Hoodies and Hijabs

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OAKLAND, California – Some 200 demonstrators gathered at Oscar Grant Plaza Sunday for the Hoodies and Hijabs action. The demonstration takes place on the 11th anniversary of the War in Afghanistan. Demonstrators rallied, then began to march around 7pm. Shortly thereafter, windows of multiple bank branches, a police recruiting office, the Oakland Tribune, Oakland City Hall and other businesses were smashed.  The march returned to Oscar Grant Plaza with no arrests. Reportedly, police arrived in “snatch squads” after the marchers began to disperse in the Plaza, but failed to apprehend anyone.

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14 Responses to “Hoodies and Hijabs”

  1. Jommy Says:

    There was also an attempt to smash windows at Rudy’s Cant’ Fail Cafe. I was there. Luckily no one was hurt, as there were many people just on the other side of that window when someone picked up a table and threw it. How am I supposed to support this action!?! Terrifying those you’re trying to get the support of. Sounds like the tactics of those you’re fighting against. When you put hatred and violence in the world it doesn’t just go away. It spreads like a sickness. These violent actions taken against small businesses and their patrons are just another form of terror.

    • MG Says:

      One person, or even a small group of people’s actions, shouldn’t be used to demonize the whole movement or, in this case, an action Jommy. It’s not fair when an unprincipled act gets put on a whole group, and especially when there has historically, and presently been paid agents to provoke and make the movement look bad.

      • herzfeld Says:

        MG, that’s just a transparent rationalization. You’re basically making an argument similar to “well just because some bankers got greedy doesn’t mean the whole system of financial capital is corrupt” or “just because some officers are over-zealous in their application of force doesn’t mean the police are simply there for the violent enforcement of the policies of the ruling capitalist class”. Part of building a movement or any action is accountability to yourselves, and the community you claim to work on behalf of, for what its participants do. And to work strategically — with tactics that are consistent with principles and advance a strategy.

        Your argument won’t be heard by people beyond discussions like these; it won’t reach other members of the community who just see the actions. The actions have to speak clearly and righteously. If what’s being said in word and deed is incoherent, sloppy, and follows no particular principle and strategic logic — you’ve got no support, no movement, no traction, no change to the structure of oppression.

  2. princess acab Says:

    rudy’s can’t fail cafe=gentrification. gentrification= colonization and the diaspora of brown people from oakland. so before you start backing up ”small business owners(millionaire rockstars)” consider how you are implicit in the genocide of black and brown people and ask yourself why your pancakes take precedent over the lives of people who are being ethnically cleansed. you dont get to choose how the people struggle.

    • herzfeld Says:

      “why your pancakes take precedent over the lives of people who are being ethnically cleansed.” Hah, this is so much newly-politicized, unsophisticated, lashing-out flatulence. Equating a trendy but affordable diner with ethnic cleansing is just a rationalization to
      A.) Confuse effect with cause
      B.) feel self-righteous as somehow “outside of capitalism” and “ahead of the movement, the public understanding” — IOW elitism
      C.) act out incoherent rage mindlessly, using an ad hoc personal code of signs. You can break property (physical capital) — but if you leave social relations (property rights, class structure, etc) unscathed and capitalism intact, you’ve accomplished *nothing*.

      Merely curbing gentrification (e.g. by creating a sense of instability) does nothing to overturn the capitalism that *drives* gentrification. You also don’t serve the communities of Oakland by merely chasing $ away. There are plenty of areas in Oakland where no gentrification is taking place. Many are resource- and service-starved. Your actions don’t demonstrate your capability for taking the place of whatever paltry services the state does provide, by building a better alternative.

      As long as you let capitalism reign, there will be poverty and deprivation — degentrifying one area will just move investment elsewhere. You can’t interrupt that system with sloppy insurrectionary tactics that alienate more working people than they attract and encourage to join the struggle. You’re not qualified to fight for the larger community, but what you can do is work to organize them to act on their own behalf. It isn’t a question of defending pancakes (a red herring) — it’s having a larger vision of where the problem is rooted and a long-range strategy of how to uproot it.

      • Summerspeaker Says:

        The idea that we can win if we’re just more diligent and disciplined strikes me as implausible. Respectable and restrained organizing has as bad as record as insurrection. So far, both have failed. Capitalism, heteropatriarchy, and hierarchy of all sorts continue to reign. Text about building better alternatives and creating a mass movement is just that: text. I don’t know exactly why all our various efforts flounder, but I recommend that we blame the system rather each other. Infighting is easier, because we’re much weaker than the state and capital, but does little to advance the overall struggle.

    • bigshit Says:

      rudy’s gives every oakland pig a free meal. fuck the trough.

  3. blah Says:

    The only difference between a small business and a big business is the owner’s aptitude, not their ethics.

    • herzfeld Says:

      Your logic is the same as those who say “workers are just failed capitalists”.
      You couch your analysis in moralizing ethics rather than real structural analysis and strategy. A small family-owned business whose profits go into meeting their material needs is different from a bank run for the sake of investors (profits go to enriching shareholders and abstract reinvestment of capital). A employee owned co-op is structurally different from both of these, but is usually still a “small business”. It isn’t a question of ethics, it’s a question of class relations.

      • Summerspeaker Says:

        Plenty of small businesses – including, sadly, co-ops – treat their employees as miserably as corporations. The fetishization of small business serves capitalism.

    • Michael Says:

      Shopkeepers are not capitalists, they are shopkeepers.

  4. um Says:

    oh god^

  5. On Boots and the Black Bloc « Queering the Singularity Says:

    […] here and here for […]

  6. Zig Zag Says:

    Don’t forget that many supporters of national socialism in 1930s Germany were small shop keepers and other middle class elements. Business improvement associations are comprised of small business owners who push for gentrification, more police and security, anti-panhandling and anti-graffiti measures, etc. Still, they are not the primary target of militant attacks so we shouldn’t make a mountain out of a mole hill.

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