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Police agencies from at least nine counties, plus Homeland Security, the FBI, CIA and DOJ descended upon Oakland. They were intent on demonizing the people to remove the focus from the unjust and outright farce of a sentence received by Johannes Mehserle. The people have a right to assemble, demonstrate, march and take a stand against a system that continuously oppresses, brutalizes and murders them. We demand the immediate release of all those arrested on Nov. 5 and dismissal of all charges. (Includes three videos)
Judge Robert Perry has sentenced former BART transit cop Johannes Mehserle to the minimum sentence of two years in state prison for the shooting death of 22-year-old Oscar Grant. Judge Perry gave double credit - 292 days - for his time served. Tune in KPFA 94.1FM or kpfa.org 4-6 p.m. for a special report on the Mehserle sentencing hosted by Minister of Information JR with Davey D and Sabrina Jacobs. Their guests include Cephus Johnson (Oscar's Uncle Bobby), Jack Bryson, John Burris and M1 of dead prez.
There is a something dangerous about the pervading view of justice for Oscar Grant that constrains the perception of injustice to the bullet in the back, the soft verdict, the light sentence. For an alternative view on the day of Mehserle's sentencing, Friday, Nov. 5, 4-6 p.m., tune in KPFA 94.1 FM for special coverage with guests Cephus Johnson, Oscar's Uncle Bobby; Jack Bryson, Oscar's friends' father; Oscar's family's attorney John Burris; journalists Dave Id and Thandisizwe Chimurenga; M1 of dead prez; and Askia Sabur, whose Philly police beating was, like Oscar's murder, caught on video.
The threat of impending rainfall did not deter hundreds of people from showing up and calling out for justice for Oscar Grant on Saturday, Oct. 23 in downtown Oakland.
Local 10 of the ILWU is calling for a labor and community rally on Saturday, Oct. 23, 12 noon, at City Hall, near 14th & Broadway in Oakland, to demand justice for Oscar Grant and the jailing of killer cops. Bay Area ports will shut down that day to stand with the Black community. Get ready for the rally Friday, Oct. 22, 6:30 p.m., with a screening of Minister of Information JR’s film ‘Operation Small Axe’ plus revolutionary art by Black Panther Minister of Culture Emory Douglas at the Black Dot Cafe, 1195 Pine St., West Oakland.
Labor unions and community activists in the Bay Area and beyond have a responsibility to condemn the received view of police violence and to demand a modicum of justice for Oscar Grant. They can do so by responding to the call by the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 10 to unite on Saturday, Oct. 23, at Oakland City Hall in support of “jail for killer cops.”
Mercedes Martin is one of the new young emerging political artists out of the Bay with a whole lot to say. The thing is that she does not rock a mic or joust with her pen; she is a political jewelry maker who tends to hover around personalities like Oscar Grant, Malcolm X and political musicians.
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.
After a POCC People’s Investigation into the Oakland 2010 Rebellion’s shutting down of Foot Locker, what baffled me was that many people could not politically put together that liberating merchandise was putting political pressure on downtown to pressure government to prosecute the criminals that killed Oscar Grant on New Year’s morning of 2009.
A rally staged in support of former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle in Walnut Creek July 19 drew hundreds of protesters, dozens of journalists and photographers and plenty of police.
Who benefits? Who feels threatened by groups of people in our streets united to demand changes? Who wants to make the public hate and fear demonstrators and afraid and unwilling to participate in public gatherings for civic purposes? Who wants to make us feel afraid of each other?
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums had a chance to shine last Thursday, after the verdict was announced in the murder trial of transit cop Johannes Mehserle for the Jan. 1, 2009, killing of 22-year-old unarmed Black man Oscar Grant. But instead of standing with the people, Dellums stood with his police chief, and together they proceeded to criminalize the entire community.
A sampling of reactions from small and independent news reporters during the July 8 protest rally called by the Los Angeles Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant is recorded in these videos. The rally was called in response to the involuntary manslaughter verdict handed down by a Los Angeles jury just hours before.
On the 8th of July, 2010, the people of the world took to the streets of Oakland to make our displeasure felt at the non-verdict delivered to the killer cop who assassinated Ancestor-Warrior Spirit Oscar Grant III in cold blood on a BART platform a year and a half ago, 1 January 2009. And it wasn’t “outside agitators” who consistently outflanked and outmanned the so-called finest of several different police departments – most of whom were definitely from outside of Oakland. It was thousands and thousands of us who don’t have shit. It was the lumpen proletariat that George Jackson spoke of.
Oscar Grant's family told reporters Saturday that the letter of apology from Mehserle should have come much sooner and should have been directed to them personally. Mehserle's attorney, Michael Rains, told KGO-TV on Sunday, “I don’t think that when the family remains that hostile and that nasty and mean-spirited that Mr. Mehserle should be out there offering olive branches because they will not be received.”
“I AM,” shouted the speaker at the Oakland protest of the verdict in the trial of ex-BART cop Johannes Mehserle; “OSCAR GRANT!” roared back the crowd at 14th and Broadway. The cold-blooded killer of Oscar Grant had just gotten off with an involuntary manslaughter conviction in a trial in LA. After less than two days deliberation, a jury with no Black members cleared Johannes Mehserle of second degree murder.
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.”
More than one hundred people met in Leimert Park in South Los Angeles on July 8 to protest the verdict of Involuntary Manslaughter for Johannes Mehserle, the murderer of Oscar Grant III. The rally lasted more than three hours as organizers, activists and concerned citizens called for justice for Oscar Grant and for accountability and control of the police in Black and Brown communities.
At 14th and Broadway, the community was invited to share what was on their hearts. No one was censored and all views were respected. People surrounded the speakers. No one needed to be alone on a day like today. In African traditional healing, the health of an individual is tied to the well-being of community. Oscar Grant’s relatives and friends called for love and respect for life and each other, as they named the enemy: this corrupt judicial system that allows killers to go free. I noticed another rally in front of City Hall. Just a handful of people were there.
“They’ve made Johannes Mehserle into a victim in this case and he’s nothing but a brutal killer," said Aidge Patterson, leader of the LA Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant. He believes a lack of media coverage of the first cop to be tried for murder in California was intended to quiet people down. “This is obviously one of the most historic cases in the entire country and it should be on every news station, but they’re good at keeping people ignorant.” Thank Minister of Information JR for convincing the Black press to cover the story.