PIGS ARE NO FRIENDS OF OURS
excerpted from a statement by some women and queers of Occupy Oakland
Because of recent manipulations leaked by the Oakland Police Department, we felt compelled to make something unquestionably clear: The exclusive role of the police is to serve and protect the interests of the patriarchal and racist state and the rich capitalist elite. The “justice” system of the united states has one function: to protect the rulers from us, those who would want to overturn this horrible state of things and begin a new way of living all together. So we can say with confidence that the police and the state do not give a FUCK about women, about fags, about dykes, about trans people or about queer people, UNLESS one of these people happens to be RICH and POWERFUL. OR, unless “protecting” us helps to justify their racist, patriarchal attacks on poor people, which is what they have done, once again, on Friday March 2nd in their press release.
Yesterday three of our comrades from Occupy Oakland were charged with robbery and “hate crimes” on someone for allegedly making hateful remarks on her sexuality. The OPD writes, “The Oakland Police Department prioritizes hate crimes for immediate investigation.” …The OPD’s claim that they care about “hate crimes” is a disgusting manipulation of OUR identities as women and queers, in order to justify state violence that we ABSOLUTELY OPPOSE. The history and current existence of militant radical women, queer, and trans’ movements is dealt a blow every time the state invokes our identities to hurt us and our comrades under the pretense that they are protecting us and our identities. THAT IS THEIR GOAL, to reduce our struggles to the desire for a right to vote, a right to marry, a right to buy commodities marketed especially for us.
We have worked with and alongside these 3 people with solidarity and with love for months. These are people we’ve cooked with, cleaned with, cracked jokes with, danced with, at Occupy Oakland, at the Occupy 4 Prisoners Rally, at countless events and marches. We will be at their court dates and ready with warm food when they are released. On the other hand, we have experienced nothing but brutality from OPD. We have been terrorized, verbally abused, condescended to, and assaulted by OPD. We have seen the city and the police department lie on a regular basis in order to throw occupiers in jail, particularly homeless people and people of color. So while WE actually care about misogyny and gendered violence, the OPD appropriates the language of our struggles to serve its own evil purposes.
There is racism, homophobia, transphobia, misogyny, and violence in every nook and cranny of “This Great Country.” People are treated like trash, garbage and worse, and that means sometimes we do not treat each other well. But the project of communicating, learning from each other, and dealing with assault and abuse is something that we have to do, together, and we can do it a million times better than the wettest dream of even the most ‘liberal’ state institution. If someone fucks with us because of our gender, our race, our sexuality, that is something for US to handle, whether it means mediation, accountability, reparations, violent retaliation, or exclusion — that is for US to work out together, WITHOUT the police. In order to do that, we need to break down the barriers that the police and the capitalists are so interested in building between us, so that we can start learning how to work together. It is something we began to do in the Oakland Commune before the pigs cracked down on our collective projects.
Until they tear off their badges and join our fight against the state and capital, willing to fight the officers who stay on the side of the state with as much force as they have fought us in the streets from Oakland to Cairo, the police are our enemies. And any time they purport to be on our side, or act for us, we have three little letters for them: FTP!
IN THE FACE OF POLICE REPRESSION: THE PRINCIPLE OF SOLIDARITY
A proposal passed by the ga on 2/26 and authored by the anti-repression committee
Given the current climate of police repression against Occupy Oakland, and given that a key tactic of this repression is to foment and exploit divisions among us, we hereby collectively agree to stand in solidarity with one another, across all potential divisions. We enact this principle of solidarity with one another by recognizing our individual and collective responsibility not to incriminate our fellow Occupiers, and hereby agree that:
1) We will not talk to the police about our comrades (This includes all levels of local, state and federal law enforcement, jail staff, Immigration & Customs Enforcement, Internal Affairs, and the Citizens Police Review Board.).
2) We will not post potentially incriminating information about our comrades on the internet and social media (This includes any forms of information posted on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, email, etc.).
3) We will not post potentially incriminating video footage or photos of our comrades (This includes being attentive to the fact that even minor and unintended incidences can be used as the basis for criminal prosecution.).
We also enact this principle of solidarity through the support and care we provide for one another in the face of repression. We hereby agree to express this solidarity by showing up for court support, doing jail runs and jail visits, writing letters, contributing to bail and/or commissary funds, and generally offering whatever support we are able to.
ON TERRORIST BAITING AND SNITCH JACKETING
an anonymous submission
The rhetoric of “terrorist threats” , “criminalization”, and “public safety” are the most common ideological tools of state repression. Any time we use these attacks against each other, it is an expression of the triumph of the ideology of state terrorism. It uses the language and discourse of the state, which aims to neutralize all radical activity, by making people suspicious of any irregular, non-normative behavior. It’s like all those announcements on BART to report “suspicious” behavior, or those “orange alerts” that serve to keep everyone cowed and acting “appropriately” which means not rocking any boats, not standing out, being “nice” and “normal.” This state terrorist ideology is the single main impediment (aside from brute force) to widespread resistance to the police state that we, of Occupy Oakland, know that we live in. It’s the kind of thinking that justifies the shootings of Charles Hills, the arrest, torture and emprisonment of people with names like “Ali” or “Omar.” To put it bluntly: the very notion that behind every “suspicious” act is a potential terrorist is what keeps people quiet and acting “normally”, i.e. not resisting or standing up to power.
We must reject “terrorist bating”, and the use of the terms “criminal,” “terrorist,” in the same way we reject the state’s lies about the violence and criminality of Occupy Oakland. The emergence of Homeland Security and a whole new apparatus of surveillance and repression after 911 was overtly directed against Muslim terrorists, but has also served to reinforce state repression of dissidence that attacks the capitalist, patriarchal order. To keep everyone afraid and subservient lest they be accused, to make us all think we are constantly under threat by one another and need the protection of the state.
We also must reject “snitch jacketing,” in which conflicts between people and groups result in people accusing individuals of being infiltrators without any evidence other than sentiment and coincidence. We are certainly infiltrated, comrades, but half the goal of inflitration is to make us paranoid and accuse each other, break apart communities of resistance and dissent, encourage us to make scapegoats and pariahs of people within our movement.
UPCOMING COURT DATES AND STATUS UPDATES ON IMPRISONED COMRADES
The second week of J28 arraignments is upon us! Join the anti-repression committee for Coffe Not Cops at 8:30 am on 3/5 (53 arraignments), 3/6 (56 araignments), 3/7 (29 arraignments), 3/8 (45 arraignments) and 3/9 (12 arraignments) in front of the Wiley M. Manuel Courthouse. Arraignments start at 9am.
Tiffany Tran, charged with lynching during the December 30th raid on Oscar Grant Plaza, will be fighting her stay away order at Wiley M Manuel Courthouse. Originally scheduled for last Friday, the date was put over until 3/8. Her lawyer wants us to PACK THAT COURTROOOM. No to stay away orders, no to the harassment and suppression of our movement, yes to solidarity!
Kali will need our support on the 3/7 at 9am in dept 704 at the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton. Kali was picked up on minor charges during the December 16th raid of the plaza. After four days of incarceration wherein his mental health medication was witheld, Khali was charged with a violent felony inside Santa Rita Jail. The baseless misdemeanors with which he was originally charged have thus morphed into a felony that could lead to a long prison term. Free Kali!!
Two of our comrades charged with “hate crimes” are being arraigned on Monday 1/5, at 2pm in Dept 112 at Wiley. Their codefendant was arraigned last Friday.
Eric DeSouza, arrested in Sacramento last week counter-protesting the South Africa Project with a contingent of Occupy Oaklanders, has been released on bail. He is being supported by the Anarchist Black Cross, who may still need bail support.
COME TO OCCUPY OAKLAND NEIGHBORHOOD BBQ & SPEAKOUT PLANNING MEETINGS: SUNDAYS AT 12:30 AND WEDNESDAYS AT 4:30 AT 19TH & TELEGRAPH
The Oscar Grant Plaza Gazette is distributed at every General Assembly and major Occupy Oakland event and is available online at occupyoakland.org and oscargrantplazagazette.com. We strive to contribute to the vital and necessary inter-movement conversations that shape our struggle. We need you to submit events, reflections and news to keep the conversations going: all submissions are considered at firstname.lastname@example.org.