Santa Rosa October 22nd Coalition March and Rally to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, & the Criminalization of a Generation
Santa Rosa represents our region in this year's Historic 12th National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, to give collective voice to People's grave concerns about law enforcement, both locally and globally.
Santa Rosa, CA – [October 7, 2007] – On Oct. 22nd, 2007 the People of Sonoma County will march through Santa Rosa neighborhoods to protest the 9 deaths of people killed in the past year by local law enforcement. All people of the Bay Area are encouraged to unite at this march and rally TO STOP POLICE ABUSE OF POWER.
The march begins at 4PM in Southwest Community Park (Hearn & Burbank Aves; 5PM feeder march from Sebastopol Rd and West Ave), followed by a 6PM rally in Old Courthouse Square (4th St and Mendocino Ave). There will be an open microphone at the rally. Speakers expected include surviving loved ones of victims, people who suffer from past and present police abuses, and all others who wish to speak. This escalating, brutal abuse affects the whole of our diverse community, uniting us all under one veil of oppression.
This terrifying epidemic of deadly force is long established: From Apr. 1, 1995 to March 10, 1998, at least 15 people were killed by local police or died in-custody. From Jan. 7, 2000 to Sept. 24, 2007, at least 35 people were killed by local police or died in-custody. In a recent 9 week period, local police shot and killed 5. Two deaths resulted from 911 calls for mental health assistance by family members of people in crisis and ended in officers tragically killing both 16-year old Jeremiah Chass, and Richard Desantis, father of 2. Adding to the body count is: Haki Thurston unarmed & shot 27 times, Luis Sanchez, shot 7 times, and Walter Heller, unarmed & Tased. In the County Jail, family pleas to get desired medical care for Ryan George's sickle cell anemia went ignored by the Sheriff. This 22 year-old black man died, leaving behind his pregnant fiancée. In the latest trend of in-custody deaths, Richard Williamson Jr. and Gregorey Townsley both died despite informing jail staff that they would suffer treatable symptoms of withdrawal associated with diseases of addiction. The Sheriff continues to respond that policies surrounding medical issues are adequate. Numerous forums have emerged to stop this plague of abuses, drawing concern from: US Commission on Civil Rights, Committee for Civil Rights, Committee for Immigrant Rights, NAACP, ACLU, County of Refuge, AIM, MEChA, Copwatch, Peace and Justice Center of Sonoma County, & NAMI. A widely representative cross-section of the community calls for systemic change.
Every day, people of color; Latino, African-American, Asian-Americans, Native American, and especially youth, are racially profiled by police. MAGNET - a militarized unit, led by the Sheriff, supposedly targets gang violence. Though not required by law, the Sheriff has requested that ICE (Immigration & Customs Enforcement) collaborate with MAGNET to deport people not proven guilty of crimes. These deportations tear families apart. Youth seeking healthy social outlet find their clubs raided and shut down by Santa Rosa Police, as with Epiphany, a popular Santa Rosa night spot. Ineffective DUI checkpoints sweep working class neighborhoods for minor infractions, impounding cars of those who can least afford it. Local police agencies benefit financially from impounds and tickets while also benefiting through increased social control and decreased community empowerment.
We believe that resisting these abuses of power is both necessary and possible. The community will be taking to the street on October 22nd. Wear black in solidarity with those who’ve died at the hands of law enforcement. Please join us in action and in speaking out to Unite! Resist! Liberate!
Added to the calendar on Sunday Oct 7th, 2007 4:31 PM