We feel that many of the observations and arguments in the “Who Is Oakland” pamphlet are regionally specific to the Bay Area and to what we witnessed as participants in Occupy Oakland. In Occupy Los Angeles, the informal “leadership” of many of the committees and the general assembly have discussions about the role of the police and how the “unity” of the 99% is complicated by racism, sexism, and patriarchy. In Los Angeles, this culminated in an incident where a “participant in OccupyLA distributed fliers at the October 4 General Assembly with the names and photos of 25 individuals associated with the Committee to End Police Brutality and accusing these participants…of trying to highjack and destroy the movement and provoking the police.” Obviously such dynamics were also widespread in Occupy Oakland, but our pamphlet also explores how Occupy Oakland’s relatively greater racial and ethnic diversity, and the city’s peculiar radical history, impacted its immediate, nationally unpopular stance on the police, city government, and Democratic Party pressure groups like MoveOn.
For more context on Occupy LA, please see the following two statements – the first from Decolonize LA and the second from Paracaidistas Collective, reposted below. Read the rest of this entry »