On Tuesday, November 3rd, 2020, an unexpected crime wave spread across Oakland, a violent series of encounters that took place while thousand of liberals were glued to their screens, eager to find out which elderly, white male rapist would be coronated this January 2021. The police were prepared for riots in the case that Trump won the election, an outcome that became increasingly distant as the night dragged on. With all their resources concentrated downtown, the police were caught with their pants down when roving caravans of cars engaged in a crime-wave that spanned almost nine miles. In their desperation, the police gunned down a 20 year old father named Jonathan Torres Ramirez, a cold-blooded murder that was quickly buried under a mountain of election propaganda. Had there been thousands of people rioting downtown, this shooting could have possibly been avoided, but as it turned out, all those angry thousands were at home watching a pointless charade transpire across all levels of modern media. At the end of it all, a young man is dead, and the worst part is that few people even know it happened. Those who cannot help but remember are his family, his friends, and his community.
On a GoFundMe page set up by his family, the author explains that Jonathan’s life was cut extremely short and now we plead with anyone and everyone if your circumstances permit help us raise money to give him the proper goodbye that he deserves. Jonathan was born and raised in Oakland, California. He had just turned 20 in August and he had so much of his life to still live. He leaves behind a mother, a father, 2 brothers, 2 sisters & a one year old son. In the three weeks that this page has been posted, it has earned just over half of its 15K goal. Meanwhile, the OPD waited an entire week before releasing details of the shooting and did their best to frame Jonathan in the most dangerous rhetoric.
According to them, Jonathan was robbing a cannabis grow-op and was in a car that rammed into three officers near the corner of International and 92nd Avenue, injuring all of them. In response, the police opened up on the car, killing Jonathan just to protect some flowers that people were going to sell for money. As all of this unfolded, several other grow-ops were robbed and, in one instance, a gun battle took place that left a security guard with bullet wounds. At another weed store, a crew drove a stolen car through the front windows and made off with over a 100K in product. Earlier, a call to storm the Bayfair Mall in San Leandro began to circulate on the internet, although the police arrived before enough people could gather. Further north in the Laurel District of Oakland, other crews robbed the High Street Pharmacy and stole mostly pharmaceuticals (ie: medicine). Elsewhere, entirely different crews mobbed the Best Buy in Emeryville, the Starbucks in the Fruitvale Village mall, and various other stores in East Oakland. Local mainstream media came out the next morning with some pro-law-and-order articles, although that didn’t stop another crime wave from unfolding.
On Wednesday, November 4th, an armed caravan of looters raided a Big 5 sporting goods store in San Lorenzo, stealing multiple rounds of ammunition. Earlier, another armed group raided the CVS in Emeryville, almost fifteen miles away, and stole mostly pharmaceuticals (ie: medicine). Later that evening, another group robbed a shoe store in Richmond, making off with at least 30K worth of Yeezy sneakers. By the end of that second night, 25 people were in jail, 14 guns had been seized, and another young father was dead at the hands of the police. Aside from Best Buy and CVS, most of the targets in this crime wave were smaller businesses, a fact that points to a dire need for money (and medicine). Unlike the looting that followed George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis, this looting was met with deadly force by the OPD, a clear signal of their future intentions.
Unlike the police, whose job it is to kill in the name of property, every looter who participated in the election night crime wave is truly brave. For two nights in a row, they risked their lives to provide for their families, a noble fact the media never reports on. Of all the jobs in this miserable capitalist world, the job of the criminal is the most risky. The police employ lethal violence against them every day, all in the name of defending capitalism, and after this last crime wave, they did their best to instill fear in the community they just terrorized. As one goon from the Alameda County Sheriffs put it, it is just not going to end well for them if they do not cease and desist what they are doing. A cop has never uttered a clearer warning, and he did so knowing the COVID crisis is causing rampant poverty. Without a doubt, these words will soon come back to haunt this cowardly stooge.
One might imagine this lethal repression to have had an immediate effect, but not here in the Bay Area. These highly mobile crews simply shifted their focus to San Francisco and resumed their pillaging of this half-dead capitalist system. On November 9th, an armed man barged into the luxury Yves Saint-Laurent store in Union Square, got the security guard on the ground, and guarded the door while two men and two women stole over 50K in handbags. So far, none of them have been caught, just as no one died, which is all good, and should stay that way. Incidentally, this would be the third time that same YSL store has been robbed in three months, with losses will-over 100K. Meanwhile, down the street, a Walgreens is now permanently closing after being robbed so many times. This is the new normal, and it will only increase in scale. Three days after the robbery at YSL, a film crew was robbed at gunpoint in the Marina District, the thieves making off with over 50K in gear. No one was injured or even touched in then encounter, just as no one was caught. Needless to say, no one died.
This is the very real situation in the Bay Area right now. Kamala Harris might like to claim Oakland and Berkeley as part of her pseudo-spiritual matrix, but at the end of the day, she would be the first to demand that all of these thieves receive the harshest sentences in her COVID-ridden prisons. While she spouts meaningless gibberish for the cameras, people in Oakland are struggling to pay the bills and afford their medicine, a problem that crime can quickly alleviate. Without capitalism, there is no crime, and those who maintain this death-worshipping economy are responsible from every robbery, theft, and looting spree. Crime is the natural consequence of treating all life as a commodity, and in this shitty world where most people would rather slave away for a boss rather than starve, the criminal is always the most honest figure, for they know that it is right to steal from those who have stolen everything. All revolutions are built on this understanding.
Anyway, as a reminder of Berkeley’s actual radical traditions, someone torched an under-construction luxury apartment building on November 25th, completely destroying it. Like other projects nearby, this building was meant to cash in on its proximity to UC Berkeley and the wealthy students with massively disposable incomes. Just feet away from where its entrance would have been, dozens of people beg for change, shoot heroin, and sleep in doorways everyday, a situation people like Kamala Harris consider to be normal. Let the account of this arson and these crimes be a reminder of what rebellion can actually mean in this corrupt excuse of a society. While thousands sat and waited for the results of an election, others chose to strike, regardless of who won. This is what are future looks like, so we suggest you get used to it.
Long Live Jonathan Torres Ramirez!