Potential Problems at J20

By Ezra Silk

SAN FRANCISCO  — On Wednesday, I attended the last meeting of the Occupy Wall Street West Working Group. As far as I can tell, the action is a massive, sprawling effort — if they pull it off, it will be a true feat of grassroots organization. But there are two serious problems:

1. At the meeting, it was revealed that there would likely be an “anti-capitalist march,” meaning that the folks most well-known as the Black Bloc will be on site. The people who committed various acts of property destruction in Oakland after the General Strike in November used Black Bloc tactics. So there could be some very negative headlines coming out of this if these people decide to throw a brick through the Bank of America building.

The Occupy SF General Assembly has apparently released a statement disassociating itself from all violence. The group only approves of property destruction that is consensed upon at the General Assembly — an example being breaking a lock in order to get into a foreclosed home, according to one J20 organizer I spoke with.

At the meeting, the general feeling was that although this was bad news, there was very little the working group could do to prevent these people from smashing windows.

2. It’s supposed to rain all day.

Here’s an unsavory scenario: less-than-satisfactory attendance (the Occupiers declined to give a turnout estimate at the Wednesday press conference) and property destruction. Not good.


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