The booklet at hand, comprising a number of texts about Occupy Oakland, was originally published as a German translation. Although most of the contributions are already available in English on the website of Bay of Rage (www.bayofrage.com) we decided to publish them in English anyway to give them a wider distribution. The following lines are the translation of the editorial note of the German issue.
Between October 2011 and February 2012 a series of remarkable phenomena occured in Oakland. As an offspring of the Occupy Movement that had started in New York, a number of people permanently occupied a square in Oakland and renamed it Oscar Grant Plaza – the name refers to a young black man whose murder by the police in 2009 initiated a riot. Different from the procedures in other cities in the U.S., in Oakland the police was excluded from the occupied square from the outset. Thereby a vivid activity developed in the camp, including an impromptu kitchen, library, school, medical care, and child care, not to mention the frequent rallies and demonstrations. On October 15 the people of the camp were evicted during a coordinated attack on occupations in 15 cities in the U.S. As a response a huge strike was intiated on November 2, including the occupation of the port and a hooded „anticapitalist march“ that destroyed shops and companies which undermined the strike. Additionally the attempt was made to occupy a building that could have been used by the movement: On December 12 a second blockade of the port turned out to reach fairly large dimensions, pushing the movement (that gave itself the name Commune of Oakland) towards its point of culmination on January 28, when thousands of people made a publicly announced attempt to take a building of an adequate size for the movement.
Most of the texts collected in this booklet were produced by the radical wing of the movement in Oakland, that rejects capitalism in its entirety. After an introductory text, which was written after the violent breakup of the occupation, follows a contribution comprising some reflections about the early days of the movement. The rest offers assessments, descriptions and analyses of the strike, the black bloc, the occupations of buildings and the port shutdowns.
We believe that broad and free discussion about these events is useful. Therefore we have translated and published the texts at hand – without agreeing in our group entirely about the sense or nonsense of the texts or about the practice they reflect. We, that is an informal collective of varying composition, translating from time to time publications that are in a broad sense critical of the existing society. For this booklet we decided not to contact a publishing house because we wanted it to spread without any restrictions. Therefore this publication needs a decentralized circulation based on the intiative of individuals. Apart from the printed edition the articles and a PDF document are also online at: www.magazinredaktion.tk/etal/oakland_en.php. To order the printed version contact www.black-mosquito.org.
Et al., Berlin, May 2012