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Indybay Feature
Occupied Territory Anarchist Gathering Gets Underway
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at]
Friday Jun 18th, 2004 6:23 PM
Modesto DAAA activist Doug Gilbert talks to the local media at the start of the Occupied Territory anarchist gathering.

Occupied Territory Anarchist Gathering Gets Underway
By Mike Rhodes
June 18, 2004

Anarchists from as far away as the East Coast of the United States, Europe, and Australia descended on Fresno California today for the historical first Occupied Territory gathering. In a press release distributed at the gathering, local organizers said "the conference is designed to be a celebration of all forms of life and a chance to come together to create a temporary community free from hierarchical oppression such as classism, racism, and sexism in a beautiful area that needs our protection.

After initially meeting at a park in Central Fresno participants were given a map to a remote location 2 hours East of Fresno - high in the Sierra mountains. There the group will set up camp and organize the gathering. The conference is not focused on protest but rather on community building, communal education, and for one weekend, building the type of community we all would like to live in. Together the participants in the conference will shape the events and come together to cook vegan meals and produce a positive event.

There were both young and old participants attending the gathering. Not everyone, however, was given a map to the gathering. One person that came to the park was Stuart Weil, who organizers identified as a member of the far right group - The Free Republic. Security kept their eye on Weil who told this reporter "I just wanted to see what a bunch of anarchists looked like."

Apparently the Fresno Police Department also wanted to see what "a bunch of anarchists look like" because they cruised back and forth repeatedly during the gathering at the park. Participants will (hopefully) leave the Freepers and police far behind as they head to the hills for several days of workshops and skills sharing.

For details about the Occupied Territory conference see: . A report back from the conference will be posted in a few days.


§Uninvited guest
by Mike Rhodes (MikeRhodes [at] Friday Jun 18th, 2004 6:23 PM
This is Stuart Weil who is a member of the right wing group - Free Republic. He attended the Occupied Territory gathering in Fresno, but was not given directions to the conference.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

My friend Nick called this evening to report that the Occupied Territory conference is going great. Today, workshops were held on:

* Gender diversity and gender balance
* Food not Bombs and Earth First organizing issues
* The Republican National convention
* How to address security issues in the movement

Conference participants from all over Aztlan and the world are having a great time. Law enforcement is monitoring the gathering from a distance but have not been intrusive. Nick says there are plans to produce a Zine at the conclusion of the gathering.
by equality of classes?
Saturday Jun 19th, 2004 8:19 PM
Um, do y'all mean we shouldn't discriminate against the rich? or judge people by which class they're from?

And, this reconciles with anarchism how?
by sacanarcho
Sunday Jun 20th, 2004 3:12 AM
Capital is the main perpetrator of classism, it is the deciding factor in what level of participation one has in society based on the wealth one has accumilated. Anarchism seeks to challenge classism not by making classes more equal but abolishing class all together.
by carl marks
Monday Jun 21st, 2004 12:21 PM
*classism* is what rodney king said: *can't we all get along?*

NO, it isn't the abolition of all classes----that is revolution----*classism* is saying class war is oppressive and we've got to give some fucking bullshit respect to the ruling class.

by semantic games
Monday Jun 21st, 2004 12:26 PM
America ignores issues of class-- because of the myth that we're all upwardly mobile. Such a powerful myth, and so bad for your cause.

Only an idiot would advocate "no classism" in this country in a revolutionary context, because at best, you will not be understood.

Either you're not thinking through what you mean or you don't care what you communicate to other people. Either way, it makes your prospects for success look dim indeed.
by ...
Monday Jun 21st, 2004 2:15 PM
this debate sounds like a bunch of cut and paste pamphletese.

i think that by "classism" the folks organizing this meant participants should be aware of their own economic privelege.
by carl marks
Monday Jun 21st, 2004 8:31 PM
no, these people obviously act according to the gospel of PC where no one, including the ruling class, should be oppressed.

otherwise, they'd call for *the end to class society* or *class war* or something with meaning. if they're against capitalism, but are still stupid to be against *classism*, they're just practicing a shorthand for thinking. *-isms* and counter-isms are pretty lame and show someone hasn't given it a moment of thought. start thinking and stop sloganeering. it makes you look like fucking liberals who aren't any deeper than your slogans.

by rain & rhubarb
Monday Jun 21st, 2004 10:25 PM
"this debate sounds like a bunch of cut and paste pamphletese."

Actually, no it doesn't. But I'll bet you get other chances to use that line.

"i think that by "classism" the folks organizing this meant participants should be aware of their own economic privelege."

The very fact that you have to guess at their meaning proves my point.
by carl marks
Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2004 1:45 PM
"i think that by "classism" the folks organizing this meant participants should be aware of their own economic privelege."

if these ruling class children are organizing for ANYTHING, we should smash them. fuck the ruling class, even if they are ecological or vegan or whatever.

i only want to work with those whose lives are economically antagonistic to capitalism, which ISN'T these trust fund kids and spoiled brats of the rich. i mean the working class, not some declasse liberals of the bourgeoisie.

by soymilk OT organizer
(soymilk [at] Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2004 3:06 PM
look, mike was talking about freedom from the heirarchy of class,not to make them equal,and hes not an "anarchist" in the fucking first place,so get off it.

i come from fresno,one of the poorest city/county in the untied states,i organized this coming from and indigenous family picking cotton,so we are people of color and working class background.we've never paid 1500 for a studio like they do in the bay,or had the same advantages coming from a sympathetic town or area like the bay.the pretentiousness of some of the people who resonded to this seem almost privledged in their posts.if someone is privledged we have to smash them,who the fuck are you?come to my town from the bay talking about privledge and your likely to get you ass kicked.we are not PC,definetly not me, fucking sick of people from the bay and pompous and arrogant attitudes like they are some oppressed mass,your fucking delusional.if you come from hunters point or oakland(not the avenues) then we can talk,if i catch your ass on market,im gonna kick need to get your head out of your ass and realize that the bay is a overwhelimingly privledged area,and for anyone to say shit like that is a pretentious burgeois fuck stick.come to fresno and talk shit,you'll get dealt with like the rich kids who come from the north side,a broke nose and a missing wallet.
fuck your face
by soyleche
(soymilk [at] Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2004 3:36 PM
im still fuming from the bullshit you people wrote,what the fuck is your problem?did anyone of you attend?anyone?pretentious assholes? busters need to check your test,cause i come correct.if you assholes would have came to the gathering and surmised as such then there is room to talk but to talk a mess of sit not being there first off,then making up judgements like you know anyone of the people involved is a obvious sign of privledge.
carl marks,you seem to me to be a rich kids on a apple computer talkin' shit like they know opression,what color are you?where do you live?how much do you or mommy and daddy make?shut the fuck up you are such a fucking dick.and the rest of you are just as bad.if i ever see you,with a laptop,going to a uc campus,while i dont have enough money for city college or a decent computer,spending the little money i have trying to put together a gathering that was,by the people who came, a great gathering that had results and new friendship come out of gonna hurt being followed by the pigs ever since i got back,unmarked vans following me to collective meetings,i have no time for people who take one single world take it completly out of context to form a conclusion about everyone that organized and was there is fucking white bread bay area bullshiter.fuck you,fuck you,fuck you.why dont you come next time and maybe we can go into the woods and i can practice some gung fu.
go to hell pretentious burgeoise dick noses.
fuck you
by 2soy4u
Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2004 6:48 PM
i dont know you, dont know where you come from. what i know is you sound like a fucking rich kid anarchist and its probably because thats who youre hanging out with. i know thats true just by looking at the pictures from "OT"

look at the hompeage for this ocupied teritory. i have to "check myself" and my conditioning??? people who want to de-condition you and re-condition you as something else are cult members. its a big fucking social cult which occasonally takes out random acts of violence against inocent people and you wonder why the police check it out. if we lived in an anarchist society i would want SOMEONE to keep an eye on cult-like tendencyes like this.

have fun in your cult and posting on the internet about how down you are. the rest of us will be in the real world
by ignore it
Tuesday Jun 22nd, 2004 7:13 PM
Its hard to tell who is posting only to enflame who, but this doesnt look like a real argument... Dont take offense as a result of angry people on the web. A lot of times the only point of the posts are to make you angry and the views expressed are not the real views of the people posting.
by anarcho healer
Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 10:33 AM
for soymilk being the rageaholic in the above thread, i hope he found some holistic vegan *meds* at the *radical mental health workshop.*

i don't live in the *bay* but i'll avoid it when you go on your *ass kicking* spree. sounds like a low intensity reign of terror. on the other side of town where I live there are racist skinheads who come round and beat up people for no reason. what's the difference from soymilk who seems to want to go to hunters point or deep east oaktown and do the same thing. is he a skinhead of color? well, if you're going to indiscriminately beat people up, have fun!!!

by chill
Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 10:34 AM
soy, you might want to check yourself a little bit.

if what i know about the conference is true, and if what you have reported back to us about police surveillance is true, then you should think twice about your behavior and your words.

if you are under surveillance, you might consider the repercussions and ways in which these kinds of words can or will be used against you. solution? tone down the aggressive shit a little in public? it attracts attention, it indicates psychological vulnerability, and it is not just you who you put in danger when you attract the fuzz, its all the people you work with as well

something to reflect on.
by sftranny
Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 10:37 AM
soymilk writes:

>>if i catch your ass on market

no sweety, you'll take my ass on polk st. come and get it and give me some of your sweet talking 'milk.' or are you man enuf?

san fran tran-ny
by soyboyish
(soymilk [at] Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 1:16 PM
i would like to say that i dont take shit from elitists.people who judge with out knowing context,or assuming are dicks and need to be dealt fresno,we fight a lot.skinheads,gang members,the like,i have no problem with telling a burgeoise(or any other) fucker that i punch'em in the not a pacifist,im a dirty pirate that fights like he writes,like broken vodka bottles in an alleyway.(also to asses anything from the internet is assuming and ridiculous)
also this is the internet,i dont discuss actions or anything that would compromise an action.i have no mind to tell anyone i'll squab with them.if they(the pig force) see this thread about kicking ass,they might wanna think twice before trying to roll on me.ever heard of"screaming like a stuck pig"?
lets recap.
1 assuming something about anything according to posts,is un intelligent and deserves a response according to level of jerk
2 jerk faces gett'em broke
3my style:drunken pirate fighting with a broken vodka bottle(i dont judge you,dont do it to me)

to the 2
sf tranny...time and place(or dont let your mouth write checks your ass cant cash;)

by Rev. Terry
(antiyu [at] Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 8:50 PM
I dont understand, why do peaple come to the web and attack peaple. If you came to the website then we must share beliefes and we can settle constructively, and if you dont share beliefs than what the hell are you doing on the site(ether 1.youre a cop 2.your an asshole who wants to start shit
or 3. your an asshole cop who getting paid to start shit)
i dont think you should be attacking peaple like soymilk(who i happen to know is a great guy)
and as for his rageing im sure simple minded peaple like you would do a lot worse when attacked for nothing !
by OT participant
Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 8:59 PM
From what I've been reading here, this isn't the idea that we discussed at the conference. We talked about building positive community bonds, working to do positive projects in the community like food not bombs-mutual aid-community gardening and to grow to build a mainstream anarchist movement that not only organizes for mass mobilizations but works every day to be positive forces in the community.

How does this discussion fit with the attitude of the people at occupied territory? Well, it doesn't. This is a flame war that was started to make everyone take time away from whats important to throw zingers at eachother that have broken down into neanderthal violent threats. I say that we all take a lesson from what was discussed at OT and start building rather than fragmenting ourselves apart unnecessarily ... it just feeds into the goals of the massive miseducation, surveilance and intimidation that is going on surrounding this conference and the movement.
by Bullshit.
Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 10:01 PM
one popular theory:
"This is a flame war that was started to make everyone take time away from whats important to throw zingers at eachother"

This is not what happened. Rather, the organizers of this conference posted their rhetoric here, which was critiqued by other people who read it, drawing a hostile response. Shouldn't that whole chain of events be forseen by organizers posting in a public forum and seeking public input into a process?

Not only is all of this typical in anarchist circles-- both becuase existence of leadership is denied and because the result is leadership by strongest personality-- but also, t also plays right into the caricature of anarchist as adolescent boy who hasn't worked out his relationship with his father-figure-type-authority, the "organizing as acting out" smear.

Unfortunately, Mr. Soy took it personally and to such textbook extreme. All these problems existed long before he came along and, at this rate, they will also long outlast him.

At the risk of sounding trite, peace the fuck out.
by OT participant
Wednesday Jun 23rd, 2004 10:19 PM
"but also, t also plays right into the caricature of anarchist"

I can't argue with you on that, your right. I would also add that it is a mischarecterization of the anarchist community ... many are out everyday feeding and clothing the homeless, working through syndicates to improve labor conditions.

One of the main ideas that those who were there agreed upon is that we would rather stop playing into this caricature and start showing how so many anarchists are actually constructing positive things.It's time to work with those who are working toward the same goals and not fragment over semantics or the small differences that separate our much greater commonalities.

... sorry to soy, but he just doesn't speak for the conference. Instead of debating what divides us, I'd rather see this discussion talk about how we can combat the negative caricature and start to build steps towards a positive future.
by you've guessed it
(soymilk [at] Thursday Jun 24th, 2004 3:46 AM

did you see that,your whole"critique"is misinformed bs.
you kids talk so much shit with out knowing the facts.
none of the people who went there had the same conclusion such to the orginal posts,of "equality of classes"

i shouldnt let shit bother me,get (or rather write)this upset.there are fucking pigs all over me and all that people can talk about is one single line that was attributed to an organizer of OT,who in fact is not.get your shit straight.some of you people act like vultures taking away shreads to devour,anything that does not agree totally with the anarchist party line.
yeah,i only speak for myself,not OT or any other collective.
im just sick of people always being ultra critical where it takes the fun out of everything.who are you to be critical of something you did not attend,and even asses other people with intellectual dont know me in the day we will burn those ivory towers.

im done

oh yeah,i hate the taste of vodka,it was only to intent the ferocity of the style,dont take thing so damn literal
by mike robe
Thursday Jun 24th, 2004 4:12 PM
The discussion so far, if you can call it a discussion, revolves around two basic issues: 1.) what is the significance of the concept of class in an anarchist critique of the current situation? and 2.) what form of economic organization might prevail in the future such that class privilege can be avoided? I'd be interested in reading some sincere posts on these issues.

The relative anonymity of the internet lets people thoughtlessly fire off comments and make personal attacks. Meaningful theoretical discussion obviously breaks down pretty quickly (like after two or three posts!) At OT (and in other genuine communities, where a groundwork of equality and mutual respect has been established) these theoretical discussions were held with passion but without personal attack, and real progress was made in delineating anarchist principles. For example, on the question of economic organization, there was a fascinating informal dicussion held regarding "red" versus "green" anarchism.

There will be a zine coming out regarding OT and, prior to that, the OT collective hopes to give a review. Maybe people can check out these materials and come back to this discussion with a little more reason and a little less rage.

If solidarity with those who have and continue to be oppressed is, in part, the mark of an ananarchist, then I think sub-comandante Marcos got it right. When the Mexican government allegedly identified him as an unemployed philosophy professor, Marcos responded "I'm gay in San Francisco...a black in South Asian in Europe...a Chicano in San anarchist in Spain...a pacifist in Bosnia...a Palestinian in Israel...a chava banda in Nezahualcoyotl...a woman alone in the metro after 10 Indian in San Cristobal." Anarchists are liberators, aiming to take down all forms oppressive hierarchy. Class privilege marked primarily by corporate access to state power is perhaps the most powerful of these forms of hiereachy. Hence the various agents at OT: stopping participants from arriving there, tailing those who did attend, continuing to hassle those who were organizers.

And yes, soy needs to chill.

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