TOPIC: Radical History

History of the Foreclosure Defense Group: An Interview with Brooke on Race, Class, and Housing

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01.15.16 - Occupy Oakland is now over 3 years old, but looking at many of the groups and projects that came out of it can shine light on times when radical and anarchist ideas of working-class self-defense, mutual aid, and solidarity were given life in a real way and revolutionary ideas exploded out of a subculture and into a movement. What follows is an interview with Brooke, a participant in Occupy Oakland and the Foreclosure Defense Group (FDG), which used direct action to fight to keep people inside their foreclosed homes in the East Bay Area. Beyond just being a history of the group, Brooke discusses the rise and fall of movements, the nature of white supremacy, the importance of looking at class, lessons for current housing and anti-gentrification struggles, and the often repeated shortcomings of the radical milieu. Read…

Remembering Judi Bari and the FBI Bombing in Oakland

Judi Bari holds a police photo of her bombed car, clearly showing that the enormous  blast hole was centered directly under her driver's seat. Photo © 1993 Evan Johnson. Posted to www.judibari.org. For permission to reproduce contact Evan Johnson, 1651 Deerwood Dr, Ukiah CA 95482, 707-462-2018, evanjohnson@jps.net

06.01.15 - Judi Bari was an organizer both for Earth First! and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), and was instrumental in the 'Redwood Summer Justice' campaign that fought to preserve old growth forest. Bari also worked to bridge the gap between radical environmentalists and timber workers. This is why Judi along with others began organizing loggers into the Industrial Workers of the World. Realizing the potential power of their efforts, the FBI and people from the logging industry worked to derail the Earth First! campaign. On May 24th, 1990, while Judi and Darryl Cherney were in Oakland (near Oakland High School off MacArthur Blvd), a bomb exploded under their car, nearly killing them. Now, 25 years later, we look back on the bombing and the life of Judi Bari, who passed away in 1997. The article that follows is taken from EastWest #5, and discusses the bombing, Judi's organizing, and the fight to prove that the FBI was behind the attack. Read…

Three Weeks in December

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05.12.15 - A new film looks at the riots that took place in Oakland, Greece, and across the world during three weeks of December 2014. It places them in a global context of technology, development, and resistance. Read…

The Presidio mutiny, 1968

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05.11.15 - A personal account by a participant of the Presidio mutiny, a sitdown protest of soldiers in military prison against the killing of an inmate during the Vietnam war. 27 mutineers then faced the death penalty, which triggered national outrage. Read…

California labor: Total engagement

1901 Waterfront Strike

05.11.15 - This chapter from Carey McWilliams, California: The Great Exception (1949) tells the history of class war in San Francisco, when "all of labor [was] pitted against all of capital." The conditions were unique: "Nowhere in the world has there been a more favorable economic environment, nor more freedom for social and political experiments than in California." The result? Wobbly organizing and near-general strikes on the San Francisco waterfront in 1886, 1893, 1901, and 1916, setting the stage for the 1934 General Strike, followed by the Oakland General Strike in 1946. Read…