No racism, no homophobia, no sexism

What does the mission mean?
Does it mean that there are certain lyrics that shouldn’t be played?
For each of us, it is probably a different genre from which we might choose our songs. If you play a lot of hip hop, you really should address the idea of using bitch to describe women and nigga to describe men.
My attitude is that the youth have their own unspoken reasons for using language that is insulting to me and I try to just put it down to youth. Like we would use vulgar language that was slang in my youth and my parents’ generation weren’t supposed to like it, in fact, better they didn’t.
The words have historical context though. Words of the white man that he hammered into all our heads so we internalized the oppressor’s image of what we should be. Stereotypes are what they call it now and you even have to qualify it anyway, harmful stereotypes.
When you assume a person is going to act out in a certain way, sometimes you can bring on that behavior just with your expectation.
Walking the streets of Oakland, make eye contact, smile back at people, behave as if you belong, that’s the way to safely navigate hunting grounds. It’s worked for me. On the streets is where I’m safe. The streets is where people who barely know me will intercede on my behalf. You act like the people out here are going to be fair-minded and reliable, because for the most part, they are.
Living on the street can teach you how to be reliable in a different way, not just during business hours, or 6 o’clock sharp every evening, but 24/7.
On the other hand, a prejudiced person who expects people to treat him unfairly, maybe a white dude who fucked off all the opportunities handed to him his whole life, that guy comes to our block and doesn’t realize we aren’t judging him, he’s doing that himself, saying please rob me and take the reparations for the oppression this country and people who look like me,have perpetrated.


Support For Daniel McGowan // Blog

Why Write?

by Daniel on August 21st, 2007

It’s a question I have been pondering the last two months since I reported to prison and the clock started ticking. Why, indeed? What do I have to say that is new or fresh? Will I bore people with repetitive tomes about my case or the Green Scare? Do people want to read what I write? All these questions haunt me as I put pen to paper attempting to deal with a ton of unexpressed thoughts and emotions made worse by a self-imposed silence during my legal proceedings. Where do I even begin? I doubt at times whether I can handle the release of these emotions—anger, frustration, betrayal, profound sadness. . . I fear that there won’t be a lesson or a neat and clean conclusion to what I write about—that you’ll get to the end and ask, “So yeah, that sucked—what am I supposed to do?” The idea that anyone might think I know also freaks me out.

As in all things though, you learn by doing. You start the journey with that first step, you are that much closer to leaving prison after the first day or month or year. I’m in prison so what sense is there in not trying to make sense of it all, to not risk failing or looking stupid or being wrong. So, I’ve decided to write—to not wring my hands endlessly, scared to release my writings. I’ve even figured out some damn good reasons to write too—I’m going to write because we need to be more flexible in our approach and if I can’t be on the streets fighting my ass off for a better world, well, at least I can speak my truth on these pages. Because we live in a world where people who abuse women rarely go to prison and when they do, go in for a few years while people who destroy the inanimate property of multi-national corporations go in for longer, Because silence is complicity and I won’t be bullied or silenced by prosecutors who brag that I was forced to self-report early because of my website and speaking on Democracy Now, Because I’ve lost some friends and comrades these past years and they can’t, Because I never for a second will accept the label of “terrorist” for trying to call attention to what our species is doing to our planet, and because maybe we can all learn from mistakes I have made.

See, there really are some good reasons to write despite my fears after all. I don’t know what this path of exploration will look like but I’ll do my best to keep digging and fighting.

via Support For Daniel McGowan // Blog.

History of the Makhnovist Movement (1918-1921): Chapter 8

I have been struggling with the idea of “partisans” ever since I first heard the term used to dismiss the Makhnovshchina. Calling the insurgents of Ukraine simply partisans is so imprecise. What kind of army tries to comfort and reconcile with enemy combatants as soon as the shooting stops?

The Soviet authorities and their agents often depicted the Makhnovists as pitiless assassins, giving long lists of soldiers of the Red Army and members of the Communist Party put to death by them. But the authorities were always silent about the essential fact, namely about the circumstances in which these soldiers or Party members had been killed. They were always victims of combats started or provoked by the Communists themselves, combats which were forced on the Makhnovists when they were cornered by the Bolsheviks. War is war; there are always victims on both sides. But the Makhnovists understood perfectly that they were making war, not against the soldiers of the Red Army as a group or against any of them individually, but against the handful of rulers who directed this mass, who disposed of them, and who valued the life of a Red soldier only to the extent that it was useful for the preservation of their power. This is why, although they often struggled bitterly against the Red Army units, once the battle was over the Makhnovists related to the soldiers of the Red Army with the same spirit of brotherhood and friendship which characterized relations among themselves.

via History of the Makhnovist Movement (1918-1921): Chapter 8. (P. Arshinov, 1922)


American Blowback » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Doesn’t everyone expect to see these ex-military LEO types freak out more often? Most of these deluded men who want to be police are already damaged. When they pass through recruitment, training, corruption, shame, and denial of every day practice within police, they are required to insist on a greater good. When the scales fall from the eyes, some police off themselves, others break down, become senseless to suffering, and some find targets for rage that isolates them from friends, family, community.

The government and law enforcement churn out damaged automatons at best. Fatalistic misanthropes tune their appearance to hide emptiness placed by authority’s insistence on command and obedience. The immediate reaction to arresting a kid for smoking pot is the horrible realization that good people are ruined by the law.

The LAPD has long played a vanguard role in white supremacist policing in the United States. Whether it be the conscious recruitment of racist cops from the south in the 1960s under William Parker (sparking the 1965 Watts Rebellion) or the continuity of well-worn brutal methods under Darryl Gates (sparking the massive 1992 L.A. Rebellions), there has been little new under the sun. Even after 1992, when change seemed for a moment inevitable and when the Bloods and Crips had, themselves, laid down arms and put forth a plan to rebuild the city, this long-needed transformation didn’t materialize. Instead, South Central became South L.A., Gates was canned, and the LAPD forcibly destroyed the gang truce. Nothing had changed.

It wasn’t long before the next scandal. Toward the end of the 1990s, what many had already known became public knowledge: that the LAPD, and especially the Rampart Division, routinely brutalized suspects and planted evidence. As a result of this revelation, the LAPD was charged under the RICO Act (as a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization) and placed under the federal oversight of a consent decree that would only be lifted in 2009.

Not coincidentally, “Globocop” Bill Bratton, currently en route to advise the Oakland Police Department, amidst widespread public opposition, is credited with cleaning up the LAPD, and Dorner’s statement appears on many websites alongside a picture of the former officer beaming alongside Bratton (it has emerged that Dorner mailed evidence to Anderson Cooper last week, including a gift from Bratton, on which he wrote “Thanks, but no thanks Will Bratton”).

via American Blowback » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.


Jim Chanin Speaks on Federal Receivership for the Oakland Police Department: audio, PDF & photos : Indybay

Full audio of Andrea Prichett, Sanyika Bryant, and Jim Chanin on OPD receivership


This event was on Oct 20, the hearing is coming in December

source: Jim Chanin Speaks on Federal Receivership for the Oakland Police Department: audio, PDF & photos : Indybay.


Is it Time to Dissolve the Oakland Police Department?

This shit is a big controversial mess. I just don’t see why we cling to this stupid idea of armed police. Police should not be armed. Putting weapons in the hands of untrustworthy people just causes more gun violence, not less.

And no, you can’t make them more trustworthy, especially in a big city. It hasn’t been done yet since local police were formed originally to catch escaped slaves. It has never been done. I believe that if you can’t be a good police without a gun, then you need to go home.


The Riders case illustrates both the extent of police abuse and the failures of elected and appointed city officials to comply with court-ordered reforms of the OPD. In January 2003, Oakland agreed to settle a lawsuit (Allen, et al. v. City of Oakland) which was based on allegations that a group of officers in West Oakland (the “Riders”) had engaged in a campaign to harass, beat, falsely accuse, plant drugs on, and rob African Americans they portrayed as drug dealers. (A similar case involving Oakland Housing Authority police arose in the early 1990s.) The Negotiated Settlement Agreement in the Allen case required the City to reform its policies and to demonstrate compliance with its new policies to protect residents from police abuse. The 51 specific requirements were to be accomplished in no longer than seven years under monitors chosen by the city but reporting to the United States District Court.

The federal court should take control of the OPD.

In perhaps the most stunning demonstration of contempt for the court’s proceedings and the welfare of Oakland’s residents, in June 2012 the City Council voted 5-3 to voluntarily pay $40,000 in punitive damages awarded against Officer Ingo Mayer for violating the civil rights of two men he pulled over for an alleged traffic violation and then forced to pull down their pants in front of a crowd of people on Martin Luther King Boulevard. The federal court’s judgment in that case had already cost Oakland over $1.0 million, plus its own legal costs. But as the Council signaled, “Do what you want boys. We have your back.”

Can the police be reformed?

The question we face is whether police departments can be reformed. Many believe that they cannot. Their role as agents of social control under the existing order is fixed and permanent. That perspective may be correct.

But just as models for running successful public schools in the nation’s big cities exist but are not implemented for political reasons, it seems at least possible to develop a model for community safety that fulfills people’s legitimate need for safe and secure neighborhoods without the endemic police abuse that exists under the present system. In other words, under the existing system of power relationships in U.S. society, can we invent a new system to protect public safety that does not perpetuate ongoing violations of people’s rights?

We do not pretend to have the answers to these issues. Whether we have a chance of success depends in large part on our ability to build a mass movement that unites the Black and Brown communities, working people, and progressive activists.

To begin, I would like to pose some questions and promote a dialogue to answer them:

1. What sort of organization should be developed to secure public safety in urban communities like Oakland?
2. Who should be employed and entrusted to perform public safety functions?
3. How should public safety workers be trained?
4. How should they be armed?
5. What strategies should be employed to promote public safety?
6. How should we deal with people who harm their neighbors and resist efforts to convince them to act safely and peacefully?

via Is it Time to Dissolve the Oakland Police Department? : Indybay.


Boots sez – Use of the blac bloc tactic in all situations is not useful

Here we have the same old arguments because nobody bothers to read the arguments from before.

The whole point of the militant alternative is that you can’t control the militants at all, they are independent of your bullshit public relations non-violent strategy. Look, the threat of a militant response is a real concern for the status quo. Goal achieved.

But what Boots and separately, the non-violent electoral process people fail to realize is that they benefit from that threat.

Use of the blac bloc tactic in all situations is not useful

by Boots Riley repost

Monday Oct 8th, 2012 10:20 PM

The use of the blac bloc tactic in all situations is not useful. As a matter of fact, in situations such as the one we have in Oakland, its repeated use has become counter-revolutionary.

Yesterday in Oakland was a good illustration of this, in which the blac bloc kids- besides busting up bank windows- also busted windows of parked cars and threw stuff at another car- to which the Black driver of said vehicle got out looking to fight the crowd.

Similarly, the crowd of folks at Somar were there for the end of Matthew Africa’s memorial- DJs and artists, and generally a group of folks who collectively probably know everybody in Oakland- I’m not exactly sure what or if anything happened before I saw the scene, but folks poured out of the club en masse to protect it, yelling at the march and telling folks to go home.

If “the job of the revolutionary is to make the revolution seem irresistible”, the use of blac bloc has been making a revolutionary movement pretty damn resistible in Oakland, CA.

When almost every conversation I have with folks from Oakland about Occupy Oakland, has the smashing of windows brought up as a reason people don’t like that grouping, scientifically it means the tactic is not working. It doesn’t matter that technically it’s only smashing corporate windows. It matters that people don’t want to join because of that. It’s not about violence/non-violence. The truth is that it’s not always corporate windows. I’m for certain tactics that would be classified as violent- even ones that have to do with fighting human beings. But what it’s about is a tactic that is detrimental in this situation. I would like to win, thank you. Not just lose with style. A style that the people around you don’t understand.

Many folks bring up Greece when debating these things. I’ve been to Athens. What I witnessed there was that the movement was tied in with the people. Most of those involved grew up in Athens, they also are part of militant campaigns that happen throughout the year, which the people support, moreover, they just know the people of the city of Athens. And, perhaps due to this situation, there are way more of them.

It’s not due to lack of outreach that Saturday’s “West Coast Anti-Capitalist March”- meaning, one that not only reached out to the whole west coast- was only able to draw 150-300 people. It’s because it’s not what the people care about- not framed in that way- and because others are either bored with the tactic or scared of being arrested because some kid breaks the window of some used car that probably costs less than their own Honda Civic. But, that was in SF. Most of the folks doing this don’t know anyone from Oakland, and- I believe- don’t plan on doing any sort of base building to find out where the pulse of the people actually are.

If you ask most people in East or West Oakland what their problems are- they’ll say being broke is there number one problem. Campaigns that use militant mass movement tactics to achieve changes in that situation are ones that have a revolutionary potential.

I’ve talked to many a person in Occupy Oakland and even in some anarchist collectives who agree with me on this, but the idea is that to criticize this publicly is to make the movement look divided. But, the public non-critique of this has the effect of making the movement look monolithic, hegemonic and uninviting. Instead, people talk shit about each other behind their backs, split and divide into smaller and smaller affinity groups. All the while, not critiquing the counter-revolutionary bullshit that’s making them irrelevant in the minds of the people they ostensibly want to organize.

Let’s get this shit right and win.

(note by reposter – sorry for facebook link but that’s where boots chooses to do his thing)

via Use of the blac bloc tactic in all situations is not useful : Indybay.