Members of Occupy Portland and others were part of a group of around 50 people who damaged several businesses including 4 banks and a Walgreens in SE Portland on Thursday.
After arranging the action on Facebook, the group met at 8:30 pm at SE 35th & Taylor and shortly thereafter, began throwing rocks and smashing windows of businesses. Police began receiving calls, including that bottles were being thrown as people, according to NWCN, who also interviewed one man who was nearly hit in the head by an object.
Wells Fargo, Umpqua, Chase and US Bank all had their windows broken. The Walgreen’s store on Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard and Southeast Belmont Street also was vandalized. It was reported that the vandals also walked into traffic and blocked vehicles.
According to KATU, Virginia Suftin said she saw about 50 people headed her way. “I heard the noise and the glass shattering as I was walking to my apartment,” she said. “and they threw a rock right at the bank. They had a huge banner that said ‘no prisons, hug cats? And a bunch were wearing ski masks,” Suftin recalled. An anarchist report indicates the banner read: “BURN THE PRISONS, HUG CATS. YOLO (A) ACAB”. ACAB means “All Cops are Bastards”. According to the same report, they pulled news paper boxes and other items into the streets to block being followed and chanted “GIVE NO F–KS TAKE NO ORDERS, SMASH THE PRISONS AND THE BORDER!” Here is another account by an Occupier who “observed” the march
By the time police arrived, most of the people had dispersed. No arrests have been made, police said.
Here is video made by BareItorBearIt of some of the damage. The video also notes how this action was advertised on the Occupy Portland Facebook and notes who said they would be attending. Citizen Journalist has confirmed that in fact it was indeed advertised, and is still in fact up on their Facebook, although the names of those attending appear now to have been erased.
Despite this, Occupy disavowed the action, telling KATU that the event was not sanctioned, organized or affiliated with them. “The action last night was not an Occupy Portland action or march” a spokesperson said.
This particular action was reportedly in response to the jailing of three people for refusing to testify in response to grand jury subpoenas, despite being granted immunity from prosecution. Since a grand jury, by its very nature, is secret to protect the integrity of pending investigations, it is not clear what information is being sought from these three. Supporters of those jailed contend the three are being held purely for their anarchist views. This was disputed by a spokesperson for the US Attorney’s Office, Emily Langlie, stating people were not being investigated for political views. She also noted that grand juries can consider many cases, not just one, and that she cannot comment on the ongoing investigations.
If you thought Occupiers were clowns, you would be right. Literally.
But not sweet clowns, full of fun. They refer to themselves as an “insurgent rebel army” but don’t seem to get that they look ridiculous.
But even though they are ridiculous, the threatening nature can’t be quieted. Watch as the vicious, nasty clown threatens and curses police, using an umbrella, pointing it like a gun at police, and firing repeatedly.
Once upon a time, they claimed to protest banks.
Now they protest zoos to free elephants:
And a new police rescue boat, as they prance in anarchist wear and curse in front of children:
Anyone notice that they’re really not funny?
This is incredible video of the craziness of an Occupy Black Bloc action on April 30, 2012 in the Mission District in San Francisco. It was made by anarchists, and meant to be an inducement for others to join.
Citizen Journalist previously posted about this incident here with a video taken surreptiously from the middle of the black bloc. This video however is much clearer. This action grew out of an Occupy event at a local park. The event was called a “ruckus party” to protest “gentrification” in the neighborhood. At various points you can hear “all cops are bastards, ACAB”, “a anti anti capitalista”, “No more pigs in our community-Off the pigs!”, “The system has got to die, Hella, Hella, Occupy!” “Occupy will not be stopped, especially by some fucking cop”. “The revolution has come!”
Black bloc is a tactic, it is not a group. Occupiers have used the black bloc tactic (dressing in black to make it harder to id them) in many cities. It was used prior to Occupy and since by other anarchists.
Many Occupiers claimed that they were not involved, that this was “infiltrators”. But tweets on the evening show the presence of regular occupiers. There were some who were not approving. There were others, like the man you see on the video, who thought destruction was ok, as long as it was only “specific people”, i.e. the rich.
This violence included attacking a police station, local small businesses, cars(including a beat up van) and homes. Yes, homes as well. One infamous tweet from the night noted rocks being thrown through someone’s window and children crying in response. They attack a police car at ~ 1:30 and try to set it on fire.
We noted how Sparrow Media, who does media for Occupy, celebrated the attack on the police station calling it “glorious destruction”
Call to “rise up again” May 12
Although Occupy’s May Day “celebrations” were muted in numbers and over whelmed by the violence at various spots such as Seattle and San Francisco, Occupy is calling on people to do it again on May 12.
Rise up on May 12th- we are the 99%!
On the 15th of October 2011 we took to the streets in over 1000 cities in 82 countries. We got organized and took the first steps on the road to dignity and global change. That was more than six months ago yet we continue to have to raise our voices to make politicians and bankers understand that they in no way represent us. We are united in our demands: the welfare of the 99% must be respected.
Governments only represent us if they follow the will of the vast majority, not just the privileged few.We are united, we are everywhere, we are where you least expect us.
We demand, firmly but without violence: social justice, wealth distribution and an ethic of commons. (emphasis added). We condemn poverty, inequality, environmental devastation and corruption as tools of subjugation by the powerful on society.
We will not stop until we achieve our objectives: the 99% will take to the streets again and again until we have a say in the world in which we live. We want global change. Let’s turn the streets into the world’s biggest loudspeaker on the 12th of May.
Because we are the 99%, we are not owned by politicians and bankers. Take to the streets on May 12th!
The claim of over 1000 cities in 82 countries is pure propaganda; even the main Occupy sites were claiming on May 1 no more than 180 cities. Yet even so, attendance was not what had been hoped for, for example, in cities like New York. Several thousands were present in New York, but more for the immigrant coalition May 1 Coalition rather than for Occupy. This attendance was after months of work and effort on the part of Occupy. So calling for an event so soon after with very little publicity announcing it seems to doom it to failure before hand.
The Radical Philosophy within Occupy
We see within the nature of the call another window into the philopsophy of OWS- a demand for “wealth distribution and an ethic of commons”.
While there are certainly many people and philosophies floating through Occupy, there are the two one might refer to as the “reformers” and the “revolutionists”. The reformers are the ones that think they can work within the system. They have been outweighed by the revolutionists from the start, and many have left. The revolutionists are the ones that planned it before it started, have been there since the beginning. They are the professional activists, those who have been involved in Spain and in Greece. They are the reason Occupy livestream is called “global revolution” -that is not hyperbole, but an envisioned goal for which they have worked for and to which they have committed their lives.
They are the people, who like Jed Brandt, wish the downfall of the United States in its present form because it is loathsome to them. Capitalism is loathsome to them, and to them, the US is the leader of capitalism and all that is evil and unhealthy. Jed Brandt works on the Occupied Wall Street Journal, “Tidal” -the few page tract handed out by Occupiers at encampments in NYC (sounds like Tides, doesn’t it?) as well as other Occupy media.
Listen to the following tape of Jed, taken in 2009, to understand.
In addition to the old left and professional activists we have added into the mix the new left of Anonymous. Anonymous as a bigger entity encompasses many thoughts and philosophies. But, of those that have become political and enamored of Assange, Wikileaks and Occupy, there is a commonality of a disgust with the system, and a desire not to be infringed upon by any government rules such as those pertaining to copyright, piracy or speech. Amongst those, many would call themselves, or be classified as, anarchists.
The young involved in general are perhaps summed up with a line that many took to upon hearing it – “this shit is fucked up and bullshit”. They see no prospects for their future, they don’t know where they are going or what they are to do. They have the sense that the government should be giving it to them or taking care of them, so they feel aggrieved that this is not resolved. They feel a community among others who have a similar angst, and in that they find their emotional strength which in other areas of their lives may be missing.
So at protests you see the old communists, the new anarchists and an odd amalgam of both-the anarcho-communist. Aren’t anarchists and communists in natural philosophical conflict, one might ask? It would seem so, logically, yet they haven’t gotten the message.
- Black and red anarcho communist flags fly as black bloc gets ready to march in Seattle. Credit Foolish Reporter
Anarcho-communism advocates getting rid of the state, markets, money, capitalism and private property, while still retaining personal property. It is in favor of the common ownership of the means of production, direct democracy and “horizontal networking of associations and workers councils”. Like communism, it espouses from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs. Goods are distributed according to needs not according to labor or how much anyone worked.
The idea is that things will be shared in common, through the concept of “mutual aid”. On their May Day organizational site, May Day 2012, Occupy gives a rousing endorsement to the the anarcho communism espoused by Peter Kropotkin.
Peter Kropotkin, one of the foremost figures of Russian anarcho-communism, wrote about its importance in the book Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution. His work argues that cooperation is far more important to the evolution and survival of a species than competition. He provides evidence throughout history in a variety of societies as well as among nonhuman animals. Some examples include the Bushmen (southern Africa), the Dayak (Borneo), the Papuan people (New Guinea), the Aleut people (Alaska), the Tupi people (Brazil), the Wendat (Ontario), villages throughout Europe in the tenth and eleventh century, medieval cities, and examples in his time. It would, in fact, be difficult to find a time and place where mutual aid did not exist in some form!
Jed even talks about “mutual aid” at ~3:20 of the above video. Of course, they leave out some other interesting words from Kropotkin. He said, “houses, fields, and factories will no longer be private property, and that they will belong to the commune or the nation and money, wages, and trade would be abolished”. He believed in the “expropriation” of private property, although not personal property.
A question that is commonly asked is how they can be upset about police disruption of their property, in Zuccotti Park, for example, but not at all concerned about seizing buildings belonging to other people, such as the seizure of the Catholic Church’s building in San Francisco. The reason is the difference between private and personal property. Personal property=your car, your backpack. Thus, some were shocked at destruction of cars in San Francisco by some of the more militant anarchists. But private property-real property and homes, businesses- those should be held in common, so you don’t have a right to deny them what they need just by claiming that they don’t own a property. If they need it, they should have it- “to each according to his needs”. Everything will be held in common and parcelled out according to needs. There will be the ultimate evolution of man, and selfishness, racism and war-all just outgrowths of capitalism-will just disappear.
Foolish Reporter picked up some reading material at May Day in Seattle. Again, while every location has something of its own character, the reading picks up on common themes. Communism will help make everything equal, it is the “saving grace” rather than God, that the workers, soldiers and students must be brought into the movement. It notes how Communism is the true salvation of man:
Why not fight for the interests of the international working class, why not fight for communism?
Another question came up. “Where are the guns?” A comrade answered, “the guns are in the military along with our soldiers, our class brothers and sisters. Red Flag is being used to inform the soldiers of what is really happening and what is really being done by the capitalists so that ultimately guns can be turned around”.
“Wealth distribution and a ethic of commons” – in the words of Paul Harvey, now you know the rest of the story.
Via the Blaze-
The Blaze discusses an array of SEIU (Service Employees International Union) , Occupy and Anarchist training manuals which detail how to take actions and push to get what you want.
Amongst the worst, the SEIU manual, which :
details how legal, political, media and regulatory pressure can all be exploited to manipulate employers and help the union realize its goals. It encourages, in a not-so-subtle way, the blackmailing of employers with whom it disagrees by first damaging their reputations, and encourages placing “outside pressure” to jeopardize “relationships between the employer and lenders, investors, stockholders, customers, clients, patients, tenants, politicians, or others on whom the employer depends for funds.”
One of the most telling passages of the SEIU manual reads:
It may be a violation of blackmail and extortion laws to threaten management officials with release of ‘dirt’ about them if they don’t settle a contract. But there is no law against union members who are angry at their employer deciding to uncover and publicize factual information about individual managers.
Perhaps the most morally offensive of them all, an anarchist’s guide book for children. “A Rule is to Break” A Child’s Guide to Anarchy“ guides children on being their ”best self” by breaking the rules.
And who should give you a definitive review of the value of this book but Bill Ayers!
“… A delight to read! A children’s book on anarchy seems somehow just right: an instinctive, intuitive sense of fairness, community, and interdependence sits naturally enough with a desire for participatory democracy, feminism, queer-rights, environmental balance, self-determination, and peace and global justice.” - Bill Ayers / author (’To Teach: The Journey in Comics‘ and ’Fugitive Days’), teacher, Barack Obama’s alleged terrorist pal, and grandpa. ”
HT Maddley Burns
Via ONN – The Cleveland office of the FBI held a Tuesday morning news conference to detail arrests and charges filed relating to a national security issue.
Steven Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Cleveland FBI office,provided details about the local connection to this national security case.
A Justice Department official said that the five men are self-described anarchists and are not tied to international terrorism.
The department said that the five men were taken into custody as part of an undercover operation by law enforcement authorities.
Federal agents said that the alleged suspects were conspiring to use explosives to destroy a bridge near Cleveland.
The FBI’s Cleveland office is displaying a photo of the apparent bridge in question.
It’s the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad bridge in Brecksville.
All five were reportedly associated with Occupy at some point.
OWS has been casting around, trying to bring in more people. In so doing, they have tried to pull from anywhere they might collect people with a cause, from “Justice for Trayvon” to the “de-colonization” movement.
One indictment of OWS, which has had the sting of truth, is the overwhelming lack of diversity(translation-no appreciable number of POC) in what is a principally white young male driven effort, at least in so far as the boots on the ground.
As part of the May Day effort to get people out, OWS has been promoting the statement and efforts of the “May 1st Coalition”, which is basically an immigrants’ rights endeavor. OWS makes clear their rationale for doing so in this first paragraph:
This May Day, Occupy Wall Street is rising up in solidarity with the immigrant rights movement. Years before #OWS, May Day was revitalized in the U.S. as a day of mass mobilization against the unjust, racist U.S. immigration system. On May Day 2006, the May 1st Coalition helped organize the largest protest in NYC history, bringing hundreds of thousands of people to the streets in a march stretching over 26 city blocks. This year, as we gather as a unified front for economic justice in a Day Without the 99%, they are leading the struggle to UNIONIZE, LEGALIZE, and ORGANIZE.
OWS then promotes the following statement from the May 1st Coalition:
Dear Brothers and Sisters
We bring you excellent news and a message from the May 1st Coalition.
On this May 1st 2012, there will a unified celebration. We immigrants have united with the most important unions of New York, the working class along with Occupy Wall Street. This has come about after long and intense debates, at which point we concluded an agreement to realize a single act on May 1st in historic Unión Square.
This agreement and example of unity was proposed to all the delegates at the National Conference and to the peoples, States and Counties of this country.
Also, given the incapacity of Congress and its two chambers, the White House and the corrupt political system of the United States, we propose on May 1st to transform our multifaceted forms of organization and struggle into one center of PEOPLE’S POWER, consisting of union power, of social power, including those from the countryside, in the sweatshop factories, and throughout the poor neighborhoods, all as an alternative to capitalist and imperialist power.
We demand LEGALIZATION for the 12 and perhaps 20 million undocumented immigrants which will in turn allow the youth to pursue higher education. Furthermore, no youth should be obliged to enter the Armed Forces and sent to fight imperial wars.
In calling for legalization for all NOW, we are demanding an end to:
deportations immigration raids the fracturing of families We demand debt forgiveness on houses lost and the return of those houses and property of the 15 million families affected by the mortgage crisis brought on by the avarice of the Banks.
We demand immediate employment for the 40 million chronically unemployed, whose ranks are swelling by the prolonged crisis and recession of the capitalist system on an international level. We Occupy to Create People’s Power.
We demand immediate freedom to the thousands of immigrants currently being held prisoner in the jails and concentration camps. We want immediate closure to the Center of Torture and extermination in Guantanamo. MR. OBAMA, ENOUGH OF YOUR LIES AND DEMAGOGUERY. Stop the torture!
We demand a halt to all war preparations against Iran. No to the utilization of nuclear arms against civilian populations. The United States is not the COP of the world. Troops out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and an end to all imperialist military bases around the world.
As always, we will fight for civil rights and the human rights for education, health and employment without discrimination of any type.
To our friends the people of Iran, we are always with you.
FRATERNAL GREETINGS TO ALL WOMEN WHO STRUGGLE. THEY ARE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL IN THE UNIVERSE.
It is only Revolution that will set us free. It is now time to CREATE, CREATE PEOPLE’S POWER IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST OF IMPERIALISM.
We will see you on May 1st in Union Square
Over the Palm Sunday weekend, Occupy San Francisco seized a building owned by the Catholic Archdiocese at 888 Turk .
Calling it the “San Francisco Commune”, about 75 people took over the building, causing thousands of dollars of damage, blockading it and forcing police to have to remove them.
More on the story here: http://citizenjournalistdotorg.wordpress.com/2012/04/07/its-ours-because-we-say-it-is/
Now, they’re at it again.
They have allegedly seized another Church property, noting on their website:
The SF COMMUNE arose from the ashes on Easter Sunday at an undisclosed Church owned property. Less than one week after the Archdiocese commanded SFPD to violently evict and arrest 75 folks from 888 TURK St., a new Collective Housing Community Center has been established. The SF Commune will not tolerate the systems that force 7,000-10,000 San Franciscan’s to remain homeless while over 30,000 housing units are wasting away vacant.
On MAY DAY, the SFC will open it’s doors and conduct another OPEN OCCUPATION in solidarity with the MAY 1ST GENERAL STRIKE. For the next three weeks, the new site will continue to thrive covertly, engaging in mutual aid and direct democracy, in preparation for May Day. The SFC has been initiated to provide a perpetual, autonomous headquarters for the Occupy SF movement.
They are asking for supplies for their “new commune”, the location of which they will formally announce on May 1.
Occupy SF, unlike some other cells, has no problem referring to their actions as “anti capitalist”, calling for all “radicals and anti capitalists” to come out to blockade Wells Fargo on April 24:
Two men were arrested last evening after what appeared to be a large crowd of people dressed in black vandalized the neighborhood between Astor Place and Tompkins Square Park and a police sergeant was assaulted with a lead pipe.
OWS live streamer Tim Pool reported about the action on livestream, although he was not able to get actual footage of the vandalism.
You can see his video here:
Reportedly, a “black bloc” group of people formed after the Anarchist Book Fair at Judson Church (a place which hosts OWS events and has housed OWS members). Pool noted, “a text has gone out”, and “we were late arriving”. The bloc moved to around Astor Place and ended at Tompkins Square Park near the 6th Street Community Center, where there was to be an after party for the book fair. On the way, the group went on a rampage of vandalism, tipping garbage cans, spray painting anarchist graffiti, and smashing windows, including a 7-11 window. They chanted “fuck the NYPD”, “cops are murderers,” and “all pigs must die.”
An NYPD spokesman said that officers received a report around 9 p.m. that a “disorderly group” had gathered in front of the Starbucks at Lafayette and Astor Place.A video transmission detailing that an officer needed assistance followed, and police found “individuals hitting the window of the establishment.” When a sergeant attempted to intervene and make an arrest, “the crowd became unruly,” and he was allegedly struck with a metal pipe by two men. The officer sustained minor injuries to his hands and knees, and was taken to a local hospital before being released. The two men fled.
The NYPD’s press release referred to the group as “anarchist related” and the two men were among a group of 25 who fought with police and who had tried to use eight-foot-long galvanized metal pipes to smash windows of a Starbucks at Astor Place and Lafayette Street at 8:45 p.m.” The police also claim that patrons of Starbucks were hiding under the tables during the incident.
The night’s events, according to a city anarchist legal worker named Marcus@mcompost, were part of a “very loosely organized anti-police protest” or an “NYC FTP(Fuck the Police)” march. According to Marcus, he witnessed bottles flying – “These folks are making oo(Occupy Oakland) look like a bunch of hippies! so many bottles”. He also noted the attempt to “de-arrest” someone:
Marcus was thereafter chastised for speaking about the action by well known Occupier Justin Stone Diaz:
What is a “black bloc”?
Here is Wikipedia’s general answer as to the meaning of “Black Bloc“:
A black bloc is a tactic for protests and marches, whereby individuals wear black clothing, scarves, ski masks, motorcycle helmets with padding, or other face-concealing items.[...] The clothing is used to avoid being identified, and to, theoretically, appear as one large mass, promoting solidarity.
Black Bloc protests first came about in the 80s in Europe and were a part of the anti-World Trade Organization demonstrations in Seattle in 1999. Protest techniques are disruptive and volatile. They include rioting, vandalism and fighting as well as assistance to fellow protesters in fleeing police.
Occupy Oakland has a very active “black bloc” contingent that has been responsible for a lot of violence and vandalism during marches. OWS has also held “FTP” marches. At one such march, Occupiers broke into the city hall, vandalized the building, and burnt an American flag on the steps:
After the march last night made it to the Tompkins Square Park area (near the 6th St Community Center and the after party), the group reportedly took off the black and disappeared into the regular crowd of people. However there were reports of more bottles being thrown at police and that was when the two arrests actually occurred.
Alexander Penley, 41, and Nicholas Thommen, 30, were arrested for allegedly assaulting the police sergeant with the pipe during the earlier action at the Starbucks at Astor Place. They were charged with assaulting a police officer, menacing, criminal possession of a weapon, resisting arrest, and inciting a riot.
Penley is an attorney and has been an organizer with the Occupy Wall Street movement since the fall. Thommen has also been very active with Occupy.
Update: NY Post notes more of the event including that a NYPD lieutenant was also injured and a third person, Eric Marchese, 24, was arrested in the process of trying to smash a window. http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/manhattan/panic_as_anti_government_goons_smash_23aHRRaT5TKyArG1amxweI#ixzz1s9DzDAx6
Update: MSM catches up-a little. MSM finally notes the OWS connection, as Metro NY notes Occupier presence and that “during the scuffle, several police officers were assaulted with pipes, bottles, and physical force, cops said”. http://www.metro.us/newyork/comment/article/1140328–anarchists-occupy-wall-street-members-arrested-after-trying-to-smash-windows-at-east-village-starbucks
Update: Apparently, notices for the FTP march were handed out at the Anarchist Book Fair at the Judson Church. One has to wonder why the Church would condone such behavior.