another “emergency” proposal for longview?

Categories: Discussion, Open Mic

Proposal: Proposal to support the EGT Grain Ship arrival Action
***EGT Grain Ship Arrival – Call to Action by Occupy Longview Washington***
Occupy Longview (Washington) has put out a call to
action to block the EGT grain ship expected to arrive in
Longview mid-January.
There has already been discussion between occupies in various cities
to caravan here to Longview, WA for the purpose of blocking this ship.
We, Occupy Oakland, endorse this call and stand ready to help
with the planning and coordinating to make this action successful.
Occupy Oakland’s port shutdown working group / labor solidarity committee
will continue to meet and will help promote this action through the west
coast network we developed for D12.
We join Longview in calling out to all occupies, from New York City down to
Florida, all the way through to the West Coast, to join us in solidarity.
What Longview needs:
1)   Numbers! We need to have a large turn-out. We need your bodies!
2)   Media coordination/help
3)   Finances/donated funds from larger occupies (for buses, housing
early arrivers, etc.)
4)   Suggest a coordinated Inter-Occupy Group/Conference Call(s)
(nationwide) specifically for this action.
1. the same people in the movement, the ones who talk the loudest and the fastest, are putting this third proposal in support of longview forth (nov. 2 shut down, and dec. 12th shutdown)
2. they will get their way.
3. they will get even more money to support this action.
i hope i am wrong, but WHAT THE HELL is this hard-on people in the oakland movement have for longview?  they are struggling and everything, yes, but what about OAKLAND folks right here?
let’s not forget that $1,000 was proposed (and approved) to support occupations in washington as well.
i am getting kind of pissed off and suspicious about all of these oakland efforts, money, and time being devoted to washington.
and how is this AN EMERGENCY again?  twice before the GA was told that decisions needed to be made as “emergencies.”  this is bullshit.

35 Responses to “another “emergency” proposal for longview?”

  1. a_small_voice

    bay dialectic,

    your last two posts are pretty interesting. i’m not sure if you are trying to reach me and convince me, trying to get me to admit i’m a myopic liberal whose opinion does not matter in a radical movement whose reach transcends geographic boundaries in a war against the ruling class, or if you’re simply soapboxing for pleasure in this forum.

    you seem to be convinced that the nov. 2nd shutdown and dec. 12th shutdown were not primarily about fighting the fight against the EGT. i disagree with you, plain and simple. i know what i’ve read in proposals and statements, and i know what i’ve heard directly from the leaders of this movement with my own ears. that was the focus of the two actions, and this third move (endorsement of occupy longview) is another step in that ongoing struggle between local 21 and EGT. down with capitalism, down with the 1%, up with the working class, yeah, i get that. i just don’t think those sentiments were the main motivators for these actions.

    you said that “the people in the projects seemed to get it.” well that’s just wonderful. perhaps those same people in the projects will join in OO committees, make decisions in OO, vote at GA, and perhaps even join you in the caravan to longview. i hope that you exchanged contact info with some of those people in the projects who seemed to get it.

    to recap my original message: the emergency proposal process is being abused. there needs to be a shift in focus on local issues rather than this ongoing focus on longview. i think that later on (and i hope i am wrong), money will be requested to support occupy longview’s january action.

  2. baydialectic

    I’ve returned to finish my post begun above l^l

    “does a person have to be a radical on your terms to be taken seriously in this movement?”

    I’ve already indicated that I think the Occupy Movement is pointless if it isn’t anti-capitalist. It would be akin to a movement for change in the former Soviet Union that wasn’t anti-stalinist. The hellish conditions we face as members of the working class (falling real wages, privatization of the social sphere, social cutbacks, etc) and as humans (environmental degradation, alienation, war, etc) have not come about because there aren’t enough liberals struggling on behalf of illusory change. It would be a terrible shame if the Occupy Movement became just another ineffectual liberal movement/outfit.

    Whether people have to be “radical” on my “terms” to be taken seriously by me is a loaded question. I’d prefer to ask you whether you consider *yourself* a radical, and, if so, what does that mean to you? How do you think the ruling class can be effectively challenged? By building a movement that eschews actions that transcend local particularities?

    “i am sure there are those who participated in that action because they thought they were fighting the 1%, or because they were demonstrating “working class power.” i won’t begrudge anyone their reasons for actually being there. however, according to the leaders of OO and the organizers of this action (which you have said you are not), the port was shut down on nov. 2 in order to fight against the EGT on behalf of local 21.”

    This an outright DISTORTION. In both actions, the ports were identified as sites of the power of the 1%. “Strike back against the 1%!” “Occupy Strikes Back!” and “Wall Street on the Waterfront” were slogans used in the lead-up to these actions and clearly express the class–as opposed to narrowly single-issue–nature of the mobilizations at the ports.

    If I had my druthers, there would have been less emphasis on the Longview struggle in the lead-up to December 12th than there was, but it IS NOT TRUE that December 12th was only about the EGT struggle. “Occupy Strikes Back” conveys this plainly.

    The fact that the president of the Longview local supported the port shut-downs doesn’t change the fact that they were–just as much, if not more–actions against the 1% (the scum who own the economy) generally.

    Although you haven’t stated this explicitly, you seem to think that working class Oaklanders all embrace your Oakland-centric, post-modernist rejection of the port shut-downs as irrelevant and politically opaque. I wish you were there when we were marching back up 7th Street after the November 2nd shut-down. The people in the projects seemed to “get it” if the overwhelmingly positive–and even effusive–expressions of support they conveyed (pumping fists, applause, laughter, honking horns, etc) are any indication. I got a clear sense that they understood that targeting the ports makes eminent sense; it’s where the economic power in Oakland is located, after all. At the time it came to me that there was something analogous between the Port of Oakland and a western oil corporation in the Niger Delta–a cash cow that the “locals” receive few or any benefits from. The people in the Niger Delta, I am certain, do not attack those who attack the oil corporations on grounds they’re not attending to local issues or aren’t sufficiently concerned with the issues that local people confront.

    I wonder if you appreciate the strategic nature of ports as sites of capital circulation in the global economy. Do you accept that there are strategic nodes that are especially worthy and attractive targets for anti-capitalist struggle? Your politics, as far as I can tell, are (for instance) friendlier to a local struggle against budget cut-backs–that treats cut-backs as a local phenomena *even though they patently are not* and therefore has at best limited impact–than one that seeks to build mass actions that target the ruling class strategically with the goal of making general demands upon it. Where you seem to favor an Oakland-centric movement that frames the issues in terms of their impact on Oaklanders (broadly defined)–as if Oaklanders are affected by capitalist austerity in some sort of significantly specific sort of way–I believe that the Occupy Movement should attack that narrow framework, with the understanding that (to illustrate)
    cut-backs are best fought by making demands backed with actions that hit the ruling class in a way that *it can not ignore.* A mass movement that shuts-down all of the west-coast ports–and hopefully other strategic sites of capitalist reproduction–with a specific demand that cutbacks ON ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT be stopped and turned-around is a far better strategy than one that, in the name of some sort of bogus authenticity and “relevance,” spins itself in circles with demands that will never be met because the movement making them frames the struggle so narrowly as to surrender any possibility of amassing the power to be taken seriously. After all, a demand that’s not back-up with a CREDIBLE threat to damage ruling class interests is merely a request to be ignored.

  3. baydialectic

    My reference to a “fight” that I am willing to renounce isn’t between you and me, but the fight that the Oakland Occupy Movement has decided to mobilize to support against EGT.

  4. baydialectic

    Capitalism is the latently-violent class system we live under. It is global in scope. Struggles that challenge the dictatorship of capital seek to find its weak points and exploit them to the advantage of the working class, defined broadly. While it is to be expected that people will organize and take action where they live and work, failing to appreciate the INHERENT interconnectedness of the struggle–across capitalist jurisdictional boundaries and geography in general–is myopic in the extreme and is PRECISELY what the ruling class ENCOURAGES. The ruling class is more than pleased to see its subjects fighting for “scare resources” in a fit of narrow parochial local pride and/or myopia. It is happy when “radicals” frame their struggle as on behalf of, say, “Oakland” (a class-divided entity whose citizens, even the filthy rich ones, you apparently care more about than working class people outside of Oakland) because it KNOWS that such a struggle will be inward-looking and its demands *severely* restricted by the local framework it has adopted, and, as such, easily pitted against struggles that choose some other city (or jurisdiction) as their “main focus.” This is what I was attempting to convey with my Richmond-Oakland example, which you ignored. Would you embrace a plan to move all of the decent-paying jobs from Richmond (or Vallejo or Concord or Stockton or…) to Oakland if such a move “helped” Oakland’s job situation, tax base, and city services? Why wouldn’t you?

    Oakland’s problems can’t be overcome through a narrow focus on Oakland. Contra what some have implied, Oakland can’t be liberated in lieu of a struggle that attacks and overthrows the exploitative system of capital accumulation, which transcends city, state, and even national boundaries.

    Perhaps you’re unaware why right-wing movements (invariably “hosted” by exploiters) make a fetish of “devolution of powers,” “states’ rights,” and “localism.” They do so because exploiters want their subjects divided, mesmerized by the particularities of their condition and not the far greater commonalities that exist between them. This is why exploiters (like EGT) attack a small, weak local in Washington state as the first salvo in its war against the ILWU in general: they count on their subjects to consider such a move “irrelevant” to them. That there are ostensible opponents of the status quo who fall for this scam makes them all the more delighted.

    I don’t have time to address the rest of your post, which I consider lacking, right now, but will soon enough.

  5. a_small_voice

    “I honestly think you are making a fetish of ‘Oakland.'”

    so be it. oakland deserves all the fetishizing in its favor it can get right now. seems to me like you and your comrades have made a fetish out of the struggle of the longshoremen in longview, WA. big time.

    “radicals should reject politics that couches the problems in terms of local particularities.”

    oh, does a person have to be a radical on your terms to be taken seriously in this movement?

    “Oakland’s problems aren’t unique to Oakland, except in their particulars.”

    following your logic, i suppose the local 21’s problems ARE unique, and that’s why OO must champion their cause? is that your point?

    ” Indeed, I think you’re simply wrong if you think the destruction of the ILWU–for all of its problems–would have no consequences upon people in Oakland.”

    that isn’t what i said, and that isn’t what i think.

    “I can only imagine that this conclusion of yours is based on the false assumption that the November 2nd and December 12th port shut-downs were *all about* the struggle in Longview. That’s simply wrong. ”

    individuals shut down the port on the 2nd for many of their own personal reasons…kinda like the many reasons why people have joined the occupy movement. i am sure there are those who participated in that action because they thought they were fighting the 1%, or because they were demonstrating “working class power.” i won’t begrudge anyone their reasons for actually being there. however, according to the leaders of OO and the organizers of this action (which you have said you are not), the port was shut down on nov. 2 in order to fight against the EGT on behalf of local 21.
    that’s why dan coffman came to the GA and thanked OO for doing what it did. it was no coincidence. that’s also why he came to the GA when the dec. 12th proposal was initially slated as an “emergency proposal.”

    i do not support OO’s endorsement of occupy longview’s january action, but i’m not against it either. i am suspicious of all the efforts going toward longview, and i wonder why similar effort hasn’t been directed toward any local issues. this is probably part of the reason why the movement is not gaining local support and is losing participation.

  6. baydialectic

    The fourth paragraph got so mangled in my unfinished attempt to modify it, that I’m resending it alone here:

    If you think a parochial movement will ever become a powerful force against the capitalist system and the scum who own the economy and the political system (nationally and internationally), I really don’t know what to say.

  7. baydialectic

    Although I’m not opposed to the term per se, I don’t make a habit of throwing around “decentralization” PRECISELY because it can be misunderstood as an EXCUSE FOR PAROCHIALISM. Such as:

    “We’re a decentralized movement; THEREFORE, we don’t concern ourselves with global issues like climate change, eco-system destruction, imperialist war, or, for that matter, labor struggles outside of our area code.”

    Apparently you believe that parochial is “good” since it is by flows ineluctably from “decentralization.”

    If you think a parochial movement against the conditions the (global) system (of capitalism) will ever become a powerful force against the scum who own the economy and the political system, I really don’t know what to say.

    As far as my “declaration” that liberals will never be in a “strong position in the O/BA/OM”–all I was stating is a fact, NOT an edict, as you disingenuously suggest. Liberals qua liberals don’t stick around long in movements that become in the least confrontational (even when the “confronting” is coming 99% from the cops). Liberals who’re developing their politics to something more critical and radical *do* stay (and should be encouraged to do so), but, as it should go without saying, liberals *who’re moving away from being liberals* don’t contribute to “liberals having a strong position in the movement.”


  8. baydialectic

    You don’t have to have “all the answers” but as someone who’s obviously smart you probably have *some ideas.*

    I honestly think you are making a fetish of “Oakland.”

    In my view, radicals should reject politics that couches the problems in terms of local particularities, let alone local “nationalism.” Oakland is the name given to a circumscribed area in space; it is a political and jurisidictional entity. Oakland’s problems aren’t unique to Oakland, except in their particulars. If on national level (let alone international level) changes were implemented that helped the working class (waged and unwaged) and challenged the interests of the rich, these changes would help many in Oakland and Richmond and hurt some in Oakland and a few in Richmond.

    Pretend for a moment that the ruling class informed us tomorrow that all the decent-paying jobs in Richmond were moving to Oakland, increasing the number of jobs available to Oaklanders while increasing tax revenue and City of Oakland budgets. This may seem a silly hypothetical, but it is nonetheless true that emphasis on the local–as the “lens” through which we analyze present conditions and plan our responses to them–is often the basis, not of radical movements that challenge the totalizing system of capitalism, but instead to inter-city and inter-regional competition for resources (thus we now see pseudo-radical opponents of the December 12th port shut-down claiming without evidence that it will lead to jobs leaving Oakland to other ports–as if the December 12th action didn’t *explicitly* target *all* of the west coast ports–a focus that the “you’re only hurting Oakland” lame-asses categorically opposed).

    I guess to sum up (I’m tired), I think you’re off-base when you suggest that there is some conflict between actions in support of workers in a strategically-important sector of the capitalist economy who are under attack by a conglomerate corporation and actions that address and attack concrete conditions here “at home.” Indeed, I think you’re simply wrong if you think the destruction of the ILWU–for all of its problems–would have no consequences upon people in Oakland.

    Lastly: it’s not true that so much of “Oakland efforts, money, and time [are] being devoted to Washington’. I can only imagine that this conclusion of yours is based on the false assumption that the November 2nd and December 12th port shut-downs were *all about* the struggle in Longview. That’s simply wrong. The ports were targeted because they are bastions of ruling class power and therefore exceedingly legitimate–not to mention attractive–sites for collective struggle and demonstrations of working class power.

  9. calaverasgrandes

    Please re-read my post. Notice the differentiation I make between what I believe and what I think Occupy Oakland should be doing.
    My apologies if I equivocate. I have this terrible habit of trying to see both sides of an issue. Sometimes I even get confused and change sides mid sentence.
    ps I did not know we were in a fight? We are fighting? Fighting this is?
    I am having a talk. Go look at me saying “fuck” at the 99% declaration post.
    That is me trying to b fighty.

  10. calaverasgrandes

    A decentralized grass roots movement is by definition “parochial”.
    For someone that exonerates themselves of having any power, you sure are fast to declare that “liberals are never going to have a strong position in the Oakland/Bay Area Occupy Movement.”
    If trends continue as they have been, that is precisely where this is headed. Or havent you noticed the demographic shift?

  11. Simcha

    I’m considered white here and get some white privilege even though the truth is that I’m not entirely white. I get judged on the color of my skin and my gender (male) first and as you pointed out it’s not always an advantage here.

    I can’t convince you that there is systemic racism, heterosexism, religious discrimination, and other forms of bigotry or discrimination if you’ve never witnessed it or experienced it here. I’m glad you haven’t.

    The fact remains that our systems (governmental, economic, religious, social, etc.) are still constructed and operate out of a discriminatory paradigm. That is because we are all raised in this bigoted and discriminatory environment. Just because not everyone can see the truth of this, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    I get very tired of Bay Areans who insist that because the Bay Area is mostly liberal, that we are somehow free of all hatred, bigotry, and discrimination. Nothing could be farther from the truth. People who grew up here with a certain perspective in more privileged neighborhoods may not be aware of it. And that’s not necessary willful ignorance. Mostly it’s because they don’t have a more global or somewhat objective view of how the Bay Area is experienced by outsiders and/or marginalized people.

    What I witness at work while serving homeless youth shows me that there is deep systemic discrmination, bigotry, and hatred that keeps the people whom I serve at the margins of Bay Area society.

    And personally when people here learn that I’m Jewish, I have experienced anti-semitism from some of the most “Liberal” people here. I thought maybe it was just me at first. But one day I was waiting in line at the Oakland Kaiser Fabiola pharmacy and happened to be wearing my Star of David, a Jewish woman nudged me, pointed at my star, and said, “You are very brave to wear that here.” To which an unspoken knowing passed between us and I responded, “I know.” Nothing else needed to be said because both of us had had similar experiences around being Jewish in Oakland and Berkeley that weren’t exactly pleasant. It was at least comforting to learn that it wasn’t just me seeing bigotry, discrimination, and hate from this Bay Area society for simply being Jewish.

    I don’t expect to be thanked for pointing this out. Another Bay Area cultural phenomenon is that we don’t openly discuss the active systemic discrimination, bigotry, and hatred because we like to live with the fantasy that these things don’t exist here due to the “progressive” atmosphere. That doesn’t mean that systemic discrimination, bigotry, and hatred aren’t active here.

  12. a_small_voice

    “You see, I was looking forward to people stating their reservations in public.”

    all in due time, bay dialectic.

    “I take it you prefer to just observe and innocently make predictions and issue a smirk when they’re proven ‘correct.'”

    in this instance, i observed and made some predictions. to borrow a phrase, bull’s eye! yippee!

    “But let’s be serious. Your prediction was simply that proponents of an action that you oppose would overwhelmingly gain endorsement for said action.”

    yes, that was one thing i predicted.

    i think you reacted to my original post instead of actually reading it. this is what i said: “i am getting kind of pissed off and suspicious about all of these oakland efforts, money, and time being devoted to washington.” i do not oppose this particular action. i question – why is OO devoting so much toward something that has nothing to do with oakland, when folks are in need of support, help, galvanization, whateverthefuck, right here? it makes no sense to me.

    i also said this: “and how is this AN EMERGENCY again?” i am against calling proposals “emergencies” when they are not time-sensitive. that proposal could have been added to the stack, no problem, and it still would have been heard that night – it just wouldn’t have been first in line.

    “I’d be curious to hear what you think the main focuses of the Occupy Movement should be.”

    i don’t have all the answers. all i can do is smirk on the sidelines when i feel that something is not right. and something about this just doesn’t seem right to me when oakland has struggles of its own to address.

  13. baydialectic

    I’m tempted to concede that my post was belligerent, but then I think of your asshole comment about my myopia and supposed recent introduction to Lenin (blech) and prefer to reaffirm my original statement that your post was incoherent.

    When you begin a post by saying a struggle is “worthy” and follow-up (in the initial post and your response to mine) by emphasizing the internecine nature of the entire deal, I come away confused as to what you mean by “worthy.”

    I am willing to publicly renounce this entire fight if it can be shown that it is simply a scrap between two unions who are equally willing to do the bosses’ bidding. If that is the case, you are doing the movement a service by bringing this fact to its attention.

    While you seem poised to ward off my perceived suggestion that you’re not sufficiently “pro-union,” I am undoubtedly more “anti-union” than you. I think they’re anachronistic. I believe that unions can be scab outfits, and think it’s ridiculous to claim otherwise. Fundamentally, I believe that someone needs to tell the union bosses that the unions have been defeated by capital and they (the bosses) should prepare for a long, cold winter ahead. Indeed, I believe that unions are labor merchandising outfits and that officials within them, having no power other than the power to sell labor-power to a purchaser, are agents of capitalist discipline, and, as such, are structurally opposed to authentic anti-capitalist struggle.

    I believe in the social power of the working class–defined irrespective of union identification, job title, sector, or employment status (waged, unwaged, retired)–when it acts as a class against capital. I believe that the ports, as strategic sites of capital circulation, are not only valid, but exceedingly attractive, sites for working class struggle and contestation for power against the capitalist class. Those who treat the port shut-downs as a diversion, as far as I’ve seen, have completely failed to address this fact.

  14. baydialectic

    You see, I was looking forward to people stating their reservations in public.

    I take it you prefer to just observe and innocently make predictions and issue a smirk when they’re proven “correct.”

    But let’s be serious. Your prediction was simply that proponents of an action that you oppose would overwhelmingly gain endorsement for said action. Bull’s Eye! Yippee!!

    I’d be curious to hear what you think the main focuses of the Occupy Movement should be.

  15. calaverasgrandes

    your post is belligerent baydialectic.
    Take it fucking easy.
    You behave as if I am attacking ILWU. Or as if I am anti-union. I think you suffer from movement myopia. You have obviously been on the union issue for a bit. You probably read some Lenin and decided you were old enough to pick an ideology.
    So to clarify,
    I support unionism, I am formerly a shop steward in local 9410. I also think ILWU is one of the better labor unions. I personally think ILWU is a very progressive/radical union.
    Got that? I’m a former union member, that is not anti union, and I have/had a positive perception of ILWU.
    I personally supported the EGT grain ship action.
    I do not think that Occupy Oakland should exhaust resources on this action.
    Can you understand the difference between those two statements?
    One is me speaking on my beliefs and what I would do or not do.
    The other is speaking on where I think the energy of Occupy Oakland should be spent or not spent.
    I think it is clear if you take the time to read.
    Until that GA I was not aware that ILWU was basically having a turf war with another union. I have issue with Occupy “picking sides” when two different unions are seeking to organize in the same workplace. Occupy does not align itself with one political party against another. Neither should we affiliate with one union against another. I was very upset that the one ILWU speaker at the GA in question was calling the other union “scabs”. This should not be taken lightly. It may well be true that management is playing the unions against each other, maybe they are reprehensible people at the other union. But SCAB should be reserved for non-organized workers that knowingly break a strike or lockout. Not for organized labor. Unions do not deserve blind support any more than politicians or clergy do. They are an apparatus to serve labor. And when their actions work against labor, they should be held in contempt. I was very much with ILWU on this until I found out it was not a scab vs organized labor issue, but a turf war.
    To speak further on that. If you study history there is a repeating tactic of the Romans using the Celts to battle the Celts. Of the colonial Europeans using indigenous tribes against one another, as we see in the French and Indian war and later in the push west. This is what I see in microcosm with competing unions.
    I do think the “Emergency” proposal was a bit much. There has been an excessive abuse of the “Emergency” proposal in the last month. There was a GA a few weeks ago with 4 emergency proposals! Even if the dreaded grain ship of oppression shows up Jan 15th there is plenty of time to organize a car pool or whatever.
    I think there was a need to make this an “Emergency Proposal” so that the organizers could squeeze in a follow on proposal at some point in the future requesting funding of a delegation to go to longview. Here I have to concur with some of the cranks that post on this board, that we need to spend our resources here in Oakland. That is what decentralization is about. You fix what is in your backyard, because you know your backyard.
    ps thanks for correcting my typo. I know it is EGT, on my computer the R is adjacent to the E key, and our current message board arrangement does not allow edits. Even for typos. Apologies.
    PPS its Goldman Sachs not Goldman and Sachs.

  16. baydialectic

    If I was a paid hack for EGT, I would probably post vague attacks on the EGT grain-shipment action of the kind that
    “me” has posted here.

    In this crucial time it is necessary to be on-guard against our enemy’s slimy attacks against our plans.

  17. a_small_voice

    “That said, I don’t think you can expect to be taken seriously hiding behind claims that the process is/was effectively rigged against those who hold your viewpoint.”

    that’s your right and anyone else’s right not to take me seriously. i still stand by what i posted. if i am the only person (out of the whopping 120 people who attended the GA) who thinks the way that i think, so be it. i’m not here trying to convince you adopt my suspicions.

    ” If I were you, I’d be a little bit concerned that your side of this issue does not consist of ONE PERSON willing to take the mic and articulate their views publicly.”

    i don’t have a “side.” i only represent myself and my own views. i’m not concerned in the slightest, for the reasons that you are posing, that not one person out of 120 people on a cold night bothered to get up and speak against the proposal. by the way, i did not say that the vote was rigged. i did say that quite a few of the people who got on stack were union folk. that’s fact. check livestream. i do assert that the GA voting process needs to be scrapped if we want to really talk about building consensus.

    “You can’t expect the proponents of this action (or any action in the future that you disagree with) to make your argument for you. ”

    this wasn’t my expectation. oh, and thanks for telling me i’m not a victim. i knew that before, but when you posted it in caps, that pretty much solidified it for me.

    ” It is especially opportunistic to present the fact that your side lost.”

    there you go again. “my side lost?” sorry, i’m not on your wavelength and i’m not even viewing it in these terms.

    “To blithely post your (unsubstantiated and fact-free) impressions anonymously on this site and expect the world to hold its breath until you JOIN THE DEBATE is really too much to expect of any movement that seeks to act with some degree of swiftness and efficiency.”

    in the original post, i made predictions, and obviously, predictions aren’t facts. i’m not waiting for any sort of debate, fighting, or duking anything out – which is how you seem to approach things. i’m observing what is going on and questioning this movement. and – i was correct in my predictions. let’s just see if the next part of my prediction (about money) comes true.

    “You should know, however, that liberals are never going to have a strong position in the Oakland/Bay Area Occupy Movement.”


    “Lastly, it is laughable to say that I have a lot of power in the movement.”

    my mistake. you’re not one of those in the inner circle.

  18. baydialectic


    First, I’ll say that I regret the tone of my post. I shouldn’t have characterized you as a chickenshit; that wasn’t only rude but doesn’t accent what I consider to be the important issues regarding the EGT grain shipment action. For that, whether you accept or not, I apologize.

    That said, I don’t think you can expect to be taken seriously hiding behind claims that the process is/was effectively rigged against those who hold your viewpoint. The fact is that the proposal to support the EGT grain shipment was announced (on this web-site) more than 24 hours in advance. Whatever you may say about the “inner circle” that allegedly holds “all power in the movement,” those opposed to the proposal were given AMPLE OPPORTUNITY TO VOICE THEIR VIEWS at the general assembly where it was discussed and voted upon. If I were you, I’d be a little bit concerned that your side of this issue does not consist of ONE PERSON willing to take the mic and articulate their views publicly. You seem to want to spin this as further evidence (not that *any* evidence of such has thus far been forwarded by you) that the process is utterly corrupt and unfair, but that is a transparently flimsy defense in the face of THE FACT that NOBODY was stopping you (or anyone who agrees with you) from taking the stage and MAKING A COHERENT ARGUMENT AGAINST THE PROPOSAL.

    You can’t expect the proponents of this action (or any action in the future that you disagree with) to make your argument for you. Nor should you expect that they (we) should wait until you can summon the requisite whatever-it-takes to do so yourself. Stop playing the victim when YOU ARE NOT BEING VICTIMIZED.

    Additionally, it is a transparently opportunistic to weigh-in with a “critique” of the process of voting when your side loses the vote. It is especially opportunistic to present the fact that your side lost OVERWHELMINGLY as fortifying evidence for this “critique.”

    I agree that sometimes the “pro”/”con”, “win”/”lose” style of decision-making can be unhelpful and introduces division where we shouldn’t assume division (and fundamental differences) are present. But that’s not always true. Sometimes there *are* differences in perspectives (not necessarily for eternity, but in a circumscribed time and place regarding a specific issue) that can only be adequately addressed through debate, discussion, and a democratic vote. To blithely post your (unsubstantiated and fact-free) impressions anonymously on this site and expect the world to hold its breath until you JOIN THE DEBATE is really too much to expect of any movement that seeks to act with some degree of swiftness and efficiency.

    Now, it’s true that for all the huffing and puffing about this proposal, I haven’t made a case for it here. You would probably be surprised to know that I’m hardly a “pro-union” stalwart. I don’t deify the ILWU. Indeed, I believe that unions today are basically anachronistic. Furthermore, I don’t dismiss your concern that focusing on a struggle that most people in the Bay Area have little knowledge of–and that doesn’t, in any case, *directly* affect them–may not be the “best way” to build here in the Bay Area (I think it’s short-sighted and parochial to cast all of this only in terms of its effect on Oakland and its “citizens”). But nobody is claiming that the Longview struggle should take the place of other organizing that is in the works as we speak (Wedneday’s GA also agreed to endorse a take-over of a property for a social center and a call for a mass demonstration in downtown SF).

    Without getting into the specifics of the EGT grain shipment action here, I will say that I believe that the Occupy Movement has to be anti-capitalist if it is to have any reason for existence. Perhaps you disagree. Liberals come in many forms: “identify politics liberals,” “union liberals,” “soccer mom liberals,” “social issues liberals,” “anti-colonial liberals,” etc, etc, etc. Perhaps, “small_voice,” you’re a liberal who hasn’t yet settled on the fact that that’s what you are. You should know, however, that liberals are never going to have a strong position in the Oakland/Bay Area Occupy Movement.

    Lastly, it is laughable to say that I have a lot of power in the movement. You only serve to underline how paranoid your view is with that kind of baseless attack. It is equally laughable to claim that I am “probably one of the leaders of the inner circle.” I strongly doubt that even one member of the inner circle–assuming there is one–even knows my name or would recognize me if I walked past them on the street. Nice try, though.

  19. a_small_voice

    bay dialectic, i’ve already responded to you elsewhere, but here is another response in case you didn’t catch the other one.

    1. you’re so hostile in tone and words, it’s difficult to even take you seriously.

    2. i don’t have to have an “argument” in your arena on your terms in order to hold my opinions, doubts, and reservations about these actions, namely the strike, the shut down, and the longview caravan. clearly, you want to have a flame war to show your brawn. you don’t care about what i think (which i’ve already explained). you already have your mind made up about these actions and about the post/s that i’ve posted so far. so…i’ll be that chickenshit sideliner. oh the fuck well.

    3. letting me know that the proposal had a certain percentage is a really good example of how lame the GA decision making process in the movement is. that’s the mindset. it’s all about pros and cons, you’re right and i’m wrong, i won and you lost. no consensus. only sideliners and chickenshits no one cares to listen to, and true brave intellectuals who “win” with the number of votes that they need for their showboat actions in a movement that is quickly going nowhere.

    4. people like you, bay dialectic, are clearly running things, and have a lot of say-so and power in the movement. you’re probably one of the leaders in the inner circle. that’s alright. you probably don’t realize that by continuing to focus on longview actions, you’re only alienating and distancing yourselves from average oakland citizens like me. have your actions. the professional activists and the die hards will support you. the rest of us will be left on the sidelines scratching our chickenshit heads, wondering what the fuck it has to do with us and our city.

  20. calaverasgrandes

    I do want to add that I agree with most of the rest of what you said. Its just the “systemic” part that I am being a dick about.

  21. calaverasgrandes

    Hey that sucks. That is one of the reasons I resent the “inclusion” of christian speakers and events with occupy, because so often religious leaders spout gay bashing nonsense. And the ones we are “”cool” with will hang out with the ones we aren’t cool with at their little ecumenical potlucks. Dont even get me started on religion.
    I know you won’t care about this but I get blown off yelled at and threatened just about every day for being a white guy. I almost got in a fight with some guy because I bumped him as I squeezed past him on the escalator today. (overreact much?) Oakland is a tense city, full of twitchy people. The civil servants in this city are some of the most venal people. They bag on asians, blacks, whites, etc. Whomever is waiting in line that they do not identify with. But that is just assholes. That is not systemic. I dont see straight white water fountains and QPOC water fountains.
    I know this may be me kind of being an asshat. But I truly believe that we have to recognize that there is a realm of personal space where the individual needs to be responsible for their actions and words. You cant legislate it, throw money at it or beat it out of them. There isnt anything we can do as a movement to MAKE people less queer-phobic or less racial. We can educate and put some workshops on etc. But in the end the assholes gotta make a conscious break with being an asshole. It’s not so much that I dont think it is an issue, but that it isnt an issue we can do anything about. I also really hate to see energy that should be directed at outside forces instead spent on policing each other.
    I do think we are making positive progress in that regard though. We got young black kids, old white guys, middle aged queers etc all sitting down and talking, and they are talking about what they are gonna do, not about who they are. I think that is more valuable. If nothing else happens they will remember that.

  22. baydialectic

    Your post is incoherent, calaverasgrandes.

    You begin by saying you “think the longview EGT [not RGT] thing is worthy” and end by saying you have reservations about “us getting involved” and that you oppose putting “resources towards this.”

    I get the sense that you’re basically opposed to the EGT grain shipment action, but I also get the sense you don’t really know what the hell you’re talking about.

    After all, the action is likely to occur in mid-January yet you think it’s absurd to treat gaining an endorsement of it as an urgent manner. Why is it not obvious to you that the month we have before the action is NOT MUCH TIME AT ALL and that getting the endorsement now *is* important?

  23. baydialectic

    “A_small_voice” seems very comfortable posting attacks on the EGT grain shipment action proposal (and, in the process, making a hardly-veiled attack on the general strike and port shut-downs), but I note that s/he couldn’t be bothered to voice his/her opposition at the GA. I can not but conclude that “a_small_voice” harbors the fear that his/her attacks on the proposal could not withstand scrutiny.

    Stop being a chicken-shit, sideliner, “small_voice.” Come forward and present your argument against the EGT grain shipment action (which you have yet to do). Hell, while you’re breaking it down with your massive intellect, maybe you could go a step further and articulate your opposition to the general strike and the port shut-downs.

    I’m not holding my breath.

    BTW, the EGT grain shipment proposal won with 98% of the vote out of approximately 130 votes cast.

  24. calaverasgrandes

    Please educate me. I have yet to witness “systemic issues of racism, classism, bigotry, sexism, heterosexism” in the bay area. I have seen some bigots say stupid things. I have even seen skinheads with rebel flag patches. But that is not the same thing as systemic chauvinism. Of my last 5 jobs, only one was my boss a white guy. At my job 5 years ago I had a muslim Persian-american and a christian Palestinian-american for bosses. The city council and the mayor are pretty well representing POC, women and LGBT people. The library has Asian and Latin branches, voting materials come in many languages. I am sorry for my ignorance, but I simply dont see “systemic” issues along these lines.
    Now if you wanted to talk CLASS issues, and the lack of opportunity for lower income people…

  25. Simcha

    The “isms” are alive and well in Oakland. I’ve experienced several first hand while working and living here. I see others face these “isms” every day and guide people through them where I work.

    While Oakland isn’t Arizona or Texas, we have serious issues with “isms” that need to be addressed. It’s actually self-evident to most people living in Oakland as an Oakland resident myself, IMHO.

    I have always found it perplexing that I’ve faced more homophobia and discrimination for being Queer (both systemic and direct) in Oakland specifically, in Alameda County, and in the Bay Area in general than I did when living in the Midwest at times (Chicago and Quad Cities). Homophobia and discrimination against GLBTQI2S people here is more covert (mostly) and sometimes it’s painfully overt. 4 years ago during the election seeing my neighbors from “Christian” Churches protest in support for Prop 8 was extremely painful and disappointing to say the least. I shudder as we face a possible re-match this election cycle as some queer activists are trying to get a repeal of Prop 8 on the ballot in 2012. 4 years ago the hate against the Queer Community (of which I am a member) was extremely overt and in my face every day when I drove to and from work and went about my daily business. And some of the people advocating the restriction on my rights were Oaklanders (a great many of them) who were very open and on street corners expressing their free speech to pass legislation that limits my rights.

    This is only one instance of many I can go on and on about here. I can go into many more personal examples including a horrifc experience where a female African American judge dismissed me out of hand because of my sexuality at the Wiley M. Manuel courthouse. Justice isn’t served there on a regular basis. But, as you say, I can ramble. So I’ll just leave you with that. The “isms” are alive and well in Oakland and they need to be addressed. It does affect equality for the 99%.

  26. a_small_voice

    i don’t understand why this movement in oakland is so focused on longview.

    i was right in a couple of my predictions:

    1. the same people who proposed the port shut down and general strike were behind this proposal.

    2. they got their way. interestingly enough, lots of union people got on stack to speak in support of this proposal.

    now will there be a later proposal for money? i predict that it will be an EMERGENCY again, and that this group of folks will ask for money and resources to be funneled toward the longview efforts.

  27. calaverasgrandes

    Sorry my other comment was aimed at Simcha’s ramble.
    I think the longview RGT thing is worthy, and I support the ILWU as the last (real)union that isn’t afraid to be Left of the democrats.
    But I think that we can expend a lot of energy fighting other peoples battles. There are a lot, lot lot. A fuckton of union struggles happening in the united states. Many more much adverse union struggles elsewhere. We can’t jump on every union strike on the west coast. There are too many! I think Occupy Oakland should declare support of the unions that arent afraid of the “Occupy” label. But not buy into the DNC affiliated ones with their whole reformist, democrat, “progressive” liberal ideology. We should also not spend our war chest on that shit. Unions collect dues, they also have PACs. They dont need our money, they do need the bodies we can mobilize and the terror we inflict on the unions adversaries in management and capital.
    I also think it is absurd that this was an “emergency” proposal? The ship isn’t due until mid january up until maybe mid February. Really? Are you shitting me? I consider it a worthy cause (with some reservations about inter union sniping and us getting involved) but I think we should put zero resources towards this. I am curious if a follow on proposal will pop up in the near future asking us to fund people being bussed to longview “because we already declared support”.

  28. Reisa J

    Oakland isn’t Arizona or Texas but the issues you quoted are definitely happening here. The fact that many Oakland residents don’t understand that goes to the original posters comment about no one wanting to address it.

  29. calaverasgrandes

    “Oakland suffers from real systemic issues of racism, classism, bigotry, sexism, heterosexism, etc. that no one seems to want to address adequately.”
    It is easy to think that, but I have been to the rest of the country. Oakland is very metropolitan in its attitude towards POC, GLBT etc. Sure there are still stupid people that say racist shit. That is a personal issue. Some individual is ignorant. Hopefully they get educated over time. But this is not Arizona or Texas. We dont have whites only golf courses, or Joe Arapio as a sherriff. There is no way someone is not getting a job because they are gay or black. There simply isn’t any way to see “systemic” bigotry here unless you really use your imagination. Of course at my last job my bosses where a gay white man and a straight black woman. So maybe I am wearing rose colored glasses.
    PS; I am kind of putting the whole cop thing to the side. In my experience, cops are bigots no matter what the local community is like. I do not think Oakland Police reflect Oakland’s diversity or its perspectives. So I do not count their actions as Oakland’s actions, but rather they are foriegn force. Besides, how many cops actually live in Oakland?

  30. me

    In this crucial time, doing large actions without understanding them is DANGEROUS and shameful. If you do not understand this grain ship blocking idea – from your own research over time, not because someone told you – it is very irresponsible to support it. Going with the flow is WRONG.

  31. Liberate Oakland

    heavy spam invasion we are working on tech fix. trying to filter out the UGH boots etc.

  32. Simcha

    Don’t forget these predictions:

    4. The Oakland movement will continue to stray away from addressing local Oakland issues.
    5. The Oakland movement will continue to alienate the residents of Oakland through voting for and engaging in actions that don’t relate to the people of Oakland.
    6. The residents of Oakland will continue the process of leaving the Oakland movement.

    Why isn’t the money that has been donated to the Oakland movement been spent on ways of addressing the real needs of the residents of Oakland? Why does it continue to be spent on futile actions that continue to pull the Oakland movement away from the issues that affect Oakland?

    Let’s remember the following:

    1. Oakland has a serious problem providing basic public education to her children, no matter where they are living Oakland.
    2. Oakland has a serious problem providing before and after school programs for her children that enrich their lives and keep them engaged in productive pursuits no matter where they are living in Oakland.
    3. Oakland has a serious problem with resident and police relations that needs to be addressed.
    4. Oakland has a serious problem with resident and city government relations that needs to be addressed. (Hint: Recalling Quan won’t fix it.)
    5. Oakland is completely broke and her resources have been squandered by the 1% including the members of the City Council, the OPD, the Oakland Chamber of Commerce, and anyone else who has their hands in Oakland’s pockets.
    6. Oakland residents have suffered egregiously at the hands of the Prison Industrial Complex.
    7. Oakland has more people that must face discrimination in hiring because they must report a misdemeanor or felony on job applications than any other city in the Bay Area (and possibly California).
    8. Oakland has one of the highest unemployment rates in the Bay Area even if one excludes those who are under-employed or who have given up on looking for work because there isn’t any to be found.
    9. Oakland suffers from a complete lack of equitable sharing of resources among the neighborhoods where the 1% live and the neighborhoods that house the rest of us.
    10. Oakland suffers from real systemic issues of racism, classism, bigotry, sexism, heterosexism, etc. that no one seems to want to address adequately.
    11. Oakland has housing that sits vacant and yet out of reach of the working poor and homeless due to high rent and landlords who refuse to rent to lower income people.
    12. Oakland has a vast number of residents who go hungry and/or who cannot afford to provide adequate nutrition to themselves or their children because either there is no access because grocery stores won’t set up in “certain neighborhoods” or because the food prices are so high here even though we live very close to where fresh fruit and vegetables are grown that seem to feed the rest of the country at lower prices.

    I’ve only come up with 12 items. I just typed this list out of the top of my head. I know I’ve left out many more problems that can be addressed by Occupy Oakland using its donated resources if only there was the will to do so.

    Anyone can feel free to add to the list. In fact, I’ll start another post so that this can be discussed at greater length. I think it’s time that the residents of Oakland make some demands of Occupy Oakland for actions and support that help the residents of Oakland.