Ana Kasparian of Current TV's The Young Turks did some actual reporting on the violence that broke out early Thursday morning Nov. 3, Occupy Oakland Riot - Ana Reports for The Young Turks 11/03/2011:
This strikes me as really decent journalism, though The Young Turks definitely have a partisan/ideological orientation. As Jay Rosen has been preaching for years, you don't have to strike a view-from-nowhere pose to do solid, professional reporting.
Ana's report provides more evidence of what I suspected when I first heard about the early-morning ruckus. Which is that the organized vandalism seems to have mostly been the work of the Bay Area anarchists who tend to use the occasion of big demonstrations to confront police and generally make a dramatic stir.
The Occupy Oakland protests and the anarchists have different political goals, which lead them to different strategies. Whatever short-term political goals the anarchists hope to achieve, they see rowdy confrontations with police and window-smashing vandalism as the way to forward them.
Occupy Oakland, though, achieved something on Wednesday that the Bay Area anarchists can only dream of doing: they successfully staged an actual general strike, the most significant part of which was that the ILWU dockworkers participated and shut down the Port of Oakland, one of the largest ports on the West Coast. That's power. You don't need to smash windows when you can do what Occupy Oakland did on Wednesday.
A word of not-unfriendly advice to local anarchists: if you're going to be pick a group to screw up the political impact of their strikes and demonstrations, the ILWU dockworkers are really not the best first choice of people to piss off. I'm just saying.
Tags: occupy oakland