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Who is the Occupy Oakland Media Collective?
by Occupied Oakland Tribune
Friday Oct 19th, 2012 12:57 AM
The Occupy Oakland Media Collective claims to represent Occupy Oakland, speaking on behalf of the movement claiming that the tactics of the “Oakland Commune” turned people off. But these new “official” representatives played no serious role in organizing any of the mass actions. However, they have done much to take credit for them and even, it seems, profit off of them.
Recent articles have quoted Shake Anderson and others as a representatives of Occupy Oakland apologizing for past actions of the movement. This includes an article in the Oakland Tribune and another by Kevin Zeese, an activist in Washington, DC.

Anderson and the Occupy Oakland Media Collective claim to be on an “apology campaign” to defend  Occupy Oakland from the “Oakland Commune.”

First, the Oakland Commune is simply a nickname for the camp at Oscar Grant Plaza and the community that grew out of it, no more, no less. It is a term of endearment used by Occupy Oakland participants, not some separate shady organization.

More importantly, Anderson is a member of the “Occupy Oakland Media Collective” which publishes the HellaOccupyOakland.org web site, which is separate from OccupyOakland.org.

The Occupy Oakland Media Collective does not represent Occupy Oakland.

Far from it.

From January to March, the Occupy Oakland Media Collective–then known as the “OO Media” committee–met in secret while pretending to have a transparent committee open to all, eventually expelling members of the committee who did not agree with an article they published on their web site.  The article in question ridiculously and offensively accused an Arab-American activist in Occupy Oakland of being both a terrorist and a federal agent–based on “evidence” from a Department of Defense anti-terrorism document!–that was briefly published on hellaoccupyoakland.org.

The racist nature of this accusation was contradictory to everything the Occupy movement stands for. The Occupy Oakland General Assembly voted to distance itself from the group in March 2012.

That resolution is posted here:

1. Last Saturday, an offensive, irresponsible and dangerous article titled
“Occupational Awareness” was posted on the OO Media web site. Occupy
Oakland denounces the article. The article contains personal attacks on an
individual in Occupy Oakland that are untrue and unsubstantiated, and that
are extremely dangerous to him and to the movement.  The article appeals
and legitimates a fantasy of “terrorist threat” that has consistently been
used by the state to repress and silence protest, and to create false
“enemies,” and uses classic racist tactics of racial profiling to do so.
This article is not only a serious danger to the person attacked, it is a
danger to our movement and it  requires immediate action.

Rather than abide by this resolution, the Occupy Oakland Media Collective renounced the General Assembly–which passed this vote of over 140 people with 90% supporting–and decided to go its own way. They chose to leave Occupy Oakland rather than apologize for their offensive behavior and now have a highly restrictive membership policy which is an affront to the open-air organizing that took place in October and November of 2011 at Oscar Grant Plaza.

The Occupy Oakland Media Collective now claims to represent Occupy Oakland, speaking on behalf of the movement claiming that the tactics of the “Oakland Commune” turned people off. But these new “official” representatives played no serious role in organizing any of the mass actions. However,  they have done much to take credit for them and even, it seems, profit off of them.

Occupy Oakland does not have a position for or against vandalism and activists have varying attitudes toward this tactic. The Occupy Oakland Media Collective hopes to attract attention to themselves over this issue while doing nothing to clarify the distinction between a few broken windows compared to massive police repression, assault and arrests. The Occupy Oakland Media Collective  is playing directly into the hands of the opponents of the Occupy movement in the media, in City Hall and even vigilantes who call on Oaklanders to “beat the shit out of anarchists/vandals.”

The only true representative of the movement is the General Assembly. The General Assembly has spoken against the Occupy Oakland Media Collective. They do not represent Occupy Oakland, so please do not quote them as doing so.

The General Assembly no longer has large enough attendance to reach quorum–requiring at least 75 people–so it cannot speak for itself. The Occupy Oakland Media Collective, which is literally a handful of people, have attempted to fill the void. They can do what they wish, but claiming to be Occupy Oakland is utterly disingenuous.

Many of the activists who made up Occupy Oakland have continued organizing around school and library closures, prisoner solidarity, feminist marches, anti-police violence protests, labor solidarity and other actions while the Occupy Oakland Media Collective does what it only knows how–increase its web traffic by claiming to be something that it is not.

The media collective known as "Hella Occupy Oakland" is a rogue group and does not speak for Occupy Oakland in any capacity.

I've seen a lot of people posting links to articles from Hella Occupy Oakland. I will not even give them the traffic by linking to their page. I am boycotting them and am asking everyone else that cares about resistance to do the same. These are the reasons why:

The people in charge of HOO were the original Occupy Oakland Media Committee. They fucked up badly. They created a rumor that one of our members, who happens to be Middle Eastern, was a terrorist. They outed him as a terrorist by name, linking to a page on a government site that had a profile of someone they claimed was this member of OO. It was not. When called out on how dangerous and destructive this was, and how they'd put not only this member of OO in extreme danger, they had done it to every member of the community, rather than retract it and apologize, they continued to spread these rumors and defend them to this day, despite them being clearly and resoundingly debunked with five minutes of research by someone with a clear head and no fantasy axe to grind.

Once things got to this point, the General Assembly called for a vote to denounce the actions of this committee and to disband it. It passed with a large margin, several months ago. The original media committee -- Hella Occupy Oakland -- was disbanded, denounced and a new media committee was formed.

To add insult to injury, rather than retracting and apologizing, which has been an avenue open to them from the beginning, they formed the HOO media collective, and began publishing under the Occupy Oakland name WITHOUT GA APPROVAL AND DESPITE THE COMMUNITY'S CENSURE.

I have personal knowledge and have seen again and again that they publish stories and other work by people that are not part of the collective, without giving proper credit.

Now that OO hasn't quorum and isn't currently able to speak for itself, HOO has tried to co-opt the OO name by speaking on its behalf and apologizing to the community for certain types of actions performed during protests (some of which had nothing to do with Occupy Oakland) in an effort to further divide us into factions. They are spreading rumors about Finance and Anti Repression that are not true. The division has been cynically painted as a race issue to obscure what is really going on, which is that a cabal of people who have committed these crimes (yes I said crimes) against the people of Occupy Oakland and the greater community are actively trying to co-opt or destroy Occupy Oakland.

I stand by my words, and the words I speak in this post are true. Please share this far and wide and boycott the HOO site.
§One Addition
by Kerie Campbell Wednesday Oct 24th, 2012 9:25 AM
I would like to make one minor correction to this piece: Not all the original members of the Media Committee were involved in the "secret cabal" and they voluntarily disbanded and have not associated themselves with HOO. I wanted to make clear that not all original members of the Occupy Oakland Media Committee are rogues or tainted by these bad actions.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

..well there may not be spokespeople, but there is a "committee" / group of people that OO specifically named as NOT spokespeople. We passed a resolution to distance ourselves from these idiot fucks. So OO doesn't have spokespeople, but OO's OFFICIAL line is: @oomc #gtfo. #canudigit #ortoostupidtodigit
by dubious
Friday Oct 19th, 2012 4:35 PM
"..well there may not be spokespeople, but there is a "committee" / group of people that OO specifically named as NOT spokespeople. We passed a resolution to distance ourselves from these idiot fucks. So OO doesn't have spokespeople, but OO's OFFICIAL line is: @oomc #gtfo. #canudigit #ortoostupidtodigit"

there are at least two members who used to be on the old media committee who haven't received equitable punishment; one of whom has not been ostracized or shunned, and the other who is STILL ON THE NEW MEDIA COMMITTEE. seems as though people are being selective about who is in the occupy oakland movement and who is not, regardless of what the GA voted upon.
by love4theTown
Friday Oct 19th, 2012 10:04 PM
this clears up a lot. should be widely read.
by anonymous
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 2:16 AM
Well put! These divisions that they are creating are really harmful. Thanks for setting it straight!
by wiseoldsnail
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 11:15 AM
@dubious : within a week of the passing of a proposal for oo to take control over the work of others, the first four members of the new media committee were four people from the old, in direct violation of their own resolution.

also, claims of no transparency, given that everyone publishing at http://www.hellaoccupyoakland.org signs at least a pen name to their articles, are rather hilarious given that nobody really knows right now who is considered 'approved' members of the new committee.

occupy oakland agreed to transparent processes, then tried to punish individuals for the words of other individuals (who, btw, had signed their names to their article), and proceeded thereafter with less and less transparency as the months passed.

who is on financial committee? where are donations coming from and going? who is controlling (read censoring) the oo website? there is nothing transparent about any of this. the recent publishing of anti-repression books was only in response to a direct request by me. anti-repression committee does not support all arrestees ... not even close. they pick and choose whom they wish to support. what are their criteria for this? not transparent. maybe some individuals working diligently in these committees are honestly unaware of these problems. overall, though, oo continues on with internal struggles which could be easily solved by people taking responsibility to operate in a transparent fashion, as we all agreed to do.

thanks for your comment.
by OO
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 11:19 AM
It's the "Oakland Commune"/Bay of Rage crew that are the ones dividing Occupy Oakland and co-opting the movement. The OC/BOR crew are the ones engaging in actions in the name of OO that alienates the 99%. OOMedia is the real Occupy Oakland. OOMedia was there in the beginning.
by wiseoldsnail
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 11:32 AM
@anonymous :::

please explain how, when a group of people publish a statement about another group's statements having discussed a division in the movement by 1. calling themselves by a term previously used to refer to the great majority of daily participants in oo ('the oakland commune') and 2. claiming that occupy oakland is dead ... 3. revealing that their intention is to destroy and 4. revealing that they are unconcerned and maybe even against the notion of building a popular movement

... how ... how do you conclude that the action of those folks pointing out what the first group said is a divisive action? shining a light on a statement that defines divisions occurring within a movement is not, in and of itself, a divisive maneuver.

look at it this way :::

we have a family: you, me, and some kids and uncles, aunties, etc ... i call negative attention to the family by painting a swastika on our house, in which we all live together, thereby using the family's house to make a statement that is against the rest of the family members' beliefs. this brings problems to the family, and the rest of the members are forced to respond. they respond by publicly stating that they do not support the painting of the swastika, and that this one member of the family (me) has opposite views to most, if not all the other members of the family. you try to paint over the swastika, i point my gun at you to prevent you from doing so. the swastika remains as a public statement, reflecting badly on the rest of the family members, and even putting them in danger of retaliation, as the neighbors are clueless about the truth that the whole family does not endorse and condone the display of a swastika. you and other members of the family pass around a flyer in the neighborhood explaining that you accept that this one member of the family has views in direct opposition to the views held by the rest of the family. you acknowledge that there is a division and you make this effort to inform those looking on that it exists.

who, in this story, is being divisive? personally i cannot imagine anyone thinking that making a statement acknowledging the existence of division is the divisive action. painting of the swastika is a divisive maneuver. doing so in direct opposition to the rest of the family's values and wishes is doubly divisive.
by wiseoldsnail
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 11:37 AM
@love4thetown :::

if by 'this clears up alot' you mean you now believe oomedia is in any way claiming sole ownership of and taking the liberty to 'represent' occupy oakland, based on the claim by the 'anonymous' publisher of the quoted opinion, i'm confused.

have you read the article to which the not so secret publisher refers? in it, oomedia claims affinity with occupy oakland. in it oomedia expresses the views of oomedia regarding recent statements made and published under the name 'the oakland commune.' have you read any of that? that would truly clear things up.
by love4theTown
Saturday Oct 20th, 2012 9:36 PM
@wiseoldnail

yeah i have read all of that and I have been watching this all unfold since before the camp was established. I've read the different pieces written about the Oakland Commune and it is clear that is not some kind of shadow clique as you and your clique keep trying to claim. If you actually go and read the different pieces by those who identify with the name Oakland commune that OOmedia cites you would see that they never speak on behalf of Occupy oakland (unlike Shake or Khalid or you). they just present their analysis and critique of what happened as should be expected. Have you actually read those pieces? Or are you just throwing around rumors?

The Oakland Commune is an idea and an affectionate name for the movement in Oakland that emphasizes the way in which it was different from OWS in general and unique to our Town (and that means it has been more militant! that's the history of the Town!). Maybe you wanted a more liberal, pacifist, reformist movement? Well you should have joined occupy Berkeley or occupy SF. But that is just not Oakland and it's a little late for you and all the others to try and scapegoat and invent conspiracies and complain.

When it comes down to it, all of us will never trust you and Shake and the others with OOmedia after your disgusting racist and islamaphobic attacks in the the spring. That was so low and so pathetic. It reflected so badly on your judgement (at the very least). Why would we ever take what your clique says seriously again after that. maybe Oakland is not for you...
by DWS
Sunday Oct 21st, 2012 11:37 AM
That's NOT the way we're remembering it Peg!

A week ago, members of the Occupy Oakland Media team posted a warning for their comrades that discussed how a member of the "Oakland Commune" named Jamie Omar Yassin might actually be someone on a DHS list named Salah Abdul Karim Yassine. How did they disover this? Google of course! Clearly, they are the best! However after about a week of debating it as is customary in General Assemblies, they [The GA] voted to dissolve the entire media team and delete the posting from the website.


Look Ma Imma Occupier!


What is NOT discussed by Oakland Commune members is that the entire five man media team decided unanimously this guy looks a hell of a lot like a real live terrorist that they issued the release on the site.

Surely the GA will solve this because clearly, they're the best! Here is the statement that Occupy Oakland issued at General Assembly:

1. Last Saturday, an offensive, irresponsible and dangerous article titled “Occupational Awareness” was posted on the OO Media web site. Occupy Oakland denounces the article. The article contains personal attacks on an individual in Occupy Oakland that are untrue and unsubstantiated, and that are extremely dangerous to him and to the movement.

Oh fuck ...they made it worse! How does Occupy Oakland know it's not true? Five people were stupid enough to REALLY believe this farce? Surely the Oakland Commune in it's infinite wisdom has evidence that he's not? Right? Bueller? Oh well, while we're herping and derping at the EXACT same time let's see what Oakland's solution is shall we? Oh my yes, PURGES!!

3. All resources from the OO Media committee will be shut down and/or control handed over to the new committee. This includes all email lists and Facebook discussion groups, OO Media phone number, the OO Media Twitter account and the OO Media web site at hellaoccupyoakland.org. The new Media committee will work with the web committee and others to resurrect the articles from the OO Media web site and make them available in some form, excluding the “Occupational Awareness“ article and the “Clarification” article which furthered the accusations.

Well since we're electing a new media team they need access to the same tools as the old one did right? Wrong! Bureaucracy will now solve the issue...

4. The new Media committee will only be responsible for responding to outside media inquiries tomedia [at] occupyoakoand.org and helping other committees send out press releases and setup press conferences. The Media committee will no longer have an official public web site, Twitter, or public Facebook separate from the official Occupy Oakland versions of these. Nobody who is currently in the Media committee will be allowed to be a member of the new committee for the time being. Members of the media committee will adhere to the resolutions of the General Assembly.

So in summation what have we learned here?

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.
The old boss is the same as the new boss.
Oakland does NO research just reacts because it fears terrorist claims will bring in DHS the guys they're truly worried about.
Five people have been purged visa vi Stalin

http://defendwallst.blogspot.com/2012/03/thats-not-way-were-remembering-it-peg.html
by wiseoldsnail
Sunday Oct 21st, 2012 3:43 PM
@love4theTown

fyi, i didn't publish any such article. the article which was published by three members of oomedia had nothing to do with race or phobia of islam. publishing your attack on and opinion of me based on complete ignorance of the facts doesn't change the facts. i actually immediately spoke out against the publishing of that article. but only people who care to know facts bother to learn them before publishing this foolishness.

i'm not remotely 'liberal, pacifist, reformist.' i did read the publications by 'the oakland commune' and understand perfectly that they do not believe in the importance of building a mass movement for justice. if i am confused, or they misrepresented their true ideology, i'm more than ready to learn that. instead, people like you, who claim to love the town, don't seem to care much if a small group of people's main intention is to destroy the town.

for what it's worth, i am one of the hundreds who have identified with the true meaning of 'the oakland commune.' it's premise is based on mutual aid, not self-destruction. it's sad that these few people thought it was reasonable to use that phrase to publish statements in direct conflict with the tenets adopted by occupy oakland. the fact that they declared occupy oakland dead, even as occupants are daily involved in supporting work toward a just society, is plain bizarre. that was their choice to do so. while i don't really want to do it, in the effort to choose my battles, i chose to agree to allow them to own the term.

another fyi, i have never, nor would i ever, speak as 'representative' of occupy oakland. i am part of occupy oakland. i can and will continue to speak as part of occupy oakland. in that role i am, just as maybe you are, indeed, truly a representative of occupy oakland. i speak for myself. when i speak or publish in concert with others, we include only those ideas on which we actually do agree. oomedia has done this. your opinion becomes moot when you use false statements to back up your vitriol.

speaking of speaking for others, who is 'all of us'??? 'When it comes down to it, all of us will never trust...'

your mistrust is based in false information and false assumptions. feel free to take your fingers outta your ears and open your eyes any time.

by wiseoldsnail
Sunday Oct 21st, 2012 3:49 PM
@oo

i mostly agree, though i'd clarify 'part of' in front of 'the real occupy oakland.'
by deanosor
Sunday Oct 21st, 2012 8:42 PM
I'm not a member of Occupy Oakland, the Oakland Commune or anything else in Oakland. I live in Bellingham, Washington and have been a member of Occupy Bellingham. I used to live in greater Oakland till 5 years ago, but have not but have not been to the Bay area since Occupy began. I follow what goes on in Oakland mainly on Indybay.

What you (DWS) wrote was one of the stupidest things i ever saw. People (allegedly thru reading Google) slander an activist by saying they are on a HS list. Occupy Oakland correctly calls out the (racist) slander, and kicks out the people who could have put the individual as well as the whole movement in jeopardy. That's why we organize and have principles, so that people who go off half-cocked cannot get the movement in trouble. And you call that "purging" like Stalin did. How disgraceful. Shame on you! Racists and people who endanger other activists thru slander and basically call on the government to murder or lock them up forever should be called out. The GA did the right thing.

In my 40 years in the movement, i would have taken the pieces written by the Occupied Oakland Media Committee, HellOccupiedOakland, the wiseoldsnail or whatever name they wish to claim themselves, as another one of those internal fights that happens when people disagree over tactics, strategy, or personality (i've seen a lot of this, especially between pacifists and non-pacifists), but racist terrorist-baiting is beyond the pail.
by Jonathan Nack
Monday Oct 22nd, 2012 8:49 AM
The insurrectionists have had their way and now the support for OO is a shadow of what it once was. They've managed to shape OO actions in a way in which they now only appeal to a certain type of anarchist (a small minority of local anarchists), or naive young punks. The masses have left the building.

If the Occupy Oakland Media Collective has distanced itself from OO, it's joined the great majority of the rest of us who supported OO in doing so.

The insurrectionist anarchists are not the biggest problem in Bay Area, however, even though they have severely tarnished the Occupy movement here. Our biggest problem is that those of us who know better, and have more experience, can't seem to get our shit together to out organize the insurrectionists. That's sad.

We need to get back to mass direct actions that draw thousands and actually shut shit down - such as the Port shutdowns. The insurrectionist cabal that's been influencing those left in OO will become a side story when we are able to again mobilize Oakland's communities in our many thousands.

The conservative leadership of most of our unions, community organizations, NGOs, and in the faith based communities are all much bigger problems than the insurrectionist anarchists. When we can bring leaders of those mass groups together for a nonviolent direct action in support of the themes of the national occupy movement, we'll be back on track. The insurrectionists will be marginalized - let them do their thing - and Oakland can reclaim its rightful place as a leading center of the Occupy movement, rather than a failed insurrectionist experiment.
...without the quorum requirement, but with enough announcement that anybody within the community/communities can show up (with the old proviso of no cops, politicians, or disruptors). This is what's happened in most other Occupys. The numbers have gone down but GA's still function to represent. They usually meet once a week. For the first couple good facilitation will be key. This will show who can do the work, and who can work together.
by OOOG
Wednesday Oct 24th, 2012 1:12 PM
Jonathan, the "insurrectionists," as you call them, distanced themselves from Occupy Oakland a long time ago. They declared it dead in a piece on Bay of Rage and (if you actually attended GAs or actions you'd see this) most everyone from the "insurrectionist" milieu left Occupy Oakland completely. So when people like you say they are the downfall of OO or that they are actively doing anything to damage OO's reputation or any such thing, it just doesn't ring true to me. The "insurrectionists" aren't participating or organizing withing the remainders of Occupy Oakland, haven't been for some time now, so how are they to blame? Particularly when every other Occupy, whether it had an "insurrectionary" component or not, has the same exact issues of fewer numbers and infighting.

Getting caught up in this nonsense about "insurrectionists" or who the Oakland COmmune is, is basically giving credence to these whackadoo conspiracy theories. Let's try logic and facts and not scapegoat a group of folks that have worked their asses off and been good comrades to many of us in the movement.
Folks who still have faith in the process of OO's GAs can either deal with their errors or not. If OO deals with them, there is still a chance it can recapture what it's lost. If not, good luck with being in denial and organizing small actions with little impact.

I'm a member of many grassroots Oakland organizations that have decision making processes which I agree with. All have been supportive of OO in the past. These groups all have been organizing and struggling for many years before OO came on the scene, and the way things are going for OO, will be here long after OO is gone. Every one of these groups has pulled back from the support they had been giving to OO (Oakland Green Party, IWW Bay Area, Oakland ACCE, PUEBLO, and others).

I won't waste my time with OO's flawed undemocratic GAs, which are not inclusive and have resulted in many poor, naive, and immature decisions. The OO GAs need major reform before I'll spend any time on them again.

Nobody needs OO to participate in the Occupy Wall Street movement. There are many other organizations involved in the movement. More are being created all the time. OO will either get with it and make some fundamental changes, or continue its downward spiral.
by Real question
Friday Oct 26th, 2012 10:53 AM
Yesterday there was a press conference with several speakers including Shake Anderson who several months ago smeared a leading Arab American OO activist as a ''pro-Hamas Terrorist '' ! Were other speakers also on this ''media Collective'' ?
by OO
Sunday Oct 28th, 2012 8:52 PM
Focusing on the "insurrectionists" IS important because they're the ones who set the ideological foundations of OO right from the beginning. The "conspiracy theory" label is used to shut up legitimate investigations. Who these people are in organizing OO from the beginning in their writings and organizing efforts are already known. They basically took over OO and then led the attack against co-optation. It's this type of vanguardist activity that destroyed OO.

Who were the ones always looking to control the GA, the finances, labor working group? What articles did they write? Remember what "counter-insurgency" was supposedly all about? What groups are they forming now that they themselves have declared OO dead? You all need to open up your eyes.