Poorly-written article by the SF Examiner:

After a few hundred Black Bloc anarchists marched around different parts of the city to commemorate May Day, a.k.a. International Workers’ Day, some of them broke into an abandoned school near the intersection of 16th and Mission streets and occupied it.

“This school is sitting empty, they’re not using it while we have so many homeless people on the streets. Why doesn’t the city let the homeless stay here?” said one anarchists, who refused to give his name.

San Francisco police, who’d been tracking the march from the beginning, responded by closing off Mission Street between 15th and 16th streets, then clearing the sidewalks of both bystanders and anarchists.

The anarchists locked the gates behind them. They’d come with various items that clearly showed this was not a spur-of-the-moment action but instead had some amount of planning behind it.

After a standoff and negotiations between them and the police that lasted about two hours, the anarchists either voluntarily removed themselves from the property or were arrested and forcibly removed.

A police commander at the scene said 11 people were arrested.

The crisis is not a natural disaster that simply happens; the crisis is the outcome of the choices of all those who want to maintain this system, in which we are exploited, repressed and governed. Their proposals on how to come out of the crisis do not differ from suggestions on how the existing situation could be reinforced and take root. Our propositions can be nothing less than strikes and solidarity, occupations and sabotage, expropriations and mutual help… in order to create the world that we choose for ourselves, against all kinds of segregations and hierarchy.

-Assembly of the revolted in (the island of ) Salamina, (and the neighborhoods of) Perama, Keratsini, Nikaia, Koridallos, Piraeus

While the IMF meets in Washington, D.C. this weekend, Greece’s financial troubles have continued to deepen. Greek Prime Minister Papandreou chose the remote Aegean island of Kastelorizo on Friday to announce his government was to activate the IMF-EU “rescue” plan, effectively throwing the proletariat and lower middle classes in the country at the mercy of international financial giants. IMF loans always have nasty strings attached, rules that force the recipient to re-structure their economy along a neo-liberal, privatized, U.S. friendly model due to the influential U.S. position in the IMF.

The current situation in Greece has many similarities to the IMF crisis in Argentina in 2002 that sparked a nation-wide rebellion and created a of worker-run businesses in its wake. Add to this crisis the recent revelations that the Greek ruling class has been evading paying its share of taxes for years, and you have a country that is turning into a powder keg.

This is social war at its peak; this is the guarantee that the Greek standard of living will be crushed, and that a dictatorship of capital shall reign.

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Advance The Struggle

Tables of Contents

  1. Introduction to March 4th
  2. October 24th Compromise
  3. City committees: Oakland and LA, Class Struggle Left Committees
  4. San Francisco: Center Wins Over Left
  5. UC Berkeley vs. UC Santa Cruz: Campus Committees Choose Focus
  6. UC Davis and CSU Fresno: Central Valley Consciousnesa
  7. Seattle: Worker-Student Power
  8. Conclusion
  9. Appendix
    1. Canada Community College
    2. UC Berkeley marches to Oakland
    3. Youth lead in Oakland
    4. CCSF

I. Introduction

Spirit is indeed never at rest but always engaged in moving forward. But just as the first breath drawn by a child after its long, quiet nourishment breaks the gradualness of merely quantitative growth – there is a qualitative leap, and the child is born.

– Hegel

March 4th provides us with a snapshot into the strategic and theoretical frameworks used by the Left to understand, develop and radicalize consciousness; we begin to see patterns emerge as this consciousness is translated into working class action, and we begin to ask ourselves what is needed to learn from these actions and begin developing a revolutionary consciousness and practice to address the ongoing crisis of capital.

Read the rest of this entry »

Takethecity.orgRecent events have raised many important questions: What does a real and vital movement look like?  What is the nature of leadership in struggle?  Is there a ‘correct’ way for us to fight against our conditions? Below is a statement from some friends addressing theoretical and practical concerns that have arisen in the last month or so.

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“The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living. And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language…. The social revolution of the nineteenth century cannot take its poetry from the past but only from the future. It cannot begin with itself before it has stripped away all superstition about the past. The former revolutions required recollections of past world history in order to smother their own content. The revolution of the nineteenth century must let the dead bury their dead in order to arrive at its own content. There the phrase went beyond the content – here the content goes beyond the phrase.”  Karl Marx – 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte

The above quote is just as integral to revolutionary struggle in the 21st century as it was for France in 1852.  Across the vast human topography of class society, clear lines are being drawn between those who parody and fetishize the movements of dead generations in order to dominate the movements of today, and those who seek to expand forms of praxis and theory created in the current cycle of struggle, through the self-directed struggle of workers and students themselves.

After several weeks of smears, ad hominem attacks and political diatribes, the conversation surrounding the events of March 4th has finally shifted to the terrain of tactics and ideology.  The small segment of humanity actually paying attention to this debate has been gifted with lapidary critiques of Anarcho-Imperialism, Anarcho-Situ-Autonomism, Demand-Nothingism, and – most recently — dangerous, “anger-based” Anarcha-Feminism.  While these critiques are coming from various activist quarters, they all focus their attention on the supposed Take The City “Organization.”  Each of these critiques (even if accurate) could land only a glancing blow, because the people who comprise their opposition are neither a party, nor an association nor even a website.  In fact, the alleged saboteurs of March 4th, the occupiers of last April, the self-proclaimed “bitches,” the militant feminists, and many others are merely tendencies within a larger, informal network.  This group has no party-line, no hierarchical structure and little theoretical unity.  The only thing that unites us is camaraderie and solidarity on the one hand and an understanding of direct action and self-organization on the other.  The following is a partial critique, by one tendency within this group, of the tactical and theoretical composition of what has been called the ‘student movement’.

Can a couple hundred students at an outdoor rally at Hunter be considered a movement?  Can six or seven hundred people standing in a Midtown police pen be considered a movement? The reason the NYC ‘student movement’ must be put in quotations is because the label is largely self-flattery.  We hope to show below that the tactics of the coalition of movement-builders are, at best, unhelpful to the development of a strong and vital movement and, at worst, preventative of one.

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More thoughts from California: Anti-Capital Projects

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Like any number of urban freeways, the I-980 and I-880 are lines of containment. They mark out the zones and boundaries of economic apartheid, making West Oakland into an island of poverty, a police zone, boxed in on all sides. A freeway, in this sense, is merely one of the most visible forms of the lines of force that cut up our cities and, in turn, our lives, that butcher them according to the logics of race and class, money and property. How can we see these arteries as anything less than instruments for the formation of a controlled population, instruments in the successive waves of urban centralization, white flight, gentrification? They are checkpoints and blockages – massive pours of concrete, of labor, erected to determine who gets to go where and how. And they have no meaning beyond the insinuation of the automobile into every facet of our lives, the automobile which is hallmark of US economic power in the 20th century, token of class mobility, passageway to pseudo-freedom, emitter of poison gases, turning our lives into a cut-and-paste of frantic alienation and isolation, responsible for more deaths than the M-16. Who could love a freeway?


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From Berkeley Liberation Radio.

Following Thursday, March 4th’s Berkeley to Oakland march and rally at Frank Ogawa Plaza for the statewide strike and day of action against budget cuts, layoffs and furloughs to public education, a second march commenced. 200-250 students, educators, and activists marched from the close of the rally to the exterior of Mark Yudof’s office for a street dance party. The group then made their way toward the I-880 freeway, where 150-200 elected to enter on foot to shut down traffic.

All traffic slowed to a stop, and no individuals were in in any danger of being struck by automobiles. The riot police pursued them as they hopped over barriers in an attempt to make their way to the Jackson street off-ramp. As police closed in, most of the group sat down in anticipation of being arrested.

The police were violent with many of the protesters, using excessive force with their riot batons. None of the arrested were reported to be carrying weapons of any kind, and none were attempting to attack any of the officers. The police shut down the freeway in both directions, handcuffed and escorted the marchers to the Jackson street offramp where police busses slowly arrived to take the prisoners to North County and Sana Rita Jail facilities.

155 individuals were reported to have been arrested, in addition to some minors who were released into the custody of their parents. Francois Zimany was taken to the hospital after either falling, jumping, or being pushed by police off of the freeway, and is now at home with his family. The group was held over night, and released periodically throughout the day on Friday.

You can learn more by visiting indybay.org. All photos were taken by BLR DJ Paisley Cuttlefish who was among those arrested. She sustained a bad fracture to her elbow after being hit with a police baton.

OccupiedLondon – The photos below are from corporate media agencies, reposted on Athens IMC. This is the same demo where Manolis Glezos was tear-gassed by the police.

030510hunter.jpgOh how lovely it is to be accused of causing all the fantastic actions at the CUNY Hunter rally on March 4th! If only we were such a large, nebulous conspiratorial varmint army. If only we were all privileged white boys! If only the Hunter organizers weren’t all ISO trots and maoists claiming to speak for everyone! If only there was such thing as outside.

We’re reposting the following response to such accusations, from takethecity and a facebook critique. Let the shit-storm begin!

————–

The issue in this debate is not inside/outside agitators, or oppressed/less oppressed — these are disguises for the real issue: the conflict between those who are angry and those who want to control other people’s anger.

1. there were “outside agitators”, and that is a good thing. it is a good thing because
a. it is everyone’s struggle, and everyone wants to work together to fight it. this is how we are strong.In the coming months, we will see more cuts, more police, and more struggles uniting us.

b. thus, there are no real ‘outside agitators.’ This label is specifically designed to i) deny that any hunter student/faculty/staff could be critical of hunter and want to see it attacked and taken over and ii) paint everyone who did something “undesireable” as coming from the “outside”.

c. to clarify: those who came in from outside hunter were not only from “New School” and “NYU” but workers from around the city and other CUNY schools.

d. Conservatives are famous for using the term “outside agitators”.

e. in the new school and nyu occupations, everyone at those schools accused the occupiers of being outside agitators.

we challenge the opponents: what is bad or wrong about non-hunter students/faculty/staff participating? don’t you want the “WORKERS OF THE WORLD TO UNITE”?!?!?!!!

2. it was not only “outside agitators” who escalated tactics.

a. “they varmits” (see the “Hunter Word” blog post from Owen Hill) was in large part HUNTER STUDENTS. In california, they varmits are occupying universities.

3. the ISO and other manipulative, authoritarian organizers killed the potential, the momentum of the event.

a. at every juncture, they pushed to destory the indoor demo: during organizing meetings, when we were on the 3rd floor, when we were walking through the building.

b. they told people not to go back inside the school once they were outside, even though most students in the crowd wanted to.

c. they smothered the dance music and the chants in order to continue to lecture the crowd, even though people were sick of being talked at and wanted to chant and dance.

4. The ISO and other manipulative leftists with their newspapers co-opt the activity done by others, while trying to smother people’s anger and desire to act when it arises.

5. The ISO are happy to call out people who do not accept their scripted perspective. They malign those who don’t dogmatically agree with their ‘idea of the movement’ and they call security and cops on them. They defuse anger and the power of students and workers.

written by: students/workers from at least 4 different schools and 24 different jobs. (including hunter, assholes)

MARCH 4TH NY

March 5, 2010

from takethecity:

-Walk-Out / Indoor demo at CUNY Hunter:

At 1pm students and supporters gathered on the 3rd floor of the 68th street campus. There was a large police presence inside and outside the building. Students attempted to move toward the upper part of the building to get more students to participate but were blocked by campus security. Scuffles broke out as students forced their way past a campus guard and took to the stairwells.

Word has it that, inside the building, the financial aid office had its windows broken, and the much hated security turnstiles at the entrance to the building were attacked and broken.

Before the demo, signs were posted up on the 3rd floor saying that the indoor demo would not be permitted but the simultaneous rally called by the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and others would be. There are also rumors that ‘Student Activists’ were warning other students via text message that unpaid agent provocateurs would be coming to Hunter to cause a riot (more on this when we get confirmation). A New School Student supporting the Hunter walkout was ejected from the building possibly after being pointed out by an ISO activist (there have been conflicting reports).

Students and allies marched through Hunter’s walkways, to the cheering of students standing by, many of whom joined in. The INDOOR DEMO proceeded to the 3rd floor:

The police were in full force blocking the escalators but at least 40 students broke through into the back stairwell and surged up the stairs, only to find yet more police on every single floor blocking every door.

While some ran through the building urging students to walk out of their classes, others began to urge people to leave the building and attend the rally outside. A few scuffles broke out between people involved in the walkout and those running the permitted rally.  3 or 4 individuals have supposedly been arrested inside of CUNY Hunter.

Eventually enough people were pushed out of the building by the police or by Organizers who wanted to have the rally and talk at the crowd:

someone in the crowd is trying to send a message to the speakers

Read NY Times article

More info soon…

-Brooklyn College:

Hundreds participated in a successful teach in that will hopefully build up to larger actions in the future.

– CUNY Graduate Center

about 30 Graduate Students (also  adjunct professors) from the CUNY Grad Center arrived with allies at school this morning, to see five black cop cars parked in front of the building and the cafeteria filled with  police. The students, however, were headed towards the elevators (the only means of entering the building), and filled them with their angry bodies, blocking entrance to the elevators while others spoke to people about the cuts, their shitty jobs, and encouraged folks to go to Hunter College. One of the elevators was boarded by a plainclothes police officer who shoved one of the students to the floor. He stayed in the elevator, harassing the students for their names and calling them cowards while the students hurled insults. He left the elevator only when the students exited to find support.

CUNY Grad Center Students also executed a banner drop, small but real (LUV U RIVERSIDE), with only more to come.

like a tiny purple patch of desire facing the empire state building

The Grad Students exited unscathed and immediately went to join the Hunter walkout.

– Centralized Rally

-There is currently a heavily policed and relatively small march making its way to the MTA hearings at F.I.T.

SUNY Purchase is Occupied!

occupation still going, it needs support!

More to come,

For breaking news from California check:

Occupy CA

FREE CUNY WALK OUT

March 3, 2010

MARCH 4th SCHEDULE

March 3, 2010

TAKE THE CITY

Rally at Gov. Paterson’s Office, 4 pm

(633 Third Ave. @ 41st St.)

Then March to the MTA Hearings at FIT

(Seventh Ave. @ 27th St.)

Facebook event page

  • Stop the school closings and privatization of public education
  • Stop the cuts to K-12 and higher education
  • Restore the free student MetroCard
  • Full funding for all educational needs
  • Education is a right – Free, high-quality education for all

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Sussex Reoccupied!

March 3, 2010

Students at Sussex released the following statement:

The management of our university has rejected all alternative plans proposed by the UCU, by the Student Advisors, by the Parents who use the crèche, and by various academic departments. We feel that taking this action is our only option to protect our education from cuts.

We oppose the authoritarian tactics employed by management, just as we oppose all cuts to public services. Whether we be students, workers or unemployed, we should not be made to pay for a funding crisis created by an irresponsible, outmoded, and defunct economic system.

NO CUTS ANYWHERE

THE UNIVERSITY IS A FACTORY: STRIKE, OCCUPY

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from sds

On March 4th, student groups and others across the country will be taking action to defend the right to education at all levels, from pre-K through 12, adult education, community colleges, to the university level. Budget cuts affect all, but especially the working class and oppressed nationality students that will be hit the hardest by further budget cuts that attack our right to education.

SDS supports the national call to action for actions on March 4th and is calling on all SDS chapters to take up the call to fight back and be a part of the nationwide resistance movement that is saying enough is enough – no more budget cuts on the backs of students and workers! While this country is continuing to spend millions on wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and giving our money to rich bankers, state universities are cutting scholarships for oppressed nationality and working students, and eliminating funding for women’s and cultural centers that focus on Black and Chican@ programming and education.

SDS works for the democratic transformation of education in this country through its national campaign, Student Power for Accessible Education. The goals of this campaign are:

1. Universal, free, equitably-funded schools at all levels
2. Schools run democratically by students, workers, teachers, and the
local community
3. Debt cancellation of all student loans
4. Affirmative action and a focus on anti-oppression to end all forms
of oppression in our schools and communities

We in SDS call on students across the country to stand up and take action against budget cuts at your university. Protest proposed budget cuts, sit-in at administrator or board of trustee meetings, call for walk-outs, host a teach-in, chalk or table on campus to educate your fellow students. Get out and make your voice heard against budget cuts and for accessible public education.

The national March 4th call states “Why March 4? On October 24, 2009 more than 800 students, workers, and teachers converged at UC Berkeley at the Mobilizing Conference to Save Public Education. This massive meeting brought together representatives from over 100 different schools, unions, and organizations from all across California and from all sectors of public education. After hours of open collective discussion, the participants voted democratically, as their main decision, to call for a Strike and Day of Action on March 4, 2010. All schools, unions and organizations are free to choose their specific demands and tactics — such as strikes, rallies, walkouts, occupations, sit-ins, teach-ins, etc. — as well as the duration of such actions. Let’s make March 4 an historic turning point in the struggle against the cuts, layoffs, fee hikes, and the re-segregation of public education.”

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A brief video statement from participants in the Durant Hall Occupation and the subsequent street party/riot in downtown Berkeley. For more information on the occupation movement in California visit: occupyca.wordpress.com

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NEW SCHOOL WALK OUT MARCH 4

February 28, 2010

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occupy uci

UCI is NOT a state of anarchy!” – UCI Political Science Department Chair Mark Petracca, to Muslim students disrupting Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren’s talk 2 weeks ago.

Well, Mr. Petracca, we’ve tried it your way, it’s time for ours!

A curious thing happened yesterday at the University of California Irvine: for several hours, the campus descended into a state of anarchy.

At 9:30am, 14 students and 3 AFSCME 3299 representatives began a sit-in outside Chancellor Michael Drake’s office.  The police were caught completely flat-footed, and it was only because a police officer saw the crowd and rushed to the 5th floor to lock Drake’s door that the students didn’t get inside.  A list of demands was issued, and while there has already been much debate and discussion about the demands, we have no interest in dissecting the demands–the fact that these issues are even being talked about is sufficient.  Police seemed unprepared to deal with the sit-in; really, nothing like this has happened in years on our quiet Stepford-esque campus.  After nearly an hour, police finally made the move to arrest the protesters. Read the rest of this entry »