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Town Hall on Mehserle, BART, Oscar Grant Tribute Video, Reparations March, 7/11/09: audio
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"As goes California, so goes the nation," Minister Keith Muhammad declares at the July 11th Town Hall for Justice for Oscar Grant as he discusses the significance of BART cop Johannes Mehserle being the first police officer in California to face murder charges in court. He speaks about the racism shown by Tony Pirone on January 1st as it compares to former L.A. police officer Mark Fuhrman; the unequal delivery of justice between police officers and people of color; and the biggest impending hurdle to justice for Oscar Grant, the change of venue being sought by Mehserle's defense attorney Michael Rains in order to move the trial out of Alameda County to a less racially diverse county that might be more sympathetic to BART police officers' perjury. Also at issue is BART police chief Gary Gee having full knowledge of Tony Pirone's racist language and violent behavior from the very beginning and not holding him or any other officers accountable, as well as DA Tom Orloff having access to the same high-quality video shown during Mehserle's preliminary hearing and not having shown interest in pursuing a case against any of the BART officers for their actions on January 1st nor for their perjury during the hearing. Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson introduces a recently produced Oscar Grant tribute video before screening it for those in attendance. The family has requested that a copy of the video be shared on Indybay, where it will be posted in the near future, but they wanted Town Hall supporters to be the very first people outside of the family to view it. Jack Bryson and Oscar Grant's cousin Anthony Johnson share their thoughts on surviving the murder of Oscar Grant. Reverend Henry Williams speaks about the upcoming Restitution Reparation March in Washington, D.C. scheduled for August 28th, 29th, and 30th, in order to pressure President Obama and the U.S. Congress to make good on the broken promises of financial amends never delivered to American slaves and their descendants. He compares the reparations paid over the years for crimes committed to Native American, Japanese, and Jewish peoples but never to African Americans for the several hundred year crime of slavery.

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