Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Message to Occupied Oakland in a Time of Cuts and Crisis

IMG_0567The following statement was distributed last night during the Anticut 1 action last night:
Now that the banks have been bailed out and the rich treated to yet another tax cut, our libraries and schools, already devastated, are once again on the chopping-block, while our elderly and poor are turned out on the street. Heavily armed cops with increased powers roam our city’s streets, threatening anyone who steps out of line. Times have never been better, in other words, for the rich.

It’s not as if things weren’t already pretty bad. Each one of us is a casualty of the economy, in one way or another -- jobs that pay next to nothing or no jobs at all, rent that keeps increasing, gas prices that double overnight, student loans we’ll never be able to pay back. But what is most distressing of all is how little we are able to do about this, how little control we seem to have over these things. Perhaps, though, our lack of control is not so complete. On nights like this, with all of us in the street together, we remember that when people number in the hundreds and the thousands they can do nearly anything. Laws, it seems, apply to individuals, not crowds.

In Oakland, of course, the legacy of Black Panthers remains inescapable. The Panthers, we remember, were not merely indignant. They did something about it. They organized themselves. They did not simply petition the ruling powers for more resources but took what they needed, as necessary. And what the state couldn’t provide, they would. This is the meaning of their Free Breakfast programs for school children, their Free Clothing programs, their libraries and crossing guards. So, we understand that the decision-makers will never give us what we want because it’s not something they can give. And although the street is merely a small portion of what we must reclaim, it’s a crucial start. Without this public space for us to meet each other and organize, outside of our homes and jobs, nothing could even begin to happen.

So, tonight, we are in the streets in resistance. We will be here until we no longer need to be.

Our second march, Anticut 2, meets on June 17th in the afternoon. For more specific info, check out BAYOFRAGE.COM
Here's a halfsheet PDF version for printing.

[Update Sunday 7:34 pm]: For more information about the action, check out this reportback which includes some photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment