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East Bay | LGBTI / Queer | Police State and Prisons

Queers and Feminists Condemn Recent “Hate Crime” Arrests and Reject OPD Charges
by Some Feminists and Queers of Occupy Oakland
Monday Mar 5th, 2012 12:54 PM
Oakland Occupy Patriarchy, A Working Group of Occupy Oakland Feminists & Queers, Responds to Recent Arrests for Alleged Hate Speech Regarding Perceived Sexuality
Oakland, CA – March 5, 2012 – Last week, three of our comrades from Occupy Oakland were charged with robbery and “hate crimes” against someone for allegedly making hateful remarks about her (perceived) sexuality. Our perspective is this: police frequently lie, and we have no reason to believe them now.

We have worked with and alongside these three people with solidarity and love for months. These are people we’ve cooked, cleaned, cracked jokes with, and danced with, at Occupy Oakland encampment, and at countless events. We will be at their court dates and ready with warm food when they are released. On the other hand, we have experienced nothing but brutality from OPD. We have been terrorized, assaulted, condescended to, verbally abused, and called gendered and homophobic slurs by officers in the Oakland Police Department and deputies in the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

We want to make something unquestionably clear: The exclusive role of the police is to serve and protect the interests of the ruling class. Some may not like to use the words we identify ourselves with, but we use them here intentionally. The police and the state do not care about us women, fags, dykes, trans people and queer people, unless one of us also happens to be rich and powerful. Or, unless giving the perception of protecting us helps to justify their racist, patriarchal attacks on poor people, as they did on Friday, March 2nd in their press release.

We have seen the city and the police department lie on a regular basis in order to throw occupiers in jail, particularly homeless people and people of color. While we in Oakland Occupy Patriarchy challenge misogyny and gendered violence, the OPD appropriates the language of our struggles to serve its own purposes.

If someone hurts us because of our gender, race, or sexuality, that is something for us to handle ourselves, whether it means mediation, accountability, reparations, violent retaliation, or exclusion — that is for us to work out together, without the police. In order to do that, we need to break down the barriers that the police and the capitalists are so interested in building between us, so that we can start learning how to work together. It is something we began in the Oakland Commune before the City of Oakland cracked down on our collective projects.

The OPD writes, “The Oakland Police Department prioritizes hate crimes for immediate investigation.” Their claim that they care about “hate crimes” is a manipulation of our identities as women and queers in order to justify state violence that we absolutely oppose.
March 5, 2012

Press Advisory
Contacts: John Viola


WHAT: THREE OCCUPY OAKLAND ACTIVISTS WRONGFULLY ACCUSED OF FELONY CHARGES TO BE ARRAIGNED TODAY.

Following the arraignments friends and family will speak out with their legal team.

WHEN: MONDAY, March 5, 2012 – 3:00 p.m. (following arraignment).

WHERE: Wiley Manuel Courthouse- 661 Washington Street, Oakland CA Department 112 (We will gather outside the courtroom doors).


Three Occupy Oakland activists arrested and wrongfully accused of felony robbery and hate crimes will be arraigned in Department 112 at Wiley Manuel Court in Oakland today at 2:00 p.m. Following their arraignments, friends, family, and their legal team will speak out.

“According to the reports that we have, the complainant was an active participant in the alleged altercation and use of derogatory speech. This minor alleged incident would be far better resolved through mediation and a community based process than through prosecution,” said attorney Yolanda Huang.

“These charges are part of a blatant effort by the Oakland Police Department to discredit and intimidate activists, and draw attention away from its own misconduct. Regrettably, officials have exaggerated this incident as a pretext for cracking down on the young social movement. The resources of the District Attorney’s office would be far better spent prosecuting cases against the still unaccountable people and corporations that looted our economy,” said National Lawyer Guild attorney John Viola.



#End#
News from: Oakland Police Department


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 2, 2012


Three Occupy Oakland Protesters Arrested and Charged with Robbery and Hate Crimes

Oakland, CA – On March 2, 2012, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office charged three Occupy Oakland protesters with felony counts of robbery and hate crimes.

On February 22, 2012, at 6:00 p.m., the Oakland Police Department contacted a female victim after responding to a report of a robbery in the 4000 block of Piedmont Avenue. The victim told officers she had been walking down the street, across from the Wells Fargo bank, near a small group of Occupy Oakland protesters calling for a riot. The victim, who has been a resident of the area for over 20 years, suggested to the protesters not to riot in her neighborhood.

She was surrounded by three protestors and battered as they yelled vulgar epithets regarding their perception of her sexual orientation. Her wallet was taken during the crime. The victim broke away from the group, and called police who were able to arrest one suspect near the scene.

The Oakland Police Department prioritizes hate crimes for immediate investigation. A suspect who commits a hate crime aims not only to terrify or harm one individual, but to threaten and terrorize the entire actual or perceived group of people to which the victim may belong.

The two additional suspects were located and arrested at a February 29th Occupy protest following investigation by the OPD Major Crimes Section.

This investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Major Crimes Section at (510) 238-XXXX.

Suspects Charged

Suspect-1, M.D., White male, 1979
Suspect-2 , N.C., African American female, 1988
Suspect-3, R.W, African American male, 1987


For more information, please contact the Media Relations Office at 510.238.XXXX or opdmedia [at] fuckOPD.com.

An Oakland Police Department Hate Crime Information Pamphlet with community resource information has not been taken seriously by the racist suburban officers of the Oakland Police Department.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Dan
Monday Mar 5th, 2012 10:41 PM
The OPD release claims there was video of the attack, likely from Ustream. Is that currently available? News reports that is was taken down by the creator, which doesn't bode well for openness and accountability. It'd would be good to see that to better decide how legit the charges are. Right now, I find it hard to believe there is not something behind the charges.
by tonyruzzapolitic.com
( tonyruzzapolitics [at] gmail.com ) Monday Mar 5th, 2012 11:08 PM
I LOVE YA! i say FUCK THE POLICE! DOWN WITH THE FASCIST POLICE STATE! KEEP THE REVOLUTION GOING!
by Dennis
Tuesday Mar 6th, 2012 4:41 AM
The Occupy Movement lost me as a progressive when it turned violent. The Obama's children had their home placed in lock down when an Occupy member threw incendiary devices on the White House lawn on the night of Michele Obama's birthday (she and the president were not home at the time, as they were out celebrating her birthday). No one in the Movement denounced that. How frightening for those children to think that their home was being firebombed. Thankfully, there was no damaging fire. It was not ironic (but it reeked of racism) that a mob of angry (mostly white) people threw incendiary devices at the home where black children live. But it was fucking sick and hateful and served no purpose whatsoever in getting a message of reform across to America (including those of us who had been very supportive of the movement). Arson attacks have their sick history in Black America, and that history apparently continues thanks, in part, to the Occupy DC people (none of whom, as I said, denounced the attack).

Now, we see that a few in the Occupy Oakland movement have been accused of committing an anti-lesbian hate crime. How ironic that a supposed group of liberals would fall back on their base homophobic natures and attack a woman because of her sexuality as she voiced her disapproval with how the movement is conducting itself. It wasn't the first time a gay woman was attacked because of her sexuality, and sadly it won't be the last. Completely ignoring the history of hate crimes in the United States (namely, that police often fail to classify and arrest those who commit bias-motivated crimes), now the Occupy Oakland people are saying that the police OVER-charged these three. WOW, just wow. The level of hubris. Well as an openly queer man, I say fuck the hate crime perps and those who support them or deny that the hate crime occurred. I've dealt with homophobes including those who are themselves GLBTQ, and they are never fun to deal with. Clueless, lost idiots really. Long after the Occupy movement is over, the queers in the Occupy movement now will have to face anti-LGBTQ violence. When that happens, I hope they receive support. I'm glad to have read that one Movement person videotaped the attack; I trust that will be used at trial to show that anti-lesbian slurs were hurled at the victim. Hopefully, the person that made the video will not be targeted by other violent Movement members.


DENOUNCE ALL VIOLENCE, EVEN WHEN IT COMES FROM WITHIN.
DENOUNCE HOMOPHOBIC VIOLENCE AT EVERY TURN BECAUSE IT IS SO PERVASIVE.
DENOUNCE RACIST VIOLENCE AT EVERY TURN BECAUSE IT IS SO PERVASIVE.
DON'T CALL YOURSELF PROGRESSIVE WHEN YOU SUPPORT VIOLENT BEHAVIOR OFTEN CARRIED OUT BY RIGHT-WING BIGOTS.
PASS THE DREAM ACT.
TAX THE RICH.
SUPPORT STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS.
IMPRISON BOTH WHITE-COLLAR WALL STREET CRIMINALS AND HATE CRIME PERPETRATORS.
MOVE LEFT IN PEACE.
IF YOUR MOVEMENT BECOMES VIOLENT, PURGE THOSE THAT ARE VIOLENT. IF THAT FAILS, THEN LEAVE THE MOVEMENT.