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Mario Woods and the movement for justice in our second year

November 6, 2017

by Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods

Honor the second anniversary of Mario Woods’ execution

On Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, community will gather in the Bayview to honor Mario Woods on the second anniversary of his execution by San Francisco Police. We will come together once again to show the city of San Francisco that we will NEVER forget, and until such time as our demands for justice are met, we will never stop seeking Justice for Mario Woods and justice for all victims of police violence.

On Dec. 2 we will gather at 3:30pm at Martin Luther King Jr. Park Playground on Third between Armstrong and Carroll, later marching to Third and Fitzgerald, the site where Mario was executed.

Civil rights attorney John Burris leads the march at our vigil for the one-year anniversary of the execution of Mario Woods Dec. 2, 2016.

Rev. Ben McBride, who trains police departments, speaks passionately for justice at our vigil for the one-year anniversary of the execution of Mario Woods, Dec 2, 2016.

On Dec. 2, 2015, Mario Woods was fatally shot, execution style, by five San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) officers as he was backed against a wall on a Bayview sidewalk, surrounded by police. More than 40 bullets were fired at a retreating Mario Woods, more than 20 hitting his body, one directly to his head.

All of it was caught on eyewitness cell phone video by horrified onlookers. After nearly two years, a decision on whether charges will be levied against the officers who killed Mario is still pending, as is also the case with numerous other victims of SFPD killings. All told, upwards of 30 deaths at the hands of San Francisco law enforcement have been recorded since District Attorney George Gascón took office in 2011, with not one single indictment to date.

On Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017, we will come together once again to show the city of San Francisco that we will NEVER forget, and until such time as our demands for justice are met, we will never stop seeking Justice for Mario Woods and justice for all victims of police violence.

Since our last annual anniversary of the execution of Mario Woods, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods has engaged in numerous events and actions, largely focused in the Bayview in San Francisco.

Wealth and Disparities keeping alive the fight for justice

Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods, formed under the leadership of Phelicia Jones, founder, has worked steadily to keep alive the struggle for justice against police violence in our community. We will keep up the fight until our demands are met, and beyond. Our demands have been since December 2015:

  1. Chief Suhr is fired or he resigns (achieved May 2016 owing to public outcry);
  2. Charges for killer cops;
  3. Independent pattern and practices investigation of SFPD.

Town halls

Gwen Woods, mother of Mario, speaks truth to power at our Dec. 6, 2016, townhall meeting with the D.A. Phelicia Jones is seated beside her.

In the past year, we have hosted several town hall meetings with city and state officials. Video from many of those is available online or on our Facebook page. We hosted a lively town hall with District Attorney George Gascón and his investigative team working on police shooting deaths, a meeting that elicited strong community participation and reaction.

Other town halls have included community meetings with SFPD Chief Scott; Commander Lazar, head of Community Engagement in Policing at SFPD; Police Commissioners Bill Hing and Petra de Jesus; and SFPD officer Joel Babbs who experienced retaliation for reporting incidents of racial profiling in the department.

Future town halls we are hosting will include community meetings with the California Legislative Black Caucus and Attorney General Xavier Becerra. Stay tuned on our Facebook page and email updates for information on these and upcoming events.

Meeting with and influencing our legislators

Community “lobbyists” visit with legislators at the State Capitol on State Lobby Day.

Outside the Capitol, the “lobbyists” demand “Justice 4 Mario Woods.”

Spearheaded by our historic State Lobby Day at the State Capitol in Sacramento, in May 2017, Wealth and Disparities in the Black Community – Justice 4 Mario Woods met with a number of legislators and officials. In addition to several visits to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, in 2017 we have had numerous sit-down discussions with both city and state officials and legislators, including Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Legislative Black Caucus (both of whom are going to be guests at upcoming town hall meetings we are hosting – stay tuned for information on those). We have also met with San Francisco legislators David Chiu, Phil Ting and Scott Wiener.

Events and awareness

Gwen Woods and activists pose proudly in front of our Mario Woods banner at Mario Woods Remembrance Day (Mario’s birthday) July 22, 2016.

In July 2016 and 2017 we hosted a celebration of Mario’s life at the Annual Mario Woods Remembrance Day, unanimously declared by the SF Board of Supervisors following Mario’s death. Founder Phelicia Jones spoke before a number of groups, building awareness around Justice 4 Mario Woods – including Standing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ), the San Francisco Berniecrats and the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco.

In addition, we have participated in several community events in recent months, many in the Bayview (at a rate of 2-4 events per month) to raise awareness about the fight against ongoing police violence in our community – including tabling work at the Black Cuisine Festival in the Bayview, at Auntie April’s and at the recent Imprint event. We have been grateful for each opportunity to showcase our organization’s work, share Mario’s story, sell T-shirts and buttons, and invite folks to join us at our weekly meetings.

We’ve been humbled by the outpouring of community support for our work, including the strong support for our fundraiser events and the support specifically for our Mario Woods Remembrance Day (Mario’s birthday July 22) in Martin Luther King Jr. Park on Third Street. Our work continues stronger than ever. We won’t stop, can’t stop until justice rains down on our community.

Join our weekly strategy meetings on Thursdays, 6-8 p.m., at 1706 Yosemite Ave., San Francisco.

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One thought on “Mario Woods and the movement for justice in our second year

  1. ThatBloodyFlag

    #BlackBloodOnThatFlag!!!
    I'M A Black Woman!!! I Told The AmeriKKKan Niggers next door I'm Black-Skinned and Black-Minded!!! I was so tired of hearing The White FolKKKKs going off about Their American Flag, Their AmeriKKKan Anthem…
    I turned Their Flag into a # BLACK FLAG FOR ME!!! a #BLACK FLAG FOR MEDGAR!!! a #BLACK FLAG FOR MARTIN!!! a #BLACK FLAG FOR MALCOLM!!! a #BLACK FLAG FOR THE BLACK PANTHERS!!! I changed the colors of the flag of This Racist Classist Nation to Red Black And Green!!! The Son Of The Hound-Dog Faced Jack-Ass from next door trespassed onto my property and took #MyBlackFlag!!! I had filed a complaint against The Bayview Police Station because I've had to be The Black Police for My Property For Years!!! IF THE AMERIKKKAN POLICE AND AMERIKKKAN NIGGERS can literally Get Away With Murder In The Bayview then WHY is The City Of San FrancisKKKo FREE to continue to raise PROPERTY TAXES!!! AS IF IT WAS from GOD'S MOUTH To My Black Ears I'm Sure MARIO was being threatened and that is why HE had that weapon!!! I often think of MARIO WOODS because THESE KKKOPS would likely show-up and MARIO WOODS A BLACK WOMAN FOR TRYING TO DEFEND HERSELF AGAINST THESE CRACK DEMONS!!!

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