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Indybay Feature
Related Categories: East Bay | Police State and Prisons View other events for the week of 9/21/2009
Fight JR Valrey's bogus charges from Oscar Grant Rebellion
Date Monday September 21
Time 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Location Details
Rene C. Davidson Courthouse (Near the Lake)
1225 Fallon Street, Dept 011
Oakland, CA
Event Type Court Date
Support JR during his trial for alleged arson. Let the judge, OPD, the City, and whoever else needs to be aware that we stand in Loving support of Truth and Justice and that JR is a gift and his work is valuable to the health and well being of this community. It is unacceptable that he be targeted and charged with crimes he did not commit - because he serves this community.

The Event is listed as a workshop. To be clear: Your presence in court is an act of protest, resistance and education.

WHAT: JR Valrey's Trial for Arson during the Community Response to the Murder of Oscar Grant III (JR is the Minister of Information, POCC; a journalist for the SF Bayview; the Voice behind the Block Report)
WHO: Everyone
DATE: 9/21
TIME: Be there at 8:30AM Court starts at 9:00AM
LOCATION: Rene C. Davidson Courthouse
1225 Fallon Street Street, Dept 011 (Near the Lake)

For Directions:

Added to the calendar on Thursday Sep 10th, 2009 3:37 PM

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by Valrey is a chump
Monday Sep 21st, 2009 10:15 AM

JR Valrey Is an Agent Provocateur

It was that last viewpoint that led Valrey to take one of his more infamously controversial positions as a journalist — defending the vandalism of two Oakland liquor stores.

In November 2005, about a dozen black men dressed in sharp suits and bow ties were caught on camera trashing a local liquor store. One of the men was identified from surveillance camera footage as then twenty-year-old Yusuf Bey IV. Bey was the leader of Your Black Muslim Bakery, an Oakland business once known for encouraging black self-empowerment, but steadily gaining a reputation for violence and intimidation. The footage, which showed the men breaking bottles and smashing windows with golf clubs, was run on television news tirelessly. The story was front-page news across the Bay Area. But only one journalist was able to interview Bey. That was JR Valrey.

Yusuf Bey IV was the son of bakery founder Yusuf Bey, whose organization and followers have been implicated in a number of crimes dating as far back as 1968. In 2002, the elder Bey was charged with 27 counts of felony sex crimes, charges he never had to face in court because he succumbed to cancer prior to his pending trial. After his death, two successors were killed under mysterious circumstances before the younger Bey took the reins in 2005.

At the time of the vandalism, Valrey had known members of the extended Bey family for years. But, according to Valrey, it was the liquor store case that began his reporter/source relationship with Yusuf Bey IV.

Valrey got his interviews by treating Bey like a civic leader with a respectable platform and not like someone apparently caught on videotape ransacking two businesses. While other media outlets were asking how bakery leaders could have become so violent, Valrey avoided the question completely, and instead let Bey discuss the issue of liquor stores in poor black neighborhoods.

"The anti-liquor-store movement in Oakland is part of the new black-power era that is emerging in Oakland," Valrey said at the outset of the interview. "A few months ago, some brothers ran up in two liquor stores in North Oakland and threw all of the liquor that was being sold on the ground. That one action kicked off a movement that has Muslims from every faith involved."

Valrey: "What is the objective of the movement to get liquor stores out of the black community?"

Bey: "We had liquor stores in our community for a long period of time, and we know what goes on around these liquor stores. And one thing about it is, it's not just liquor stores. They sell crack around these liquor stores, they're able to buy crack and drugs from these liquor stores, and things like this are not supposed to be done by so-called Muslims. If you say you're a Muslim, you should have the action of a Muslim."

...An October 25, 2008, story by the Chauncey Bailey Project — a team of reporters and news outlets created to investigate Bailey's murder — accused Oakland Police Detective Derwin Longmire of ignoring crucial evidence connecting Bey to the crime. Cell phone records and surveillance information available to Longmire evidently placed Bey outside Bailey's home just hours before his murder. During the fourteen minutes that Bey sat parked outside of Bailey's house in the early hours of August 2, he made a number of phone calls, mostly to bakery member Antoine Mackey. But the records show he also made calls to Valrey.

"During the fourteen minutes he was outside Bailey's apartment early Aug. 2, Bey IV received two calls from a person who had known Bailey for more than a decade," the article states, "JR Valrey, a blogger and activist then reporting for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, where Bailey sometimes contributed news items. Valrey is also affiliated with New America Media, a sponsor of the Chauncey Bailey Project.

"The records show that Bey IV called Valrey twice on Aug. 1, and that Valrey called Bey IV twice while Bey IV was parked outside Bailey's apartment on Aug. 2. The two calls totaled 2 minutes and 18 seconds. Six minutes after leaving Bailey's apartment, Bey IV called Valrey at 12:43 a.m. That call lasted nearly three minutes, the records show.

"Valrey refused to discuss the calls with the Bailey Project. '(It's) none of your business,' he said, and refused to answer other questions. 'I don't have nothing to say to you, man,' he said. 'You all are the anti-bakery project.'"