Piero Amadeo Infante 
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Re: “How the Black Bloc Occupied Oakland

The presence of reason.

A short History on the political climate of Oakland, and how progress is impeded by groups such as Black bloc

As Oaklanders, geographically, politically, and spiritually, we have all seen political unrest protest, progressiveness, radicalism, and all manner of demonstration here between the late 60's to the present day.

We have also had a chance to see, and experience first hand, which of these strategies and methods of protest and demonstration have been effective for long term real change in our neighborhoods, and school systems, as well as local businesses, and the working class quality of life in general.

Recently during the much-needed, and inspiring Occupy Oakland Movement, we have all had yet another chance to witness first hand, various political and social ideas about what constitutes progress and positive change.

During this process we have also, once again have had another chance to become familiar with so-called "radical" groups, who come from place far away from Oakland, and as visitors to our city, claiming monopolies on the ideas, terminologies, and on the ideological morality of the Movement known as Occupy Oakland.
Historically, these ultra radical groups have had several things in common. They were all comprised of nearly all-white membership, they contained nearly no Oakland Natives, they seemed more than ready to start fights with the police while other people could be injured, and sadly, history, also shows nearly
all these groups to have been infiltrated by covert intelligence agencies from the United states Government. And that all the while, contained some of the most fervent, heated, radical sounding, and rabble rousing speakers of any organizations on the left.

The latest example, so so-called "Back Bloc” who ironically, are neither Black, nor are they from the block.
A group comprised of out of town, 20-something, "radical", hostile, undisciplined, politically unschooled, nearly all white, "protesters" who now come to Oakland, like so many groups before them demanding that we. The people they falsely claim to represent, and who they claim to fight for, bow before their political ideals, or we become branded as 'sellouts" or "traitors".
Traditionally speaking Oaklanders do not jump through ideological hoops, for visiting out of town circus troupes, and there is a reason for this.

This, is a very old set of ideas, and one that has never meant positive change for Oaklanders, and we've seen it hundreds of times. Most of them better done, and better, thought out. And even in those cases, every last one of them was infiltrated by the FBI and other covert intelligence.

Check your East Bay political history. In fact, don't even respond to this message until you have.

Elements of Reason: the absence or presence of justice.
• Element 1:

Anarchists like Black Bloc have no true Political credibility with people of color nor the working class in Oakland.

Oakland neither needs nor has invited some of the things the black block have brought here, and here, black bloc is talking to a community where family and friends of many of us were imprisoned and killed in cointelpro actions before most of the members of BB were born.

These are some life and death issues to people who lived through the very real bloodshed of COINTELPRO, the sick, imaginative, and well funded attacks from Edgar J. Hoover, and the downfall of the Black Panther party. For a young group of idealistic, all-white and often disrespectful political freshmen to come to Oakland and attempt to dictate the nature of dialog to the working class and people of color, while they smash property, and start fights with police, and enter into disrespectful discourses with local people leading with their egos, and hubris, exposes a startling lack of reason, not to mention regional disrespect for the people of this town.

You see, we, those of us who have lived through the aforementioned bloodshed and death, we who created the town that gave rise to medical marijuana clinics, and outlets like Oaksterdam, political parties like the BPP, public services like Centro De La Raza, cutting edge shelters for battered women, free clinics, the only congressperson to vote against the war, and one of the worlds strongest independent arts, music, and literature scenes, we will be here long after groups like Black bloc have left our city, and the mess they created and have flown back to their own homes, in places like Ohio, Portland, Eugene, Paris, and NYC

We, will be left here with whatever happens in Oakland. And BB are not the first misled, elitist, (and highly suspicious to many) group to attempt to claim credit for political struggle and change that we achieved here before decades before they came.
It is a common trait among white radicals on the new left to have a political ideology firmly grounded in capitalist hollywood romantic images, one that instead of doing the very real and tedious work of changing policy, feeding children, and providing medical care for people with no money, opts for the quick flash of notoriety when they smash a bank window or break something belonging to a corporation. In this case, also broken were the windows and properties of several long-term-resident, mom and pops stores and services that provide our people in Oakland with what they need to make it through the year here as we work struggle and involvedourselves in the fight to keep our heads above water.

BY doing so, Black bloc has technically, politically, spiritually, and ideologically relinquished any claim to political credibility, or moral high ground in this part of the world.

There is a Remedy to this: If Black Bloc is sincere about representing the people, real about wanting to help Oakland, and real about being involved with serious struggle that includes the needs and views of people of color and the working class in Oakland, Black Bloc is invited to go to the next general assembly and humbly ask the people of Oakland what our political will is, and how they may assist. Anything short of this will expose Black Bloc and all other groups like it as political counterfeits, if not subversive agent provocateurs.

Element 2:
Pseudo Leftist Politics, and real representation of Oakland, by Oakland

Attempts to piggyback on the backs of real long-term progressives, who care about working class families, and to then pass it off as "revolution" or "progress' exposes a vast absence of logic, history, respect for the working class, and BB's actions constitute pseudo leftist theater at it's finest, and are a mockery of real long term change.

Oakland has BEEN occupied. For 40 year now.
These neophyte political groups from other places, who have elected to promote things here that they do not promote in their own towns and cities, have just arrived just very late to the party. Decades late. This is a vastly hypocritical political development, and smacks of racism, and elitism in politics and action.

Our desire is only for this city to be represented by people who actually have not only a long standing relationship with it, but also a passable level of respect for those of us here who paid in blood for some the progressive advances and freedoms groups like Black Bloc take for granted and obviously still have not studied.

People who are not visiting students, but working mothers, grandmothers, mechanics, painters, bakers, childcare providers, food vendors, bike repair people, bartenders, physical therapists, prostitutes and sex workers, cafe baristas, and others, who all took time out of their lives to be a part
of occupy Oakland, and should have their time respected and not sabotaged by people that fall into NONE of these categories.

Technically speaking, people coming to a town from other places, and attempting to impose their political will on the residents who are mostly working class people and people of color, and then publicly attacking them when they refuse to roll over like dogs and do and think as they are told, is a proof positive of the presence of imperial thinking, and white privilege. I have seen the rampant growth of this in the white left for decades now. BB is just the latest outbreak.

Element 3:

Weighing the positive/negative effects of street-based vandalism actions, verses real protest.

A protest, march, or demonstration (I hope you already know the difference) for us, living here can cost over a million dollars in man hours, lost wages, and other expenses incurred when thousands of people take a day off work, or strike to demonstrate, or have someone take care of their kids while they come
to the general assembly. It is very expensive to the infrastructure of our city, and to our local businesses, and students.

ONE smashed window, which will cost a major financial absolutely ZERO. (if you cared to understand finance, and how those institutions operate) can break up a demonstration, or shut down an assembly or get a place cleared out, totally ruining any chance of a real and successful occupation.
This is bad logic. and the "symbolic" meaning of smashing something that people here already hate, and risking the efforts of thousands, and then acting like you are part of some vanguard movement bringing revolution to Oakland is so far out of the realm of reality that it makes your entire effort here a shameful exercise in comedic role playing..

Element 4: The reality of potentially confrontational situations,

Black bloc has clearly displayed that they lack any kind of discipline, their movements are totally tracked, and they don't seem to know that computer based riot and urban warfare scenarios have been a part of police intel and training since Regan implemented it in the late 1960's
It does nothing but make a bunch of police overtime pay, and give them more data to use in their scenarios, It also can potentially get a bystander killed.
Politically, despite your feelings, these are all historically speaking hallmarks of failing movements and tactics.

A word:

We (Oaklanders, who are sympathetic) are completely behind OO, support the reason, and the logic, thought the strike was brilliant, (it has sent shock waves throughout the country and connect unions across the US) and As long term Oakland residents who have seen far above our share of death, and
riots, and violent cops, and ill-advised movements that nearly all turned out to be government infiltrated.
We respect real change and real progress. But it has to be real, and about the youth and future of this town or it's fake.

And if it does not represent the working class here then it's fake.
And if it's all one color, it's fake.
• And if it doesn’t represent the infrastructure of our city, then it’s fake..
And if it's all from out of town it's fake.

Local long term progress and respect for a movement’s ability to make a point and make real change without falling onto old traps and stupid behaviors? = Real.

Fashionable, out of town, imported, badly planned and executed "tactic" by obviously inexperienced, and politically uneducated, nearly all-white youth claiming to represent this family of colors and a workers
base that is Oakland? = Fake.

We invite real help from real people who respect the real working class. We all do. That’s why we support Occupy Oakland.

Black Block and all groups like it, are asked to cease hostilities, cease claiming to represent us, and quit trying to instigate fights they cannot finish, cease talking down to the local citizens as though they were dogs to be trained, and cease the false, and ill-advised random smash and grab “tactics” that have nearly already ruined the progress that Occupy Oakland has made, not to mention the four decades of progress that were achieved before anyone from out of town ever showed up on our doorstep,. And we will continue to struggle on behalf of Oakland far into the future.
Thus far, Black bloc and groups like it have neither earned the credibility, shown the ability, possessed the logic, presented the tactical expertise, nor shown the actual social fire to implement any real change, which is why they settle for quick sound bites and press blurbs, complete with micro-effectual smash and grab raids that play directly into police and government plans more perfectly than a than any counterintelligence agency could have possibly hoped for. How do we know this?

This is Oakland. Check your history.

We ask that you leave Oakland to Oaklanders, who are more than qualified to represent our people minus the disrespect, hubris, racism, potential violence, and vastly misled and uneducated political thought processes that many our of town so-called radical groups have seen fit to import here.


We invite you to all return to your cities now, where you are urged to implement the things you claim to believe in, among your own people, and with your own neighborhoods, and property, where you can feel free to smash your own homes, or stores, and hold yourselves responsible for the state of the world, because it is you who creates it. Anything else will further prove to Oakland and the world, the falseness and dishonesty of your claim to be an advocate of the people.

• This is Oakland, and you, do not represent this place.
We do. We were here before you came and we’ll be here after you are gone.

Yours truly,

Piero Amadeo Infante

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Piero Amadeo Infante on 11/10/2011 at 12:29 AM

Re: “Cut the Music, Bring the Noise at the Solano Stroll

You can count on that.

Posted by Piero Amadeo Infante on 07/27/2011 at 6:23 PM

Re: “Cut the Music, Bring the Noise at the Solano Stroll

Hm. another deletion. seems there's just some things the east bay express, doesn't want "expressed"

Posted by Piero Amadeo Infante on 07/27/2011 at 5:59 PM

Re: “Cut the Music, Bring the Noise at the Solano Stroll

It would have been a lot more honest of you to say that you not wish to get it into it with the person mentioned, rather than imply that I might be be doing something illegal or wrong by posting my opinion publicly.

In fact you violated your own policy iin the way you responded to it.
I expect better Journalistic standards in the future.

Posted by Piero Amadeo Infante on 07/27/2011 at 5:52 PM

Re: “The Elephant in the Room

And we support it.

Posted by Piero Amadeo Infante on 07/27/2011 at 4:32 PM

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