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DOOM, OOMedia, and the struggle for middle-class respectability and political legitimacy
by Jaime Balius
Thursday Oct 25th, 2012 9:47 PM
Recent provocative and irresponsible statements by the previously unknown DOOM (Defend Our [sic] Oakland Movement) and the well-known decredentialed OO Media Collective, claiming to represent the general interests of the now-defunct Occupy Oakland community, demonstrate the advanced decomposition of the Occupy phenomenon.
DOOM, OOMedia, and the struggle for middle-class respectability and political legitimacy

Recent provocative and irresponsible statements by the previously unknown DOOM (Defend Our [sic] Oakland Movement) and the well-known decredentialed OO Media Collective, claiming to represent the general interests of the now-defunct Occupy Oakland community, demonstrate the advanced decomposition of the Occupy phenomenon. Explicitly anti-radical elements were present at Occupy Oakland from the beginning; for example, some tried to get the General Assembly to adopt vaguely conceived principles of non-violence that implicitly rely on the respect for property rights -- enforced by … the police! Unwilling to frighten away the non-profits, NGOs, and municipal administrations to whom they look for their future careers, these defamers have only ever managed to offer up crass and unimaginative anti-anarchist stereotypes (originating as they do from cops and politicians). As if anarchists and other radicals hadn't also been part of Occupy from the beginning... Radicals and anarchists who -- however haltingly and imperfectly -- challenged the sanctity of public and private property; who negated commerce in the Plaza; who maintained the Plaza as a cop-free zone; who promoted the politics of inclusion, and all who tried to create transparent organizational expressions for their continuation and extension.

Different activist factions now compete for a monopoly on the Occupy brand like vultures and hyenas fighting over a rotting carcass. Each tries to outdo the other with their facile demonization of assorted miscreants. The combined message is that anyone -- regardless of political self-identification -- who dresses in black and has pale skin is now a legitimate target; not just for suspicion, but for active denunciation to the police if not physical assault by reactionary vigilantes. The true political nature and class loyalty of these squawkers has never been more clear.

As we mark the anniversary of OPD's gratuitously brutal clearing of the Plaza, it's obvious that the demoralizing effects of state repression have taken their toll on everyone involved in Occupy Oakland. Long-established left-liberals and their newbie acolytes, who merely paid lip service to the more radical aspects of the reclamation of public space, have reverted to their instinctive position: polite pseudo-opposition, which means first and foremost a respect for capitalism and those who protect it. How else are these self-described progressives to make themselves known as politically legitimate actors, worthy of acknowledgement and recognition by powerbrokers looking for the next generation of the managers of revolt? DOOM and the OO Media Committee have finally made their true intentions obvious: to drive an irreversible wedge between pro- and anti-capitalists, between good and bad protesters, between politicians and those who understand they can only represent themselves.

Occupy ceased to be of much interest once the name began to be used for the implicitly middle-class strategies of foreclosure defense (homeownership being the epitome of bourgeois respectability) and the propping up of institutionalized state-enforced education (which has nothing to do with intellectual development or imbuing young people with critical thinking skills). Those who engage in these reformist campaigns, those who denounce and attack others who do not respect the cops or capitalist property, those who are quietly or loudly stumping for Obama's re-election are not merely misguided comrades, and it's high time we accepted what has been obvious since last October: middle-class factions within Occupy Oakland were always the greatest obstacle to its relevance.

Trademark and product recognition are mechanisms of consumer loyalty. DOOM and OOMedia -- and plenty of others -- are happy to maintain the appearance of opposition, all the while promoting respect for the status quo and its enforcers. Their vision of Occupy Oakland remains indistinguishable from the allegedly progressive wing of the Democratic Party machine, who assure us that they truly represent "The 99%." That's their Occupy, and if they want the copyright so bad, we say they can keep it. Despite what we may have thought was some rhetorical excess in its use, we are happy to refer to the best parts of what happened in the Plaza as the Oakland Commune.




October 25, 2012
Anarchist Anti-Defamation Caucus of the Anti-Bureaucratic Bloc
antibloc2012 [at] gmail.com


The Anti-Bureaucratic Bloc is an ad hoc cluster of anarchist and anti-state communist individuals and affinity groups who have come together in an effort to counter the incipient growth of a self-selected cadre of professional activists and others with managerial aspirations.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

Come on now, comrades. Foreclosure defense is not about property for the sake of property. We're talking about people's homes here. Are you also opposed to defending tenants against their landlords? The banks are the landlords of home "owners". There is little difference between foreclosure and eviction. The outcome is the same: homelessness.
by errr
Friday Oct 26th, 2012 1:32 PM
almost everyone in OO is "middle class". every revolution ever fought drew heavily out of the middle class. the author of this article is middle class. get a grip on the sanctimony, please.

with the exception of that pretense to non-middle class identity, the piece is quite good :)...
by Daniel Borgstrom
Friday Oct 26th, 2012 4:36 PM
"now-defunct Occupy Oakland"

Last night 500 Occupiers gathered at the OG Plaza in Oakland to commemorate last year's Oct 25th police raid. This rally, followed by a march, were held in the face of repression and implied threats published in the corporate media.

Perhaps these 500 Occupiers were ghost-riders, coming down from the sky to haunt the 1%, but a more likely explanation is that reports of Occupy's death have been greatly exaggerated.




by miles
Friday Oct 26th, 2012 6:03 PM
Last night there were 500. Last November there were at least 20,000. Last night there were threats of repression. Last November there was outrage at actual repression. What planet to you live on? Is it perhaps called Pollyanna?
by deanosor
( deanosor [at] mailup.net ) Friday Oct 26th, 2012 8:07 PM
In my 40 years in the movement for social change, i've seen the numbers go up and down. Some periods (last year, for example) it was large. In other periods, it was down to nothing. The fact that in a low period Oakland could get 500 people is remarkable. It is a very good new start. If that makes me a pollyanna, so be it.
by miles
Friday Oct 26th, 2012 9:05 PM
Last night there were maybe 150 people there. I didn't want to play the numbers game with Daniel, but I will now. There could not have been more than 150-200 people at the rally, and probably half that at the FTP march. That's a pathetic showing, media and police generated threats or not. It was larger than the last several FTP marches, but those were dwindling already. Last night's numbers do not constitute a lull, but a desperate attempt at trying to avoid total irrelevance.
by me
Saturday Oct 27th, 2012 9:33 AM
it was a pretty good sized rally, as far as rallies go in oakland nowadays. all throughout this year with the exception of mayday, the average rally size has been 150. when i stopped by thursday evening around 8pm, there were about 225 people who had returned from the march and went to gather in the plaza.

this is WAY more than the other ftp marches, and WAAAY more than the occupy oakland GA.

if there were 500 people, i didn't see them. maybe this was earlier in the day. maybe this was when there was some food around...there were nowhere near 500 people in the evening.

of course, compared to some of the earlier GAs and the port shutdown, it was nothing. but those events were pretty extraordinary and will not occur again for a very long time.

i agree with the person who said this is a grasping attempt to try to remain relevant.

when sunday GA rolls around, who will be there? will any decisions of importance be made or be presented? probably not.
by Daniel
Saturday Oct 27th, 2012 6:34 PM
The corporate media normally reports a number that’s about half of what’s actually there, sometimes much less than half. For OO’s Oct 25th event the media reported 200.

by miles
Saturday Oct 27th, 2012 7:13 PM
I was there and that was my count. I try not to rely on the prejudices of the cops, journalists, or politicians. I prefer the evidence of my own eyes when making estimates. There are some times when the media, colluding with the cops, will OVERestimate the size of a crowd as well, to stir up fear among their presumed constituents. They did that with some of the black bloc events over the past year. It seems that you have some residual poison in your ideas that makes you think of the mainstream media as a source to be believed, but with an inverted sense of the truth - that they lie as a matter of course, but that their lies are somehow magically transparent and so easy to decipher. Not very convincing Daniel, especially for someone who's been around as long as you have. I don't trust the mainstream media for any reporting on demos, why do you?
by Konsider
Sunday Oct 28th, 2012 2:58 PM
I am not going to say occupy is dead, but the way we approach circumstances has to constantly be recreated. One had the feeling at the recent Oakland, take back the plaza action that people were trying to relive last year, but that same vitality wasn't there.
by miles
Sunday Oct 28th, 2012 6:24 PM
Trying to relive the experience is precisely the problem. There can be no reliving the moments of magic and community that arose spontaneously when people came together to find each other as accomplices and (temporary) best friends. Every attempt to recapture those moments cheapens the ones we felt last year, like a junkie looking for that first high over and over and requiring more and more junk to feel anything at all. All these attempts to resurrect a few moments of transcendence are doomed to fail, because you can't resurrect a corpse. If you do, it will be a zombie or Frankenstein's monster, destined to destroy you. I'm not saying to give up, but as long as the same crap is being done in Occupy's name, it should be left to wither away.
by 150
Sunday Oct 28th, 2012 7:53 PM
This is not a legitimate article as its full of statements based on faulty premises. "Jaime" alleges OOmedia is trying to drive a wedge between people in OO. It wasn't them that co-opted OO for themselves, it was the pseudo-anarchists in and around the "Bay of Rage" milieu.

The best way to destroy OO is to take over the main organizing and then NOT organize and then attack legitimate elements who want to unite the 99%. Notice how the recent articles is NOT about the 99% anymore. It's all about these pseudo-anarchists co-optng OO for their own fake ideology.

See how the Oct 25th event was really unorganized. We just met and did what exactly? What plans were made for future actions? What did people say on the bullhorns?

Then, when people mention how many people were there, they get the 500 number which those in attendance know to be false and they get demoralized and stop coming or they go off into their little groups as it was in the pre-Occupy days. You all have been shut down, not by the police, but by people (probably some sort of agent) putting forth a faulty ideology for you all to believe in.

And now where are we? We got these articles from the same crew putting the nail in the coffin that they themselves help create. The 60's took years to destroy. Occupy took a matter of months because you all do not understand what the game was that destroyed groups in the 60s. None of you are even responding to the above article and get caught up in a tangent. And those that do get edited out by Indybay who are part of this control of the left. Just take a screenshot of this before they erase it. There is no serious opposition to these series of pro-Oakland-Commune/BOR articles. All these articles do is further split up what was once OO into various factions separated by race and micro-classes. See how "Jaime" splits the 99% into the middle classes?

People who read this need to look at the facts and how the authorities actually do intelligence work and what "counter-insurgency" really works. It's not what Mike King's long-winded claims of what counter-insurgency is. Counter-insurgency means that people will work behind enemy lines and their main function is to organize, write propaganda and generally fuck up unity to disband an organization or render it ineffective.

Look at the arrests on Columbus Day. You would think that experienced organizers would not be led into an area away from the main action. The main action was towards Fishermans Wharf, but they all went off into an area with little foot traffic..... few witnesses and a bunch of them gets arrested. Why was it organized that way with experienced organizers?... unless it was organized to get people arrested as a pretext for calling "solidarity" and wasting our resources. That was done to deliberately fuck you all up.
by curious
Sunday Oct 28th, 2012 8:21 PM
The above article and most of the comments appear to be written by the same person (or group), writing under different pseudonyms and pretending to come from differing viewpoints. All, (except for 2 or 3 of the comments) seem intent on dissing Occupy Oakland, pronouncing OO to be "dead". The most obvious give away is that under all the various pseudonyms, the author (or group) asserts that there were no more than 150 or 200 persons at the anniversary event of October 25.

It would be interesting to know who the above author (or group) really is. Could it be the same ones who wrote the DOOM leaflet?