September 5, 2013
On Sept. 8, 1985, Oscar Grant Jr. found himself in jail for a murder he did not commit and has since been held in prison for 28 years. An innocent Grant suffered for decades the dehumanizing conditions of prison and was deprived of raising his son, Oscar Grant III. His reality took a more horrifying turn on New Year’s Day 2009, when from inside prison Grant Jr. learned the news that a police officer had deliberately killed his son on a train platform in Oakland.
September 2, 2013
On the 20th anniversary of the demise of my father, Fred Ali Batin Sr., the 18th anniversary of the Maafa Commemoration San Francisco Bay Area – the Ritual Sunday is Oct. 13, 2013; see http://maafasfbayarea.com/ – and approximately the 60th day of the hunger strike to end the inhuman conditions in California’s Security Housing Units or SHUs, I just want to pause and reflect.
May 28, 2013
The Blueford family and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford coalition (JAB) held a vigil for Alan on the one-year anniversary of his murder by Oakland police officer Miguel Masso. JAB has based itself deep within the Afrikan community that birthed it and has brought together many organizations and individuals to fight for justice for Alan and to stop continued police violence.
March 28, 2013
Like President Clinton in his first run for president, Oakland’s city auditor developed her creds in the conservative community by creating a Sista Souljah moment. She publicly spanked two Black City Council members. These council members, Desley Brooks and Larry Reid, were trying desperately to level the economic playing field in Oakland. They were trying to integrate the money.
March 8, 2013
Oakland may seem like a local anomaly with its big increase in homicides in 2011-12 and the anti-crime hysteria which now engulfs it. But Oakland is just a prime example of the intertwining of crime and criminalization under capitalism, in which the ruling class divides working people one from another and targets particular groups for victimization.
December 24, 2012
General measures could move the cultural discussion and peoples’ behaviors in the right direction, whereas a focus on restricting gun ownership – except for people who fit appropriate medico-legal exclusion criteria – will probably worsen our cultural crisis, increase discrimination and police attacks, and increase the danger of greater social violence and chaos.
November 29, 2012
“We’re going to JAB the City of Oakland Police Department in the ass until they do what they’re supposed to do.” – Jeralyn Blueford, Nov. 10, 2012, on the steps of Oakland Police Department headquarters. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m., join Angela Davis and Alan’s parents for ‘Honoring Alan Blueford’ on what should be his 19th birthday: Laney College Theater, 900 Fallon, Oakland
September 19, 2012
Derrick Gaines, 15, was shot and killed by Officer Joshua Cabillo of the South San Francisco Police Department on June 5. His family continues to courageously demand that the truth be heard. Join Derrick’s family and friends Thursday, Sept. 20, at the Arco station where he was murdered, at 2300 Westborough Blvd, South San Francisco, for a speakout at 4 p.m. and a march at 5 p.m.
August 28, 2012
The New York Times published a piece called “Oakland, the Last Refuge of Radical America” that pretty much had everyone in Oakland scratching their heads and mouthing a collective WTF? Is Oakland the last refuge for radicalism where outsiders are invading the city? No, Oakland is a city where people are not shy about fighting for and demanding justice.
June 15, 2012
On June 12, family members held a memorial for Derrick Gaines, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed by an officer with the South San Francisco Police Department on the evening of June 5. Police claim that Gaines, who was walking with a friend near an Arco gas station, was engaging in “suspicious behavior.”
May 23, 2012
On Tuesday, May 15, the bereaved family members of Alan Dwayne Blueford eloquently addressed those members of the Oakland City Council who were present, seeking justice in a case that is looking suspiciously like a criminal assassination of the 18-year-old student in his senior year at Skyline High School. He was due to graduate in June.
March 25, 2012
Once again another young Black man has been shot and killed, under highly questionable circumstances, by a representative of law enforcement. Also once again, African Americans and our allies fear that justice will not be served on the perpetrator. Unfortunately, this fear is neither imagined nor an overreaction; it is grounded in concrete reality.
February 23, 2012
Oakland Police shot Tony Jones, 24, late Sunday. He is a cousin of Oscar Grant, whose murder by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle sparked a movement for justice that presaged the Occupy movement. Unarmed, Jones was running from police, “but that does not give them the right to shoot him in the back,” declared his attorney, Waukeen McCoy.
December 6, 2011
Support Fly Benzo twice on Friday, Jan. 6: 1) Pack the courtroom for the first day of his trial on Friday, Jan. 6, 9 a.m., at 850 Bryant in Department 22; 2) Party with Fly at his ‘Conscious Minds at Work Reggae, Arts and Hip-Hop Mixer & Fundraiser’ on Friday, Jan. 6, 7 p.m., at Twin Space Continuum, 2111 Mission St., Third Floor #300, San Francisco. To learn more, see “Police critic Fly Benzo keeps catching hell since police murder of Kenneth Harding” at http://sfbayview.com/2011/police-critic-fly-benzo-keeps-catching-hell-since-police-murder-of-kenneth-harding/
November 11, 2011
All of this was more than a reaction to the Occupy movement. It’s best understood as the latest battle between police and residents in at least two years of civil unrest in the city, beginning with the killing of Oscar Grant by ex-transit officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year’s Day 2009.
July 26, 2011
“The police in our community occupy our area, our community, as a foreign troop occupies territory. And the police are in our community not to promote our welfare or our security or our safety, but they are there to contain us, to brutalize us and murder us,” said Huey P. Newton, co-founder and minister of defense of the Black Panther Party. Hunters Point has stood up to the Lennar Corp. and the City about the shipyard. It is time to expand that movement to include police terrorism, put new energy into it, and claim our right to live and not be wantonly killed.
July 18, 2011
Shot dead in his car on July 15, 2011, a mere 30 and a half months after Oscar’s BART police assassination, Johntue Caldwell, godfather of Oscar Grant’s daughter, Tatiana, was one of the terrorized Black youth on the Fruitvale BART platform with Oscar on Jan. 1, 2009. He leaves behind two young sons.
July 15, 2011
On July 3, 2011, at 9:45 p.m., a 45-year-old scruffy looking man of European descent — only identified eight days later through his driver’s license picture as Charles Blair Hill, described ad nauseam by the corporate press as a “wobbly drunk” and a “crazy hippy” — met a violent fate on a San Francisco Civic Center BART platform at the hands of two BART thugs in blue, one white and one Asian.
June 13, 2011
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 Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. 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 ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.
May 24, 2011
Because California penal code does not classify involuntary manslaughter as a “violent” or “serious” offense, Johannes Mehserle, the convicted killer of Oscar Grant, could be released as early as mid-June of this year, after serving less than one year behind bars.