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Center Column Archives
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.
Thirteen-year-old Andy Lopez was killed by sheriff's deputy Erick Gelhaus on October 22. Deputies claimed they only learned afterward that Andy Lopez was holding a toy gun. On October 28, friends and family of Andy Lopez held a Rosario where he was killed. On October 29, hundreds of community members marched to the Sonoma County sheriff's department, and on October 30 hundreds marched again. On November 5, a “Jailhouse for Gelhaus” march made itself heard at the District Attorney's office: “We demand Erick Gelhaus be immediately fired, arrested, and Indicted for the Murder of Andy Lopez.”
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."