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Indybay Feature

Drop the Charges

Monday, January 26, 2009
7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Event Type:
Critical Resistance
Location Details:
Anywhere in the Bay Area


Earlier this month, over 120 people protesting the execution of Oscar Grant, III, by BART police were arrested and now face a range of charges. Many were young people of color acting in anger over what has become a consistent pattern of criminalization, abuse and even murder at the hands of Oakland police forces. They now face additional criminalization.

We know that arresting and imprisoning young people will not address the racial profiling, intimidation, humiliation, and death youth face at the hands of Oakland cops. We need real, long-term solutions to Oakland's problems. Not band-aid fixes aimed at keeping young people quiet and behind bars.


CALL IN DAYS: Monday January 26th and Wednesday January 28th
(But feel free to call at any time during business hours)
Mayor's office: 510-238-3141, District Attorney's office: 510-272-6222

Sample Script
I am a resident of Oakland calling to urge Mayor Dellums/ Thomas Orloff to drop all charges against people arrested downtown on Jan 7th and 14th protesting Oscar Grant, III's execution by BART police. I'm asking he Mayor and District Attorney to move ahead urgently to ensure that people protesting the criminalization of Oakland youth are not further criminalized themselves.
Added to the calendar on Sun, Jan 25, 2009 5:50PM

Comments (Hide Comments)
by Downtown Oakland Resident
Please don't ask for all the charges to be dropped. Some of the people arrested were just protesting. Others were arrested for good reason - they were breaking the windows of our local businesses and resident's vehicles. In the block leading to my house, every single car windshield was smashed and around the corner two restaurants had windows broken. This wasn't on the protest route and I'll bet you it wasn't disadvantaged youth acting in justifiable anger. It was some jackass out to break things because he saw an opportunity to do it and get away with it. So don't defend him. There are better things to do with your outrage than help the people who are taking advantage of it.
by OaklandResident1
Why should these charges be dropped? If people break the law, they pay the consequences. (Yes, that includes BART police and protesters alike!)

by Checkmate!
Let's get one thing straight. Officer Mehserly was arrested 1 week after the riot all done out of fear of a repeat incident. So we see that rioting can be good when government is un-cooperative. Sometimes it's the only thing that will make them listen, respond, and then finally act upon our wishes! And your police were the ones who helped instigate the riot by the way, taunting the march from the beginning following everybody from behind with their red and blue lights the whole step of the way. Eventually, these cop cars attempted to frighten marchers to get them to disperse by simultaneously blaring their cop sirens even though nothing had been broken yet. This only made things worse. Why would they do this unless they were trying to provoke a fight? They knew it was the day of Oscar Grants funeral for Christ sake, so why? The taunting by police didn’t stop there of course. They tried to intimidate everybody with their helicopters shinning their spot light down on everybody agitating the situation causing people to yell back obscenities and ignite small piles of fire in the streets as they were walking. Eventually, the march arrived at a police car parked in the middle of a cross-walk. People saw this as it was with in their path and were fired up with the police presence so they released their adrenaline by exploding on a police cruiser. People can only take so much. It's like "we dare you to act" and so we did. The cops asked for it. People threw things at police like bottles and rocks. They got what was coming to them. I’ve never seen a cop car get attacked so quickly by so many people at once. Just hearing all the shattering of glass sent chills up my spine, SMACK BANG CRASH! HAHAHAHAHA! I mean this cop car was just being hit from every angle in every way possible right next to a dumpster fire! It was really intense and things appeared to happening much faster than they were happening on film. The images seen on video and camera pictures don’t do this riot justice at all. I mean from beginning to end. You had to have been there to have witnessed it. It was a lot angrier than it was portrayed by the media. This may not be the craziest riot in history but I’d have to say that this was the craziest riot that I ever experienced. Maybe I'm just young and have yet to experience the real deal. I feel something waiting to explode everyday and I know people just hold it in but when they lose everything there will be no point in holding back all that anger because once you've lost it all you've really got nothing to lose. Never had I witnessed so much rage up-close. The burning dumpster just added to the effect of peoples rage. I assume this lasted about 7 minutes until riot police came in and fired tear gas canisters from a safe distance causing people to dispersed fairly quick but people were still angry even after that since they didn't get to finish the cop car which would have included tipping it over causing the crowd to cheer with some feeling of triumph. So when the opportunity to take it out on the right target was lost or more appropriately put, "taken", people decided to go mad on other things while being forced to leave setting fires to parked vehicles and smashing random store front windows. Some of the attacks were not so random but were attacked intentionally by anarchists; those being the greater businesses and big banks; much are partly responsible for our financial crises by the way. The Bart Police shooting and the reluctance of the Oakland City mayor, Ron Dellums to come out and address the community for “an entire week” provoked people to come out in protest and the Oakland City Police provoked demonstrators into rioting so they could have a reason to shoot at them causing an even bigger riot so the police could have something to do all night arresting people which is what they love to do which is why they became police in the first place. What happened was caused to happen by riot police because they are nothing but bullies very much the same as those police involved in the Shooting Death of Oscar Grant. For every cause there is always an effect; most of the time it’s quiet but you can only smack somebody smaller than you in the face so many times until his brain snaps and what that person does in response "they are not responsible for after"; self defense mechanism it is! Let us not forget why all of this happened; “Oscar Grant is dead because of a man that walks free because in the eyes of the law once a cop always a cop and that makes him special or some how better than everybody else who has to go through the harsh justice system"! DO YOU THINK THAT IS FAIR? The cars and businesses on your street have already been replaced but a life on the other hand still remains dead 6ft under ground “FOREVER!” THAT COULD HAVE BEEN YOU OR ME! His life can never be replaced like a broken glass window or a burned up SUV, or a busted up police vehicle. You can replace private property but you can’t replace human life. How much longer must people hold greater value over private property than human life? Which is worth more to you these day's? You must analyze your self and see where your priorities are and really start questioning why they are there? People need to evolve. People are falling behind mentally because they are unwilling to see a greater picture. Where is the humanity in our minds; it just seems to be so absent these days. Our sense of humanity has been replace by gadgets such as money, watches, fancy cars, and million dollar homes. Why? These things aren't living. There just stuff. These things don't feel pain when struck. You better learn that our violence will never equate to the level of violence perpetrated by the police that is being done a daily bases all over the world, so where is your bleeding heart there? Sounds like you need to question your self rather than us. End Police Violence Everywhere! See you at the Oscar Grant Rally on the 19th, March - 4:00pm at Rockridge Bart Photobucket
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