In 2009-10, there were a number of demonstrations and rebellions protesting police terrorism in the Black community of Oakland, after the televised execution of Oscar Grant. The mainstream corporate media started tagging them as “violent” although most of the rage was aimed at cars and buildings, not people.
The Qilombo Collective reclaimed a plot of land on San Pablo and West Grand that had been neglected for decades and put a community garden on it. Recently, they have been ordered to move the garden, and the people feel like there should be space in the city for people to learn, organize and work free of corporate pressure. So the fight is beginning to take shape, and on May 28, everyone is invited to the Anti-Eviction Block Party at the Afrikatown Garden.
Under the block-long "Welcome 2 AfrikaTown" mural painted last year on the Qilombo community center, 2313 San Pablo at West Grant, a dozen garden beds are now bursting with food and people are always there. On March 26, a bulldozer and cops arrived to destroy the garden, but supporters blocked them. On April 3, AfrikaTown won a reprieve to negotiate purchase of the land.
Congratulations to Gerald Lenoir for carrying the torch and blazing the way for so many social justice issues from HIV/AIDS awareness in the Black community to his recent work in just migration for Pan Africans. Much success on your new work! Farewell to Alona Clifton and much success in Atlanta. Congratulations also to Almaz Negash, founder and director of African Diaspora Network in Silicon Valley for her national recognition and award at the Continental African Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C.