Hands Off Oakland Rebels!

Greetings from California, Comrades!

As many have heard, a relentless anti-police movement has grown from the tragedy of Oscar Grant’s murder on January 1, 2009 by former officer Johannes Mehserle.* Recently, Mehserle was convicted of the deplorable charge of involuntary manslaughter, a weak charge which carries a sentence of probation to four years in prison.

When the news of Mehserle’s verdict reached the people of the bay area on July 8, the streets heated up in a style reminiscent of the anti-police riots a year and a half ago. Downtown Oakland swelled immediately after the release of the verdict. For hours after the verdict was released, people milled about, yelling at police, and listening to angry speeches. As the sun went down, the police moved in to end the spontaneous demonstration, threatening arrest of anyone who stayed on the streets. The sky was littered with helicopters and planes. Every police force in the region had gathered in downtown. Despite these threats, in the hours that followed, blocks and blocks of Oakland were wrecked, bank windows smashed, stores looted, and trash cans set on fire by people outraged by the state and society’s sickening disregard for Oscar Grant’s life, and by extension, those who are always the victims of police violence in the state’s constant war against people of color, women, and the poor.
The night of July 8th, and long after the riots had ended, the Oakland Police Department as well as other Bay Area police departments, snatched at least 78 people from the streets.
Twelve of those comrades are still in jail. Seven of them are being held without bail for parole violations. The five others face various felonies including burglary, rioting, and arson. They have bails ranging between $60,000 and $70,000, with one man being held for $525,000. With a bail bondsman we can free them by posting around 10% of the bail. We are hopeful that some of these people will get their bail reduced in the coming weeks after their pre-trial. Regardless, raising funds now is imperative. Defendants will be held in jail until the conclusion of their trial if we do not bail them out. (During the last Oscar Grant riots in January 2009 one man was charged with arson. His trial dragged on a whole year before the city dropped the charges due to lack of evidence. This scenario is destined to repeat itself at the expense of those arrested on the 8th.)

We, the anarchists and autonomists of the Bay Area of California, lovers of rebellions, and haters of cops for their ceaseless violence against us, do humbly request for solidarity to help free these brave rebels. If your collective, scene, squat, movement has the capacity to throw a benefit, or otherwise come into money, for this legal defense fund. we couldn’t need it more in order to keep our movement against the murderous police fierce and alive!



Thank you.


In Solidarity,

The Oakland 100 Support Committee

To make an online contribution use oakland100@gmail.com via paypal.com
For more information on the status of the cases see https://supporttheoakland100.wordpress.com/ or email us at oakland100@gmail.com

For ongoing coverage of the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement see http://www.indybay.org

Please feel free to repost and forward this widely and translate into other languages!

*For those unfamiliar with the case: Oscar Grant, a Black man, was pulled off a train in Oakland New Years Eve by a gang of police. He was laying face down on the ground when shot point blank in the back by Mehserle, a white cop. The murder was filmed by many train passengers and viewed by hundreds of thousands of people on youtube. A week after the murder herds of people from Oakland, California erupted in riots.


Results from the Oakland 100 Felony Cases.

Over 16 months after the January 2009 Oakland rebellions following the killing of Oscar Grant, those facing various felony charges have gotten off without jail time. However, Drew Lewis and Holly Works still have probation, fines and misdemeanor charges pending.

According to attorney Marlon Monroe, who represented Drew as well as JR Valrey, whose charges were dropped completely: “The most important thing is for them to get back to living their lives.” Though it was a long turbulent road for all three defendants, the news is well-timed for those who are still outraged by this and other police injustice as they follow the trial of ex-BART Police officer Johannes Mehserle, which just started this week in Los Angeles.

Until May 10th 2010, a few weeks before the unprecedented Mehserle trial began, Holly Works was facing up to 6 years in prison for felony assault on an officer with a deadly weapon. In previous pre-trial hearings she had refused an offer which would have required her to take a felony on her record. Last month, Holly was offered a plea by Judge Jacobson, in which her charge would be dropped to a misdemeanor. Holly accepted the conditions set by the judge, averting the possibility of jail time and a drawn-out trial.

“Five cops said she attacked this policeman with a screwdriver. If they really believed that they wouldn’t have given her this offer,” said Holly’s attorney, Stuart Hanlon, a pro-bono lawyer appointed by the National Lawyers Guild. “Everybody knew that the case was fabricated but the cops weren’t going to back off,” Hanlon made clear.

For Holly, “it feels great to be out from under the pressure, to not be looking at the brick wall of prison instead of my future; however it felt like a bit of a defeat to admit to something I did not do.” The conditions of the plea are that Holly must come to court probation and not be arrested for one year, and return in exactly one year for sentencing. If the requirements are met, the charge will be dropped to a misdemeanor. All in all, both Holly and Mr. Hanlon thought the conditions were favorable. “Courts are not where you win victories. In court we can only limit the damages,” asserted Mr. Hanlon.

Also charged with a felony arson was journalist and activist JR Valrey. On February 22nd, in a courtroom overflowing with supporters, a stand-in for the prosecution in The People vs. Valrey stood before the judge and made his motion: “No additional evidence was obtained so we have a motion to dismiss based on lack of sufficient evidence.”

“It was a surprise that my case got dropped after fighting it for 13 months,” said Valrey. “The courts, police, and the state are trying to do everything they can to paint Oscar Grant and the people that were protesting as criminals, instead of the police officers, the real criminals, that were responsible for taking Oscar Grant’s life”

A third felony case, that of defendant Drew Lewis, will be “resolved favorably pending his ability to pay a restitution fine to the court,” according to Drew’s attorney, Marlon Monroe.

Financial contributions can be made via paypal. For more info please email oakland100[at]gmail.com


Holly’s Trial Set for Monday May 10th

Holly of the Oakland 100 goes to court May 10 at 9AM at the Alameda county
courthouse (1225 Fallon st)

Holly was one of nearly 150 people rounded up in the riots that followed
the police murder of Oscar Grant in January 2009. Most of the people
arrested were never charged, but Holly was one of 4 people arbitrarily
given Felony charges. All other felony charges have been dropped leaving
only Holly. Holly was simply in the streets protesting police violence,
but was arrested and is being scapegoated by the DA through charges of
assaulting an officer with a deadly weapon.

Please come out to support Holly and show the DA and Alameda county that
we havent forgotten about the Murder of Oscar Grant and that we will not
let outraged members of the community be railroaded to prison when the
police are the perpetrators of violence and murder.

Trial begins Monday, May 10th 8:30 am at Alameda County Courthouse, 1225
Fallon St., Courtroom 11


Holly’s Trial Postponed Again

Trial postponed to May 10 because the police officer allegedly assaulted could not testify… because he was in SWAT training. stay tuned


Holly’s Trial begins next Monday

The trial of Holly Works, the last person facing felony charges and
serious jail time from the Oscar Grant rebellions, begins next week.
The Oakland 100 support committee is calling on all those in coalition
to end police violence to organize a screening of the documentary,
Hand Off Oakland Rebels! Whether it be screened for your household
and neighbors, your political or social organizations, in your
classroom, amongst your affinity groups, or within your larger
abolitionist networks, please help publicize this issue and garner
support for her case. Immediate needs include community support at the
courthouse, witnesses to come forward with media, and funds to cover
legal expenses.

Keep up the resistance, and don’t forget to pass the hat.

Trial Info:

Monday April 5, 2010 9am
Alameda Superior Court, Courtroom 9
1225 Fallon St Oakland

Hands Off Oakland Rebels! Documentary, 20 min.

In January 2009, communities all over Oakland stood up after the BART police murder of Oscar Grant III. What followed the murder and the subsequent cover-up by officials was a broad and emotional grassroots response to a larger problem of police brutality and state sponsored violence. This footage documents the community response to the brutal killing of Oscar Grant III, focusing primarily on mobilizations and direct actions on January 7th 2009. The film also highlights the response by the police, the mayor, and the District Attorney’s office. You will hear stories from three individuals who were targetted by the District Attorney’s office for participating in the mobilizations and were charged with felony counts. Over a year later, all three continue to fight for the DA to drop the charges as the community continues to fight for justice for Oscar Grant III.

View or download here
http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2010/02/17/18638008.php
See also:
supportholly.org


Community Talent Show for Oakland 100

Oakland 100 Support Committee presents an indomitable, one of a kind opportunity for you to shake, throw, scream, dance, act, hiccup, recite with what your mama gave you:

A COMMUNITY TALENT SHOW

From 7-10 pm Friday March 19th

at the EAST SIDE ARTS ALLIANCE

2277 International Blvd, Oakland CA, 94606

A safe stage for any body willing to show off what they can do. Please email ebps@riseup.net with your name or group’s name and estimated performance time. So far the bill has an exciting group of non conformists, but we need MORE ACTS! Be Brave Be Proud. Show off your skillz! THIS EVENING WILL BE A BENEFIT FOR those who are or up until recently facing charges for the protests following the Oscar Grant Rebellions. They need your help so come out and enjoy the show. Exquisite Dress Required.

Non-Participants $5-20 sliding scale donation.

PRIZES! MINGLING! POPCORN! COMIEDIAN JUDGES! REVOLUTIONARY HOSTS!


Holly’s Trial Postponed

The final trial of the O100, which had been set for next monday March 1, was postponed today until April 5th.