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Center Column Archives
Darwin Bond-Graham writes:
"All summer long the slaying of teenager Alan Blueford by a police officer festered in the city of Oakland, a metropolis already stained by its troubled police department which for nearly ten years has been spiraling toward federal receivership due to its institutionalized culture of brutality and misconduct. It was no surprise then that the first meeting of the City Council [September 18], in its new session after the Summer recess, was met by over one hundred outraged protesters and the family of the young man whose death at the hands of OPD frustratingly remains a mystery, with all known facts indicating an unjustifiable murder."
On August 19th, the Idriss Stelley Foundation (ISF) and the Kenneth Harding Jr. Foundation teamed up with POOR Magazine and Peoples Community Medics for a day of solidarity in Bayview/Hunter's Point in order to bring attention to the police accountability movement. Idriss Stelley was murdered by the SFPD at the Sony Metreon Theater on June 12th, 2001 at only 23-years-old. Stelley's mother, Mesha Monge-Irizarry, an activist before her son's killing, has become one of the leading figures in the police accountability movement.
A well-known anti-Muslim group known as "The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)" began running Islamophobic ads on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad." After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, local artists took matters into their own hands and began modifiying the ads. Several now read: "In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism."
The Alameda County Board of Supervisors proclaimed Palestinian Cultural Day at its regular meeting in the Alameda County Administration Building in Oakland on Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. Board President Nate Miley and Supervisor Wilma Chan awarded the Proclamation to representatives of the Palestinian community: Fouad Atieh, Sandra Nasser, Nabil Wahbeh, and Loubna Qutami. The proclamation is a victory for Palestinian residents who have long sought recognition as a community despite sometimes fierce opposition.
On Saturday, July 21st, Anaheim police shot and killed 25-year-old Manuel Diaz by shooting him in the back and head. Police then opened fire on protestors with beanbags and pepper spray, and also released a dog which attacked demonstrators. The next day, Anaheim police shot and killed Joel Acevedo. On July 26th and July 27th, marches were held in San Francisco and Oakland in solidarity with the people of Anaheim. In Oakland, protesters marched to OPD headquarters and windows were smashed at the Warehouse Bar & Grill, a local bar frequented by Oakland police.
As he begins his 37th year of wrongful imprisonment, Native American leader and activist Leonard Peltier will be honored on Tuesday, June 26th
with singing and drumming on Ohlone land at Theodore Lenzen Park in San Jose. Community members will discuss what can be done to secure Peltier's release from prison.
On June 12th, family members held a memorial for Derrick Gaines, a 15-year-old who was shot and killed by an officer with the South San Francisco Police Department on the evening of June 5th. Police claim that Gaines, who was walking with a friend near an Arco gas station, was engaging in "suspicious behavior".