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Oakland city officials bragged that Oakland Police have not shot anybody for twenty months, a streak ended recently when an officer shot at — but missed — a man who was reportedly having a mental health crisis. However, in the last thirteen months five people have been shot and killed by law enforcement in Oakland, it just happens that they were not killed by members of the Oakland Police Department.
Since January 2014, people in Oakland have been shot and killed by the CHP, Alameda County Sheriff, private security, San Leandro Police Department and most recently by the Emeryville Police Department. It would seem that nearly every local law enforcement agency — if private security can even be placed under that label — that operates in Oakland have killed somebody since last January.
In August of last year, an unarmed African-American man was shot several times and killed by a white law enforcement officer who later claimed the man was reaching into his waistband. His lifeless body was left for hours in a puddle of his own blood and the police would later claim that the man was suspected of a robbery. This incident describes the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, but it also describes the killing of Jacorey Calhoun who was shot and killed by an Alameda County Sheriff’s Deputy in Oakland six days earlier.
In September of 2014, the City of Oakland began to make attempts to displace and remove people in public plazas in the wake of the WOSP (West Oakland Specific Plan) being passed. Then, in December, as the Ferguson inspired Bay Area uprising was raging, people armed with bolt-cutters took down the fences encircling the park to the cheers of those on the streets. Wanting to know more about the anti-gentrification struggle and how it connects to the battle against police and white supremacy, we caught up with long-time Oakland organizer and militant, Linda Grant.
Yuvette Henderson was gunned down by Emeryville police officers Michelle Shepard and Warren Williams on February 3 within minutes of an incident at the Emeryville Home Depot about a block away. Concerned that Yuvette was killed because she was a Black woman, and that police agencies are involved in a massive cover-up, the Anti Police-Terror Project held a rally at Emeryville PD headquarters on February 21 before marching to the Home Depot, where activists used chains and lockboxes to shut the store down for most of the day.
Family, friends, and community supporters came together on February 14 for a candlelight vigil to honor 23-year-old Phillip Watkins, who was shot and killed by two officers with the San Jose Police Department on February 11. About one hundred people attended the vigil, and many spoke about what a positive person Phillip was, and how he changed their lives.
According to the Transgender Law Center, five transgender women of color have been violently killed within the first two months of 2015 in the United States. One murder locally has rattled the nerves of the local transgender community. On February 1, Taja Gabrielle de Jesus was stabbed repeatedly by an unknown assailant while walking down a street in the Bayview district in San Francisco. The stabbing death has mobilized the local transgender community to address their concerns with the San Francisco city government.
Approximately 200 people rallied on the steps of city hall for Transgender Tuesday on February 10. A permit was requested for the event but was denied by the SF sheriff’s department purportedly because the Board of Supervisors were meeting that day. The rally was held anyway without a permit.
Murders Motivate Transgender Community |
Taja Gabrielle de Jesus Memorial Fund |
In the early afternoon of February 3, Yuvette Henderson, a 38-year-old African American mother of two was shot and killed by Emeryville police on Hollis Street just inside of Oakland city limits. An employee of Home Depot in Emeryville called police reporting a shoplifter who was armed with a gun. Initially, police did not claim Yuvette had brandished a weapon when they approached her, but later said she did. Emeryville police officers Michelle Shepherd and Warren Williams both fired multiple times at Yuvette, killing her instantly. As activists who inspected the scene of the shooting suspected, a high-powered AR-15 rifle was used to kill Yuvette.
Nearly a hundred people turned out for a vigil for Yuvette Henderson that evening, marching to Home Depot where a window was broken, then chanting inside of Safeway and blocking the intersection of 40th Street and San Pablo Avenue before returning to the site of a memorial for Yuvette.
On the morning of February 10, activists gathered at the site of the memorial for Yuvette and proceeded to deliver printed questions for ExtraSpace Storage, where Yuvette was gunned down, and Home Depot, where Yuvette was accused of shoplifting and apparently some sort of altercation took place. A demand was issued for both the Emeryville and Oakland police departments to release surveillance video.
Vigil for Yuvette Henderson, Gunned Down by Emeryville Police in Oakland |
Statement on the Emeryville Police Department's Killing of Yuvette Henderson |
Questions and Demands Surrounding the Police Killing of Yuvette Henderson |
Support Yuvette Henderson's Family
Members of Youth Alliance for Justice rallied in front of Mountain View City Hall on June 28th with the faces of victims on placards, asking that they not be forgotten. All the images were of people who were killed, seriously injured, or "disappeared" due to racism or human rights violations.
Student speakers asked, "Why should the US government be above the law?" They said the US government should join 122 other countries and belong to the UN's International Criminal Court. In addition they called for an end to police violence against people of color.
Akubundu Lott, an organizer for the All-African People’s Revolutionary Party, addressed the crowd. He said the US displays its imperialist role when it sends aid in the form of troops to countries requesting humanitarian aid. In addition, Lott said, the US has helped Israel set up an apartheid state in the Middle East.
Read More with Photos: 1 | 2
In Oakland, hundreds of people from more than two dozen groupings organized in response to the Anti Police-Terror Project’s call to come together for ninety-six hours of direct action over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, from January 16 through 19. They joined thousands of others across the country responding to a call from Ferguson Action to reclaim Dr. King’s legacy of militant direct action in opposition to economic violence as well as police violence and discrimination. The first action announced was a protest inside Montgomery BART station in San Francisco at 7am on Friday. The weekend’s events culminated in a Jobs and Economy March for the People on Monday, January 19, beginning at 11am at Oscar Grant/Fruitvale BART station in Oakland.
The ninety-six hours of direct action across the Bay Area highlighted the unjust economic and political structures that King fought to defeat. Thousands unified, regardless of skin color, religion, or creed to reclaim King’s legacy and act, in tandem, against police and economic violence, two primary tools of white supremacy. Actions took place throughout the Bay Area, at BART stations, community meetings and street corners and came in the form of shut downs, guerrilla theater, teach-ins, and concerts. On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, activists in Oakland staged a pre-dawn home demo at the house of new mayor Libby Schaaf before protesters held a large march through the neighborhoods where systematic and state sanctioned murder of Black, Brown, and Poor people occur most.
Read More |
Massive March & Concert Planned For MLK Holiday to Culminate 96 hours of Bay Area Direct Action to “Reclaim King’s Legacy” |
Community Demands |
Bus stop ad modified in Oakland: 96 hours of direct action MLK weekend
Other groups are organizing marches, teach-ins, movie screenings, environmental actions, and more MLK-related events in Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, San Francisco, Santa Rosa, Palo Alto, Santa Cruz, and throughout Northern California.
Black Lives Matter Demands Read at Mayor Libby Schaaf’s Office
Third World for Black Power Lockdown at Federal Building in Oakland
March For Black Community Control Of The Police!
Holiday Appeal for Class-War Prisoners
#MLKSHUTITDOWN: Walmart Action Connects Economic Oppression with Police Terror
Shut It Down: WAL-MART Edition
Fuck the Police March
From Oscar Grant to Ferguson: Racism and Police Repression in America
Black Lives Matter Activists Brings the Noise to Home of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf
Thousands Unite and March in East Oakland to Reclaim King's Legacy
Justice Now-MLK Oakland Rally/Workers & Community Demand Justice And An End To Privatization
Hard Knock Radio: Martin Luther King Jr. Day audio and interviews
“Reclaim King’s Legacy” Oakland March
Lawyers and Public Defenders for #blacklivesmatter
BART Friday Shuts Down SF Stations, Disrupts Morning Commute
interview with BARTfriday Montgomery Street station
First arrest at BARTfriday Montgomery Street station San Francisco
Photos and video from #BARTFriday: NO BUSINESS AS USUAL
#BARTFriday: NO BUSINESS AS USUAL #BlackLivesMatter Reclaiming King's Legacy
Forum/Foro: The Real Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Queers" Protest in the Castro #Blacklivesmatter
Sleepout in San Francisco Draws Demonstrators on the Eve of Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Rebellion and Resistance from Ferguson to Ayotzinapa
Reading the Roots of MLK's Social Justice
Stanford Students Shut Down San Mateo Bridge on MLK Day, 68 Arrested
MLK Birthday Commemoration: Film Screening
MLK Day in Fresno
Black Lives Matter Film Series: "War Witch"
Protest Berkeley Police Violence at Special City Council Meeting
Free Movie: Do the Right Thing
Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service - Richmond Greenway
Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service - Point Pinole
4 Mile March
Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine
From the blockading of Google buses to the blockading of major freeways. From riots against white supremacy and police in Oakland to anti-tech and gentrification brawls in San Francisco, 2014 was an explosive year. Battles erupted in a variety of places and around various issues. Against surveillance, against the eviction of squats and homeless camps, against Israeli attacks on Gaza at the Port of Oakland, and in workplaces and neighborhoods across the region. While the bay changed for the worse: thousands were evicted and displaced, the cost of living and rent soared, poverty, deportations, and cuts to basic services grew, and police across the region continued to go on the offensive killing and brutalizing many; people fought back in new and exciting ways. This year in review looks at some of the key struggles and outbreaks of rebellion that shook the bay area to its core.
2014 was a year of explosive anger, highlighted most graphically against gentrification, displacement, and a white supremacist system of policing and incarceration. But 2014 was also a time of many different and varied struggles – and one of the most exciting things by the end of the year was to see these different veins of contestation coming together. This review will look at some of the struggles, actions, and social upheavals which rocked the bay area and how everyday people took part in them.
In an unprecedented civil disobedience action on December 15, a multi-racial group of activists calling for an end to the "war on black people" shut down Oakland police headquarters. The doors of the building were physically locked down preventing police egress to or from the building and a "Black Lives Matter" flag was hung from a flagpole for hours, while others used lockboxes to block traffic on Broadway. The plan was to hold OPD headquarters for 4 hours and 28 minutes, the time Mike Brown's body was allowed to lay in the street after he was shot down by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Protest signs and banners demanded justice for Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Alex Nieto, and others murdered by police locally and nationwide. As word of the action spread, around 200 supporters gathered, chanted, and blocked side streets in solidarity. Twenty-five protesters were arrested.
On December 13, community members in Santa Cruz joined people across the country for a national day of protest against police violence. The focus of the protests have primarily been on the police killings of three black individuals, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Tamir Rice, which all came to national attention in 2014.
After a rally at the Town Clock, demonstrators marched down Pacific Avenue to the corner of Cooper Street where a die-in was held for 4 1/2 minutes, which represented the 4 1/2 hours that Michael Brown's body lay dead in the street after he was killed by Ferguson, MO police officer Darren Wilson in August. As people laid down on Pacific Avenue, a large crowd formed, speakers were heard, and traffic was stopped. Demonstrators also stopped traffic during a short rally at the corner of Pacific and Soquel Avenue, and then again on Ocean Street in front of the Resource Center for Nonviolence (RCNV), which was the ultimate destination of the march.
Rallies for justice for Michael Brown, and in solidarity with the people of Ferguson, Mo., were held in Santa Cruz in August after Brown's killing, as well as on November 24 and 25, following the Missouri Grand Jury's decision not to recommend the indictment of officer Wilson.
Read More with Photos | See Also: Santa Cruz Takes it to the Streets for Mike Brown
| Ferguson "Day After" Gathering in Santa Cruz
Previous Coverage: Protests in Support of Justice for Michael Brown Erupt All Over the World
6:30PM Wednesday Mar 18