Decolonize Oakland: Creating a More Radical Movement

Categories: Discussion, Open Mic, Reflections

Decolonize Oakland: Creating a More Radical Movement

 

 

 

Oakland is the ancestral homeland of the Chochenyo Ohlone, an indigenous community that has no collective territory of their own and no recognized legal status or rights.   As detailed in The Memorandum of Solidarity with Indigenous Peoples, which the General Assembly passed with 97% support on 28 October 2011, the Chochenyo Ohlone have survived a brutal colonial history and ongoing occupation, which makes them strong members, allies, leaders, and guides to the movement of the 99%.  In passing that memorandum of solidarity, we “declared that ‘Occupy Oakland’ aspires to ‘Decolonize Oakland’ – to ‘Decolonize Wall Street’ – with the guidance and participation of indigenous peoples.”  Let us honor that memorandum and work in meaningful solidarity to “initiate a new era of peace and cooperation that will work for everyone, including the Earth and the original inhabitants of thisland.”  Let us heed the encouragement of our native sisters and brothers, elders and youth, to choose a name that reflects the society and culture we plan to build: Decolonize Oakland.

 

As members of the 99%, we want to spread our message, swell our ranks, and use political language that is inclusive of our many communities.  We want to open our movement to even greater participation.  For many of us, including our local native communities, the terms ‘occupy’ and ‘occupation’ echo our experiences under colonial domination and normalizes the military occupations that the U.S. is supporting in places such as Iraq, Palestine, and Afghanistan.  Colonization, occupation, segregation are still active forms of violence in our communities.  Our neighborhoods exist under a police occupation.  Gentrification, which is pricing poor families out of their homes, is colonization under a new name.  Segregation continues in education, as wealthier families send their children to private schools while our public schools suffer and shrink.

 

This name change is not about words but about deeds.  At the now dismantled Ogawa/Grant encampment, we created a home for all, providing food for the hungry, medical treatment for the sick and injured, and counseling for those of us suffering from depression, addiction, and fear.  We offered workshops on preventing foreclosures, resisting police violence, and organizing against corporate capitalism.  We hosted healing circles and talking circles.  All of our efforts were geared at actualizing gender, economic, and racial justice.  We will continue this work whether or not we rebuild the encampment. In both words and deeds, we have been practicing decolonization at Ogawa/Grant Plaza.

 

Decolonization means connecting to the land and each other by growing and sharing food.  It means connecting to the traditions of our ancestors and creating new forms of authentic human connection.  Decolonization is a practice of healing from violence in forms such as slavery, occupation, and poverty.  It is about raising our children to find beauty and meaning in their cultural identities.  Decolonization means telling stories that emancipate our minds and dreams.  It is education as a practice of freedom, not a lucrative career path.

 

While we know that “Occupy” is the terminology used around the country to explain and unify this movement, it does not address the real issues of colonization that happened in this country and particularly to Oakland and the Chochenyo Ohlone residents of this city. For years the Bay Area and Oakland have been the birthplace of revolutionary movements and innovations in movement work.

 

Changing the name to “DeColonize” is an innovation that would also speak to the brilliance and community of OO to address the current issues of gentrification in Oakland and the social problems that gentrification have perpetuated as well as pay homage to our revolutionary ancestors who fought for a better, more inclusive and respectful Oakland.

 

We want to deepen our efforts at political transformation by using language that heals, unites, and educates our communities.  This name change signals our deep and lasting commitment to liberation and meaningful political education against corporate and capitalist violence, which are rooted in colonial relations.

 

The divisions that exist between the 99% and the 1% are built on colonial relations.  It is our lands, our labor, our bodies, and our voices that have been stolen; at the encampment at Ogawa/Grant Plaza and in our local neighborhoods, we have come together to decolonize our minds, restructure our relationships to oneanother, and build political institutions that meet the needs of all people.  What we are doing is decolonizing Oakland.  Let us choose a name that reflects our actions and beliefs.  Decolonize Oakland!  Liberate our communities!  Practice freedom!

 

Corrina Gould, Morning Star Gali, Krea Gomez, and Anita DeAsis

9170

56 Responses to “Decolonize Oakland: Creating a More Radical Movement”

  1. fellow worker

    You said:
    “Yes, I realize that a sentence or two will not resolve years of oppression, and I believe the proposers realize this. They talked about this action as being symbolic, and also mentioned that more importantly within our movement, it’s about words, not deeds.” There are actions that have already taken place, actions that are currently taking place that will address efforts to decolonize/liberate the movement. I hope to see it continue in the future as well.

    I walked into the Sunday GA knowing that it would not pass, and knowing that the movement was not “decolonized,” and knowing that even if it did pass, that the movement would still not be “decolonized.” I still applaud them for bringing the proposal forward.

    The awesome conversational groups that we had would not have taken place without the submission of that proposal.

    It seems that you are saying that this way was not the way you would have approached extending the dialogue about this complex subject in our movement. This is the way the proposers chose to approach it. Diversity of tactics, and all of that.”

    I say:
    1. the conversation could’ve taken place in the context of the alternative teach-in, dialogue, action co-ordinating event that i suggested. this means that the awesome conversation group could’ve have been had in a different context that could have been more constructive.
    2. this is not to say that other “tactics” should be excluded. Nor is the invocation of a diversity of tactics an end to the dialogue. the proposers are free to pursue their own tactics but that doesn’t mean they’re beyond discussion. My criticism of the use of the proposal process for addressing this issue and engaging in the dialogue we both found constructive is not to shutdown the dialogue or tactics for addressing it but rather to expand them through constructive criticism and by actually offering alternatives to what has thus far been the only “tactic” or concerted effort to engage these issues (as you’ve noted).
    3. i think we agree on the substantive issue that is being brought up here and in the dialogue – we all need to come to terms w/ the shared history of oppression and struggle. however your response to my criticism is essentially to argue that im right the proposal process can’t solve this issue, but your glad the dialogue happened, it wouldn’t have happened otherwise (ignoring the alternative I’ve offered), and you’ve concluded by saying a diversity of tactics means… (don’t criticize presenters choice to frame this as a proposal)… which is pretty debilitating if one believes in open dialogue and constructive criticism or a diversity of tactics.

    You said:
    “I am not implying anything about what YOU think, fellow_worker. This was not my message at all. I was not ascribing any one view to all of the people of color who were at the Sunday GA. I don’t know what every participant thought, because I didn’t talk to every person who was there.

    I said that when people of color bring up these issues (ie, the women who wrote this proposal), they are often accused of being divisive. It’s a very common thing that happens. You assumed that I meant that all people of color must think in the same way.

    I made my comment about PoC not being monolithic, because I found it amusing that you paraphrased and quoted people and then let me know what race they were. It was already obvious to me there were varying opinions of the different folks who were present. Some white people supported it, some didn’t. Some people of color supported it, and some didn’t – all for various reasons.”

    I say:
    this is quite confusing. you refer to people in categorical terms then complain about others referring to groups as monolithic when this is the exact opposite of what occurred. your reply here does nothing to clarify your position or refute mine. i’ve responded to why i differentiated people by race you’ve only repeated what you’ve already said and added that you were commenting out of amusement. that’s not a response. thus the criticism that my post constructs racial categories as monolithic, or that i am engaging in typical marginalization of PoC who bring up issues of oppression and privilege, are inaccurate claims that are still unsubstantiated in your posts.

    You said:
    “Yeah, I skipped over that. Here’s my response: when I first checked out the movement on the 10th of October, I didn’t stay for the whole time. I thought that the whole gathering was exciting, but I picked up some really negative vibes in the crowd and from the facilitators, so I left. I didn’t come back until the following week. I attended one or two GA’s for about a half-hour, because they seemed to be so boring and not representative of me and my Oakland. I hung around the camp a little, because that vibe was very chill and friendly…but I still was on the periphery. Was I a participant? Yes. No. Am I one now? I guess.

    The point is that the only way to know is through the passage of time. People have different ways of processing stuff, different ways of setting intentions, and different ways of coming to action. We are not all the same and should not be expected to follow the same rate of participation, however you wanna conceptualize it. Is there a way to judge the so-called first timers who voted for a so-called pet project within 5 day’s time? Mmmm, maybe. I’m not interested in doing that.

    I would have been deemed a non-participant not worthy of voting or having a voice, back in mid October. Thank goodness no one ever said such a thing to me around that time. I probably would have completely lost interest.”

    I say:
    1. i want to first say that i recognized the active and amazing participants who showed up at the port blockade early in the morning and stayed longer than most, were loader and more vociferous chanters than most and were a beautiful strong backbone of the picket lines and marches at the port on the 12th.
    2. i want to apologize for bring this up and defending my position as long as i have. Decolonize and Occupy Oakland is One Fist in Solidarity.
    3. I will respond to your actual statement and say that your active participation has been re-accuring and would fit within the idea of re-accuring participation that i suggested earlier. however as i’ve conceded i don’t see why there is any need to ignore the fact that if you been to a GA and participated than that counts as participating.
    4. thank you.

    You said:
    “Um, ok.

    At least you acknowledged that there was a shift in the demographics of the Sunday GA, compared to how it usually is.”

    I say:
    whatev’s. it be cool if you’d either elaborate your points or make concessions instead of just repeating what you’ve already said, and being snarky. the only substantive comment you’ve made is w/ regard to your personal experience w/ OO and how you think the standard of re-accuring participation would have excluded you, I disagree that it would’ve excluded you, but that doesn’t matter because I’ve conceded participation is participation no qualifications needed. you’re right, my bad. this is meant to be a mutually beneficial constructive dialogue and i would love to hear what you have to say about the history of america, or organizing another event/teachin about the issues the proposal catalyzed a dialogue around, or how my comments on race are problematic and should be characterized as such, etc.

  2. a_small_voice

    “not about words, but is about deeds” – my bad.

  3. a_small_voice

    more responses to fellow_worker:

    You said, “the point i mean to be making is that the proposal process is uniquely flawed for addressing issues as complex as those brought up by this proposal. one sentence or a two page proposal is not the solution to resolving over 500 years of violence and oppression.”
    “. conclusive proposals are fine for things that have a conclusive answer, their not really all that good for resolving deeper issues.”
    “. if people want to do a teach-in, dialogue, action planning training around this issue im down. and i think that could be vary productive”

    Yes, I realize that a sentence or two will not resolve years of oppression, and I believe the proposers realize this. They talked about this action as being symbolic, and also mentioned that more importantly within our movement, it’s about words, not deeds.” There are actions that have already taken place, actions that are currently taking place that will address efforts to decolonize/liberate the movement. I hope to see it continue in the future as well.

    I walked into the Sunday GA knowing that it would not pass, and knowing that the movement was not “decolonized,” and knowing that even if it did pass, that the movement would still not be “decolonized.” I still applaud them for bringing the proposal forward.

    The awesome conversational groups that we had would not have taken place without the submission of that proposal.

    It seems that you are saying that this way was not the way you would have approached extending the dialogue about this complex subject in our movement. This is the way the proposers chose to approach it. Diversity of tactics, and all of that.

    “I don’t know why it is that you think i’m implying all PoC are of the same mind. Im explicitly pointing this fact out in response to your claim that when PoC bring up issues of Privilege and the Legacy of Oppression (you said “issues like these”) they are called divisive. my point was to demonstrate that you’ve inaccurately portrayed PoC as monolithic and implicitly in support of the proposal – which is not the case.”
    I am not implying anything about what YOU think, fellow_worker. This was not my message at all. I was not ascribing any one view to all of the people of color who were at the Sunday GA. I don’t know what every participant thought, because I didn’t talk to every person who was there.

    I said that when people of color bring up these issues (ie, the women who wrote this proposal), they are often accused of being divisive. It’s a very common thing that happens. You assumed that I meant that all people of color must think in the same way.

    I made my comment about PoC not being monolithic, because I found it amusing that you paraphrased and quoted people and then let me know what race they were. It was already obvious to me there were varying opinions of the different folks who were present. Some white people supported it, some didn’t. Some people of color supported it, and some didn’t – all for various reasons.

    “you’ve modified your statement form “no-ones brought this up” to “no-ones brought this up in a manner that turned it into a PRESSING MATTER” and that’s fine”

    Yes, I modified it because I wanted my statement to be clearer for you. I was originally referring to the space of the Oakland GA – I wasn’t saying that “decolonization” has been completely neglected in the movement.

    “simply asserting that america’s history is characterized by division, while it may be true, is underdeveloped.”

    Underdeveloped and simple or no, that’s my take.

    “really did they stick around for all of the committee report backs, did they stick around and encourage the GA to continue and take up the other 9 agenda items, or did they get involved in the port shutdown meeting.”

    I don’t know the answer to these questions, because I would have to survey and track a segment of people in order to gauge their participation.

    “you haven’t refuted the claim that to be a participate one must actually participate on a re-accuring basis. “
    “however if you disagree please elaborate on how some one who comes to one GA to change the name of the movement but doesn’t return is an active participant.”

    Yeah, I skipped over that. Here’s my response: when I first checked out the movement on the 10th of October, I didn’t stay for the whole time. I thought that the whole gathering was exciting, but I picked up some really negative vibes in the crowd and from the facilitators, so I left. I didn’t come back until the following week. I attended one or two GA’s for about a half-hour, because they seemed to be so boring and not representative of me and my Oakland. I hung around the camp a little, because that vibe was very chill and friendly…but I still was on the periphery. Was I a participant? Yes. No. Am I one now? I guess.

    The point is that the only way to know is through the passage of time. People have different ways of processing stuff, different ways of setting intentions, and different ways of coming to action. We are not all the same and should not be expected to follow the same rate of participation, however you wanna conceptualize it. Is there a way to judge the so-called first timers who voted for a so-called pet project within 5 day’s time? Mmmm, maybe. I’m not interested in doing that.

    I would have been deemed a non-participant not worthy of voting or having a voice, back in mid October. Thank goodness no one ever said such a thing to me around that time. I probably would have completely lost interest.

    Lastly, you said one might look for “the noticeble change in demographic composition between the 4th and every GA before or since, and all it takes for people to prove me wrong is to show up on a re-occuring basis and participate. “

    Um, ok.

    At least you acknowledged that there was a shift in the demographics of the Sunday GA, compared to how it usually is.

  4. toffee

    “Use the space. Hold teach-ins. Talk to people about these issues. Educate and inspire. ”

    I’m tired of this.

    I’m tired of being called on to be patient, to take care of people and soothe their discomfort at being forced to face their own ignorance. Im tired of seeing the incredible marginalization of native people at the GA by folks that were invoking the Ohlone’s support on the first day of the occupation at every chance they got.

    I’m not upset about the name change. I honestly dont care what the name is. I am disgusted by the response to the name change, by this contempt in this discussion and most of the other ones I have seen about this.

    I want to not have to fight ignorance and racism as much in this supposed “liberation” movement as I would in any other hostile environment, but that seems to not be possible. So at this point? It’s your movement. I’m going to take my “nonsense” elsewhere.

  5. David Heatherly

    I’m certainly a counter-protestor as well as a protestor. I am a pacifist and I will do anything in my power to stop any fellow citizen from hurting another person just like I would do anything in my power to stop any cop from hurting another person. If we remain non-violent and we grow the movement, the police and National Guard will eventually have to stand with us. This isn’t the 1960s. They didn’t have hundreds of kids with cell-phone cameras at Kent State. American history might have been different if they had.

  6. David Heatherly

    Also, sorry I didn’t include quite the main point of what I’m trying to say….. basically I think that the thing that is really going to finally reach the middle class, when they are going to start to wake up, is either going to be a few years after the beginning of the next really huge market crash, but by then it will be too late to save a lot of what was ever good about America. Or, it could be now, if the deep Left and the deep Right join together. If Americans see a truly massive human rights movement focused on economic inequalities that is made up of lots of people from both Right and Left, they may sit up and realize that it’s not just another bunch of angry kids.

  7. David Heatherly

    Just going back to your original post calvaresgrandes…. sorry I didn’t see this a few days ago, the board is cluttered with a lot of stuff. OK here is my take regarding “right wingers” and the so-called “Middle Class” (note that people in America’s middle class never call themselves “Middle Class”):

    I disagree that most right-wingers are racist or warmongers. The deep right are a diverse group of people, dedicated to individual freedom. I personally see a problem existing with dogma on the Right just as with dogma on the Left. They both have their jargon and their pet theories and pet victims. But the real deep Right is just as offended by a clown like Newt Gingrich as the real deep Left is.

    I grew up in the very center of Right-wing activism. My dad was the leader of the National Right to Life’s California chapter when I was born here in the 1970s. I grew up in Washington D.C., saw the growth of the Heritage Foundation first-hand, and I was basically groomed and educated to be a part of that whole scene. I walked away from it a long long time ago, but still I am a conservative personality trapped in a progressive spirit. I want to be down with absolutely everything that Occupy is into, including “Decolonize”, but sometimes I feel like the brakes should be put on. Especially where it concerns the possibility of ever reaching people in the middle, much less on the right.

    If we are just a left-wing movement, then I guess that’s fine and it’s understandable that people will continue on some level to reject conservative ideas that somebody like myself might put out there. Personally, I reject all dogma so I find myself sometimes accepting a “liberal” answer or opinion and sometimes a “conservative” one. My philosophy is that, if either one of these dogmas were totally correct, it would already have defeated the other dogma over the course of time.

    Just taking “liberal” as representing embracing change, and “conservative” as representing embracing stability and tradition, it makes sense to me to say that we are going to always need both types of thinking in order to have a democracy. Whenever either dogma has taken over completely in the 20th Century, it has ended up repudiating all the ideas of its own dogma. The U.S.S.R. becoming the biggest enemy of its own people, for example, or as you mentioned the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia (one of my friends here in the East Bay lost both of his parents to that tragedy, because they were educators/educated), or the “conservative” Nazis in Germany.

    So if we don’t have both types of thinking and if we don’t have a back-and-forth about fundamental issues inside this movement, if it just becomes another far-left group dedicated only to deep green resistance or what-not, then we won’t be really representing the 99% and we won’t really be attempting consensus with a wide group of people.

    We could end up just becoming a beautiful but pointless sub-culture like the Rainbow Family. And I’ve met people at Occupy who came from the Rainbow Family; they told me they were tired of sitting around in the National Parks and just being in a bubble inside America — they wanted to help save it. I want to be part of a counter-culture, at least, not a sub-culture.

  8. fellow worker

    thank you, i will be there and until then i await your return. safe travels friend.

  9. sage

    Thanks for your comment fellow worker. I agree with your assessment of the limits of the Truth and Reconciliation model when used in the ways and situations in which you elucidated. BTW, I found all of your comments contained on this thread to be very well thought out and well presented. If you are in The Bay Area, I will be returning to Oakland in 2 weeks and hope I’ll get the opportunity to organize and caucus with you.

  10. fellow worker

    hi sage,

    I can totally dig what your saying. the feelings that we have in response to something be they positive or negative provide us with an opportunity to interrogate the ways in which we our desires are conditioned. for instance the aversion many feel when confronting these issues shows how we are conditioned to avoid dealing w/ complex and “difficult” issues. thus engaging in critical self-reflexivity is important, we must brush our own assumptions, desires and aspirations against the grain of history, so that we can better know where we stand and what we must do. the only thing i would like to add is that the Truth and Reconciliation model is flawed as its being used around the world in peace and conflict resolution processes, insofar as it is seen by many as corrupt form of power exchange between different sectors of the local elite who collude to avoid real accountability and justice (see liberia for example). I think this frame is even more difficult outside of the context of a violent conflict recently ceasing. in the US the post modern context with which such a TRC would operate would be highly confusing – and revealing of how complex these issue really are. this could be a good thing but i would say it is in no way sufficient for overcoming or reconciling the past. for instance Who would stand to account, what would be the crimes that an undocumented migrant of mixed bloodlines from what is now called mexico, who in various periods of history would have existed in a variety of different social class within the racial hierarchies of their pre-contact ancestor’s societies in “EurAsia,” the “Americas,” and “Africa,” and in the Spanish Empire, the Independent Mexican State, and contemporary US, what would be expect of them? it’s all there in their blood and bones the history of the indigenous ancestors of the world, the blood and bones of colonizing civilizations, empires and states that have historical positioned us against one another, and, even as this indicates, against our selves. There truly is no basis on which blame and accountability can be assessed, we are all implicated in the history of violence and oppression and we are all tasked w/ dealing w/ it every day of our lives. This is why i believe that wandering we ask questions, and that it is only by sticking to this path that we can ever hope to come terms with the fact that we carry with us in our vary bodies the shared histories of brutality and struggle, beauty and solidarity.

    thank you for sharing your insights, and the opportunity to engage in a dialogue.

  11. sage

    “The difficulty with the language here is that it feels, even unintentionally, like an attack. It’s very, very difficult to explain to white people that by calling out systemic white supremacy, you aren’t throwing specific blame at the feet of all individual white people. ”

    Feelings do not work best, in my experience, when they attempt to or in actuality exist in a vacuum and/or when they are allowed to exist in an unexamined way. If someone or even a very large group of people feel attacked by something, that does not, in a carte blanche manner, necessarily mean that such feelings are correct or helpful or beneficial. The feelings are legitimate, as all feelings are. Legitimacy and accuracy and beneficial however, are very different things and are not the automatic end points of all feelings. Feelings have to be investigated. They do not exist in a vacuum.

    I am uncomfortable with what I am reading in this thread as a defense of one action over another based on people’s feelings of being attacked. Feelings are often heavily informed by conditioned responses (reactions) that have been learned or ingrained over a lifetime. This is especially true of feelings that can almost universally be seen as “difficult” feelings such as the feeling of being attacked. And, of course, with most feelings that are expressed with an “ed” at the end of them, the “ed” indicates a presumption that something is being “done to” the person who expresses feeling “attacked.” This in itself can easily become a way of not owning the feeling and doing the appropriate investigation. It can become an excuse for simply feeling victimized by another and having the process stop there. Feelings need to be examined and not simply and automatically used as a weapon of sorts to shut down the deeper investigation of what may be truly inspiring such “feelings.” This process requires examining from an internal locus of control rather than an external one. Once that is at least an potential part of the process, it becomes far more possible to be open to the possibility that the usage of a word like decolonize may not in fact at all be a process of “throwing specific blame at the feet of all individual white people.” And, here is a revolutionary thought: What if it *is* that? Does that *have* to be nothing but an awful, terrible, completely horrifying thing that in no way can be navigated and resolved? Maybe even that realization can be used as an opening for building trust, connection, intimacy and communion. It would not be the first time in human experience that something that seems absolutely intractable is used as a point of reconciliation. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation” hearings is a good post modern example. The beneficiaries and purveyors of apartheid were being held accountable for some of the most egregious acts to befall humankind. And yet, reconciliation was one of the stated objectives and…one of the tangible outcomes. Again, such a thing is far less able to be navigated or even imagined if internal investigation is left out and the only thing that is allowed in is unexamined reactivity.

  12. sage

    “The difficulty with the language here is that it feels, even unintentionally, like an attack. It’s very, very difficult to explain to white people that by calling out systemic white supremacy, you aren’t throwing specific blame at the feet of all individual white people. ”

    Feelings do not work best, in my experience, when they attempt to or in actuality exist in a vacuum and/or when they are allowed to exist in an unexamined way. If someone or even a very large group of people feel attacked by something, that does not, in a carte blanche manner, necessarily mean that such feelings are correct or helpful or beneficial. The feelings are legitimate, as all feelings are. Legitimacy and accuracy and beneficial however, are very different things and are not the automatic end points of all feelings. Feelings have to be investigated. They do not exist in a vacuum.

    I am uncomfortable with what I am reading in this thread as a defense of one action over another based on people’s feelings of being attacked. Feelings are often heavily informed by conditioned responses (reactions) that have been learned or ingrained over a lifetime. This is especially true of feelings that can almost universally be seen as “difficult” feelings such as the feeling of being attacked. And, of course, with most feelings that are expressed with an “ed” at the end of them, the “ed” indicates a presumption that something is being “done to” the person who expresses feeling “attacked.” This in itself can easily become a way of not owning the feeling and doing the appropriate investigation. It can become an excuse for simply feeling victimized by another and having the process stop there. Feelings need to be examined and not simply and automatically used as a weapon of sorts to shut down the deeper investigation of what may be truly inspiring such “feelings.” This process requires examining from an internal locus of control rather than an external one. Once that is at least an potential part of the process, it becomes far more possible to be open to the possibility that the usage of a word like decolonize may not in fact at all be a process of “throwing specific blame at the feet of all individual white people.” And, here is a revolutionary thought: What if it *is* that? Does that *have* to be nothing but an awful, terrible, completely horrifying thing that in no way can be navigated and resolved? Maybe even that realization can be used as an opening for building trust, connection, intimacy and communion. It would not be the first time in human experience that something that seems absolutely intractable is used as a point of reconciliation. South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation” hearings is a good post modern example. The beneficiaries and purveyors of apartheid were being held accountable for some of the most egregious acts to befall humankind. And yet, reconciliation was one of the stated objectives and…one of the tangible outcomes. Again, such a thing is far less able to be navigated or even imagined if internal investigation is left out and the only thing that is allowed in is unexamined reactivity.

  13. fellow worker

    You say:
    “Upon reacting to my response about America having a legacy of division along many lines, including class, race, and gender, you said, “This is not actually true.”
    My perspective of the history of America is that people have been divided. The history of my ancestors and my personal experiences speak to that. For you, it is different, and I acknowledge that. In other words, half empty, half full. Tomato, tomahto. Vase or face.
    I hold that yes, it is this country’s legacy to have divisions. Whether you view it as a fight for unity or a fight to overcome these divisions, that is fine, but for me, the divide has always been there and will always be there until we decide to do something different – hence, my attraction to this movement.

    Could you actually explicate what you mean by this because simply asserting that america’s history is characterized by division, while it may be true, is underdeveloped. what does it mean that ” it is this country’s legacy to have divisions”? does a country come first or does the people? why can’t your prospective be changed? why cant mine? why can’t both exist in tension w/ one another?

    I disagree. Whenever anyone is interrupted in a space like that – in the dark (like our usual GAs), in front of a crowd of strangers – it is divisive. It discourages other people from speaking their truth. It discourages other people from voting a certain way who might agree with the person who was heckled. I hope you aren’t saying that some heckling is acceptable while other forms of heckling are not acceptable.

    this is beside the point. the comment that i was referring to was when the Women/Daughter of Texas was interupted the person sitting just to the left of the drum and the Frank Ogawa bust (if you were facing the proposers) stood and yelled “that’s bullshit. that’s our land” this was a comment from a supporter of the proposal aimed at this person on the appearance of differnece. there is no need to draw equivications – the specific instance was fucked up. and i was turned off that was the spirit with which the vocal and organized supports sought decolonize oakland.

    Sunday GA: “The vote would have ended the discussion and we would of moved on, to the next proposal…and many of the supports of the decolonize proposal would’ve started filtering out until we were below quorum.”
    Maybe, maybe not. Conjecture, once again.

    really did they stick around for all of the committee report backs, did they stick around and encourage the GA to continue and take up the other 9 agenda items, or did they get involved in the port shutdown meeting. the answer is no to the last two. and when everyone started shouting at one another i left to go help plan the port shutdown.

    however there is a long history of people leaving after their pet agenda item fails to pass. it’s happened w/ nonviolence proposals and small business proposals and the reoccupy repeal proposal. now that we;ve been barley at quorum everyone is needed and if people only show up to support their issue we risk not being able to act on other issues – which can be paralyzing if we need to act to do shit immediately – like support an action to shutdown AIPAC defenders of the Israeli Occupation of Palestine – which is fucked up were fighting with each other in the streets of oakland about the term occupy which is being used in this instance much more like the Occupiers of Alcatraz used the term – ie in resistance to a really fucked up occupation, – and there are some cats who’ve come up and are asking us to join them in an action against some real occupation justifying and perpetuating mother fuckers – but we’re to busy.

    How would you be able to spot them? How would you be able to note their absence?

    well one would hope we would see just as large and noticeble contingent at all actions. if that were the case, than thats how. they would be conspicuous because of their numbers, cohesion, and shared imagery.

    you haven’t refuted the claim that to be a participate one must actually participate on a re-accuring basis. the use of hyperbolic framing w/ bold captions at the top that aren’t supported by the actual argument is misleading – im not saying some participants are more or less equal im saying there is a differnce between being a participant and showing up once trying to impose yourself on the movement than leaving. if you want to make a defense of that kind of participation than you’ll actually be responding to my argument instead of mischaracterizing it for the sake of making an easy point. your argument about that i have unfounded perceptions of others is irrelevant. either they are active participants in which case the qutation marks don’t apply nor do they matter because their not impact participation, if they aren’t than it does apply and its unfortunate that people have been conditioned into believing all they have to do is vote and we should be encouraging greater participation not excusing efforts to hijack the movement through electoral procedures.

    “No confusion here, fellow_worker. Just some critique and some pointed commentary.”

    okay that’s cool than stop acting as if my use of the term participant is based on unfounded perceptions – they’re founded by the fact that this has happened before, and by the noticeble change in demographic composition between the 4th and every GA before or since, and all it takes for people to prove me wrong is to show up on a re-occuring basis and participate. however if you disagree please elaborate on how some one who comes to one GA to change the name of the movement but doesn’t return is an active participant. i await your pointed critique and commentary.

    thank you for the time and consideration you’ve put into this dialogue.

  14. fellow worker

    “We don’t have consensus building in our decision making process. We have a voting process. Someone usually loses, unless zero people happen to vote “no.” Even if one person votes “no,” there is a loser. That is not consensus. The fault is not to be found with the proposer, nor the proposal. The blame is to be laid upon how we make decisions together in the Oakland movement…

    …And that is how the Oakland GA’s are. The process is flawed, no matter how people react to certain ideas during the conversation. Even if everyone smiled at each other the whole time, and no one disrupted, and everyone did their twinkle fingers and downward waggy fingers when appropriate, the process would still have been flawed.
    One person tried to make a change to this by submitting a proposal to allow for amendments to be made before voting. The GA did not support it by 90% or more.”

    1. i know how real consensus decision making as opposed to “modified” consensus operates, its how seeds of peace, and the shundahai network functioned, it was common on the peace marches, in the big mountain support network and various earth first actions etc.

    2. the point i mean to be making is that the proposal process is uniquely flawed for addressing issues as complex as those brought up by this proposal. one sentence or a two page proposal is not the solution to resolving over 500 years of violence and oppression. no proposal could possibly being or end the ongoing process that we must engage in to come to terms w/ our shared history of oppression and struggle here in the present.

    3. conclusive proposals are fine for things that have a conclusive answer, their not really all that good for resolving deeper issues like how do we come to terms w/ the legacy of colonialism and act to resist the replication of similar social dynamics in the present. if people want to do a teach-in, dialogue, action planning training around this issue im down. and i think that could be vary productive, because it could give a shared basis for understanding, thinking through and acting up these issues in a large group setting that is designed to bring everyone together and build upon differences and divergent perspectives as points of strength and diversity which can sustain our resistance.

    4. to say that this is how GA’s are, misses the point. i know GA’s are designed to be conclusive, its about making decisions. And this is THE problem with trying to address the historical legacy of colonization and the ongoing occupation and desecration of Ohlone lands specifically and indigenous lands generally, the GA can’t be a forum for a conclusive end to this issue. this is something all must walk with for the rest of our days.

    “And it doesn’t mean that the presenters weren’t okay with those amendments. Even if it appeared to you that the women who presented the proposal were frowning and shaking their heads, you don’t know for sure because we haven’t had that dialogue aloud together. All you have is your conjecture on this web page.”

    fair enough, but more accurately “i” have more than my conjecture on this website, “we” have my conjecture on this website which is informed by observations made on the 4th, which in no way are conclusive. so i will concede that i have no way of knowing if the friendly amendments would’ve been accepted or not – my bad. and thanks for pointing it.

    “That depends. Did you respond those statements and offer your point of view in order to build consensus? Did you three attempt to meet somewhere in the middle? I think building consensus involves more than just one point of view (more than just what the sign holders were saying). It’s not just about them being in the wrong and you being in the right. It’s about dialogue. I don’t know what words were had between you three individuals to know whether or not you all were working toward consensus.”

    obviously not having been a part of the conversations you are at a disadvantage. but of course i offered a counter-point of view, and without getting into all the details i would say that i was told how i need to be a better white ally by voting on the proposal despite there being an utter lack of language about shared history of struggle (that i keep mentioning), and in the other instance i was told that instead of having been a of supporting the Dine Resistance on Black Mesa, I was told i should be convincing other whites to come to terms w/ the legacy of colonialism, to this i responded that i do when w/ family i try to demonstrate who white privilege functions, and how it’s incredibly offensive for my cousin to say he lives in the ghetto because he lives in a mixed race/gentrifying neighborhood, and the vary fact that he lives there means its not a ghetto and that he should understand what that term means and why its not be taken lightly. the response was positive – i suppose consensus was reach between him and i – at least with regard to my “white ally” bonafides. which shouldn’t be the issue but is unfortunately how it ended up being framed.

    “I found it interesting that in your response to me, you identified people by race while attaching that marker to their ideas.
    Regarding a man you spoke with about the idea of changing the name of the movement to “liberate,” you said, “… he openly criticized them and as a Black Man/POC he told me he was deeply offend by the entire presentation and how it sought to manipulate white guilt while distracting from more pressing concerns like the port shutdown and finding a permanent home so those who are here 24/7 can sleep.”

    “Many of the people they offended were other POC like the Tactical Action Committee, Running Wolf, and Boomer”
    “After about an hour and half a Hawaiian brother who had spoken the most powerfully in group discussion turned to me and said I don’t even care anymore.”

    Yes, there were people of color who disagreed with the proposal. People of color are not monolithic in ideas, political thought, etc.”’

    1. Yes i did. this is for a couple of reasons. The first is that they did. In each instance you’ve sited the individuals referred to their own racial identity at some point in the discussions i had w/ them. I’m not imposing these identifications on them. the second is that i believe that we live in a world where we are marked differentially by our race and that race has meaning assigned to it, to identify people by their races and explicate racial dynamics is take into account we don’t live in a color blind society. in whiteness studies the act of concealing race by refusing to name it and address the existence of differential race relations and power dynamics is in fact how contemporary racism opperates within modern liberal societies – racism is seedy underbelly of our PC colorblind society. So yes I am White. White, like all race is a social construct, it is not ontologically grounded, but it is a highly problematic construct that is in itself a form of violence. It provides unfair material advantage to those who by the chance of birth are White. this is the reality and it is only by naming it and exposing it that I can begin to undue this legacy of violence that I literally embody. so when i identify people by their race its out of an understanding that race marks us differently and that these markings inform our understand of the world.
    2. I don’t know why it is that you think i’m implying all PoC are of the same mind. Im explicitly pointing this fact out in response to your claim that when PoC bring up issues of Privilege and the Legacy of Oppression (you said “issues like these”) they are called divisive. my point was to demonstrate that you’ve inaccurately portrayed PoC as monolithic and implicitly in support of the proposal – which is not the case.

    “After about an hour and half a Hawaiian brother who had spoken the most powerfully in group discussion turned to me and said I don’t even care anymore.”
    That’s sad for him. I know that there are others who feel the same way, but for differing reasons.

    i know thats what made me sad as well, and is part of what i was refering to when i said it was disheartening. here was someone who had spoken the post passionately in favor of decolonize and with in an hour it was all lost and he was dejected.

    “I’m familiar with Jensen’s visit to the encampment. Before and after Jensen appeared, these conversations have arisen in small circles, in a forum at GA, in workshops, and in committees. Now…while the decolonization concept has been “brought up” by different individuals, the Sunday GA was the first time that the issue ever became a pressing matter in the Oakland movement, and up for real discussion amidst the entire body of the GA. I am aware that other movements have sought to change their names from “occupy” to other names. This was the first time it actually became a bit more real as the meat of conversation in this city.”

    you’ve modified your statement form “no-ones brought this up” to “no-ones brought this up in a manner that turned it into a PRESSING MATTER” and that’s fine, i agree there was a much more engaged dialogue than at any point prior. i still don’t think the proposal process is the way to go about taking up these issues as i mentioned above, and considering i provided an alternative it’s not as if this was the only way to initiate this dialogue.

  15. a_small_voice

    apologies for redundancies and errors in advance.

  16. a_small_voice

    part 1: response to fellow_worker and analysis of the dialogue
    Building Consensus
    “My problem was with what followed which was not an open process of consensus building but a stark effort to reach a divisive conclusion where someone was going to go home mad.”
    We don’t have consensus building in our decision making process. We have a voting process. Someone usually loses, unless zero people happen to vote “no.” Even if one person votes “no,” there is a loser. That is not consensus. The fault is not to be found with the proposer, nor the proposal. The blame is to be laid upon how we make decisions together in the Oakland movement.

    “what we saw on the 4th was an effort to find a conclusive end and final answer to this conversation that would allow us to finish and move on.”

    And that is how the Oakland GA’s are. The process is flawed, no matter how people react to certain ideas during the conversation. Even if everyone smiled at each other the whole time, and no one disrupted, and everyone did their twinkle fingers and downward waggy fingers when appropriate, the process would still have been flawed.
    One person tried to make a change to this by submitting a proposal to allow for amendments to be made before voting. The GA did not support it by 90% or more.

    ”The fact that some people proposed friendly amendments throughout clarifying questions and pro/con doesn’t mean that the presenters were okay with those amendments.”

    And it doesn’t mean that the presenters weren’t okay with those amendments. Even if it appeared to you that the women who presented the proposal were frowning and shaking their heads, you don’t know for sure because we haven’t had that dialogue aloud together. All you have is your conjecture on this web page.

    “Additionally I was told by at least 2 supports of the proposition (denoted by the signs they held, and statements made) that all we as “white allies” could do in this instance was to defer to the demands of those who were presenting the proposal, and that there was either no historical basis for the claims of a shared history of struggle or if there was it was irrelevant and all that mattered now was passing this motion. Does that sound like open consensus building or embodying an Indigenous framework like Zapatismo to you?”
    That depends. Did you respond those statements and offer your point of view in order to build consensus? Did you three attempt to meet somewhere in the middle? I think building consensus involves more than just one point of view (more than just what the sign holders were saying). It’s not just about them being in the wrong and you being in the right. It’s about dialogue. I don’t know what words were had between you three individuals to know whether or not you all were working toward consensus.
    Decolonization: Your Take on the Views of Whites and PoC’s

    I found it interesting that in your response to me, you identified people by race while attaching that marker to their ideas.
    Regarding a man you spoke with about the idea of changing the name of the movement to “liberate,” you said, “… he openly criticized them and as a Black Man/POC he told me he was deeply offend by the entire presentation and how it sought to manipulate white guilt while distracting from more pressing concerns like the port shutdown and finding a permanent home so those who are here 24/7 can sleep.”

    “Many of the people they offended were other POC like the Tactical Action Committee, Running Wolf, and Boomer”

    Yes, there were people of color who disagreed with the proposal. People of color are not monolithic in ideas, political thought, etc.

    “After about an hour and half a Hawaiian brother who had spoken the most powerfully in group discussion turned to me and said I don’t even care anymore.”
    That’s sad for him. I know that there are others who feel the same way, but for differing reasons.

    Yes, there were people of color who disagreed with the proposal. People of color are not monolithic in ideas, political thought, etc.

    You responded to my statement about no one else bringing this issue of decolonzation to the forefront by saying, “This is factually inaccurate. Derrick Jensen (a white man) when he other deep green resistance folks came to speak to OO brought up this issue.”

    I’m familiar with Jensen’s visit to the encampment. Before and after Jensen appeared, these conversations have arisen in small circles, in a forum at GA, in workshops, and in committees. Now…while the decolonization concept has been “brought up” by different individuals, the Sunday GA was the first time that the issue ever became a pressing matter in the Oakland movement, and up for real discussion amidst the entire body of the GA. I am aware that other movements have sought to change their names from “occupy” to other names. This was the first time it actually became a bit more real as the meat of conversation in this city.

  17. a_small_voice

    PART 2
    Multiple Perspectives
    Upon reacting to my response about America having a legacy of division along many lines, including class, race, and gender, you said, “This is not actually true.”
    My perspective of the history of America is that people have been divided. The history of my ancestors and my personal experiences speak to that. For you, it is different, and I acknowledge that. In other words, half empty, half full. Tomato, tomahto. Vase or face.
    I hold that yes, it is this country’s legacy to have divisions. Whether you view it as a fight for unity or a fight to overcome these divisions, that is fine, but for me, the divide has always been there and will always be there until we decide to do something different – hence, my attraction to this movement.
    Do Purposeful Disruptions at GA’s Sow Seeds of Division? YES.
    In response to my comment about people who boo, heckle, etc, you said, “The disruptions your describing are rarely as pointed or divisive.”
    I disagree. Whenever anyone is interrupted in a space like that – in the dark (like our usual GAs), in front of a crowd of strangers – it is divisive. It discourages other people from speaking their truth. It discourages other people from voting a certain way who might agree with the person who was heckled. I hope you aren’t saying that some heckling is acceptable while other forms of heckling are not acceptable.
    “The female presenters weren’t the only ones presenting.”
    Yes, they were. There were two women up on stage, presenting the proposal. Two other women were referred to by name as the proposal was being introduced. There were no men speaking on behalf of the proposal authors of the proposal. If there were other people talking trash, or heckling folks who gave their opinions, I agree that it’s unacceptable.

    Some Participants Are More Equal Than Others
    In response to my stance on refraining from judging how people participate in the movement, you said the following about the first timers you had never seen before the Sunday GA: “The vote would have ended the discussion and we would of moved on, to the next proposal…and many of the supports of the decolonize proposal would’ve started filtering out until we were below quorum.”
    Maybe, maybe not. Conjecture, once again.
    “Will the majority of people who were there in support of the proposition who were new faces come back? Will they stand w/ running wolf and resist ongoing repression against native people who are trying to take back the land?”
    Great questions! It’s all an experiment, like folks have been saying about this movement. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
    “lets see if they show up tonight, Friday, Sunday, or at the Port.”

    How would you be able to spot them? How would you be able to note their absence?

    “there is a real problem of people trying to take ownership/make demands of the movement without participating in it.”

    I’ve heard this being said about the anarchists in the movement. I’ve heard this being said about the new liberals in the movement. Hell, there are people who live in Oakland and are not in the movement who say the same thing about the folks who are IN the movement. They say…”well who the hell are these hippies to make decisions in our city like it’s theirs when they aren’t gonna stay around that long anyway.”

    Now I am not saying you don’t live in Oakland, and I am not saying that you are gonna “leave,” but I AM saying that this is the perception some Oaklanders have, just as you have your unfounded perceptions of others you don’t know very well.
    And Finally…

    “I don’t see why we can’t recognize the vary real pain of everyone w/out prioritizing some peoples claims over others.
”
    I think that this can totally happen.

    “ touche. and as i check mine i hope you too check your own confrontational manner and closed mindedness when reading and responding to other’s posts, and perhaps then confusions such as these won’t arise.”

    No confusion here, fellow_worker. Just some critique and some pointed commentary.

  18. fellow worker

    “a_small_voice said on December 7, 2011
    this is a response and a critique of fellow_worker’s post:
    “I was deeply disheartened by what took place at the dec. 4th GA that was subsumed by this issue.”
    it was uncomfortable for me, but i was in no way saddened. i was glad that we were having difficult conversations, face to face, in broad daylight. i was glad to see that people were taking stances, and i was glad to see that some individuals were willing to compromise and begin to work toward consensus – for example, quite a few people were interested in changing the name to “decolonize/occupy,” or to “transform,” or to “liberate.” i thought this showed that people actually considered the proposal and the sentiments of the proposers.”

    1. the conversation was beautiful as I indicated. The problem was not the conversation which was open ended and generative, my problem was with what followed which was not an open process of consensus building but a stark effort to reach a divisive conclusion where someone was going to go home mad (which is also what generally happens at the GA’s w/ non-violence proposals). Instead of Zapatista frame of “walking we ask questions” which is indeed open, what we saw on the 4th was an effort to find a conclusive end and final answer to this conversation that would allow us to finish and move on.
    2. The fact that some people proposed friendly amendments throughout clarifying questions and pro/con doesn’t mean that the presenters were okay with those amendments (and It is was clear they weren’t as evidenced by the fact that the proposers were shaking their heads in response to these permutations) nor that what unfolded was an attempt to work toward consensus. When one side didn’t get their way instead of working within the consensus decision making process they started to chant over everyone else. It is this kind of situation that consensus building is meant to avoid by not relying on majoritarian voting (thus revealing a shortcoming in the modified consensus process).
    3. Having spoken to a number of those who spoke pro/con, you know having an open mind I sought to find out more form these speakers, the man that got up and first suggested “liberate” was completely against the proposal, referred to it as “horse shit” and a waste of time. He did not consider the sentiments of the proposers and take them to heart he openly criticized them and as a Black Man/POC he told me he was deeply offend by the entire presentation and how it sought to manipulate white guilt while distracting from more pressing concerns like the port shutdown and finding a permanent home so those who are here 24/7 can sleep.
    4. Additionally I was told by at least 2 supports of the proposition (denoted by the signs they held, and statements made) that all we as “white allies” could do in this instance was to defer to the demands of those who were presenting the proposal, and that there was either no historical basis for the claims of a shared history of struggle or if there was it was irrelevant and all that mattered now was passing this motion. Does that sound like open consensus building or embodying an Indigenous framework like Zapatismo to you?
    5. After about an hour and half a Hawaiian brother who had spoken the most powerfully in group discussion turned to me and said I don’t even care anymore, and I felt similarly – this wasn’t an open generative process once it came down to making a decision it was a shit storm.

    “The forum discussion in the group i was w/ was really positive. A lot of people voiced support for the name change and spoke incredibly beautifully about what it means to exist in a time and place that is scarred by such a deep legacy and persistent condition of violence. After that everything went to shit – there is a good run down on hyphenated-republic.”
    yeah, i’m with you here.”
    1. And I you.

    ““The biggest problem that i had with the entire debate that took place during the discussion of the proposal was the divisiveness, self-defeating and contradictory messages that were being sent by people bring/supporting the proposal.”
    i strongly disagree. the divisiveness, if we agree that this exists, was present before this movement started. we live in america and that is our legacy…to be divided, to have the have and the have-nots, to be split across racial and gender (and class) lines.”

    1. This is not actually true, the history “America” (a dubious word to say the least) is full of a shared history of struggle and resistance across all the dividing lines you mentioned. The fact that the received historical narrative obscures this history is because its not in the interest of power. For instance the first British Colony in the Americas went native (see “Gone to Croatan”, or Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz has recently written on a number of examples of a shared history of struggle that have transcended these barriers in the past.) which is to say the first indentured servants who were brought to the Americas to serve the interest of the crown of England, refused their class subordination and any racial identity linking them to Europe and disserted their outpost to join the locals. The history of the Americas is full of a shared history of resistance, obscuring this fact and replicating divisive exclusionary politics, emanating largely out of the European Enlightenment, reinforces the modes of power that created and maintain the enclosure, colonialism, capitalism, the state, as well as racism, sexism, classism, homophobia etc. As P. L. Wilson has lamented how the American left has to re-invent the wheel every 10 years because we lack any historical understanding of the struggles that have come before us – this is why Utah Phillips, quoting some else, has said the Long Memory is the most radical idea in America.

    “the proposers were pointing out that the “division” exists in the movement. some people, and you are one of them, are trying to make it sound like this proposal upset the happy apple cart of occupy oakland. no, not the case. people of color are often accused of creating divisions when they try to point out problems as a way of advocating for themselves. someone needed to get up and talk about the issues that the proposers brought forth – no one else started the conversation, now did they?”

    1. This is factually inaccurate. Derrick Jensen (a white man) when he other deep green resistance folks came to speak to OO brought up this issue.
    2. The fact that other Occupies have changed their names and that there was a letter circulated to OWS and reposted here by calavarasgrande also refutes this idea that this was the first time the conversations been had.
    3. For some of us this isn’t our first encounter with this debate (be it in academic debate see the 2002/03 policy debate topic, or the 2009/10 policy debate topic or in activist debate circles). Not only have some of us been involved these debates we’ve been involved in the indigenous resistance struggle for years (in Black Mesa, Ward Valley, Yucca Mountain, Newe Segobia)
    4. I have no problem with the conversation that took place I have a problem w/ the closed minded nature of the ensuing debate over a conclusive statement and the way it was presented.
    5. I in no-way meant to make it seam like OO is an apple cart utopia, I’ve mentioned on a number of occasions that the process is ugly but preferable to more hierarchical modes of decision making. That said I haven’t seen a GA devolve into the shouting match we saw on the 4th. have you?
    6. The actions of the presenters were divisive. This is not a creation of white observers unwilling to interrogate their own privilege as occupiers of indigenous lands, many of the people they offended were other POC like the Tactical Action Committee, Running Wolf, and Boomer (see hyphenated-republic).

    ““Many people who stood up to speak were criticized before they could even make their point…”
    you’re right, that the woman who claimed she was a daughter of texas was interrupted. i would counter and say that disruptions were going on all over the place. disruptions like the one you pointed out happens at every single GA, and it’s a problem with our system. someone is ALWAYS booing, heckling, shouting out of turn, or being disrespectful. during the sunday GA, people form all sides of the equation were disruptive in some manner – this is nothing new and it was not just the those who supported the proposal who did this.”

    1. The disruptions your describing are rarely as pointed or divisive. I can only think of nonviolence proposals and the proposal to rescind the decision to set up camp at the uptown apartments garnered such open recriminations, and a refusal to hear what people have to say before they are interrupted. The fact that there is non pertinent disruptions at GA’s is beside the point, that’s not what was characteristic of the direct divisive responses that were being levied at people on the 4th.
    2. I agree that all sides were disruptive and this got worse as the evening advanced, however, when the women form texas spoke it was still early, the drum was still in the center of the participants, the TAC hadn’t started standing by the proposers, running wolf wasn’t stomping around angry at the incessant talking and inaction of the participants.
    “1st: the actions of the proposers/supporters were highly unproductive – reading the entire 2 page proposal was bullshit.”
    true, and i agree. i feel like a proposal should fit on one page, and should expressly focus on the action at hand. however, i remember one evening in particular….a dude made a proposal that lasted for 15 minutes, maybe more….where he read a straight up essay about nonviolence in the movement, page after page, after page. he wasn’t booed, heckled, or even interrupted at all, but people did say that they didn’t like having their time wasted. i point this out to say that it seems like the assembly “allows” this kind of thing.
    1. I remember that night and the statement while it did touch on all of those issue, it was more that individuals heartfelt response to the tragic loss of life the day before he wrote it, and a week or so before that specific GA. I think it was in that context that he wasn’t booed or that his unending statement was “allowed” and he was being given the wrap it up sign through out. All of the response were quite negative some were even mean. And the proposer apologized and removed the proposal recognizing that it was inappropriate. He realized afterwards that while his actions were tolerated they weren’t appreciated – no vote was taken but we actually came to consensus on that issue.

    ““It was maddening to sit through the responses to questions that were given by rereading the fucking proposal and not even addressing the issues brought up.”
    i also felt like questions weren’t directly answered.
    “also the confrontational nature of the proposers in relation to those who disagreed w/ them went along way to undermining their message as the presentation wore on”
    the proposers actually didn’t speak much after they presented their proposal and answered questions. i’m not sure of what confrontational actions you saw from those women.”

    1. The female presenters weren’t the only ones presenting. And the fact that supporters showed up w/ signs and acted in unison w/ presenters in blocking the Occupy Oakland sign, or taking people aside and castigating them for being dupes of the colonial masters it was clear that the line between presenter and supporters was nonexistent and as a group they were acting in a confrontational manner.
    “it was clear there was no possibility of coming to an agreed and shared consensus – the message was you are either with us or you are against us.”
    this is the nature of our GA. either you vote thumbs up or you vote thumbs down. the stand aside votes do not count. we do not have “consensus,” so really your complaints should be directed toward the FWG. they are working on this, to my knowledge. EVERY proposal has the underlying message that you are for it or against it. in our GA, we do not amend proposals before voting, and we do not allow blocks during the decision making.
    1. Yes this is a problem of modified consensus that relies on voting. And this reveals one of the problems of the conclusive nature of proposals they block the ongoing process of consensus building.

    ““And the idea that by passing this proposal in itself would have some sort of transformative effect on race relations or the conditions of existence for colonized people is crazy.”
    one of the proposers said something about “deeds, not words.” maybe this could have been made even clear in their proposal. the word “occupy” is a symptom of the larger problem, and while i do not speak for them, i think the proposers are aware of that. i think every one of us in the entire movement knows that this is not gonna go away over night. we are not going to be transformed with a vote. the proposal was only a step toward deeper thinking and dialogue. guess what, dude?”

    1. I don’t know? what?
    2. The vote would have ended the discussion and we would of moved on, to the next proposal, and many of the supports of the decolonize proposal would’ve started filtering out until we were below quorum.
    3. The dialogue only continues because people care more about the issues brought up than they do about the proposal itself.
    4. I have pointed out that what was being sought was not an unending process of reflection and dialogue but a definitive and conclusive statement that would shutdown such a process of open minded examination (see the Zapatista example above).

    “IT WORKED.”

    1. Really? I don’t think much time is being spent coming to an understand of our shared history of struggle, or how we can overcome the conditions of colonization, instead people are pretending like this is the first and last time we’ll have to address these issues.
    2. As if this is the first time any of us have thought of such issues. It has only “worked” if one looks at this dialogue in an historical vacuum that ignores the long history of “white allies” acting in solidarity and engaging this history in both word and deed.

    “the proposal in itself only changes a name and refocus/drains energy and resources when we are trying to mobilize to shutdown the port and keep the movement alive w/out a space in the commons that we can all exist in. the idea that this would breath life into the movement was not demonstrated, nor is it desirable for a movement to succumb to such forms of extortion – do what we say or we won’t support you is a really bad proposition.”
    the proposers DID NOT SAY “do what we say or we won’t support you.” you leapt to that conclusion. in fact, at the end when things broke down completely after the results were read, i heard one of the proposers say something like, “no matter how you voted, this is all about love and all voices are welcome.” she shouted it out at the very, very, end and it helped to refocus people back toward the GA. the proposers made a proposal (as we always do) and it got voted on (as we always do). there is no harm in bringing a proposal forth.”

    1. I feel like the message from the majority of supports/proposers was an either or proposition. For instance when people proposed alternatives/friendly amendments they were nodded down by the proposers. After the vote the crowd clearly divided in two and began chanting each other down (unlike any other GA before it) the fact that no other agenda item was addressed and that most opposition or even the appearance of difference (ie the women form texas who couldn’t even speak to her own experiences of trying to come terms w/ colonialism) engendered a response of recrimination from the supports reveals the vary zero sum thinking that some brought with them into the GA.
    2. Will the majority of people who were there in support of the proposition who were new faces come back? Will they stand w/ running wolf and resist ongoing repression against native people who are trying to take back the land? Or do they just want to have this debate in another vacuum that will be forgotten in a few months or years, at which point people like myself will be told once more that this is the first time for white allies to act in solidarity w/ colonized people or that this first time we’ve got the opportunity to think through these issues.

    ““instead of building allies and coalitions the speakers took the opportunity to preach to the choir, while ignoring every historical and contemporary example of unified political struggle.”
    the proposers may not have built an ally within you, but they did build allies, from what i observed….”

    1. this is the problem of the whole premise. I am an “ally” whatever that means. I have been an active participant in the indigenous resistance struggle for the majority of my life. my point is that people are alienated by the approach of the proposers who as boomer pointed out believe their own mythology that they were needed to come and fix this broken movement that lacks historical context. The irony being that the discussion took place in a completely ahistorical context and did more to conceal how systems of oppression have functioned both historically and presently.

    “some people reported being against the name change initially, but then said that they changed their minds as a result of hearing everyone’s thoughts and having a dialogue. some people who were against the name “decolonize” were open to a name other than “occupy,” and did acknowledge the contradictions that exist within our movement. i was blown away in my group, when a woman spoke about fighting against all forms of oppression, and how she saw that this proposal was very relevant to fighting against the oppression of the 1%, because it is all related.
    your examples of historical acts of solidarity (john brown was one; forced wage slavery was another) against imperialism and colonialism were great – and could be included in a follow-up proposal that is more inclusive of everyone’s struggle and contribution to an ongoing movement…linking this most current movement to greater acts of transformation. i see nothing wrong with bridging these ideas, while still respecting the very real pain that is going on with the movement’s “occupation” on ohlone land.”
    1. Yeah the discussion was cool. participating in an open ended process of asking questions as we wander reveals a lot about what we have in common and how we can over come differences the effort to shut this process down by framing it as a proposal that can be enacted and thus bring the discussion to an end is problematic.
    2. I don’t see why we can’t recognize the vary real pain of everyone w/out prioritizing some peoples claims over others.
    3. I don’t see how the proposal would have addressed this issue other than by making us all feel good about ourselves because of a purely symbolic act. Would the name change undue the occupation of ohlone land? Would the name change effect the decolonization of our minds? I would say the answer is obviously no. all one needs to do is look at the ways in which the call for decolonization operated w/in the logic of the colonial apparatus (private property claims and exclusionary political formations).

    “For me it was the refusal of the proposers/supports to recognize this shared history of resistance”
    again, you are making assumptions. nowhere in their proposal did they “refuse” to recognize the things you highlighted. i don’t even know how you came to that conclusion. if you got in touch with the proposers to work toward something that included those concepts, you might be surprised at the results. proposals are works in progress. we shouldn’t expect that a proposal is the final answer to all of our problems. they SHOULD be amended and tweaked as the process moves forward in time. you are putting the proposers in the position of being static and unchanging. why? you have no idea of what they are thinking or what their position is on those concepts. you’re right – they didn’t include those ideas in the proposal…but so what? who is to say they might not be open to including those ideas?…………i think you need to check your OWN confrontational mindset.”

    1. Had you been part of the conversations I referred to you would.
    2. The lack of explicit language in the proposal also creates this impression. As did the statement that this was the first opportunity for white allies to act in solidarity with colonized people in 500 years.
    3. I don’t know how you’ve failed to reach this conclusion absent any evidence to the contrary.
    4. The reason I treat proposals as static is because they are. From my understand having been at a number of FWG meetings is that Proposals cannot be amended but can be effectively recinded but counter-proposals, this came up w/ the re-occupy uptown controversy. Additionally the name change if effected would have been final and it would’ve been passed as written.
    5. It seemed clear to me that had the proposal gone up to friendly amendments that they were unlikely to be embraced by the proposers who communicated their opposition to alternative by shaking their heads.

    “a last thing i want to address is this parenthetical statement: “…numerous GA ‘participants’ quotes because this was their first and likely last GA…”
    since when do we judge people for being new to the GA?
    since when do we judge people for leaving the GA?
    since when do we judge people as being real participants in the movement, or not real enough?
    this happened at the sunday GA as well, with an agitator in the back shouting, “you should stand aside if this is your first time at GA.” your comment above in this post, and that action buy that person at GA are examples of sowing division, right there. that makes people think that some people don’t belong and that their voices should not be taken seriously. while i agree that any one (first timer or not) who disrupts is disrespectful and should be checked, i do not agree that some one who has come to GA for the first time should be discounted.
    if some folks were first timers – SO WHAT??? after the first raid, we had 2,000 people, maybe more in the plaza at GA. MANY OF THEM WERE FIRST TIMERS at the GA. many of them voted in support of the first general strike/port shut down. are you going to judge their votes, stances, and positions retroactively because they were first timers? that is some bullshit right there and i am calling it out whenever i see it.
    many folks who showed up (supporters and non supporters of the name change) were not first timers. some folks i spotted were regulars at GAs and/or in committees, and/or in actions on the streets. some of them were folks who used to come to GA, but were turned off by the nonsense that goes on in GA sometimes.if people came to support the proposal for their first time at GA, that just goes to show you what is pressing on the hearts and minds of some of our fellow oakland citizens.
    if some people do not come back to GA, that also shows you what is pressing for those individuals! open your mind, fellow_worker!”

    1. Call out whatever the fuck you want, it doesn’t change the fact that you’re mischaracterizing my position and that there is a real problem of people trying to take ownership/make demands of the movement without participating in it.
    2. im OBVIOUSLY not referring to those individuals who are participating (hence the use of the qualifying terms “likely last”) im referring to the people who I saw for the first time on the 4th but not on the 5th or on the 6th, lets see if they show up tonight, Friday, Sunday, or at the Port. This does not apply to people like Zap, one of the presenters of the Re-occupy Uptown Repeal Proposal, who opposed the move to uptown but still came down and participated on the 4th.
    3. The problem isn’t that new people show up to support their own pet agenda items. Its that that is the ONLY thing they do.
    4. It’s kind of telling that you were responding to what I wrote line for line until you came to this point, where it seems your mind was closed and all you had to speak on was the need to call me out (on a totally baseless position) and implore me to open my mind(!) and that’s cool, if not well received, because I don’t really know what the fuck your talking about – I have an open mind and am willing to be entertain nearly any alternative perspective at least for the sake of argument. If you want to make an actual argument in your effort at calling out my claim that showing up to one GA is not participation, then feel free and I’ll respond. but so far you’ve said there were other people present, and other scenarios that demonstrate that there are people who are actual participants because they show up and support the movement on a REACCURING BASIS which is what the quotations were meant to imply.
    5. touche. and as i check mine i hope you too check your own confrontational manner and closed mindedness when reading and responding to other’s posts, and perhaps then confusions such as these won’t arise.

  19. fellow worker

    thanks for the thorough response mine will follow soon.

  20. a_small_voice

    excuse my typos, by/buy…clear/clearer, and anything else

  21. a_small_voice

    this is a response and a critique of fellow_worker’s post:

    “I was deeply disheartened by what took place at the dec. 4th GA that was subsumed by this issue.”

    it was uncomfortable for me, but i was in no way saddened. i was glad that we were having difficult conversations, face to face, in broad daylight. i was glad to see that people were taking stances, and i was glad to see that some individuals were willing to compromise and begin to work toward consensus – for example, quite a few people were interested in changing the name to “decolonize/occupy,” or to “transform,” or to “liberate.” i thought this showed that people actually considered the proposal and the sentiments of the proposers.

    “The forum discussion in the group i was w/ was really positive. A lot of people voiced support for the name change and spoke incredibly beautifully about what it means to exist in a time and place that is scarred by such a deep legacy and persistent condition of violence. After that everything went to shit – there is a good run down on hyphenated-republic.”

    yeah, i’m with you here.

    “The biggest problem that i had with the entire debate that took place during the discussion of the proposal was the divisiveness, self-defeating and contradictory messages that were being sent by people bring/supporting the proposal.”

    i strongly disagree. the divisiveness, if we agree that this exists, was present before this movement started. we live in america and that is our legacy…to be divided, to have the have and the have-nots, to be split across racial and gender (and class) lines. the proposers were pointing out that the “division” exists in the movement. some people, and you are one of them, are trying to make it sound like this proposal upset the happy apple cart of occupy oakland. no, not the case. people of color are often accused of creating divisions when they try to point out problems as a way of advocating for themselves. someone needed to get up and talk about the issues that the proposers brought forth – no one else started the conversation, now did they?

    “Many people who stood up to speak were criticized before they could even make their point…”

    you’re right, that the woman who claimed she was a daughter of texas was interrupted. i would counter and say that disruptions were going on all over the place. disruptions like the one you pointed out happens at every single GA, and it’s a problem with our system. someone is ALWAYS booing, heckling, shouting out of turn, or being disrespectful. during the sunday GA, people form all sides of the equation were disruptive in some manner – this is nothing new and it was not just the those who supported the proposal who did this.

    “1st: the actions of the proposers/supporters were highly unproductive – reading the entire 2 page proposal was bullshit.”

    true, and i agree. i feel like a proposal should fit on one page, and should expressly focus on the action at hand. however, i remember one evening in particular….a dude made a proposal that lasted for 15 minutes, maybe more….where he read a straight up essay about nonviolence in the movement, page after page, after page. he wasn’t booed, heckled, or even interrupted at all, but people did say that they didn’t like having their time wasted. i point this out to say that it seems like the assembly “allows” this kind of thing.

    “It was maddening to sit through the responses to questions that were given by rereading the fucking proposal and not even addressing the issues brought up.”

    i also felt like questions weren’t directly answered.

    “also the confrontational nature of the proposers in relation to those who disagreed w/ them went along way to undermining their message as the presentation wore on”

    the proposers actually didn’t speak much after they presented their proposal and answered questions. i’m not sure of what confrontational actions you saw from those women.

    “it was clear there was no possibility of coming to an agreed and shared consensus – the message was you are either with us or you are against us.”

    this is the nature of our GA. either you vote thumbs up or you vote thumbs down. the stand aside votes do not count. we do not have “consensus,” so really your complaints should be directed toward the FWG. they are working on this, to my knowledge. EVERY proposal has the underlying message that you are for it or against it. in our GA, we do not amend proposals before voting, and we do not allow blocks during the decision making.

    “And the idea that by passing this proposal in itself would have some sort of transformative effect on race relations or the conditions of existence for colonized people is crazy.”

    one of the proposers said something about “deeds, not words.” maybe this could have been made even clear in their proposal. the word “occupy” is a symptom of the larger problem, and while i do not speak for them, i think the proposers are aware of that. i think every one of us in the entire movement knows that this is not gonna go away over night. we are not going to be transformed with a vote. the proposal was only a step toward deeper thinking and dialogue. guess what, dude?

    IT WORKED.

    “the proposal in itself only changes a name and refocus/drains energy and resources when we are trying to mobilize to shutdown the port and keep the movement alive w/out a space in the commons that we can all exist in. the idea that this would breath life into the movement was not demonstrated, nor is it desirable for a movement to succumb to such forms of extortion – do what we say or we won’t support you is a really bad proposition.”

    the proposers DID NOT SAY “do what we say or we won’t support you.” you leapt to that conclusion. in fact, at the end when things broke down completely after the results were read, i heard one of the proposers say something like, “no matter how you voted, this is all about love and all voices are welcome.” she shouted it out at the very, very, end and it helped to refocus people back toward the GA. the proposers made a proposal (as we always do) and it got voted on (as we always do). there is no harm in bringing a proposal forth.

    “instead of building allies and coalitions the speakers took the opportunity to preach to the choir, while ignoring every historical and contemporary example of unified political struggle.”

    the proposers may not have built an ally within you, but they did build allies, from what i observed. some people reported being against the name change initially, but then said that they changed their minds as a result of hearing everyone’s thoughts and having a dialogue. some people who were against the name “decolonize” were open to a name other than “occupy,” and did acknowledge the contradictions that exist within our movement. i was blown away in my group, when a woman spoke about fighting against all forms of oppression, and how she saw that this proposal was very relevant to fighting against the oppression of the 1%, because it is all related.

    your examples of historical acts of solidarity (john brown was one; forced wage slavery was another) against imperialism and colonialism were great – and could be included in a follow-up proposal that is more inclusive of everyone’s struggle and contribution to an ongoing movement…linking this most current movement to greater acts of transformation. i see nothing wrong with bridging these ideas, while still respecting the very real pain that is going on with the movement’s “occupation” on ohlone land.

    “For me it was the refusal of the proposers/supports to recognize this shared history of resistance”

    again, you are making assumptions. nowhere in their proposal did they “refuse” to recognize the things you highlighted. i don’t even know how you came to that conclusion. if you got in touch with the proposers to work toward something that included those concepts, you might be surprised at the results. proposals are works in progress. we shouldn’t expect that a proposal is the final answer to all of our problems. they SHOULD be amended and tweaked as the process moves forward in time. you are putting the proposers in the position of being static and unchanging. why? you have no idea of what they are thinking or what their position is on those concepts. you’re right – they didn’t include those ideas in the proposal…but so what? who is to say they might not be open to including those ideas?…………i think you need to check your OWN confrontational mindset.

    a last thing i want to address is this parenthetical statement: “…numerous GA ‘participants’ quotes because this was their first and likely last GA…”

    since when do we judge people for being new to the GA?

    since when do we judge people for leaving the GA?

    since when do we judge people as being real participants in the movement, or not real enough?

    this happened at the sunday GA as well, with an agitator in the back shouting, “you should stand aside if this is your first time at GA.” your comment above in this post, and that action buy that person at GA are examples of sowing division, right there. that makes people think that some people don’t belong and that their voices should not be taken seriously. while i agree that any one (first timer or not) who disrupts is disrespectful and should be checked, i do not agree that some one who has come to GA for the first time should be discounted.

    if some folks were first timers – SO WHAT??? after the first raid, we had 2,000 people, maybe more in the plaza at GA. MANY OF THEM WERE FIRST TIMERS at the GA. many of them voted in support of the first general strike/port shut down. are you going to judge their votes, stances, and positions retroactively because they were first timers? that is some bullshit right there and i am calling it out whenever i see it.

    many folks who showed up (supporters and non supporters of the name change) were not first timers. some folks i spotted were regulars at GAs and/or in committees, and/or in actions on the streets. some of them were folks who used to come to GA, but were turned off by the nonsense that goes on in GA sometimes.

    if people came to support the proposal for their first time at GA, that just goes to show you what is pressing on the hearts and minds of some of our fellow oakland citizens.

    if some people do not come back to GA, that also shows you what is pressing for those individuals! open your mind, fellow_worker!

  22. Rebel Slave Princess

    Wow, CG, that’s one slippery slope. The Rebel Slave Princess doesn’t read the same books you do, but she notes some “consanguinity” with your man in the UK, whoever he may be. He’s got you pegged: “You still believe in words …”

    Your assertion that Taoists are anarchists is neither true nor false. In this regard the Rebel Slave Princess speaks of Taoists and not of dilletante philosophers. If you follow this line far enough, you will arrive at an effective alternative to democracy, in fact the only one. And it’s not anarchism, though it requires a similar radical courage.

    Rather than spell it out, the Rebel Slave Princess simply asks this rhetorical question (since you love words so much): What does Taoism have in common with Cosa Nostra? KISS.

  23. fellow worker

    hi calaverasgrandes,

    I assume this is in response to the post i put up. first let me say, sorry for the lack rant control. i’m well aware of the debate within anarchism over the schism between Anarchism, the modern political ideology, and Anarchism, the historical tendency. im in the later camp, here’s why.

    first: while i appreciate your feeling about names and meaning i differ on this point. the idea that words precede the reality that they attempt to describe is dubious at best. humans existed before we made up a term or theorized its meaning. even if that naming and theorization has add to our understanding of what means to be human it isn’t necessary for the existence of humans. Additionally many “early” anarchist thinkers like Bakunin, Proudhon, and Kropotkin etc., recognized that anarchism predated their efforts to theorize/describe it. thus they were not the inventors of anarchism even if they participated in its naming.

    Second: I believe anarchism is an historical tendency describing most of human history. Language, which emerged at least 100,000 years ago, is an example of anarchist social organization. People invented language through a long sustained capacity to cooperate and overcome our differences to seek mutual benefit and enrichment through symbolic exchange over such a long period that it became part of vary being. Now that we’ve all inherited the many millennia of wealth produced in this period of anarchist social invention in our vary DNA none of us is compelled or coerced into using language yet we all choose to use it voluntary. the entire world is organized along non-hierarchical, non-coercive, voluntary, and mutually beneficial basis – language is proof that we’re all anarchist. The human faculty for language demonstrates how anarchism works on any scale of social interaction – be it a single individual using language skills to contemplate their surroundings, two people conversing, completely different groups of people translating for one another, to the entire species which has organized itself to use a specific means of exchange that (while it can be abusive) is fundamentally egalitarian and anarchistic. in this light the pre-civizational neolithic is in fact evidence that anarchism is not only possible but also desirable insofar as it was under the anarchistic conditions of this time that some of the most significant and lasting forms of social organization were created. P. L. Wilson also has a vary good set of arguments on this issue in the youtube series communities of resistance.

    third: not all anarchist are/were atheist, Dorothy Day, Ammon Hennacy, Leo Tolstoy etc. while im not a believer, i am a reformed militant atheist, and now i don’t care if people hold irrational beliefs. if people want to play religion, or spirituality, as in the anarchist pagan cults and joke religions P.L. Wilson/H. Bey refers to, who am i to say they can’t do it because it doesn’t make sense to me, or isn’t true/rational. i think this was an under theorized aspect of “modern anarchism” that has been updated by “anthropological anarchism” to accommodate peoples desire for spirituality while resisting the hierarchal tendencies of religious zealotry/belief in crazy powerful cloud monsters.

  24. calaverasgrandes

    I agree that decentralised non-heirarchical societies have existed before Socialism or Anarchism were around. I’ve read “Pirate Utopias”, really! There was much anti-authoritarianism in previous centuries. How could there not be? Though I think it is kind of a stretch to say that the diggers or Taoists are Anarchists. Though I certainly admire those two schools of thought. They were probably a lot more amenable to religious solutions to problems than a modern anarchist would be, for example. Anarchism was not Anarchism until it got itself a name. But then I put a lot of importance in names. :P

  25. Rebel Slave Princess

    Anarchism predates Socialism by hundreds of centuries. The Marxist/Leninist jargon is quite easy to penetrate. It’s actually not that mysterious.

    Your experience of the right being “mostly warmongers and racists” is defeatist, in the humble opinion of the Rebel Slave Princess.

  26. calaverasgrandes

    I do not so much want to reach out to “right wingers”, they are mostly warmongers and racists in my experience. I am more concerned that we will ghettoize ourselves with too much explicitly Left dogma. It can be argued that no real socialist state has yet existed due to the interference and destabilistaion efforts of western powers (EG Nicaragua’s CIA funded Contras).
    However this does not change the fact that the Left is impossibly doctrinaire and rigid in it’s thinking. It is very difficult for someone who is not educated on Marxist/Leninist principles to penetrate the jargon surrounding these conversations. Or in some cases to even recognize that some slightly awkward turns of phrase even are signifiers of such thinking. Yes I am talking about you Anarchists as well. A lot of Anarchist thought evolved from Socialist thought. So there is some shared terminology to be sure.
    Occupy needs to strive to outreach to the Middle Class just as much as they want to outreach to People of Color and people to whom English is not a primary language.
    It has been fashionable to bash “privileged middle class” people in some circles. But we do not want this do we? If you want to see what a revolution without a middle class looks like, just read up on the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia.

    in the words of Emma Goldman
    “If I can’t dance I don’t want to be in your revolution”

  27. fellow worker

    its people who have worked on labor solidarity actions all along. i’ve been sick and out of town for much of the shutdown organizing, ive only been to two meetings. honestly i don’t care if it is a union conspiracy or some other such nefariousness, i think the action is sincere and a good focus for our energy – if successful it will be the single largest occupy related action yet. sorry i can’t better explicate the process and funding/materials questions you raise but i think support is need in spite of any lingering questions around these issues.

  28. sweetpea

    fellow worker,

    re: the port shutdown -

    i see a lot of posts here questioning the motivations and people behind these port actions. i’d like to add that on the ground, the port organizers always seem to be a specialized group of people – i’m going to try to go to one of their meetings if i can…but they have this other website (don’t say who they are, only that they ”support occupy oakland”) and they always have these amazingly designed flyers. and lots of em. the rest of our actions don’t have fliers like that. where do they get their funding?

    their proposals always spring up after a tramatic event (when people turn up and vote on any clear action) with tons of out of town support. how are they producing all this action when things like the vigil at the plaza are, well, different – no posters, not a lot of concensus.

    it seems weird – do you have an opinion about it, or know the folks involved?

  29. fellow worker

    sorry about the typo/editorial error ignore the 2nd, 2nd point.

  30. fellow worker

    I was deeply disheartened by what took place at the dec. 4th GA that was subsumed by this issue.

    The forum discussion in the group i was w/ was really positive. A lot of people voiced support for the name change and spoke incredibly beautifully about what it means to exist in a time and place that is scarred by such a deep legacy and persistent condition of violence. After that everything went to shit – there is a good run down on hyphenated-republic.

    The biggest problem that i had with the entire debate that took place during the discussion of the proposal was the divisiveness, self-defeating and contradictory messages that were being sent by people bring/supporting the proposal.

    Many people who stood up to speak were criticized before they could even make their point for instance a young (white) women stood and in the course of making a point that we should change the name of Occupy to Decolonize mentioned that according to her birth records she is a “daughter of the republic of texas” and before she could even finish her sentence numerous GA “participants” (quotes because this was their first and likely last GA) and proposers started to criticize and visually respond to the speaker negatively. she concluded by saying that the idea that she is a daughter of texas is FUCKED UP and based on a truly violent history of land expropriation that she and the rest of white america needs to come terms w/. And this example demonstrates the divisive tone and approach that was engendered by the supporters of the proposal.

    The actions and rhetoric of the proposal and those who spoke in favor of it were largely self-defeating.

    1st: the actions of the proposers/supporters were highly unproductive – reading the entire 2 page proposal was bullshit. It was maddening to sit through the responses to questions that were given by rereading the fucking proposal and not even addressing the issues brought up. like the logistical question of how will Decolonize Oakland’s and Occupy Oakland’s web and social media presences being integrated – the response of reading a paragraph that doesn’t answer the question but provides a separate (non-integrated) web address at the vary end is waste of time and energy and pissed people off. also the confrontational nature of the proposers in relation to those who disagreed w/ them went along way to undermining their message as the presentation wore on, it was clear there was no possibility of coming to an agreed and shared consensus – the message was you are either with us or you are against us. And the idea that by passing this proposal in itself would have some sort of transformative effect on race relations or the conditions of existence for colonized people is crazy. the proposal in itself only changes a name and refocus/drains energy and resources when we are trying to mobilize to shutdown the port and keep the movement alive w/out a space in the commons that we can all exist in. the idea that this would breath life into the movement was not demonstrated, nor is it desirable for a movement to succumb to such forms of extortion – do what we say or we won’t support you is a really bad proposition.

    2nd: instead of building allies and coalitions the speakers took the opportunity to preach to the choir, while ignoring every historical and contemporary example of unified political struggle. for example, one guy got up and literally said “this is an opportunity for white allies, for people of european dissent, for the first in 500 years to really show solidarity w/ colonized people internationally this name change to decolonize will connect us to people around the world and much broader history.” this is insane. Actual acts of solidarity are obviously meaningless to this person, for instance John Brown’s act of solidarity was, as was every other act of solidarity form the Abolitionist, to the Desegregationist, to Central American Solidarity Actions in the 80s, to radical labors refusal to support imperialist wars long before vietnam, to the IWW efforts to organize black labor when the AFL and CIO were openly racist, to the various forms of indigenous resistance that is being supported by white allies from Big Mountain in support of the Resistance of the Traditional Dine people, to Newe Segobia to shutdown the Nevada Test Site, to Vancouver in opposition to logging and ecological destruction and the 2010 olympics, all of this history and presence of unified resistance was explicitly dismissed by this person in conversation afterwards. How can anyone believe that the symbolic act of changing the name in itself could possibly compare to these acts of solidarity? the fact that the speaker dismisses this entire history should leave one skeptical that the name change would be characterized as the first example of white allies acting in authentic solidarity w/ colonized peoples. give it a week and the whole affair would be forgotten if not for the speaker, who could try his damnedest to prove it to others, at least for everyone else who wouldn’t understand what the hell he is talking about.

    2nd the actions of the proposers/supporters was highly unproductive – reading the entire 2 page proposal was bullshit, it was maddening to sit through the responses to questions that were given by rereading the fucking proposal and not even addressing the issues brought up. like the logistical question of how will Decolonize Oakland’s and Occupy Oakland’s web and social media presences being integrated – the response of reading a paragraph that doesn’t answer the question but provides a separate (non-integrated) web address at the vary end is waste of time and energy and pissed people off. also the confrontational nature of the proposers in relation to those who disagreed w/ them went along way to undermining their message as the presentation wore on, it was clear either Occupy Oakland was either going to be with or against the proposal there was no possibility of coming to an agreed and shared consensus – the message was you are either with us or you are against us. And the idea that by passing this proposal in itself would have some sort of transformative effect on race relations or the conditions of existence for colonized people is crazy.

    3rd: and finally my biggest problem with the position of the supporters is how their arguments operated within a deeply flawed framework of replicating the varying conditions they sought to oppose.

    for example many of the arguments were based on colonial/western notions of exclusionary private property ownership rights as opposed to the notion of inclusive collective ownership and responsibility towards the land and one another. there was no mention of the commons, or of the ways the indigenous peoples of the entire world have been brought under the domination of hierarchical civilizations, empires, and nations states everywhere. there was no recognition of shared history of displacement and forceful placement into wage slavery (and yes waged work emerged for slavery see D. Graeber’s book “Possibilities”) social formations that are not of our own making nor aligned w/ our desires. One of the speakers in favor of the proposal provided a great historical context for demonstrating the connection between the occupy and decolonization struggles, indicating that “wall street” refers to the wall that was used to keep the natives out, and that the first stocks traded on the stock exchange that was built on that spot were to fund the transatlantic slave trade. One thing that was left out of this history is that one of the earliest and largest threats posed to the transatlantic slave trade in the early 1700s were the multi-racial pirate ships that emerged out of the rich cultures resistance of the time, which were resisting the land expropriation and the imposition of wage/market relations, ie modern capitalism, globally (see Marcus Rediker’s Villains of All Nations, or Peter Lambord Wilson’s ‘Pirate Utopias’).

    here is a synopsis of Rediker’s Villains of All Nations, from his website

    “This unprecedented social and cultural history of pirates proves that the real lives of this motley crew – which included cross-dressing women, people of color, and the “outcasts of all nations” – are far more compelling than contemporary myth. Pirates challenged and subverted prevailing conventions of race, class, gender, and nation, posing a radical democratic challenge to the society they left behind. They dared to play the rebellious villain on a floating international stage. The authorities hanged them for it, but the pirates triumphed in the end, winning the battle for the popular imagination in their own day and in ours.”

    For me it was the refusal of the proposers/supports to recognize this shared history of resistance, combined w/ the refusal to commit to undoing the underlying dynamics that have produced colonial oppression and modern capitalism – like exclusionary politics and private property claims.

    on a final note i would say that language of the commons is lack in much of the debate and this last reference is an effort to frame some of the dialogue not in terms of Private/Public Property, but in terms of the Commons or Collective Property. The following excerpt comes form “Eating in Public” by Gaye Chan and Nandita Sharma 2007, Published in “Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigations, Collective Theorization” by AK Press,] p.184-85

    In November of 2003, we planted twenty papaya seedlings on public land near our house in Kailua, Hawai’i. In doing so, we broke the existing state laws that delineate this space as “public” and thereby set the terms for its use. Our act had two major purposes: one was to grow and share food; the other was to problematize the concept of “public” within public space.
    Our questioning of public space may at first glance seem odd, perhaps even reckless. Many progressives see the defense of all things public as a necessary response to neoliberal assaults on state-funded spaces and services. The maintenance of resources as “public” is seen as working against processes of privatization. These sentiments are based upon two assumptions: that public space is the antithesis of private property, and that the existence of public space represents a victory of the people over nefarious special interests. The concept of the “public” is a corollary of nationalist ideologies of state power that legitimate and sustain unjust social relationships, particularly those organized through private property rights. The liberal-democratic national state is camoufl aged as a political apparatus, indeed the political apparatus, designed specifi cally to serve “the people.”
    The legitimacy of modern state power within liberal democracies, such as those of Canada and the United States, is widely regarded as being derived from popular, public consent. The “public” is touted as holding the power to revoke this legitimacy through their votes or their participation in the state’s daily operations. The idea that the national state exists because of the will of “the people” confl ates the existence of the national state with the actions of political rulers/administrators of the moment and promotes the assumption that all have equal access or say in making decisions. It also obfuscates how the historic formation of national states is rooted in the struggle over land, labor, and life—a struggle lost by those who fought against capitalism and for common, rather than private or state (i.e. “public”) property. The confl ation of the state and “public will” conceals that the “public” is never the sum of all those who are born, live, work, and die in any given space, but is limited to members of an always gendered and racialized discourse of citizenry.
    Historically, the creation of “public” spaces came at the expense of “commonly” owned property, and alongside efforts to annihilate multifaceted, broad social movements mobilized to protect a communal way of organizing life in spaces simultaneously local and global. Contrary to contemporary popular belief, common land was not only reorganized as “private” property, but also as “public” space. Nascent national states expropriated common lands as their newfound property. The violent enclosure of common lands preceded the formation of both the national state and global capitalist markets for labor and for trade. Everywhere, public spaces that had been known as the commons, were converted into sites of either private/capitalist or public/state power. Thus, while public land is said to exist as the goodly opposite to the theft that is private property, the two different ways of relating to space are actually mutually constitutive. Private property laws legislated by national states secure the personal investments of those with capital. Public property serves a host of purposes (although it too is often used as a resource-rich haven for capitalists). Perhaps most importantly, property owned by the public serves the ideological purpose of assuaging people who otherwise are exploited and oppressed into believing that the territorial nation state is indeed theirs—even as it is the main regulatory mechanism for ensuring the rights of private property owners.
    To this day, public land use is narrowly defi ned by the state within the confi nes of leisure activities, such as soccer, picnicking, admiring the view, walking a dog, and being edifi ed by the display of commissioned artworks.
    In this way, the public comes to be understood as the group that already has access to private property where they can conduct all the other activities that life demands: sleeping, working, having sex, growing food. All those things that are banned from public space. For those without private homes or reliable access to food, or for those performing activities prohibited in public, “public space” becomes a zone of criminality. Like us, the planters of prohibited papaya seedlings, all such trespassers can be charged with being a nuisance to the public, thereby eradicating them from this supposedly all-encompassing category and making them legitimate targets for coercive state force.

  31. Maxine Holz

    Satire and black humor? Really? And you reject the notion that you’re up to some version of revolution? Haven’t I offered exactly that, in deed and not in word?

    Maybe you’re the troll. You may stay on the fence, but you’re bound to fall eventually.

  32. David Heatherly

    Thanks. I think a lot of this “movement” is still more about independent action and of course the speech of just each person, so if you showed up for example on 12/12 for the Port shut-down with a sign that said “Un-Occupy Oakland”, I don’t think anybody is going to have a problem, you know? This version of revolution is going to be what you make of it. I don’t like too much efforts to pin it down. I urge people who are offended by the word “Occupy” to consider it in the spirit of satire and black humor.

  33. Be The Change

    The path to consensus is the path to death, now more than ever.

  34. Be The Change

    You’re right about FREEDOM. It’s opposite is DEMOCRACY.

  35. Be The Change

    You’re all over the map there, Bruder. No one is telling you that you can’t “be there”. 75-80 years ago, the clamor and the furor in the streets for national socialism was irresistible.

    Berlin will never burn so bright again. So geht das Leben.

    As for the right and Oakland’s hard time with it, don’t be so quick to confuse conservative values with despotism (or with the Tea Party, which is no less a packaged product as Occupy), nor Republic for Empire.

    If anything, it’s democracy (“real” or otherwise) that is the real cancer here. Sei stark.

  36. David Heatherly

    It’s just a long slog; I won’t leave you another big note like I did above, but just remember we all feel like that sometimes, and I’m sure Morningstar and a lot of her friends are feeling that way too, and it’s just that we have to form consensus which is a really painful process that involves a lot of people not getting what they feel like they need. I feel like I need a commitment to peace that isn’t there, in this group and only this group. But it’s my town and I keep representing myself. The stakes are too high to pretend that I can walk away.

  37. fellow worker

    come on there’s a port to shutdown. we need you and everyone you know to show up and shut it down. there are lot of peoples futures at stake in the fight between ILWU Local 21 vs EGT and the fight between the Teamsters and SSA/PMA. please come out even if people like myself make you feel uncomfortable w/ OO. we really need you w/ us on the 12th, if not sooner for outreach we meet on GA days at 5pm and your warmly welcome.

  38. David Heatherly

    @twistedchick — I agree, personally I am part of whatever “Occupy”, “Decolonize”, whatever group wherever I happen to be. I’ve already been out to New Mexico and hung out with Occupy Santa Fe, I talked with UnOccupy Albuquerque while I was out there, I’ve been up to Davis and Sacramento, I support all those groups. I started out supporting Occupy Oakland but now I guess I’m really part of it. But I feel like sometimes, half-protestor and half-counter protestor. I don’t feel like there’s enough room for real diversity of opinion in our group. But it is what it is, this is my town and I’ve lived here for 13 or 14 years and I love it. So this is my main group, because I can come out almost every night to do something with people, and try to make this what we need it to be.

  39. David Heatherly

    Ok, I will call you right now — we are doing an informational protest on Saturday, everybody’s meeting at the Plaza around noon. It’s called “Kittens” (“mobilize like kittens, not like sheep”). Occupy Oakland endorsed this tonight. We are going to be spreading information and inspiration about a lot of concerns of the Oakland community all over the town. The idea of this is to spread our energy all around town that day and to create informational pickets, flash mobs, whatever kind of sensible and exciting action you can think of that people might want to sign on to.

  40. David Heatherly

    It’s hard for a lot of people in Oakland to accept that there is any value coming from the “Right.” And I understand that perspective. I mean, look at the shit that is out there. Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, G. Gordon Liddy, I mean these guys are scary. And there are mentally ill people who spend all day listening to these goons and doing some target practice. But we shouldn’t be too quick to dismiss the Ron Paul folks or the Libertarians from our group. I was a registered Libertarian myself when I was younger.

    If we can’t even bring in the people on the Right who are actually fucking awake — and that includes a lot of people who were part of the original “Tea Party” before it was co-opted by the Koch brothers and other elites — then we definitely are not going to win.

    But in Oakland things are complicated, you know? I mean I marched with Occupy Oakland on 10/22, and on 10/25, and 11/2. On 10/27, 2 days after my wife and I walked through the lingering tear gas in our own downtown, I was about to leave for New Mexico for 4 days and I wanted to take a temperature check of Occupy Oakland. So I took a couple bags of apples down and told people I wanted to talk about Citizen Activism and Non-Violence. Very quickly I encountered a surprisingly confrontational young lady from the medic group, with whom I had a testy but mostly respectful dialog that eventually involved about 30 different people and several film crews.

    But I’ll never forget, she was the first person who told me to leave Occupy. But I guess I’m a bit of a “gadfly”, Socrates is my original hero you know. I’m a good devil’s advocate. I tried to tell her that most Americans are not ready for a violent socialist revolution, and she tried to tell me that I was presumptuous to speak for other people. LOL. No, sister, but I’m not in a self-aware bubble of young activists all the time; I also go to my job and see how most everybody is still asleep. Anyway she told me to leave. But that just made me want to stay even more. Because it’s the same reaction I had when the cops started shooting tear gas at us. I don’t really want to be there in the middle of the street on Broadway on a Tuesday night. I’d rather be home enjoying a brew and some music.

    But if you start telling me I can’t be there, I’m gonna be there. Because that’s part of what it is to be a human being, never mind what it is to be an American. We need to be free. And the old stale ideas of the last century aren’t going to save us in this crisis. If we can win some real democracy, I think then the socialists are going to finally have a voice in our government and in our culture, and I think they should be happy with that and not blow their energy off on pipe dreams. Fight for removing money from politics, ending the 2 party system, and at least your voice will now be heard and not crushed.

  41. Sistah Sarah

    “What happened to solidarity?” There was never any solidarity. That’s just wishful thinking. If there were solidarity, we wouldn’t need to vote on anything.

    Democracy is the new motto of colonialism.

  42. calaverasgrandes

    This rhetoric about colonialism really speaks to a post Vietnam Marxist dialectic. In Marxist thought, all capitalism is colonialism. I am not saying that is an invalid viewpoint, or dismissing the POC who use this terminology. But neither can you take it as a given that all Occupy Oakland folks accept that reasoning out of hand.
    I dont think we should commit ourselves to the ideologies of previously failed Left platforms. Especially since the 99% would by definition be a spectrum of thought from right to left.

  43. Iriswaters

    This seems a better bet, since it speaks to multiple issues. It touches colonialism as well as pointing out that America is functionally an occupied police state. And does so without inflaming the bitter wounds that racial division scars across the American psyche too badly right at the outset.

    Again, I do think that addressing racial oppression and exploitation, colonialism/imperialism, and systemic privilege is well within the purview of this movement. But sadly, if it is made central, at this juncture, I’m afraid the result will be more divisive than it is helpful.

    The popularity of this movement arose from it’s addressing something most everyone can agree with: our current economic model is not working for anyone but the ultra-rich, and our political systems serves the same powers. It’s important to keep the focus on this specifically because it is not a wedge issue, but a populist one.

    Use the space to educate people. If presented well, the truth will become self evident for most, and a shift in consciousness will become possible. But remember, we need the support of the whole of America. Including many people who do not, as yet, understand.

  44. Iriswaters

    Capitalism is about the theft of land and bodies, period. It’s feudalistic serfdom continued unabated, with a slight change in form. The fact that the ruling white people ran out of new white bodies and land to exploit and discovered the joy of exploiting non-white bodies and land is beside the point. Especially since the idea of a unified white people is purely a construct, designed to convince the 99% of Europe to aid in the exploitation of yet more people, while becoming even more complicit in their own exploitation.

    Colonialism is purely an artifact of capitalism and it’s not dissimilar predecessors. The distinction between colored and non-colored, an insane delineation, is entirely constructed for the purpose of turning poor white people into prison guards of their own prison.

    It is simply not true to say that capitalism would be nothing without colonialism, since colonialism is only one form that conquest and exploitation takes. And one that is largely predated by capitalism. And stating that exploitation of colored land and bodies is one of the primary divisions between the 1% and the 99% seems to be suggesting (though I’m certain unintentionally) that all non-colored folk are part of, or support, the 1%.

    The difficulty with the language here is that it feels, even unintentionally, like an attack. It’s very, very difficult to explain to white people that by calling out systemic white supremacy, you aren’t throwing specific blame at the feet of all individual white people. One part of the problem here is that some people actually -do-, and the division-mongers play on that to drive that wedge deeper.

    The quickest way to alienate a potential ally is to open a conversation with anything that comes across as a personal attack. And sadly, given the current state of racial dynamics, the language you are using is going to come across as an attack to many potential allies.

    I realize that occupy has a nasty ring to it for many. But sadly, decolonize not only does as well, to a different set, but it also narrows the focus of a protest movement that has as wide spread a level of support as it does specifically because of it’s wide open format. And it narrows the focus onto an issue that, for many people excited about the movement, is either less central, or actually actively alienating. And not just white people either.

    Use the space. Hold teach-ins. Talk to people about these issues. Educate and inspire. But don’t chase off the very folk who -most- need to hear what you have to say by ignoring their concerns, or creating a space where they feel unwelcomed.

  45. macha

    Thats the only reason you dont support the name change? Capitalism was/is fueled by colonialism, the two are intertwined. Capitalism would be nothing without the centuries of theft of the land and bodies of people of color. Its not exactly a false pretense to say its part of the division between the 99% and the 1%. Lets not play semantics. And of course all people in colonized spaces breathe in its pollution- its not just about color… no one is arguing that poor folks of any place dont experience exploitation just because their not indigenous or a certain color…. ug. Why is Oakland so attached to its Occupy brand name? What happened to solidarity?

  46. Liberate Oakland

    Un-tagged from announcements to reduce cross-posting. See guidelines at top of category.

  47. Simcha

    Thanks for bringing some intelligence to this debate. I couldn’t have stated this better. I feel left out by this completely and this is why. This nonsense is based on a false premise. I can’t keep showing up where I don’t feel welcome. I can’t keep working with a group that seems to be bent on distancing itself from reality and the rest of the movement as a whole. I don’t see the purpose of this and it does nothing to help the cause. It keeps people focused on their own pet causes that don’t include everyone. Let me know when this group is ready to get down to work.

  48. Simcha

    Thank you for helping me reach clarity. While OO or DO debates politically correct nonsense, I’ll go do something practical at Occupy Berkeley. I’ll join the knitters making hats and scarves for Occupiers in colder parts of the country. I no longer feel welcome in this “Oakland” movement. It’s too bad. I’ve lived in Oakland for over 9 years. I’ve only worked in Berkeley for 6 years. Oh well…

    Call me when OO or DO or whatever does something relevant that will attract more of us in the 99%.

  49. twistedchick

    another reason why a lot of Oaklanders don’t participate in Occupy Oakland…..instead they choose to invest their energy in surrounding movements i.e. Snowpark(when it was up), Berkeley, Cal, n SF.

  50. Winstanley

    “This name change signals our deep and lasting commitment to liberation and meaningful political education against corporate and capitalist violence, which are rooted in colonial relations.”

    “The divisions that exist between the 99% and the 1% are built on colonial relations.”

    The main reason I am against the name change is because the above analysis is not true. Well it may be true for some colonized people but not for most people. It does not pay attention to people who were originally and whose desendants may be still exploited outside of a colonial relationship. Not just poor whites, but also poor people of every country who are marginalized and exploited by their own ruling classes, whatever color they are.

    You don’t have to be a marxist to understand that colonialism came AFTER capitalism, not the reverse. Columbus’ voyage was about getting wealth, it was only *rationalized* and sold to the poor europeans who stood to gain nothing from the project as a way to spread white christian civilization.

    Lets also not forget the reactionary uses of “anti-imperialism.” The Japanese invaded China and slaughtered millions throughout east Asia under the banner of “uniting the colored races” againt imperialism.

  51. David Heatherly

    Oh also, just so you are prepared, I know that one argument people are going to bring as a Con is: “We have to maintain our name brand recognition.” They won’t say “name brand” but that’s essentially the argument. However, I think that the 99% movement needs to be fast on its feet. Already the term “Occupy” is associated with a lot of negative stereotypes, mostly undeserved, but I think that if people don’t recognize us as the same group just because we changed our name, then oh well what is it all for anyway? “Occupy” is just a name for a tactic.

    We aren’t a group of people whose vision of the future of America is: everybody living in tents. I hope that’s not it. We need to continue to Occupy, even if only symbolically, just like we need to continue to use human mic, even if sometimes only symbolically. We should acknowledge our inspiration from the Occupation of Alcatraz Island — I know that I’m proud to be a resident of the bay area specifically because of such a history of activism. I’m proud that I was born in Redwood City just a few years after that happening.

    We should continue to occupy symbolic spaces, and to send a message through doing it but not get too caught up in day-to-day logistics. Therefore, a movement to a broader name could inspire other groups to adopt names that reflect their local issues, just as “UnOccupy Albuquerque did from the very beginning of that group.

  52. David Heatherly

    Thanks gals! Personally I prefer the name “Un-Occupy Oakland”, because I visited Occupy Santa Fe and talked to the people at Un-Occupy Albuquerque last month and they had a lot of the same sentiments as you have expressed regarding the feeling of alienation from the term “Occupy” which is how they feel about so much of their land in what is so absurdly called “New Mexico U.S.A.” But I can go for “Decolonize Oakland.” If it doesn’t work though, let me offer a friendly amendment in advance: “Un-Occupy Oakland.”