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Sat Jun 9 2012Supporters Pack Courtroom, Rally, and March to Free Chris
Sat Jun 9 2012Occupy Oakland's Chris Morland Faced Trumped Up Charges by OPD After Alan Blueford Event
Chris Morland of Occupy Oakland's Tactical Action Committee has been repeatedly targeted by police for his outspokenness on issues of economic injustices. He has helped to organize numerous actions around foreclosures and homelessness in Oakland. At a "community meeting" called by Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland Police Department to address the recent police murder of high school senior Alan Blueford, Chris was equally outspoken as he confronted police chief Howard Jordan about the killing. Oakland police did not arrest Chris at the Acts Full Gospel Church where the public meeting was held, choosing instead to wait until after Chris had left the church, swarming in on him at the nearby BART station. Chris was charged with felony assault on a police officer with a deadly weapon, the weapon being the bullhorn he was speaking through. Chris was sent to Santa Rita and his bail was set at over $100,000. On May 25th, the District Attorney's office validated that the charges had no merit by declining to pursue anything other than a misdemeanor Disturbing the Peace charge. Chris' bail then became just $2500, which solidarity activists promptly posted.
Knowing that Chris would be released from jail at some point during the night, supporters gathered for a previously scheduled "Free Chris! Fuck the OPD!" rally that evening by the "Remember Them" statues at 19th and Telegraph. Speakers recalled their fondness for Chris as a person and their respect for his work fighting economic injustices with Occupy Oakland, counterposing that with OPD and the District Attorney abusing their authority by attacking protesters with bogus and trumped up charges. A march followed the rally, stopping by a bar frequented by Oakland police in the Jack London Square area and at OPD headquarters on Broadway. Chris was released the following morning yet still faces numerous charges and days in court in the coming months.
Read More: Free Chris - Rally and March | Busy Week for Oakland's Repression Machine | Interviews with Occupy Legal's Kate Hallinan and Occupy Oakland's Laleh | Event Announcement: Emergency Response! Free Chris! Fuck the OPD! | Event Announcement: Justice for Alan Blueford Rally & March to Quan Town Hall | Occupy Legal | National Lawyers Guild | Occupy Oakland Anti-Repression Committee
Previous Related Indybay Feature: Family and Community Members Express Anger Over the Murder of Alan Blueford and Cover-up