Wednesday, February 1, 2012

"Occupy Oakland" No Longer Exists!

The Occupy Oakland movement, as we used to know it, no longer exists. Oh, the name still exists, but it no longer has the same intent, purpose, ideals, or spirit that it once had. The movement has been compromised, co-opted, and taken hostage by outside interests who prefer insurrection over results, and destructive violence over peaceful engagement. They now refer to themselves increasingly as the Oakland Commune, rather than Occupy Oakland.

The activities of the last weekend in January reinforce what I have believed for several months now – that the Occupy Oakland movement has itself been occupied – by a dark and menacing force of insurrectionists known as Black Bloc Anarchists.

It started with some of the earlier demonstrations last Fall, when small groups of protesters, dressed in black (commonly wearing ski masks or “hoodies” with scarves over their faces to hide their identities) smashed and vandalized both private and public property, broke windows, spray painted walls, windows, and cars; overturned trash and recycling bins; and set fires, including burning the American flag.
If past experience is an indicator, we will probably find that most of these anarchists are not Occupy Oakland members or supporters and not from Oakland at all, but came to town to create an insurrection from what had been planned to be a peaceful demonstration. These people had their own cause and agenda, and saw the Occupy Oakland demonstration as an opportunity to stir things up a bit.
Time Magazine addressed this in its report: “Occupy Oakland Embraces Nonviolence, but Debates 'Black Bloc' Tactics.
Current TV headlined this last demonstration as:”OWS Anarchist Violence in Oakland; The 0.99% Strike Again!
A couple of months ago, a document was being passed out to explain the involvement of anarchists in the Occupy Oakland movement. This included a sketch of Frank Ogawa Plaza (which the movement refers to as Oscar Grant Plaza) that depicted the various activities that took place there. You will notice that everything was centered around “Anarchist Principles In Action.” If the diagram does not display on your computer, you can view it at this link.
The takeover now seems to be all but complete. The Occupy Oakland movement will probably never be the same again.

The  links below are to a few blog items that also deal with "Occupy Oakland" and its recent activities, in which more than 400 protesters were arrested.

This Is Not the Occupy Oakland Movement 

When the Inclusive Occupy Oakland Movement Became the White Anarchist Movement 

Occupy Oakland’s Violent Turn Proves the Movement Has Lost Its Way 

My best advice to those who want to resolve their differences with our government in an effective manner is to disengage from the present violence-leaning, radical elements, re-engage with peaceful supporters who are more representative of the 99%, propose solutions, and act toward getting those solutions enacted.

Develop a structure and an agenda with specific actions to be taken, not just a list of charges and complaints.  Establish a formal dialog between the group and the different levels of government.  Select intelligent and articulate individuals to represent the interests of the movement to legislators, and get these people on radio and television talk shows to present the movement's agenda, goals, objectives, and proposed solutions. 

Let the country know that there are real people behind this movement and that they are not just a mob of unemployable miscreants looking for a handout from the rich. Let them know that they have thought through the issues very carefully and that they want to be part of the solution and not just an addition to the problems we already have.  

And, most of all, register to vote, if you aren't already registered, and take out your anger  in the upcoming elections.  Vote against the very people who caused this mess and who are not doing anything of substance to correct it.  We need to repopulate our federal and state governments with representation that foster the same ideals as the original Occupy movement and who will do something to rectify the situation.
Then we might see some meaningful and constructive dialogue and get some positive and lasting results.

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