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The thrill is gone: a report from the rallies protesting Mehserle’s release

June 13, 2011
The Morning Mix with JR and Sabrina – June 15, 2011 at 8:00am

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by Minister of Information JR

“I am Oscar Grant,” graffiti once ubiquitous in Oakland, is caught in this frame from the popular film by Minister of Information JR Valrey and Adimu Madyun, “Operation Small Axe” – the title taken from Bob Marley: “So if you are the big tree/ we are the small axe/ ready to cut you down.”
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of the trigger pulling BART officer Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. Two years ago and some change, people burned up cars and broke the windows of mostly corporate businesses like McDonald’s and Wells Fargo to show Oakland and the world that the issue of police terrorism in Oakland has reached a boiling point. Sunday’s rally did not do anything but let paraders blow off steam and go home feeling vindicated for doing “something.”

After 11 months of incarceration, Mehserle was released early June 13 from Los Angeles County Jail, where he was being held after having been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in a case where, if the perpetrator was not a cop and the victim was not Black, it would’ve been deemed murder. He was sentenced to state prison but was never handed over to the California Department of Corrections due to “safety concerns,” according to the Oakland Tribune.

Two and a half years after the New Year’s morning murder of Oscar Grant on the Fruitvale BART platform, new and old faces gathered outside of it, then paraded to 14th and Broadway in downtown Oakland with a swarm of police escorts in and out of uniform.

Much of the fire that characterized the first rally and rebellion on Jan. 7, ‘09, in response to this atrocity has been extinguished. Both of Sunday’s rallies felt more like televised holiday parades, except we didn’t have any floats, and the speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar.

Ironically, one of the organizers of yesterday’s rally who was also in attendance, lawyer Dan Siegel, was in the San Francisco Chronicle three years ago defending the management-initiated police beating of Black broadcaster and single mother Nadra Foster at KPFA radio station in Berkeley. Now this adviser to the mayor is concerned about police beating and killing Black people?

Due to the fact that most of the sincere organizers involved lack the political education and historical insight to know who is who in a historical and political context, the people continue to run on a treadmill to the elusive goal of community control of the police, self-determination and overall freedom. The Black Panther Party used to say, “No investigation, no right to speak.”

The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar.

Just looking around, the rally consisted of many who wanted to be seen, rather than people who were genuinely interested in fighting the police, the courts, BART and the City of Oakland, who all played integral parts in this saga.

Police in the vicinity outnumbered the protesters, who were surrounded on all sides at all times. Rappers like Mistah F.A.B. and Boots of the Coup were some of the speakers that people half-way listened to, among activists and family members like Lori Davis, the mother of Raheim Brown, who lost loved ones to police violence.

The people continue to run on a treadmill to the elusive goal of community control of the police, self-determination and overall freedom.

Boots had the most insightful message that I personally heard, when he said that if we want change, it exists in what we do in between these tragedies.

A number of people were on security and it made me wonder, what were they securing? As far as I know, there have never been any fights in this campaign among different groups that were fighting police terrorism. Were they securing the property of downtown Oakland against the protesters who were protesting wanton police murders?

That’s the job of the police. And furthermore, the damage done to property was a political act and statement, stating that if the downtown businesses, who have the most access to local politicians, don’t care about the wanton police murders in the Black community, then we don’t care about their right to do business in our city.

The rebellions in Oakland around this incident were aimed at businesses. We know that the Supreme Court said that corporations have the rights of citizens, but in all sanity, people breaking windows and starting fires cannot be equated to the police killing Oscar Grant, Casper Bango, Anita Gaye, Terrance Mearis or Gary King. Windows and property can be replaced, but these people’s lives cannot be.

What has been clear for years is that these security personnel who are paid by the city and meet with the police before rallies do not prevent the police from arresting us.

The questions that came to my mind, as the day was ending, were: Has the Oscar Grant movement been bought off? Where is the hood? Where are the anarchists? And where is the fire, literally and figuratively?

One cameraman asked me, why do people come out and protest when the police kill us but not when other Black or Brown people kill us? I answered that, first off, all life is valuable. To address the argument, the police are paid out of tax money from the city, so in reality we are paying them to oppress us. The power relations make it different.

What has been clear for years is that these security personnel who are paid by the city and meet with the police before rallies do not prevent the police from arresting us.

So to wrap up my final analysis of the Oscar Grant movement, some people got famous, others got jobs and contracts, others dressed up in their activist gear and took photos for their Facebook pages, and others parroted state propaganda about the march being “non-violent.” And in the end the youth in the community, especially young Black males, are the ones who will have to deal with the fact that the residents of Oakland fought a valiant battle against police terrorism, with nothing in the end to show for it but a pig who did half of the time that football player Mike Vick did for fighting dogs.

Hopefully the spirit of true resistance in Los Angeles is stronger in the fight against police terrorism than what was just displayed in Oakland. Like legendary writer James Baldwin said decades before me, I’m waiting for the fire next time.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR, Bay View associate editor, at blockreportradio@gmail.com and visit http://www.blockreportradio.com.

76 thoughts on “The thrill is gone: a report from the rallies protesting Mehserle’s release

  1. Thandisizwe

    "We know that the Supreme Court said that corporations have the rights of citizens, but in all sanity, people breaking windows and starting fires cannot be equated to the police killing Oscar Grant, Casper Bango, Anita Gaye, Terrance Mearis or Gary King. Windows and property can be replaced, but these people’s lives cannot be."

    We know that corporations have the rights of citizens, but people of Afrikan descent don't have human rights, much less the rights of citizens. That was an awful lot of work that folks in Oakland did, AN AWFUL LOT, but the reality, we wouldn't have had a trial, conviction, or 12 months of jail time if that work hadn't been done.

    WE CAN NOT RELY ON THE COURTS ALONE!!!

    Reply
  2. Ian Welsen

    Part 1 of Dan Siegel
    TO:Mary Ratcliff
    SF Bay View
    (415) 671-0789 http://www.sfbayview.com

    Daniel Siegel
    Oakland, California 94605

    RE: New comment on Oakland gang injunction is deceptive and wrong

    Dan Siegel, what a pitiable, disturbed soul! He can't refute the content nor context of the insightful, legally "spot on" article by Ms. Wilson, so in his White-Male-Upper Class-Privileged-Caveman style, he attacked Ms. Wilson like he wanted to attack Richard Phelps and Daniel Borgström at a KPFA board meeting! (See video of Siegel provoking a fight saying he wants to "Step Outside", "Go Around The Block" at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RjBqU7F_m9s) In this new "google world", your words and actions will always come back to testify against you.

    There are far too many people whom have expressed this fact, not sentiment, that his comments as Executive Director and Legal Counsel for KPFA regarding Nadra Foster's beat down and arrest were and are still insensitive and blatantly grounded in deep seed racism! How can someone of his self-perceived liberal, permissive, legal understanding not comprehend the danger in anyone calling the police on any Black person at any time for any reason? Put the weed down Dude, you tripping! It is this drug induced haze that has him believing that "I'm right, it's O.K., no one knows, I got away with it!" Get a hold of reality Man! WE JUST SAY NO! Here's video of Nadra Foster's interview at a court hearing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REbDCcLkaxg
    and here's video of her arrest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44gp0BXCNpw

    Oddly enough, Siegel's comment represented the defense of the actions of KPFA management, yet he wants everyone to believe that he supported Nadra Foster and even offered assistance in securing legal defense! Isn't this another example of an erupting and very troubling theme of clear cut conflict on Siegel's behalf? Is he representing KPFA or offering to help a wronged soul in need of real help? Can't tell when your trippin! WE JUST SAY NO! Further videos on this issue http://www.youtube.com/watch?v<wbr>=vii7ZiUhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cO6nKHdrCxg&NRhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2r6VXUUyEQ

    This is just more proof of Siegel playing his self-perceived Class Privilege card as a boastful "Neo-Lib", a racist liberal, hiding behind the myth of service, using smoke (weed) and mirrors! Put the weed down Dude, you aren't fooling anyone, we all aren't high and in the same trip with you! You see, there is no justice nor success in simply claiming that you did something, what ever it might be, unless you are admitting guilt and sincerely asking for forgiveness. Even then only GOD, whatever GOD or Supreme Being you believe in- if any besides yourself, knows if it's sincere and accepts it! WE JUST SAY NO!

    Siegel's eroding, foul, weed filled aire of superiority, and false sense of security is gone and we all see that "the emperor has no clothes!" He has members of his own race, religion, sex, and co-workers that now publicly state he works for the capitalist, is Burgois, a Facist, and a fraud! In fact, he was sued for fraud and defamation. That should go well with his son's admitted dereliction of his legal duties in the gang injunction case Siegel is sooo proud of! Here's another example: Dan Siegel and his fascist friends are either insane or bought and paid for by the capitalist class to destroy KPFA. WE JUST SAY NO! Here is more on Dan Siegel: http://danielborgstrom.blogspot.com/2010/08/siege

    Siegel's son's admitted dereliction of his legal duties in the gang injunction case that he is sooo proud of is a complete mystery to all knowledgable of the case! How is it that the runt goes into the courtroom representing all the defendants in the case and leaves representing only one? What defect on his part left all these defendants unrepresented and who's fault was it? More importantly, why wasn't it corrected? You see, with the gang injunction being a civil matter, not a criminal matter, there only needs to be one defendant that looses, whether by judgment or default, and everybody looses! We ain't loaded, WE JUST SAY NO! Or is the truth that YOU did win WITH THEIR LOSS?

    Reply
  3. Ian Welsen

    Part 3 of Dan Siegel
    This infiltration and incrimination is a common tool of the government and special interest, whom in some cases have a common interest, to cause disturbance. This is a weapon to justify legal and police action to deprive a certain group of people of their rights and for real estate developers to co-opt, seize and gentrify these selected communities! These acts create the notion that there's a need for "protection" against these hooligans whom destroy our property, rob and steal from us and threaten our lives! So now the City must hire and train more police, not cut back, and expand it's intelligence and co-operation with other law enforcement officials to enforce the idea of the needed defense spin! It is well established that these acts were largely perpetrated by people from outside of Oakland. But what confused so many people is where did all these rioters/protesters come from so suddenly? It was always pointed out that they emerged from near certain BART stations, but were undetected prior to their emergence. Rest assured the real estate developers and police, donors and lobbyist, are working overtime with judges, politicians and their bagmen to achieve their goal. Corruption has never been worst than now in Oakland and Alameda County! Or is the truth that YOU did win WITH THEIR LOSS?

    Siegel didn't the Grant Family to represent, he may be assisting some others, but they are warned, aware and WE JUST SAY NO!

    Is Siegel the smoke (weed) and mirrors master of disguises with his represent/work both sides and control the outcome? This reminds me of the inevitable outcome of the arms dealers from the World Wars and conflicts that sold/sell guns to both sides at war! Whom did they sell the superior weapons and technology to and to whom's demise? They benefited no matter what the outcome! Or is the truth that YOU did win WITH THEIR LOSS? Siegel's conflict is internal but shows externally to all!

    Siegel, an admitted user of Marijuana, is an ardent supporter of Prop 19 to legalize Marijuana and contributed money to it's cause. It's no wonder since he was busted for possession of Marijuana in his baggage at the airport, which is a Federal crime. What was the disposition of this case? Now with the Gang Injunction, a youth that has never been convicted of a crime, or one that might have only been suspected of something, or had a small about of weed stands the chance of being sued, a judgment ordered against them and later convicted of a crime for what Siegel got away with! WE JUST SAY NO! Or is the truth that YOU did win WITH THEIR LOSS?

    Perhaps all this reactionary self-implosion by Siegel is not more graphically illustrated then by the complaint by KPFA management to Ms. Wilson regarding this same article. Why would "Free Speech Radio" complain about the title of the author of this same print article circulated by this publication? This article was not the subject of a broadcast, it was a print media press release! With Siegel as Executive Director and Legal Counsel for KPFA, why would the authors title be a concern for KPFA? She has operated as a legal analyst for years and in that capacity has not only served admirably, but as with this article, has been receiving rave reviews and is published on thousands of websites and print media! She is the ONLY Black female jazz show host in the NATION, female jazz programmer, and producer on 3 shows at two stations! Who initiated this action by KPFA management and why? As every move by Ms. Wilson is being scrutinized and criticized, I smell Siegel's weed again! WE JUST SAY NO!

    It is painfully clear that Siegel is just another passive-aggressive racist "Neo Lib" of White-Male-Upper Class-Privilege; his comments as Executive Director and Legal Counsel for KPFA regarding Nadra Foster's beat down and arrest were and are still insensitive and blatantly grounded in deep seed racism; has members of his own race, religion, sex, and co-workers that now publicly state he works for the capitalist, is burgois, a facist, and a fraud;, he's sued for fraud and defamation; represents/works both sides of a conflict; works for special interest to the detriment of others; did not defend anyone charged in the Black North Oakland Gang Injunction; did not successfully defend anyone charged in the Latino Gang Injunction; offered sanctuary and an observation post to a "selected group of activist"; was busted for possession of Marijuana in his baggage at the airport; supports the legalization of Marijuana- i.e. the growers and sellers; and use Marijuana. WE JUST SAY NO!

    When the TRUTH is the that SIEGEL did win WITH THEIR LOSS, you MUST ask, WHO IS SIEGEL WORKING FOR!?

    So now, roll another one, hit it, smoke this situation over, then drift off into that space where everything in your trip is fine with the world! WE JUST SAY NO!


    " In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” — George Orwell. For The Truth In The News!

    Reply
    1. Renaldo Ricketts

      What can I say shaking my head Jim the jive injustice system has RAISED it's ugly head once again to claim another innocent Black man. Nothing really changes in the land of Jim Crow Jive. It's been over 50 years since Brown vs the Board of Education and we have the decadent network of separate and unequal justice staring at us in the heat of a hot June day. We've not won this fight, here you have an execution in the name of law -a preponderance of evidence was submitted to no avail, several videotapes, video tapes showing a gangland style murder. Yet 12 white jurors saw nothing wrong, myopia must be a powerful contagious disease.Whites tend to catch it when deliberating cases involving Black
      people killed or beaten.(Rodney King ) I hate to say it but it's just "US" again in the desert with buzzards picking our bones once again and flying to freedom.

      Reply
  4. Rock

    Officer Mehserle should never has been prosecuted. Oscar Grant shouldn't have died but Mr. Grant was just as much responsible for it by his actions then that of Officer Mehserle. It was not an intentional shooting nor was it a act of reckless negligence. If you understood anything about the dynamics of human response under stress you would understand why this happened. But then it's alot easier to scream and yell about brutality than it is to educate yourself on science and the facts. So much was brought out in the trial that never made the press. Why? Because it didn't fit in with the agenda of labeling the police in this incident as racist and the shooting as intentional. It was a sad incident, and the tragedy of it is perpetuated by these self serving rants of groups with their own agenda. After all if you can't complain that the police are being brutal then what do you have left – maybe having to take responsibility for your own behaviors?

    Reply
  5. Question

    Still am scratching my head at what "revolution" it was that enabled countless individuals to steal tennis shoes and hairweaves from downtown oakland?? A revolution is taking over a courthouse, a jail, a bart station maybe. What resulted that fateful night was not a revolution it was a farce. Media all over the country made oakland look like a bunch of backwards thugs not revolutionaries. And there were all types of small businesses vandalized not only corporate businesses, This was so bad that as I drove through the streets of Oakland afterwards my TEN YEAR OLD DAUGHTER started crying and asking "why mommie, why did they have to tear my city up?" Let's not disguise misguided intentions for revolution. And at the end of it all Meslerle still walks and black men are still being shot at alarming rates. MISSION NOT ACCOMPLISHED…This is why the fire has died…those that really want change avoided the possibility of the insanity that is a goverment fed attempt to devalue Oakland and for the "revolutionaries from last time (NOT)" There was no clear financial gain (i.e. the sneaker shop has new reinforced barriers to stop foks from breaking windows)

    Reply
  6. Scott Love

    Can someone tell me, when and where in this USA, did a black cop gun down a white person and say it was within the guide lines of police work? All I hear about is white cops shooting blk men to death and getting away with it..

    Reply
    1. seamus

      Hello, I don't think anyone is suggesting Grant was shot "within the guide lines of police work." That's why the shooter (BART cop) went to prison. It was deemed an accident, an accident by officer who is too thick in the head for police work when 'stuff' goes down. However, that was a short prison term though, huh? Seems like the trial just ended.

      Reply
  7. blax

    Robocop33 is the profile name of a policelink.com member that makes the following comments in reference to an article on the website entitled
    White Ex-transit Officer’s Sentence Sparks Protest
    A story about the judge sentencing the officer Johannes Mehserle in the Oscar Grant killing.

    “These bastards, (sorry PL but that is what they are), would not be satisfied unless he was given the death penalty! This Officer should never have been charged, much less tried and convicted. It was a tragic accident that never would have happened if the POST that was shot had simply submitted to arrest, or better yet, had not been involved in the illegal activity in the first place. This has already destroyed the life of a fine young man who put his a$$ on the line to help the very people that convicted him. FOR SHAME! I say declare Marshal Law and stop this immediately!”
    http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/14742

    Reply
  8. blax

    This is just one example of the hateful comments posted by members of policelink. It is tolerated.
    The comments range from saying it was Grant’s fault he got killed to
    the officer should have never been found guilty because Grant was a criminal. Some even blame his family for raising a criminal
    Tell policelink what you think at
    info@policelink.com

    Reply
  9. blax

    Jason Fullam
    US Law Enforcement Park Ranger
    Dept. Of The Interior
    National Park Service
    posts these comments, under the profile name treeHugger719, about President Obama in the policelink.com website

    “I dont think it should come as any surprise to anyone that the POTUS will turn his back on Israel. Remember ALL muslims must answer the Jihad.
    Just saying……..”
    http://policelink.monster.com/topics/81961-obama-

    Reply
  10. Big C

    I was there doing security. I secured me and my sis. I say fuck the pigs and everybody that think like them. I also remember to never let my a@@ override my common sence. When I fight or war or play the game. I play to win. To go up against a army with a ill equipped platoon doesnt sit well with me……… The rally was my first taste of these contemporary revolutionarys lol. Its a shame that more people werent out there in protest. I think the reason for that, the police shootings and a lot of oppression in the black community is because a Africans life is of little value to this undercover racist, society.

    Reply
  11. Big C

    We need to take care of us now.. Where is the protest for the thousands of brothers and sisters killed by brothers and sisters? How do we get our childrens attention and point them in the right direction and be a support system for them? How can we work togather? How can we break the grasp of pscological slavery? How are we building a strong army of rightous people? What are you doing to Equip yourself with the neccesary tools to see true victory? A house divided will fall. So save the drama. If you with the business Lovelle Mixon em. Thats suicide. Wars last longer then one day and passive aggresive violence is not what I call a revolution…

    Reply
  12. Berkeley Native

    JR: Oscar Grant's family did not participate in this "tepid gathering" put on by Dan Siegel and Jack. As many may recall, Jack's sons were on the platform when OG was murdered but he is not part of OG's family. Bobby has not spoken to Jack in months since Jack broke off all ties with him. Jack has since joined forces with Dan Siegel looking for fifteen minutes of fame; they are wrongfully calling themselves Oscar Grant's family which is untrue. Remember, Jack is not a victim here nor does he own Oscar Grant's legacy. He is not Oscar Grant's family. Oscar Grant's family, Rev. Wanda Johnson, his mother and his uncle, Cephus "Bobby" Johnson did not participate in this recent gathering nor do they sanction it. This is why you found it lacking in spirit. OG's family will not be participating in their next one. These "gatherings" are nothing more than damage control for Mayor Quan and Dan Siegel who are simply using Jack for their own selfish and deceitful purposes. Bobby says he has not spoken to Jack in over three months. There will be a panel discussion called "Who Owns Oscar Grant" at UC Berkeley and elsewhere soon featuring Cephus [" Uncle Bobby"] who will explain that Oakland Mayor Jean Quan, her sideman Dan Siegel and Jack have taken matters in their own hands regarding Oscar Grant's legacy.

    Reply
  13. Cat

    @ Berkeley Native – I have stayed out of futile and toxic bantere for the most part but I am one of the organizers of the "tepid gathering" and have been for two years. I dont mind criticism, the movement needs that to grow and evolve but I do demand that it be factual. Wanda was INDEED AT THE EVENT. I have the news coverage to prove it. She spoke at Fruitvale BART and ONLY left when she saw the pig pinata being beat because she didnt like that energy. As for Bobby, he was at almost ALL of the planning meetings for the event and ONLY did not go because he was in LOS ANGELES. Please get your facts correct. No investigation. No right to speak

    Reply
  14. Berkeley Native

    You contradict yourself. The answer to speech you do not agree with is more speech but your lies, smear and innuendo are so tired. Maybe you have a financial interest in this tragedy.

    Reply
  15. cephus johnson

    Part 1
    The Grant family is grateful to Jack Bryson, The Nation of Islam, the coalitions, and all others who have stood with our family in this quest for Justice. Have we forgot, “We are All Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Derrick Jones and the rest. This movement is not based on one family. It’s based on Justice for Oscar and those mentions above and all those who are not mentioned. We know that over 10,000 plus Black and Brown men have been killed with no Justice.
    The family is seeking justice for Oscar. It is sad that we have allowed emotions to interfere with the goal of this movement. We need to stop tearing down each other. If we, the grant Family, or I personally, have offended or hurt anyone, we/I apologize for that act. The steps of Atonement Process when followed, brings Healing and Forgiveness;
    1.Point out the wrong
    2.Acknowledge the wrong
    3.Confess the fault
    4.Repent
    5.Atone
    6.Forgive
    7.Reconcile and Restore
    8.Perfect union with God

    Reply
  16. cephus johnson

    Part 2
    Truth is the Light of Justice. We all came together in the beginning for true justice, let us all end this together for true justice. The families have never allowed our emotions to exclude us or anyone from any coalition.
    Why were there so many different coalitions? Are we naïve in our thoughts to think all coalitions could work together? Or, that all people could get alone with each other? Let’s be clear in regard to the recent gathering, we as a family wanted a protest rally. We have no power to sanction any protest or rally. We merely want justice for Oscar Grant and were graceful that the community felt the same. Any action for the sake of justice for Oscar Grant was accepted. We never encourage any specific choice of action. That was based on the leaders of the coalition that called for the protest and rallies. We believed the leaders of those coalitions knew the best tactics to bring justice. All we asked as a family was to not shame Oscar name. I went to most coalition meeting. We never advocated building destruction, but we are clear that a window could be replaced, but not a life. I never acted or was a leader in any coalition.

    Reply
  17. cephus johnson

    Part 3
    Wanda left recent gathering for personal reasons and of course I was in LA. From LA, it appeared to me to have been a strong rally. But of course, now I am hearing different perceptions. Again, these are perceptions or one’s emotions. For us as a family, we say thank you. We say continue the fight for Justice for Oscar and all others. We cannot be a part of any coalition that uses exclusionary tactic that I am in different too. Some exclusion may have to happen. That’s ok. I just don’t have go to those meeting. Those meeting should not stop because I am not a part of that coalition. No one or coalition can do too much in this movement. If anyone writes a book and it about us, talk to us. If anyone makes a movie and it about us, talk to us. We ask as a family that you be honest in your doing and forthright with us as a family. Unity is our strength. The call to action now is for all, particularly Men, to stand with the family at the DOJ in Oakland 1301 Clay Street at 1pm July 8th. This is the verdict day, 2010, victory on the gun charge. Let’s atone and show our unity/solidarity. We are grateful to all who will stand with us.

    Reply
  18. PC

    THIS IS WHAT THE WORLD DONT KNOW IT WILL FOREVER BE ONE LOVE OF BROTHERS THAT NO ONE CAN EVEN GET CLOSE TO P.C. FOR LIFE AND IN DEATH the hand wriiten WORDS OF OSCAR GRANT . MY BROTHERS , J.C. K.R MG LOVE THEM AS YOU PORTAY TO LOVE ME OG
    WHEN YOU SEE THEM YOU SEE ME .

    Reply
  19. clearlytruth

    I would like to address the article first and then I will touch on some of the comments that where left. One I have met and worked with the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant. I was not told nor did I ask about peoples past in the movement. I did research people I directly worked with for the simple fact I like to know who I am working with. I was not able to find anyone that had a recent appearance in the movement. In fact I met many people that where long time activists and even some original black panthers who if they where "under cover" had been that way a long time. I also know for a fact there was NO PAID SECURITY NONE. The things we where securing where are loved ones safety. I in fact know that the NONE PAID security at one of the first rallies, June 12 th of last year, stood between the police and and activists asking that the people be able to leave peacefully and not be accosted by the police which the police where not and are not happy about. Simple questions to the security, weather it be the leaders of security or people who volunteered the day of the rally would have told anyone journalist, reporter or concerned could have found out. We where not paid nor did we work with the police they where never at a meeting nor where the in the rally I saw them at a distance.

    Reply
  20. clearlytruth

    I myself was glad nothing was destroyed. I myself had seen and heard the people in the Grant family ask there not be violence nor property destruction. I realize the writer f the article has a lot of history with these people.I think this JR person having the history he has with the peolple in questions taints his views on the subject of the rally. I wished someone with the knowledge and history would have showed up to a meeting or a rally in more then a passing journalistic intrest that seems derisive. Seeing the history also especially noticing that he himself worked (JR) with KPFA and if I am not mistaken still does now. Even after seeing him say KPFA had and was responsible for the incident with Nadra and the position he held had no power and was a joke. I don't know how many years ago (actually if I understand it the Nadra incident that was mentioned is 17 years old). The Gang Injunction incidents and lack of legal counsel are new to me. This issue I will be asking and inquiring about all that because I am not nor will I ever be part of the government nor will I work with a person who is knowingly or unknowingly working to stop rightful and deserved public action. I thank Ian for very interesting viewing and reading on the subject.

    Reply
  21. clearlytruth

    Political rhetoric and truth are two very different things. Seeing someone you dislike at a rally and finding out that person helped in that rally does not invalidate said public action. Knowing Jack Bryson and Meeting and talking with Cephus(bobby). I know that they did not talk for what ever reason for a few weeks but they have been talking and willingly interacting with one another. I see direct negligence in journalism and even negligence in comments made. One, what I said before there where no paid security, Two this Oscar Gear that was spoken of was made by and for people in the movement and Oscars Family WHO WAS THERE. Three and VERY important, Oscar Grants family was there I think Oscars daughter counts as fam do you not?? Oscar Grant Gear can not be bought and eluding to the fact was insulting. Oscar Grant Family was there. Saying they where not was either Negligent reporting or a bald lie. The one that was not was Bobby. I ask JR to be a active part in meetings, I would like to know the history this brother knows. All I know of the brother is radio shows and rhetoric. I like to know where some people stand the one who gives inaccurate information either inaccurate or purposely untrue for the sole purpose of notoriety.I truly think anyone that purposely divides a movement not work with call people to the carpet at meetings is actually working against something he says he is for sounds more like cointelpro then anyone he spoke of. The movement the enlightenment, education and elevation of people of color. The needed change in government to be once and for the first time for the people by the people and not just the white people is what I am fore not the aggrandizing of my own ego.

    Reply
  22. clearlytruth

    I will say this lastly I truly believe people are in and where in the movement at least the ones I know which where the ones showing up to meetings and talking about what needed to be done may not have been doing it for completely altruistic reasons they did do it for the good and not the bad of humanity. I will not accuse anyone of anything nor imply I know someone to work with the police when they did not. I only know the people and the histories I have been privy to. I wish to understand the animosity towards the Seigels and I also wish to understand the the lack of investigative journalism. I have been clicking on the links about the KPFA thing and I think for what ever personal reasons people dislike the Seigels may very well be legitimate. That still does not invalidate the march the rally nor the movement. Making a opinion peace and calling it journalism is not new. and Spining things towards a place the journalist wants is not new either. I just think personal grudges should be voiced as such and not as breaking news. I have heard from many people in many different areas of the movement that we as a people need to come together and bring to the table all the things that are needed to heal. I think the movement that is by no means done. I do not think JR is a bad journalist I know he has been in the "Movement" for a very long time. All I know of him is what I read and the opinions stated by others that know him. Do you think the Seigels invalidated this rallies or do you think the obvious bias of the piece and the clear dereliction of actual journalism would show that it was a onion peace that was full of past grudges and innuendo. I would like to know do people thnk that besides JR?? That the Seigels invalidated the Oscar Grant rally. One person does not Validate nor invalidate a movement. In my lowly opinion. I want to know how a movie was made about the movement by a person I never saw at a rally in more then a observational role?? I want to know why there was so much inaccurate information said in the article. This Ian Williams character while not being the writer of the article had more truthful information then the so called journalist that wrote it. I also want to know who this idiot Berkeley Native is accusing people of a "Financial Interest" when they where factually telling them the truth in response to Berkeley Native Either being incorrect by accident or purposely lying for what IDK. This Cat Person was correct Bobby was at most planing meetings. In fact Cat did not say anything inaccurate. I am not sure why people if they have differentiating opinions can not come to the table. Black people I know are not scared of confrontation. Why not if people are worried about getting nothing done because of argument agree upon a liaison. I want all people that believe in the same thing, i.e. the education, emancipation, enlightenment and uplifting of all people of color to get on the same page for the humanity of it and get over old grudges and politricking.

    Reply
  23. MarxistGriot

    My name is Charles DuBois, marxistgriot@yahoo.com
    I plan on following up this brief observation with a political evaluation of the genesis of the "Oscar Grant Movement", Jan 7, 2009 to today, in the very near future.

    For now, I wish to state some correctives and my own observations regarding the June 12 rally.
    Let me introduce this with a question for JR: Did you hear any of the six speakers that addressed the need to "Shut Down The City" in response to police killings. I was one of those advocates. I would like to know what you THINK about this STRATEGY.
    I highlight THINK and STRATEGY because that is what is lacking with breaking windows as an action.
    You won't find this communist defending or respecting the capitalists private property. Breaking the windows of our enemy is going nowhere towards breaking their racist death grip on us. I love the spirit of rebellion, but this rebellious spirit must be thoughtfully directed. And I think the black and brown working class communities, and the entire working class need to figure out ways and tactics that involve this combined power. –Labor strikes against police killings. Community boycotts to support. Community and labor utilize and organize mass pickets. Test and assess our new, united power.
    Does anybody think this is counter productive? Not worthy of discussion or consideration?
    And with this question, I will lay a little critique of what I have witnessed of your journalistic pracitices:
    You should have talked to us "Labor Black and Brown – Shut it Down" advocates years (2-1/2 years) ago.
    I left my written advocacies and poems relating to Oscar Grant with the KPFA front desk mail boxes. For Amy Goodman, Sasha Lily, all the on air "Progressives" Maybe they got tossed in the trash? And I've personally given you my material outside the court house, when the system was trying to railroad you.

    Reply
  24. MarxistGriot

    Don't feel like you are alone though, I have encountered many "political" people, that for one small-minded reason or another haven't found STRIKE against police murder worth asking questions about.
    Myself, and my son, went to many of the meetings down at Olivet Church, at the meetings that were organized by Brother Minister Keith Muhammad, at the beginings of the "Oscar Grant Movement" January, 2009. They organized the "Caravans for Justice" to go to Sacramento and make demands on the elected officials. There were also several other committees formed in the East Bay,
    What we said at the time was that the "Caravans" were a diversion. We should be finding the ways to connecting the Black and Brown communities and the Oscar Grant issue with the workers power. instead of focusing on the limited goals of recalling Tom Orloff and the "Caravans" that would end up just talking to the politicians, who are part of the problem.
    The main thought I'm going to leave this with is: Would we have been better off, if for the last two years, we were busy seeking out the union workers in our communities, and getting their unions into this fight?
    Or going to the unions directly? There could be many ways to go about this. We find these many ways via the discussions that go on with the workers and community. I assert this because I have seen this process in play throughout my life as a communist union organizer.
    Right now, there are unions under attack — for striking! I'm talking about the ILWU. Dorian Maxwell, a Black MUNI Driver and strike advcate is being set-up and fired. The TWU 250 (MUNI) union is under the gun for resisting give-backs. Sean Gillis,is in trouble for exposing racist practices and collusion with the OPD and OFD regarding the 911 calls and medical mistreatment of Oscar on the Fruitvale plaform. People camera recording police brutality are being harrassed and arrested.
    These are all issue connected by Oscar Grant, ILWU shutdowns, OG & the labor movement, strikes and continued racist police practices. And the bourgeoisies reaction against us.
    We should connect these in a way that connects and explains the strike tactic:
    -ILWU Oct 23 port shut-down for Oscar Grant
    -ILWU April 4 strike for Wisconsin
    TWU -( MUNI ) ?Strike July 1st?
    Sean Gillis uncover – up
    Camera/witness arrests
    Mehserle gets out.

    One parting warning: These so-called "Broad-Based Coalitions" (BBCs) are the preffered tool that the bourgeiosie prefers us to use so that we lose. With out them having to do too much.

    As a general frame,The kind of political work involved is not complicated. Mostly sending mixed teams of unionists, and youth to speak to the unions, churches, and community organization about the above state of afffairs/issue. The need and opportunity we are presenting to organize a Labor, Black and Brown counter attack.

    "We are defending the ones defending us!"
    "They say strike, we agree and defend them"
    Join and build our effort. Commit volunteers to join this effort. After we have adressed an adequate portion of the key Bay Area Unions and community groups we need to asses our forces, and what sort of
    blow/blows are we capable of delivering. For now, and for building for future actions, mass pickets, strikes, ?general strikes?
    Waiting for an answer or input. Don't keep shining me on, brother

    Reply
  25. clearlytruth

    I think Socialism is great but when you go door to door in a neighborhood that 90 percent of the people do not and have never been in a union and out of those ninety percent fifteen to twenty are unemployed. this talk of getting the unions together seems complete rhetoric. Shutting down businesses that show they have oppressed, repressed or some how have had a hand in the taking away of civil rights I am completely or the random shut down of private and public businesses for the sake of shutting down a entire capitolist system seems a bit ludicrous. That I think sir is why your being ignored by radio stations and possibly others. I understand socialist ideas and have studied Mao, Stalin, Marx, and Che. I think Che is my fav but I digress. These socialist structures and attitudes are good and I am sure work well but for a community to understand what your talking about that is not familiar to Marxism, Socio-Economic ideas and the like need to know what help it will give them. I mean will eat put food on there table will it pay there rent will this educate my kid. Your not coming from a place that people can understand easily. Sure someone educated and familiar with socialist-unionist redirect understands and would even possibly agree. trying to introduce such a idea to disenfranchised people of color will be trying to be like peeing up hill and against the wind. I commend you on your enthusiasm I am enthusiastic for the Golden State Warriors they don't win to much either. All and all Show people how this will help there community not stop people from paying there bills.

    Reply
  26. Unbelieveable

    policelink.com posts a story todayabout BART police officers shooting a man that allegedly threatened them. Here is a comment left by one of the policelink.com members, Robocop33, in reference to the story, Robocop33 said:

    "Isn't it stupid and sad to be glad it was a white man that they shot? Had it been a Black guy then all hell would have broken loose withing the hour with protests and demands to charge the Officers involved with murder. God Bless the Officers who work there as I would not work in that cesspool called Oakland for any amount of money." http://policelink.monster.com/news/articles/15606….

    tell policelink.com what you think about these comments info@policelink.com

    Reply
  27. nopoliceethics

    BSL1123 is the profile name of a police officer member of the policelink.com website. In one discussion about coffee he brags that he gets free coffee from a Starbucks where he arrested a person for trespassing. BSL1123's comments.

    "Who has the best coffee in town? I have a few different choices, depending on the day, and the shift. I susually take my own if I'm doing the Graves, but if I'm on days or swings, I hit up the Starbucks. I get the Hookup, so it's free ( I removed a stalker for the Barist girl and trespassed him). So, who does it for you?
    As for the price of starbucks, it is a little high, but like I said, I get it free, and my favorite of anything is the free version. I was getting my "once a month" dose, when the girl making the coffee told me about the Stalker guy. Turns out he was certifiable. He went bye bye, and I get free coffee (of my choice) whenever she is working."
    http://policelink.monster.com/topics/79855-wh...

    Reply
  28. Sarge

    Shane Whitehead, a Boone County, Illinois, Sheriff’s deputy corrections sergeant posted these comments, about blacks and females, in the policelink.com website, under the profile name of coshane220

    “In my area, being a black man or a woman (black or white) is an added benefit. It’s very hard to get hired on at the bigger departments around here if you are a white male! I’m not bitter, (I don’t have to be) thats just the reality. Heck, the department heads will evencome out and say it if they are in the right mood!”
    http://policelink.monster.com/topics/84281-is-it-

    Reply
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