Community Self-Defense Mobilizes to Defend Hasta Muerte

“We’re parked down there. Can you drop us off, possibly? I’m terrified.” – Troy Worden

Hasta Muerte

On February 16th, “a sergeant and president of the Latino Police Officers Association of Alameda County,” and a member of the Oakland Police Department, walked into the newly opened Hasta Muerte Coffee shop, a cooperative run by workers of color, and located in the working-class and predominantly Latin@ neighborhood of Fruitvale, which is rapidly undergoing gentrification. Instead of a hot cup of coffee and a handshake however, the sergeant was promptly refused service and told that the store had a policy of not serving law enforcement. Very quickly, news of the interaction spread and in response, Hasta Muerte issued a statement on their Instagram page about a week later

OPDs recent attempts to enlist officers of color and its short term touting of fewer officer involved shootings does not reverse or mend its history of corruption, mismanagement, and scandal, nor a legacy of blatant repression.

The facts are that poc, women, and queer police are complicit in upholding the same law and order that routinely criminalizes and terrorizes black and brown and poor folks, especially youth, trans, and houseless folks.

For these reasons and so many more, we need the support of the actual community to keep this place safe, not police.  

In return, the Oakland Police Association wrote a letter to the space asking to further discuss the matter, and by the 8th of March, the story had blown up in the local news, before spreading into the mainstream and then being picked up in the far-Right press by outlets like Breitbart, Fox NewsThe Daily Caller, and InfoWarsAs could be expected following such reporting, the store was hit by a wave of death threats, online harassment, and negative and untruthful reviews on Yelp.  Continue reading

Looking Back: Anti-Fascism in Northern California 2016-2017

Anti-fascist mobilization against fascist convergence in Berkeley on August 27, 2017. Banner reads, “Avenge Charlottesville. Defend your communities.”

As mainstream media coverage of the anti-fascist struggle has skyrocketed over the last year, we’ve noticed that questions surrounding it have largely been confined to concern over a narrowly defined free speech. This has been accompanied by numerous, sometimes deliberate, misrepresentations. While narratives of violence have tended to be over-represented in accounts of anti-fascist and anti-racist organizing, reporting on the alt-right has been the opposite, downplaying the violence inherent to the recently re-energized white nationalist movement. Because clashes in Northern California between anti-fascists and white supremacists have captured so much media attention over the last year, we feel it necessary to place these incidents within their proper context. Continue reading