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Does this video put to rest myths about racial makeup of those vandalizing in Oakland?
by watcher
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 12:10 PM
There has been a lot of talk since the "riots" of last Wednesday that those doing most of the property destruction were stereotypical white anarchists, or that naive Oakland African Americans were led by white anarchists into committing property destruction. Unfortunately, this is the angle that the corporate media has pushed and then many in the African American community with no direct knowledge believe what they hear on TV or in rumor mills. Those who were actually there know what went down on the January 7th after dark, and the group on 14th and 17th was thoroughly interracial and no one group was leading another. Last night's property destruction, as documented here, debunks that myth. Don't let the media and others stir up racial divisions as we are all pissed about the murder of Oscar Grant. It's time to unite in our rage.
Jail for killer cops, not for those who protest police murder!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by watcher
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 12:15 PM
Police abandoned their vehicle to an interracial group of people near BART, and the rest is history, albeit inaccurate by many accounts.
by like the corporate media
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 12:33 PM
I am very upset about the strong emphasis of the racial divide between those who seek justice. If something goes the way someone doesn't want it to, it must be the fault of someone of a different race. White people are assumed to not be Oakland residents and told they have no business there and I disagree. The cops and the media are manipulating community members into racists, just as they always have. I don't want to see it happening here and I don't know how to stop it.

People have different opinions on tactics and different political beliefs and they need scapegoats because that is the easiest route to calming their unrest.

But the unrest should be with the police and with the state, not community members who are trying to make a difference just like they are.

Much respect to everyone who posted photos that do not reveal anyone's identity and a big fuck you to those who sold incriminating photos to the corporate media, posted them on their websites, or mass produced them.

Much respect to everyone, regardless of "race", who has been in the streets doing all that the can to be heard and a big fuck you to all cops, no matter what their "race".

Let's stop arguing and focus on what really matters, please.
by a concerned anarchist
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 12:43 PM
hey folks, please don't post any photos or video where peoples' faces are visible in anything cops could use against people, they have their own surveillance and we don't need to make it easier by giving them anything to use. if you post photos please blur out faces or really obvious distinguishing characteristics, and please be thoughtful about videos that show peoples' faces in or around any activities they want to grab people for. thanks
by bob
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 12:52 PM
The rally yesterday was an awesome display of righteous anger and unity.
That rally ended at 7:00pm

Anyone who was wandering the streets and fucking shit up late into the night was not a "protester" they were just vandals.
I say screw them. No support for immature vandals who undermine an otherwise powerful movement.

Next time people wearing masks show up at a rally in Oakland, we should either ask them to leave or beat the crap out of them because their antics serve only to undermine the movement. Maybe they being paid to do this by the cops.
by ...
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 1:03 PM
I would like to second the statement that people need to stop posting images of people from the march. Use your photo editing equipment to blur faces at the very least.
And if people REALLY want to know what the crowd is like, they can get off their asses and go to the event.
by k?
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 1:14 PM
generally, yes, people should not post pix of recognizable people, but thanks to the corp media, these are already well in the public domain
by anarchist
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 1:17 PM
i think this is just combating the dragged out story that only white middle class punks were destroying things.

it really subverted a lot of peoples rage, from many different backgrounds.

i dont think anyone one here is pushing the "not only was it not white punks , but it was black hooligans" idea.

it is clearly a diverse group of people doing property damage, so any racial accusations to be made are pretty null.

these people attacked large corporate shops for the most part, which is a lot better then the destruction of local businesses we saw on the 7th.

i say bravo to them.

these companies are not part of the community ,they do not care about the community.

by Anarchists Where I Live
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 1:45 PM
Stereotypes about Black People being riot starters and violent, instead are creeping up! Violence is violence regardless. Number two, like withdrawing money and putting it into a Credit Union is something non-violent one can do to protest big banks, you can help organize the people who make their living at corporate-owned stores. I am worried that the vandals prevented working people from earning any pay due to temporary closures or security concerns.
by anarchist
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 2:24 PM
smashing a window is not violence

so im glad these people also protested non violently

violence is done against sentient beings.

so long as you use the "workers dont get paid" excuse, that protects so many facets of the current social order that it becomes fruitless to fight it.

following this logic you could also argue that locally owned window replacers will get these jobs and make even more money, so it helps those working class people.

its just a ridiculous argument.

helping the economy do extremely well by taking over oil supplies in iraq is a great way to bring more money to working people

does this mean the us government are hardlined proletarian supporters?

dont answer these questions they're rhetorical.

what im getting at is that so long as we confine our resistance in a tiny bubble, we will remain a tiny bubble that effects only things within it.
by concert
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 2:28 PM
if you don't like violence, start with your fork
by responder
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 3:22 PM
It's really dangerous that people are starting to create hierarchies of property destruction: What happened on the 7th is bad, what happened more recently is good. Corporations are bad, "small businesses" are good. Mindless vandals vs. militant protesters.

Things happen for a reason. Usually, there are good reasons why people do what they do, even if they're impulsive or if they don't have some leftist critique of how Walmart and "big banks" destroy "local communities." Ultimately, it's pretty clear that business owners of all kinds don't have much in common with unemployed young people, whether the youth are anarchists or the oft-invoked "youth of color." In fact, all business owners' interests are pretty opposed to ours- for example, business owners of all kinds need stability and social peace in order to prosper- that goes for the mall owner or the locally-owned grocery store. If the riots would have spread or continued, business owners would call for "responsibility and calm" even if they aren't being directly targeted, because that's what is required for healthy sales. All of us with nothing to lose never want the open struggle to disappear, once it becomes visible. In general, they want us to pay for things- we don't want to, etc.

The supposedly mindless vandals have a much more coherent approach than all the leftists who whine about defending "mom-and-pops".
by I like workers.
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 3:24 PM
What is this world you are thinking about? How are you going to bring it about? By your logic, destroying it in order to save it is what I get. You are creating jobs, though. The jobs are going to the window replacers. Aren't there other things human beings can do? What about growing food? Anyhoo, you are talking about one thing, and I here people from Oaktown complaining about police violence. Bring justice to the ill-served Black Community. Stop police racism, profiling, and ignorance. You know I was stopped from eating a pretzel and drinking a cup of coffee on a BART platform? True. I received a citation. I was also nabbed physically by a BART agent at the foot of an escalator with my bike. I can only think it's because of the way I dress. I am poor? Who knows? Repression is increasing daily in our society.
by .
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 4:02 PM
yeah - once I came up out of the 12th street station, not realizing that this is one of the only ones in the system that doesn't permit bicycles at all. The officer went for the other person with a bicycle in front of me, so I quickly ran up the stairs. What's sort of ridiculous is that the unpleasant or discourteous aspects of BART tend not to relate to these technical violations of poorly posted rules.
People carrying closed coffee usually aren't a problem, and because BART has a single line, many riders need to get to destinations more than half a mile from a station, and would benefit from an open car without seats that people carrying luggage, bicycles and strollers could share.
Having closed bathrooms is unpleasant. People actually littering and spilling or hogging several seats should be reprimanded. Teenagers with no money should receive discounted tickets so they don't need to sneak on. In the New York system, there aren't these rules for eating or carrying large items, and people actually tend to be with the program and move aside to share seats. I think New Yorkers are more vocal and use social punishment to correct each other's behavior.
responder: "Ultimately, it's pretty clear that business owners of all kinds don't have much in common with unemployed young people, whether the youth are anarchists or the oft-invoked "youth of color." In fact, all business owners' interests are pretty opposed to ours..."

Most of those individual small independent business owners in downtown Oakland are _people of color_ who _employ_ previously unemployed young people.

And most of those individual small independent business owners in downtown Oakland are _people of color_ who greatly _agree_ with the anti-police protests against the executioners of Oscar Grant. No liberation movement succeeds by attacking individual small business owners in their own community. Let's go destroy _your_ individual property (like your car) and see if _you_ just say, "So what!?"

How do you 'anarchists' think you're going to gain their greater sympathy by destroying the property and cars of individual _working_ people who's livelihood happens to be their small independent business, probably because they couldn't get readily jobs anywhere else (due to language barriers, national origin, not having a college degree, racial discrimination, having a non-standard English accent or dialect, etc.), who work long hours for relatively little pay.

But how many _cop_ cars did you vandalize?: ONE.

And how many cop cars did you set on fire?: NONE.

For those "protesters" who call themselves "political", they should be politically disciplined, politically discriminating, and politically _CONSCIOUS_.

Otherwise, I don't care about police, city and corporate property being attacked.

P.S. Your video above does _not_ show what you claimed it would show.
by community organizer
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 12:51 AM
I think it's really important that we all stay focused on what started the riots and property destruction/re-design - police violence backed by a system of white supremacy in which Black and Latino youth are defined as disposable. Debating who exactly broke what window at what time takes needed attention away from what we do know - the police killing young people of color and terrorizing communities of color. It also takes focus away from the unity that many throughout the Bay Area feel - that we need to end police violence.

When people rise up after the police murder someone, the question should not be "who started it", we know who started it. The question should be, "how can we act in this moment to do all we can to end police violence" and understand that we there will be many ways people proceed and that rather then denounce one another, we can build off one another. Dr. King, even when condemning rioting always brought the focus back to poverty, racism and police violence as the causes of the problem.

Honestly, how does blaming anarchists for people in Oakland expressing rage against police violence advance the cause of justice? How does it help us build power to advance our goals? How can we stay clear on our vision and move forward from here?

by discipline
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 2:31 AM
police violence started the riot
by community organizer
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 12:51 AM:

community organizer: "I think it's really important that we all stay focused on what started the riots and property destruction/re-design - police violence backed by a system of white supremacy..."

I was _there_: paramilitary riot police tactics and violence _contributed significantly_ to the vandalism of small independent businesses and property destruction of people of _color_. I don't know if you realize, but white supremacy _likes_ people of _color_ being economically eroded disenfranchised by having their small businesses and property vandalized -- and white supremacy especially likes leftists and people of color destroying other people's of color hard-earned businesses and property.

community organizer: "...there will be many ways people proceed and that rather then denounce one another, we can build off one another. Dr. King, even when condemning rioting always brought the focus back to poverty, racism and police violence as the causes of the problem."

But political people (especially leftists) should proceed with _disciplined political consciousness_.

And while I certainly don't condemn all "rioting" (uprisings), note that you noted that King did, wherever he found the root of the problem.

community organizer: "Honestly, how does blaming anarchists for people in Oakland expressing rage against police violence advance the cause of justice?"

When "anarchists" vandalize and destroy the property of individual independent small business _working_ people of _color_ in _Oakland_ -- all of whom undoubtedly agree with our anti-killer cops protests -- people who are just trying to eke out a small reasonable living with some level of dignity and _eat_. Now maybe young privileged "anarchist" wanna-be's don't have to earn a living, but I assume they have to eat too. We don't turn a blind eye to _anything_-goes impulsiveness, political immaturity and lack of consciousness. That's no way to develop and grow a movement. As I said before, maybe some of us can go destroy politically undisciplined and nonconscious young "anarchist's" and those undisciplined, nonconscious and untactical protesters' of color individual property and cars and see how _they_ like it.

community organizer: "...How does it help us build power to advance our goals? How can we stay clear on our vision and move forward from here?"

When we realized that even when Malcolm X said, "By any means necessasry", he didn't mean by _anythingg-goes at all_ that some immature overblown wanna-be "Revolutionary" wants to do -- because they think it's going to start the worldwide Revolution! Malcolm wouldn't agree with small business people's of color businesses and property being targeted. That's the difference between and where an _immature_ and a _mature_ political movement comes in. That's where not alienating your sincere allies come in. That's where political _discipline_ and _consciouness_ come in. Most of all, Malcolm was _CONSCIOUS_ & _DISCIPLINED_.
by Focus anger on cops, not stores!
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 11:53 AM
Here's another critique from afar, someone who used to visit the Bay area occasionally. The issue of police brutality is not limited to race, as witnessed by the demographics of the protest. People of lower income status are often discriminated against regardless of their race, so we can't just limit police brutality to race alone. If ALL people would rally together against the police when they commit acts of violence against ANY people regardless of race, then this pattern of abuse by police state officials would cease..

The police have never done me any good, never were there to help me when i was actually physically attacked by random thugs, though whenever i try to go somewhere and sleep outdoors for the night they're sure to pop up from out of nowhere and tell me that i "cannot sleep there" or else i'll be hauled off to jail. So i would be better off without them, and deal with the thugs as any other vigilante would in self defense. Nobody will come to rescue me, so i'll need to defend myself..

So personally i hate the police and wish them nothing less than a swift death. Or if they want to live a decent life, they could just quit their job, lose the badge and become human beings once again. The police are useless parasites in society and only exist to protect the wealthy corporate class from the less fortunate victims of capitalism. Protecting the weak and vulnerable is what they are supposed to do, yet just look at all the rapes, random violence, child molestations and kidnappings that happen under their watch on a daily basis..

Community involvement and watchfullness is what is needed for personal public safety, better off to kick the cops out of the neighborhoods and recruit members of the public to perform their jobs of safety enforcement better than the cops ever did. Making police obselete is the goal we should all be working towards..

We'ld be better off inviting the Taliban over here to deal with the rapists, drug dealers and child molesters, at least the Taliban can get the job done and will remove the scumbag child molesters and rapists from off the face of the Earth once and for all..

We'ld also be better off bringing back the guillotine from the French Revolution days and having a modern day Maximillian Robespierre preside over the public execution of criminal corporate CEOs, banking execs, Bernie Madoffs and the scumbag police that protect them and their white collar crimes. That's how i honestly feel, i'm not really a fan of non-violence or pacifism anymore when dealing with the police state or corporate capitalist pigs..

On the other hand, having a riot because of a police shooting and then turning in the same protest to vandalize local store owners is confusing and misleading. If people are angry and want to protest capitalism in general, there are far better targets than "Joe's Deli" or some small storefront that is an independent business. How about the billions of McDonalds, Burger Kings and other chain franchise corporate stores that dot the landscape? There's plenty of other targets besides locally owned businesses that are far more deserving of vandalism..

Anger at a specific police incident should be directed at the police themselves, not other random targets that happen to be there nearby. If people really want to send a message, than firebomb the police stations, police cars and other specific targets, escalate the tensions until they need to bring in the National Guard (if we could get them out of Iraq) to respond to the violence and make it a globally remembered incident that nobody will forget for a long time..
by Jan Sedlak
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 3:23 PM
The environment of the city, in which we inhabit on a daily basis, is built to keep us alienated from each other, ourselves and the wild. The city is a non-liberatory zone made to enhance the flow of capital. It was specifically designed by the rich to make them more money and to keep us from really getting to know one another.

The world we inhabit is a giant catastrophe. 214,000 acres are deforested a day, 13 million tons of toxic waste are released into the atmosphere everyday, 225 species go extinct every 24 hours, millions dead in Iraq, people work their asses of in sweatshops and plantations, animals are forced to endure the misery of factory farms, cops kill poor people on a daily basis. Our lives have become shallow and meaningless, I mean just look at shows like 'Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader'.

We need to destroy ineffective 'professional activists' who just channel everyone's rage at the system as a whole into their specific issue, and then use that momentum to enter a dialogue with those in power to gain ground on their specific issue.

There is a reason why activists want to keep it peaceful. It's because general unmediated, unrepresented revolt threatens their comfy, safe, holier than thou little lives. It keeps them in a position of authority. By rioting it ruins the relationship they have built with their masters. That and they are scared shitless of actually fighting back.

There is a reason the police are trying to keep the protests peaceful. It's because peace allows them to kill again, it protects all of the miserable institutions in place. If the anarchists win, there would be no police.

I say sabotage it all, destroy everything, break every last window and kill every last cop. Then let's make a way of life that is way less fucked up than this circus of agony.

Jan Sedlak

(this article is for informational purposes only and should not encourage any illegal attacks on this system that has committed too many horrors to name)
Jan Sedlak: "I say sabotage it all, destroy everything, break every last window.... Then let's make a way of life that is way less fucked up than this circus of agony."

The previous paragraphs of "Jan Sedlak" post are the rhetorical set-up (stuff that we could all generally agree with or that seem reasonable); the last sentence is the dead give-away and tell-all.

This "Jan Sedlak" is either a NUTCASE with his own delusions of self-grandeur, psychotic agenda -- or an agent provocateur informant.

Nobody who publicly, blatantly, explicitly and openly -- in print on the internet, no less -- calls for rampant, indiscriminate property destruction against _everyone_ -- and then say that he wants to make "a less fucked-up way of life" (you see the contradiction?) -- uses their full name, unless they're A PSYCHOTIC NUTCASE (trying to make US look psychotic) -- or an AGENT PROVOCATEUR INFORMANT (trying to make US look psychotic and do psychotic things) for police intelligence hoping to draw others in -- and they certainly don't work in behalf of The People.

Also, all 3 websites listed are some of the smoothest, slickest, glossiest, most up-to-date, spare no time & expense, websites, I've ever seen for, supposedly, "anarchists", who normally are on a shoestring budget on everything else (including themselves).
by discipline
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 5:18 PM
...I wouldn't get near him with a 30 yard barge pole.