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Don't put the "outsider" label on people who are standing up for justice and civil rights!
by Walter Riley (repost)
Sunday Jul 11th, 2010 1:21 PM

After the verdict in the murder trial of the policeman who killed Oscar Grant

A Call from Oakland Attorney Walter Riley:
Don't put the "outsider" label on people who are standing up for justice and civil rights!

The murder of Oscar Grant is a universal issue of justice and civil rights.

I do not like this divisive campaign to divide our community and protestors by calling people outsiders. Oakland is not an isolated town in the desert. This is a great metropolitan area with people from all over; with a world class university; we expect people from all over the map to participate in Oakland. Calling people outsiders in this instance is a political attack on the movement. The subtext is that the outsiders are white and not connected to Oakland. From the days of the civil rights movement to now the outsider labeling failed to address the underlying problems for which people came together.

For those whose frustration with progress leads them to violent protest, we must engage in respectful political struggle. I understand the frustration; I do not support destruction and looting as political protest. I adamantly object to calling our youth and political activists outsiders. I call upon everyone to push back against this tendency.

Walter Riley
Attorney at Law
1440 Broadway, suite 612A
Oakland, CA 94612
WalterRiley [at]

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by konsider
Sunday Jul 11th, 2010 10:00 PM
The constant barrage of assertions that we should keep in our place, and only affiliate along territorial lines, further divides those people subject to the constraints of the rich and powerful.

Reference to a small handful of external forces -- at what would have been, otherwise, a totally peaceful gathering of Oakland residents protesting the Mehserle verdict -- being responsible for transforming the circumstances into a riot is false.