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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: California | Racial Justice
For All Who Fight For Justice! - "I could care less where we're from."
Can't We All Get Along? These were the words that Rodney King came up with after his own beating, also caught on film, unleashing the worst property destruction and violence seen in the U.S. since the urban riots of the 60's.
Flashback to the summer of 1992. South L.A. is in ruins stemming from the rage of all those Pigs being acquitted of all charges for the brutal beating they put on Rodney King. Private sector to the rescue. WHAT? Rebuild L.A. (RLA), a combination of high profile corporate leaders, steps in and promises to do just that, and they are willing to invest 6 billion dollars. RLA's stated intention by coming into this war torn community? Their goal - "long term systemic change with the creation of 74,000 jobs within the riot zone over the next five years." In response, a tentative truce was reached between certain sets of the CRIPS and BLOODS. Yes indeed, actual "turf unity". These young kids got their hopes up and laid down the guns and "silenced the violence" based on the RLA promises of jobs in their communities. But just one year later, RLA "quietly" shut their doors and headed back uptown, and they took their billions and their promises of jobs with them. What happened to the truce?
Take a guess? Take a wild fuckin stab at it? truce replaced with "15 years of spiraling GANG VIOLENCE"
(That information came from a section of the comprehensive film "CRIPS and BLOODS: Made in America, a film by Stacy Peralta. A must see for any and all which have taken part in this justice movement -which has now reached its 518th year. ) -
and if you disagree with that, then don't go throwin around Malcolm - peace be upon him and his family, or Martin - peace be upon him and his family. They both were murdered for the very same interests that depend on police violence as an agent of repression.
Back to the task at hand. Compared to what happened June '92 in LA, the 7th and 14th of '09 Oakland were a fart in the wind. No one was prepared for those riots in LA. Riots in which, according to the film, "the flames of 92" spread right to the doorstep of the bourgeosie.
And I'm no genius with numbers, but 6 billion sounds like quite a bit of money. Still quite a bit low for five centuries of racist oppression, but back to that shortly.
Now To The current scene at the beginning of summer '10 in Oakland. The non-profits and Mayor Dellums office, after a long hiatus from "giving a fuck", start meeting the first of week June. The result of this collaboration, with the police I might add, is a a last second hail mary to protect the property of the same system that proved - a cop can shoot a human being unarmed lying facedown on a public transit platform and he doesn't even get arrested. Not only that, he doesn't even get questioned about it. He also, along with the other pigs on that platform, got to cover their collective tracks before Mr. Trigger Man fled the state. (speaking on the cover-up, it is alleged that Oscar Grant III did not receive medical attention for almost 45 minutes after he was shot and handcuffed -In that order.)
And what did these meetings decide would be the best way to protect property, ahem... I mean to inoculate the youth and channel community rage instigated by police murder and violence? A PSA, and an emergency training at Youth Uprising. A training where the youth involved will receive $40, and if these youth are able to bring 20 of their friends out to the day of the verdict rally/speakout/peace crawl - They will be paid $100. I'm no mathematician, but thats $5 a head for peaceful protesters. ( I wish I was making this up) Now just out of curiousity, how much did you all get from the bourgeoisie to protect their property? And i know it wasn't 6 billion. Was it 40 grand? 50 grand? was the PSA a winner on pepsirefresh.com? Don't tell me they lowballed y'all?
Whatever the figure, unless it is the trillions that they stole from us, it isn't enough.
But on the bright side, as of this publication - the verdict is still up in the air, and with the threat of more property destruction looming, the bourgeoisie is shakin in their loafers. As we all know - fear is a mutherfucker. Sounds like Mr "Man" found his wallet. Now our question to you - the non-profits, the mayor's office, the city council, the police - what will you collectively do to ensure that this isn't a one time offer. (What do they call it - "hush money" ?) What will you collectively do to make it a permanent and much much larger reparation(s)?
Keep in mind , you've all made it very clear you want nothing to do with "outsiders - aka - native elders, white anarchists, prisoners of conscience, black nationalists, communists, brown berets, transgender/queer folks, socialists, muslims, african socialists, arab palestinians, the rank and file workers,copwatchers, college students" - am I forgetting anyone? (and I think it's fairly safe to speak for most if not all and shout a collective "FUCK YOU!" from the margins.
So when the verdict comes down, and the victory dance, or, the reactionary week or so of protest is over(my assumption), and business as usual is back, who and what will stop the bourgeoisie from "turnin off the spigot". Not that they had any intention of giving anything more than the spare change in their seat cushions(again, my assumption).
And going back to lessons learned from the last trial of videotaped police brutality and the aftermath, which coincidentally was the last time there was documented "turf unity" where BLOODs and CRIPs, inspired by the phony promise of billions for jobs - united and showed love for fellow brothers and sisters, only to learn a hard and bitter lesson not but one year later, with their communities still in ruins. The very same lesson experienced by the indigenous of this land 392 times and counting.
So what will you do Nichole Lee? if and when you go back to the colonizers and ask nicely for more money, and they promptly show you which line you get to stand in. Will this be what "justice" looks like beyond the Mehserle "hype"? A one-time payoff to youth to aid in the inoculation process and keep them safe from the "scary anarchists", And then back to business as usual in "your Oakland".
Never trust the ruling class and the state! They have no interest in peace, not in Oakland, not in Chicago, not in Baltimore, not in Brooklyn, the list goes on and on.
I'll see you all at 14th and Broadway on the day of the verdict.
"When all else fails to organize the people, conditions will"
Marcus Garvey, quoted from the film "CRIPs and BLOODs: Made in America