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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | East Bay | San Francisco | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
All Our Ancestors Killed Colonists - communique re: 10/6 & 10/7
San Francisco 2:00pm Saturday October 6th
Oakland 6:00pm Sunday October 7th
Compared to the millions in the world at this moment, on their feet fighting and dying daily to decentralize power and uproot imperialism in their communities, struggles in the US are slow or behind the curve even. Comrades in Athens, Cairo, Kabul, Tripoli, South Africa, Mexico, the Congo, and in the Foxcon factories in China are showing us daily that the line of demarcation that separates the tools of genocide from the tools of freedom, the passive spectator with no moral conviction from the person who takes action (unable to shake the responsibility beating in their chest), that line in the sand is drawn with the blood of the guerilla and the blood of the fascist.
San Francisco 2:00pm Saturday October 6th
Approximately 130 anti-colonialists met at Justin Herman Plaza to shatter the illusions of capitalist consumerism and its required tools of war, using the Columbus Day weekend's largest influx of people in SF's recent history. From sports games to music festivals to fleet week, thousands flooded SF that day. A banner was unfurled atop a staircase reading "Fight Genocide, Destroy What Is Civilized" shortly after the first wave of pigs appeared. The speaker's voice echoed in the plaza as they described the genocide of their people on the continent, periodically interrupted by the roar of military jets overhead.
The march moved through the plaza onto the side streets off of Market St., a vital vein for he blood flow of capital. Snaking through the narrow streets passing boutique shops full of the evidence of other's misery, the pigs followed suite on the sidewalk between the militants and their desired targets. Marchers, sensing the impending doom, lit fireworks, threw paint bombs at cops, and took hammers to windows in a last ditch effort to meet the expectations of the day. One block away from Market Street, angry police clumsily attacked the back of the march. A melee followed: pigs swinging clubs, comrades getting slammed against street signs. The head of the march stopped not wanting to leave their loved ones behind, one protester hurled their black flag at the enemy. Wreckless motorcycle pigs forced the remainder of the militants to run or face arrest, dumping everything into the streets behind them to slow the cops down. Many got away and regrouped later to assess the assault on their comrades. 20 arrests were made, with charges including resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, obstructing an officer, and conspiracy to incite a riot.
The events of saturday were unique in their political framing: militant decolonization coupled with anti-capitalist struggles pointing to a new trajectory for the Bay Area. The old caricature of the white male anarchist participant withered away as mostly people of color and women stood at the head of the march and diversity revealed itself amongst the mug shots of those arrested. The legacy of US colonialism has left in its wake our disillusioned and displaced populations in its cities. Struggling alongside militant comrades in Oakland's uprisings, from the Oscar Grant riots to the Occupy street battles, we've been finding one another. From these roots the militant analysis of decolonization and race has just recently begun to bear fruit through practice. And as the following day revealed, that fruit can ripen to taste so sweet on our lips.
Lessons were learned regarding planning and infrastructure. There was a misguided assumption that the police force in SF would be spread thin due to the many events taking place that day. The expediency and efficiency of police movements and arrests reveal the opposite of what many had taken for granted, that it was because of these events that police needed to contain any and all disruptive activities quickly. The threat of escalation to a point of uncontrollability by reaching the wider and more densely populated streets was real and thus crushed mercilessly as to protect the capitalist spectacles of the day. March attendance was also lower than anticipated, signaling the need for even more safe inclusion and conversation. Credit must be given to the many legal volunteers who spent sleepless nights maintaining the infrastructure working to ensure the safe return of our stolen comrades.
The fight for freedom must be along material lines over space and land to eliminate borders, prisons, prisons and wars of aggression. The third world is rising and freedom dreams spread like wildfire. We live in a gilded cage but a cage nonetheless. As the struggle here gains momentum through consistency of action and diversity of tactics we find ourselves more and more in step with the third world. As Afghans continue their age-old fight against colonialism, here the people's target has moved beyond reformist politics to set its crosshairs upon the local vestiges of the international war machine.
Oakland 6:00pm Sunday October 7th
200 dressed in black hoodies and hijabs met at Oscar Grant Plaza for an anti-imperialist march with the memory of the previous day's battle fresh in their minds, and with loved ones still behind bars. As the speakers began, the direction of their rage gained clarity, toward the systemic destruction of communities here and abroad exemplified in this case by both the repression of the day before and the 11 year occupation of Afghanistan. Toward the forces that ensure the stability of the metropolis at home, making war abroad an inevitable fact of life. Most of the speakers were radicals from the Muslim community who had been disillusioned by non-profit and liberal organizations. One woman pointed out the spinelessness of liberals when she commented that thousands had shown opposition to the war when Bush was in office, but were nowhere to be found once the political pendulum had swung in their direction. She stated, "the anti-war movement was really an anti-Bush movement." Others articulated the need to expose the mechanisms of genocide that hide in the city: the banks that provide investment capital for the acquisition of more resources, to in turn create more capital, and the university system that directs publicly funded research toward the tools of genocide.
The march moved quickly out of the plaza and onto 14th Street, and with only one unmarked police car sighted, the rebels quickly got to work. Targets hit included:
Chase Bank - war profiteers
Berkeley Livermore Labs - research and development for the tools of war
AT&T - handed over information to intelligence agencies looking to surveil Muslims and suspected activists
Oakland Tribune - a cog of the propaganda machine that articulates the narrative maintaining the status quo
Hoodies and hijabs moved seamlessly in the streets, coalescing different identities...and the lines between anarchist, Muslim, person of color, and white blurred however temporarily into naked aggression toward the oppressor. It was truly generalized antagonism, where solidarity for particular struggle became agency of those struggles in and of themselves. The multiplying potential of mostly people of color initiated and organized action demonstrated its teeth. And as a result Oakland's bourgeoise woke up on Columbus day to reap what they had sewn so long ago.
They thought they could take everything from us and leave us to die. But we're alive in the cities, we're finding each other, and we're coming for everything.
- a few Oakland rebels