Bread and Roses Oakland: Call Out Meeting!

  • Posted on: 5 November 2012
  • By: worker


The Bread and Roses Collective is an act of mutual aid.

In light of recent state and police repression, and in solidarity with the long history of anti-racist, anti-capitalist struggle, we seek to create networks of practical support and solidarity.

We reject the sexist notion that caregiving is secondary to any other sort of organizing. Instead, we place this work at the center of building sustainable networks of radical support. We acknowledge the toll that collective and individual trauma has on our lives and we work to create spaces in which we can heal.</td><td><img title="heal" src=""></td><...

*Bread and Roses is a small group of people who have been involved in Occupy Oakland and other Bay Area struggles. We’ve been dreaming about this project, but don’t want ownership or control. We want this to be a collaborative effort that can grow into something that serves the community.

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” –Audre Lorde

Want to know more?
Contact us at breadandrosesoakland [at] or follow


Please make this about collective solutions, not individual lifestylism.

Meaningless jargon is meaningless.


So many of these projects fail because they don't have a social understanding of where problems come from, to be honest. As important as these types of things, I always kind of hesitate.

Privilege is a material relationship, not a mentality or psychological disposition.
Self-care can't happen by treating ourselves like porcelain dolls.
While the speech act is a moment in the production of knowledge-power, it is not the only one.

Take care of each other, but like for real not for fake.

in oakland? amidst a wave of gentrification that a lot of these people are contributing to?

good luck.

i agree that caregiving is not secondary to other sorts of organizing, but if i did, why would that be sexist? is it because caregiving is an inherently feminine activity?

what does sexism mean again?

Probably because in the current REALITY (as opposed to some theoretical plane of existence that may or may not ever exist where all people are "equals" or whatever) the responsibility of caregiving tends to fall on female-bodied folks.

so naturally our best bet is to perpetuate that as best we can when setting up caregiving infrastructure

No. Our best bet is to troll a-news articles. Glad you're contributing to the rev.

it means the configurations of gender established by contemporary power relations are not to be questioned in their essence, only inverted. duh!

We're talking about feminism, right?

duh, i mean it's therefore an essential concept.

Just the half-assed dumbshit kind most anarchists subscribe to. People who can handle abstract concepts without just polarizing everything as "for" and "against" their favorite ill-defined term can practice pretty bad-ass kinds of feminism.

Go die in fire.

Sounds good, I hope this can become a space in which we can heal.

"We’ve been dreaming about this project, but don’t want ownership or control. We want this to be a collaborative effort that can grow into something that serves the community."

Ugh, this is the worst. Immediate abdication of responsibility.

i have no idea what this 'project' of theirs is even supposed to be, other than to call everyone who doesn't show them enough 'solidarity' sexist. yep, sounds like the bay area to me!

I guess I don't really understand the purpose of trying to institutionalize a care system when we should actually all be taking care of the people that matter to us all the time rather than deferring it to some sort of official collective. i guess it's similar to how i feel about 'official' anti-repression stuff, but i can definitely see the use in having specific collective entities to figure stuff out along those lines sometimes. i guess maybe an interesting discussion might come of this....maybe.

> we should actually all be taking care of the people that matter to us all the time
> we should
I think I found your problem.

Somewhere out there a cop or cop functionary has just been assigned to add this group to his file, and is scratching his head watching Audre Lorde youtubes.

yeah, least favorite Audre Lorde quote.
Jerking off or taking a shit while typing this comment is apparently "political warfare".

you will never be forgiven.

sweet, well, looks like ours is yet another fearful, successfully traumatized generation of would-be-revolutionaries

whatever, but the phrase 'blood and roses' is extremely corny and implies an appeal for better wages and dignity, which are obviously not anarchist objectives.

that's simply not true. on any level, but some abstract one, which i'm not sure is not very helpful or healthy, and any kind of anarchism-in-practice but some extreme nihilist-individualist one where people are Actually totally cool with having no dignity and eating garbage homeless without a job...I mean, I guess that is really ideal and tuf...

what isn't true? am I wrong about the meaning of that phrase, or are you saying that wages and dignity are relevant to the anarchist project?

...that wages and dignity aren't anarchist objectives.

well they aren't!

dignity refers to the dignitas of a king, something that workers can never have, no matter how many goddamn moralizing educators tell us otherwise. to work is inherently undignified, there is no way to change that!

and focusing on a demand for increased wages makes no sense because under capitalism there is no way that workers could ever be paid the full value of their labor. no matter how successful you are in demanding increase in wages, the relation between worker and boss will remain unfair even in this basic respect.

in reality, calls for dignity, increased wages, etc are merely a way of making our position under capitalism more comfortable. I think the rejection of that type of strategy is a basic part of the definition of 'anarchist.'

Funny, CCF never quit speaking of dignity. Maybe in America we assume dignity is not important, which is part of the problem here. (For example, we say we don't believe in "dignity" as part of our particular anarchist credo, and yet have no problem at all exploiting our privilege every chance we get, and treating others as non-humans, because "dignity is a lie!" i.e "there's is" because their job is "undignified". )

Everyone is a worker, whether they are acknowledged as such or not. and yes, they deserve the same to feel the same dignity as kings.

The wages stuff is more complicated, but to completely dismiss this as "irrelevant to anarchists" has nothing to do with reality.


okay let me be a little bit more precise about what I mean:

yes maybe it would be nice if we all of us could have dignity. I'm not saying that dignity is important - I'm saying that as long as we have to work we can never achieve this.

similarly, as long as there are courts we can never bring about justice, as long as there are wages we can never have fairness, etc

the problem with appeals to these concepts is not necessarily that they are bad concepts, it's that people too often let on that these things can be procured while leaving the existing power structure intact; they cannot

I meant to write "I'm not saying that dignity is NOT important." oops

...the eight hour working day, child labor laws...

Definition? There are a dozen different definitions of the word Anarchist. I'm not saying you don't have a point, but watch it or you'll sound like these guys.....

The articles in reslonse to a senior citizen reaching out to them, as wrongly and naively as he was and kind of arrogant and dismissive of their beliefs as he was. Now read the rest of the blog.

Trying different avenues towards building networks of support is awesome. I don't think we as a group should take up every cause that we see as futhering the lesser exploited, but as an individualist....if its where your heart is....

Reading about the liberal progressive green movement in 2011 and how they galvanized community support to get coal fire power plants shut down...gotta say they kicked ass.

those people sound relatively dumb but they're right that that internet person was not their ally ... not sure what you're getting at honestly. if you're saying that I am mean and sectarian then ... guilty as charged?

It's "Bread and Roses" not "BLOOD and Roses." If it was "blood and roses" it'd be way cooler and enjoy less immediate rejection.

Dignity is not an anarchist objective. We all want to be oogles.




There's nothing inherently revolutionary about self care. That doesn't mean revolutionaries don't need it too, just that reading a book in a bathtub really doesn't constitute "direct action".

If you had never heard of anarchy or done anything political, self-care would still be a priority. That's called life.

There's nothing inherently revolutionary about anything we do.

Given all the violence we've endured over the last year- the arrests, beatings, the drawn out trials, the massive amount of folks struggling with housing, the number of folks with their unemployment checks cut off, the attacks on squats bought by REO Homes, deaths, and so on, this is a really important project. Anti-repression work is more than bail funds and court support, and has fallen on the backs of a small group of overworked people for too long.

A lot of people in Oakland have been talking about projects like this for awhile, and I'm really glad somebody got something started and they're open to others working on these same things to plug in.

you haven't said what you're doing or why you're doing it, only just made some defensive assertion that if we don't think it's cool than we're sexist

Uh... saying the notion that caregiving is secondary work is sexist is not the same as saying people who don't think the project is cool are sexist. Just like, to help you with your reading comprehension. You could read the tumblr to see more what it's about, no one's stopping you.

just checked out the tumblr. most of it is the post that we're all currently commenting on repeated a few different times in different forms. the only really substantive part relating to what this collective might actually *do* is this "Imagine a network of comrades dropping off food, doing your laundry, watering your garden, or feeding your cat. Imagine a hand to hold or a peer councilor to talk to. Imagine help coordinating childcare. Imagine notes of solidarity and encouragement, flowers on your doorstep."

sounds great, but from personal experience, this kind of thing is not really compatible with the whole "we don't want ownership over this/community control" kind of attitude.

if you've committed to providing material support for someone who is relying on you to come through with it, it usually requires individuals taking on the responsibility of making sure that it happens. sitting back and relying on "the community" (whatever that is) to step up and do people's laundry or whatever for them generally doesn't work. if it did, then a collective like this would be unnecessary.

if there's a need, go ahead and step up and fill that need. be honest about that. take ownership of the role you choose to play. there's nothing wrong with that. sure, the ideal situation is one in which these things are taken care of without having to have meetings about them, it's just part of the general culture. in some places that is true. but when it isn't, there's no shame in making it happen in more formal ways, and being explicit about the limitations of such an arrangement.

I agree that people have to take responsibility to meet commitments, but I don't think a handful of people organizing a larger meeting for people who want to engage in mutual aid and saying they don't want to control the project means that people aren't taking responsibility. The success or failure of this project is in the hands of those who show up and engage - or don't.

right, i'm saying that the people who show up and engage shouldn't have any qualms about claiming ownership or control of the project that they are engaging in

Agree- but that's different than a handful of people starting the project and asking people to join it and claiming control or ownership of it. The way I interpret it, they're saying, "Hey, a few of us think this is a good idea and plan to get started on it and we can't do it alone, do you want to build it with us? We won't tell you what to do, let's make this thing together." And I'm cool with that.

How has coming to anarchist news or being an anarchist benefited you?

What have you accomplished as far as accelerating onward toward living in an anarchist society?

Do you think reading about anarchy all day long really changes things?

Thank you for asking, but I'm just here for the troll apprenticeship.

"We reject the sexist notion that caregiving is secondary to any other sort of organizing."

A. How is that a sexist notion? Your kinda reinforcing the gender binary by saying that those that emphasize or downplay caregiving are sexist because it kinda implies the stereotypical 'women are the caregivers' stuff. Everyone has that capacity in them but some, no matter how they are assigned don't as much

B. If you don't emphasize caregiving your a damn fool everyone should do their part.

C. If you emphasize (self) caregiving too much you resign yourself to inaction and start to make excuses.

D. There is a balance and a merger in between in most things Men and Women, caregiver and the life taker, be where you want but don't neglect the center that merges and shares these things such as the queer or the healer that will kill a cop quick as shit.

FYI: This callout is really vague.

I don't really think a dedicated collective to this is smart. Promoting that folks in the community take care of one another makes more sense.

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