OOMEDIA Issues Press Release Denouncing Oakland Commune

  • Posted on: 17 October 2012
  • By: worker


Occupy Oakland began on October 10, 2011. Since then it has become clear that a rigid distinction needs to be made between Occupy Oakland and the self-described Oakland Commune. The Media Collective is making this statement to provide clarity by describing thisdysfunctional relationship, including links to documents created by the Oakland Commune. While the general purpose of a press release is to give information, OOMEDIA is also using this opportunity to continue our claim of affinity with all participants and supporters of Occupy Oakland, Occupy Wall Street, and the several members of the Occupy Oakland Tactical Action Committee who first spoke up about the Oakland Commune. We are not speaking on behalf of every person who describes him or herself as a participant in Occupy Oakland, but only want to bring attention to a division that has always existed and which has yet to be fully exposed. We accept The Oakland Commune’s wish to divorce itself from Occupy Oakland with its declaration: “Occupy Oakland is dead. Long live the Oakland Commune” (Blog post, retrieved from http://www.bayofrage.com/featured-articles/occupy-oakland-is-dead/). We also accept its rejection of Occupy Oakland’s commitment to mass participation. As they have stated: “We [the Oakland Commune] are not the 99%. We are not a fucking percentage at all. We do not count. If we have any power, it is because we are the enemies of all majority, enemies of ‘the people.’ As the old song goes, we are nothing and must become everything” (The Oakland Commune, “Plaza - Riot - Commune,” p. 16).</td><td><img title="This is terrifying." src="http://anarchistnews.org/files/pictures/2011/oaklandcommune.jpg"></td></...

We can only speculate on the specific origins of the Oakland Commune, which is made up of a clique that seems to have been active long before Occupy Oakland, but the phrase was injected into the movement when a banner appeared at Oscar Grant Plaza claiming the camp as the Oakland Commune. The phrase refers to the Paris Commune of 1871, as the group’s writings now make clear (The Oakland Commune, “Building the Red Army,” p. 77). Many people, including some who were not a part of this clique, began to use the phrase as an alternate name for the encampment. This association appeared innocent at first, and it was not apparent that this clique was operating in the shadows of Occupy Oakland with an aim to mold and control the movement.

For months we have observed the destructive methods of this vanguard clique, and what we provide here is some evidence of their disruptive beliefs and actions as publicized through the dissemination of their own materials, some of which are based on misinformation, contradictions, oversimplifications, and co-opted narratives of supporters of Occupy Oakland.

Their stated beliefs and goals include:
● embracing destruction for its own sake (nihilism) in support of fighting for its own sake (insurrectionism)
“First things first, we were not direct participants in all of it, but we fucking love property damage. This is a very non-political (in the classical sense of the word) love and really we just love to see shit fucked up. Fuck normalcy. Besides the wanton vandalism, this march was exciting because it was a large group of people acting completely outside of and against the general political sentiment of what has so far been the occupation movement” (The Oakland Commune, p. 47. Entire book available here: http://magazinredaktion.tk/oakland.php?language=en*).
● claiming ownership of the November 2 port shutdown, the December 12 blockade and other successful actions which were not their own, as well as actively co-opting the encampment by renaming it according to their values “On December 12 a second blockade of the port turned out to reach fairly large dimensions, pushing the movement (that gave itself the name Commune of Oakland) towards its point of culmination on January 28, when thousands of people made a publicly announced attempt to take a building of an adequate size for the movement” (The Oakland Commune, p. 4).
● shutting down all critical conversation of violence, vandalism, and “diversity of tactics,” and alienating and swaying opinion against peaceful protesters by any means necessary “There is an intelligence in this declaration against peace, but it cannot be reduced to this or that position on violence. Any attempt to define violence will always fall back upon abstraction. Any attempt to deploy such a definition is always already useless. . . .
[T]hese peace-warriors operate on an assumption that so long as they are sufficiently meek, their cause will be just. Following from this, so long as they are passive, the inevitable violence enacted upon them by the police will appear illegitimate. This attempt at self-victimization, beyond being a foolish tactic, is a specific measure to invalidate resistance and to justify the operations of the police state. . . . Social war is the discrete and ongoing struggle that runs through and negotiates our lived experience. As agents of chaos, we seek to expose this struggle; to make it overt. The issue is not violence or non-violence. What’s at issue in these forays against capital is rather the social peace and its negation” (The Oakland Commune, p. 43-4).
“A small, yet dedicated group of morons set about trying hopelessly to defend the property of their masters. In the name of non-violence, these thuggish pacifists assaulted demonstrators and sought to re-establish peace on the streets. . . . The anticapitalist march and the formations that comprised it, should also be looked to as a practical means of neutralizing and marginalizing such peace police . . .” (The Oakland Commune, p. 39).
● planning to infiltrate and instigate unrest in Oakland with or without the participation or consent of the people
“Reformists urge coalition building, as though the union bureaucracies could somehow lead a radical movement. While some purists refuse coalitions, the revolutionary response is infiltration and invasion. When we approach the unions we don’t seek their guidance; we seek to introduce class antagonism into those institutions, to construct a broad class power, menacing and inescapable for the bosses just as it is irresistible to workers who spend each day on the defensive. . . .” (The Oakland Commune, p. 77-8). “The construction of a thing called “The Oakland Commune” at a plaza that was renamed after Oscar Grant was, in this sense, not a franchise of Occupy Wall Street but a revolutionary defense of that particular space, the demand that we who occupy it have the right to decide what will be made of it” (The Oakland Commune, p. 6).

To reiterate: we did not create the division between Occupy Oakland and the Oakland Commune; we are merely making it obvious to everyone. We are suspicious of what is going on inside this organization and do not understand why they attached themselves to Occupy Oakland. We do not dispute their right to exist but want to point out that Occupy Oakland was founded on principles of inclusivity and transparency, and that the self-described Oakland Commune has come out in direct opposition to those concepts. OOMEDIA will continue on, as part of Occupy Oakland, in the quest for social and economic justice.

In support of those goals, we are continuing to support other actions. In the weeks to come we will be :
1. Releasing an ebook, A People’s History of Occupy Oakland, Volume 1
2. Holding a press conference October 25th
3. Starting an apology campaign to heal the rift between the community and Occupy Oakland
4. Showing our support for the renewal of of efforts to build a mass movement in Oakland by actively participating in the Oakland Empowerment Movement celebration

More information:
CBS5 news story featuring the Oakland Commune censoring Occupy Oakland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aacN2hBhr4I
Popular articles by one or more persons publishing as ‘OaklandCommune’ on the Bay of Rage website http://www.bayofrage.com/author/oaklandcommune/
Video created by the shadow clique, title: The Oakland Commune http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Poo4Mso3sE&sns=fb

*A note on The Oakland Commune: the editors state in the introduction that they don’t agree entirely about the content of the text, but this collection is still meant to represent those calling themselves the Oakland Commune.

Contact: Shake Anderson
Cell phone: ----------
E-mail: Shake9169@gmail.com


what is terrifying? that clear-ish lines are occasionally drawn in civil war?

The very few good criticisms they come close to making in this statement underscore why anarchists should be wary of communists and manipulative methods in general (e.g. infiltration). The rest of it underscores why the Oakland Commune's critique of progressives was right on.

I love how they cite a fairly sound criticism of pacifism as evidence of some manipulation or authoritarianism.

Basically, the "action faction" has done some pretty dumb fuck maneuvers lately and a lot of people hate them for it. Predictably really skeevy people like this media guy are trying to leverage those mistakes to give themselves some credit when they were discredited a while back. However, the ultra-stupidity of this press release might actually give Bay-Of-Rage back some creditability, I hope they use it well.

And there you have. The "anti-imperialist march" Saturday before Columbus day? WTF were the they thinking, dumbshits? The "Afghanistan Will Win" banner - would be hilarious if they weren't tossing away every good thing they'd done for the last year in the garbage.

And the thing about the sketchy politics of the Anti-Columbus Day action was that when they wade into the cesspool of anti-imperialism, the Bay-Of-Rage crowd loose their advantage over people like the poster. Bay Of Rage said: *"The events of saturday were unique in their political framing: militant decolonization coupled with anti-capitalist struggles pointing to a new trajectory for the Bay Area. The old caricature of the white male anarchist participant withered away as mostly people of color and women stood at the head of the march and diversity revealed itself amongst the mug shots of those arrested"* http://www.bayofrage.com/from-the-bay/all-our-ancestors-killed-colonists...

You're wrong, fuck-wads-who-wrote-that-press-release. Claiming that now you're multicultural is exactly what will make people hate you. Talking about the black bloc as leaders of the multicultural masses will make people hate more. A few black faces on an arrest report doesn't make represent Oakland nor should you try to fucking-represent-Oakland. You need the opposite approach. The only way the way the black bloc has creditability is by acting for itself, against the whole of the society without apologies and without representing anyone.



No references to "gimps", "retardos" or such...

I'd agree Keating has kind of poisoned the dialog in the Bay but my post above ain't him

Stupid division. Move in day, the biggest action come to pass was essentially the same fuck goal as the Oakland Commune. Stupid narcissistic shit. Civil war? Come on....I have problems with Occupy too, and probably after this divorce especially wouldn't have anything to do with it, but whoever wrote their statements sounds like some shmuck with a messiah complex. I support em in spirit, but get over yourselves already. You sound like a fucking nut case. "WE ARE EVERYTHING...." Bite me.

Hardly civil war but the ruthless struggle over which burnt ember of the ashes Occupy gets to glow for most seconds...

But really, this is great. Anything calling itself the "Media Collective" is a super-extra self-discrediting entity...

Why do Anarchists care about the occupy movement? Why does black bloc have to be the only expresiin of Anarchism in regards to this movement? Why can't we work on the problems in our own community so when a movement like this breaks out next time we can go to people on ideological grounds and say "look, we have a better way" and treat occupy movements for what they are...platforms.

It sucks that there's a violent backlash to bloc tactics coming from fringe peoples, but when you are trying to incite violence you're going to have to be ready for things of that nature. I guess we hould be better prepared within ourselves and community next time huh?

And yeah, it is a bit civil warish, if that's what you want it to be.

I don't know a lot of Anarchists that support or give a shit about Occupy by the way. Maybe suport in the abstract.

as a lonely anarchist i'm not too familiar with IRL anarchists, so I'm not sure if the popular disdain for OWS is because those anarchists are just dumb as fuck. OWS wasn't started by people who voted for obama, my god, it was started by people including d. graeber. anarchists were highly involved from the beginning, but for some reason so many anarchists were disproportionately obsessed with illegalism / propaganda by the deed, and rarely spent two minutes trying to help the liberals (many who are innocently naive) make sense of the situation. :[]~~ over the past year i've met a few people who are obsessed with revolution/insurrection but do little to actually see it manifest. fake ass mofos.

fuck occupy oakland too.

*rolls eyes* I'm not "dumb as fuck", I'm "disillusioned as fuck", FYI. The local occupy here is a fucking joke and not worth my time. Can't get more simple than that.

fuck the people speaking for occupy oakland and the oakland commune. occupy the commune!

Communize Occupy!

Immunize the Copulace!

copulate with immunity!

What fucking idiots. So if some people start using a different (and obviously way better) name and have different ideas and try to influence a movement they're automatically being divisive? The OO Media collective is full of shit and guilty of exactly what they're accusing the 'Oakland Commune' (not like its even a specific organization) of doing. Like how this talk about 'nonviolence' shuts down conversation around different tactics and reinforces the supremacy of 'peaceful' (which means passive) tactics. Then they accuse radicals of shutting down that conversation that they don't even want to have.

I also think its hilarious how people think Black Bloc or Oakland Commune are specific organizations. lol

this isn't terrifying. this is hilarious. the final desperate gasps of "radical" liberalism attempting to maintain its position in antagonistic politics.

the more they throw their temper tantrum, while failing to accomplish anything of worth, the more power they lose. REMEMBER YOU AIKI Bay Area comrades. Don't directly attack them. Let them swing desperately, move your footing, and watch them land flat on their faces.

Awesome! Way to go Oakland Commune! This is good hatred and I count it as a win. A proper response would be to thank them and ask if they desire any sexual favors, such as help fucking themselves.

Way to go Oakland. Must be doing some things right if this kind of reactionary shit is coming out.

This is dumb.

Also, hilariously sketchy in its own right - I just checked the Occupy Oakland website and this hasn't been posted anywhere. A quick Google search pulls up no results besides for the posting on this website.

"We are not speaking on behalf of every person who describes him or herself as a participant in Occupy Oakland, but only want to bring attention to a division that has always existed and which has yet to be fully exposed."

And then goes on to cite sources that, by their own admission, explicitly state that the ideas and opinions contained within are not an attempt to represent every participant of the Oakland Commune, or even the Commune as an entity.

Hard-hitting investigative journalism right here.

I'd say the author(s) should stop pretending they aren't writing a liberal propaganda/smear piece disguised as "objective reporting" and reasoned analysis, but then again, that would defeat the purpose.

props for posting this asshat's email address

Boots, what will you say about this?

Boots here. I think this statement is pretty spot on. The Oakland Commune, filled with middle class white kids, is a disgrace to radical social movements. The black bloc as a tactic is alienating to potential revolutionaries and should be stopped and condemned immediately!

the REAL Boots here!
I've realized the futility in the leftist obsession with mass, and no longer feel like we need vague and abstract social grouping such as "the people" to legitimize the agency of those who fight their conditions. This thinking is indicative of the indoctrination of bourgeois democratic ideals.

Insofar as the black block goes, I've come to find it is a tactic very becoming of autonomous agents coordinating attack.

All power to the communes! Death to the parasites of social management!

REAL REAL Boots here!
I've realized the problem with socks. Motherfucking socks trying to take up all my space. Why call that shit breathable when I can't breath. Getting suffocated by the goddamn socks and black bloc keeps hitting my leather exterior. The people can't understand tanning, ya dig?

His Honorable and Most High Boots, representing for the Oakland Commune in the irresolvable conflict with the bougie Abu/Oakland Occupy. Eat shit and die.


"The proof that the state is a creation of nature and prior to the individual is that the individual, when isolated, is not self-sufficing; and therefore he is like a part in relation to the whole. But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state. A social instinct is implanted in all men by nature, and yet he who first founded the state was the greatest of benefactors. For man, when perfected, is the best of animals, but, when separated from law and justice, he is the worst of all." Boots

I think class demographics matter much more than race demographics. I think with now open Federal persecution of usually caucasikn radicals and the fact that there's no economy, opportunity etc. We can drop the race shit. The socio economic demographic is different because that's what shapes you. Let me put it this way: the shit bird judge who put Leah, Matt and our Kteeo away is the half brother of Quincy Jones. My family escaped violent pogroms in the Ukraine and my cousin is a district attorny, I'm here. Irish Americans go back 2,3 generations, Italians Poles etc. they don't have shit. I use the race card cause yeah, definitely some white centricbpeople here, but its cultural chauvinism that creates the divide and that's a middle class mentality, not a white one.

Are assholes like this being isolated, or is this a step in "Oakland Commune"-types being isolated?

I swell with pride every time I read those quotes.

Obviously the Occupy media teams are inherently counter-productive in a lot of ways. However I found taking the time to speak with them face to face, without putting on airs or being petulant, goes a long way. In most cases these people's politics are moronic because their new and fledgling and it only takes a little patience to prevent them from going rogue.

Oh looks like the counter-revolution has started earlier in Oakland.

Wait, what revolution happened that this is the counter revolution to?

Well, OO Media shouldn't really worry seeing as how the Oakland Commune is turning out to be more of a myth than anything. And neither should the non-existent Oakland Commune because OO will continue chasing its own tail, and dissolve into irrelevance in the great search for "social and economic justice." At this point, you're all probably just handful of people talking amongst yourselves via internet. It's not that serious.

the non existant commune is against the non existant occupation

Worker I really wish you would stop posting this shit. Its getting real serious, and potentially violent. Lets not stoke the flames of crazy people who have been so clearly infiltrated by cointelpro



I will consume so much popcorn watching you tear each other apart.

Is it just me or do Shake & co. totally suck at critical reading? So many of these quotes don't address what they claim they do, which is not to say that even their claims are actually bad things. The anti-"mass participation" quote is really more of a critique of majoritarian categorization and rhetoric, the anti-"peaceful protestor" quotes reserve most of their vitriol for peace POLICE, etc. etc.

The media collective can't read, just spin. There's no case they're making.

you are talking about Shake, a self-promotional, barely literate, lazy-ass slob and a committed pothead. he calls himself a "Buddhist Rastafari", and believes in every insane conspiracy theory that is out there. If you ask Shake, lizard overlords run the Fed, the Batman theatre shooting was an inside job... Etc. #weaksauce

I was wondering why the fuck the phrase "shadow clique" keeps coming up in recent writing by OOMEDIA.

Holy fuck ... this is all so hilarious

This is all so fucking stupid... I'm getting so sick of it, and now people that aren't even near Oakland are pulled into it. Being a local resident and participating in many events that the Oakland Commune has, I still don't know what to make of all this and neither did you....
It just brings me back to the days when OOTAC (who organized the FTP marches and take over of Traveler Aid's building) would carry black flags....


Oh man... this is too good...
"Ironically, they (the Shadow clique!)have replicated the very conditions that led to the financial crisis."

Wow. Didn't know some anarchists in oakland could collapse the global economy.
I mean the Nov 2nd was inspiring but GLOBAL?! shit!

This is why we cant be sloppy with our actions and organizing. We need to almost be spot on here in the belly of the beast. We need people behind us, because there are a ton of reactionary elements within the left itself. There are also a lot of federal operations we don't know of that aim to covertly attach to weaknesses in our networks, and divide us, then of course destroy the movement. Hate all you want, but the reality of what we're up against tells us we need more strategy and discipline. and if you are one of those insurrectionists that thinks "action inspires revolt" then why are your actions confined to predictable shattering of windows? Wouldn't reclaiming space, and sending the cops running be more of an inspiring action to the oppressed by your logic? Get it the fuck together.

Actually, I was thinking appropriation and redistribution might be more fruitful channels of attack than space reclamation right now. The police have pretty much got occupation as a tactic countered, and something that could be really useful is doing actions that prove we aren't destroying things because we hate the people living in the community, but because we hate the system that fucks them over.

Recent Black Bloc antics in San Francisco have been one hundred percent devoid of authentic subversive content, and I don't say that as someone who likes bank windows:



That site looks awfully familiar. Emphasis on the -awful-.


Signed, the usual police-snitch-in-residence at www.anarchistnews.org

Dude: I'd be less worried about "police snitches in residence" (they are actually several of us who just love love you to make fun of you) than writing in such a distinctly bad fashion that ANYONE who has ever read your ridiculous self-promotion once can easily spot it.

"I'm Keating my comebacks don't make sense"

Is the goal of bloc to break windows or to actively engage the state. Because if its just to break windows, though not completely unjustifiable its fucking useless and inherently has jack shit to do with conventional Anarchism. I thought it was modified street fighting for the surveillence age? And why are you shocked that people of differing ideogies are having a fallout over a social protest movement? Unless you're a syndicalist, I fail to see what everyone at least I know saw as inevitable. People aren't going to be won towards Anarchism by just stating what you don't like with the word fuck in front of it. Its a platform. If our accountability process was working and we did have some degree of organization and could educate people as to how to handle themselves, we could work with this movement towards a long term goal. But unless there are sharper divisions in class disparity with your intended goals of abstract violence, then what do you want? People aren't going to break with deep rooted paradigms of how the world works with no history or connection to Anarchism, yet alone a good gesture by followers of the ideology. Why grind away at this shit? Do you see occupy as an enemy?

I know this isn't all about the black bloc, but seriously....

These fuckers are the ones who tried to compromise a comrade saying he was a "terrorist". Fuck these fools. The war is getting thicker in the bay, you can feel it in the air.

Okay, so, what are you talking about -- what "war"? We don't have anything remotely like any kind of mass engagement going on here now.

mass engagement? Your an idiot. Very low intensity asymmetrical you damn fool. Figure a thing or two out

FYI - For those of you that don't know, Occupy Oakland Media Collective are not Occupy Oakland and have nothing to do with the Oakland Commune anymore other than talking shit. They were kicked out of OO a while ago but maintain their own thing which makes folks who dont know the situation think they are somehow part of it. They were trying to sell out our comrades. One of these fools were also kicked out of Homes Not Jails in solidarity with OO.

I was kinda wondering what the deal was, because I saw another posting on a different site (also claiming to be representative of Occupy Oakland) that completely refuted the implication that the Oakland Commune is some kind of spooky vanguard organization.


Its hard to tell in the bay who is a wingnut and who is doing some COINTELPRO shit

I think the problem is 3 fold. You've got people who aren't exactly wingnuts, but who have fucked up politics that stand against anarchism, specifically insurrectionary anarchism, which doesn't lend itself to being co-opted by protest managers and drawn into self-defeating common fronts with the left (Boots and Keating). Then you've got COINTELPRO shit that picks up on these public criticisms and condemnations and uses them to legitimize a counter-insurgency campaign, appealing to reactionary forces to shut down the insurrection in a paramilitary fashion (Occupythemob). Then you've got the wingnuts who buy into the COINTELPRO shit and advance it out of sheer stupidity (OOMEDIA). That all of this is occurring is proof that the State deems what's happening throughout the Bay and the broader NW as a threat. This is clearly tied into the other end of the counter-insurgency campaign, which is unabashed State repression occurring in Seattle, Olympia, and Portland, ie the raids, grand juries and all of the other bullshit. Whether that threat has been blown out of proportion or actually exists is another question. I think that both the State and the window smashers overestimate the threat that they pose.

every day that passes makes Oakland look more and more like Catalonia in the Spanish civil war. Why don't yall finally succumb to shooting each other while the boots of fascism stomp on through. While you are all busy squabbling the cops win.

Occupy Oakland can suck mah fat anarchist cock as far as I'm concerned.

occupy oakland has been dead in the water for almost a year and we're still hearing about this crap. and I'm not sure who is more annoying, whiny authoritarians who accuse anarchists of racism and in a moment of true orwellian doublespeak "orwellian doublespeak". Or anarchists who should know better who insist that absolutely nothing is happening unless a window or two gets broken. the funny thing is that we get mad at the liberals for misinterpreting us when we make little attempt to explain who we are and why we are doing what we do.

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