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Two months in: The maturing of the Oscar Grant III Justice Movement
by SFBayView
Wednesday Mar 11th, 2009 8:38 AM
The blessing in this tragedy is that Oscar Grant’s murder reawakened militant resistance in the Bay Area that has not been seen since the demise of the Black Panther Party. As well, the fight for justice has aligned many different groups of people who don’t normally work together.
February 28, 2009
Two months in: The maturing of the Oscar Grant III Justice Movement
by POCC Minister of Information JR

In the two months since the police execution-style murder of the 22-year-old unarmed and handcuffed Hayward father of a 4-year-old girl, Oscar Grant III, there has been an awakening of the sleeping giant, the social consciousness of the people, around this and connected issues. There are all kinds of coalitions formed as a result of this act of police terrorism and murder that consist of people from all ethnicities and various economic classes and walks of life.

The blessing in this tragedy is that Oscar Grant’s murder reawakened militant resistance in the Bay Area that has not been seen since the demise of the Black Panther Party. As well, the fight for justice has aligned many different groups of people who don’t normally work together.

BART Boycott/Jump the Gate Days

The POCC and Black Dot coalition have called for a boycott/jump the gate day on Friday, Feb. 27, to commemorate the birthday of Oscar Grant III. His birthday is just a jump-off for the campaign to make BART more accountable in this case and in general.

Some have had questions about the effectiveness of this campaign, so I must explain that although boycotting and jumping the BART gate are acts that are targeted at hurting the income of BART, we realize that two weeks is not enough time to organize people by the thousands to stop supporting BART with their BART fare. That is why it is a jump-off for the campaign.

The real plan is to give people who are not on the front lines, people who do not go to rallies and meetings, a point of entry into this movement, where they can participate discreetly and without a whole lot of work on their part.

Future dates that we plan to boycott or jump the gate are the days on which Mehserle and hopefully other involved police go to court, as well as days when members of the Oakland 100 go to court. The Oakland 100 are the approximately 160 people arrested over the three days in January in which there were rebellions in downtown Oakland. We are asking for as many coalitions, organizations and individuals to support this demand as possible and to mention it in interviews, in speeches and in their literature that pertains to this case.

The Oakland 100

According to lawyer John Viola of the National Lawyers Guild, out of the 160 people arrested in the Oakland Rebellions, all of the misdemeanors have been dropped except three or four, and the people still charged go to court at 661 Washington St. in downtown Oakland on Friday, March 6.

All four of the people charged with felonies are still facing felonies. Two of these cases will be heard on Friday, April 3, at 9 a.m. in Courtroom 112 at 661 Washington St.

We are urging everyone to email District Attorney Tom Orloff’s office at alacoda [at] acjob.org and demand that the charges against all of the protesters be dropped. You can also call Flora Passaglia, the prosecutor assigned by the DA to at least two of the felonies, at (510) 268-7500.

KPFA Radio

KPFA was the first listener sponsored station in the country when it went into business in 1949 and was seen as a beacon of audio resistance in Northern California. Sixty years later, East African born General Manager Lemlem Rijio has had broadcasters reprimanded because of their support for me and the Oakland 100. Those broadcasters that I know of at this time are Noelle Hanrahan, Nina Serrano and the La Raza Chronicles crew.

Noelle was written up and charged with “the violation of station policy in 3 regards.” Those are, first, “station policy prohibits any broadcasts which can be interpreted as a direct ‘call to action’ or advocating action on the air,” second, “you were not authorized by KPFA or Pacifica management to broadcast this information over the air,” and third, “you did not present this editorial with proper disclaimers indicating that the information being broadcast was not the opinion or position of KPFA.”

All of this is some bullshit, considering that KPFA is constantly begging for money. Isn’t that a “call to action” or “advocating action on the air”? What about all of the concerts and other events that are announced. Wouldn’t those fit under “calls to action” or “advocating action”?

Secondly, since I have been volunteering at KPFA for over six consecutive years now, no broadcaster to my knowledge has ever asked or gotten authorization to broadcast information. We just do it. If this rule were really followed, management wouldn’t be managing anything because all of their time would be consumed with previewing what is going to go on the air 24 hours a day.

Thirdly, I’ve heard members of management broadcast editorials without proper disclaimers. A case in point is the Local Station Board shows after the police beating of Nadra Foster in KPFA in August, Lemlem lied on the air to cover up her management team’s role in the police beating and the staff was never consulted. How can Lemlem take bogus positions on the air without any oversight, but broadcasters are supposed to jump through hoolahoops?

This recent attack on Noelle, Nina and La Raza Chronicles illustrates, during the 60th anniversary year of KPFA, just how far KPFA is from being the progressive, radical, grassroots community station they claim it is. We are urging everyone to call KPFA and tell them that you will not give them another cent until the General Manager Lemlem Rijio is fired or steps down. We need a constant inundation of calls to kick off this part of the campaign.

Farrakhan came to West Oakland

The best thing about Min. Louis Farrakhan coming to West Oakland on the birthday of Black Panther Minister of Defense Huey P. Newton was that his speech helped to mobilize people to go to Sacramento to lobby and protest. I wasn’t able to join the Caravan for Justice to the state capital on Feb. 19, but Francisco Da Costa, who did attend, wrote more extensively about this event.

‘Fuck the Police! We Ain’t Listenin!’

Last but not least I have to mention the phenomenal Oscar Grant anthem by Oakland rappers Beeda Weeda and J. Stalin called “Fuck the Police! We Ain’t Listenin!” If you haven’t already heard it, you could find it at http://www.blockreportradio.com. This song is a testament to the fact that youngstas in the streets, in the ghetto, are just as involved and concerned about stopping the rampant police terrorism and police killing in Black neighborhoods as everybody else and are not going to follow the suit-and-tie leadership that was not in the streets on the nights that downtown Oakland was on fire.

To all of the people on the frontlines, continue to fight. Look at what just happened with the officers being convicted in the police murder of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston in Atlanta. We did not get them on the charges that would have put them away forever, but best believe what happened in Oakland had a lot to do with the Atlanta jury convicting these pigs, and not just letting them walk. It can’t be peace, until we get a piece.

Email POCC Minister of Information JR at blockreportradio [at] gmail.com and visit http://www.blockreportradio.com.



KPFA broadcasts two interviews with Minister of Information JR on Oscar Grant’s birthday, Feb. 27

Anita Johnson, host of Hard Knock Radio, the “news, views and hip hop” show heard weekdays at 4 p.m. on KPFA 94.1 FM or KPFA.org, interviews Minister of Information JR and reveals a new twist in the struggle by young people of color at KPFA and their supporters to stop the station’s censorship of their top priority issues. That interview, which starts 23 minutes into the show, is followed by Anita’s interview with celebrated playwright Ntozake Shange about her play, “for colored girls who have considered suicide with the rainbow is enuf,” currently playing at the Black Repertory Theatre in Berkeley.

Full Circle, a production of KPFA’s First Voice apprenticeship program, devoted its entire show, 7-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, to police terrorism and especially the case of Oscar Grant. Hear an interview with MOI JR, segments from the first Town Bizness Townhall Meeting he hosted, on Jan. 23, and segments from the first town hall meeting at Olivet Missionary Baptist Church.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Trying to win
Wednesday Mar 11th, 2009 8:22 PM
Two months in and you can see the weakness of trying to get much out of organizing around a police incident.

First, the system is grinding on. The officer is charged. He was handed a huge $3 mill bail. So the protest groups escalate their demands to the point of ridiculous. C'mon, no BART police? DA Orloff resign - after he upped the charge to murder? You just give some other lawyer a clean start as county chief prosecutor.

Second, as time goes on more background comes out. Oscar Grant was cominb back from a short trip to SF to do drug business. He was loaded and high on Fentanyl. He had got in people's face on the BART car. He was on parole. Put that all together, and he made bad choices. He called the woman BART cop a "fake-a** b*tch." He mouthed off to the other cops. He kept his hand under his body until it was too late - yup, he was NOT handcuffed when the shot was fired. All this is going to help Mehserle's lawyer beat the murder charge. Involuntary manslaughter is the likely verdict, and the public will receive the verdict as fair and just.

Meanwhile, the first poverty pimp trying to make a name off the incident, Dereca Blackmon, seems to be keeping a lower profile these days. City council rep Desley Brooks looks real nice lately squabbling with other council reps over where she gets to park her Jaguar. The up and comer is George some-hyphenated-name, a grad student at UC Berkeley after going to Cambridge University. He traveled to Venezuela, returning as an instant expert on the Hugo Chavez movement. He'll move on to his next excellent adventure soon enough.
by e
Thursday Mar 12th, 2009 3:47 AM
Listen here buddy, there's nothing you can say or do to stop people from attending NJNB SHUTDOWNS! I remember hearing people having the same attitude in the Rodney King Beating Case right before the LA Riots broke out. I've never felt so good in my life and I'm definitely not gonna let a little pipsqueak like you screw everything up. Were on a roll here and unless you got something to say filled with hope for our movement, "JUST SAY NOTHING". Now that I've seen how people can come together to turn things upside-down through Direct Action and or Civil Disobedience, for once I can confidently say were gonna go a long way with this! This is our new tool for democracy. Representative government works through fear of riots. I guess people are more than a little fed up right now with their local representatives representing special interest people instead of real people like the working poor and people with out a home. This is why I hate government so much. The only people “they” ever cater to are big business men and they give a lot to the police just to protect their little cozy love relationship that they have with each other. People are already tired of the way things are running and the execution of Oscar Grant was just enough needed to push people over the edge. Well it's about god-damn time we stood up. I thank everybody for helping to put this up-rising movement together and thank all participating in the Oscar Grant III Actions. I believe that we have finally revolutionized the movement for social and economic justice in the Bay Area by taking it to the next level; that being shutting things down. "IT WORKS!" Had there never been a riot, Meserly would have never been brought in as soon as he was but nevertheless the guy still got bail and was released eventually and is still walking free and I hear he's still carrying firearms. Now I'm hearing the charges might get reduced to misdemeanor. All of this stuff happens after the riots are over of course because they think they have us under control again. This only proves our point that the only way we will ever get justice is by confronting the power structure. The injustice of giving police a slap on the wrist just for being a police officer reflects the corruption of the system we live in and does no other than enable more of the same by the police; that means the community being terrorized. We will not be terrorized by the police anymore. We need this guy to do time to make an example out of him so all the other trigger happy cops in police departments across the nation will think twice before committing murder and abusing people as often as they do. Our demands to abolish Bart Police will be met eventually because BART will not live free from sabotage until they do. Until they eliminate BART COPS, things are gonna continue to escalate and there’s nothing that city officials and police can do about it except surrender their overwhelming power. They can try to call in the National Guard but that will just escalate the situation again. Look, we’re not asking for a war with the military. All we're asking for is a little bit of respect and some recognition through reform which is not a lot to ask. There's a whole lot more that we could have put on the plate of demands but we're doing things a little bit at a time. Hope to see you at the Oscar Grant Protest on March 19th at the Rockridge Bart Station. See you all there! Cheers! Photobucket