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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons
Some observations by a few anarchists.
a declaration to keep things at OO going in the right direction
We are heartened that Occupy Oakland is perhaps the most anarchist-influenced Occupy anywhere. The decision-making process has been mostly horizontal and transparent (even with its numerous flaws), the triumphant and joyful recovery of public space despite the brutality exercised by 17 law enforcement agencies has been more than we could have hoped for, and the presence of many old and new self-identified anarchists among the core organizers of the occupation itself as well as most of the sub-committees is encouraging.
Now is the time for all the anarchists to come out of our political closets, to have our presence as anarchists acknowledged, to be seen and heard as anarchists. We, the anarchists, need to let it be known that it is we who are allowing the marxists and the liberals to cooperate with us in an anarchist project instead of the other way around, instead of the way it's always been. Now is the time to bring our politics to the GA for open discussions (rather than relegating them to a couple of workshops here and there) regarding strategies and tactics; we have been silent and invisible long enough.
We issue a warning to our younger allies: watch out for the professional intellectuals, mostly marxists but all manipulators, who would like for the Occupy movement to recapitulate the shitty politics of the late 1960s/early 1970s that eventually destroyed the anti-authoritarian instincts of much of the New Left. Watch out for the calls for racial separation or inversion (Uhuru, Race Traitor, Bring the Ruckus), a “mass line” (Freedom Road, RCP), radicalizing the Democratic Party (MoveOn.org, ISO), or any other such nonsense (thankfully we haven't seen much of the Spartacist League or ANSWER or any of their knock-offs lately). These Trotskyist/Maoist/Marxist-Leninist zombies like nothing better than to eviscerate any movement that doesn't share their agendas, or isn't under their immediate control – all for the sake of getting a few new subscribers to their unreadable papers or a couple of new Party members to make up for the dozens they alienate and/or purge every year.
Even though we would prefer to be proved wrong, we believe that calling for a General Strike tomorrow, without any build-up or momentum among actual working people (that is, those who are not union organizers and bureaucrats) is premature, like going “All In” in Texas Hold 'Em right after The Flop. But we understand and support the desire of lots of outraged people to raise the stakes after OPD and their allied law enforcement agencies demolished an occupation/reclamation of public space that was completely peaceful (and by that we do mean thoroughly bourgeois: the majority of unaffiliated regular people being social democrats and liberals).
Let's kick ass, but let's not get ahead of ourselves and believe that our historical enemies have transformed into our allies simply because they have agreed to the kinds of process we prefer. Stalinists and other cops can use consensus or participatory democracy (even if they hate it), but it doesn't change their shitty politics. After all, the form does not guarantee the content.