Like many anarchists across the U.S., we’ve been both intrigued and skeptical of the “occupy” movement that has spread across the U.S. The “Declaration of the Occupation of New York City”—the only political statement to come out of the Wall Street occupation—is full of liberal talk about building accountable governments and peacefully assembling. At the same time, there are exciting parts such as the spread of protests into unlikely places (even Grand Rapids) that are at least tentatively asking questions about capitalism and what type of world we’d like to see.
Anarchists are participating in many occupations with mixed degrees of success. But probably the occupation with the most anarchist participation is Occupy Oakland. Anarchists in the Bay Area have successfully worked to help the occupation take on a strong anti-capitalist, anti-police, and anti-state character—something that hasn’t always happened elsewhere. From the initial organizing to fighting the eviction of the occupation and to last week’s General Strike, Occupy Oakland seems to be an example of both how anarchists can meaningfully participate in the Occupy phenomenon and how Occupy can move beyond simple analysis and appeals to authority.
Here’s a video highlighting anarchist activity in last week’s General Strike: