Author Archive

First Person Account of FBI Raid in West Oakland

18 February 2013

from Indybay:

3 days ago on Feb 13th 2013, my home, The Music Box, located on 3404 Market St in Oakland was raided by the FBI, OPD and various officers leading the investigation from Citrus Heights, CA.

The police officers at first vocalized that the intended purpose of the raid was to look for a murder suspect. Latter, they vocalized that they were there only to search for his personal belongings that could be connected with the case. The warrant stated that they were there to search for a myriad of different objects, mostly pertaining to electronic devices, digital media storing devices, clothing, and objects connected with illegal cannabis production. The warrant also stated that they could come back within 10 days of the raid to confiscate other electronic devises, specifically cell phones.

The person whose homicide case they were conducting the raid in conjunction to was in prison for other charges during the time of the raid and had been behind bars for at least a month.

The raid started at approx. 7 am, with one of the residents spotting armed police officers and federal agents approaching the house across the street, the officers then approached the front door, coming through the gate and busted in, flashing a search warrant at the resident who answered the door. They busted all of the residents o of the Music Box out of their bedrooms and forced us all to wait outside in the front of our house, forced to pee in front of them, all of us in our underwear and pajamas for approximately 2 hours while they searched through our home, taking and breaking things leaving with what we saw to be 3 or 4 bags of things. No known electronic devices were taken. They originally told us we were detained but then that too was verbally retractted. They let us all take a look at a copy of the warrant that they left for us. They attempted to interrogate some of the residents about the suspects character, his whereabouts and asking if he had ever attempted to get them to do illegal things with them. One of the residents was put into handcuffs after they went to get a pack of cigarettes.

We called out for help to passer by, pleading for them to record the event, tell people what was happening. Eventually, friends of our house were contacted for help and came by, and around that same time, they let us all go. Thankfully, no one was arrested and the Feds as well as the cops left as calmly as people like that can leave a home they just invaded.

There were approx. 10-15 officers, many armed with assault rifles and FBI agents in swat gear. Many of the officers also had small video cameras around their neck recording the whole ordeal.

The previous day, Feb 12th, a few officers showed up in the afternoon claiming to be responding to a 911 call that apparently came from our home that they were doing a routine check up on. They said, without any instigation, that they were not trying to raid the house. The residents who answered the door told them they could not enter and told them to leave. Latter in the evening on Feb 12th, several helicopters circled our home, flashing search lights into our back yard as well as the front door.

 

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ACAC19: Pack the Courts!

1 February 2013

from SupportACAC19:

Come pack the courtroom on February 8th to support the ACAC 19! Solidarity is our weapon against the state! Our love for our comrades is stronger than their cages and their courts!

When: Friday February 8th, 12:30PM

Where: 850 Bryant St. San Francisco, Department 16

What: Pack the Court

[UPDATE: the Pre-Trial was postponed for March 29th. Correction, the Pre-Trial will continue on March 29th.]

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Chowchilla Freedom Rally

21 January 2013

from the California Coalition for Women Prisoners:

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) is converting Valley State Prison for Women into a men’s prison in response to a U.S. Supreme Court order to reduce overcrowding. Instead of releasing people, they are squeezing over 1,000 women and transgender people into the two remaining women’s prisons. This has aggravated overcrowding (bringing Central California Women’s Facility’s population dangerously close to 4000), created dangerous conditions and health care is getting much worse. What’s more, they have added yet another men’s prison to their inhumane system. Read more.

Rally in Support of the Prisoners on Saturday, 26 January at 3pm in front of the Valley State Prison for Women, Chowchilla, California. RSVP on Facebook.

Carpools are leaving from Oakland and Inglewood.

Related:

Revolutionary Heartbreak: Why Every Single Rapist Has to Go

21 December 2012

via NecessaryMeansFight:

Everything that rises must converge.

I’m sure by now you’ve read the criticism that my comrades have produced about the Progressive Labor Party’s gender politics and their response to the reminder that Seth Miller is a rapist. Through all of our organizing on this issue, our position has been that PLP must administer a systemic solution to the problem of a rapist in their midst, and we’ve advocated this on behalf of our comrade at every level of leadership to which PLP will grant a non-member access.

To this point I’ve been able to compartmentalize my feelings by seeing the accountability process as another realm of organizing, but I felt personally betrayed when I learned that PLP implemented a process independently of the process we had been discussing for months. It was a harsh reminder that within the constellation of sexual violence, the political can be very personal.

In the few days since our collective released the original statement calling out Miller and PLP, I’ve been told by one PLP member that the information I have needs to “be corrected,” but they were not willing to tell me what we have wrong. Moreover, I’ve been very disappointed in my comrades’ efforts to help. People seem afraid to cut out friendships at the expense of dealing with something as difficult as rape, but the pain of cutting those ties is nothing compared to the profound and dehumanizing pain of being raped.

This essay will read to many of you like personal narrative, but you must not dismiss it because it isn’t explicitly political analysis. What I describe here reflects real friendships and real communities— relationships that are completely destroyed now because the party decided it was better to let Miller remain than to expel him and support his victim. Maybe there’s a political lesson in here somewhere. I just hope I can show how we are all deeply destroyed by rape.

Finally, a disclaimer. A few people from the party have told me to stop gossiping about this to my friends. This is not gossip. Calling this gossip renders a very serious political problem into meaningless social fodder, and it turns fighting patriarchy into labor that is gendered and dismissed as idle and childish. To those members of the party: you will not silence me like that.

This is not a love letter.

I sat on a rickety chair at a recreation center somewhere in Los Angles, and every few minutes a toddler stepped on my foot while amused adults tried to corral the kids back to a play area in the next room. On either side of me people were packed elbow-to-elbow at long folding tables eating homemade food from paper plates. The crowd of 150 or so overflowed into the alley behind the recreation center, and folks took turns at the tables while comrades performed revolutionary songs, poems, and speeches.

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Support the ACAC19

19 December 2012

On Saturday, October 6th, some 150 demonstrators converged on the Financial District of San Francisco against Columbus Day. The demonstration was announced as an anti-colonialism and anti-capitalism convergence. A short rally discussing decolonization preceded a march through Market street. However, within 15 minutes of the beginning of the march, riot police responded to a smattering of property destruction targeting banks and corporate chains by rushing the crowd of marchers. The resulting scuffle ended in 19 arrests. In an effort to ostracize the arrestees, police released photos of arrestees to local newspapers to distribute. Since the arrests, the police have subpoenaed the twitter accounts of two arrestees. The Anti-Colonialism, Anti-Capitalism Nineteen or ACAC19 are requesting that supporters contact the district attorney and demand all charges be dropped.

from SupportTheACAC19:

Recently San Francisco Superior Court Judge Andrew Y.S. Cheng denied demurrers for all but one defendant of the ACAC 19 signaling that the case will most likely go to trial in the coming months. This week we are asking all supporters to fax and call San Francisco District Attorney, George Gascón, starting Monday, December 17th to demand that all charges be dropped against the ACAC 19. (more…)

Woodland Anti-Foreclosure Struggle

11 December 2012

from ModestoAnarcho:

Eshelman Hall Shutdown

27 November 2012

BERKELEY, California – On Tuesday afternoon, students at UC Berkeley chained their necks to the 2 doors of the 6th floor of Eshelman Hall. Police are unable to enter the floor without causing severe injury to demonstrators. Initially, some 40 students gathered outside to support the action. The demonstration is calling attention to the low enrollment of students of color and austerity measures impacting students of color being employed at the university. It appears this occupation is not strictly related to #occupycal demonstrators who pitched tents and faced police brutality a little over a year ago. The action coincides with the appointment of a new chancellor, Nicholas Dirks, to the campus.

UPDATE:

5:30pm – Police appear to be unable to enter the 6th floor.

5:40pm – The occupiers have released a list of 4 demands including: amnesty to demonstrators, the restoration of the Multicultural Student Development (MSD) to its former structure, increase the MSD budget, increase funding for recruitment and retention services.

5:50pm – It appears some administrators have entered the building to negotiate. The police has otherwise restricted access to the building.

6:05pm – Negotiations have reportedly fell through, however the occupation continues.

Demonstrators outside spell out of “SOS” with candles.

6:25pm – Vice Chancellor for Equity and Inclusion Gibor Basri [and Dean Poullard] continues talks with some students. Watch livestream here.

6:40pm – Crowd outside has increased. Negotiations appear to continue. The student newspaper, the DailyCal, reports that students actually drilled their restraining locks to the doors. The demands can be found re-posted in full here.

7:00pm – Reportedly, NLG legal observers have been denied access to witness potential police action inside the building.

9:15pm – Negotiations have ended and the Eshelman occupiers have decided to exit the building. The student demonstrators have been promised a “transitional review team” and amnesty for their actions.

9:40pm – The occupation has ended.

Confronting the Many Faces of Repression

22 October 2012

from OccupyOakland — Anti-Repression Committee:

Rethinking Repression

Over the past year, we have experienced many forms of overt police repression, from the camp eviction and night of tear gas on October 25th, to raids on the vigil, to snatch and grab squads on May Day.  We have come to expect the riot-clad police, with their batons and chemical weapons, although repression comes in other forms as well.  As a community, we have not been sufficiently attuned to these other faces of repression.  As the Anti-Repression Committee (ARC), we too have focused primarily on the overt police violence on the street and its counterpart in the jails and courts.  We have spent countless hours in communication with people in jail, working with NLG folks to secure lawyers when possible, doing and mobilizing court support, and providing commissary and other forms of support for our comrades who remain locked up.  We have also held workshops to talk about some of the other forms that repression can take–and ways that we as a community can keep one another safe–but we have not done enough as a committee to address these other faces of repression. We feel that as a community we need to shift our thinking about repression, to recognize the subtler more insidious forms that it takes and the ways that it targets our sources of strength and plays on existing conflicts and divisions in an attempt to weaken, distract, and consume us.  This does not mean that we should become mired in trying to identify state infiltrators and agents. We may never know who the infiltrators are, and ultimately, whether individuals are directly working for the state when they engage in disruptive and divisive behaviors is not the point.  We need to instead focus on behaviors. If behaviors support and consolidate state campaigns of repression–then they do the state’s work of repression. (more…)

Today in Seattle

10 October 2012

Watch.

Read more about the Grand Jury Resistors here.

Pack the Courts for Anti-Columbus Day Arrestees

8 October 2012

On Saturday, a march in San Francisco against Colonialism and Capitalism resulted in 20 arrests. Police had a significant presence early on, and forced a confrontation, in turn demonstrators threw a few paint filled balloons at officers and at an ATM machine. A police officer then rammed his bicycle into a crowd member, launching a wave of riot police at demonstrators. Police wielding batons, indiscriminately pushed & struck anyone in the area. All of the demonstrators who were arrested are facing 5 or 6 charges, including inciting a riot, conspiracy to commit a crime, obstructing a peace officer, failure to disperse, and what appears to be some variant of jay walking.

UPDATE:

Some charges have been dropped and others reduced; most arrestees face 3 misdemeanors each. Trial has been set for November 9th.

Related:

Hoodies and Hijabs

7 October 2012

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.

Related:

SF Anti-Colonial/Anti-Capitalist March

6 October 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – Demonstrators gathered in San Francisco on Saturday against Colonialism and Capitalism in anticipation of Columbus Day—a day in the US that typically celebrates the European colonization of the Americas. Further action is planned for the 11th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan (Sunday) in Oakland titled Hoodies and Hijabs.

The march set to begin at 3pm met early police confrontation with multiple arrests—effectively dissolving the march. The march began at Bradley Manning Plaza and within 15 minutes, some demonstrators threw paint filled balloons at the police. Police reportedly identified one of the individuals with paint and tackled the individual and surrounding marchers at Battery and California. Reportedly, [20] were arrested. Watch the recorded video stream of the arrests here (skip to 4:00).

More videos:

Read more:

Related:

  • Donate to the Occupy Oakland Bail Fund

Oct 6 Anti-Colonial, Anti-Captalist March

23 September 2012

from Indybay:

Columbus Day 2012 marks the 520 year anniversary of the genocidal and ecocidal project of Empire building and colonial expansion that began with the conquistador invasion of this continent and continues to this day through the daily violence and exploitation of global capitalism.

It also marks the 20 year anniversary of the first American Black Bloc which disrupted the 1992 Columbus Day Parade in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. (more…)

SF Shooting Triggers Anti-Police March

22 September 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, California – On Thursday night, an undercover police officer shot a man in the Mission District—reportedly firing three shots in the man’s back. The shooting victim is not in a life-threatening condition. The police officer alleges that the man was about to fire a Tec-9 pistol and claims the shooting was in self-defense. However, skepticism around this police account immediately surfaced in parts of the community due to a history of fabrications police often contrive after shooting incidents, such as the recent case of Alan Blueford.

On Friday night, demonstrators marched through parts of the Mission District smashing bank windows, upturning tables at local “yuppie” restaurants, and throwing paint at a police station. No arrests were made.

Square and Circle: The Logic of Occupy

17 September 2012

A sobering analysis of #Occupy on it’s first anniversary, by Jasper Bernes:

Why Occupy? This is the question I want to answer in what follows. I ask, in this regard, not just about the tactical or strategic benefit of the outdoor occupation, but about the causality of the Occupy phenomenon in its entirety. Why did it arise at this particular moment and not some other moment, in this particular form and not some other form? Why did the occupations unfold in the way they did? Who took part and why?

First off, the question of timing. Why now? Or rather, to put it in more pointed terms, since the economic crisis has ushered in a newly volatile and riotous age, why did it take so long? Why did Occupy erupt in 2011 and not 2009 or 2010? Did people reach some kind of breaking point, as the economic crisis worsened month by month, as unemployment came to seem a permanent rather than transitional stage, as debts became more and more unpayable, mortgages more and more burdensome? Notably, 2011 was the year in which the effects of the crisis were particularly devastating for governmental budgets, precipitating numerous opportunistic austerity programs, particularly at the state and municipal levels. But why, then, didn’t Occupy emerge as an anti-austerity movement, as observers of events in Europe since 2008 might have predicted? Why did attempts to reproduce the Madison Capitol occupation of the preceding spring fail so miserably? Is it because of the weakness of the traditional actors in such movements, such as public sector unions? Or the deep-seated anti-statism of Americans? It is certainly notable that, unlike Greece or the UK– where the capital is also the largest city, capable of generating the largest protests – most major cuts in the US are undertaken by state rather than federal governments, meaning there is unlikely to be a single piece of austerity legislation that will conjure forth a nationwide protest movement.

As we know, Occupy imagines itself as a link in a global chain of protests which begins in Tunisia, spreads to Egypt and from there to the cities of Spain, to Greece and beyond. By the time it gets to Europe and the US, this new International of protest quite self-consciously casts itself as propagated spontaneously through ineluctable processes of contagious, “viral” replication and imitation, sometimes attributed to the dispersive, participatory character of social media. In my view, “spontaneous” is simply the name we apply to those social manifestations whose causality we don’t really understand, and if one looks closely at any of these instances, one sees groups reading the direction of the historical winds and making choices based on their sense of what’s possible. In other words, there are always specific acts of will within, if not behind, any spontaneous emergence – as we learn from the text messages the rioters of Britain sent each other – and this is certainly the case with Occupy Wall Street’s original manifestation. What distinguishes it from the earlier sequence is how long it took, how much delay there is between Syntagma Square and Zuccotti Park. This is one question we need to answer: why did it take so long? And what is it that this delay measures? One answer might be that it measures the uncertainty, here in the US, about the target, the object, around which a protest movement might cohere. As we will see, this uncertainty turns out to be crucial to the course Occupy takes.

(Read more on The New Inquiry)