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Bay of Rage: Anticut #3 Solidarity with the Pelican Bay Strike, Oakland, 7/8/11: photos, 1 of 2
by dave id
Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:58 PM
On Friday, July 8th, Bay of Rage held its third Anticut demonstration, this time in solidarity with hunger strikers at Pelican Bay and across the California prison system. After a short rally at Telegraph and Broadway, a defiant march snaked its way through the streets of downtown Oakland toward the North County jail at 7th Street and Clay, where chants and speeches rang out calling for an end to the prison industrial complex and the capitalist system that necessitates incarcerating so many people. Inmates aware of the demonstration outside could be heard banging on the windows of the jail.
[Pictured above: Demonstrating and making noise in front of the North County jail.]

From Austerity Is Prison (Communique from Anticut 3):

Now, finally, the money is gone. The world has run out of future, used it up, wasted it on the grotesque fantasies of the rich, on technologies of death and alienation, on dead cities. Everywhere the same refrain, the same banners and headlines: there is nothing left for you. From the US to Greece, from Chile to Spain, whatever human face the State might have had: gone. The State is no longer a provider of education or care, jobs or housing. It is just a police force, a prison system, a bureaucracy with guns. . .

Sometimes, maybe, we get treated to some political theater: faked expressions of concern or outrage from the puffy, grimacing faces. But the result is always the same – in Oakland, in Sacramento, in Washington, in the offices of the IMF – whatever the owners of wealth want, they get. The rest of us are sacrificed on the altar of the bottom line.

No money on which to retire after a lifetime of crushing work. No money to go to college. No money for the grade schools and high schools, which every day look more and more like prisons. No money for the people maimed, sickened and driven insane by this unbearable society.

We could go through the new California budget line by line, but you basically already know what it contains. It’s not a budget but a bludgeon. Every line says the same thing: Fuck you. Die.

Anticut 3: Austerity is Prison event announcement

Bay of Rage's Anticut 2 Takes on Banks, Defends Libraries; Oakland Police Arrest Four

Bay of Rage

In all, over the course of the 2-hour demonstration, perhaps over 50 or more Oakland police officers -- on foot and in vehicles -- and likely over 20 cars, SUVs, and vans, mostly unmarked, tracked and confronted a group of maybe 100 people that simply spoke out, marched, chanted, and later danced against the prison industrial complex. Of course, “Fight the cops, burn the prisons! Anarchy and communism!" is not necessarily music to cops' ears.
§Reading the hunger strikers' demands
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§The march is off down Broadway
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"Not so fast," says OPD
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"Okay, we'll take the sidewalk..."
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"...and then 14th Street"
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"Get off the street and go down Franklin"
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"Okay, we'll *take* Franklin then"
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"Back onto the sidewalk!"
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§Turning *onto* 12th Street
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§"Hey, wait a minute," cops hussle to keep up
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§Standoff at 12th Street and Broadway
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§Taking sidewalk down Broadway
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§Being pushed off of 10th Street
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§Back on the sidewalk at 10th and Washington
by dave id Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 12:59 PM
§Photos continued
by dave id Tuesday Jul 12th, 2011 7:32 PM

Bay of Rage: Anticut #3 Solidarity with the Pelican Bay Strike, Oakland, 7/8/11: photos, 2 of 2

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by The usual suspects
Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 3:21 PM
If I was more generous than I am I'd suggest an 'A' for effort to the authors of this leaflet. However:

1. The only people who are likely to make it all the way through this are people with a lifetime subscription to "Fire to the Prisons."

You need to hone your communications chops so that you can say something incisive and inflammatory that has some likelihood of being read by contemporary, conventional, mainstream working people, not just subjectively insurrectionary drop-outs, and this leaflet isn't doing that.

2. Supposing someone does read through this -- what practical, concrete, material actions can a reader of this statement take from it and engage in?

If you offer this analysis to a real person in the real world, like, say, for instance here, a working class 40-year old African American woman and current day Oakland resident, she will most likely think your posturing about destroying the police translates to allwoing total free reign for criminal-minded lumpen mooks who listen to too much hip-hop to prey on her and on other honest working people.

Your big problem here is your failure to grasp the different between the wage-earning class and lumpens. The only people who can animate a real alternative to all the stuff you complain about are mainstream working people, acting together collectively around struggles that will most likely ignite out of some small mundane everyday life concern; hassles on a mass transit system are, in my humble opinion, may prove to be an extremely fruitful future source of this. And there's a world of difference between proles and lumpens -- you are not even beginning to get this. Lumpens are people who have been completely individuated by market relations. They do not have the potential collective organized leverage against capitalist society that the wage earning class does. The hunger strikers in Pelican Bay deserve support, but that doesn't mean having big illusions about either the revolutionary potential of prisoners, let alone pretending that every last individual in a maximum security facility is just an innocent victim of "The Man."

"This is why we say that all prisoners are political prisoners, their incarceration the product of the machinations of power, the flows of capital, and the structural prejudices of the police."

Oh really? In the abstract this certainly has some validity to it -- but what doesn it mean in real-world terms? Are you saying that all the men currently incarcerated in Pelican Bay be immediatly put back on the streets?

In this -- at this point wholly imaginary -- event of a total revolutionary upheaval, should all maximum security prisons be emptied?

Should every last individual currently incarcerated be let loose?

" of the most significant narratives in American history, the open resistance of the Black Panther Party and its affiliates in the civil war of the 1960s and 1970s."

Scrape a thin layer of dirt off the contemporary-action-faction anarchoid -- okay, let's make that a thick layer of dirt! -- and underneath you'll unfortunately often find a 1960's Mao-oid. Here we see typical anarchoid fawning over the pro-Stalin, nationalist, riddled by criminal sociopaths and police agents, politically incompetent Black Panthers. Hero-worship of the Black Panthers is a "most significant narrative" for posturing, overcompensating, ignorant slobs who could do with cracking open a few more history books. Aside from an overwhelmingly negative kill ratio against the police the only thing the Black Panthers had was cool taste in clothes and Ray-bans. The one enduring political impact the BPP had in Oakland, the city of their birth, and arguable the place they had the deepst roots and most intense visibility, was helping to get a pro-business Republican named Lionel Wilson elected the first black mayor of the city.

Martin Luther King Jr. and his efforts brought about more substantive liberatory change that the clueless Maoids and lumpen thugs of the Black Panther Party. If you are for real in your putative antagonism to capital and if this isn't just some easily dismissed streety posturing then you need to study actual movements for liberatory social change, like, for example, the real Civil Rights movement of King, and not wallow in self-indulgent and historically befuddled ideological fantasy life.

by Just Wondering
Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 8:27 PM
Nice "you think you're smart, but I'm smarter" critique. Bravo! Of course you miss the forest for the trees, that there was actually an action on Friday and not just a pamphlet. Actions can speak louder than words. The prisoners on 7th Street sure noticed, and so did plenty of bystanders. They saw that people can organize and act in ways besides complete subservience to the established police state, if even fleetingly at this point.

So, the same questions back to you? How many 40-year old working class African American women did you inspire to revolution, or inspire in any way, on Friday?

I'm guessing none, but feel free to correct me and elaborate if you spent Friday in East Oakland organizing the working class.
by Me
Sunday Jul 10th, 2011 11:42 PM
About the leaflet, the lumpen vs working class, the potential of prisoner revolt and about the black panthers.
IMO connecting the pelican bay strike with the anti- austerity efforts has little potential to interest the wage earning class.

Perhaps somebody from bay Rage can respond.
by Konsider
Monday Jul 11th, 2011 2:52 AM
Keating says that Bay of Rage "communication chops", as for instance in the leaflets distributed during the event in Oakland on Thursday, need to be watered down to accommodate a more favorable audience among mainstream workers by lessening it's hostility toward the prison industrial complex. This supposedly exaggerated animosity, Keating tells us is due to a lack of class consciousness on the part of Anarchists, misunderstanding the relationship "between the wage-earning class and lumpens" that prey upon them, who he says consist of "criminal-minded mooks who listen to too much hip-hop". According to Keating's reasoning, that "while hunger strikers in Pelican Bay deserve support", we should do so without completely repudiating the circumstances they're opposing.

Various black and white stereotypes stand out in Keating's commentary, among them the purity of the wage earning class. Those unable to find a job, and those who have abandoned looking go unmentioned, as for those not wishing to participate in the exploitation of their labor, they lack "the potential collective organized leverage against capitalist society that the wage earning class does". We are also to assume that all those imprisoned at Pelican Bay were previously unemployed -- to the extent there's merit in this observation, are we thus to conclude that those lacking a job are deserving of their circumstances? Failure to affirm no is somehow consistent with support of "Lumpens [who] are people" that "have been completely individuated by market relations".

Keating's arrival at such conclusions is due to his substitution of critical analysis with prejudice disguised as righteous rhetoric. The far reaching gap between those struggling for freedom, and the reconstitution of the familiar pretexts used to perpetuate imprisonment, are blatantly obvious throughout Keating's commentary despite his allusions to "substantive liberatory change."
by don't waste your time
Monday Jul 11th, 2011 12:00 PM
Kevin is a kook who's greatest claim to fame, or anything remotely approaching real activism, was placing fliers around the Mission 15 years ago. Big deal. How clever was that? He didn't build any lasting relationships, any lasting collaborations that still fight the good fight. He certainly didn't "eradicate" any yuppies. He didn't hold back the tide in the Mission or in the whole of San Francisco, for that matter. The entire city was lost to the wealthy. It's more homogeneous than ever. And MLK would laugh at his uselessness.

He doesn't know how to play nice with others, and by that I mean anyone really, and has never in his life organized anything successful. It is completely laughable for him to imply that anything he has ever said or done is even remotely appealing to 40-year old African American working women in Oakland. That's just Kevin being Kevin, living in his fantasy world, his own ivory tower build with spit and twigs, throwing out straw man arguments like he knows what he's talking about. Has he ever spent any serious time with "lumpen" or "working class" or any people of color in Oakland? Hell no, he hasn't. Oakland is an oversimplified caricature to Kevin, only seen through the eyes of his own racial prejudice (and when he speaks of 40-year old women being afraid of those crazy hyphey whippersnappers, he's probably projecting his own fears of Oakland and all of its so scary inhabitants). He knows nothing about the people of Oakland other than what he reads in books, Chip Johnson columns, or sees on TV. He has no bonds nor intimate understanding of anyone here, past or present. Hell, he can't even pull ten white people together in SF for any sort of action because no one trusts him. And then he's going to accuse anyone else of failing to properly reach out to the people of Oakland? He has gall, I'll give him that.

He spends most of his "activist" time *by himself* writing 10,000-word essays on Indybay about how his failures to achieve even one iota of change during his various misadventures a decade ago or whenever are the fault of other people. He seems to fancy himself as some kind of underappreciated or misunderstood Zinn or Chomsky. If only the world would just bow down to Kevin, we'd find ourselves in an enlightened utopia in no time.

And now like the old irrelevant man he is, deluding himself that he alone is the righteous arbiter of who is worthy and who is not in Oakland, who activists should organize with and who should be in prison, he's going to rail against listening to "too much hiphop" as if there aren't major revolutionary undertones and strains in the genre. As he spouts his indignation, he reveals his own ignorance without even realizing it.

He's full of sound and fury but signifies nothing. Ignore him and he will crawl back under his rock for another few years. Bay of Rage owes this self-important twit not a minute of their time.
by Dan
Monday Jul 11th, 2011 8:54 PM

Any protest that does not have an identifiable and achievable goal is doomed to only make those protesting feel good about being impotent with rage. Without clear and concise goals, merely blocking traffic and yelling at cops will be the definitive outcomes.

Call me cointelpro, delete the comment, but, having read posts on this site from the start and been to/seen the regulars at protests like this, the anarcho-dogma and elitism has accomplished nothing significant when measured against its claims. More self-examination needs to happen if any society examination is to happen.

by Konsider
Tuesday Jul 12th, 2011 1:57 AM
I am not sure what Dan means by having clear and concise goals, and would like him to elaborate so as to perhaps better enhance our activities. My own participation in the actions have been motivated by my rage at the fact that rich people keep continuing to fuck us over. From my perspective the Anticut actions have had a very precise intention: the abolition of capitalism.

I think the leaflet that was distributed at the second action was much more straight forward and succinct then the recent one. I can see how people might be overwhelmed by the latest leaflet, which is more like an article than a statement. Nevertheless, I also think this criticism is secondary because the actions themselves are far more important.
Say it ain't so, Kevin. Kevin, like the rest of San Franciso YUPpie liberals he used to protest, has become one of them. His prejudices and predilections reflect the rest of rich or wannabe rich San Francisco. Listen to the words of Phil Ochs' song "Love me I'm a Liberal" and you have the spirit Kevin writes this letter in. So prisoners on hunger strike are not revolutionaries, while Martin Luther King is.

He creates a dichotomy between "conventional" working class people and real people in the real neighborhoods of Oakland. In these days of cutbacks and austerity, the divide between the working proletariat, the unemployed and the lumpen is becoming less and less clear, and Kevin because of his white wine predilections doesn't want to win over the lumpen, but instead to claim they're all mooks we should be afraid of.

And Keiting wants to keep the prisons open. He keeps asking if we should let the prisoners go. Now the demands of the hunger strike are fairly modest, which Kevin somewhere in the middle of his diatribe says he supports, but any real anarchist or left communist (which kk in the past has claimed he was) would answer his question by saying, 'yes, let the prisoners go'. Kevin at one point historically suggested running Gloria La Riva for sheriff of San Francisco. Maybe Kevin with his new stance tough on crime (and hip hop) is nominating himself instead.
by Kevin Keating
Tuesday Jul 12th, 2011 11:59 AM
Dan is right.

Dean should go take a bath.
by "Dean"
Tuesday Jul 12th, 2011 12:08 PM
Free Whitey Bulger -- now! Free all Whitey Bulgers everywhere!

If you want to turn the only social strata who will matter in a mass anti-capitalist social movement in the future -- mainstream working people, mostly as wage earners, and a wide swath of what will be by then the former "middle class" -- into hard-core right wing Republicans, tell them that your "Free Whitey Bulger Now" brand of anarchism means immediate liberty for every murderer, sexual predator and criminal sociopath currently incarcerated in every last penitentiary in the US.

Most people who are locked up today probably shouldn't be inside -- but a large minority of those who are incarcerated should be -- FOREVER. This will also be the case in the difficult-to-imagine scenario of a mass revolutionary movement sweeping away the current owners and rulers of the US. A communist, or, if you must, an anarcho-communist revolution is going to be first and foremost about getting rid of wage labor, commodity production, and the political expressions of capitalist power -- it will absolutely not be about the instant creation of a perfect society, or an immediate abolition of each and every last unpleasant and undesirable feature of life on today's planet earth.

What's the Revolt-Against-All-Forms-Of (presumably subconscious parental) Authority-With-A-Capital-A crowd's alternative here:

1. All the hardcore anti-social predator and parasite types go free -- for an endless canival of mayhem, and mostly at the expense of working class and poor people, and overwhelmingly non-white working people at that,

2. Find the worst ones and kill them? That's a worse and more inhumane alternative that the one we now see under a democratic capitalist polity -- and that's one hell of an indictment of your specious, puerile brand of anarchism!

3. Build air conditioned condos for them and parachute in food and supplies in a luxury Gulag surrounded by a thousand miles of sand in Central Asia? A society making the jump to a post-market egalitarian order won't have the resources to pull that off -- and the Central Asians might have something to say about it as well.

Revolutionary subversion is about a real response to real problems, not demanding a non-existent magic answer and juvenile posturing. Support for Pelican Bay hunger strikers doesn't mean anything as repugnant and idiotic as demanding that every last individual locked up in Pelican Bay be set free.

Find a man who's done time in the joint -- anyone qualitatively and ethically to the left of the late and unlamented Ted Bundy, that is -- and ask him if he thinks that everybody in the penitentiary should be immediately set free.

Kevin Keating
I don't have anything of my own going on now and my comments are primarily intended to show my intellectual superiority as I write from my isolation chamber in SF.

I've read three books about the Black Panthers and I've come to the conclusion that their greatest achievement was losing a mayoral election because most of them were uneducated, criminal mooks. I say mooks because that is more socially acceptable than calling them thugs, which to politically correct nazis is just a shade away from using the n-word, and I read in a book that the n-word is no longer acceptable. When I walk down the street, people glare at me when I yell "thug" at the African Americans I pass. The staring makes me uncomfortable. I have peed myself before when this happens. So I learned to mumble "mooks" under my breath and I haven't been murdered yet.

There are far too many scary people in Oakland who are good for nothing and deserve to be in jail. Too many of them admire the legacy of the Black Panthers' food programs and standing up to the police which only proves my point. The Black Panthers were a failure and it had nothing to do with the FBI and everything to do with the fact that they were criminally-minded menaces to society.

I saw a show on TV that said there are over 10,000 gang members in Oakland today and a bunch of lefty-anarchoid-blackpanther-nationofislam-whackos objected, but I think the TV show probably undercounted and it's more like half of the population. There are no two ways about it. I feel unsafe when I'm walking down Foothill Boulevard after a night of planning the revolution with my 40-year old African American women friends. I hear hiphop blaring from cars and houses as I walk and I know that the mooks who listen to such music are probably thinking about robbing me. The Zulu beats make me think of old Tarzan movies and cannibalism. I probably taste really good, better than most people, and the thought of ending up on some mook's dinner plate makes me wet my pants, big time. If these people would only listen to some good folk or trance music, I would feel much safer and have to change my diaper less often.

Please, anyone, come visit me in my isolation chamber and I can show you the books I have and why that means I know more than you about the people of Oakland, especially 40-year old African American women. You anarchy people are just crazy. You must want a world filled with scary murder and rape people running around everywhere, just like the Black Panthers did. Black Panthers groupies in Oakland only show how right I am about everything.

I will publish in the future Part II. My working title is "Don't even get me started about all of the mooks in Oakland who wear baggy pants."

- Buster
by Konsider
Thursday Jul 14th, 2011 3:42 AM
Keating is basically saying there is no alternative to incarceration, and denounces those attempting to find one as lacking "a real response to real problems". But my big question to him is what he thinks about war criminals like Henry Kissinger, after being responsible for killing literally hundreds and hundreds of thousand's of people, having the ability to walk around and start up his own firm? Kissenger is just one of an endless number of examples of rich politician, and corporate executive murderers who have absolutely no worry of places like Pelican Bay. This scenario continues thanks to people like Keating who are afraid of the likes of Ted Bundy, while people are probably being killed, thanks to US foreign policy, in drone strikes even as I write this.
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