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Indybay Feature

Rally and March for Justice for Oscar Grant, Oakland, 1/14/09: photos

by dave id (real time via cell phone)
First few hundred at City Hall in Oakland
§Cops with cameras
by dave id
Cops with cameras all over

§Bishop prays for peace & justice
by dave id
Bishop speaks of peace & justice

§Crowd in the thousands already by 4:30
by dave id
Crowd in the thousands already by 4:30

§Thousands between courthouse and DA's office
by dave id
Thousands between courthouse and DA's office

Chants for DA to retire
§50 riot cops ready by Lake Merritt
by dave id
50 riot cops ready by Lake Merritt on both sides of street

§Civilians blocking streets
by dave id
Civilians blocking streets

§Over 5,000 march back to City Hall
by dave id
10,000 march back to City Hall

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by . has a highlighted link to a live camera of this demo presently.
by .
I'm at work watching the KTVU helicopter link, which has sensations of the CHP helicopters shown on crime shows which are chasing down a suspect.
We can definitely see the line of volunteers with the fluorescent vests on. The crowd is spread over a few city blocks, and I can't quite see what the center of interest by some motorcycle police is right now. No real action is going on, but it seems police are talking to the peace coordinators? The crowd looks like it's tightening up to march somewhere. The motorcycle police are carefully working with the march leaders at the front, rather than displaying any antagonism with people surrounding them in the crowd like a couple days before.
by repost
Another BART passenger alleges beating by police
Steve Rubenstein, Chronicle Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"The incident ended with Mehserle and three other officers grabbing Oakland resident Kenneth Carrethers, binding his arms and legs and taking him to a Pleasanton hospital. There, he was treated for face and chest bruises before being booked into county jail for resisting arrest."

by anarchist
wait what are they blocking?

traffic or peoples ability to march?
by they are blocking
peoples ability to march...
pretty fucked up if you ask me.
by Trina
It looks like everyone marched back to Frank Ogawa plaza together.
ANSWER has its own style of march guiders, who really work on the photo presentation appearance of the front of the march. Here, it looked a bit different because plenty of people were walking around on both sides of the line, but I don't have any observations of what they were saying to the crowd. Clearly though, there was dialog with the police ahead of time to keep it peaceful. Maybe it could be superior than relying upon police to keep the event safe. There are equivalent security jobs used by some other groups I could name such as AIM or the black panthers, but the ANSWER people can be annoying when they're clearing everyone out of the way of their path.

I think that this helicopter is being dispatched because they want to be ready if anyone does anything later. There are some police vehicles lining streets a few blocks away.
by Please
I saw a lot of middle class white folks volunteering as the peace police at today's march.
Would someone tell them that nothing, ever, about the status quo in the United States is peaceful?

If things are not peaceful, you can't "keep the peace."
by anarchist
if they were there to stop people from marching then liberals have reached a new low

by bob
Anyone still fighting cops or doing stupid shit is on their own and acting as private citizens/knuckleheads.

Go home.

Amazing spirit of unity out there at the rally tonight everyone.

Oakland should be proud.

by cp
yeah - at this point with Mehserle in jail, I had become sort of enthusiastic about this being a peaceful or redo march, which said something good about Oakland. The photos of the mix of people attending made it look like these people would be organized to tackle the upcoming economic issues which will face the city etc. Which businesses were hit this time? It also doesn't look good for the 'political' arrestees at the demo a few days ago, who were taken in during the mass arrest rather than specially arrested during vandalism
by sd
I believe the peace volunteers or whatever were there to be a barrier between the cops and the protesters, not to control the protesters or stop the from marching.
by Union Volunteer
The consensus was among those recruited to be volunteers was, if persusion failed, simply to block anyone from trashing small businesses and/or people's vehicles .
Under no circumstances were the monitors to act like cops, grabbing people, co-operating with police in any thing other than the most basic traffic matters like clearing a path if a ambulance had to pass thru etc.
There was no confidence, no trust expressed in the OPD.
Does anyone actually know that anything else occurred ?
by present
go this way, don't go this way, and so forth

they wouldn't let people pass in directions they had decided were off limits
by Union Volunteer
I'm not sure what you mean that the monitors ordered people to march this way and not that way etc. Maybe they urged (hopefully not ordered ) people not to march down a certain block due to 50 cops around the corner ?
If they did act in a abrupt authortarian way they shouldn't have .
Moving on to the post rally events While it's true that Radio Shack and Wells Fargo damm sure aren't ''Mom and Pop'' businesses , i still don't see what political , strategic gain was accomplised by trashing them . If any participants were busted for those was it worth the few months (or more ) jail time they might get if convicted ? (And taking otherwise good activists off the street )
In contrast The occupation of the Israeli consulate this morning in the City makes perfect sense and is worth going to jail for . Cracking a Radio Shack window isn't .
My two cents .
by Pissed Off
My question is WHY. I just walked through City Center and it was more than just a couple of places that received damage last night.....
Jamba Juice
Radio shack
The Florist
The Bagel Shop
Well Fargo
and a few other small businesses!

by Oscar Grant
Hey this action was pretty good for one small business: the glass window installers. Every time a Wells Fargo gets their windows broken, a local glazier has to come out and replace it. That's a good union-wage paying job, too and many of them are the recently immigrated. Moral of the story: if you wanna support small business smash some more Wells Fargo windows. It's a win, win tactic.
Quick and easy, too. Just don't get caught!
by Oscar Grant
Hey this action was pretty good for one small business: the glass window installers. Every time a Wells Fargo gets their windows broken, a local glazier has to come out and replace it. That's a good union-wage paying job, too and many of them are the recently immigrated. Moral of the story: if you wanna support small business smash some more Wells Fargo windows. It's a win, win tactic.
Quick and easy, too. Just don't get caught!
by A Civilian in a Vest
As a civilian who was out there last night trying to make sure that conflict between protesters and the police was minimized, I take offense to the criticisms that people have of the work we did last night to direct people to safer spaces.
Last night was not about us as individuals, but was about a collective united call for justice for all who have been murdered or brutalized by the state. In respect to Oscar Grant III's family request for peace, I am glad that I played a role in facilitating peace at last night's event.
As a person that attends protests a lot, I trust those that organize protests to have the best assessment of what's going on in that space and believe that they have done the work to have eyes and ears in the necessary places to ensure the safety of the group. I would ask that others remember this when they are in attendance of rallies and respect the group and not just their individual desires.
Riot police were blocking off many of the intersections - not a few, but about 100 pigs were deployed at each intersection with back up around the corner. Us directing the crowd to go down other streets was in an effort to make sure that the contact protesters had with police was minimized. We also knew that even if folks did go down those streets that the police would not tell you in the nicest way that you needed to walk around the block and that this would piss some folks off. I know that as a civilian in a vest- I'd rather have some angry protester yell in my face because they are pissed, rather than yell in the face of a trigger-happy pig. They yell at me, I get over it, they yell at a cop the whole group is in danger and the pigs call for back up.
If the folks who criticize us for the way that we were volunteering to protect the crowd, I'd invite you to play that role and to do it your way.
Overall, I am glad that the rally went the way that it did - there were only 2 arrests and most of the folks that wanted to stay away from danger were able to participate and still safely get home. There were people from different religious denominations, political affiliations and varying interests that united for a common goal: To see justice in the murder of Oscar Grant - it was a beautiful thing to see that many people and feel that much emotion.
We used our own bodies (that are made out of the same flesh as yours) to shield the crowd from the 100 hundred riot police that were deployed to 14th after the rally was over and the crowd spilled into the 14th and Broadway intersection.
It was our fear that if we did not, those bottles that people were throwing at the pigs would have made them respond with 5-0 diplomatic means: tear gassing the crowd, shooting rubber bullets and beating folks with clubs. They were ready and more than willing to do it - Can you imagine what would have happened if those 100 cops had charged that small crowd of people? Would we have to be in the streets again because they bashed in 50 people's heads?
Some people that were still caught up in the crowd were simply looking for a bus and were ready to go, so I was glad that we were there to help get those folks out.
Some people wanted to fuck shit up - I have no judgment of those folks, but would like to make sure that the people who don't want to do that aren't forced to deal with the consequences of those actions.
In all, I don't really feel the need to justify my actions or the actions of the whole group - instead I thank and congratulate my comrades who stood with me and supported the call for peace that the Grant family wanted in remembrance of his life. I am honored that I was a part of that and I respect all the civilians who volunteered to play that role.
I would also like to thank all of the organizers of last nights events and all the people who have supported this call for justice. It is because we are ALL demanding this that the rusted wheels of justice are turning. Let's keep 'em moving!
Our movement has many people with many different beliefs about the path to freedom and liberation. I just hope that we can stop letting these differences divide us so we can start to walk on a path going that way.
i have been very critical of some of those usually called Anarchists for their defence of some of the act last Wednesday . I do have some criticisms of the monitors last night. For example if you wanted to prevent the crowd from being attacked by the cops why then turn your backs on the Police and face your fellow marchers for justice ?
Aside from putting your backs in harms way if the cops had charged the crowd what message did you convey ?
Maybe that you trusted the cops more than you do the dread ''ultra leftists ''? Think about that .
Tommorrow morning many of those arrested on 1/7 will appear in court . Putting aside any tactical differences you may have with them shouldn't you still be there in solidarity with them ? After more many were just swept up by the cops or like JR of KPFA's Flashpoints arrested for the ''crime '' of recording a police beating and tasering of a marcher .
by jumoke
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