I Predicted All This Would Happen

Photo by Diosa Diaz

Yesterday, before my eyes, Oakland turned a corner. A successful general strike (or, as Clarence Thomas of the ILWU Longshoremen’s union put it, “the closest thing this generation has seen,”) shut down capital and commerce around the Town, including the fifth largest port in the nation. (And, as I understand it, the port workers went home with pay!)

And six months ago, I predicted all of it.

Lol, just kidding. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine that what transpired yesterday would happen. Puppets, chants, music, queer pride, free quesadillas, meditation, art everywhere, trade unions, high-school students making speeches, political lit, awesome banners strung between streetlamps by erstwhile rock climbers and tree sitters. Anarchists, Marxists, and non-profiteers walking hand in hand (practically). Workers calling in sick or organizing in their workplaces to free up the day for participation. (A number of public schools shut down entirely, affording students a firsthand lesson in class struggle and movement-making.) There’s no way I could have foreseen the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its breathtaking manifestation right here in Oakland.

However. I *did* write a column for make/shift magazine, almost exactly half a year ago, about Buddhism and police brutality movements — and in it, I say this:

As the newly formed Black Orchid Collective observed in Seattle . . . we need to build organized, horizontal political and social infrastructure so that clear-sighted frustrations can metabolize into militant, material power: like the power to shut down a city and strike at the vulnerabilities of capital.

Weird, right? And while I am in no way taking credit for what happened here yesterday (I was just one of thousands of people to vote, outreach, and show up for the General Strike), it is So Exciting to witness the very type of developments I’d hoped for. To see the rise of mass actions that connect social issues with economic, working-class strategies and tactics.

Not bad, Oakland. Now let’s keep going.

Photo by Taylor Ruth Neaman-Goudey

5 thoughts on “I Predicted All This Would Happen

  1. Cat November 3, 2011 / 3:51 pm

    Hehe, that was a great hook. I clicked and expected to be blown away by your predictions :)

  2. Cat November 3, 2011 / 3:54 pm

    P.S. I predicted you would use that first photo and that you would steal it from my wall ;)

  3. kloncke November 3, 2011 / 6:36 pm

    Lol, you predicted correctly.

  4. jomo206 November 4, 2011 / 11:59 am

    amazing pictures. HELLLLAAAA EPIC!!!!

  5. Ryan Sturges November 4, 2011 / 1:48 pm

    Class struggle fortune-telling FTW! Thanks for these beautiful pictures, and for the outreach that you did, <3

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