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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Global Justice and Anti-Capitalism | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
Free Chris - Rally and March, Oakland, 5/25/12: audio & photos
After a "community meeting" on May 23rd called by Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland Police Department to address the recent police murder of high school senior Alan Blueford, Chris Morland of Occupy Oakland's Tactical Action Committee was arrested and charged with felony battery on a police officer, amongst other charges, and was sent to Santa Rita. His bail was set at over $100,000. On May 25th, the District Attorney's office validated that the charges had no merit by declining to pursue anything other than misdemeanor Disturbing the Peace. Chris' bail was then reduced to just $2500, which solidarity activists promptly posted. Knowing that Chris would be released from jail at some point during the night, supporters gathered for a previously scheduled "Free Chris! Fuck the OPD!" rally that evening by the "Remember Them" statues at 19th and Telegraph. Speakers recalled their fondness for Chris as a person and their respect for his work fighting economic injustices with Occupy Oakland, counterposing that with OPD and the District Attorney abusing their authority by attacking protesters with bogus and trumped up charges (full audio below). A march followed the rally, stopping by a bar frequented by Oakland police in the Jack London Square area and at OPD headquarters on Broadway. Chris was released about 7am the following morning.
[Pictured above: Adam MCs the rally before the march]
Speakers at the rally included Adam, Laleh, Sri Louise, Jack Bryson, Ali, Bella Eiko, Melvin, Dennis Wen, Cynthia Morse, Randolph Wilkins, Chris' mother Angie Moreland, David Firestein, and more.
Free Chris - Interviews with Occupy Legal's Kate Hallinan and Occupy Oakland's Laleh, 5/25/12: video
Free Chris! Fuck the OPD! Event Announcement
Davey D's video from the OPD town hall on the murder of Alan Blurford, May 23rd
Justice for Alan Blueford Rally & March to Quan Town Hall, May 23rd
Family and Community Members Express Anger Over the Murder of Alan Blueford and Cover-up
Sri was amongst those violently attacked by Oakland police at the Port of Oakland on May 7th, 2003.
Port Of Oakland Shut Down: Police Fire Concussion Grenades and Wooden Bullets at Protesters and Dock Workers
Indybay Coverage of the Justice for Oscar Grant Movement
Dennis Wen said he is recent UC Davis graduate, has been at Occupy Oakland since beginning, and was called out as undercover cop at rally
Occupy Oakland Confronts Discriminatory Prosecutions by OPD and DA, 4/3/12: video & photos
Justice, Long Overdue for the ‘Ice Cream 3′
The "In Memory of Oakland's Finest" banner with the photographs is a reference to the death's of four Oakland police officers on March 21st, 2009.
Five Die After Reported Gunfire Between Lovelle Mixon and Oakland Police
From there, the march returned to 19th Street and Telegraph Avenue. There were no arrests during the rally or march, but one person appeared to have been snatched by police at the corner of 19th and Rashida Muhammad Streets after the march concluded. No one at the scene could account for a missing comrade, leading some to suspect it was not a snatch arrest that had been witnessed but rather the swift removal of an undercover officer who had been present during the march.
Occupy Oakland sent out a tweet on May 28th which read: Free Shane Michael Bowman! PFN BIS539 #OO supports this comrade snatched after 5/25 FTP march #OO #OWS.
That @OccupyOakland tweet appears to be a response to this May 26th message from someone who seems worried about Occupy Oakland's supposed reverse racial discrimination and lack of solidarity for white arrestees: #OccupyOakland Free Shane Michael Bowman! #OO refuses to support this 25-yr-old comrade snatched after 5/25 FTP march. Why? Because he's white! POC only. - http://twitter.com/ColorBlindJus/statuses/206577226362265600
Strangely, an Occupy Oakland detractor, who has gone by the twitter handle Matt Sludge since May 2nd of this year, has feigned concern about a supposed lack of solidarity with the arrestee: Charge against SHANE MICHAEL BOWMAN, snatched after #M25 FTP, amended from Accessory to Violation of Parole (felony). Still no #OO support.