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.

30th March 2012

Post with 4 notes

Billy: Tool or Provocateur?

General Assemblies are famously plagued by losers. Let’s be honest - every great GA has, in equal amounts, been accompanied by a GA which descended into a shitfest because of someone with an obvious mental problem or personality disorder. From Juan (“You are all fucking idiots!) to Donald (“This is fascism! Facilitation is run by Fascists!” as he plows a small Latina girl over in his wheelchair) Occupy LA has been no different. Despite running an impressive GA - OLA is one of the few assemblies in Occupy which runs on a 100% pure-consensus model, with a beautifully orchestrated and clear website which effortlessly debunks the Liberal myth that anarchists hate organization - OLA GA has yet to come up with an effective way to deal with provocateurs. Had OLA been run by Communists or Panthers, doubtless Juan, Donald and their ilk would have been swiftly disposed of with a bullet in the head, or their penis rammed down their throat. Unfortunately, radical inclusion, coupled with bleeding-heart liberals, means little more than a kerfuffle of dis-ease every time idiots descend on the GA with the intent to garner an audience with a tantrum, a meltdown, and a stream of abuse.

But when does simply being an obnoxious moron become something more insidious? Paranoia abounds in the Occupy movement, from the Phantom Occupier Sue Basko’s (chemically-induced?) rants about Psy-Ops, to Occupy Oakland’s (now disbanded) Media Team’s dangerous episode of snitch-jacketing. What we’re about to say then, is that our most recent provocateur - Billy Yllanes - is probably just an obnoxious moron, like Donald, and like Juan. But unlike Donald and Juan, his attempts to incite OLA into foolish actions have larger consequences than simply disrupting a GA.

The first time we saw Billy Yllanes was when he came to GA to make a proposal to Re-Occupy South Central Farms. His reasons for doing so? He had the support of LAPD and Jan Perry. Yep - that’s right. Billy Yllanes stood in front of Occupy LA and told them he had the support of LAPD and Jan Perry. Not only that - Billy didn’t have the support of the South Central Farmers themselves. In fact, they couldn’t stand the guy, and sent along this letter to GA, which a member of the assembly read out to Billy:

As a once elected representative of the South Central Farmers, I don’t believe that I can support the occupation of the South Central Farm, once located at 41st and Alameda, the way that Mr. Billy Lllanes has been proposing in his proposal to the General Assembly (GA). 
We have had several encounters with Mr. Billy Llanes.  Our first occasion was when Mr. Llanes showed up to one our weekly meetings in our community without being invited.  He came and laid his vision for the SCF and we had to asked him to leave because he was not considerate of the historical reality of the those who had been in struggle for many years.  The next day he published a very derogatory document accusing many of the women in our group as having been discriminatory towards him.  Many in our group and the community were shocked to have someone from the outside tell us what we should do with SCF.
While Mr. Llanes is entitled to his belief about what is good for SCF we must not overlook the violence that the community of SCF has experienced.  Not only has this land once been sited for a energy generating incinerator in the 1980s.  Not only has this land been sited for warehouses for the port.  This land continues under treat for development for sweatshops. 
We believe that if Occupy LA is interested in the community around SCF that much outreach needs to be done; including several listening general assemblies.  Where OLA can understand the issues in this community, what the farm represented for this community, and why it is so desperately needed. The people around SCF are continuously under the structural violence not only materially, symbolic, and culturally.
While the community has and continues to struggle for the restoration of 41st and Alameda it must be done with the consent of the community around that area and we have not seen that happen.

Given the whole assembly tabled the proposal, you might have thought that would have been enough to stop Billy Yllanes, who videotaped everyone at that GA who hardblocked him. But no! The dude came back to GA with exactly the same proposal less than a week later, and defended his decision by saying the Farmer who wrote the above letter was biased and racist, and Billy knew what was best for the community - even if they did not.

Unsurprisingly, the proposal was tabled again and the assembly made its feelings about the return of this BS very clear.

Let’s look at the consequences of Re-Occupying South Central Farms. Given the once-public land is now privately owned, anyone setting foot on that plot will last maybe 15 minutes before LAPD swoop down and beat the crap out of them. Maybe a public display at 41st and Alameda would bring public awareness back to this once-widely known campaign - but only if supported by the Farmers and the local community. Fifty lone Occupiers with cardboard signs bringing police presence into a predominantly Latino low-income area who frequently suffer from racist policing and do not support the Occupiers, would do nothing but say: Hello. We’re Occupy White Privilege. We don’t give a fuck about you and your community. The fact you lost that battle against City Council to get back the land Jan Perry illegally sold to Ralph Horowitz, despite overwhelming local and celebrity support and awareness, is because you’re not Occupy. We’re going to take that land back for fifteen minutes, get everyone in jail on felony charges, bring massive police presence to the neighborhood, and look like White Savior Kony-ass dipshits who don’t have a clue about organizing in the local community. Oh wait! People think we’re that already!

I leave it to you, oh OLAASM fans. Billy Yllanes: total fucking idiot, or tool of Jan Perry? Does it fucking matter? No. The guy’s a tool of the Tim Trepanier Occupicnic calibre. That’s all we need to know. Next!

Tagged: billy yllanessouth central farmersoccupy laprovocateurswhite saviorskony 2012occupicnictim trepanier

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:

rad·i·cal 

adj \ˈra-di-kəl\ 
1

: 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