Oakland North blog published an infuriatingly frustrating article
about the Oscar Grant riots and anarchist involvement. Perhaps it was born out of a genuine desire to show 'the anarchist perspective' but it ends up following essentially the same narrative put forth by The City of Oakland and OPD. What is even worse is the inclusion of John Weston Osburn. Osburn is supposed to be a 26 year old anarchist who travelled from Salt Lake City, UT to take part in whatever went down after Mehserle's verdict. I refuse to deny Osburn's valid grievance with police or his "right" to be in Oakland but I call into question Oakland North's choosing an out-of-town anarchist to feature exclusively in the article. Maybe Oakland North couldn't find or convince any of the MULTITUDES of Oakland anarchists to take part. Maybe Oakland anarchists are smarter than to talk to strangers.
This brings me to my criticism of Osburn- Why the fuck would he talk to the media?! Is he stupid? Is he fake? As has become painfully obvious in the aftermath of Oscar Grant's killing, the media operate as an arm of corporations and the state. They tow the line and their cameras are their guns. It is a frustrating time for some of Oakland's anarchists with the way the pigs are attempting to divide us from the rest of the angry city's folks. However, we can't for a minute believe that our true message or intentions can be told through the prism of the corporate media (or apparently even well meaning blogs)! We are going to have to use our voices directly to the people.
Oakland North does make mention of Raider Nation Collective
. Then, for reasons that make no sense whatsoever, the blog mentions Nazi fucks, BANA, as anarchists. (The article originally named BANA as "A more widely known anarchist group" but has since rightfully edited the piece.) Luckily, the article does shed some light on the murky figures the OPD keeps repeating with no explanation. Apparently, of the 78 people arrested, they claim the actual majority (47) WERE from the Bay Area.
Regardless of Oakland North's intentions, all they ended up doing was adding fuel to The City of Oakland and OPD's notion that the anger and frustration felt by a cop killing a man in cold blood is invalid and not popular as well as that it was White outsiders who stirred up the trouble (and either committed all the looting themselves or somehow duped Black youth to do it). All of this is a bullshit attempt to redirect anger away from the police and city that protects Mehserle.
So what are anarchists to do? This is an imperative question at this juncture.
We must begin a massive push to explain to our neighbors of Oakland what anarchy is. This shouldn't be hard. No matter what OPD wants us to believe, The Town is angry and knows who the real enemy is: the real outside agitators, the cops. This effort should be launched on every front; our normal everyday interactions, extralegal actions as called for, (legal) community interaction and "outreach", and through our words. Our words don't need the corporate/outsider media. We can take our words to the streets.
Oakland anarchists might have become something that people knew existed but never understood. That void is being taken advantage of by the state. Bay Area anarchists CANNOT allow the only voice explaining to people who/what anarchy is to be the pigs. Step up!