Most may disagree, but in an occupation, in a revolution whose sole purpose is to destroy the capitalist system that exploits only to further imperialistic goals – of which the majority of us do not reap the benefits of – violence may indeed by necessary. This is not about the so-called “Black Bloc” sabotaging our movement. The Oakland Commune is a community of ideas, tactics, and goals. The disagreements make us who we are. Last Tuesday night we decided to take Oscar Grant Plaza back by any means necessary. You all know how our collective conscious was met. Violently. The very next day, however, what did we do? We took back our site and have rebuilt and are stronger than we were before.
I suggest a special polling committee. We create a rubric, then take to the streets and engage local businesses. Collectively, at our GA we determine measures that must be met in order to do business in our neighborhoods. These must be businesses that support the communities they profit from. Those that meet the specified, agreed upon measure we not only leave alone, but we do everything in our power to promote them and help them to flourish.
The others, the usurpers, we “scarlet letter” them. Red “X’s” perhaps? These, the vampire businesses will be greenlit for eviction and we will decide on best tactics to oust them from our communities – by any means necessary. Whether this means making it impossible for them to receive patronage, or by any other means. These evictions will not only be collectively agreed upon (however observed) but deemed necessary. This will either force these pirates out of Oakland, or coerce them into contributing to our communities.
Short story –
The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, the closest model of what we are doing right now used to go into a Safeway with a grocery list. Nothing extravagant – oatmeal, milk, juice, diapers, cleaning supplies, etc. to help fund the programs they’d established. They had every right to make these demands as these large entities made it impossible for local businesses to compete, thereby taking all of the local residents’ hard earned dollars and stuffing the coffers of some Safeway executive with no investment in the communities of Oakland whatsoever. They were pirates, vampires and the Panthers were going to take from them what they’d been taking from the communities. The Panthers would give the store a day to either make the donations, or they would mob so deep in there and take the supplies off the shelves themselves and walk right out.
This is not a carnival, people. Not some festival of flowers and puppies. This is a real, working, breathing revolution. We are going to change everything that exists as it presently exists. There is no other way. Big Daddy Kane taught me long ago, “Ain’t no Half-Steppin.”