I’m feeling both excited and saddened by the events of the past week here in the East Bay. On the positive side, several thousand – perhaps as many as 100,000 — marched peacefully and purposefully to the Port of Oakland from the city’s center and shut it down for several hours. The workers and the unions stood in solidarity and refused to cross the line. This development was exciting to see and filled my heart with hope. Hope for all of us, our children, and our future as a people.
RAW VIDEO: Chopper footage of 100,000+ Occupy Oakland Takes back Highway
Sadly, later in the evening, sometime towards dawn, “anarchists” – many from other cities – attempted to co-opt the movement with acts of violence and random destruction. It goes without saying that these are not the actions of responsible change-makers and these “anarchists” do not represent the people of Oakland and the greater Bay Area. As a long time activist, I have seen the wholesale co-option of grassroots movements by the extreme left (and, also the right) and the “chaos factors” represented by these so-called “anarchists”. It creates a negative and combative both within the movement and towards those who otherwise support the goals and ideals of the movement itself. As was true of past actions, methods of gentle and compassionate intervention to prevent the “chaos factors” from bending the movement to its agenda and from defining the conversation in the media needs must be found and implemented at the start.
To these I give this thought:
Dead Can Dance – Don`t Fade Away