The Oakland Commune

Posted on January 3, 2013


Out of the whole Occupy movement in the US, Occupy Oakland was probably the most successful in challenging the so-called 1% and creating new forms and spaces of social organization. They disrupted business as usual, put into practice self-organization by poor people on a huge scale, and helped launch a historic general strike. Because anarchists were an important part of this diverse movement, and social movements in the US have always been disrupted by generating paranoia about “outside agitators” and “extremists”, Occupy Oakland was targeted with a powerful misinformation campaign spreading the idea that the anarchists were outside agitators, a shadowy conspiracy, or even police infiltrators.

This misinformation has been spread by the corporate media, by wingnuts, by pacifists, by NGOs who get paid to manage dissent, and by a few sketchy individuals who probably are police provocateurs (note the difference here between accusing an entire group of people or anyone engaging in combative tactics of being provocateurs, and looking into the possibility that specific individuals with a long history of disruption and sketchiness are provocateurs). Some wingnuts anonymously released a flyer claiming the “anarchists/vandals” were all white outsiders, not true, and calling for them to be beaten with baseball bats and other weapons. The same flyer claimed they were government agents. The Anti-Repression committee provided a reasoned response to the accusations.