The People’s Minister of Information JR reads his commentary, “Police 2, Oakland residents 4,” in the aftermath of the killing of Lovell Mixon and him murdering four Oakland police officers.
The People’s Minister of Information JR interviews the family of Lovell Mixon in the aftermath of Lovell being murdered by police after killing four of them.
by The People’s Minister of Information JR
March 21 marks the seventh anniversary of one of the biggest events in Oakland history and in the nation’s fight against police terror in recent times. I am talking about the police murder of Lovelle Mixon two months after the videotaped police execution of Oscar Grant lying chest down.
Mixon killed four members of the OPD and wounded a fifth before the Blue Klux Klan put out his light. Some might argue that people did not organize around the Mixon murder like they did Grant’s, making it less important. But the police murdering Mixon when they did created unstoppable momentum that further polarized the battle between the police and the Black community and in particular young Black males, ultimately leading to the conviction of former police officer Johannes Mehserle in the Grant case and later to the explosive responses of Ferguson, New York and Baltimore in response to unjustified police killings of young Black men.
Mixon’s fearlessness, audacity and strength in the heat of battle against the police, who have been rampantly killing Black people in Oakland’s Black community with impunity for decades, created a snowball effect of frustration and courage, which, in combination with the half a dozen rebellions in downtown Oakland surrounding the Grant case, pushed the tide of popular opinion in California towards the conviction of Mehserle.
March 21 marks the seventh anniversary of one of the biggest events in Oakland history and in the nation’s fight against police terror in recent times. I am talking about the police murder of Lovelle Mixon two months after the videotaped Oakland police execution of Oscar Grant lying chest down.
Some will argue that when Mehserle was convicted of manslaughter, the people finally won in court, but the reality is that the people of Oakland won this battle way before we had to straighten our suit and ties in front of a judge in Los Angeles. The battle was won regardless of what the courts said or did, when the people of Oakland came to the consensus that it was the people vs. the police and the state. When the mass consciousness changed, the conviction was secured.
I have to salute the Black Dot Cafe, the Prisoners of Conscience Committee’s Oakland chapter, the SF Bay View newspaper, and regular ghetto dwellers from the East and the West sides of Oakland for taking militant stances beyond traditional protests and demonstrations.
The Black Dot was the base for the Prisoners of Conscience Committee’s coalition of Black community members fighting police terrorism at the time. This is where many of the organizing meetings that led to the rebellions were held. The SF Bay View newspaper was solely responsible for reporting on the perspective of dozens of Black rebels in the Oscar Grant rebellions, giving a true testimony about how young Black Oakland felt about the murder of Lovelle Mixon.
The Bay View along with the Black Dot helped to expose Mandingo Hayes, who at the time was propped up to be a leader in the Oscar Grant movement by some of the clerical and non-profit leadership, and turned out to be a documented ATF and OPD agent and informant.
We must also remember that in 2009 and 2010, the corporate news repeatedly tried to drive a wedge between the militants in the rebellions, the supporters from the clergy, and the Oscar Grant family. Due to a lot of hard work on all sides, they did not succeed in stopping the work.
The people’s actions in the streets, including those of Lovelle Mixon, secured a victory, not just in the courts but more importantly in the minds of Black people around this country who refuse to just stand by and be psychologically demoralized.
These police cases inspired many people in the Bay Area’s Hip Hop community, such as Beeda Weeda and J. Stalin, whose 2009 classic song is titled “(Fuck the Police) We Ain’t Listening,” and Young Gully, a rapper from Oakland who dedicated a whole album to Oscar Grant in 2009 called “Oscar Grant Station.”
Filmmaker Adimu Madyun created the definitive 2009 documentary of the Oscar Grant-Lovelle Mixon campaign called “Operation Small Axe.” And Sam Stoker of the Raider Nation Collective created the 2014 documentary about the Lovelle Mixon murder called “The Ghosts of March 21.”
Legendary rapper Mac Mall crystallized the community’s sentiment in a song on his 2015 album “Legal Business” called “Oscar Grant’s Gun,” where he says: “I wish it was Oscar Grant’s gun, Trayvon Martin’s gun, Lovelle Mixon’s choppa – I’d rather fight than run – Kenneth Harding’s gun, Andy Lopez’s gun. It’s better to have a dead pig than a father or son.”
The campaigns of Oscar Grant and Lovelle Mixon changed the social climate in the U.S. in respect to genocidal policing, leading to 2014’s explosion in Ferguson confronting the police execution of Mike Brown, the rebellions surrounding the New York police execution of Eric Garner and the Baltimore rebellions surrounding the police execution of Freddie Gray.
The People’s Minister of Information JR Valrey is associate editor of the Bay View, author of “Block Reportin’” and “Unfinished Business: Block Reportin’ 2” and filmmaker of “Operation Small Axe” and “Block Reportin’ 101,” available, along with many more interviews, at www.blockreportradio.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.