Tuesday, May 1, 2012



The Occupy Together movement attracted a wide array of people, from labor leaders to long-time social justice activists, and peace organizations. In addition, it’s no secret that a variety of radicals representing a broad spectrum of views also turned-out to support Occupy protest camps across the state. Likewise, it’s no surprise that various law enforcement agencies, ranging from local police forces to national counter-terrorism agents also paid close attention to the movement. This has been a long-standing practice of police services the world over. But before we start condemning the plainclothes officers working within the Occupy movement, we should consider that, not all protestors are simply wanting to make their voices heard through peaceful assembly—even if that assembly violated certain ordinances. In addition, not everyone who has appeared at the various Occupy camps across the state has been friends to the movement. With this understanding, at the risk of sounding apologetic for certain modern Big Brother tactics (many of which are inexcusable), we should note that some of the cops out there are really just doing their jobs.
Consider this: in Arizona, members of the National Socialist Movement—the largest and reportedly most violent Neo-Nazi organization in the United States—arrived at various Occupy camps clad in fatigues and body armor, and brazenly carried assault rifles. They were allegedly there to protect the demonstrators from the police. Of course while few of the Occupy demonstrators across the nation have been happy about the police presence, fewer still would prefer the presence of heavily armed neo-Nazis  over a civilian-controlled police service any day. With these considerations, it is understandable that law enforcement would maintain an active presence within the Occupy movement. In Tulsa, for example, certain Occupy supporters—members of the anarchist-driven “Tulsa I.W.W.” have been exposed as infiltrators working for the infamous John Birch Society. In addition, some of these members have indiscreetly listed books on how to build homemade chemical weapons and explosives on their amazon.com “wishlists.” Fortunately, however, most of Oklahoma’s Occupy movement has been without serious incident. In Norman, for example, the police were actually supportive and helpful when ultra-rightwing extremists threatened the lives of the Occupiers and attacked their campsite.
But there is a darker side to the police presence—one that is less concerned with protecting the demonstrators and the public, and one that interferes with protest movements in ways that are of questionable ethics and legality.
The role of state and its informants was once again brought into question when two Occupy activists from Oklahoma claiming to be members of the Central Oklahoma Black and Red Alliance (COBRA) appeared with a traveling Occupy contingent. According to one of the participants, the two COBRA members had been drinking heavily for several hours when they began sobbing, and confessed to a small group of anarchists that they were in fact informants for the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. While these allegations have been unconfirmed by state agencies, the two have since withdrawn from the Occupy movement in Oklahoma without further incident.
For some, however, suspicion remains over the so-called COBRA organization. COBRA began in the fall of 2011, when a group of authors and editors from the socialist journal Red State decided to work with anarchists from the region in forming a joint anarchist and socialist “black” and “red” alliance for the purpose of injecting a critique of capitalism into the Occupy movement. Of the three collaborators one calling himself Dr. Zakk Flash took control of the organization and left the remaining collaborators behind. Since the preparation of the initial COBRA leaflet, Zakk Flash has maintained exclusive control of the group and its facebook page. According to Red State’s managing editor, Flash “refused to respond to any correspondence and began running the  facebook page as if it were a real organization—often simply ‘liking’ his own comments to appear to have the support of a real organization. It’s a farce.”
Others in Norman, including worker-owners of the Downtown Sound cooperative business have described Flash as persona non grata after he attempted to portray himself as the  proprietor. These usurpations have been dismissed by some who have worked with Flash in the past, but others remain convinced that Zakk Flash isn’t what he appears to be. Further research has proven that the Dr. Zakk Flash, author of the infamous defense of anarchist violence is a police officer. However, it has also been ascertained that Flash is not acting as a police informant raising further questions as to why this self-described anarchist would publish views defending anti-police violence, or why members of his organization, COBRA, would confess to being OSBI informants. What is certain is that these questions about Occupy OK. “leaders” have severely damaged the local movement. As always, the Communist Party encourages its members and allies to steer clear of these people and anyone calling for violence.

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