After careful consideration I am choosing to formally resign my position on the Occupy Oakland Financial Committee (FiCom) effective immediately. The position I held as the UA signer voted on & passed by the Finance Committee. My responsibility as UA signer was to hold legal liability to the Oakland Association For an Improved Future business account and to carry out proposals passed by the GA.
Due to negligence by the current members of FiCom I have been completely unable to meet with preexisting members in a meeting or have access to bank account statements for which I am legally liable. This is completely unacceptable. I have been unable to know who has access to accounts; this raises questions about transparency which is one of the primary roles of the committee. I have discovered there is only one active member & through several months of email communications has failed to be available to meet. Currently there are two accounts the Long Haul which is a 501c3 and a bank account at Community Trust. The Long Haul account is primarily for reimbursements, i.e. food, shelter/rent & supplies excluding medical supplies, gas masks and bail.The Community Trust is a general fund, held by the movement to carry out day-to-day functions supervised by the OO Financial Committee. After Tim Fong resigned there was a gap in account responsibility, and access to account was given to the Anti-Repression committee, this was only to be temporary until a third account was to be opened by the incoming UA signer. Since only the UA signer can open the account, this could not have happened because I didn’t accept responsibility for the UA position till July, 3rd 2012. Also, I was informed recently that the Anti-Repression crew has an account with Chase bank,I have personally witnessed via emails that, in the 8 months the FiCom has not openly met.
This is a complete breakdown of several committees consolidated in the hands of a few. The GA process has become completely dysfunctional and unable to create consensus-based decisions. This has nullified financial responsibility and given access to money to a small group of people who fail to meet public or openly discuss actions. They make decisions at house parties about who can function in the movement. I’ve seen this first hand and heard this from sources still on the ground. This group functions in secret, and uses the attention that Occupy Oakland created to fund raise and co-opt actions by other activists, community groups and leaders. At they same time they also actively boycott promoted Occupy Oakland functions due to the routine ostracizing of organizers who don’t agree with their agenda. They call themselves the Oakland Commune, and have claimed daily that Occupy Oakland is dead, yet are key organizers and speak on behalf of OO at every event. Their motto is “Long Live the Oakland Commune & Fuck the Police” yet, they have an anti-repression crew who self-proclaimed job is to communicate with law enforcement, courts, judges, jail systems to support activists. I’ve seen firsthand some of the most visible activists picked out of the crowd arrested, a WePay account set up, and thousands of dollars made off them, then when released days later no money given to them although it was made from their creditably in the movement.
I was attracted to the Occupy movement mainly because of it core values of Solidarity, Accountability, & Transparency if this was in practice there would be no need to resign from this position. However in light of my attempts to meet with the finance committee, I have no choice but to resign. I called a meeting as a FiCom member on October 8th 2012 for Transparency & Accountability and no one from the existing OO FiCom attended, other than myself. There was a meeting announced for October 17th, 2012, however no one from pre-existing FiCom appeared. I feel that their activities could incriminate me or put me in danger if I pursue them any further. However,i will release the transparency report given to attendees to the last financial committee meeting.
Although I’m resigning from the Finance Committee, I will continue to support Occupy Oakland in the capacity of the OOMedia Collective,also functional committees such as Tactical Action, Local Business Liaison Committees and organizations interested in building a mass movement that promotes awareness to social and economic injustice through non-violent direct action as the worldwide Occupy Movement continues to do.
- Shake Anderson