FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – JUNE 30TH, 2010
Contact: Tony Coleman, Rachel Jackson
OAKLAND ORGANIZERS DEFEND RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AFTER MEHSERLE VERDICT
WHO: Oakland General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant
WHAT: Press Conference
WHERE: 14th & Broadway, Oakland (at the flag poles in Frank Ogawa Plaza )
As the Mehserle murder trial verdict draws near, Oakland community organizers fear that the Mayor and Oakland Police Department’s contradictory actions will hinder the exercise of First Amendment rights. Officials claim to support free speech, while video of heavily armed officers – marching in military formation, swinging batons on peaceful mock-protesters, and preparing pepper spray, tear gas, and tanks – sends the opposite message: that protestors will be brutalized, for the “crime” of protesting .
Despite this intimidation, the Oakland Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant and all victims of police abuse, supports the call for a community gathering at the intersection of 14th Street and Broadway in , 6pm, the day the verdict is announced.
Tony Coleman of OneFam raises key questions, “After years of cuts to youth services, now the City can pay for PSA’s and pay outreach workers to say that Oakland officials love young people? Where was funding or action against police abuse last year, when Dellums told protesters he ‘was too busy,’ to comment on the shooting of Oscar Grant? And why are gang-prevention officers high on the list of officers to be cut from the OPD? This is hypocrisy, and it’s way too little, way too late.”
“The police are out of control in Oakland schools, and believe the solution to crime is to pack prisons with non-violent offenders.” and beyond, from Seattle to Detroit to New York , and it’s past time for Obama to step up,” says Rachel Jackson of the New Years Movement for Justice. “Despite the hype, there are no ‘outside agitators’ when a problem is nationwide. The ‘outsiders’ are officers who don’t live in cities they patrol, would never send their children to
Hannibal Shakur from the Laney Black Student Union drives the point home: “I get targeted by the police regularly, including for the ‘crime’ of documenting police abuse on video. It’s offensive and condescending to imply that young black men need ‘outsiders’ to tell us how to respond to racism.”
Regardless of the Mehserle verdict, police violence must stop. At this historical moment, the Oakland Assembly urges us to look to each other for healing and solutions to community problems. The Oakland Assembly for Justice will facilitate a youth-focused program to express and process emotions our on the day of the verdict, in a space where our voices will be heard.
RALLY * OPEN MIC * SPOKEN WORD * YOUTH SPEAK OUT!
Day of the Verdict – Community Gathering – 14th & Broadway, 6pm
The Oakland General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant is a grassroots coalition of concerned citizens working with statewide partners to stop the epidemic of police abuse. For more information, see www.oaklandforjustice.org.
Contact: Desley Brooks
For Immediate Release
Black Elected Officials and Clergy of the Eastbay’s statement regarding Upcoming Oscar Grant Verdict
An Open Letter to the Community:
Within the next couple of days and/or weeks there will be a verdict in the Oscar Grant case. This case has struck a nerve in Oakland and around the world. In anticipation of the verdict the Black Elected Officials and Clergy of the Eastbay wanted to share some information with our community.
Representatives of our organization have been monitoring this case since Oscar Grant was senselessly murdered by Johannes Mehserle on January 1, 2009. We demanded that a reluctant District Attorney file criminal proceedings against Mehserle; we helped to organize community pressure on BART to bring about organizational change and implementation of polices and procedures to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again; we have attended all of the court proceedings; and most importantly we have demanded justice for Oscar Grant, his family and everyone that Oscar represents – because we all could be Oscar Grant.
A community needs to know that its leadership will stand to protect their interests. While we are hopeful that our Justice System will be just; we are mindful of incidences where it has failed us. When the system failed us in the Rodney King case, the Justice Department stepped in to ensure that the Community’s interests were protected. We, the Black Elected Officials and Clergy of the Eastbay, stand prepared to call upon all State and Federal agencies to seek any and all recourse if an unjust verdict is rendered in this case.
We know that emotions may run high depending on the outcome of current State Court proceedings are just one step on the road to justice for Oscar Grant. As such, we are asking that you work with us to shut down anyone who would engage in destructive behavior in our community. We are also asking that you work with us as we continue to demand justice for Oscar. We have been assured that the Justice Department is monitoring the Mehserle case. ’s criminal proceedings. The
Martin Luther King said that peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. In the same vein as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, , and many others we will receive JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT.
The struggle continues,
Hon. Desley Brooks
Hon. Keith Carson
Minister Keith Muhammad
Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry
Rev. Zachary Carey
Hon. Darleen Brooks
Hon. Kathy Neal
Hon. Marlon McWilson
Bishop Keith Clark
Rev. Dr. Kevin Barnes
Hon. Darryl Moore
Hon. Alice Spearman
Parable of Oakland Police Riot
The Oakland Police are planning to riot. This is the community consensus based on conversations at the crossroads. They shall be waiting for the crowd to gather in front of City Hall after the verdict is announced in the Oscar Grant murder trial. The consensus among the people is that the BART police officer shall not be found guilty of murder. The prosecution has been weak as water, with no real effort to convince the jury Oscar Grant was murdered in cold blood last New Year's day.
Oakland police have been planning for weeks how they will handle the expected protests. They have been training in riot control, the old condemned North County jail has been prepared to handle protesters. Even the jail above City Hall has been made ready. All downtown businesses have been told to close early on Thursday and don't leave cars parked in the downtown area.
OPD Chief Bates says he wants peace but is prepared for war. Mayor Dellums concurs. The religious leaders, aka Pharaoh's magicians, are in league with the police to keeps the masses calm.
Yet the consensus among the people is that, if anything, it shall be a police inspired riot, instigated by agent provocateurs, Cointelpro agents and undercover police. The police want a riot so they can justify not getting laid off, having their budget cut and forced to contribute to their retirement fund. A good riot will make them eligible for Federal funds such as gang abatement monies and other grants from criminal justice and Homeland security.
So the OPD is ready to whup heads and slaughter demonstrators after they are instigated by agent provocateurs.
As far as we're concerned, justice for Oscar Grant was granted by Louvelle Mixon. Dr. Fritz Pointer said Mixon's shootout with the OPD allowed the Oakland masses to enjoy an "obscene pride" after years of police abuse under the color of law.
We are against all violence except in self defense. When the police stop acting like an occupying army and understand they work for the people and not the reverse, perhaps then, and only then, shall there be real peace in the hood.
The Supreme Court's decision to allow Americans to defend themselves with guns must be understood by reading the subtext: let them niggers keep killing each other, so long as they don't cross the line into the white community. If they cross the line, we're ready for them.
We know who sells guns to the brothers and sisters in the hood, and we know who allows the dope in. We cannot disassociate guns and drugs from politicians and developers who are eager to gentrify ghetto neighborhoods with buppies , yuppies and puppies. They will employ such tactics as gang abatement and eminent domain to ethnically cleanse the hood for the pseudo liberal black and white bourgeoisie.
A friend attended a gang abatement meeting full of whites. He wondered aloud where are the guys who are targets of gang abatement? Four of them were in jail and two others are home owners who must now stay one hundred blocks from their homes.
We cannot view this problem solely in a local context, but it must be seen within the wider context of the global wars against the poor in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. Through the tribal chiefs, America paid insurgents in Iraq to lay down their arms--that was the real surge, not the phony surge of General Patraeus, that was essentially the ethnic cleansing of neighborhoods in Baghdad, separating the Sunnia from the Shia by in numerous checkpoints, along with forcing four million internally and externally displaced refugees. In the most restive Anbar Province, Sunni insurgents were paid to lay down their arms and join the security patrols in their neighborhoods. This is the reason for the dramatic decrease in violence.
They are employing the same tactic in Afghanistan. The plan is to pay the Taliban billions to lay down their arms and pledge allegiance to the corrupt Karzai who is hardly the president of a nation but the Mayor of Kabul, the Capital. The Taliban shall be given jobs, housing and education.
Isn't this fantastic! Jobs, housing and education! Why not try this tactic in the hoods of America, specifically in Oakland, Mayor Ron Dellums, OPD Chief Bates, Attorney General Holder, President Barack Hussein Obama. But oh, no, you rather pay the Taliban because they are a threat to your national security, although there is more violence in the hoods of America annually than the combined violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.
Is not the violence in the hoods of America a threat to national security? Children can't go to school, men and women can't go to work and come home safely, worshippers can't attend church, the elderly are prisoners in their homes in the day and night. Where is the national security?
It is costing you one million dollars per soldier per year to occupy Afghanistan, yet you have not reported the killing of one Al Queda soldier on the soil of Afghanistan. And then you say you must stay in Afghanistant until you improve the army who is so illiterate they are too retarded to defend themselves, yet these are the people who ran out Alexander the Great, the Monguls, the British, the Russians, and soon they will run your asses out. Yet you tell us you must occupy their land until they are literate enough to defend themselves?
I rest my case. Let us pray for peace in the streets of Oakland, a valiant city, home of the Western Pullman Porters, home of the Black Panthers. Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?
Academy of Da Corner
14th and Broadway
The Wisdom of Plato Negro, Parables/fables
Black Bird Press, 2010
Black Bird Press
1222 Dwight Way
Berkeley Ca 94702