Tags Police terrorism
Tag: police terrorism
We get criminalized in Bayview Hunters Point on the T-Train, and the police chase people down because they don’t have a transfer. I spoke before the Board of Supervisors, and a couple of days later Kenneth Harding was shot down over a $2 transfer. African American youth in San Francisco have a 70 percent unemployment rate, so our population is rapidly decreasing. It’s going to continue to decrease when the police are criminalizing our poverty. When I tried to videotape a cop, they put me under arrest, they beat me up. I was hospitalized, and I was put in jail. They gave me $95,000 bail.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, Occupy Oakland was supposed to celebrate its one-month anniversary in the renamed Oscar Grant Plaza in front of City Hall. Instead the Occupy Movement worldwide was shaken by the cold-blooded murder of a participant less than an hour before festivities were scheduled to start.
Several days of unprecedented revolt by the most impoverished minority-populated neighborhoods of London have shaken the normally staid and reserved British aristocracy. Prime Minister David Cameron cut short his Italian vacation in sunny Tuscany to return to the red-orange glare of a burning city.
On the heels of the San Francisco Police Department killing of alleged bus-fare-evader Kenneth Harding, KPFA devoted the entire morning program – the Morning Mix – on Wednesday, July 20, to police terrorism aka “excessive use of force.”
“The police in our community occupy our area, our community, as a foreign troop occupies territory. And the police are in our community not to promote our welfare or our security or our safety, but they are there to contain us, to brutalize us and murder us,” said Huey P. Newton, co-founder and minister of defense of the Black Panther Party. Hunters Point has stood up to the Lennar Corp. and the City about the shipyard. It is time to expand that movement to include police terrorism, put new energy into it, and claim our right to live and not be wantonly killed.
Another young, unarmed Black man, Kenneth Harding, has been gunned down in broad daylight. He was shot numerous times in the back as he fled, his empty hands held in the air. His crime had been a simple train fare evasion for which San Francisco police executed him in the street.
The lyrics to B.B. King’s classic “The Thrill is Gone” was the first thing that ran through my head when I showed up at both of the rallies that were held to “protest” the release from jail of Johannes Mehserle on Sunday, June 12. The speakers seemed to be a tad bit angry but not focused enough to do anything significant that would put police murders on the national radar. JUST ADDED: Minister of Information JR leads a full hour of debate on issues swirling around the murder of Oscar Grant by Johannes Mehserle broadcast on KPFA Wednesday morning.
Journalist JR Valrey, who was born in 1978, grew up mostly in Oakland, where the legend of the Black Panther Party was all around him. “A lot of the people around here are Panthers, or knew Panthers or are members of the Black Guerilla Family, which was an organization that Field Marshall George Jackson of the Black Panther Party founded. The revolution is very deep in Oakland. It’s not so cosmetic as it is other places. It’s not just about bandannas and t-shirts and concert throwing and posturing. I think it’s more grassroots here and more ingrained in the spirit of the people.”
Bayview Hunters Point is a community not exempt from poverty, violence, racism, police terrorism, gentrification, institutionalized ignorance, displacement and demonizing media coverage. With the Tough House Project, founder Jamal James Modica hopes to give this community a voice.
Minister of Information JR talks with Jack Bryson, the father of two sons who were with Oscar Grant the night he was murdered on the Fruitvale BART platform on New Year’s 2009. They discuss Jack's fight for justice for Oscar, Johannes Mehserle's sentencing and how Oscar's murder has affected his family and close friends.
Queen Nyoka is an up and coming reggae artist out of the Bay who makes her words count when it comes to chanting down Babylon.
“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.
In New York, spreading factual information about the Oscar Grant case, I said that Oakland may not have it all right, but we are definitely in the ring battling these big trees with our small axe, and everybody has to admit, whether we win or lose in court, the people of Oakland have declared once again that we are a force to reckon with.
THE VERDICT is INVOLUNTARY MANSLAUGHTER. Justice for Oscar Grant says: ' All out to Broadway and 14th!' And heed these wise words: 'Requesting Activists and Citizens over 50 years old to show up at 14th street and Broadway. HANDS AROUND OUR YOUTH! We the older generation need to be present to protect our youth from possible police brutality. We must bear witness to our youths right to assemble and peacefully demonstrate. Let OPD know these are our children and deserve to be respected as full USA citizens with the right to peacefully demonstrate without police or outside interference. Come and protect our children.'
The job of the media is to hold the powerful accountable. To avoid hypocrisy, the media itself must be held accountable as well. In the past few days, KPFA has broadcast at least twice a brief announcement recorded by the interim general manager scolding Bay View associate editor JR Valrey for a passing mention in one of his Block Reports of KPFA’s former interim program manager, Sasha Lilley. The Bay View respectfully questions its timing and refutes its contentions.
"People leave feeling alive when they see the film. The brutal police murders that are shown in the film, the drive and motivation of the people of Oakland who organized against all odds to chop down the big trees of terrorism and oppression leave audiences stunned," says Adimu Madyun, director of "Operation Small Axe," winner of the Rise Up Award for Most Motivational Film at the New Orleans Film Festival. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange a screening.
"Damn Detroit Police Department! You burned, shot and killed Aiyana Jones, a little 7-year-old girl. You threw a stun grenade through the front window and lit the little girl’s blanket on fire! And then you shot off a bullet that landed in her neck!" - Read this account by Kimora Lee Simmons, another by a 12-year-old girl and the full story by veteran Detroit journalist Abayomi Azikiwe.
In this manifesto that shows why JR Valrey is rightly called the Minister of Information, he exposes "gentrification journalism" as "the public relations team that is put in place to make gentrifiers feel safe," the media's twisting of the murders of Chauncey Bailey and Oscar Grant to demonize Blacks and the hyper-funding of "hyper-local media" as an effort to drown out community media. Everyone who wants to stop the exodus of Blacks from the Bay must read this.
Cynthia McKinney sets the theme for Black Resistance to Police Terrorism Month, marked by five events in two weeks – four in Oakland, on Feb. 7, 17, 21 and 22, and one on Oscar Grant in Los Angeles, on Feb. 18, the eve of killer cop Mehserle's Feb. 19 hearing – featuring your favorite speakers coming to Cali from around the country. And pack the courtroom Feb. 22, 8:30 a.m., 1225 Fallon, Oakland, for Minister of Information JR's trial. Free JR!
On Friday’s Hard Knock Radio and Flashpoints shows on KPFA at 4 and 5 p.m., Minister of Information JR reported straight out of Los Angeles on the first pre-trial hearing since the murder case of Johannes Mehserle, the BART police officer who executed Oscar Grant, was moved there from Oakland.