From:   Martin <comrademartin@gmail.com>
Sent time:   Friday, November 11, 2011 9:24:51 PM
To:   september17 <september17@googlegroups.com>
Subject:   [september17discuss] Re: Open Letter to the Occupy Movement
 

         Hey Folks,

                       I agree that a serious discussion about the

implications of "diversity of tactics" is important. I strongly agree

that there are certain tactics that can't possibly have a place in a

progressive social movement. However, I think enforcing pacifism on

everyone, regardless of the circumstances, isn't okay. I have

tremendous respect for pacifists past and present that advance social

justice. Facing police violence and refusing to defend yourself is

extremely brave! But, it's a personal choice. In the face of police

brutality people should not be condemned or called an agent

provocateur for defending themselves or their friends! Just because

an individual is a pacifist shouldn't mean they can deprive others of

the right to defend themselves or their friends! Of course police

brutality should be filmed and documented, but if people defend their

friends that shouldn't be condemned.

                      Secondly, I take issue with some of the

discussion about the Oakland general strike. I really don't think

it's for us to condemn Oakland militants who attempted to expropriate

a foreclosed homeless shelter and turn it into a community center! The

talk of bad press it generated really misses the point. Of course the

media is going to put a ring wing spin on the Oakland general strike.

We're not trying to win over the media, we're trying to win over

working people! Case in point is a conversation I had with my

roommate, a politically inactive DC 37 rank and filer. When I

explained how advanced Oakland is in the occupy struggle she wasn't

initially impressed: (Loosely paraphrasing)

 

Roommate: "Okay, so they had a general strike in Oakland and shut

down the port. What exactly do they want?"

 

Me: "Well, they're trying to create a free and open society. For

example: they took over an empty foreclosed building and turned it

into a community center briefly but the cops took it back."

 

Roommate: "Ahh man! That's awesome! They should be doing more stuff

like that. Too bad the cops took it back".

                       Finally, I take issue with the way some people

seem to blame the militants, who expropriated the building, for

police violence. The blame for police violence rest squarely on the

Police and Mayor of Oakland. Period. I find it bizarre that people

would think otherwise. The Oakland police have a long history of

violence and terrorism and it's not because anarchists provoke them!

It's because of a brutal system of oppression. I understand this is a

contentious issue and I really wanna keep things comradely. I'm not

trying to troll the list serv, I just want to express an opinion that

isn't getting heard. I know I'm not alone on this.

                            In Solidarity,

                                            Martin

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