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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.
I watched a homeless Black man wander between and among these whites with their “Black Lives Matter” signs. They would make no connection between the content of the signs they strutted and the poor human asking for a dollar to buy a Big Mac. But from the point of view of the homeless Black man, who is still asking for a dollar among the self-conceited crowd at the color-blinded rally, neither group – the anti-fascists nor the Fascists – mean anything to him. The signs communicate their indifference.
This Maafa Commemoration Month we continue to lift “A Love Supreme” as we organize a defense against state violence. Congratulations to Professor Aaliyah Dunn-Salahuddin, whose community vigil and program honored the lives of the Bayview Hunters Point revolutionaries killed 50 years ago when the community rose up after SFPD killed Matthew “Peanut” Johnson and more recently when the community turned out after SFPD killed Mario Woods.
Inspired by the stamina of the “Frisco 5” hunger strikers, hundreds of chanting supporters occupied the rotunda and grand staircase inside City Hall for seven hours on May 6. Their demand: “We won’t leave City Hall until the mayor fires Greg Suhr,” the top cop complicit in a string of police murders of Black and Brown people in the city. The movement to fire Chief Suhr, stubbornly resisted by the city’s political establishment, is nevertheless gaining momentum.
The San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) calls for an immediate end to police violence, the taking of Black lives and the terrorizing of Black communities. We are inspired by the determination and courage of the people of Ferguson, Black people across the United States, and solidarity protests. In the face of such incredible injustice, we openly support this people’s rebellion.
Jason Anderson has been a staunch activist in the Oakland area for about half a decade and has been working very hard on keeping the historic Liberty Hall building, the original Oakland home to Marcus Garvey’s UNIA in West Oakland, in the hands of the Black community. It has been an uphill battle, but this veteran of Occupy Oakland is up for the challenge.
Jason “Shake” Anderson is a real progressive community leader who is running for mayor of Oakland in November, because he, like most of us, is tired of the electoral musical chairs charade that is recorded as Oakland’s local elections. With incumbent Mayor Jean Quan re-running, and her leading contender, Dan Siegel, being the law partner of her campaign treasurer, you can see why the residents of Oakland would be corruption-conscious throughout the electoral process.
Congratulations to our two intrepid hunger strike solidarity peeps who successfully completed their 60-hour fast at 11:59:59 Saturday night, Sept. 7, in support of the prisoners’ 60-day hunger strike and their five core demands. The fast took place outside of Gov. Jerry Brown’s condo on Telegraph Avenue at 27th Street in uptown Oakland.
Looking good, feeling good and making good decisions has a lot to do with what you put into your body. Health and green activist and musician AshEl Seasunz has been on the frontline of educating Black, Brown and low income neighborhoods in the Bay Area about the benefits of healthy eating, with SOS non-profit, which sells freshly squeezed organic juices and offers presentations from leading experts nationally.
Leo lives in every navy blue or ash T-shirt with brown, beige, Tan, ivory, hands circled in solidarity, In every fiery speech during San Francisco strikes and Port Of Oakland shutdowns, in fights for health care, cradle To grave, in housing, library, post office and school struggles, In good fights against fracking and in the Occupy Movement …
“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
It is time for all the staff and listeners to embrace the democratic victory that was won for us in legal and street battles of 1999-2001 and by the people who formed the original “Save KPFA” in the mid-1990s. KPFA was not sold from under us, and thanks to their efforts, it never will be. It is time to bring peace to KPFA and Pacifica and help strengthen this priceless resource.
Since 1949, KPFA has been bringing incisive political analysis, vital cultural perspectives, and an amazing variety of music to the Bay Area and beyond. To keep KPFA responsive to community needs, the station needs community participation, and one of the ways to participate is to vote in the board elections.
On Oct. 12, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan announced that 44 of his officers would face some manner of punishment for their abuse of Occupy protesters last year. Some have hailed this decision as a sign that the Oakland Police Department is finally going to start holding its officers accountable. A look at the recent decisions by Jordan and the OPD, however, dispels any such hope.
Just one day before his 17th birthday, on July 22, 2010, James Earl Rivera Jr. died in a hail of 48 rounds fired by three Stockton, Calif., police officers after they forced the car he was driving to crash. Nearly two years later, a report by the district attorney found James’ death “justified.”
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.
Eighteen-year-old high school senior and Oakland resident Alan Blueford was shot to death by police on May 6 under curious circumstances. The coroner’s report, showing Blueford never shot at the officer, was finally released after the July 19 press conference Alan's parents were forced to organize.
The Community-Labor Coalition to Save the People’s Post Office rallied, marched and occupied the Civic Center Post Office in downtown San Francisco to stop threats of eliminating 220,000 living-wage jobs and closing 3,700 post offices, including four in San Francisco - most in poor neighborhoods and rural areas.
Early Tuesday morning, the 18th day of the Lakeview Elementary Sit-In and 12th day of the People’s School, the OUSD police and other police forces raided the encampment and school. The People's School will continue, and a community-labor alliance and picket sanctioned by the Alameda Labor Council will block the move-in of administrative offices at Lakeview.
On Thursday, May 31, the Stockton, Calif., families of James Earl Rivera and Luther (Champ) Brown hosted a rally co-sponsored by Occupy Stockton and Oakland. The purpose of the Stockton rally was to protest the police murders of James Rivera, age 16, and of Luther Brown, age 32.
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