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East Bay | Racial Justice

Thousands gather by Oakland's City Hall - send a clear message for Justice and Oscar Grant
by Francsico Da Costa
Wednesday Jan 14th, 2009 8:34 PM
As many as five thousands plus gather outside Oakland's City Hall to protest the cold blooded shooting by a Bart Police Officer Johannes Mehserle of a 22 year old Oscar Grant. Many leaders from all over the Bay Area were present - including Mayor Ron Dellums of Oakland - who spoke in generalities. Oakland Police came out in force but the march that followed the speech making - was very peaceful. The thousands that gathered on this historic day - sent a clear message to Law Enforcement - that shooting and killing innocent people is wrong. But, more so killing innocent Blacks will not be tolerated - as was done in the case of Oscar Grant a 22 year old father from Hayward.
The memory of Oscar Grant lives in the minds of many people. So may videos have been shown over and over again - that people are making Oscar Grant the martyr part of their lives and their families.

Over five thousands people gather outside Oakland's City Hall and many speeches were made - most of them calling for peace and remembering Oscar Grant. A few called for justice but the tone of the speeches were mild.

Today, January 14, 2009 history was made in Oakland by the thousands that decided to stand up for what is right. This day will be remembered for a long time - and as the days turn to weeks to months and years - good things will come from this historic - gathering for justice and Oscar Grant. His life was precious and his going away has already made many good - changes.

Again and again some speakers called for peace and a peaceful march and rightly so. The last time around some of the violence and destruction was not called for - but those at ground zero say that it had to happen - to bring attention to Oakland, the Nation and the World.

It is very true that Oscar Grant was shot in the back and killed by a Police Officer who decided to flee and was nabbed in Nevada. He is now in jail - and I hope he and others of his ilk - remember that cowards like him - will be brought to justice.

For years Blacks and others of color have been discriminated by Law Enforcement. They do this because they have a gun and a uniform. But, take that away - the cowards cannot face a real man. These same jerks - shiver like a dog who has his tail between its legs.

There was some fear that the crowds that had gathered outside Oakland's City Hall would create ruckus but that did not happen.

The organizers put a lot of work into today's gathering and I was informed of this meeting days ago. One organizer had me on the roster to speak - but I think - too many speakers want to have their say. I got a chance to observe and take some photographs which I like doing - anyway.

Oakland Police Department was in force - but, they were well behaved because I do not think they expected a crowd of over five thousand. Some say as much as seven thousand. They were forced to be on their best behavior and rightly so.

It was pathetic to hear some television stations say a couple of hundred gathered at this protest. That is the trouble with our Main Media - they fail to report objectively and they fail - again and again to do their investigative reporting.

In the case of Oscar Grant had there been no video taken by the public at large and many videos at that - this case would never be what it is today. It is the public from day one that took upon themselves - to sound the clarion call and demand justice.

There were other young Black men with Oscar Grant that were arrested - treated badly and jailed for six hours plus. They all suffered and nothing much has been written about them by the Main Press. The Main Press loves what sells - and that is sensational news - to up their stupid - ratings.

The Bart Board owed an apology to the men that were jailed for over six hours. When are we going to hear that? May be they all should get a written apology? Can the Main Media write something about that? May be?

We have NOT heard a word from President Elect Barack Obama about the case and Oscar Grant. The world has heard about it - but our soon to be Black President-Elect - has been silent. Even as he has been silent on the killings going on in Gaza.

Well, today in the Bay Area there is a Movement that has been in place for some time now.

Had it not been for the Movement - the protest and the ground work that led to the many hearings at the Bart Board would not have taken place.

More the gatherings at the Church that brought together - the sisters and brothers who now are fully aware that UNITY and STRENGTH matter - when, it comes to those that love to divide us and then trample on our rights. They have done this for years - using laws that favor them to kill, shoot, and commit crime in the open.

Then just like that they cover their tracks and it is as if nothing - happened.

It is a shame that the many Black leaders have been silent for so long a period. Many of the sell outs - are used to taking the bread crumbs and they act worst then the Mastas from the Plantation Days. Believe you me.

In fact it must be known that the some Black Leaders in the Bay Area have been approached by the MOVEMENT - and told in no uncertain terms - to wake up - that most Blacks and others of color will be history - if we permit those in authority who are not Black to divide and destroy our families.

Look at our jails that is a trillion dollar industry - the majority of those that are jailed are Blacks.
Some estimates say - over fifty percent are innocent - but Black Leaders have done nothing much - expect, continue to feed on the bread crumbs given them by those in authority that want to divide us.

Can you imagine the pain felt by the Oscar Grant family and his relatives. Yet, again and again the family cognizant that violence in the extreme - may cause hurt to other human beings - have pleaded for peace. I have heard them and paid attention to their sentiments.

Oscar Grant will bring about a new sense to Community Policing in our neighborhoods. Is is left to us to take our communities to a better place. It is left to us to fine tune our moral compass. It is left to us to educate ourselves on issues.

So many of us just talk the talk and fail again and again to walk the walk.

Oscar Grant will also hopefully spur Law Enforcement to be mindful as to tax payer and that they have an obligation to be fair and uphold - justice.

The Bart Police Officers have had a bad track record. Listening to the Bart Police Chief and his first comments - clearly showed lack of leadership. He must resign and with him the five or more Bart Police Officers - that were a witness to the cold blooded shooting and killing of Oscar Grant.

We the people want to read their Incident Reports from these five or so Bart Police Officers.

We the people want to hear their testimony.

We the people want to know - if they have the courage to uphold the law and adhere by the principles of justice.

Many of these Bart Officers - for years - thought they could commit crimes and discriminate and suffer no consequences.

Well, that day is gone and a new day will take them to task - and if they do not change their ways - we, the people - will demand that they go elsewhere.

In the Bay Area - we will watch them very carefully and change the laws that today - favor these Rogue Police Officers.

We the people must be mindful that there are laws in the books that favor Rogue Police Officers.

This took place because we the people were fast asleep.

It is time - a Citizens Task Force be formed and that we initiate a Ballot Measure to throw out - those crooked laws that favor the actions of Rogue Police Officers. The Rogue Police Officers - are in the minority but they are a disgrace to the human race and to all things - decent.

In days to come - many will realize that the death of Oscar Grant was not in vain.

May his soul rest in peace.

Our heart felt condolences to his family and relatives.

The many friends of Oscar Grant that he had and that have spoken to me. They say he had a smile that lives forever.

Enjoy some of the photographs:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/franciscodacosta/sets/72157612534434183/show/

Francisco Da Costa
Director
Environmental Justice Advocacy

Comments  (Hide Comments)

I was there from 3PM until 9:15PM. There were 1200 people there maximum. I have been in the plaza when 3000 were there and this crowd was nowhere near half of that. It certainly was not 5000!

And it did turn violent. Just like the idiots last week, some of them had to start breaking windows and starting fires. Two dozen people were arrested. Bart closed the 12th and 19th street stations. I had to hitch a ride to Macarthur to get home. They were handing out leaflets early this afternoon telling people which businesses were okay to damage. The organizers should have ended this fiasco before it started today. They made their point last week. This was just piling on and it accomplished nothing.

The BART cop needs to pay dearly for his crime. He murdered Oscar. But where is this same moral outrage when 100 people died in the streets this year at the hands of other citizens. Why don't theses same people protest that? Why can't they generate the same energy to fight this crime? If they did, it would stop!

And how does ruining the ability of poor people to earn a paycheck help solve this problem? When you damage these businesses, do you think their owners suffer? You idiots only cause poor people to lose working time. You are a bunch of heartless bastards who only care about yourselves.

Lastly, the only clear message sent to lawmakers is that people in Oakland are incapable of acting civilized for a few hours. Eventually, some of them will begin punishing each other. Just like they did to 100 of their citizens in 2008.
by ryman
Thursday Jan 15th, 2009 6:06 AM
Were there really leaflets about property or businesses? Can you give a better idea of how they were worded, or scan one in"
by gotta say it
Friday Jan 16th, 2009 11:44 PM
that's racist, plain and simple

then to say the people of Oakland, as in ALL of them, killed 100 people last year, just adds insult to injury

and somehow you forgot to mention that OPD killed 8 citizens last year, and they are supposed to be the "serve and protect" professionals