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One More Reason for a Powerful October 22nd Protest‏
by Otis (oct22bayarea [at]
Sunday Oct 18th, 2009 6:45 PM
People are outraged, and they should be!

The rally and march on Thursday, October 22nd must be a powerful political expression of our anger and determination to stop a system which sets the police on the people, and then defends them from punishment.

First the police murder Oscar Grant in Cold Blood! Now, the the judge has agreed with the murderer's attorney, that killer-cop Johannes Mehserle cannot get a fair trial in Oakland. A screaming irony, considering the "fair trial" that Oscar recieved at the hands of judge-jury-executioner Mehserle. Justice for Oscar Grant!
The system looks like they're fixing to let Killer cop Johannes Mehserle walk free. We've seen this before. The cop/killers of Amadou Diallo were acqitted when the trial was moved from NY City (where Amadou was shot 19 times) to conservative and cop-friendly upstate New York. And we remember the innocent verdict that was given to the cops who mercilessly beat Rodney King, after the venue was changed from L.A. to Ronald Regan-land and cop city, Simi Valley. That one was also on video!

The Judge and Mehserle's attorney, Michael Rains agree. Too many people have heard about the case. Too many people have protested. And, incredibly, Rains argued that so many Black people in Oakland have been brutalized by the police, that they would be incapable of rendering a "fair" judgement!

No, the problem is not that people know too much about police brutality. Except for those millions whose daily lives are under the heel of police 24/7, most people from other sections of society know too little - choose to ignore or are kept ignorant - of the exploding national epidemic of Police Brutality and murder, growing Repression, and the Criminalization of a whole Generation of Youth. And hardly anyone knows the extent of this brutality, with thousands having been killed at the hands of Law Enforcement.

This has to change, and it can. By building a powerful rally and march on October 22nd, encouraging people from many sections of society to step out that day, crossing the divides that separate us, standing with the people who are the targets of police violence - we can send a loud message that says:

Spread the word! Forward this email. Twitter and tweet. Print up leaflets (attached) and distribute far and wide. Endorse the day and encourage others to do the same (teachers, lawyers, ministers and communities of faith, schools). Drop whatever you're doing that day. Walk out of work and school - it's that important! AND, don't forget, WEAR BLACK!


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Guest
Tuesday Oct 20th, 2009 1:22 PM
The irony of all of this is that articles like this, protests like the one planned on the 22nd, and statements like "killer-cop" are exactly why the judge decided on moving this trial. I've been out in the streets protesting, and don't disagree with some of what's being said at the rallies and in these articles. But right or wrong, whether or not you agree with these statements and protests, they are exactly the ammunition Mehserle's defense needed to make their case. The more noise we make in the streets, the more reason the courts have to move the trial.

This to me speaks to how crazy the system is. But the system is what it is. Right or wrong, until it changes, it is what it is. And we as the community need to recognize that and ensure that our actions are strategic. This might mean we may have to bite our tongue at times. But it's more important that we win justice than it is for us to be able to express our individual anger. It's a hard conversation to have, it's hard to bite our tongue, it's difficult to think through strategy and focus on long term goals. But hitting the streets with "convict the killer cop" messaging does not necessarily get us closer to our goal.
by (A)
Tuesday Oct 20th, 2009 5:00 PM
I'll be there and hope that the anarchists around the Bay show up too! This shit is fucked up. We've all been thinking and talking about it. Now lets act. See Y'all in the street!
by Worker
Tuesday Oct 20th, 2009 5:45 PM
Too bad this rally, like so many others, exclude working (class) people who don't have the luxury of spending our weekday afternoons protesting. Oh well, I'll be with y'all in spirit...
by east bay fay
Wednesday Oct 21st, 2009 7:43 AM
"protests like the one planned on the 22nd, and statements like "killer-cop" are exactly why the judge decided on moving this trial."

-Couldn't agree more. The defense team will send somebody with a camera and take pictures of every "Kill Mehserle" type of signage. They can then present that in court as pretty good evidence that he won't get a fair trial. If there is another riot, they will have video from every major news outlet in town.

Now there is no chance it will happen anywhere near Oakland.
by anarchist
Thursday Oct 22nd, 2009 12:07 AM
Everyday since the killing of Oscar Grant was a perfect opportunity to riot and nothing happened. Over time people begin to lose interest and go back to their normal lives which is why trying to rile people up doesn't work to get a heavy turn out. You need more black men dying at the hands of white police officers in order for that to be a success. Only in times of tragedy do people come together but as time moves on people grow distant and less united and resort to attacking each other since there’s no one left to fight. Successful rioting only happens when it's not planned. Successful riots are nothing but pure raw emotion explosion of uncontainable anger. The only way rioting can ever be a success is if is were done on a massive scale bringing the government down to it’s knees and then that would be the end of the police state and that would be the end of capitalism as well.

We need to come up with new strategies rather than permitted marches or unpermitted black blocs. We should be working on something that is out side of protests that is out side the law since the law protects racism and systemic murder.
by Autonomist
Thursday Oct 22nd, 2009 9:01 AM
I find it double ironic that as a result of the change of venue people are now criticizing all the manifestations of the community's response to this murder. It should be obvious that the only reason they put this fucker on trial in the first place was because of the January 7th riot. But people still rushed to condemn that event in the name of a little broken glass. Now, after 10 months of being told by various self appointed movement "leaders" to go though conventional channels, to let the system sort it out, to remain peaceful, we hear that all our protesting is to blame for this. What a bunch of insincere, privileged Monday morning quarterbacking! Protests like the one's we've seen since J7 serve to reinforce the state as pressure valves for the community's anger. Toothless as they are, they shouldn't be blamed for this setback in the trail. The blame for this whole fucked up situation falls entirely on the state, on the police, and on BART.

Personally I think we should go back to tearing shit up. Its the only way they'll ever make Pirone, Dominici and the rest of them take any responsibility, and it's the only way to force a more systemic change in the police force as a whole.
by someone
Thursday Oct 22nd, 2009 11:09 AM
i think we need to take a long hard look at what we're advocating here. mehserle is not one "bad apple." this system of policing and imprisonment is not broken. it works exactly as it was intended to bolstered by capitalism, white supremacy, sexism and homophobia. why are we calling for the prosecution of this one cop? let the song and dance of this kind of justice go on without us. let's not put any more energy into it because it's not for us. instead, let's focus on making our communities stronger and safer on our own terms, without the cops, the judges, the parole officers. let's focus on what resources we have and start doing for ourselves instead of for the boss, the mayor, the pigs.

if you're going to be in the streets today, be safe.

also, word has it that the rcp (revolutionary communist party) is organizing this event. do your homework about this organization, their platform, tactics and track record.
by Carl
Thursday Oct 22nd, 2009 2:24 PM
dear "Someone"

I have a hunch you roll with Critical Resistance and/or other abolition groups. Just wanted to say "right on" to your comment. Even if Mehserle does get convicted, what does that mean? One more person in prison? isn't that the exact opposite of what we're struggling for? When we focus our strategy on convicting cops in capitalist courts, we automatically lose the debate. Now, I think the only positive side to this cop being charged with murder is that it sets a precedent and maybe raises the stakes just a little for other white cops who might be itching to murder young black men. but still, if our language is centered on punishment, then we contradict ourselves and thus lose all legitimacy in the community as a whole.

another thing- this idea that the riots and protests were responsible for moving the trial out of Alameda county is ridiculous. Racist judges and racist justice systems are too blame for this and we all know it. As has been mentioned on Indybay several times, the judge bought the argument that since a black man was killed, jurors coming from black communities couldn't possibly give this guy a fair trial. But affluent white suburbanites are of course always unbiased because, well, they're the norm for our society. When a person of color kills a white person (pretty rare, despite media hype), do we hear any arguments for change of venue because white people would be partial? bottom line is: don't blame the community and other activists for protesting. it shows a serious lack of solidarity and gives this whole racist system legitimacy.

Also, yes, the RCP is organizing the Oakland Oct. 22nd action, which is why all of y'all should head up to the Santa Rosa Police Department action at 4pm and join the rally and protest NOT organized by authoritarians. sorry, i know thats harsh. but seriously, Mao and Stalin were fuck-heads. and yes, they used cops and prisons to get their point across. quite brutally in fact.

In conclusion, right on to all of those struggling to establish real alternatives to the prison industrial complex. We need street protests, direct actions, all of it, but we also need creativity and the willingness to build and create safe communities based on mutual aid, cooperation, and direct democracy.