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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons | Racial Justice
From Uhuru News: Justice and Reparations to the Families of Oscar Grant and All Victims
The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement calls for African people and its allies to join the organization representing the African working class community under siege from the policy of police containment that killed Oscar Grant III on New Year's Day.
In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, 2009, white BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) cop Johannes Mehserle stood over Oscar Grant III and shot him in the back after having forced him onto his belly on the platform of the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland, California. Mehserle killed Grant in full view of his friends and other BART riders. Just minutes prior, a swarm of BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police officers had brutally wrested a group of young African men from the train as the men were headed home from their New Year’s eve celebration.
In the following days, video footage from numerous cell phones and cameras surfaced showing the details of the execution. Expressions of outrage populated the Internet showing a family picture of Oscar Grant III’s smiling proudly with his four year old daughter Tatiana at his side. A picture emerged of a young man who worked at a grocery store in Oakland, was a doting father, loved to fish and was loved by a large community of his family, friends and acquaintances.
Community organizations, groups and leaders kicked into gear, organizing protests and demonstrations calling for justice, demanding the arrest of the killer cop and calling for the BART cops to be disarmed. Some mostly white outsiders to our community have disrupted these protests with acts of vandalism targeting African, Asian and other businesses downtown Oakland and resulting in the further criminalization of our community. Leaders subsequently condemned the violence at the hands of outsiders to our community, but also condemned resistance that was threatening to erupt from our African working class, who has suffered decades of police and state terror.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement understands that the murder of Oscar Grant III, a young African man in his prime, by the hands of the state, is nothing new. Grant’s murder can be added to a long list of African people killed by the police in Oakland, California, including Jody “Mack” Woodfox, Casper Banjo, Gary King Jr., Patrick Gaston and many, many others across the country. Countless police killings and beatings of African people go unnoticed or ignored for much of the public. BART cops shot Jerold Hall in 1992 in the back as he tried to leave the train station. Oftentimes African people are blamed for our own demise as the story of what actually happened is left for the killers to tell with full complicity from the media, the white population and the neocolonial leadership.
As the result of the peoples’ camera cell phones and video cameras, it is clear to the world that Oscar Grant was brutally murdered at the hands of the state. But it will take a powerful movement organized under the leadership of the African working class to end the public policy of police containment of our besieged African community and to challenge the dire conditions faced by our people in Oakland and throughout the world as we struggle for the liberation of Africa and African people.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement is calling on African people to join our international organization to unite with our revolutionary national democratic program. Point number two states, “We demand community control of the police and the immediate withdrawal of the terroristic police and military troops from the African Community.”
We understand that the execution of Oscar Grant III was not the result of "poor training" on the part of the police but the result of the policy of the police containment of our African community, a community that has been under siege for four decades following the U.S. government’s COINTELPRO program that destroyed our Black Revolution. COINTELPRO decimated the Black Power Movement of the 1960’s through the assassinations of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr,, Lil Bobby Hutton in Oakland, California and countless other individuals and leaders.
Beginning in the 1980’s, the U.S. government began bringing a derivative of cocaine called “crack” into the African community, serving the dual purpose of disrupting the African community already demoralized by the military assault on our movement and filling up the U.S. prisons with over one million of our people.
Throughout this country, the U.S. government has put in place neocolonial leadership to further derail our struggle. Here in Oakland we have Ronald Dellums, a black mayor who serves the interests of the white power system. Up until now, Dellums has remained silent about the police murders that have taken place under his leadership. Although in a budget crisis, the city of Oakland under Dellums continues to pay out millions of dollars in police brutality settlements to the families of the victims of police violence, yet never takes responsibility for its corrupt and brutal police department. After overtime pay, Oakland police officers sometimes earn up to $200,000 in a city where one in five families live on less than $5,000 a year.
The Oakland Police Department is known for its violence against the poor and oppressed African community and was the basis for the formation of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale. In the past several years, the “Oakland Riders” were exposed as four cops who were fabricating and planting evidence and brutalizing suspects in the African community of West Oakland. Most recently, officers were found lying on search warrants used to raid homes in the African community of East Oakland.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement was formed in 1991 by the African People’s Socialist Party to defend the democratic rights of the African community and to push back the counterinsurgency and to build the capacity of the African working class movement, having been crushed by the U.S. government, to forward our interests as a people within the context of the African liberation movement led by our Party.
We call for unity with the African working class community’s ability to lead our own struggle. While white and other so-called anarchists may hate the white ruling class state, this hatred does not automatically make them revolutionaries. White people must take responsibility for being on the pedestal of our oppression. The actions committed by the anarchists and outsiders will cause more chaos and destruction and increased state attacks against the African community. The actions of these anarchists are counterrevolutionary, anti-African, arrogant and reckless. We are calling on our allies to take a principled stand under the leadership of the African working class, to join the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement to win other white people to the strategy of the African community to build white solidarity and a stand for reparations.
Join the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and all endorsers of this march on this coming January 19th, the holiday celebrating the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. GATHER AT WEST OAKLAND BART AT 11:30AM; MARCH AT NOON TO BOBBY HUTTON PARK (18TH & ADELINE) BACK TO WEST OAKLAND BART; RALLY 2 TO 3PM
On Saturday, January 31st, InPDUM in Oakland will hold a People’s Tribunal to put the state on trial for its crimes of genocide against the African community of Oakland held at 12 noon at the Uhuru House at 7911 MacArthur Blvd in East Oakland.
Jail all the Killer BART cops.
Reparations to the family of Oscar Gran III and all families of the victims of police violence.
End the policy of police containment of the African community.
Economic development to the African community
Release all arrestees! Drop the charges!
oakland [at] inpdum.org, 510-569-9620