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SF Oct. 22nd Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization of a Genera
Photos from the SF march and rallies for the 11th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation
Several hundred people came out to the streets of San Francisco to rally and march against police brutality. We gathered at 2pm at Haight and Stanyan for a short rally, with an opening circle with families of people who have been killed by the police. Speakers included 94 year-old homeless woman Bessie and her sons speaking about the police brutalizing her, family members, the Coalition on Homelessness, and more. We headed out down Haight Street, with lots of chanting, and an amplified microphone in the lead truck (thanks to ANSWER). We marched down one side of the street, with a few SFPD officers here and there, making sure that noone tried to attack the march. Or making sure that we didn't get too radical. It was a long march through the Haight, kind of part of the Fillmore area, and the Western Addition. We got to climb some hills and really appreciate what a beautiful city San Francisco is, while we called out names of loved ones who weren't able to be physically "presente" with us. Around when we got to Jefferson Square Park, we found out that Sangh, a brother of Asa Sullivan, had been arrested two hours before (isn't it interesting that they picked this day to arrest him?)- he did get out in time to get to the rally.
People got up on stage and talked about their experiences with police brutality and organizing against it. One neighbor came by to complain about the fact that one speaker (and only one) had used "bad" words on stage- he said that he didn't care one way or the other about what she was speaking about, he just didn't want his kids to hear cursing. Hate to tell you, but they are going to hear them all over the place as they get older and get out of the house. I tried to explain that people are speaking with and about raw emotion, about what is for many of these families the worst thing that ever happened to them.
This was the first October 22nd for the families of Asa Sullivan and Oliver "Big O" Lefiti, and their loved ones were out in force. Many families were represented- I tried to make sure to get photos of them, but I might have missed a few who I didn't know. I saw Elvira Pollard, the mother of Gustavus Rugley; Julio and Mirna Ayala, the parents of Julio Ayala; Frank Rosenberg, father of Richard Rosenberg; a friend of my former housemate Myky (Michael Roehl); Cammerin Boyd's aunt; Daniel Garcia, brother of Mark Garcia; and more. Mr. Abrakasa, whose son Aubry Abrakasa's body was found shot dead outside of his home this summer, had been driving by and stopped to find out about the issues, and to hopefully find some solace for his grief with others who were also dealing with senseless deaths (he is concerned that SFPD is not doing enough to find out who killed his son-- did they kill him?).
This year, October 22nd organizers felt more urgency than ever, as they had to address more issues than usual- from the new torture bill that Bush signed; to increased criminalization of and attacks on immigrants, the homeless, people of color; and many others. Organizers were also concerned about addressing the expansion of Homeland Security; repression of protests, first amendment rights generally, and more specifically journalists such as Josh Wolf; and of gentrification in neighborhoods like Bayview/Hunters Point that is backed up by police with guns, batons, and the "okay" from the city government to harass and arrest.
I think this was the first year that several anti-war groups got involved in organizing for October 22nd, as well as ANSWER, Workers World, and the Grey Panthers. People wanted to make a strong connection between the attempted "redevelopment" of Bayview Hunters Point and the repression that is going on there and all over the city.
The guy holding up one end is the nephew of Mark Garcia, who was killed by SFPD in the Mission in 1996
her son Julio Ayala was killed by South San Francisco police
got police intimidation?
father of Richard Rosenberg (killed by Fremont PD), October 22nd organizers
political hip hop- sorry about having had the wrong name before, hopefully this sets it right
Big O's partner
i believe that members of his family were at the October 22nd event in San Jose (post a report!)
publisher of the SF Bayview newspaper: http://sfbayview.com/