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A Message From the Berkeley Post Office Defenders
A statement on the raid on the Berkeley Post Office encampment 8/28/13, and an appeal.
On the evening of August 28th, most Berkeley Post Office camp
residents and supporters were in Oakland celebrating the 50th
anniversary of the March on Washington and protesting against the
murders of Trayvon Martin, Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant and many others
by police and police surrogates. The Berkeley Police Department saw
fit to use this opportunity to raid the encampment and "confiscate
abandoned property" that in fact they knew very well belonged to
protesters, stealing the possessions and sheltering of homeless
Using as a blank check a report released by the City Manager
detailing incidents in and around the camp - some of which took place
blocks away from the Post Office, some of which involved camp
participants as victims, some of which had nothing to do with the
encampment at all, and filled with lies, half-truths and distortions
- twenty BPD officers swept through the camp Wednesday evening.
Just a day before, Berkeley's Mayor Bates was quoted as saying
"They're a bunch of double-dealing sons of bitches." He was not
talking about campers, but about those in the Post Office and the
Postal Regulatory Commission responsible for dismissing his appeal of
the decision to sell the Berkeley Post Office! That the Mayor would
then look the other way while allowing the First and Fourth Amendment
rights of protesters - who could be the only thing standing in the way
of the sale besides a very costly, very uncertain, lawsuit - to be
trampled on by BPD is an encapsulation of just how far down the road
to a police state controlled by the one percent we have come.
This is not just a fight about a single building
and a few jobs! It is a fight for the presevation of half a million
living wage public Postal Service jobs; jobs the privatizers would
like to see become McJobs or be eliminated entirely. It is a fight for
the Public Commons: those who would privatize the Post Office are
scheming to privatize roads, bridges, schools, hospitals, medical care
and your Social Security. If we are not willing to defend the notion
of a public Post Office as guaranteed by our Constitution what will be
giving up next?
Berkeley has a choice. It can defend the democratic will of its own
people - as expressed vociferously in public forums and by its City
Council and its elected representatives - by any and all means
necessary, or it can meekly accede to a bureaucratic process whose end
is now a foregone conclusion.
What say you, people of Berkeley and of the US?
-- The Berkeley Post Office Defenders.
On Saturday August 30th at 11:30 AM a press conference to be followed
by music and a rally will take place at the Berkeley Post Office, 2000
Allston Way. Berkeley Post Officer defenders will discuss the recent
raid by the Berkeley Police and future actions to be taken against the
sale of the Berkeley Post Office and the privatization of our commons.