Much more to say about this when I have more time, but for now, for the record: 400 people arrested, no dispersal order given, never read our rights. Everyone who made it inside the Y is being charged with “burglary”, which is obviously bullshit, and one guy I saw in the kettle and talked with in jail was charged with assault of a police officer for getting his back repeatedly in the way of police batons while lying on the ground.
I hear you will be a panelist at a forum tomorrow on the future of Occupy. I find that remarkable – almost as if Karl Rove were invited to a friendly discussion on the future of the Democratic Party. You claim to “share the concerns of the Occupy Movement” but so far you’ve been responsible for some of the harshest repression seen in the US, including the use of tear gas, not-always-lethal projectiles, and flash-bang grenades in the streets of Oakland. To prevent another encampment, you’ve flooded Oscar Grant Plaza, threatening the iconic oak tree, a symbolic reminder of how the 1% so often destroy nature in pursuit of power and profit. In addition, you’ve done all that you could to minimize Occupy Oakland’s effectiveness, discouraging people from joining the West Coast Port Shutdown and calling it “economic violence”. I have yet to hear you use the label “economic violence” to describe evictions, foreclosures, massive fraud by the banks, or the day-to-day suffering of unemployment, job insecurity, and lack of worker control under capitalism.
You might think from my lack of posting that not much has been going on. On the contrary, so much has been going on, and there’s so much I want to write, but I have been utterly busy in this extraordinary historical moment. This is a revolutionary time. What seems possible changes almost day-to-day. Politics are quite literally unpredictable.
The Occupy movement has changed me, too. At first, I took an observer’s stance. A couple of weeks in, I joined the October 5th march around the city – a march that was extremely positive and open, without any feelings of fear or aggression. The police behaved well, blocking traffic to help the march (which I believe was unpermitted).