Monday, November 21, 2011

occupy oakland

An Open Letter to those Seeking a “Nonviolent” Resolution from the Occupy Oakland General Assembly

As a young person that identifies as a nonviolent activist, I am disturbed by the messages coming from ‘advocates ofnonviolence’ in the Oakland community.
I studied Peace & Conflict Studies formally for two years at UC Berkeley, most of my mentors are elders in the field ofnonviolence, and I continue to study nonviolent communication. That being said, I have found much of what is being said under the banner of nonviolence to be entirely erroneous and the actions that are being taken, and not taken, abhorrent.
Many claim that Occupy Oakland has not taken a strong unilateral stand against violence. However, any advocate ofnonviolence would see that Occupy Oakland has, despite it’s very early stages, taken a strong stance against many of the root causes of violence including political, economic, cultural and social inequalities which produce individual incentives to engage in direct violence.
From my understanding, nonviolence theorists emphasize that violence is inherent in political structures such as patriarchy, capitalism and the state. Unlike democratic socialists who argue that socialists should win political power by constitutional means, nonviolence theorists usually share the anarchist aversion to state power in any form. For those whom have evoked Gandhi in the last few weeks, it is important to remember that he thought that the apparatus of the state is deeply rooted in force and violence—in fact, that this is the essential nature of the state. Gandhi believed that the state represents violence in a concentrated and organized form.
Like Occupy Oakland’s current stance of honoring a diversity of tactics, nonviolence theorists are interested in a comprehensive strategy of resistance and disruption, coupled with the creation of a vast network of cooperative organizations which will ultimately undermine patriarchy and state power.
Yet, what I have heard over and over again since the November 2nd General Strike is that until Occupy Oakland passes a resolution that adopts a “nonviolent” stance, the majority of Oakland residents will not support the movement.
To me, this is an embarrassing excuse to remain complicit in the face of state sanctioned violence.
As a volunteer on the facilitation committee there have only been two proposals that have so far addressed the recent topic of “nonviolence.” With much respect to the individuals that submitted these proposals, each proposal attempted to distill nonviolence into an overly simplistic anthem. The proposal that was presented to the General Assembly on Wednesday, November 9th began the much needed conversation, and was received with well thought out and insightful criticisms.
I would also like to point out that upwards of 40,000 people participated in the General Strike in Oakland yet under 100 people participated in acts of vandalism. The Occupy Oakland General Assembly has not since passed any resolution condoning the actions of vandalism. The only acts of physical violence against human beings that have involved community members of Occupy Oakland have been perpetuated against community members of Occupy Oakland by the Oakland Police Department.
During the last raid the police attacked the peaceful protest with flash grenades, tear gas, sound cannons, and rubber bullets.
Occupy Oakland is anticipating another violent raid. If, like me, you believe that nonviolent methods are effective, I invite you to model the power of non-violent resistance. The next time the riot cops begin a military assault on the legitimate political demonstration that is Occupy Oakland, I call on you to organize and resist.
Remember that nonviolent action is not an attempt to avoid or ignore conflict. Nonviolent activists believe that whatever the issue and scale of a conflict, nonviolent action is a technique by which people who reject passivity and submission, and who see struggle as essential, can wage their conflict without violence. It is one response to the problem of how to act effectively in politics, especially how to wield powers effectively.
Peace & Solidarity.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

earnest reflections on a life under lived: 2

i cannot stop fantasizing abandon; only after silently drowning everything familiar in kaleidoscoped vomit.

casino smoke spinning cultural ad nauseam; autophobic-ly induced to emancipate the most lovely summer colors of red, yellow and orange.

in my future memory everything would then be remembered as colorful and somehow impacted.

but that's just it; the act of purging cannot reduce the feeling of fullness if no such fullness pre-exists.

colonized by contradictions of self-improvement; obsessing over- not who I am, but who I am not.

like bad dreaming, my arms too heavy to wave goodbye; stagnantly suffering from the paradigm of progress. 

i would like to mix mediums and prose effecting a newness; selfishly for myself, perhaps at the expense of others (specifically some).

just then, before they notice the change.

a reflection on a life under lived: 1

my ass is nearly twice its former size.

not in that good way.

not like a jetty,
darting out of my back to the surprise of the shoreline.

twice as wide.

a considerate attempt at meeting the parameters of my ergonomic office chair.

the chair itself features built-in lumbar support, synchro tilt control with adjustable tension, and the seats ample padding is designed for all day comfort.

my once sweetly ample bottom,
held hostage to the banality of a work schedule.

one should never play match maker
to something so unconscious to concession
introducing a companion already coupled with an inconsiderate fate.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

a simple rejection of valentines malaise

who’s contented to be without something to critique?

critical of contemporary conflicts and erotic conduct,
and of the opinion that one is dull for adhering to ill functioning conventions
(disenchanted i am not)
i am aroused by defiant contemplation...

my finest asset, 
my sexiest virtue
my obligation to my essence.

i locate something to critique because we do not conceive of conception outside of the state's oppression-
disjunction between supple bodies and pounding flesh.

i insist that my governance liken itself to my sex...
conscious of internal politics,
contested and politicized,
with consent, without coercion
and sometimes rough, but never oppressive.

having fidelity only to radical equality
and unescorted by a colonizing desire to materially possess another,
we collectively reconceive affairs of body and state.

inseminated with a constructivist alternative to the essentializing essence of enlightenment thinking.

freeing action from all unitary and totalizing western psychosis-
each touch, thought, and desire explicitly contested through juxtaposition, and disjunction.

abandoning our enveloping infoterrorized market condition-
fumbling, fondling, stroke and caress.

practicing facilities of intelligence, creativity and imagination
awakened through 'ars erotica' 
and impregnated with sublime freedom
a changeling is born.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

pick and choose

"idioms are for idiots, the less creative in thinking," she laughed. 

"you pick, ill choose," he retorted.

he took things personally sometimes. it was impossible not to take her personally.

"that will be our chosen illusion
cheaply practiced & liberally applied"  she replied looking askance.

"you pick the place
ill pick the time"

"you pick the topic
ill pick the phrasing"

"i pick next, 
you choose"

"we both agree with changizi
but divided in our preferences" said. 

"you always pick fictional, i choose ambiguity," was the reply.

Picked by Ali Hakimi

clearly illusioning is not the opposite of truth, of reality.
falsehood is something which does not exist, and
idioms are not actually illusions.
what you choose is not true, but an illusion.