Daily Archives: November 3, 2011

Tahrir and Oakland plus Unwoman and the wisdom of Paul Mason

I am reposted this from libcom:

I letter of solidarity to the #Occupy movement, from activists in Cairo, which also attempts to clear up some of the misconceptions surrounding the Egyptian Revolution in regards to nonviolence.

To all those across the world currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.

Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call “the Arab spring” has its roots in the demonstrations, riots, strikes and occupations taking place all around the world, its foundations lie in years-long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repression, disenfranchisement and the unchecked ravages of global capitalism (yes, we said it, capitalism): a system that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhabitants. As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic development or urban renewal scheme.

An entire generation across the globe has grown up realising, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organisations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the south found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

The current crisis in America and western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity state now even attack the private realm and people’s right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatised and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy, real estate portfolios and police “protection”. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labour made them real and livable?

Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

In our own occupations of Tahrir, we encountered people entering the square every day in tears because it was the first time they had walked through those streets and spaces without being harassed by police; it is not just the ideas that are important, these spaces are fundamental to the possibility of a new world. These are public spaces. Spaces for gathering, leisure, meeting and interacting – these spaces should be the reason we live in cities. Where the state and the interests of owners have made them inaccessible, exclusive or dangerous, it is up to us to make sure that they are safe, inclusive and just. We have and must continue to open them to anyone that wants to build a better world, particularly for the marginalised, the excluded and those groups who have suffered the worst.

What you do in these spaces is neither as grandiose and abstract nor as quotidian as “real democracy”; the nascent forms of praxis and social engagement being made in the occupations avoid the empty ideals and stale parliamentarianism that the term democracy has come to represent. And so the occupations must continue, because there is no one left to ask for reform. They must continue because we are creating what we can no longer wait for.

But the ideologies of property and propriety will manifest themselves again. Whether through the overt opposition of property owners or municipalities to your encampments or the more subtle attempts to control space through traffic regulations, anti-camping laws or health and safety rules. There is a direct conflict between what we seek to make of our cities and our spaces and what the law and the systems of policing standing behind it would have us do.

We faced such direct and indirect violence, and continue to face it. Those who said that the Egyptian revolution was peaceful did not see the horrors that police visited upon us, nor did they see the resistance and even force that revolutionaries used against the police to defend their tentative occupations and spaces: by the government’s own admission, 99 police stations were put to the torch, thousands of police cars were destroyed and all of the ruling party’s offices around Egypt were burned down. Barricades were erected, officers were beaten back and pelted with rocks even as they fired tear gas and live ammunition on us. But at the end of the day on 28 January they retreated, and we had won our cities.

It is not our desire to participate in violence, but it is even less our desire to lose. If we do not resist, actively, when they come to take what we have won back, then we will surely lose. Do not confuse the tactics that we used when we shouted “peaceful” with fetishising nonviolence; if the state had given up immediately we would have been overjoyed, but as they sought to abuse us, beat us, kill us, we knew that there was no other option than to fight back. Had we laid down and allowed ourselves to be arrested, tortured and martyred to “make a point”, we would be no less bloodied, beaten and dead. Be prepared to defend these things you have occupied, that you are building, because, after everything else has been taken from us, these reclaimed spaces are so very precious.

By way of concluding, then, our only real advice to you is to continue, keep going and do not stop. Occupy more, find each other, build larger and larger networks and keep discovering new ways to experiment with social life, consensus and democracy. Discover new ways to use these spaces, discover new ways to hold on to them and never give them up again. Resist fiercely when you are under attack, but otherwise take pleasure in what you are doing, let it be easy, fun even. We are all watching one another now, and from Cairo we want to say that we are in solidarity with you, and we love you all for what you are doing.

The song is by Voltairine de Cleyre.

Also, Paul Mason is interesting on OWS:

Why? Because everybody I speak to, interview or discuss background with keeps dropping the words “Occupy Wall Street” into the conversation. In fact if #OWS were a global brand, like the designer apparel shops that line the Rue d’Antibes here, it would have a profile to die for among the super-elite.

#OWS has, in just a few weeks, become global shorthand among policymakers for “what can happen” if they don’t regain control of the situation. Once you get a coalition of perfectly ordinary people saying “we’ve had enough”, and then you have to watch as the cops baton and taser them in the name of the trespass laws, you know you are in a reputational crisis.

Angel Gurria, boss of the OECD, who I’ve just interviewed, is not the first to say “they have a point”. There needs to be a social aspect to the anti-crisis response: something to stimulate growth and give hope to a generation that have had their future cancelled: that is pretty much accepted among every one of the G20 nations that is a democracy.

Athens spiralled out of control two weeks ago: the sight of Communists in crash helmets fighting anarchists and right-wing nationalists in balaclavas did not please those who have read the micro history of the Greek Civil War.

My hunch is that someone in the Pasok hierarchy – maybe someone in the deep support networks the party has in the Greek town and village – simply said: “George – we can no longer sell this to our people.”

In any case, anybody with even remote knowledge of the early 1930s knows that the moment street politics within a nation start dictating its stance at international summits is the moment you have to worry about the global system fragmenting.

Tonight on Newsnight – as well as reporting on the latest here – I will be exploring some of the parallels with the 1930s. Though the policymakers will be playing a straight bat here, saying a multi-lateral, co-ordinated approach is the only way, two top UK economists I’ve interviewed – one from the free market wing and one Keynesian – are remarkably close to saying it’s time to forget worrying about protectionism, and for the mainstream to start responding to the demands for national solutions.

The rationale: if the mainstream does not deliver – as in the 1930s, others will try.

The subtext: it’s probably better to deal with protesters whose symbolic image is a ballet dancer pirouetting on top of the Wall Street bull statue, than some other, less politically endearing iconography.

Between liberalism and Leftism: A dialogue, Part 1

When left-wingers defend themselves apart from liberals, many people seem confused due the right’s deliberate equation of the two. Recently I have been in heavy dialogue with Ben at MARMALADE . Anyway, after going through impressive amounts of demographic data, he presented me with this:

Both liberalism and conservativism are creations of modern society, but both are built on natural predispositions that evolved in human nature long before modern society (probably long before all of civilization). Humanity is still experimenting with all of this and has yet to find a balance.

From a liberal perspective, what seems obvious to me is that all of us moderns are ‘liberals’ (relative to the past). The liberal is the modern “man of the present” (the man of our age) or at least that is what they liberal strives to be, and so the liberal has in some ways taken the place of the traditionalist (playing the role of conserving institutions in a changing world and conserving cultures in a multicultural world). The reactionary conservative has left behind the role of the traditionalist and maybe the reason conservatives attack liberals so harshly is because liberals have taken up that traditionalist role (so, they criticize liberals as weak as they’ve criticized traditionalists as weak).

However, it wasn’t the liberal who caused the conservative to leave behind the role of the traditionalists. The liberal merely picked up the role because the liberal realized it was a necessary role that someone had to play. No, the real reason the conservative left behind the role of traditionalist for the role of reactionary was because of the rise of the left-winger. It is left-wingers who are “men of the future”, and conservatives as the penultimate “men of the past” have adopted the left-wing ideologies and tactics of the past. Traditionalism is no defense against progressivism, both liberals and conservatives realizing this. All traditionalism can do is moderate the changes happening in the present by seeking balance (through compromise) between the push/pull of the left-wing revolutionaries and the right-wing counter-revolutionaries.

The challenge for the liberal is that the role of traditionalist doesn’t really fit the liberal worldview. Nonetheless, the liberal fears modern liberal society falling apart and all the liberal gains being lost. Someone has to compromise… and so the liberal is in a tough spot, not able to be fully himself. This is particularly true when reactionary conservatives become dominant and left-wingers become weak… because then liberals become the necessary representatives of left-wing revolution/progressivism (at least in the minds of reactionary conservatives who always need an enemy to fight against, even if that requires them to invent an enemy). It’s only when left-wing ideologies are ascendant that the liberal can have some breathing room. Liberals don’t want to fight conservatives in the way conservatives want to fight. It’s only left-wingers who can fulfill this position of worthy enemy.
This is why liberals have struggled so much and been so confused in recent decades. The left-wing was in constant retreat which left liberals to use all of their strength just in trying to hold the center, to keep it from shifting too far right. This makes me wonder. Where did the left-wingers go? It’s not as if they all disappeared. It’s just that left-wingers became divided in sectarianism while also getting lost in abstract theorizing and so their activism became impotent. Liberals fought as well as they could without much organized support from left-wingers, but there was only so much liberals could do alone. As time went on, liberals weren’t just fighting conservatives but often fighting left-wingers as well. Many liberals turned to the Democratic Party as their last refuge because they had no where else to turn (left-wingers, of course, interpreting this as selling out). Liberals who chose to remain independent became lonely fighters or else apathetic recluses. Independent liberals, like left-wingers, have felt abandoned by the ‘liberal’ establishment (their liberalism being rather questionable from the stand point of the independent liberal). Left-wingers in particular see that it was the ‘liberal’ establishment that left them rather than left-wingers having abandoned liberals. Either way, a splintering happened on the left.

- – -

In conclusion, that is how we ended up in this situation: Where most of the population supports many liberal positions even as they don’t support the liberal label. Where even the most liberal of liberals are either ignorant about what liberalism means or wary of being identified as such. And where the entire left is disempowered and often divided against itself.

On a positive note: It’s only during such times of tumult and uncertainty that genuine progressive change happens… because it’s only when conservatives have dominated so forcefully that the fires of the left-leaning imagination is stoked to such an extent that new visions of society can form. The furnace for that imagination is grassroots populism of the variety seen right now with the Occupy movement. Whether or not people understand liberalism or like to be labeled that way, the protest movement that has developed is pure liberalism in action.

To which I responded with this and I have filled it out in more detail:

“Liberalism” and “conservatism” as temperaments, agreed. However, this is where I am going to step out of my “left-winger” opposition to you, and move to point out that those temperaments exist within both the conservative and the left-wing group. Libertarians tend to be temperamentally liberal according to Haidt’s research. Chomsky, who is a left-winger, is also temperamentally liberal, which is why a small minority of highly partisan left-wingers hate his guts which, honestly, surprises even me even though I have many, many criticism of him.

I think the disagreement is who we can trust the Liberal establishment, which is a the service of the managerial class to actually listen to EITHER the left wing or even left-liberals. (Notice, I use the term Left-liberal for what you are describing and I do this NOT as a slur, but to make it distinguishable from neo-liberalism). Furthermore, your analysis doesn’t really address class distinctions while focusing on personality. I think personality plays the large role, but class distinctions do separate things quite a bit.

On your assertion that all the splits were just over theory, I only partially agree. The part is that the activist left wing now has not theory and the theory has no activism. The sectarian debates weren’t just over theory, they were very real life and death policies in the 1970s and 1980s that had body counts in other places outside of the US. It wasn’t a field just fought in one country and when our delusions about China and Russia ruptured, we didn’t know where to go. Honestly we still don’t: we are returning to Marx, but even the left-wingers do so in ignorance of a lot of the events of between 1920-1980 because they aren’t part of the popular discourse in America.

There’s an excellent two books on this, Ben, Revolution in the Air by Max Elbaum about the rise and implosion of the Leninist, Maoists, and third worldists in the 60s and 70s. Black Panthers were not just a party inspired by Malcolm X, they were Maoists. The other is Marxism to Post-Marxism?by Goran Therborn. Both are from the socialists at Verso, but they are critical of the historical failure of the left.

But yes, the spirit of negation is a philosophical break, our utopianism which has, admittedly, been served by liberal implementation, but this has not been particularly well served by compromise with the traditionalists or the reactionaries. This has let to frustration, and, to be fair, to be distrustful of liberals who want to function within the Democratic party and even those outside of it. The impulse to compromise seems like an impulse to obstruction which is why the liberals playing the role of traditionalist is apt.

And Ben responded with a few interesting ideas as well:

I don’t see ideologies and temperaments as being absolutely separate. The ideologies we are raised with do impact our temperaments. Also, some psychological traits we are born with and tend to persist no matter external conditions. Both work together to form who we are. However, our inherent nature (often genetic and/or in utero) strongly influences the ideologies we’ll be drawn to as adults, especially as these traits relate to such factors as IQ, curiosity, experimentation, willingness to confront authority, etc.

There are some confusing factors.

There is the libertarian factor. You mention Haidt. I know of his research, but it is very limited. He doesn’t include many of the liberal values as if he doesn’t even recognize they exist. I think the research is fine for what it tests. It just doesn’t test everything relevant to what he theorizes about.

Furthermore, I suspect the label ‘libertarian’ might have some of the same problems of the label ‘liberal’. This could skew a lot of research. As I’ve pointed out, only 60% of the most liberal of liberals even identify as ‘liberal’, 9% actually identifying as conservative. Libertarianism has similarly been shoved into a particular corner. Most people automatically think of right-libertarianism when they hear the term ‘libertarian’. So, many moderate and left-leaning libertarians might not even identify as ‘libertarian’. I don’t know if Haidt was studying self-identified ‘libertarians’ (which would mostly be right-libertarians) or studying those who test high in their support of libertarian positions (then the question arises about what is a ‘libertarian’ position, too often defined in terms of right-libertarianism).

Even so, his research is interesting for what it does explore and what it is able to clarify. It shows the areas where libertarians are more similar to conservatives and where libertarians are more similar to liberals.

……

modern conservatism. I don’t know if someone could be both a conservative and a RWA, but research shows they aren’t the same thing. Nonetheless, in the US (and I suspect in Western Europe as well from where US conservatism originated), there is a lot of overlap between conservatism and RWA, the conservative movement either being the byproduct of or the merging point of the two.

There isn’t, however, an equivalent liberal movement that causes liberalism to become as conflated with left-wing ideologies. Whereas conservative pushes away from the moderate center, liberalism pulls toward the moderate center. There isn’t a far left liberal movement in the way there isn’t a far left liberal Democratic Party. Corey Robin points out that, when conservatives speak of conservatism, they clearly imply and sometimes directly speak of right-wing counterrevolutionary motivations. Quite differently, when liberals speak of liberalism, they don’t tend to speak in terms of left-wing revolutionary motivations.

To confuse matters further, there is much crossover between the right-wing and the left-wing. A libertarian can be either left or right. There is no simple, linear spectrum that includes all of that along with conservative and liberal. When people speak of conservative and liberal, they often are speaking more of general worldviews and/or predispositions. But when people speak of right-wing and left-wing, they usually are referring to specific ideologies. There is one distinction, though. I could see a left-winger with either a liberal or a conservative predisposition (similarly, research shows that communists in communist countries test high on Right-Wing Authoritarianism), but in the US it seems to me that it is harder to imagine a right-winger with a fully liberal predisposition (such as in terms of sympathy). To speak just of the ‘left’, I don’t see any clear spectrum between liberalism and leftism, the two often are distinct.

By the way, the opposite of Right-Wing Authoritarianism would be Left-Wing Anarchism. However, I don’t know that anyone has studied the opposite of RWA. I was just now wondering how this might relate to conservatism and liberalism. As research shows, someone holding a left-wing ideology can have a RWA personality. I doubt, though, that a liberal could have a RWA personality because they simply are opposite in so many ways (for example, liberals test high on ‘openness’ and RWAs test low). In the opposite direction, someone holding a right-wing ideology probably could have a personality of Left-Wing Anarchism and yet it is highly unlikely that a conservative could.

I noticed you mentioned your use of left-liberalism to distinguish from neo-liberalism. Many have noted that neo-liberals and neo-conservatives have more in common (some combination of corporatism and empire-building, the difference being in emphasis) than they respectively have for liberals and conservatives. A neo-liberal isn’t a liberal and a neo-conservative isn’t a conservative. So, if you mean neo-liberalism when you speak of the ‘liberal’ establishment, then you are in actuality speaking of something that is directly anti-liberal in essence. This is yet another reason that the Democratic Party isn’t a liberal party.

Yet still more from the #Occupy Oakland Twitter Stream and the live stream

joeyxczc Joey
A man is holding a sign saying “Undercover police are here to incite violence”. #occupyoakland #oo.

RT @thomas_peele Rumors that police might be flanking #OO. #ows #99percent #OccupyTogether #nonviolence #OccupyOakland #OccupyEverything

littlefoxy Tina Marie Stinnett☯
Most of the people arrested tonight in Oakland are Millennials: bit.ly/ugq6Tv #oo #oaklandstrike #ows

ahtrinibabe Annemarie Stephens
#occupyoakland: anarchist at it again trying to change the msg w/ destructive behavior. In solidarity w/ protesters keep the peace Oaktown!

joeyxczc Joey
Oh, look, CNN mentions #occupyoakland and shows video of anarchists. – #globalrevolution live on livestream.com/globalrevoluti…

susie_c Susie Cagle
#occupyoakland arrested in wagon now

OakFoSho Spencer: For Hire
LIVE! #OccupyOakland INVADED BY #OPD! #OWS #GENERALSTRIKE #OO #P21 – ustre.am/EqY3 (3:03am)

sgtkeso Xander Hudsom
*extensive* graffiti damage all around 14th and broadway. Looks horrible. #occupyoakland

phenatypical whitney erin boesel
.@AnonMedics reporting rumors of large number DPW trucks driving around, & “police transports” staging “somewhere nearby” (unconfirmed). #oo

Listening to the live stream there are police helicopters are flying over the head in the stream. The police are moving in as of 7:07 Seoul time. I think that’s 3 in the morning in California.

Anyway, this has already made the news at Motherjones.

Rumors are that it was HS helicoptors:

var0sha var0sha
#occupyoakland Unless someone has a high res still pic of the ‘DHS helicopter’, I’m not believing it. This needs to be confirmed or refuted.

I saw a helicopter on the live stream, but I highly doubt its DHS helicopter.

Last twit-update, things look to have stopped:

garonsen Gavin Aronsen
But it’s important again to note that the overwhelming majority of #occupyoakland condemn the rioters and want to keep the movement strong.
1 minute ago

garonsen Gavin Aronsen
Many others are questioning whether there may have ben police provocateurs in the mix during tonight’s rioting. #occupyoakland
3 minutes ago

garonsen Gavin Aronsen
But now, with the focus drawn from #ows to #occupyoakland, some here wonder how tonight’s turn of events could affect the mvmt nationwide.

There have been worries about both sub-sections of tactically foolish anarchists or provocateurs. We won’t know for awhile. Anyway, things are calm now. It’s time to see what else is going on.

IN solidarity,

Skepoet

Yet More on Oakland: the First round of November 3 Tear Gas Attacks.

More from Oakland: It’s getting hot.

I can’t find confirmation, but I watching the live stream from Oakland, as soon as it was dark tear gas appears to be used. On the live-stream video there seems to be use of pepper-spray paintballs and rubber bullets. Most of the officers have covered their names with tape. Oakland police seem to be the aggressors while Alameda PD is standing back.

Here are some the tweets since I don’t have means to save the video:

RT @willsmusic: Police seem to be attempting to incite violence at #occupyoakland. Sporadic tear gas, rubber bullets. Not enough to disperse, but anger.

DownWithTheBull DownWithTheBull #ows #occupyoakland OPD is the one shooting protesters with rubber bullets and tear gas, Alameda PD is just standing by RT

AbbyMartin Abby Martin: Tear gas, police from all sides closing in on occupiers downtown. I feel like I’m in a war zone. Protest peaceful til now. #OccupyOakland

OccupyPics Stevie T: PROTEST PHOTO: Anarchy and stuff.: margaretkilljoy posted a photo: You know, anarchy. General… dlvr.it/tS53m #occupyOakland #ows

larsiachi Lars Rismyhr: Get @oakfosho some freaking batteries down at Oscar Grant Plaza!!!!! #occupywallst #occupyoakland

BishUPONaSTAR Original Bish!
RT @FeelthyRich: Police are arresting protesters & tear gas is wack got my nose running #OccupyOakland lockerz.com/s/152827568

MarkMayhew Mark Mayhew
I’m a vet, using Twitter for five years now, but the last two hours following #occupyoakland rioting and OPD using tear gas, etc, wow.

talhawynne Talha Asim Wynne
RT @antonnewcombe: police officers have no badges,have tape covering their names,rubber bullets and teargas being used #OccupyOakland

San Mateo County Sheriff bus leaving towards 17th. #occupyoakland @XpressNews http://yfrog.com/h8cngilj

Photo: Tents r untouched #occupyoakland (Taken with instagram) http://tmblr.co/ZUrdNyBRt4UX

Update: 5:49 PM Seoul time, they just announced that 15th and Broadway was an illegal assembly. They are giving an chemical agent warning.

TheManAbides Erik Bigglestone
“The area of 15th and Broadway has been declared an illegal gathering.” Chemical agent warnings given. #OccupyOakland ustre.am/EqY3

2noame Scott Santens
“Unlawful assembly” declared in Oakland. Chemicals warnings. Watch LIVE w/ thousands of others at livestream.com/globalrevoluti… #OccupyOakland #OWS

Burningstew Stewart B
Wow. Masses of armed police scare me, especially with robo lady on megaphone ustream.tv/channel/occupy… #occupyoakland

http://bit.ly/s9IWOq #occupyoakland live stream…order to leave just given, chemical agents about to be used on rest of the protesters

Hiram_nl Hiram, anarchist
Cops preparing to use more violence against unarmed, peaceful protesters at #OccupyOakland. Live stream here: ustream.tv/channel/occupy…

TheCoFed Food + Community
#OccupyOakland streaming live via @Oakfosho livestream.com/globalrevoluti… 10,000 watching across the world ~ Police warning chemical attack imminent!

alexisb677 Lexi
RT @Sharon1943 .@MotherJones: Police warning #occupyoakland protesters to leave intersection of 15th and Broadway now. (Not the camp).

GlobalRevLive Global Revolution
interestingly the internet feed system copying the Alameda County police scanner went down a while ago #occupyoakland #commsblackout

Taunia_Adams TauniaAdams
#occupyoakland This! MT @MMFlint: Oakland police rioting again. some people decided 2 respond by destroying property. Please – nonviolence!

IraFuse Kelz-o
So I’m reading that #OccupyOakland has turned violent. Police rioting and protestors breaking/destroying property…

freshoreste Jámës Orëstë
RT @nightporter_69 If you are arrested call NLG at 415-285-1011. #occupyoakland #ows

NFonseca78 Nicholas Fonseca
I don’t support tear gassing them, but The #occupyoakland protestors do themselves no favors when they start vandalizing their own city.

So things are heating up. Meanwhile we see this:

Gunservatively Gunservatively
Pictures from OBAMA-ENDORSED #OccupyOakland pictures that won’t make MSM front pages michellemalkin.com/2011/11/03/mor… via @michellemalkin

GregoryRHerman Greg Herman
To think there exists Americans so stupid…makes a man sad. Via @PatDollard Video bit.ly/sR4loJ #tcot #OccupyOakland

insidebayarea insidebayarea
RT @Josh_Richman: U.S. flag set afire at 14th & Broadway #OccupyOakland #generalstrike pic.twitter.com/uv2RMnXG

Notice that the counter-forces from the conservatives as already starting. A bunch of conservatives callings the occupiers stupid and dangerous. It’s going to be interesting how this continues to go down.

Update: 6:04 Seoul Time.

Screams on the livestream: REMAIN CALM. REMAIN NOT VIOLENT. DO NOT THROW ANYTHING. It’s hard to follow both the live stream and twitter.

DownWithTheBull DownWithTheBull
#ows #occupyoakland Poeple yelling “we are peaceful, we are oakland” cops getting ready to move in again. RT

aaronlmorrison aaronlmorrison
RT @insidebayarea: RT @Josh_Richman: Many in #OccupyOakland #generalstrike camp have voiced disgust at deliberate provocation of cops

thehoopoe هدهد
#OccupyOakland we still at 14th & broadway. Cops moving closer. Some people are drumming.

lerkunAnon kerryn
@JLLLOW MT @WinyanStaz: livestream is back up…plse rt this as far as you can… is.gd/RSYZbw (v @timeoutcorner) #oo #occupyoakland

The livestream are listing police from all the greater Bay area. This was planned and it is large.

breeynmccarney Breeyn McCarney
Good luck, #occupyoakland. I know from experience that cops shipped in have less sympathy for the locals.

natemezmer nate mezmer
Dude what??? Oakland PD, Belmont/Alameda/Concord/Colma PD #OccupyOakland this is crazy antagonistic! @JeanQuan YOU ARE OVER #ows

OaklandSlam Oakland Poetry Slam
so many different PDs out… Alameda County Sheriffs, Hayward, San Carlos, Belmont, and like 5 or 6 others (if not more) #occupyoakland

Update: 6:17 PM Seoul Time.
The tension is getting very, very high on the livestream. Furthermore there are some disturbing tweets:

dixiebfree dixie pauline
#occupyoakland police ordered ambulances to not take injured until “given the all clear”. Ambulance is just sitting 2 blocks away.

subkrew SubKrew
Prepared to repel borders #OccupyOakland riot gear ready… i see the teargas cannon

randytweets510 Randall G.
RT @RT_com /Reports Oakland police reinforced by San Francisco, Richmond PDs, others #OccupyOakland #generalstrike

JuliaHRhee Julia Rhee
MT @lczawaultsky: TearGas relief: bit.ly/t87wxv @JuliaHRhee @mrdaveyd @northoaklandnow @OakFoSho @garonsen Peace & RT #OccupyOakland

tammois Tammi Jonas
Everyone shouting ‘our streets’ at #occupyoakland now. My heart is breaking for my country of birth. tammois.com/sCWZo

calvinwilliams3 C.M.Williams III
Downtown #OccupyOakland right now is a militarized zone. My heart breaks for this moment… #RebuildOakland

Apparently there are some claims that some of the vandalism today was right-wing provocateurs.

internetanya N’Tanya Pagan
BREAKING NEWS! The vandalism and violence at the #OccupyOakland today was probably created by right-wing agitators! #OccupyWallStreet #ows

Occupy Oakland, General Strike, and Ports

Well, the general strike in Oakland seems to have been much more effective than I had hoped:
:

Police have taken a low-key approach to the protesters and no clashes have been reported. About 50 police officers, many in riot gear and armed with tear-gas canisters, briefly formed a line at Maritime and Bataan roads shortly after marchers arrived, but quickly backed off.

The crowd of more than 4,500 arrived at the Port shortly after 5 p.m. and stretched several blocks down Middle Harbor Road leading into the port as they begin their attempt to shut down the port for start of the 7 p.m. night shift.

Benjamin pledged that normal port operations would resume when “it’s safe and secure to do so.”

“We ask that everyone remain calm, respectful and safe. Specifically, we ask that demonstrators allow port workers safe passage home. Please allow our fellow 99 percent to get home safe to their families.”

Starting at 4 p.m., two massive groups walked the mile from 14th Street and Broadway. The crowd fanned out for a least a mile, climbed on trucks and chanted. “Whose city is it? Our city!” Police cars were parked on side streets but kept a low profile. No injuries or arrests have been reported.
The action is part of the general strike called by Occupy Oakland, which intended to shut down the city for the day in a rally cry against corporate greed, widespread unemployment and wage inequality. The general strike is the first event of its kind in Oakland since 1946.

The worldwide Occupy movement decries the economic wealth of the very rich 1 percent while the remaining 99 percent of the population struggles in the down economy.

Oakland has called for extra officers from other jurisdictions for help dealing with the Occupy general strike, signaling possible concern from officials about what direction the mostly peaceful protest will take.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Lt. Ray Lunny confirmed that Alameda County has called for mutual aid from San Mateo County. Oakland police Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan said Tuesday the city would deal with the strike with its own officers, though he has said mutual was available if needed. San Mateo County officers were instructed to bring gas masks and riot gear.

“We’re facilitating roughly 5,000 people moving freely around Oakland,” said Jordan. “So it’s possible some (other police) calls will not be handled immediately. In a perfect world we’d have 5,000 cops here too.”

Meanwhile, at Whole Foods at 27th and Bay streets, a splinter group wearing all-black and face masks threw paint balls, left graffiti, tore up a fence and broke a window before the larger crowd turned on them and forced them to stop. There were about 75 people inside the store at the time. No injuries were reported.

Of the crowd of thousands peppered around Oakland, Jordan said a small group of 60 or 70 people now identified as anarchists were responsible for the vandalism.

There is lots to unpack in that: 1) there will be a much larger “security” presences in Oakland, 2) if the Occupiers hold the port, it is likely to get hot, and 3) Oakland along with events in Greece have made it abundantly that things really are serious in a way even the occupiers themselves probably had no idea of when they begin this.

It seems like all is not well though: A Mercedes Benz seems to have hit and severely injured two occupiers, and the police did not hold him.

So it doesn’t matter how inchoate things are this now going somewhere. As to where it goes, that depends on both the protesters, and how the government reacts.

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