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Call for Anarchists to March Today for Oscar Grant: the Future is Being Written
by Bay Area CrimethInc Workers Collective
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 11:26 AM
The police want a fight tonight to demonstrate their power. Today, the march can demonstrate a different kind of power - what it looks like when communities come together to assert their vision of an end to police violence backed by a system of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism and the state. Together, we can do it. But we need to work together and be united. Let us bring forward the new world that exists in our hearts.
Justice for Oscar Grant: The Future is Being Written
Bay Area CrimethInc Workers Collective and Anarchists for Justice for Oscar Grant

Today, people in the Bay Area will continue building the uprising sparked by yet another police killing of a young Black man, Oscar Grant, murdered just hours into 2009. All week, people have come together to flood the streets with anger, grief and defiance.

The march today for justice for Oscar Grant, to end police brutality, and to work for genuine community safety through social justice on our streets, is going to bring together a broad cross-section of working class people in Oakland. It will be majority African American, inter-generational with elders and young children; it will include union rank and file, students from Oakland's public schools, people from neighborhoods most targeted by the police, and many others. It will also be a major risk for many people to participate in the march, as the police are making it clear that "they'll be ready to go off with any excuse." Even with police using intimidation tactics and the media drumming up fear on about "violent protesters" and "violent anarchists", people from Oakland will march in a demonstration of grassroots power for justice and an end to police terror.

There are thousands of anarchists around the Bay Area, involved in hundreds of important community organizations, projects, cultural work, and collectives working to build economic, racial, environmental, gender, and social justice in our communities, and around the country. Anarchists are all ages, all races, of many genders, and have a long history of dynamic, creative, and strategic action. A small number of anarchists, as well as other non-anarchists activists, sometimes utilize the black bloc as a tactic to raise the social and economic costs of injustice and oppression through corporate property destruction/re-design.

Today in Oakland, there is a need for people of many different political traditions to bring their creativity, energy, and vision to the march and work together to build working class community power through this march. We can all stay together, not be divided by state and media tactics of "good protester/bad protester," and support one another and the overall goals of the march. There may be anarchists of many kinds - parents, elders, union members, non-violent direct action activists, black blocers, health care workers, grandparents, community organizers, and children - contributing to a dignified, united, and powerful march. There are other times and places for graffiti, for raising the social costs through civil disobedience, property re-design, and facing off with the police. Let's respect the self-determination of those who have called for this march, many of whom are already taking risks in taking to the streets, and who have set out guidelines for what kind of space they want to create at this demonstration. Let's coming together to make this a powerful show of unity.

The police want a fight tonight to demonstrate their power. Today, the march can demonstrate a different kind of power - what it looks like when communities come together to assert their vision of an end to police violence backed by a system of white supremacy, patriarchy, capitalism, heterosexism and the state. Together, we can do it. But we need to work together and be united. Let us bring forward the new world that exists in our hearts.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by this is beautifully written
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 1:02 PM
Get up Stand up -- Stand up for your rights!

We must unite. We must stop pointing our finger at one another.

~An Anarchist Woman of Color and Mother of 3.
by eastbay anarchist
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 1:07 PM
Thank you so much for writing this and for bringing attention to the much broader, diverse anarchist communities in the Bay Area. Thank you for putting forward a positive vision of anarchist participation in marches like this.
by Miguel
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 1:19 PM
A politicially mature principled statement . As someone who was seriously critical of some aspects of the 1/7 actions (but who condemms the Police violence and mass arrests ) i say thanks. With more than a little relief.
by b-see
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 2:37 PM
Bravo, friends. Keep it up.
by tremonishasmarts
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 5:31 PM
Can the anarchists do me a favor tonight? Can they try to refrain doing vandalism to the business and other property owned by people of color? It doesn't surprise me that the anarchsits (mostly white) thought nothing of destroying the cars (basic transportation for many) and the business (many running on only a shoestring budget) of people of color in the name of "anarchy."

Since when is racism part of anarchism. Try to keep tonight's protest from being another garish display of radical left-wing anarchist white supremacy. Please!
by Anonymous
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 6:48 PM
We placed ourselves between the windows of a high school and angry demonstrators with bricks to prevent them from damaging the school... and yet we still get blamed. You know from what I witnessed all of the black owned businesses were vandalized by colored people that night (So to label it as "leftist white supremacy" is obsurd). Not trying to dwell in the past and point blame on any specific group of people (like some comments have insisted on doing), but It angers me that you labeled what happened the 7th as "Anarchist White Supremacy" when it wasn't our doing.

Well no sense arguing over this, because when I was there today it seemed like everything went well and the favor you ask is also exactly what this article was asking for. No more accusing each other, and dividing everything. Stick together in order to fight a common enemy; We'll be much stronger that way.

Thanks to everyone who came out.
by anarchist person of color.
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 7:02 PM
I was there. Besides the fact that VANDALISM is NOT violence...

The businesses and cars were vandalized by black youth, not white anarchists. White anarchists were likely involved (though this was multi-racial as well) in the smashing of the police car, which is a more-than-legitimate target; unless of course you are CAPE who prefer to meet with, plan, and mediate with police officers and departments responsible for MURDER.

The whole night was legitimate rage (some would argue unfocused rage), but as an anarchist and a person of color I don't mind that a few businesses were smashed. Trying to place blame on anyone only serves the cops agenda. We can move on from a few broken windows, but we can't move on if the police continue to murder blacks every single day.
by wrth
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 7:03 PM
tremonishasmarts you are a government collaborator and a stooge for the police. Typical divide and conquer.

This is a People's site, and you are not of the People.

Go back and crawl under the rock you slithered out from under.
by building together
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 11:39 PM
To all of the various anarchists who were on the streets tonight protesting the police execution of Oscar Grant, you all were there in a clear spirit of unity and respect for the march. As someone who was part of the security team trying to prevent police violence against the march, and who was there until late in the night, anarchist activists were consistently respectful of the overall march goals, and the communities who come together to take the streets. Late in the night, with mostly Oakland youth of color taking action to express protest through property destruction, anarchists continued to be respectful and engaged in discussions with march organizers.

I hope that all of us stay clear that we are united against police violence and for safety in our communities. That the police clearly wanted a fight in Oakland tonight and were ready to smash heads with any excuse. That everyday people in Oakland wanted to express themselves through peaceful marches, and some through property destruction (which is not violence).

I am also hoping that all of our folks on the streets of Oakland are a safe as possible and that all charges against those arrested are dropped.