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Emergency Action Against Racism and War (Oakland)

by gkt
One summary of tonight's rally in oakland
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Community Gathers in Oakland to Mourn and Organize Against Racist Violence Committed by US Government
Oakland, CA (September 13) - Hundreds of people gathered at Snow Park in Oakland tonight to mourn, provide support for each other, and speak out against violent United States policies at home and abroad, which they say are the underlying reasons for unprecedented terrorist attacks in New York City and Washington DC. Organizing against a growing climate of racism, nationalism and anti-Arab bigotry was a focus of the rally.

Organized by youth and people of color in Oakland and San Francisco, solidarity speakers included supporters of Palestine, people returning from the WCAR in South Africa, police brutality activists, anarchists and socialists, anti-gentrification activists and other people representing dozens of cultures and ethnicities. International solidarity was the theme as community and activist groups stood together against the threat of more US violence. Michael Franti of Spearhead also spoke, saying that "we need to be in a war against war."

In addition to an open mic, people at the rally talked with friends and strangers, cried, and began coming to terms with the events of the last three days. Many people who attended have family members still missing on the east coast. And many others have been the target of increased racism and discrimination during times of crisis in the United States, like the Oklahoma City bombing or Gulf War.

A recurring theme of the speakers was the brutal violence committed by or supported by the United States government on a daily basis. "The bombs the government drops in Iraq are the bombs that blew up in New York City," said Van Jones, director of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, who also warned against forthcoming violence by the Bush Administration. "The US cannot bomb its way out of this one. Safety at home requires justice abroad."

In a diverse international community shocked by recent world events, deep feelings about the United States government were expressed.
A young Puerto Rican person said that "the belly of the beast had something back to eat." A young Filipino human rights activist said that "when we found out what kind of place got hit, we were kind of glad to see the Pentagon burning. But we also know that thousands of Puerto Ricans, Haitians and other workers were in those buildings." An African-American man who works on gentrification issues in West Oakland said that "we\'re always seeing Americans drop bombs on people. We watch the Vietnamese get bombed, Iraqis get bombed, Palestinians get bombed, now it has come home to roost." Japanese-Americans spoke about internment camps and the nuclear holocaust brought on by US militarism.

Violence and repression within the United States was also talked about. A representative of TransAction said, "We know what it\'s like to experience police violence on a daily basis." Mesha Monge-Irizarry, the mother of Idriss Stelley (who was killed by SFPD in June), also spoke: "We pray for many lives killed by this government, of black people, and of innocent black people in the third world who will be slaughtered with this terrorism retaliation."

United States support, in the form of arms and funding, for apartheid in Israel was also discussed. "You want to know why they hate us?" asked one woman. "Forty Israeli tanks just entered Jericho tonight."

Those present were determined to make their voices heard in an increasingly hostile, war-mongering climate scripted by the government and recited by corporate media. They also vowed to fight within their own communities against racism and hostility towards Arab-Americans. Everyone sensed that this was an important time in history, and that the stuggle against injustice requires international solidarity. "Everyone should be as wise as these inner-city youth here today," Van Jones concluded. "We all have more in common with the working people of the earth than we do with George Bush or Colin Powell."

An African-American man summarized his feelings: "We don\'t want innocent people dying. But that\'s the price we pay for the government in this country."

by Anon E. Mouse
damn, amen, incredible, there's hope!

great reporting gkt
by Judy
These sheep Americans are on the war path now - watch out! They are scary right now. They are looking for more people to throw in jail and find someone to blame (they got taught in GOVERNMENT schools that government is good, and sucker fish are good - but people are bad). Anyway, the masses are scary. If you're not PC - watch out! So I'm scared. Since I'm always on the side of the underdog and ones they tell me to hate.
i am disgusted by this morning's vote on capital hill to unanimously approve of the president's plan to retaliate against an unknown force in the universe. i feel that our only hope to make our voices heard, not only in rallies at night within the safety of progressive community spaces, but in shutting down daily life during the day and forcing the government and the world to see that we do not want an escalation of violence, we do not support the u.s. government's daily use of violence towards political ends (israel, iraq, colombia, etc., etc.), we demand that the government stop and reflect. what is planned for today and tomorrow? who is ready to go out on the streets during the day and make ourselves heard?
by anonymous
jamie, i agree!! we must make our voices heard, activists who have been out in numbers for trade meetings must make the connections and realize that unless we do something, we are going to be facing SERIOUS police state oppression, massive loss of life, and perhaps a world war 3 or even worse than that a prolonged security operation of warfare. i will keep watching sf indymedia to keep up on what we are gonna do about this
by Julie (mim124 [at]
If anyone is interested in the anti-imperialist news and analysis of this situation from the Maoist Internationalist Movement you can check it out at the web site listed above. There's an article there about this rally in Oakland and also a pdf flyer that can be downloaded and distributed.

Thanks to the organizers of this web site for the useful forum of local news and info.

by A_Citizen (alamedajobs2001 [at]
I had to see with my own eyes just how deluded American citizens can be. I always thought Berkeley was a forward thinking place - instead it appears to be a cobbled together collection of freaks.
by The Man
That's a great line about being glad to see the Pentagon burning...and a lovely bit of racist sentiment too. Your movement has just about lost any sympathy it might have had from me and more than likely the entire U.S. Gov't. Civil liberties are important to protect, and I'd be happy to see that be the focus of "protesters." But for pete's sake, being glad about what happened in any way, shape or form is just sick. I know some people use these movements to define themselves and to feel important...and I am all for free speech and diversity...but including moronic, sociopathic statements like that one in your article was a bad move from a propaganda stand point, unless you want your movement to include soley those with personality disorders. The "Left" is in really sorry, sorry shape. Which sucks, because we need different points of view to make democracy work. Anyway, good luck with the'll need it.
by anonymous
ah, the typical american ignorance. how would you feel if the pentagon dropped bombs on your family? how would you feel if the pentagon dealt drugs in your community? how would you feel if the pentagon allowed killing and raping in your backyard? maybe you would feel different. people from all cultures are allowed to voice their grief, anger, depression, and mourning in the wake of these tragedies. it means a lot of things to a lot of different people. get out of your patriotic shell and grow up.
by Captain Patriarchy
How would you feel if I kicked your ass? Some spoiled brat millionaire is creating chaos while pretending to care about the oppressed people of the world, and IS dropping bombs on my family. By the way, I am edging towards 40, work for the feds, and probably have a better education (paid for by myself) than most of you, so your smug, condescending tone (so typical of the oh-so-hip far left) is all the more moronic. So when you "grow up" maybe you'll come to learn what patriotism is all about. Or better yet, move to Cuba. While your making up your mind on what cool t-shirt to wear to the teach-in, us evil, hawk bastards will take time off from dealing drugs to your families (where the $#%^ did you get that?) and try to keep your pampered ass safe. ARRRRGH!
by whatever
have you ever considered you dont know everything? ever considered that you dont "get it" as to the reason the FBI etc exists? ever considered that your upperclass bureaucratic outlook on life is influenced by your class, and maybe you havent taken the time to really understand how other people in the world think? cuz thats what it sounds like to me. everyone knows what and why the feds are thinking --- that mentality is broadcast over tv and all other forms of corporate media everyday. but do you really understand what is being said here? it doesnt seem so.
by Rawhide
Holy crap you pinkos really are a serious lot. Actually I have considered all of the above. I took graduate courses in Anthropology and have worked for YEARS with people in neighborhoods that you wouldn't go into for a million dollars or a million tofu burgers, or whatever you hippies plan to use for currency when you destroy the capitalist system. But screw you, I don't have to prove myself to you. You're wrong, and all I'm doing with you now in replying, is akin to a cat batting around a half-dead's sorta fun, but no challenge. Anyway, I don't hate you left-wing weenies...after you figure out how the world really works, you make good Republicans...kinda like ex-hookers and drunks making good Christians...or Muslims for that matter. Just because patriotism maks you wither like a vampire to garlic doesn't mean that patriotism is bad. Try thinking about the world outside of your imagination for once. Or else try retreating into the fantasy world of Harry Potter, rather than Karl Marx, or the Situationist least it's harmless. Write back if you a security man it's helpful to see just how wacky would-be enemies of the U.S. don't hold back. Oh and just 'cause it'll piss you off...I'll pray for you tonight. And since I've helped former gang-members find religion, you better watch out! I'll have you praising the Lord in no time...yee-ha!
by Gee Gordon
"The bombs the government drops in Iraq are the bombs that blew up in New York City,"

Know why we drop bombs on Iraq? Because Saddam is making horrible biological and chemical weapons to kill us with. Ask the Kurds what a great guy he is...anyway even Malcom X saw that he was stupid when he used that "Chickens came home to roost" argument. It's bad theory, bad history, and just plain irresponsible to state that we caused this at all. Or is it that we wear our skirts too high, wear too much make-up and DESERVE to be raped?

Anyone who subscribes to the view that the U.S. brought this on itself is as scary to me as that bin Laden jack-off. Or rather, as sad and pathetic. If you acn't figure out what is dangerously wrong with this world view, I encorage you to consult a qualified mental health practitioner.

What's funny, is that if you left-wingers really were for human rights, and all that good stuff, you'd be glad that we were kicking the ass of such horrible, oppressive scum-bags as Saddam, the Taliban, and others of their ilk. You're such a bunch of sadsacks, I swear.
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