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Shutting down Muni for Kenneth Harding and all victims of police terror

July 17, 2012

by Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia

The police line was hard, boot to boot, helmet to helmet, unmoving, bringing the threat of death with each gaze. The opposing line was a circle and it was moving, with resistance. And strength and people power. We were mamaz, uncles, daddys, sisters and brothers in solidarity, and we won’t stop fighting, we won’t stop walking, we won’t stop speaking until this ongoing police murder of our babies is over.

One year from the day SFPD murdered Kenneth Harding Jr., 19, over a $2 Muni fare, his mother, Denika Chatman, led a group of freedom fighters to shut down Muni. They – and the police – were out in force at 6 a.m. Monday at 14th and Church, where they shut down Muni for two hours. – Photo: Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia
These two lines were in front of the Muni bus tunnel at 14th and Church Street at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 16, in San Francisco, which I have affectionately re-named (Stop and) Frisco due to the stop-and-frisk legislation proposed by Mayor Ed Lee. The line of resistance successfully stopped the Muni buses from coming or going out of the tunnel for almost two hours.

“We pay you, and you kill us,” Tracey Bell-Borden, one of many justice fighters fighting against the ongoing police terror in our neighborhoods, chanted as she walked back and forth in front of the police line.

Denika Chatman, Kenny’s mother, has emerged as a major voice for justice and unity in the year since police murdered her son. – Photo: Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia
“We are here to commemorate the anniversary of one year of my son Kenneth Harding Jr.’s murder by SFPD,” fierce mama and revolutionary freedom fighter Denika Chatman told the crowd of almost 100 people who gathered to honor Kenneth Harding and all young Black and Brown warriors who constantly face state-sponsored police terror for the sole act of being a young person of color in Amerikkka.

Denika went on to relate the ways in which the Muni transit police practice blatant racial and poverty profiling in poor communities of color like Bayview Hunters Point and the Mission with a massive and unequal police presence on the buses of these neighborhoods.

“Our children are being stalked and murdered in cold blood by this ongoing police harassment, and it cannot continue,” Cephus Johnson aka Uncle Bobby, Oscar Grant’s uncle and a powerful leader against police terror in the community said as he walked the line, not stopping, speaking the truth.

“All of us are under attack, and this is murder,” declared Toussaint Dubois from Labor Black and Brown, walking the line with his real talk.

As we spoke, the police gangsters stood, eyes glazed as they are trained to do, as though we were animals they were taught to kill on sight, clutching and unclutching their helmets, the threat of attack present and constant.

As I, a poor mama, saw them, I shuddered. I tried to hold my head up, to not think of the many times my melanin-challenged self faced their hate, because I am the daughter of a poor wombyn of color, because I am the child of a houseless and hated family, because we didn’t have the money to pay for a roof over our heads for most of our life in Amerikkka.

“Look at the money the City paid to try and stop us,” exclaimed Denika, describing the large contingent SFPD sent to “serve and protect” the protesters’ rights to free speech and assembly. – Photo: Tiny aka Lisa Gray-Garcia
I shuddered as I walked, and yet I walked for Ramarley Graham, Oscar Grant, Amadou Diallo, Annette Garcia, Idriss Stelley, Alan Blueford, Derrick Gaines, Rahiem Brown and every single victim of this ongoing occupation called the police.

At approximately 7:30 a.m., the police occupiers shifted their stance, giving the final threat of attack. We, the people, the fighters for justice, not just-us, moving with humility, peace and liberation, began to march, still chanting, still walking, because we mamaz, daddys, uncles, sisters, cousins and community members won’t stop until THEY stop the killing, the stalking, the harassing and the profiling of our babies, our communities and our spirits.

Tiny – or Lisa Gray-Garcia – is co-founder with her Mama Dee and co-editor with Tony Robles of POOR Magazine, where this story first appeared, and its many projects and author of “Criminal of Poverty: Growing Up Homeless in America,” published by City Lights. She can be reached at Visit and


8 thoughts on “Shutting down Muni for Kenneth Harding and all victims of police terror

  1. Renaldo Ricketts

    Once again the people of SF stood up to the murderes of a young man who didn't have 2 dollars. It's been a year and they've not manufactured enough fractured lies to support the Kenneth Harding murder.
    The excuses they have given have all proven to be fictional account of what happened. The lies have led to more protracted lies as they scramble to to find a vialble lie to absolve them. It has been a year and the people are still at their doorsteps demanding an official explanation of this murder,justice is what we seek. This was an execution hands down, why do you think they've stalled for a year. Lets hope the hands of justice will prevail and the executioners of this young man go to jail and join theband of the criminal police society from whence they came!

  2. John Mulligan

    Kenneth Harding was a convicted child rapist. He did time for pimping a 13 year old. Kenneth Harding was wanted in connection with the murder of a pregnant woman in Seattle. Kenneth Harding was armed with a .380 pistol. Kenneth did not want to go back to prison, so he tried to shoot his way out. He died. Of all the things you could take a moral stand on, the justified death of Kenneth Harding must be one of the worst possibilities.

    1. Selina

      Go Get A Life Old Man, "John Mulligan A Suspected PAIN IN The A$$, Who has nothing better to do but TROLL This website"

    2. Sekhmet

      STFU , you sound so stupid right now . choir boy or not , nobody deserves to lose their life especially over something so foolish!

  3. Renaldo Ricketts

    The truth shall be revealed in the Kenneth Harding case,the constricted lies have been swatted down like dead flies. We're impatienly awaitng another round of convoluted fraud in this case. This puzzle is one that can't be fixed the facts are holding to be self evident, the vigilante cops lied and relied. This case is the nighmare that'll never go away.Theyv'e tried to circumvent the facts to no avail,we're going to dig a hole deep in their posterior, they are going to swear they were the second coming of the Grand Canyon. The people who showed up after a year are brave warriors in social justice, as you can plainly see, we''re a diverse group of people who srtand for justice, it does not have a color. Justice is and will never be race based ,we shall stand united as a wall of trutht, civilized humans marching for justice for all.

  4. the 56%

    lol black people are so f***ing stupid. No wonder all black countires suck ass. Is it a concidence that the best country in Africa (South Africa) is run/was run by white people?


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