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East Bay | Education & Student Activism | Police State and Prisons

Open letter to M4 action critics
by i wasn't there and neither were you
Thursday Mar 11th, 2010 8:18 PM
2 cents from an old comrade
Friends and comrades-
For disclosure: I am a comrade who spent over a decade active in radical politics in Oakland, and who has recently left the area. Being away from recent events in the Bay makes me hesitant to comment on the March 4th actions, but seeing so many comments and opinions aired by folks who were clearly not there or did not participate I feel I might as well offer my 2 cents.

I have just three thoughts to submit:

1) If you were not there, did not participate in the 880 takeover or other direct actions, please do not denigrate those who were there and did take part based on unfounded assumptions or your own pet theories or beefs. Chances are if you weren't there you don't really know what you're talking about.

2) If you have a problem with direct action, or a specific action, then don't engage in it. But don't hide behind accusations against and assumptions about those that do engage because you have a problem with action itself. Don't pretend you would be down if and when this or that impossible or unrealistic condition is met, if you simply don't like people taking radical action with their bodies and that is what really scares or offends you. Rebellions are messy and imperfect things, the State is massive and more repressive than many of us care to admit; all that individuals have is their own agency and bodies, don't castigate them for doing the best they can, even if it is not perfect. It can't be.

3) Please stop sniping at folks from behind the barricades of your laptops. If you have a legitimate tactical or ethical concern, and actually do radical organizing work in the community you live in, then you know who to talk to about such things and where and when it is appropriate to do so. If you don't do such work, then it is best to stay out of it, or get involved now and figure it out the hard way, through experience. If you really think facebook or this sight is an appropriate place to take militants to task, then it is safe to assume you are not as down as you would have us believe. And please, please, don't bait people on a public forum that we all know the state has its eyes on.
That's my 2 cents and all (or more) than I probably have the right to say from here.

Hasta Siempre!