Sunday, July 28, 2013

Upcoming Events!

In an effort to get people more on the same page of ongoing events of interest to anarchists, anti-authoritarians, and revolutionary anti-capitalists, we're going to start putting out updates on events. Be they informational, actions, court dates to support arrested comrades, or what have you. For ongoing events at various spaces, such as the Long Haul in Berkeley, the Holdout in Oakland, and across the bay area, please see those websites. These are a couple coming up that are worth checking out.  Hope to keep this updated. Check out the events page.

Solidarity Rally with BART Workers
Thursday, August 1st, 5pm at Oscar Grant Plaza (14th and Broadway). BART workers will rally again with solidarity from the ILWU. Lately, these rallies have been an attempt to contain and direct rank and file anger at union in action, this is still a time when other militants can meet up with each and and discuss the situation. More info here.

'Summer Heat Richmond' March and Rally and Action at Chevron
Saturday, August 3rd, 10am-1pm. From indybay: "[Join us] for an historic march, rally, and non-violent direct action at the Chevron refinery in Richmond marking the anniversary of last year's catastrophic explosion and fire. Join the fossil fuel resistance! We Can Stop Climate Chaos. Meet at Richmond BART 10:00 a.m., and march from there to the refinery." BYOP (Bring your own puppet). More info here

Benefit for Free Association Land Project
Saturday, August 3rd, 6pm-10pm. $20 bucks gets you into see the show, featuring No Parsaran, Moon Bat, and the Brass Liberation Orchestra, and a whole dinner! Speakers will talk about the Free Association Land project, an anarchist land trust out in the woods. Come out and support. At the new 'Out of Line' space located at 4377 Adeline right off San Pablo in Emeryville. More info and to reserve tickets here.

'Life During Wartime: Resisting Counter-insurgency' Book Release (Two Days!)
Thursday, August 8th in Berkeley @ La Pena on Shattuck and Wednesday, August 7th in San Francisco @ Station 40 in SF.

"This talk will explore the domestic application of counterinsurgency strategy and community policing methods, which are predominantly directed at poor communities of color in the US. Kristian Williams will provide an overview of policing and the domestic application of COIN. Kevin Van Meter will explore the currently campaign of repression directed at radical environmentalists, animal rights activists, and others, referred to as the “Green Scare." Jenny Esquivel has worked with Sacramento Prisoner Support since 2006. She has gone on tour multiple times speaking about Eric McDavid’s case, entrapment, and political prisoners."

Eviction Free Summer Action in San Francisco
Saturday, August 10th, 10:30am. Picket the homes of those kicking out AIDS patients in SF under the Ellis Act. "Jeremy is a disabled senior living with AIDS who has lived in the Castro for over four decades. His home is being taken away from him as the new property owners (a company made up of three real estate speculators based in Union City) have served him with an eviction notice using The Ellis Act. His eviction date is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2013 and Jeremy along with Eviction Free Summer will fight to the end! Join the campaign on Saturday August 10th as we travel to the homes of these property owners. Let's make it clear that we will not tolerate the evictions of our senior and disabled community members! You can learn more about Jeremy's story here."

Facebook event here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Statement from Hannibal Shakur as Court Proceedings Begin for those Arrested During Oakland Trayvon Rebellion

What follows is a statement posted on the site, Bay Area Intifada, from Hannibal Shakur, an organizer and writer from the bay area. He is facing felony vandalism charges after an arrest by Oakland police during one of the recent rebellions in Oakland in the after math of the Zimmerman trial. We will post more analysis of the revolt hopefully at a later time, but for right now, Hannibal's statement hits the nail on the head. What is a broken window to poverty, malnutrition, police brutality, incarceration rates, and environmental racism that black people and other poor people are forced to endure in the bay area? While demonized in the media, called out as criminals by those in power (especially the Left), those who have faced arrest in the recent revolts are brave individuals who take to the streets in the face of massive police violence. It is these forces that drive revolt, that push people to want a different world. We need to stand behind those under the gun by the state because they are standing up for us. 

Statement from Hannibal Shakur  Oakland, CA 
The political nature of my charges cannot be over-stated here. To give human rights to a mechanical entity constructed solely for the sake of profit and exploitation is a perversion of those rights and what it means to be a human being. In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy. That young boy, that black child, wasn’t even given the rights of a dog. When the verdict is released, black people across America rise up to protest our non-citizen status. What could be called a riot ensues. A handful of people are arrested with charges of felony vandalism of whom I am one defendant. When Zimmerman murdered Trayvon Martin, he wasn’t even arrested. When a window was broken in Oakland, I was viciously slammed to the ground causing injury to my legs, arms and head. Even though I’m fighting cancer and the disgusting conditions of the Santa Rita County Jail are not conducive to healing, on top of being significantly injured by Oakland Police Officers, I was not allowed to be OR-ed or released to my Own Recognizance. A window is made of sand and can be replicated exactly. A rectangle window, of the dimensions I am being charged with breaking, doesn’t need to be replicated because the manufacturer keeps spare windows around for replacement. The United States justice system considers this a serious crime warranting felony charges. 

Trayvon Martin was a human being. There will only ever be one of him and we have lost him and the joy he brought to this world forever. A human life is priceless because it can never be replaced. Trayvon Martin could realistically have grown to be a political leader who would bring peace to warring nations. He could have grown to cure AIDS, cancer or diabetes. We know this to be realistic because the brother was a high achiever in school earning a 3.7 GPA. He could have developed some new treatment for drug addictions. The point I’m trying to make is, aside from being the pride and joy of his family and community, he could have made the world a better place for all of us. He could have stopped wars, cured diseases and got people off of drugs. At this point we will never know what we have lost aside from the fact that he was a beautiful young black boy who was loved and cherished. His murderer was given freedom and even got his murder weapon back with which, God forbid, he may murder another child with. This is the impotency of the US justice system, incapable of treating black people as human beings. In the same token, in Oakland, California, a place considered to have some of the strongest enforcement of civil/human rights, we are charged as felons, a charge that could land us in a penitentiary, for a Men’s Warehouse display window that was broken, yet caused no injuries to any human beings. While America is incapable of enforcing the rights of Trayvon Martin, a human child with a 3.7 GPA, corporations have been legally recognized as human beings and are being protected with the full extent of the law. I’d like to see the California ID that was issued to Men’s Warehouse. 

With the handling of my case and the endangerment to my vulnerable cancer-ridden body, combined with the acquittal of Zimmerman, it would appear that the US justice system has no value for human life or even more troubling, it has no value for black life. While Obama gives a televised speech on the oppression of black boys/men I am being railroaded for a broken window. I am the black life that he claims we need to have a higher value for. While my own plight is troubling as it is, the idea that we are setting a new precedent of violence against black men and boys is terrifying when I think of the kindergartners in Martin Luther King Elementary and the infants in Highland Hospital. I write this with teary eyes because as a grown man I understand what I’m facing: but how do we prepare children to face specific and targeted genocide against themselves?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Power, Community, and the 5th Ave Development

by: Charlie Wallflower

It’s so hard to feel alive and well, connected with one another in this network of crises called the city. At the same time, though, I’ve always felt drawn towards this semi-functional relationship between the city and its inhabitants – the beauty in the hustles, getting over on the system, playing the game, finding the holes in the plot, and seeking out others who feel similar – but I know all too well I didn’t create the city, so how could it ever really work for me?

Life at times feels precarious, and it’s certainly been designed to be that way. After all we live in a society where our relationships are based off of somebody not having something, where being destabilized is not the exception, but the rule. The hard lesson I’ve been taught is that we’re made to be out for ourselves. Capitalism is a numbers game, and those with the most have more power and ability to make larger decisions, ones that impact more people. Now, I’m not saying I was raised to run over people, but this world is organized top-down, and I’m caught up in the mix feeling like everybody else, trying to get what I can get, and I think my inabilities to properly resist are catching up with me.

I’ve been feeling the stress wear upon me. Day in and day out I toil with questions, searching for guidance within the depth and complexity of it all. The obvious is true – Politicians, Liars, Thieves – six of one, half a dozen of the other. They all must go! I yearn so bad for a snap, for the kids and grown folks to smash up the street and hurl the paving stones at all those that have ever committed them to a life of servitude: for the day people take the chance yet again at the unknown, for the times we swear we are infinite.

Cities are made up of neighborhoods, and in them are spots we’ve held close and dear with laughter, cutty corner spots we’ve formed an uncanny attachment to, and sidewalks where we’ve wandered across knowing we’ve traced every crack in the concrete below. The walls with throw ups and tags are etchings of an urban landscape where stories are told, even if we don’t know the authors. What reads on our weathered walls and streets is an earnest example of what is to come. While the concrete may change and fall apart, the memories and relationships created on its surface are the substance of our lives. The important part is that we, and not any developer, have the say in the pages of our story.

Even now, in the rented home that I’ve grown to love I feel the schism between the love for a place and not having control over it. I’m interrupted. The Realtor parasite gleams his predatory eyes into my room and with a big smile across his smug face exclaiming how great this space – my living space – is! After clearing this home of its inhabitants, he can’t wait to sink his teeth into the backs of future tenants and suck from their cash flow. On to my friend’s room next. I say ‘No, you can’t go in’. It’s hard to steady my hand when all I want to do is tear his face off. My home is an enjoyable place to live because it is part of a rhythm we created, and now I face eviction as the landlord seeks to sell the building. I always knew it was borrowed time.

Homes and neighborhoods can disappear as a result of political maneuvering. They can be pulled out right from under us. Development shapes not just the roads and buildings, but the economy and culture of the city. It is part of a process of restructuring neighborhoods. Residential shifts, urban planning, population migration make gentrification. It is the mechanisms of power at work: everybody fighting for their piece of the pie and out goes any sense of community. These mechanics are control.

All my life I’ve seen the spots that I’ve held close and dear, that I’ve helped shape, fall to development corporations. I’ve seen artists be used by developers or become developers themselves. Now I feel what might be my break, my last straw, the largest sweep that I’ve seen. Down the block they want to wipe out the 5th ave Marina neighborhood and place cafés, high rise condos, boutiques, galleries, work-live lofts, promenades, streets that have “an urban village character,” – a new population. They call it the Brooklyn Basin. It’s a $1.5 Billion dollar city land development. The ‘they’ I speak of are the President of China Xi Jinping, Gov. Gerry Brown, Oakland’s Mayor Jean Quan, and regional developers like Signature Development Group. All of whom have risen to power under banners of populist reform, against corruption, but it is still clear that their concern has always and will always be primarily about how much money and authority they can grab and how fast they can do it.

No amount of detail paid to window placement, sidewalk width, or creating walk spaces of “sculpted vistas” could convince me that their calculated, fabricated, manufactured way of life is more enjoyable than the time I spend at the run down docks of 5th ave with my friends, lovers; exploring, reminiscing, laughing. I spoke with a worker at a local restaurant about the proposal and she said it best: “This community needs a lot, but condos are not it.” The planned 3,100 residential units, approximately 200,000 sq. ft. of retail and commercial space, and a new marina with slips for luxury yachts, decidedly mean nothing to me but more police, code enforcement, bureaucracy, and an atmosphere of paranoia and distrust.

It’s certainly hard to find stability and figure out what we want and need when we are swept up competing for validity, security, money, space, and power. City design keeps us separated and warring individuals. We carry our own troubles, histories, ghosts, and crutches in silence and solitude. The gunshots I heard last night were such a reminder. “You still gotta take care of yourself” was the advice from the man at the corner store when we spoke about all the troubles of the world. My friend reminded me of an old saying: “We accept the love we think we deserve”. I guess it was his way of reminding me that if we allow ourselves to be worn down we’ll accept our shitty situation and spit it back out in the world, so we must keep questioning and exploring.

So how do I accept something better, take care of myself and stand a better chance at self-determining my current and future conditions? What does real community look like? What does movement that we, the dispossessed, create look like? I know there are others who desire a world where all people have agency and control over decisions that affect them, and where power is spread out horizontally to all, not concentrated at the top.

To me power that we create looks like the Anti-gentrification Block party that happened on Cinco de Mayo, the Farm Occupations in Albany and Hayes Valley, and the 5th ave marina residents having  neighborhood assemblies. It looks like the vicious attacks on properties on Valencia st. last year that kept the gentrifiers from getting any rest. It’s community, as in the commune, as in something worth defending. Community – a place where neighbors not only relate with one another, but participate in joyous activities and in common defense, where our poetry is in the streets, where we ask for nothing from those who impose authority but where we figure out problems and questions together, where we develop, inspire, and take. Community is knowing we can stay in our neighborhood without the threat of displacement from ICE or city developers, where people can live in homes without fear of eviction from a landlord or of a utility company turning off power or water. It’s where kids can grow and play without the police on their back, and if we work – without the threat of a boss firing us. Community is a practice of brave hearts confronting their fears and overcoming obstacles. It is not angry, it is anger, it is our hearts hardening and becoming wiser. It is a pitched street battle and a space where we have control rather than delegating our responsibility to politicians, non-profits, and spiritual leaders – control over our own lives.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Oakland Noise Demo Raises Ruckus Outside of Downtown Oakland Jail for Hunger Strikers in SHU

Anti-prison banner carried at noise demonstration in Oakland.
On Thursday, July 4th, a group of about 100 people marched from Oscar Grant Plaza to the Glen E. Dyer Detention Facility as riot police staged inside the Oakland Police Department Headquarters. Marchers were acting in solidarity with hunger strikers in the SHU (Special Housing Units), 'prisons within prisons,' where inmates are kept in solitary confinement. Hunger strikers in the SHU are calling for an end to hostilities between racial groups within prisons all the way down to county jails in order to call attention to inhuman and tortuous treatment of prisoners. This is the latest in a series of hunger strikes that have been started by SHU prisoners that have gone on to include thousands of inmates. Several have already died from previous hunger strikes. Prisoners within the SHU can only leave the isolation units after they inform on others, a policy called, 'debriefing,' even if they have no information to give to prison authorities. According to an article posted on
On July 1, 2011...thousands of other prisoners went on hunger strike to protest such draconian conditions. As reported in Truthout last year, for three weeks, at least 1,035 of the 1,111 inmates locked in the SHU refused food. In the SHU, which comprises half of California's Pelican Bay State Prison, prisoners are locked into their cells for at least 22 hours a day. Over 500 people have been confined in the SHU for over a decade, over 200 for more than 15 years and 78 for over 20 years. The only way that a person can be released from the SHU is to debrief, or provide information incriminating other prisoners. Even those who are eligible for parole have been informed that they will not be granted parole so long as they are in the SHU. "They are told they can debrief or die..." The Pelican Bay hunger strike spread to 13 other state prisons and, at its height, involved at least 6,600 people incarcerated throughout California.
Fireworks outside of Alameda jail.
Tonight, marchers played music, passed out informational flyers, wrote graffiti slogans and put up informational stickers, and upon reaching the jail on 7th and Clay streets, shot off fireworks for about 20 minutes. The fireworks lit up the night sky and prisoners responded by throwing up raised fists in the window and turning lights on and off to let those know outside that they could hear them. Someone spray painted in large letters across the front of the building, "Fire to the Prisons!" After the fireworks had been shot off, people returned to the plaza and held the intersection of 14th and Broadway for about 20 minutes before dispersing. 

For more information on the hunger strike, go to:

Prisoner Hunger Strike Solidarity

Thursday, July 4, 2013

SF Tenants protest at Rick Holman's Home as part of 'Eviction Free Summer'

Tenants facing eviction from the historic 17 Reasons building by developer and landlord Rick Holman protested outside of his home in South Park in San Francisco this Tuesday. Since the start of the eviction process, Holman has used a variety of tactics such as illegal lockouts of tenants, harassment from security guards, as well as a web of surveillance systems against those paying rent at the building that he wants gone. During a recent block party against gentrification in the Mission District, Holman also worked closely with the police to ensure that the building would not be "occupied" by protestors, and also issued an 'unlawful detainer' to residents inside on the day of the event. How many times have we all had landlords come to our homes, walk around, issue demands, and threaten us? Landlords hold great power over our lives and also take massive amounts of money out of our hands that we make by our labors and put it into their pockets. Thus, it's great to see people taking the fight to their doorsteps and raising a ruckus in their bourgie neighborhoods. Often, most people are too afraid to stand up to the cops, the landlords, and the developers, but we need only keep in mind that are all united in our experiences and our desire to live freely. Hopefully, this is just the start! According to the group, Eviction Free Summer:
Our first action was a smashing success!! With a crowd of over fifty, we loudly took over the narrow SOMA street of South Park, where landlord Rick Holman does business. Neighbors and park dwellers looked in curiosity as tenants from Holman’s building  on 17th St. at Mission (and their supporters) took to the mic to give Holman a piece of their minds. The street reception was mixed, but many passers by were more than willing to take a flyer asking them to call Holman directly. Holman is a local investor, who recently purchased the 17th Street property. Since the beginning of the eviction process Holman has used intimidation tactics, such as locking out his tenants, hiring private security, and installing hidden security cameras.
The Fog City Journal posted an article on the protest which states:
Packing the upscale South Park neighborhood with protest signs, loud chants of “No more evictions!” and flyers calling for landlord Rick Holman to “stop evicting San Francisco tenants,” more than 50 tenants and supporters launched their “Eviction-Free Summer” campaign Tuesday to put landlords, developers and speculators on notice that they will defend tenants who are being pushed out.
Fed up with the epidemic of evictions plaguing The City, tenants and activists have organized the Eviction-Free Summer campaign to support tenants fighting evictions while pressuring landlords to stop displacing city residents.

Today’s target: landlord Rick Holman, who is evicting a group of tenants at the historical “17 Reasons Why” building at 17th & Mission. The tenants, many of them lifelong Bay Area residents, are part of In The Works, Rincón, and Food Not Bombs collectives—groups that organize a weekly soup kitchen and support community-building projects in the Mission. Holman, a partner at Asher Insights, Inc., a company described as “security brokers and dealers,” owns several properties in The City and across the Bay and has a history of evictions and tenant conflicts.

Holman recently bought the historic Mission District building and immediately began trying to drive out the tenants, both through legal eviction and by changing locks, installing cameras, and hiring uniformed guards to harass them.

A member of one of the collectives, fearing reprisals if he gave his name, said: “It’s time that San Franciscans push back and let landlords know that enough is enough. We’re not selling out, we’re not surrendering, we’re staying right here in San Francisco. We’re going to fight to defend our spaces, our homes and our city from those who only want to make profit.”

Angel, a member of the In The Works Collective, added, “We’re a part of what makes San Francisco a beautiful, flourishing city. Shame on people like Rick Holman who force us out for the sake of profits.”

The tenants from 17 Reasons learned Tuesday that their eviction settlement conference had been delayed until July 24, and their trial date pushed back to July 29—allowing them more time to pressure Holman to end the evictions.

Tommi Avicolli Mecca, longtime housing rights activist, added: “Tenants and homeowners are fed up with the evictions and foreclosures happening all over the city, displacing us and our friends and neighbors and we’re not going to take it anymore. We’ve taken enough.”

Monday, July 1, 2013

Strike Wave Hits Bay Area

Today, BART workers across the bay area went on strike, effectively bringing the bay area to a crawl as hundreds of thousands of people were forced to find other means of transportation. Joining the BART workers on strike were Oakland City workers who are engaging in a one day strike, rallying in downtown Oakland. While AC Transit bus operators and mechanics, represented by the the same union as some bart workers, ATU, are still in contract negotiations, at the moment it looks as though they will also be on strike by possibly Tuesday. Such a shutdown hasn't hit the east bay since the 1946 general strike in Oakland.

Unions representing BART and AC Transit workers are focusing largely on "safety" as a key concern, calling on more police on transit lines and against management calls for private security. While attacks on BART and AC operators has gone up, the reasons why such incidents occur is that fares on both BART and AC have gone exponentially over the past several decades. This rising cost for transit pits operators and riders against each other while in reality they both have the same enemies and are allies in a struggle against the agencies and corporations which profit off us. More police on BART and AC buses will not make us safer. People need free transportation.

Bus and BART drivers at the same time have seen attacks on benefits, the loss of vacation days, and in AC Transit drivers case, a wage free since 2000. While the transit bosses rake in the big bucks, the workers are getting screwed.

Riders have also faced massive cuts in service at AC Transit over the last several years. At the same time, business interests pump money into free shuttles for Downtown Oakland and rapidly gentrifying sections of the east bay. With the ongoing construction of the new bridge and the downtown SF transit center, the gentrification process already underway in full force on both sides of the bay will only increase.

Today, there is a call for a march in Oakland during the strike, marching on the AC Transit and BART offices starting at 1pm at 14th and Broadway. Read the call out here.