Tag Archives: Oakland

Statement of solidarity with the anger expressed in the London rebellions

About two and a half years ago, our community member, friend, neighbor and family member, Oscar Grant, was shot in the back by a police officer (pig) at close range while Oscar was being handcuffed on his belly on the floor of a BART (local subway) station in Oakland, California. Oscar was a 22 year old Black father, and his close friends described him as a ‘peacemaker’. Just before being killed, a pig yelled the phrase “bitch ass nigger” at Oscar and his friends, and slammed one friend’s head into a concrete wall.

Oscar’s killing was recorded on the cell phones of numerous people on the BART train, and the video was widely distributed. In the days after Oscar’s murder, angry Oaklanders took to the streets in protest. The protests took the form of candle-lit vigils, speak-out rallies, open mics and riots (or ‘urban rebellions). In the end, hundreds of people were arrested after the city declared multiple states of emergency and called in the FBI, Secret Service, DEA and 23 other police agencies in to tame the anger that our community was expressing.

Johannes Mehserle, the cop who killed Oscar, was arrested, and became the first officer in the history of California to be charged with an on-duty murder. It is now widely agreed that the many shows of protest and anger, including the ‘peaceful’, ‘non-violent’ and ‘riotous’ behavior, led to Mehserle’s arrest. He would not have been arrested had it not been for ALL these shows of anger.

Dr Martin Luther King once said that ‘rioting is the voice of the unheard’.

We are tired of living in a society which is called ‘democratic’, when our voices go unheard and our communities are targeted by police who essentially have nothing to lose for killing members of our communities.

We, the undersigned, are in solidarity with the anger being expressed in the UK, which has been provoked by racism, unemployment and under-employment (especially among young people and people of color), and followed after the tipping point of the police killing of Mark Duggan, a Black father and community member in Britain.

In the 1960’s there were riotous/rebellious eruptions in Black urban communities throughout the US not unlike what is occurring in Tottenham today. By the US government’s own admission, in its 1968 study (called the Kerner commission) the cause of the Black urban riots/rebellions were conditions created by “segregation and racism”.

So we partially agree with Deputy Prime Minister statement that, “the riots had nothing to do with the death of Mark Duggan”, in the sense that Mr Duggan is not the reason why Tottenham has the highest unemployment rate in London. Like the largely Black ghettos, Brown barrio’s and Red reservations of the US, the Dalit community in India, and the Palestinian territories, Tottenham is economically oppressed and politically marginalized.

We understand that the Londoners’ anger is a result of years of systematic alienation, flowing from the blatant failure of global capitalism to support the people, and policies that have concentrated wealth for the upper classes by taking untold billions through Prime Minister David Cameron’s government cuts in education, health and the general welfare which disproportionately affects the lives of Britain’s poor and people of color, all of which are unacceptable for a forward-looking society.

In solidarity,

People’s Tribunal on Racism and Police Violence
Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant
New Years Movement for Justice for Oscar Grant
ONYX
Oakland 100 Support Committee
Members of the National Lawyers Guild
Chairman Fred Hampton Jr. of the Prisoners of Conscience Committee/Black Panther Party Cubs


Legal Update: Friday Arrests & Court Dates

On Friday, former BART cop Johannes Mehserle was given a jail sentence of 2 years for the ‘involuntary manslaughter’ of Oscar Grant. Subtracting time served and ‘good behavior’, Mehserle will be back on the streets in as little as 7 months.

Community members took to the streets in protest, and after the cops sealed an entire city block off, calling it a ‘crime scene’, 152 people were arrested. That is more arrests than ANY other Oscar Grant-related protest as of yet.

Most arrestees have been cited on misdemeanor charges and released. Those folks all have mass arraignments in the first week of December. We will be calling for a mass show of court support for those days. Stay Tuned.

Six people continue to be held, and each have arraignments scheduled for this coming Tuesday, November 9th. Please come to court to show support for people who stood up for justice, spoke truth to power, and continue to be punished for it. The following are their court times and departments (rooms, all at Wiley Manuel Courthouse @ 661 Washington Street in
Oakland):
9am, dept. 107 – 1 person
2pm, dept. 107 – 1 person
2pm, dept. 112 – 4 people

Finally, Raquel Sharp is being charged criminally with a misdemeanor as well as civilly (being sued) for events on the night of Mehserle’s verdict (July 8th). Raquel has asked for as many people as possible to show up to her pre-trial TOMORROW morning, 9am in Department 104 at Wiley Manuel Courthouse on the corner of 7th and Washington streets in Oakland (661 Washington).

Support the Oakland Rebels! Stay strong!
-the Oakland 100 Support Committee

PS-As always, we’re fundraising! All donations directly support people who’ve been charged with crimes related to protesting for justice for Oscar Grant and against racist police brutality. More information and online donations can be made here:
https://supporttheoakland100.wordpress.com/supportdonate.


Legal Updates

As of now, there are still about 5 arraignment dates, one of which is today, 9am.

As of now, 3 misdemeanors have been filed, 4 felonies have been filed and 2 warrant letters with no court date have been sent.

For clarification: The majority of cases have not been dismissed or “dropped”. What is happening is that the DA is choosing not to file complaints at this time. He has a year to do so. Some folks who had no complaints filed have received warrant letters, which means that the DA intends to file a complaint of some sort. There are two generally two types of warrant letters;
one says you have to surrender yourself immediately and comes with a court date (and is likely a misdemeanor); The other states intent to press charges but does not specify a court date (and is likely a felony). We are advising people to immediately get in touch with the National Lawyers Guild either way, so they can pair them together with a lawyer. If they can’t hook up with NLG, they should find a Public Defender ASAP.

Important information:

One of the attorneys is planning on sending a letter demanding that all confiscated property, including media, be returned and that all data copied be destroyed. If the letter doesn’t work, there will likely be some type of court action.

She is also looking to speak with anyone who witnessed or was injured by the flash-bang grenades lobbed on the 30th.

Another attorney is searching for folks who were arrested on felonies and had DNA collected during any of the demos. He is demanding that all DNA collected be destroyed.

In general, what is happening right now is complicated. It is likely that we will continue to see a trickle of court related activity for the next month, at least. One of the attorneys noted that while fewer people have been arrested than at other mass demos in Oakland and SF, the charges have been slightly more severe.

Anyone who has information related to the Oakland Rebellion or who would like to assist in legal assistance can email the Oakland 100 Support Committee at oakland100[at]gmail.com

Court Support is also needed on these dates:
February 11th, 13th, 17th, 23rd, 5th – 9am, 661 Washington Street, Oakland


Stop OPD from passing Oakland youth curfew

Stop OPD from passing Oakland youth curfew! Tues 2/10 @ 530 City Hall (1 Frank Ogawa Plaza), Rm 1

A youth curfew will be passed in Oakland if we do not fight it NOW. This means that OPD will question and detain any young person for violating curfew w/out exception. This will apply to all youth under 18 years of age on City streets between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and 11:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. (as a component of the Oakland Police Department’s “strategic plan”).


Upcoming events

Thanks to the folks over at No Justice, No BART for putting this together.

Monday, February 9 8:30am Pack the Court! Hearing for those arrested. When: Mon, February 9, 8:30am – 11:30am Where: Wiley M. Manuel Courthouse (dept.112), 661 Washington Street, Oakland, CA (map) Description: Pack the Court! Drop the Charges on ALL Protesters! Also, CALL THE DA and tell him to drop the charges now! More info, sample script here: http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2009/01/25/18565707.php

Tuesday February 10 10:00am Petition Delivery (Color of Change) When: Tue, February 10, 10am – 11am Where: Rene Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon St, Oakland CA (map) Description: There have been petitions calling for action in the case of Oscar Grant circulated via colorofchange.org. They will be delivered on Tuedsay 2/10. Sign them here: http://www.colorofchange.org/grant/?id=1489-129670 and here: http://www.colorofchange.org/oscar_update/?id=1708-55706

5:30pm Crash the Public Safety Committee Hearing at City Hall. Stop the youth curfew in Oakland! When: Tue, February 10, 5:30pm – 8:30pm Where: Oakland City Hall, 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland CA (map) Description: Policing in any form will not make our streets safe. Come to the City’s “Public Safety Committee” Meeting at City Hall, in Hearing Rm 1. Tell the OPD & city of Oakland that we need to invest in our youth not in more police, and we need to support our young people in making their own responsible decisions.

6:00pm Public Tribunal to Investigate Grant’s Killing (BAMN Initiated) When: Tue, February 10, 6pm – 8pm Where: Allen Temple Baptist Church, 8501 International Blvd., Oakland CA (map) Description: Refreshments Provided Allen Temple Baptist Church Pastor J. Alfred Smith, Jr. 8501 International Blvd. (at 85th Ave.) Oakland Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Integration, & Immigrant Rights, Fight for Equality, By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), BAMN.com, 510-502-9072, California [at] bamn.com, ASUC-Sponsored

Wednesday, February 11 7:00pm “Town Bizness” Townhall Meeting in West Oakland When: Wed, February 11, 7pm – 10pm Where: Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St., Oakland CA (map) Description: Townhall meeting on Police Terrorism featuring: Jack Bryson, the father of two sons who were with Oscar Grant When: he was murdered by police, on New Years Day. Martina Davis – The sister of Georgia deathrow inmate Troy Anthony Davis. The POCC’s Chairman Fred Hampton Jr – a former political prisoner of 9 years and son of assassinated B.P.P. leader. Randy Murphy – Black male who was paralysed by the OPD, because they thought he had some drugs, 5 years ago. Min. Keith Muhammad of the Nation of Islam – who has been a leader in the anti-police terrorism in the Bay Area movement. Hosted by the POCC’s Minister of Information JR of BlockReportRadio.com and the Associate Editor of the SF Bay View Newspaper. There will also be an update on the cases of Mehserle and other police officers involved in the murder of Oscar Grant, as well as the! cases of the Oakland 100, which includes the Minister of Information JR, who is facing a trumped up charge of felony arson.

Thursday, February 12 9:00am BART Board Meeting: NO JUSTICE, NO BART! When: Thu, February 12, 9am – 12pm Where: 300 Lakeside Drive, Oakland, CA (map) Description: NO JUSTICE NO BART invites you to join us at the BART Board meeting, as we give BART a piece of our minds. The Board Room is on the third floor. Arrive early to fill out speakers cards and make sure you get in. We will be articulating our demands and giving the BART board a heads up about the storm they are flying into. http:/nojusticenobart.blogspot.com

Friday, February 13 2:00pm Hearing on Gag Order For Mehserle’s Murder Trial (but no known protest planned) When: Fri, February 13, 2pm – 4pm Where: Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon St, Oakland, CA? (map) Description: Mehserle is scheduled to return to court for a hearing on a gag order that Judge Jacobson imposed last Friday.

Saturday, February 14 4:30pm Town Hall Meeting (Black Clergy Initiated) When: Sat, February 14, 4:30pm – 7:00pm Where: 807 27th Street, Oakland, CA (map) Description: Town Hall Meeting at Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church. Speakers from the clergy and community organizations. Focus on recalling DA Tom Orloff, taking the fight to Sacramento.

Monday, February 16 5:00pm Vigil For Anita Gay, shot 1 year ago by Berkeley PD. When: Mon, February 16, 5pm – 7pm Where: Ashby BART station, MLK at Ashby, Berkeley CA (map) Description: Called by the Anita Gay Family. Anita Gay was a grandmother shot on her front porch by a lone Berkeley PD officer. Remember Gary King Jr. Jose Luis Buenrostro, Casper Banjo, Jody Woodfox, Oscar Grant, Anita Gay, and countless others. Hold Police Accountable. For more info call: 510-655-7313.

Saturday, February 21 4:30pm Town Hall Meeting (Black Clergy Initiated) When: Sat, February 21, 4:30pm – 7:00pm Where: 807 27th Street, Oakland, CA (map) Description: Town Hall Meeting at Olivet Institutional Missionary Baptist Church. Speakers from the clergy and community organizations. Focus on recalling DA Tom Orloff, taking the fight to Sacramento.

Saturday, March 14 1:00pm Public Tribunal to Investigate the Killing of Oscar Grant (Uhuru Initiated) When: Sat, March 14, 1pm – 3pm Where: Uhuru House, 7911 Macarthur Blvd., Oakland CA (map) Description: Uhuru House Tribunal to put the state on trail for crimes against the Black community! Held at Uhuru House in East Oakland (7911 Macarthur Blvd) More info: oakland@inpdum.org, 510-569-9620

Monday, March 23 All day Peliminary Hearing Scheduled for Mehserle’s Murder Case (no known protest planned) When: Monday, Mar 23, 2009 Where: Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, 1225 Fallon St, Oakland, CA? (map) Description: Mehserle is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing this day, aimed at determining if there’s enough evidence to order him to stand trial. We don’t know the time and the date is probably still tentative.

Credit: No Justice, No BART


Outside the courthouse on Friday, February 6

Outside the courthouse on Friday, February 6, 2009, two young people talk about how they were caught up in police sweeps of downtown Oakland on January 7, 2009, while protesting the BART police murder of Oscar Grant III.


Charges Delayed for 28 Misdemeanors Related to Oscar Grant Rebellion

Over 130 people have been arrested in connection with protests surrounding the murder of Oscar Grant III. This morning, the first arraignments were to be held for over 30 people charged with misdemeanors and felonies at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland. Charges for 28 individuals charged with misdemeanors were delayed, meaning that District Attorney Tom Orloff has up to one year to file charges. One person with a misdemeanor and two people with felonies are still facing their charges in court. The next arraignments for those arrested in connection with the Oscar Grant Rebellion are February 9th, 13th, and 17th. The Oakland 100 Support Committee requests that supporters keep the pressure on until all charges are dropped.