist groups that play the role of the state within their movements (Deciding when marches are over, making sure direct action doesn't go down, making sure nobody is too rowdy when police show up, preventing anyone from defending themselves when riot squads move in, etc) Yeah, you guys should be real fucking proud of yourselves... you essentially did the police's job in a less violent manner (Containing the anger and rage of the people, and making sure they go home).
by cop-out
Tuesday Jun 23rd, 2009 3:47 PM
don't even try to blame some green vested liberals that showed up at one march/rally as the reason anarchists didn't accomplish anything more than they did on the 7th (or the one single anarchist initiated event in SF 3 or 4 days later not even mentioned in this zine because it was so sorry). like those geezers with the vests from jews for palestine and critical resistance were just such an insurmountable wall to overcome in any way whatsoever, not by brute force, not by smarts, and not by just choosing another location to act. if green vested geezers intimidated greek anarchists as much as they seem to have bay area anarchists, you wouldn't have seen firebombed police stations in greece

once you get past your fear of the vest, there are plenty of things that could have been done on a mass level or a cell level, but zippo

no real alliances with groups of color fighting for justice. no anarchist-initiated events. the myth that it was out of town anarchists who wrecked 14th and 17th streets on jan 7th was left unchallenged as anarchists basically walked away from the struggle. short attention span theater or something. or maybe just some weird racial guilt that inhibits being about to work with black people in oakland who might not think like you.

the turnout for the greek solidarity march in SF in december (for a police murder on the other side of the planet) drew many times more anarchists than did a police murder right here in oakland. that was, what, like 200-300 people strong. there were a few dozen anarchists tops on january 7th, and even less after that. it's baffling

I'm left scratching my head trying to figure out exactly what the hell the authors are talking about when they write that this zine was was "written collectively by a group of anarchists who ... still are actively present in the rebellion"

really? where? doing what exactly? remember this is june now, and self-glorifying zines don't count

this "hoorah us" is kind of sad when no real justice has yet been served. and the self-examination in this zine comes off as phony because there's a lot deeper digging that needs to happen if bay area anarchists ever want something more than historical footnote status amongst those really still fighting for justice for oscar grant
you liberals and leftists don't get it at all!!!!!

there are anarchists who ARE people of color, idiots. there are anarchists smashing shit, disrupting business as usual, fighting to try and keep it from ever returning, because IT IS KILLING US!!!

maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but as long as police can drive the streets with impunity, no good will have come from Oscar's murder. "Justice" for Oscar is not found by putting the cop who pulled the trigger in jail, it can ONLY be found by getting ALL police off the streets so that there is no one who thinks they can handcuff and shoot people. This is the meaning of "WE ARE ALL OSCAR GRANT," which people who are fine with not physically and immediately DISRUPTING the continuation of business as usual don't understand. We could be next unless we get the PIGS off the god dam streets, and anything less is not good enough.

The line exists there: are you willing to disrupt business as usual until we can get the pigs off our streets so that we can be safe, or not? THAT IS THE LINE. We know which side we are on, plenty of other kids were on the same side as us in the days after Oscar Grant's murder, and still are today, though it makes it WAY HARDER to accomplish that when we not only have to fight the POLICE STATE but also have to fight the CONTROLLING LIBERAL ACTIVISTS who want to mediate an outcome that will not END this problem in the future, by reaching a conclusion that allows the police, prisons, and capitalists who "own" our city to go on with business as usual.

OAKLAND IS NOT OUR CITY WHILE POLICE ARE ON THE STREETS. It is their city, and as such, should be destroyed as much as possible.

If you don't understand this, at least get the fuck out of the way. Some of us want freedom BEFORE another person is murdered, or even arrested, by the fucking pigs.