It is easy for movement veterans to look down on youngsters and those new to the movement. It is hard to look down on Underground Action LA, based in South LA/Watts, who came to Day 1 of the City Hall occupation to distribute the following critique, which was influential in writing our initial blog post. Since then they have also done work (see below the first statement) to out a problematic individual who is at best potentially dangerous, and at worst working with law enforcement to entrap protesters. Outside of Occupy LA, they are doing a lot of great work organizing their community. Please check them out and support them however you can!
“We want a government that actually works for the people. We want a SEPARATION OF CORPORATIONS AND STATE in the exact same way as we have a separation of church and state. We want to STOP the unjust oppression before it is too late, and it will soon be too late. The Revolution is Happening…. It’s Just Not in the News.”
1) We don’t want any government. We want autonomy and freedom for communities and individuals to meet their own needs.
We want a communal living style in which the people control the means of production.
2) Do you want corporations to be free from restriction and regulation? Because that’s the status of religion. They pay no taxes. They have special First Amendment protections. In a capitalist system, there will NEVER be a separation of corporations and state because the purpose of capitalism is to monopolize every resource and to govern as a corporation. The corporation is the state. No matter who governs, a state will always control the means of production. The means of production must be controlled by the masses.
3)There already is an unjust oppression through social stratifications so to say it will soon be too late is denying the current status quo.
4)Occupations such as OWSLA do not completely address the needs of the masses. Instead we must work to eradicate the capitalist system that exploits and not seek to reform it. This comes in the form of DIY (Do It Yourself) tactics and direct action.
5)As of right now, we are not ready for a revolution. The masses haven’t been informed and the knowledge has been kept in the grasp of a few circles of intellectuals. To say this is to further a vanguardist agenda and we belive that in organizing, ALL people must take part in this.
-If you let someone “give” you rights, they can easily take them from you.
-Reforming this system will only strengthen the capitalist agenda of exploitative imperialism.
-ALL the masses must liberate themselves. We cannot claim to lead them.
-We are not Americans. We are first and foremost HUMAN BEINGS.
“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people-they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated:they oppress” – Paolo Freire
Our goal is not to create a division but merely to shine light on criticisms that might arise from this struggle. We do not claim to have all the answers, but as a collective this is how we feel.
Underground Action Los Angeles (UALA)
UndergroundActionLA [at] gmail.com
TO OCCUPY LA (Security Comm.) and fellow comrades
October 1st 2011
At approximately 2pm today an individual wearing a black hoodie with a red lace on the tip, baseball cap and black jeans approached a couple of our members. He is a white male around his early 20’s with a strong jawline, short hair and slouches over as if hiding from someone or something.
As we were standing around, the said individual asked “Where’s the action” hinting at a possible disruption of events. We responded with a simple “I don’t know” which was followed by “Didn’t you hear? The guy said we need to do action. Let’s do some shit man!”
This individual came off as either very immature but also as a sketchy character to our group. As he asked us this, a female came from behind, took our picture (to which we opposed) and quickly ran off. At this point, the male insisted on “starting some shit” and we ignored him. He remained persistent as if he wanted us to help him disrupt.
We do NOT condone violence and mindless acts of destruction ESPECIALLY at a protest we have not organized ourselves.
This is a serious thing to us. We practice a high security culture within our group and we feel that if an individual goes out of his way to disrupt or even attempt to, this person is either:
A) An undercover officer
B) A paid disruptor
C) An outsider agitator
Luckily, we were able to take the individual’s picture which will be up soon. We feel obligated to bring this up. There will be agitators and there will be undercover cops infiltrating to destroy all the progress the people have made. And we will not stand by while this goes on. Something must be done to hold these agitators accountable and to either remove them from actions or to keep a look out for them.
The cops cannot be trusted because this has happened time and time again. They have sent these agitators into our activist circles and they will not investigate who is disrupting protests. They are the disruptors. They work for the interests of the bourgeois.
This may sound like ranting but we are fed up with activists being negligent to this disease. What will OccupyLA do to address this issue?