There once was a fetid swamp of white bourgeois, liberal bilge called Occupy Los Angeles... We found each other there and emerged from that muck and mire still believing that we can win. Ask us about it at the barricades sometime.

We are sometimes anti-social - always anti-fascist. We like to smash things but sometimes our smashing is purely figurative. Some of us don’t run as fast as we used to.

Chris Hedges, Kevin Zeese, and Tina Dupuy all suggested we were pigs. David Sirota said we should ‘go fuck ourselves.’ Having drawn the ire of such liberal luminaries, we think we must be doing something right.

We are a dynamic and evolving community who eschew authorship, believing it provokes ego and craving. We promote anonymity, collective decision-making, community and truth. We have modeled this tumblr and twitter feed on the Black Bloc tactic - erasing identity and promoting solidarity - as a symbol against the corruption inherent within our movement, representing that of the wider world.

All our content is open source to those who are our comrades. We refuse to allow our words to be reproduced by any organization that is using this content for the purposes of soliciting financial or other donations. If you would like to use our words to solicit resources, ask us.

21st February 2012

Photo with 29 notes

Spring is Coming. | Occupy May 1st General Strike 

Spring is Coming. | Occupy May 1st General Strike 

Tagged: m1gsoccupymay1st.orggeneral strikeoccupylaowsolaooblack blocsolidarity

11th February 2012

Post with 14 notes

Building Something Better Than A Building

My involvement in the Battle Against the State of Oakland had its roots from the aftermath of the Regents meeting at University of California, Riverside. The day that followed was coincidentally an intensely emotional experience, as we sat in our tents on the lawn of UCR, recovering from the battle we waged with the Regents, UCR police, and Riverside Sheriffs.

That day we discussed how in each of our lives the state had either violently interfered to escalate a situation or had failed to provide the support we desperately needed. We thirsted to change the system which had oppressed us for so long.  We were hungry to reformulate our lives, each other and our community. It was that early afternoon, that one of us stumbled upon news of a library occupation at Cal. 
By the time we arrived in Berkeley, the library occupation was over. Instead we decided to roam the Bay and learned about Oakland’s Move-in Day. The Bay Area is tragically beautiful; it is a swift breeze of salty refreshment from Los Angeles. We couldn’t stay away… and that is how we ended up in urban warfare and I ended up in jail. 
The morning of Move-in Day, I woke up thrilled at the prospect of helping Oakland take a building to transform it into a community center. We had spent the night at our comrade’s apartment in Berkeley. All thirteen of us crammed into a tiny studio. 

We left at about 10:30am to arrive early for a quick meet-up with our other comrades from Los Angeles. The sun shone brilliantly, promising a gorgeous day in Oakland. At 11am, people had just begun to gather. Final touches were put on signs. Art supplies were organized. Food was loaded to be used later for the dinner at our new building. We had proclaimed a whole schedule of events for the day at the building we hoped to take. 

Before the rally even started, there was an arrest. Police grabbed someone from the crowd. We formed a circle around them, chanting “the whole world is watching” “let him go” and “fuck the police.” Police responded aggressively and pushed protesters with their batons. It was still early, and already the tone was set for the day. Thank you, Oakland Police.

After the rally at about 1pm, we took the streets. We spilled out from Oscar Grant plaza and to the corner of Broadway and 13th. Some of us in the crowd held shields with spray painted peace signs. Others held three large corrugated shields with spray pained messages: “Oakland Commune,” “Commune move in.” and “Cops move out.” It was a defense; November 2nd and Scott Olsen was still a recent painful memory. The image that circulated the Internet of his cracked, bleeding head was still freshly imprinted in my mind. I did not want to be tear gassed. I didn’t want to be hurt or killed. But I sure as fuck did not want to continue to live in this oppressive world.

To take the streets always feels liberating. My heart pounds, my smile lifts, as we march through Oakland. Behind us are mobile speakers and a large truck. Music is all around us. We are joyous. We are the people and collectively we have power. It vibrates within us, we are young, beautiful radicals and we will change the world.

The police follow us. They are ready to control us. It is their job. They do it so well; their consciousness was beat out of them a long time ago. 

The decision to march through Laney College is made. The pathways are narrow, we slow down, we lose the music truck. I have no idea where we are going. Someone shouts out a suggestion to occupy a building at Laney. We keep walking and stream into greenery and a lake.  

The police stand in a line, blocking us from leaving Laney. As usual we face off with the police, then walk around, across the bridge and emerge to see the first building we want to take. The fucking Kaiser Convention center. It is a magnificent building. It would have made a wonderful community center.

As we walk the perimeter of the building, the police are already lined up around it. The fence is torn down. I am in awe, I am pregnant with hope. When the first canister hits the ground, I am talking to my friend. I hear her scream. I think it’s tear gas and I prepare myself for stinging eyes. I have not experienced tear gas, I’m not sure what to feel. Nothing happens, more canisters, more flashes, more screams, and people rush the fence opposite the building, knocking it over in a mad dash to escape the smoke that we all believe is tear gas. It’s not. They are smoke and flash grenades. My friend disappears in the crowd. I look for my comrades to ensure their safety. 

The police draw their paintball guns. I am standing behind one of the barricades. They point to us. Bile piles into the back of my throat. I am their enemy. Through their megaphone they announce that the “State of California” declares us an unlawful assembly. I have lost count on the number of unlawful assemblies I have been a part of since October. I am an assembly, I am peaceful, I am here because this is my world and I want to change it. They don’t care. We duck behind the barricade, unsure of whether they will fire, whether we should stay. 

The crowd begins to trickle out. The police presence is heavy. The situation is impossible, the people are not ready.

Our march moves to where the Battle of Oak Street begins. 

The Battle of Oak Street occurred in front of the Oakland Museum of Natural Science in the middle of the afternoon on a Saturday. This was not your usual battle zone. Another face-off with the police. The shields are asked to advance to the front. 

The shields advance, I stand behind them. All of a sudden, there are flashes everywhere around me and the street is filled with smoke. Car alarms erupt from all sides. There are yells and screams - “Medic!” My eyes start to burn, I can’t breathe; my face is on fire. It is tear gas. I gasp for air and begin to retreat away from the smoke. A flash grenade explodes in front of me. I stumble to the sidewalk, and look up to see a dizzying array of families standing on the steps in front of the museum in shock. There are more whistles and shots. A heavy smoke hangs in the air. People are milling around in shock; many with Maalox and vinegar on their faces. The burning on my face continues but at the moment it doesn’t matter. I am in shock. I am given a gas mask, which I slip on with shaking fingers. We return the front line. Then the police start to fire bullets. I huddle behind the shield. I can feel the impact of the shots as they hit our barricades. More tear gas. The gas mask is not tight enough; my lips are burning. We begin to retreat. 

Days later when I watch the youtube videos of the Battle of Oak Street, it didn’t make any sense. It is so different to be on the inside, then it is to see it displayed from the outside. I have no perspective, it’s all a hazy smoke; all I know is that we must put our bodies on the line against the police state. It is only by being fearless in the midst of fear that we can win. What else can we do when they start to fire at us? We are not violent; we want to change the dominant narrative of private property. The Convention building currently lies vacant, we want to turn it into a useful space for the community and the movement. We don’t want to ask permission; this is a revolution - did Rosa Parks ask permission to not move? Did she check with her local police force before she committed her act of disobedience? At some point we must no longer obey because we are told to do so, we must do what is right. If the State responds violently, we must not back away, we must continue to fight; it is our duty. 

We return to Oscar Grant Plaza to recuperate. We are hungry. We are high on adrenaline. We are soldiers in the fight for justice and equality. It feels surreal to return to the sun, to sit, to laugh, to smoke a bowl. Was I just tear gassed? Are we doing it again?

My face still burns and I need to go the bathroom. I go with my comrades to find a restroom, which is almost impossible, as we go from business to business hoping someone will let us use their facilities. “Please, we were just tear gassed,” we plead at a dentist’s office. The workers look at us in shock, but refuse us. “It’s part of the rules,” the young man informs us firmly. Finally Oaksterdam allows us in. My comrade gives me some vinegar to put on my face to help with the burning. It soothes the skin and makes me feel ready to take the streets gain. 

We rest for almost an hour and then we take the streets. The sun sets; once it gets dark it will be that much harder.

We go to our second location, but the police are right behind us. First we are trapped at Snow Park. The police surround us on all sides. There is an order of dispersal followed by more tear gas. I find myself yelling, “Don’t run. Walk. Don’t panic. Walk” as  people push each other to escape the tear gas. 

But people are panicking. We take down the fence surrounding the green field in the middle of the park and run across it to escape the police kettle. We flow across the grass in a glee of liberation. We are free. The police cannot stop us. As my feet reach the pavement on the other side of the park, I realize I have won. The march continues down Broadway. I don’t care where we are going now. The beauty of collective action envelopes me. We are the people. We are brave, we are united, we are together, we can do anything; they can’t stop us. Collectively we are smarter, we are faster, we will always win. The rest of the march is a blur. I’m not sure when we were kettled again, but we were. The State and its guard dogs were done with us.

We are stopped in front of a YMCA. A handful of people get inside the YMCA and escape. The rest of us are pushed down the stairs and from the streets and into the sidewalk and the corner. Again screams, as we fall over one another, trying our best to not fall and to not trample. A  few minutes later the police announce, “You are all under arrest.”

At first I don’t believe it. There are hundreds of us pressed against this building. They can’t possibly arrest all of us. Maybe they’ll let us go.

We start to chant, “Let us go” and “This is illegal detainment.” I have no idea where my comrades are. I hope that they are out. Instant solidarity forms with the people in my kettle. Strange conversations are happening around me, “I’m sorry I won’t be home tonight. I think I am under arrest. Looks like I’ll be going to jail. I’m so sorry,” says the man behind me to someone on the phone. The woman next to me is indignant. “This is against the law. You can’t detain me. I’ll call my council members. Call the media,” she yells out. But the State doesn’t care. If we get out, it’s because we’re not worth it. In retrospect, ruminating on the events of the day, there was never a chance we would not be arrested. We threatened and twisted their authority all day long. In America that’s not ok; we are not supposed to rebel. 

As the realization that we would be arrested sunk in, the weed and alcohol erupted. Massive blunts, joints, bowls, handles of alcohol are handed to me. The kettle turns into a party. It is liberating to watch them watching us; at least we have fun no matter what we do. There is nothing in the world more fulfilling than what we do and we all know it; we are free, as we are arrested.

It takes hours to arrest us. Later I heard that there were 409 arrests. We were kettled at around 7pm, I arrived at Santa Rita at about midnight. My plastic cuffs were so tight, I could not move my wrists for hours. My fingers lost all feeling and the bumps on the bus to Santa Rita were almost unbearable. When they finally remove the cuffs, I start to cry. 

I am released on Monday morning. I spent two nights and a day in a holding cell. Jail is violent. It is a violent violation of your soul. The experience of forced lack of freedom is powerful. It is also terrifying. At Santa Rita’s detention center there are no blankets; the food consists of bologna, bread, an orange, two cookies, and a calcium drink; time is non-existent and you never know when you may be released. It is a horrific process which dehumanizes you as your curl up on a hard bench, hands pressed inside your thighs for warmth. 

Tears cloud my eyes when I see my comrades on the outside. The best thing about jail is the feeling of getting out. There is nothing better.

The revolution is a mix of victories and failures. For me it is already a victory because we are fighting. We don’t always win the battles, but we face Goliath. But with each action our collective power grows. We did not take a building on January 28th, but we built something so wonderful and so massive that two weeks later I still cannot fully grasp it.

All I know is that it is absolutely fucking better than a building.

Tagged: j28occupylaoccupyoaklandoccupyowsolaoomove in day

20th January 2012

Video with 56 notes

Police Violence at UC-Riverside, Regents Meeting, January 19, 2012

"Shame on you! Shame on you! Shame on you!"

IN this video, you can plainly see the police initiating contact with protesters who are not advancing in any way, who are struck with police violence, and who then bring in a barricade to put between themselves and the police aggressors. The protesters also sit down to show they are peaceful and are not advancing or threatening the University police force - who is bolstered by the Sheriffs. Obviously, the Sheriffs thought the Unipolice were overmatched and stepped up, but were repelled by the arrogant uni cops - who then showed how they had control… with indiscriminate violence…

The amateur, unprofessional, aggressive, violent University police unleashed a hail of rubber bullets into the crowd, hitting students and inciting panic and outrage which only escalated the confrontation and served no tactical purpose… students weren’t advance and so weren’t rebuffed, there was no dispersal order, and the police acted unilaterally with violence against the students of UC-Riverside…

This is a fucking shame…

Tagged: ucregentsriversidepoliceucpdviolencerpdstudentsrubber bulletsprotestsowsolaoccupyoucroccupyriversideoccupylosangeles

19th January 2012

Post with 18 notes

We’re All Radicals Now

“To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing.” - Raymond Williams 
It has become fashionable in some quarters within the Occupy movement, particularly in Los Angeles, to deride others as “radicals,” to decry them - quite publicly - as something “other” and outside of “us,” as it were. Sometimes, this nefarious practice even goes so far as to suggest that radicals are more than that - they are police infiltrators or “provocateurs.”

It has become commonplace within OLA to toss this word - radical - around as if applying that label to someone, in and of itself, may serve to mitigate their influence or even to dismiss their suggestions altogether. In light of this, it has become imperative that we come to an understanding of what, precisely, it means to be a radical in the United States in 2012.

  Let’s start with a working definition of the word itself. Angela Davis once noted, “radical simply means “grasping things at the root.” Davis wasn’t making some esoteric point about so-called “radicals,” she was actually paraphrasing the dictionary definition of the word itself:


adj \ˈra-di-kəl\ 

: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root 

The word radical made its way into the English language, as so many words did, by way of Latin. In fact, to further demonstrate that point - consider the radish. The radish is an edible, root vegetable. It shares the common, Latin “root” of radical - “radix.” Radicals, then, almost by very definition - are inclined to focus on the primary causes of social and economic injustice - the roots. Not content to dither with half-measures and other reformist pablum - for instance, merely restoring Glass-Steagall or overturning the ruling in Citizens United via Constitutional Amendment - radicals seek a comprehensive approach to establishing equanimity in our global community.
In much the same way that so-called “radical surgery” or “radical medicine” addresses the root cause of disease or illness, radicals in our contemporary United States and throughout the world seek to address the root causes of our current maladies. While radicals may differ in what they define those roots to be or what particular arrows from a broad quiver of diversified tactics they choose to employ to address them, what they share in common is a desire to alter or effect the root itself.
It is only after we reach the third definition in Merriam-Webster that we find even a hint of radical as “other” or epithet.This usage seems to be the province of the establishment, the corporatist so-called “reformists” of both American “left” and “right.” To wit:
3 a : very different from the usual or traditional  
But what does it mean to be “different from the usual or traditional?” It could be argued that the usual American participates in their democracy in the prescribed way - namely, by diligently doing their duty only insofar as voting when required. But even that is a tenuous argument, considering that in 2010, participation of eligible voters was a mere 38% of the voting-aged population. And this is not an aberration, as many Democrats claim. Contrary to the Democratic Party forced meme - so-called “progressives” didn’t abandon the political process - in fact - mid-term election turnout in the United States has consistently been in the 37-39% range.

Even in 2008, an election many proclaimed to be a watershed moment in American, electoral politics and generally regarded as a fundamentally important “election” for this nation (ed. the are never “important”), voter turnout was a mere 56.8% of eligible voters. While that was the greatest turnout since 1968 - it still represents little more than simple majority of eligible voters.

It would seem, then, that any participation in political struggle outside of pulling a lever on Election Day is, itself - by this definition - a radical act. Activism and organizing is - in contrast to the participatory province of the vast majority of the population - indeed radically “different from the usual or traditional” form of political participation. Indeed, the occupation and the ongoing General Assemblies are radical in this sense, and our participation in them marks us all as radicals in the eyes of the state - and the status quo it serves.
Something happened to many of us when we saw a small, radical band of people Occupying Wall Street. We felt it. We heard the code words, “horizontal,” “transparent,” “participatory,” and so on. We were given the courage to embrace our own radicalism. We were inspired to participate in ways that the vast majority of people don’t consider. In short, we were radicalized.
Some of us already were self-described radicals, while many of us seem to be having trouble coming to grips with that appellation. But the truth is - much like the writers of the Port Huron statement were keenly aware:

“We are a minority — the vast majority of our people regard the temporary equilibriums of our society and world as eternally-functional parts. In this is perhaps the outstanding paradox: we ourselves are imbued with urgency, yet the message of our society is that there is no viable alternative to the present. Beneath the reassuring tones of the politicians, beneath the common opinion that America will “muddle through”, beneath the stagnation of those who have closed their minds to the future, is the pervading feeling that there simply are no alternatives, that our times have witnessed the exhaustion not only of Utopias, but of any new departures as well. Feeling the press of complexity upon the emptiness of life, people are fearful of the thought that at any moment things might thrust out of control. They fear change itself, since change might smash whatever invisible framework seems to hold back chaos for them now.”


The truth is: we’re all radicals now. We were radicals the second we closed our laptops and participated in something other than writing a blog. Even if we write reformist piffle when we log back on, we’re radicals because we don’t just write. We occupy. We engage. We resist. We strike. So embrace it. Love it. We’ll all be in the same jail cells and courtrooms (self-described “liberals” and “radicals” alike) - we might as well get to know each other better and understand that - relatively speaking -

OccupyLA is radical. To occupy is fucking radical.

Tagged: occupylaowsolaradicalanarchistdiversity of tacticsangela davisdemocratsprovocateurs

17th January 2012

Photo with 20 notes

Tagged: olaowsoccupylabakuninanarchismcapitalismcommunism

17th January 2012

Post with 7 notes

He Who Shall Not Be Named

"He Who Shall Not Be Named" or "The Real Reason the Liberal Reformists Don’t, Won’t, Can’t and Never Will Support Any Proposal to Delegitimize the Already Illegitimate System of Voter Fraud in the Imperialist United States of America and Can’t Articulate Why Without Resorting to Tired Patriotisms"

Well comrades, I can answer this question, I will tell you what they never could and I can do it with one single word: OBAMA!  The treachery in their outright refusal to name he-who-shall-not-be-named, resorting to shaming the memory of the armies of the poor who made the ultimate sacrifice all to protect your one and only voice, the voice of your unborn children’s children, stinks like the bodies left in the wake of Neo-liberal policies meant only to perpetuate the global domination of Capitalism by force of terror.  Dance puppets, the Neo-lib puppet masters are pulling your strings, but WE WON’T GET FOOLED AGAIN!  

Fuck voting, fuck Patriotism, fuck Nationalism, fuck Xenophobia, fuck war, fuck terror, fuck Capitalism, fuck Old Glory and FUCK OBAMA!


Tagged: occupyLAOWSOLAobamareformists