The Conversation Continues: What Makes Anti-Repression Revolutionary?

(Please do not use photos without the expressed consent of the person photographed.)

On Monday March 11, Beyond the Barricades hosted a forum at The Holdout social center on the topic of anti-repression work. Invited to launch the conversation were folks from The Anti-Repression Committee, the ACAC 19 Support Committee and a member of the “San Francisco 8.” A solid crowd showed up and shared food, informational materials, childcare, and some useful conversation.

Some threads of the conversation included discussion around the necessity for anti-repression work to be more embedded in the general work of organizing rather than the common practice of being relegated to a specific group of people always willing to do the care work. The conversation merged into the gendered nature of anti-repression work and how it often falls on female-bodied folks. The unspoken implication of this phenomenon is that this work is considered less valuable, less revolutionary or less important. This implication, in turn, contributes to the gendered understanding of the work.

Participants at the forum discussed the tendency for anti-repression work to be reactive. Some posited that this is inevitable due to a ceaseless necessity to respond to and push back against repression. At the same time, the most effective anti-repression work changes the nature of repression and vice-versa.
It’s also essential, someone pointed out, to expand one’s understanding of what it means for anti-repression work to include struggle against the repression of folks outside of self-identified Leftist circles. Examples of how this work is happening includes the outreach being done at Santa-Rita and training by the People’s Community Medics. There was conversation of how to strengthen community connections and continuously be engaged with the struggles of people who suffer from daily repression.

The conversation was useful, but limited. Some folks expressed that we should be starting from a place of defining anti-repression and were frustrated by a feeling that we didn’t all have a common understanding, and one woman wrote about her thoughts on the forum. [We encourage you to read it!]

It was great that folks involved with anti-repression work were present, and yet as someone warmly noted after the forum: “This stuff might be new to people who haven’t done anti-repression work for a long time.”

Some questions remain: how do we continue to provide spaces to have useful conversations? How do we increase all types of diversity in the conversation so it doesn’t feel like talking in an echo chamber (not to erase the differences that did exist in the room)? What are truly dynamic conversations to have and how do we make them accessible to the people we think should be having them? These questions remain as we move forward and begin planning for future forums. Stay tuned and check out some resources on anti-repression.

Forum: What Makes Anti-Repression Work Revolutionary?

BTBforumsingleBeyond the Barricades is pleased to announce our first Forum on Monday, March 11 from 6-8pm at the Holdout.  The theme of this forum will be:

What makes anti-repression work revolutionary and/or liberatory?

At a moment of intensified political repression in the Bay area and beyond, we find it vital to provide a public space to ask these questions and have these debates. We come from a revolutionary anti-capitalist, anti-white supremacist perspective and intend for conversations to advance those politics.  We invite a broad range of political perspectives to participate in this discussion.

To encourage critical dialogue among the self-identified Left as well as the larger Oakland community, we have invited a few folks engaged in anti-repression work in Oakland to launch this conversation by focusing on the following questions:

– What are effective and ineffective anti-repression strategies?
– How is anti-repression work gendered?
– How can anti-repression work go beyond a defensive or reactive position?
– How can we better connect work around repression against political organizers with work against the day-to-day repression affecting communities in Oakland?

There will be an info table, food, childcare, and security from Girl Army.  We look forward to seeing you!

-Beyond the Barricades Events Working Group

Displacement: Place, Power, and Race

a cityscape by geremy george, skyline graphic and collageImage: “A Cityscape” by Geremy George

Displacement: Place, Power, and Race The Foreclosure Defense Group presents its second event in the “Welcome to Class Warfare” series.

Friday, March 8th

Cost?  Free!!
First Congregational Church
2501 Harrison St, Oakland, CA

Gentrification, foreclosures and “urban redevelopment” are all facets of the same brute force we feel acutely in our daily lives: Displacement, or the uprooting and shifting of communities to serve the demands of speculative capital and white supremacy.

We offer this forum to hear voices from different struggles, to deepen our understanding of the powers at play, and to strategize for popular self defense.

, Economically, the Fight Ahead of Us

  • James Bealum, former Fillmore resident and organizer, will speak on community organizing against displacement in the mid-1960s Fillmore
  • Darwin Bond-Graham, Oakland journalist and sociologist, will present on his recent work detailing the local “foreclosure-to-rental mill” regarding the further impositions of precarity on the working class and communities of color.
  • Tony Marks-Block, an organizer with the Stop the Injunctions Coalition will speak to the deployment of gang injunctions affecting displacement
  • Brooke Terpstra,  FDG organizer, will present on different models of current organizing and their underlying values and limitations.
  • Community members…. You!  Each segment is intended to be not only a presentation but as provocation! The presentations are starting points for discussion with inclusion of all of our voices. Each portion will have ample time and space for any questions and discussion.

 Hope to see you Friday!

Wheelchair accessible.
Childcare provided (please RSVP)

For any questions and childcare RSVPs, you can call the FDG hotline 510.207.0182 or email us at

“Nobody gets put out. Period.”

Listening to Indigenous Voices

Beyond the Barricades stands in solidarity with indigenous communities fighting the theft and destruction of their lands and culture. The following account, originally posted by the ACAC19 Support Committee, describes a recent event organized by the committee. The event highlighted the stories, experiences, and songs of local and regional indigenous organizers engaged in struggle against land development and displacement as well as surveillance and policing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Tuesday February 19, the support committee of the Anti-Capitalist Anti Colonial 19 hosted “Decolonizing the New World Means Listening to Indigenous Voices” at the Holdout Social Center in Oakland. Local and regional indigenous leaders shared stories and information about their struggles to maintain control over their historical lands, which continue to be threatened by capitalist and colonial endeavors.

After an opening prayer by Corrina Gould, Desirae Harp from SNAG Magazine made it clear that in the struggle to protect sacred sites we must remember that everything is sacred, and that all land is indigenous land.  This paradigm recurred throughout the evening, as all speakers emphasized the colonial project is antithetical to an ecologically sustainable society.

Michelle Steinberg’s recent film titled “Buried Voices” highlighted how the East Bay Regional Park District is ignoring the efforts of Ohlone, Miwok and Yokut peoples to protect Brushy Peak, a sacred place that is a part of their origin stories. Despite ongoing demands by native people and allies, the park district continues to allow people to hike, bike and walk dogs throughout this sacred space. By labeling the native community a “special interest group,” the district has imposed a racist construct of native communities, which has led to the destruction of mortars and has relegated their story to phony interpretative signage. Such a designation and unwillingness to place native needs at the forefront of land-use decisions reinforces the white supremacist narrative and shows the level of obfuscation and lies used to maintain state hegemony.

Wounded Knee DeOcampo and Corrina Gould also shared information about the struggle to protect other sacred spaces such as, Sogorea Te and Rattlesnake Island in the Greater Bay Area.  They urged people to get involved and to support those struggles over native access to sacred ceremonial spaces.

The event then shifted to make space for voices from Diné and O’odham lands in Arizona. Norman Benally shared the stories of his elders on Black Mesa who have been fighting coal mining and its subsequent ecocide on the Diné community. Lastly, O’odham youth from their reservation along the Mexico-US border and the Phoenix area shared their ongoing organizing against the border patrol and Loop 202 freeway development. They highlighted the traitors within their nation who have created capitalist enterprises, which support the freeway development through the O’odham community. The use of bribes and other capitalist gimmicks to eliminate community autonomy over the land illustrates the immense challenges that come with struggles over land and resources.

But these tactics aren’t new: For centuries, settler-colonists have used divide and conquer to assimilate native peoples into the mainstream capitalist consumption culture. Nonetheless, there are still those who resist and see through the hollow masquerade of capitalist glitz. At the end of the night, this was made clear as the native hip hop group Shining Soul demonstrated that the culture we create at the grassroots and nurture in resistance is much more compelling than the culture of capital.

The voices from the event show that solidarity with indigenous resistance is tantamount to anti-capitalist organizing in the Bay Area and beyond. Native lands are continually being swallowed by the state to make profit for the ruling class. The indigenous relationship to the land is in direct opposition to private property, and as such should be an example for those struggling to pre-figure a society without borders and profits.

The ACAC 19 support committee hopes that this event leads to a more organized solidarity network for indigenous resistance. Please come out for a follow-up discussion and meeting on Thursday, February 28 7:30pm, at the Holdout.

Interviews on State Violence and Autonomous Organizing in Oakland


The February 2013 broadcast of Radio Autonomía featured interviews with members from several Oakland projects addressing current transformations in our local context. Specifically, these interviews discuss the shifting strategies of state violence and repression in Oakland and the importance of greater autonomous organization in both our responses to the state and our self-defense and community-building strategies.

The interview with Jess from Critical Resistance and Stop the Injunctions Coalition focuses on the recent Oakland City Council decision to contract William Bratton as a consultant for the Oakland Police Department.

Flo, Lauren, and Laura from the Bread & Roses Oakland Collective talk about the work of this new project with a special focus on their upcoming event on radicalizing mental health.

You can listen to the interviews here on Radio Autonomía.

ACAC 19 Hearing: No Justice Here

got that right

On Friday afternoon, an array of approximately 100 supporters attended a pretrial motions hearing for the ACAC19. The ACAC19 is a group of nineteen political dissidents arrested in San Francisco on Columbus Day while demonstrating in solidarity with indigenous, global and local struggles against imperialism.

The crowd trickled in from around the Bay, gathering on the steps of the San Francisco Superior Courthouse, sharing pizza, conversation and a supporter’s impromptu puppet show. “All Cops Are Columbus,” read a sign taped near the steps until a cop tore it down. A big banner stretched across the face of the building declared “No Justice Here! Against All Repression.” Ali Winston, who often whistle-blows on corruption in Bay Area police departments, was the only journalist present.

A long line of supporters and defendants slowly filed through the metal detectors. The officers turned off the second metal detector, making the line move so slowly that the hearing was over before many people, and even some defendants, were through the line. Later, in the courtroom, the supporters, defendants and nineteen defense lawyers sat across from Judge Harold Kahn. The Judge extended the motion-filing deadline, which is now March 14. The final pretrial motions hearing will be scheduled for a full day on March 29. The defense will be filing a pitchess motion, a motion to expose involved officers’ records of abuse. There will also be a motion to quash search warrants placed on defendants’ phones. “Wait,” Judge Kahn implored during the hearing: “Why would you need a search warrant for a case like this?”

“Good question,” everyone in the courtroom shrugged.

In addition to sustaining comrades as individuals and defending the community as a whole, acts of solidarity–such as showing up at comrades’ court dates– force the repressive apparatus to rethink how and why it attacks us in the streets. Our solidarity is not just a form of defense, but a weapon against state repression.

Come support the ACAC 19 on March 29 and regularly check the ACAC19 Support Commitee website for updates. If you can’t physically attend, call the SF District Attorney and demand all charges be dropped against the comrades.

 git yer buttons!


Autonomy & Human Rights in the Indigenous Communities of Southern Mexico


When: Saturday February 9 at 6pm

Where: The Holdout, 2313 San Pablo Ave, Oakland

Pablo Obando (Communications Director of the Fray Bartolomé de Las Casas Human Rights Center in Chiapas) will speak about the human rights situation in Chiapas, Mexico, the Fray Bartolomé Center’s work, and the role of international solidarity.

The FrayBa Center has been widely recognized for accompanying indigenous communities under attack, documenting abuses, and defending cases in court. It has recently been increasingly threatened by paramilitary organizations for this work.

The event is hosted by the Radio Autonomía Collective (Oakland) and coordinated by Tony Nelson of the Mexico Solidarity Network.

This event is free & open to the public.

*presentation will be in Spanish with English interpretation*