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East Bay | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice

Oscar Grant and Other Victims of Police Violence Need You on Thursday March 19th
by concerned citizen
Wednesday Mar 18th, 2009 11:33 PM
There are anti-war events going on all over on March 19th and obviously U.S. imperialism abroad is a crucial issue in our time. Rest assured, though, that there will be hundreds if not thousands of other people across Northern California demonstrating against U.S. wars on Thursday, just as we have done for the last seven years since before the war on Iraq even started. There will also be anti-war events you can attend Friday, Saturday, and Sunday depending on where you live. On Saturday in San Francisco, for instance, there will be a large ANSWER rally, and there will be an Anti-Authoritarian Bloc at that march as well. But the war at home against people of color by local police needs you to be one of the few to stand for justice at Rockridge BART on the 19th. If you are not already 110% committed to an anti-imperialism action on Thursday, please seriously consider directing your time and energy to the war at home this one day this week.
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Anita Gay, Casper Banjo, Andrew Moppin, Oscar Grant, the list goes on and on, and those are just the East Bay police murders in the last year. BART itself has murdered three people of color since it began operating. Oakland police have shot 45 people and killed 15 in the last 5 years. Five OPD cops have shot more than one of those people and are still on the payroll. None of the cops in any of those shootings and murders has been disciplined in the slightest way. And of course not a single one of the victims of those police shootings was of European descent.

Standing against the war at home going on in the streets of America is no less important than protesting wars abroad, and the time is right to keep that fight up right here in our very back yard. This violent war by militarized police forces against people of color has been going on as long as this country has existed, but now we find ourselves at a key moment in history where, since January 1st, a new consensus and momentum has converged around seeking justice for the murder of Oscar Grant. Johannes Merhserle was charged, yet the job is very far from done... Tony Pirone struck Oscar Grant several times, on video no less. Not one of the officers on the platform that night even bothered to report a shooting or call for medical help while Oscar Grant lay bleeding on the platform -- they handcuffed him instead. BART Chief Gary Gee has tried to cover it all up since day one, going so far as sending a memo to officers on how to direct money for Mehserle's benefit. And DA Tom Orloff has been less than convincing that he will follow through with a successful conviction of even just Mehserle. All of these cops need to be held to account for their actions, but the only way that will happen is if people like you and me are willing to stand up for justice in a sustained way. It's far too early pat ourselves on the back for Mehserle's arrest and throw in the towel. We have pushed back against the system and gotten a taste of justice. Let's get more.

We cannot afford to let momentum die along with more victims of police violence here in the Bay Area. The nation and the world are watching. The time is right. The time is now. And the only group still standing that is trying to keep the pressure on BART and local officials is No Justice No BART, and they need your help, desperately. They can't go on forever without you. An Oscar Grant event a few days ago was canceled due to lack of turnout, as if the Bay Area can't fight for more than one cause at a time. Direct action gets the goods, as we saw after January 7th, and the time is right to keep up the heat via BART disruptions. If we expect someone else to show up to demand justice, if we bury our anger and outrage over police murders once again, if we become complacent, if we let the charge for justice go silent, well, the police would love nothing more than a return to business as usual. And it's people of color in the Bay Area that will pay the price with their very lives.

There will be plenty of others standing up against U.S. imperialism on March 19th. And you can easily take part in other anti-war events throughout the weekend. On Thursday, though, stand up for justice for Oscar Grant and be there at Rockridge BART at 4pm. Let's fight the war at home too!

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Veggie Lover
Thursday Mar 19th, 2009 12:49 AM
Not Cool! Pigs are very clean animals! Humans keep them in filthy conditions. Thats more of a bad statment about us (humans) than about the pigs!!
by ^
Thursday Mar 19th, 2009 12:59 AM
This was very well-written but the reality of all these little protests is that most of us are working or at school or attending to the many other tasks in our lives on weekdays. There are 7 million people in the Bay Area. Without conflicts in events at the Fruitvale BART, you got perhaps 100 people, as was reported. Now, there will be this flurry of activity over the imperialist wars while the Rockridge BART is picketed. Most people will not attend the weekday activities against the wars and most of the 7 million people in the Bay Area will also not attend the peace march on Saturday, March 21 in San Francisco, a city of 860,000 people, most of whom will not attend any of these events at all. Most of the people at the peace march will not be San Francisco residents. The Tristan Anderson event that conflicted with some Oscar Grant event that was cancelled was reported to have 100-500 people on a cold, wet weekday night, starting when most people are at work, at 4 p.m., and ending for most people around 5:30 p.m. Instead of trying to close the BART station, why don't you just leaflet the people coming and going with the information that is not in the capitalist press, namely that the so-called fight on the packed train was very minor and long over by the time it arrived at the Fruitvale BART station, which means the whole event was a setup, that the cops were using foul and racist language, that Grant and his friend were pulled off the train although they had done absolutely nothing, and all the facts you cited here. There is no information for the general public. The attendance at most of these events is by a MINORITY of people, whether they be the Oscar Grant event, the Tristan Anderson event or this week's peace events. As to the whole world watching this case, that is not true. The whole world is watching their bank account disappear; the economy is the world's concern. Most of the 7 million people in the Bay Area have no idea these events are happening and pay no attention to any of it. They pay attention to their paycheck.
by e
Thursday Mar 19th, 2009 3:26 AM
People might be paying attention to their paychecks for now but not for long if the recession continues to get worse. Wealthy middle class Americans are already being hit with massive layoffs and foreclosures and now they are poor along with those who have been poor their entire lives.

No one is safe from this global financial meltdown. When everything is lost, the only excuse you’ll have for not standing up with us in a fight for change, is your own fear of what might happen. You’re afraid! Welcome to the club! That’s what we have to deal with all the time. Get used to it. Just an expression!

Some of us have been abused, beaten, had guns pointed to our heads, pushed, shoved, jailed, and killed in the worst case scenario by police in "OUR" line of duty to protect our rights and the right of other others to not have their country invaded and bombed the shit out of by “BIG Bully USA”.

The United States reminds me of all the jocks that used to pick on all the nerds at school who were smart and had all the money. Funny thing is a lot of these jokes I mean jocks grew up to become police men and joined the military and a lot of the smart nerds grew up to become members of government and big business. Some of those nerds decided beating them as opposed to joining them was the much smarter and humane thing to do.

So the US knows very well how to manipulate countries and in cases where the US might have a hard time, will burn the country down to the ground making the country submit. The US is better at manipulating it's own citizens than anybody else because a large portion of it's citizens believe that their media is reliable and free even though their media beats the drums of war everytime and bashes anybody who disagrees to show their patriotism.

That is too much power for a government to have. Democracy and human rights in America is non-existent. Being an activist before 911 I was not fooled so easily to support any military action. Especially seeing the way the towers came down like a controlled demolition but that’s another story.

Anyway, as an activist I have been willing put by body on the line when ever I got the chance. Deep down inside some of you so called skeptics may truly believe we live in a police state but are too afraid to acknowledge it to anyone. You might not be ready yet to admit it. You might act like it doesn’t matter unless it affects you assuming that it never will one day.

Don’t bury your head in the sand with your butt hanging out while a storm is on the way. Now is not the time to wait for things to get worse before taking action. Set an example now by taking action now before you lose your job and get all depressed. You can use money that you have left to at least prepare for what’s to come.

It’s time to man the fuck up and make the time to attend large protests and use civil disobedience tactics and inspire others to do the same to end this ugly war and make a difference in the world rather than thinking about just our selves all the time. Capitalist institutions getting fat and happy off of us is kind of our fault when we do nothing to oppose them. We only hurt our selves by going back to sleep.

Those people out in the street demonstrating are the future. Obama is not. He’s still an imperialist in the pure sense of the word. We should be w/drawing forces from Afghanistan not just Iraq. Nation building and occupation can't go on forever. We have to put a stop it. See yall in the streets.

Peace!