Project Gentrify in Oakland

UPTOWN APARTMENTS. Buildings of glass and steel. Hipsters. Strollers. Artisanal lattes and cupcakes. Chic cafes littered with Apple laptops. These are some of the myriad images associated with gentrification in Oakland, but to see them as the end of the story would conceal the role of the 1 Percent in turning our city on its head so they can profit from displacement.

The West Oakland Specific Plan (WOSP) is the most recent scheme for gentrifying Oakland, pushing people of color and blue-collar workers out, and moving tech in. It labels large swaths of West Oakland “opportunity sites” for redevelopment and connects with other redevelopment schemes to cover a massive area, stretching from Interstate 880 to Adeline Street, and East 14th Street to Emeryville.

Plans to redevelop the Coliseum and Lake Merritt are also in the works. While WOSP’s authors promise “a healthy, vibrant West Oakland” and tout the input of “a wide range of community members [and] stakeholders,” in content, WOSP is a plan for “development with displacement,” in the words of Causa Justa :: Just Cause.


The never-ending, ever-expanding war

THE U.S. has expanded its air strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), adding another element to the deadly mix of conflicts that is inflicting a terrible toll across the region.

U.S. officials announced that their warplanes and drones–in a joint operation with five authoritarian Arab regimes–struck targets in eastern and northern Syria. This expands the war on the Sunni fundamentalists of ISIS beyond Iraq, where the U.S. has carried out nearly 200 attacks since launching air strikes six weeks ago.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claimed the U.S. targeted ISIS “safe havens” in Syria. But the missiles were aimed at cities like Raqqa, with hundreds of thousands of inhabitants–where ISIS, like any insurgency, has established itself. Civilian casualties–including people who abhor ISIS and oppose its occupations of Syrian cities–are inevitable. According to a human rights monitoring group, eight civilians died in the first round of air strikes, along with “scores of ISIS fighters.”


Protest US Bombing of Iraq and Syria

On September 22nd, the U.S. expanded its bombing campaign against ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) to Syrian territory. Despite President Barack Obama’s rhetoric about stopping a terrorist threat, his bombing campaign is part and parcel of the U.S.’s decades long policy of intervening in the Middle East to impose its will.

Far from fighting terrorism, it is U.S. imperialism that has created the conditions for the growth of a group like ISIS. By destroying Iraq through decades of bombing, sanctions, war, and occupation, and by backing right wing sectarian forces throughout the Middle East against the popular and democratic uprisings of 2011, it is Washington D.C. that has sewn the seeds for the reactionary ISIS.
U.S. bombing can only bring more destruction and suffering to the people of Syria, who have for three and a half years now been engaged in a life and death struggle with both a brutally repressive dictatorship on one side and extreme reactionaries like ISIS.

Join the emergency demonstration against US bombing of Syria on Wednesday, 5pm at Powell and Market in downtown San Francisco.

No to US Bombing of Syria and Iraq!
Victory to the Arab Revolutions!

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Peninsula: Why You Should Join the Socialists & Change the World

Capitalism is killing the planet. We face escalating ecological crises,unending wars and occupations from Iraq and Afghanistan to the U.S.-backed Israeli assaults on Palestine, racism has led to mass incarceration and out-of-control anti-immigrant bigotry, and women and LGBTQ people face rising levels of misogyny and homophobia.

The economic prospects for our generation are growing dimmer by the day with falling pay and historically high levels unemployment. Meanwhile, big business is colonizing our campuses and trying to reshape our right to an education to serve its own interests. All of this in pursuit of profit. Enough is enough!

Barack Obama announces his plan for U.S. air strikes against ISIS

The U.S. won’t fix the disaster it caused in Iraq

Barack Obama’s “game plan” to confront ISIS won’t stop the disaster that the U.S. itself created in the Middle East–still less will it make ordinary people in the U.S. safer. On the contrary, the new drive to war is making the world more dangerous.

Fox News drums up fear of ISIS inside the U.S.

The “war on terror” on repeat

As we approach September 11 and mark the anniversary of the attacks in 2001, it seems as if little has changed. We appear to be caught in a time loop where history keeps repeating itself again and again.

If it was al-Qaeda in 2001 that represented the pinnacle of all things evil and animated the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and later Iraq, today, it’s al-Qaeda’s evil twin, Islamic State (also known as ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) that is prompting air strikes in Iraq and increased surveillance in Syria. Once again, the moral outrage over the killing of innocent Americans–this time two journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff–serves to enable the U.S. government to both carry out interventions in the Middle East and justify its domestic counter-terrorism policies.

Study groups

Study groups

The Meaning of Marxism reading group will discuss lingering questions and the challenges that would face a socialist society.

The Lenin and the Revolutionary Party reading group will discuss chapters 9 and 10.

Protesters against the Keystone XL pipeline

Northern California People’s Climate Rally

As the United Nations prepares to debate how to reduce carbon pollution and greenhouse gases that pose a dire threat to all humanity, 350.org and hundreds of other organizations are preparing for a historic UN mobilization of environmental activists across the U.S. Hundreds of thousands are expected to converge in NYC and thousands more in many cities including Oakland on September 21 to press for immediate measures to halt and reverse this catastrophic threat to humanity and to demand:

• A global agreement to dramatically and rapidly reduce global warming pollution
• A world with an economy that works for people and the planet
• A world safe from the ravages of climate change
• A world with good jobs, clean air & water, peace & justice & a healthy environment

Oakland ISO working meeting

Oakland ISO working meeting

We’ll discuss how socialists relate to the movements for justice around Ferguson, Gaza, and climate change, and we’ll plan for the People’s Climate Rally in Oakland.