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Tag: Dave Id
Jan. 1, 2019, marks 10 years since the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle. In the lead up to this grim anniversary, a number of articles, multimedia pieces, radio programs and television news segments have been produced to commemorate the occasion. Especially moving are those that give voice to Oscar’s family and friends. But it’s rare to see significant tribute paid to the fact that were it not for the vigor and relentlessness of protesters and activists, Oscar Grant would have received little to no justice.
Thursday, Sept. 28, 2017, marked the death of the 1,044th person that we know of killed by Tasers in North America, the most recent in Oakland after a man, Marcellus Toney, tried to flee a multi-vehicle accident. This unnecessary death reveals the primary reason why San Franciscans have consistently rejected Tasers for the SFPD. Yet on Nov. 3, the San Francisco Police Commission voted and approved a renewed proposal to arm the SFPD with these weapons. This begs the question: Who are the proponents of Tasers?
To honor the call for 120 hours of direct actions to uphold the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., local community organizers have been camping out in front of San Francisco’s City Hall until Jan. 20, 2017. Camp 120 is occupying space in front of City Hall to highlight the ineffectiveness and inaction of DA Gascón and Mayor Ed Lee regarding the heightened policing of Black and Brown residents by the San Francisco Police Department.
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. 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.
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.
Activists locked down entrances to the Emeryville Home Depot to demand answers about the murder of Yuvette Henderson, a 38-year-old Black mother of two children who was shot and killed by the Emeryville Police Department on Feb. 3, 2015, allegedly accused by the store of shoplifting. Activists chained themselves to multiple store doors as supporters rallied outside. Protesters shut down the store for five hours, the amount of time Yuvette Henderson lay in the street after being shot by police.
On so-called Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year in the U.S., members of the Blackout Collective and their allies obstructed BART trains on both sides of the track from moving out of the West Oakland BART station in an economic protest to the systemic wanton killing of Black people in this country, most recently symbolized by the police murders of Mike Brown and Eric Garner.
March 21, 2014, marks the fifth anniversary of the police murder of Lovelle Mixon, who was killed after he murdered four Oakland police officers and wounded a fifth, around 73rd and MacArthur Boulevard in East Oakland. “The Ghosts of March 21” is a documentary about the bloodiest day in the history of Oakland law enforcement, shot by Damon “Hooker Boy” Hooker and directed, written and edited by Sam Stoker.
The No Justice No BART campaign will stage a “Spare the Fare” protest in the Powell Street BART station on Thursday, Sept. 8, at 4:30 p.m. The idea is to pack enough demonstrators inside of the station, outside of the fare gates, that BART will open the emergency exits and fare gates to allow passengers entry without paying.
In justification of BART’s shutdown of mobile phone service on Aug. 11, the agency began to disingenuously claim that demonstrations against BART’s police brutality were a threat to passenger safety, even though no one has ever been hurt during a BART protest.
The San Francisco Bay Area, historic birthplace of the Free Speech movement and a pioneer in the digital age, is now apparently the first place in the United States to have had its electronic communications deliberately disabled in order to pre-empt a political protest.
Supporters of killer cop Johannes Mehserle rallied in San Jose Aug. 2 with no counter-demonstrators. KTVU was there and last week presented two features on Mehserle’s life story, presumably intended to soften his public image and engender sympathy for him as the Nov. 5 sentencing date approaches. Justice for Oscar Grant supporters will protest in the parking lot outside KTVU on Thursday, Aug. 12, 12:30 p.m., at 2 Jack London Square, Oakland. Be there to honor Black August! And Oscar Grant supporters are asked to demand the maximum sentence for Mehserle.
Addressing those fretting about civil unrest, Michael Walker concluded the press conference by declaring: “For anybody out there who feels like people are against peace, if you really want peace in this city, then fight for justice, and I guarantee you’ll have peace.”
“Who would have thought that Oscar himself may help convict his very own killer,” wrote a commenter. In the court hearing today regarding a motion to exclude Oscar Grant’s fiancé Sophina Mesa from testifying about Grant’s fear of tasers, it was discussed that Oscar Grant took a photo with his sister’s mobile phone of Johannes Mehserle pointing a taser at him.
Is Tony Pirone attempting to avoid testifying in Johannes Mehserle’s trial for the murder of Oscar Grant? The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office has filed papers to force former BART Police Officer Tony Pirone – who was fired April 22 – to testify in the murder trial of Johannes Mehserle, set to begin with jury selection next week.
Universities all over the state of California have erupted into protest over the raising of student fees. In the Bay Area, rebellions have been going down at UC Berkeley and at San Francisco State University regularly; students actually have brought their feelings right to the front door of the chancellor’s house.
The new short film, “Operation Small Axe,” by Prisoners of Conscience Committee Minister of Information JR Valrey, debuted in October at the Eighth Oakland International Film Festival with screenings at Merritt College, Jack London Cinema and the Uptown. The short has been shown at other venues as close as the Rock Paper Scissors Gallery in Oakland to as far away as Cape Town, South Africa.
A victory in the campaign for justice for Oscar Grant III was celebrated today after the presiding judge, Superior Court Judge C. Don Clay, concluded the preliminary hearing in the trial of Johannes Mehserle by ruling that the former BART police officer will stand trial for murder. June 18 is the date Mehserle is scheduled to appear back in court and declare his plea of guilt or innocence before the full trial begins.
"Our success here to secure justice for Oscar Grant will no doubt be that line in the sand that will say to all police officers, ‘If you kill or break the law, you will go to jail,'" wrote Oscar Grant's Uncle Bobby, Cephus Johnson, in a message of thanks to supporters. Watch Davey D's video on the week's events. Oscar Grant's family asks supporters to return to the courthouse next week.
Supporters of justice for Oscar Grant gathered Monday morning outside the Alameda County Courthouse while the preliminary hearing inside dealt with Johannes Mehserle's defense attorney Michael Rains attempting to reduce charges from murder, to move the venue to a less diverse county, or to otherwise stifle Mehserle being held to account for murdering Oscar Grant.
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