This blog is written by Zappa Montag, Jan Gilbrecht, Cheryl Kohler and Cap Kohler, and is seeking more writers who want to contribute.

  1. #1 by urbaned on February 13, 2012 - 7:30 am

    I applaud you for your rational and transparent work. Thank you.

  2. #2 by Michelle Metiche on February 13, 2012 - 8:32 am

    zappa, jan, cheryl, and cap,

    you are all incredibly brave to post this material. you’re going to take a lot of heat for this. unflinching honest critique IS radical. i look forward to reading more from you, building with you, and learning more about the political animal that is OO.

    -yvonne michelle

    • #3 by Oakland Radicals on February 14, 2012 - 7:25 pm

      Thank you. At least heat also generates light, right?


  3. #4 by John Seal on February 13, 2012 - 9:05 pm

    Thanks for this. Though I have never attended a GA or worked with a committee, I have been an OO community supporter since October 25th. I chose to participate in J28 because building seizures are a way to focus attention on homelessness and vacancy rates. However, I think the FTP marches are counter-productive, a distraction, a waste of energy, and simply ridiculous. One of the comments here conflated these marches with OO’s ability to turn out 2000 marchers on J28, but if you’ve watched any of the Saturday Night Fuck the Police Fever livestreams, you know it’s the same 60-100 folks every week. I support their right to march and understand the anger at OPD but question the efficacy of the tactic.

    I’ll be bookmarking this site and visiting again.

  4. #5 by Richard Estes on February 13, 2012 - 9:27 pm

    In my view, the emphasis of the movement should be upon doing what needs to be done to reach the people described in this article:


  5. #6 by Richard Estes on February 13, 2012 - 9:29 pm

    oops, posted in the wrong place (see above), but I do appreciate this

  6. #7 by John Tango Iversen on February 13, 2012 - 11:17 pm

    you represent a far larger group of thousands

  7. #8 by Chemo on February 14, 2012 - 3:53 am

    In this thread, the real cancer of occupy.

  8. #9 by Barbara on February 14, 2012 - 3:53 am

    Thank you so much for posting this. I can’t begin to tell you how relieved I am to see such a reasoned, articulate and open-hearted letter expressing your frustrations and concerns about the Occupy movement. My husband and I, too, have been involved from the beginning and struggling to find our place in it. We’ve attended many of the GA’s, several of the committees and most of the larger marches. We both work so cannot be one of the hard core who lives and breathes the movement. Is there a place for us even if that is the case? I hope so. Is there a place for the working class? We don’t see many of them in the movement, although it’s been heartening to see the work (as well as the struggles) being tackled by the Labor Solidarity Committee. We share many, although maybe not all, of your concerns and have some ideas that I’m probably not as brave as you are to post on your blog – I agree with Michelle, you’re braver than I am. But please, sign me up for brainstorming sessions. We both want to stay connected and be involved and give what we can to the start of a new and better world.
    In solidarity with all of us who want more for society and humanity.

    • #10 by Oakland Radicals on February 14, 2012 - 7:23 pm

      Thank you, Barbara. One of our biggest concerns is making OO more accessible to working people – like the four of us who wrote this.

      We hope that this blog will be a place where people who have been afraid to speak can say what they need to say, without getting drowned out by anyone else. It’s really gratifying to know how much people still care, despite how challenging this movement has become. I remind myself all the time that it has only been a few months and some patience is in order.


  9. #11 by Citizen on February 14, 2012 - 8:45 pm

    Thank you so much for writing this blog! It’s about time some real leaders stood up in Oakland and took OWS back from these violent so-called “anarchists” and their West Oakland hood friends. How can we shape our OWS protests into something that helps out our policemen and women and not “f***” them? This movement is about democracy, non-violence, and ending corporate personhood! Not the police, who are part of the 99% and largely want to be on our side, I sincerely believe. Can the four of you start your own leadership contingent to lead us out of this morass and away from the lunatic anarchist fringe?

    • #12 by Oakland Radicals on February 14, 2012 - 10:18 pm

      Citizen, the four of us are not trying to be leaders, beyond perhaps leading a conversation about what everybody thinks should happen next.

      I suspect we are not the ones you’d want to lead you “out of this morass” anyway. One of the four of us has identified as an anarchist and at least a couple of us have definite anarchist tendencies. A lot of people toss the word “anarchist” around without having educated themselves; I was once guilty of that myself.

      As for OPD: the other side of the tent in the photo at the top of this blog, which belonged to me and my husband before it was confiscated, says “Fuck the Police.” I’ll believe that they “largely want to be on our side” when they either move their suburban asses back into the Oakland neighborhoods they are supposed to “protect and serve” and stop brutalizing and kidnapping non-violent protestors, or better yet, quit their jobs as thugs for the 1% entirely.


  10. #13 by Earl Price on February 15, 2012 - 5:51 pm

    Good move folks. Veteranos like you are need to leaven the bread so to speak

    • #14 by osori on February 15, 2012 - 7:45 pm

      Cheryl “thugs for the 1%” – big props, well and truly stated.

  11. #15 by osori on February 15, 2012 - 5:55 pm

    Zappa et al
    I echo Y Michelle’s sentiments. Many of us who struggle to help our community – whether varrio/ghetto/rez – resent the implication that we are somehow lacking in courage for not trying to tear down what little of the benefits have trickled down to our communities, those benefits we struggle to bring up to the standards the middle class has enjoyed for many years.

    There may indeed be a revolution, but for the time being i have pride – not shame, pride – for my small effort to improve the lot of struggling POC.

    • #16 by zappa montag on February 15, 2012 - 6:01 pm

      Thanks Al! Well said! I look forward to continue working with you.

  12. #17 by Chris W on February 18, 2012 - 4:38 am

    These suggestions are aimed at increasing accountability, efficiency, transparency, attracting the mass participation that will make this movement more effective:

    I have sent several proposals to the Facilitation Committee–including an October proposal to ask, then demand, then possibly take over the Kaiser Convention Center–and gotten nothing in the way of a reply. I find this non-acknowledgement to be confusing, frustrating, and not transparent. –If it’s required of those submitting proposals to attend facilitation committee meetings in order to advocate for those proposals, then that qualification should be made clear.

    I’ve also been frustrated by the irregularity of posted proposals and the follow-through they receive at the GAs. I’ve read some fine proposals on the OO website, and attended the GA to help push for them, only to find that they have been taken off the agenda. –If the GA is our only vehicle for officially endorsing actions, then every GA should start on-time, and stick to a pre-posted agenda of proposals.

    I’ll try to get to a facilitation committee, so I can lobby for these two (and a half) ideas!

  13. #18 by Richard Estes on February 21, 2012 - 11:26 pm

    Cheryl, Jan, Cap and Zappa, I host a public affairs program on KDVS 90.3 FM on Fridays at 5pm. If two of you are interested in being interviewed this Friday about the issues presented by this statement, please e-mail me at restes1960@yahoo.com as soon as possible.

    KDVS is a 9000 watt free form FM station broadcast from UC Davis, and I have hosted my show, “Speakkng in Tongues” there since August 1998.

  14. #19 by John Tango Iversen on February 29, 2012 - 11:53 am

    right on folks. spread the word Erskine & Bowles are in town to sell their soc sec medicare medical cuts Tues March 6 at Paramount Theatre http://www.singlepayernow.net

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