NO MORE KILLINGS, NO MORE APOLOGIES
Direct action in fremont CA to protest the US occupation of afghanistan and to hold the military accountable for the trauma it inflicts.
2:00pm – Meet at Fremont BART
2:30pm – March to Army Recruiting Center (39194 Paseo Padre Pkwy)
Communities in Oakland have been struggling against police violence, surveillance, criminalization, and incarceration for generations. Police here are becoming more and more militarized daily, there are joint trainings between local police, the U.S. military, IDF, and Bahrainy security forces. Soldiers, trained killers returning from war, are joining the local police forces. Local police departments are investing in and using military grade weapons for low intensity warfare upon civilians here. We experienced the raids and night raids here in Oakland. Many of us were beaten or brutalized by rubber bullets, bean bags, and tear gas canisters; even more of us were witness to those violent actions on the part of the Oakland police department. Now imagine that situation under the conditions of actual warfare with soldiers using live rounds, grenades, and bombs.
Those are the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan every single day. The massacre of 16 Afghans in Panjwai, Kandahar, nine of whom were children, is not an isolated incident. It just happened to get media attention. We’re outraged not only about this latest atrocity, but by the drone attacks, the night raids, the “kill teams” murdering for sport and collecting body parts as trophies, the urinating on dead Afghan bodies while filming it, and the burning of Qurans. In addition to the recent wave of atrocities, there is an agreement being negotiated known as the “U.S./Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement,” which, if passed, will extend U.S. military presence in Afghanistan until 2024 and beyond.
In Afghanistan and throughout the worldwide Afghan community, people are rising up to military and police violence and holding mass protests. As Afghans, Muslims, and people of color, we call upon communities of resistance, upon Decolonize Oakland, Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF, and other allies, to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people. We ask you to stand up and join us and our nonviolent direct actions. We encourage you all to have your own autonomous actions as you see fit as well. We need to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people and end the military occupation that is having devastating consequences on communities both at home and abroad. We also need to stand in solidarity with economically disenfranchised youth of color who are targeted by military recruiters and end up joining the military as their only way out of systematic oppression at home. Recruiters with quotas target our children, not only in high school but middle schools, so we are talking about 12 year olds.
For these reasons, as our first nonviolent direct action, we have chosen to shut down the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Fremont.
*** We’d like to clearly state that this is a NON-VIOLENT direct action. ***
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
Courage to Resist
World Can’t Wait SF Bay
For more info:
Occupy Portland calls for a national day of non-violent direct action to reclaim our voices and challenge our society’s obsession with profit and greed by shutting down the corporations. We are rejecting a society that does not allow us control of our future. We will reclaim our ability to shape our world in a democratic, cooperative, just and sustainable direction.
We call on the Occupy Movement and everyone seeking freedom and justice to join us in this day of action.
There has been a theft by the 1% of our democratic ability to shape and form the society in which we live and our society is steered toward the destructive pursuit of consumption, profit and greed at the expense of all else.
We call on people to target corporations that are part of the American Legislative Exchange Council which is a prime example of the way corporations buy off legislators and craft legislation that serves the interests of corporations and not people. They used it to create the anti-labor legislation in Wisconsin and the racist bill SB 1070 in Arizona among so many others. They use ALEC to spread these corporate laws around the country.
In doing this we begin to recreate our democracy. In doing this we begin to create a society that is organized to meet human needs and sustain life.
On February 29th, we will reclaim our future from the 1%. We will shut down the corporations and recreate our democracy.
Join us! Start organizing in your city. Get your General Assembly to join, your organization to endorse or otherwise participate in this call to action. Any organization or affinity group interested in this action should join this call. We will be working to both support and coordinate the action with conference calls, outreach materials and trainings. Once you know you will be participating please fill out this form with info about your city or organization so that we can add the details to the website and help people plug in locally!
On this site you can also find a variety of resources for planning direct actions. This includes ideas on different tactics, direct action planning, preparation, facilitation, affinity groups, etc. We would also encourage you to check out our section on organizing your action with a spokes council and affinity groups. This is one important and effective way to organize these types of actions. It also does so in a way that is consistent with our movement’s value to direct democracy, participatory decision making, and non-hierarchical structures. Of course there are many ways to do this, but we have had enormous success with this model in Portland. The direct action spokes council, the Portland Action Lab, which is organizing Portland’s action used this organizing model on N17 to shut down most of the major corporate banks in downtown Portland!
Leap into action! Reclaim our future! Shut down the corporations!
Recently on the #OO Twitter hashtag, @OaktownMike mentioned that the NYT had declared #OccupyOakland the “most militant” of the Occupies. #OO has shut down the Port of Oakland twice in two months, and has a particularly confrontational attitude with the local police compared to most other American Occupies.
I tweeted to Mike “I’m not becoming more militant, but I am becoming more and more radical.” He asked me what the difference was.
“Militant” comes from the Latin root word militare, “soldier”. It connotes hostility, aggression, combativeness, belligerence. Check, check, check, check. We got that. People active in #OO regularly hurl abuse and vituperation at the #OPD whenever they come by Oscar Grant Plaza. Of course, when they do come by Oscar Grant Plaza they have been known to bring a fairly heavy hand. Oakland has a long history of political/social militancy AND a long history of a troubled relationship with the police, most of whom don’t live in Oakland.
Militant actions are things like bringing helmets and shields to a march with the intention of using them to confront the riot line head on*. John Brown’s raid. Setting up burning barricades on Broadway. Hurling stones and firebombs at the police. Jesus driving the moneychangers from the Temple in Jerusalem. Militancy is about replying to outrage with violence.
“Radical” comes from radix. It implies getting to the root of a problem. Proposing solutions and actions that are more extreme, more drastic, going beyond the traditional, the accepted, beyond the way it is. Radical action is direct and shakes shit up. But radical action can also be non-violent. Examples?
We shut the Port of Oakland down twice in two months with non-violent marches. Mario Savio’s “Bodies upon the gears” speech. Father Roy Bourgeois and his crusade to see the US Military’s School for Torture and Authoritarianism shut down. Mills students chaining themselves to the gate in 1990. Tree sitting. The Waterman Building occupations when I was in college. Foreclosure defense. ACT UP. Pancho getting arrested while meditating at cops in a threatening manner. Brian Willson being run over by the train. Bishop George Packard in his purple vestments being the first over the fence at Duarte Park in NYC, bidding people follow his example. Scott Olsen.
One can be radical without being militant. Just because one has reached the conviction, “I must put my body and freedom on the line or I am standing back and cooperating with wrong”, that does not mean that one comes at it from a position of hostility, hatred, or violence.
I tweeted, “Buddha was a pacifist AND a radical. He was profoundly attacking the foundations of his society and preaching radical personal empowerment.”
Mike said he didn’t like the term “pacifist”. Too much like “turning the other cheek” rather than standing up for one’s rights.
I’d like to unpack that phrase a little.
But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil;
but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also.
In the time and place Jesus lived, to backhand slap someone was the highest form of disrespect. Not only that, it implies superiority and dominance of the striker and the inferiority of the struck. Given that the left hand has all sorts of unclean associations, one wouldn’t use it to perform an activity that (in part) signals one’s social status. So assume a blow with the right hand. And where does a right-hand backhand blow land?
On the right cheek.
But if one then offers up the other cheek, there’s a counter-signal beyond “Hit me again”. Because to strike someone offering their left cheek with your right hand is to strike with a forehand blow. Either a slap or a punch.
And a forehand blow is how one strikes an equal, not an inferior.
Turning the other cheek is signaling “Not only will I not respond violently in return to the violence you offer me, I will demand that you respect my human dignity while you do it.”
The root of the word “pacifist” is not “passive”, but “pacific”. Peaceful.
The opposite of pacifist is not activist, it’s militant.
What does radical, non-violent direct action look like? This scene from Gandhi comes to mind.
The more time I spend involved with #OO and Occupy Wall Street, the more I see the violent police repression of non-violent Americans in America protesting what they see as the corruption of their government and economy, the more I am certain.
Radical, sure. Direct action? Love it.
I’ll tell you this: I come from Filipino and Irish ancestry. I come from people with long histories of violently resisting oppression. I’m named after a man who helped lead his village fighting as guerrillas against the Japanese.
If we start seeing in America what they’ve had to go through in Tahrir Square in Cairo… well, we haven’t.
But right now, I maintain a Zen-based meditation practice and when I sit quietly with myself, I know my commitment to non-violence is the right choice.
Less systemic greed-head, degrading, abusive up-fuckitude, more love and fun. That’s all we want.
But we will have that much. And we’ll probably have to take it for ourselves.
2012 gonna be an interesting year.
Hella Occupy Oakland!
OCCUPY ALL STREETS!