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The rubber sides of the boat were like arms – thick, round, hard. “These are the boats refugees have to travel in. Men sit on the side, the women, children and elders in the middle, sometimes getting splashed and sick with the leaking gasoline from the engine because they are covering miles of ocean to go from one country to another.” The tour guide from Médecins Sans Frontières, known in English as Doctors Without Borders, was narrating the “Forced From Home” traveling exhibit of removal, imperialist wars and NGO and government abuse of indigenous bodies across the Global South.
On Tuesday, Nov. 21, more than 100 community members gathered at the Alameda County Board of Supervisors building to demand an audit of Sheriff Gregory Ahern. “We are calling on our county officials to be vigilant and protect our taxpayer dollars,” said Darris Young, senior organizer and advocate with the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. “Our Board of Supervisors have a responsibility to make sure the budget is being spent effectively to promote community safety, and continuing to increase the sheriff’s budget is not making us any safer.”
As the music is turned up, sounds of Curtis Mayfield blaring, a little child running wild, scenes of the movie “Super Fly” flash through my mind as I envision Keith “Kilo G” Perry with a suit coat on, head full of rollers, platforms, addicted to the fast life of the Black Frisco streets. Kilo G – Oct. 13, 1954, to March 30, 2017 – and his great works have come to an end this year. He leaves a huge legacy for his family, relatives and friends to cherish his memory.
Three years ago, on July 16, 2011, I awakened to the news that San Francisco police had killed my 19-year-old son, Kenneth Harding Jr., for allegedly evading a $2 bus fare. It’s hard when you’re trying to find out what happened to your child but no one will produce the facts that support the theory that he supposedly killed himself. The police put that message out and never backed it up, hoping to take away any sense of empathy. This month will be our 29th consecutive month of feeding the community at the very spot where Kenneth’s blood still stains the ground.
Crooked laws, crooked cops – they all need 2 be stopped. It’s a shame, a shame how they getting away wit’ murder, wit’ no blame. RIP Kenneth Harding, James Earl Rivera, Derrick Gaines, Oscar Grant, Alan Blueford, Jason Smith, Kendrec McDade, Christian Gomez and all the brothas and sistas who have lost their precious lives to this rotten system and their minions. You are not forgotten.
The police line was hard, boot to boot, helmet to helmet, unmoving, bringing the threat of death with each gaze. The opposing line was a circle and it was moving, with resistance. And strength and people power. We were mamaz, uncles, daddys, sisters and brothers in solidarity, and we won’t stop fighting, we won’t stop walking, we won’t stop speaking until this ongoing police murder of our babies is over. “Our children are being stalked and murdered in cold blood, and it cannot continue,” said Oscar Grant's Uncle Bobby.
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.”