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We are the 99 percent

Communique from Oakland Street Party at Art Murmur

Posted 9 years ago on Aug. 4, 2012, 7:15 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt

Protester holding a sign made to look like an City of Oakland permit application with words "No Permit? No Problem! FTP"

Many accusations are currently circulating in the corporate media about events in Oakland last night. To provide clarity, we offer the following Communique, which was distributed by autonomous individuals during last night's street party. Solidarity with our comrades in Oakland!


Oakland’s Art Murmur is supposed to be about art, culture, and community. But all that it represents to the Uptown, Downtown and KONO business district associations as well as the city administration is an opportunity for commercial expansion and business development, a tool to further their agenda of gentrification.

In spite of this, recent months have seen Art Murmur explode with spontaneous energy, with the insurgent spirit of people’s free expression and free association. Rather than a controlled spectacle and disciplined promenade of compliant consumers, it has become a truly communal gathering, an epic block party, the night in Oakland when everyone is out and about in the streets. It is a people’s carnival of street artists, uncontracted musicians, unlicensed vendors, unauthorized performers, random revelers and rebel spirits of the community coming together simply to be together, to socialize and share public space, above & beyond the call of consumption.

When the Art Murmur Corporation took over the original permit from the Rock Paper Scissors Collective to manage the event, it was under the condition that community members be allowed to set up tables & use 23rd street free of charge & without permits. Now the city’s business elite are trying to enforce permit restrictions, sending us the message that our shared social & public space is not ours to use on our own terms. And they are bringing in private security forces to intimidate and coerce us into compliance—wielding the threat of violence and expensive fines.

We’re sick of getting pushed out of our own space. They say we should get permits, but the process is inaccessible, unaffordable, and there are never enough “officially sanctioned” spaces to go around anyway. Their intent is to target street artists and vendors as a means of regulating and controlling the community’s use of public space, for the benefit of expensive galleries, fancy restaurants and developers. The effect is to better provide the capital-owning business elite with a controlled and sterilized neighborhood full of passive armies of docile workers and obedient shoppers. Their ambition is to redraw urban geography according to profit motives, and convert public and social life into the plaything of private interests. This amounts to an attempt to rob us of every free and spontaneous aspect of our communities and our lives, and replace each of them with no alternative but submission and the compulsion to consume.

We refuse to surrender our space. We want to encourage the organic and rebellious elements of Art Murmur to flourish. We are here to exercise a vision of a liberated city full of free art, free music, free culture, free expression, and free streets.

We are spontaneous, insurgent, uncontrollable.
These are our streets, and we are here to take them.



Read the Rules
[-] 8 points by aaronparr (597) 9 years ago

Nice words. Something I can get behind.

Until you throw down the gauntlet of violence.

I will never support Fuck the Police tactics nor the Black Bloc. These tactics are a cancer killing this movement.

[-] 2 points by proudofOKC (361) 9 years ago

I agree. Gotta keep it nonviolent, no matter what. If we start "fighting back" they'll start using live rounds on us.

[-] 1 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 9 years ago

I can't even get behind the words.

[-] 6 points by conches (6) 9 years ago

Well, this post started as a communiqué by anonymous individuals written to provide clarity. Right away I assume critically thinking individuals will have some questions right away. What anonymous? Why do they call it a communique? That's weird. I looked it up, it's "an official dispatch written in haste." I am an Oakland resident of many generations. My life's work is working with the poor in an effort reduce inequality in communities around d the world. For the record, I support and appreciate the work of OWS. The description above of Art Murmur is accurate. The problem is the FTP splinter of Occupy Oakland. Specifically as it applies to Art Murmur, FTP is working against the community. their tactics are not welcome. Art Murmur has some work to do to make it a great event. Art Murmur is something wonderful that is bringing together a brutalized community. Again, the tactics of FTP are not wanted by the community. My name is Steve Wright. Now at least you have another data point. Peace and Love.

[-] 3 points by proudofOKC (361) 9 years ago

Thank you for your words. A member of my family is also a resident of Oakland and holds a similar opinion.

[-] 2 points by jrhirsch (4714) from Sun City, CA 9 years ago

Violent words underlie violent intentions. The police are caught between the protesters and City hall

[-] 1 points by BearDickinson (125) from Ewing, VA 9 years ago

"Occupy Wall Street is a leaderless resistance movement with people of many colors, genders and political persuasions. The one thing we all have in common is that We Are The 99% that will no longer tolerate the greed and corruption of the 1%. We are using the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to achieve our ends and encourage the use of nonviolence to maximize the safety of all participants." OWS Mission Statement - imho - non violence includes property damage, as well. Self defense is another matter. Yes, Oakland police have stepped over the line many times. Be brave, be smart, be united and most of all stay non-violent. Remember who the police take their orders from..... ultimately the mayor. Keep the cameras rolling - the whole world is watching ! In solidarity, bear.

[-] -3 points by bearclaw (-152) 9 years ago

OWS is leaderless and clueless. They have tried (and failed) to model themselves like the Tea Party

[-] 1 points by Shule (2638) 9 years ago

Give the police free coffee & donuts, and they'll settle down....


[-] 0 points by 99oneofus99 (20) 9 years ago

My favorite part at the rally was when OWS smashed Obama's Oakland campaign office.