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Center Column Archives
H.H. Bhojani reports at AlterNet that about 10pm on January 29, Robert Asberry got on a train around Glen Park. A police officer got onto the car at the San Bruno station. He approached Robert and asked him to get off the train. Robert refused to obey the cop’s orders. After a brief back and forth, the police officer tases him. Other policemen file into the car, and while Robert is on the floor, restrained and posing no real threat, he is again tased. Police officers later carry Robert out of the BART car.
On the evening of February 12, a small crowd gathered in downtown Berkeley to demand answers regarding the death of Kayla Moore, a black transgender woman who was killed by Berkeley PD in early 2013. When the speakers concluded, about forty people marched to the Berkeley Police Review Board meeting, chanting “Justice For Kayla Moore!” The Review Board has allegedly been involved in an inquiry into Kayla’s death since last year but has yet to release any information to her family.
In the early morning on January 21, California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers killed Antonio Mestas in Oakland. At about 9pm that evening, another CHP officer shot and killed 21-year-old Jose Munguia near 54th and Wentworth Avenues. A police K-9 was also shot during the incident and was rushed to a veterinarian. In reaction, vandals defaced the front of the CHP station at 3601 Telegraph Avenue in Oakland. On January 24, family and friends of Antonio Mestas held a fundraiser to raise money for the funeral.
On February 13, a protest of more than one hundred people, including dozens of family members of Californians murdered by police, was held outside A.G. Kamala Harris’ office at the State Building in Oakland in order to deliver a letter to Harris. Family members from the following police murder victims were present: Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, Gary King, Jr., James Rivera, Jr., Ernest Duenez, Jr., Kenneth Harding, Kayla Moore, Lamarr Alexander, Andy Lopez, Jessie Hamilton, and Mario Romero. Ten people were arrested for refusing to vacate the building.
On January 1, 2014, hundreds of people marked five years of struggle for justice for Oscar Grant at a vigil at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland. That evening, a panel examined various aspects of the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement, its legacy, and how it continues to shape current events in Oakland. The evening event was a "friendraiser" for the forthcoming documentary "Oscar Grant: The Rest of the Story".
Thousands gathered in the pre-dawn hours for the Indigenous Peoples Annual Sunrise Gathering at Alcatraz Island sponsored by the International Indian Treaty Council (IITC) on November 28. This was the 44th year that the event was held to commemorate the American Indian occupation of Alcatraz from 1969 to 1971. “As we gather today to celebrate, we do not celebrate the re-write of history that has become Thanksgiving," said Andrea Carmen, Executive Director of the IITC. "We celebrate our survival as indigenous people."
Sacred Sites Protection & Rights of Indigenous Tribes (SSP&RIT) advised the Vallejo City Unified School District Board of Education on November 20 to remove its mascot as it is offensive to Native Americans. SSP&RIT stated, “Native mascots perpetuate the myth that Native America is purely historical and devoid of any contemporary relevance”. After hearing SSP&RIT's appeal, the school board voted unanimously to abandon the high school's racist Apache mascot.