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Center Column Archives
On the morning of October 22nd
, supporters and members of some 50 families of those executed by California police will converge on Sacramento as part of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. They will demand proper investigations into their loved ones' deaths — not whitewashes by police and District Attorneys refusing to thoroughly investigate. After the rally In Sacramento, there will be two more rallies in Oakland along with events held in Fresno, Hayward, Redding, Los Angeles, San Diego, and other cities in California and across the United States.
The National Lawyers Guild and Prison Radio will present two films on repression and resistance on Saturday, October 19
at the The New Parkway Theater in Oakland. The Battle for Oscar Grant Plaza
is a short documentary about how the City of Oakland and its police tried to shut down the budding "Occupy Wall Street" movement, turning downtown Oakland into a teargas-filled war zone and injuring numerous people. Manufacturing Guilt
takes on Abu-Jamal's contentious case, distilling a mountain of evidence and years of oft-repeated falsehoods which illustrate a clear and conscious effort to frame Mumia Abu-Jamal for murder.
On August 24, community members marched with the Santa Cruz NAACP to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Great March on Washington. The 1963 civil rights rally was also known as the "March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom." In Santa Cruz, those commemorating the day also broadly described their action for justice, calling it a march for "voting rights, jobs, justice, freedom, and to end stand your ground."
On August 6, San Jose Justice for Trayvon Martin held a rally at San Jose City Hall, followed by a march downtown where the group circled the federal building. San Jose Justice for Trayvon Martin is "a local mass multi-issue campaign made up of San Jose and larger Silicon Valley community members acting in support of the larger Movement of Justice for Trayvon Martin and Marissa Alexander."
On July 21, the Santa Cruz County Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) held a march and rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin and other citizens subjected to racial profiling, and Shoot First and Stand Your Ground laws. On Pacific Avenue, marchers sang "We Shall Not Be Moved," and later chanted, "Stop Racial Profiling." At the Town Clock, the group chanted "Justice for Trayvon," and circled up and held hands.
Following the acquittal of Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman, on July 13, hundreds took to the streets in Napa, Oakland, Sacramento, San Francsisco, San Jose, and Santa Cruz. At rallies, candle light vigils, and marches, community members have called for justice for Trayvon and an end to the racial profiling and police abuses that occur on a day-to-day basis across the country. Demonstrations for justice continue locally and nationally.
On November 5th, 2010, hundreds of demonstrators protested the light sentence given to Johannes Mehserle for killing Oscar Grant. Marchers took to the streets and headed toward the Fruitvale BART station, but Oakland police had other plans. One hundred and fifty demonstrators were detained and arrested, forced to spend up to twenty-four hours in police custody under inhumane conditions. In a class action settlement reached by the National Lawyers Guild, the city has not only acknowledged that the arrests were illegal but has agreed to pay $1.025 million and abide by a revised crowd control policy.