Massive March And Concert Planned For MLK Holiday to Culminate 96 hours of Bay Area Direct Action as part of national call to “Reclaim King’s Legacy”
The Anti Police-Terror Project organizes weekend of action to honor MLK’s radical stance against poverty and all forms of violence.
(Oakland, CA) - A weekend of direct actions, teach-ins, politically charged cultural events and marches throughout the Bay Area will culminate at a Jobs and Economy March for the People on Monday, Jan. 19, beginning at 11 a.m. at Fruitvale BART. The march will end at the Coliseum City development site for a politically charged concert.
Since sunrise on Friday, hundreds of people from more than two dozen groupings responded to the Anti Police-Terror Project’s call to come together for 96 hours of direct action over the Martin Luther King Day weekend, January 16 – 19, 2015. The Bay Area joined thousands across the country responding to a call from Ferguson Action to reclaim Dr. King’s legacy of militant direct action in opposition to economic violence as well as police violence and discrimination.
Today’s march and concert, will connect the dots between police violence and economic violence. The march will begin at 11 am from Fruitvale Station - an infamous site of police terror where Oscar Grant III was murdered by BART police - in solidarity with Ferguson, New York, Cleveland, Sanford, Salt Lake City, and countless others who too have lost young Black men to police terror. We know well the grief that comes when brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, mothers and fathers are gunned down by those who are supposed to “protect and serve.” We march to reclaim King’s legacy and demand an immediate end to the war being waged on Black people in America.
“Actually, we who engage in nonviolent direct action are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out in the open, where it can be seen and dealt with.” - (1963) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Our march concludes at a site of economic terror for the Black, Brown, working class and poor people of Oakland: the Coliseum City project in East Oakland. Already, half of Oakland’s Black population has been displaced, as the city seeks to continue the trend of economic violence that has plagued this part of Oakland for decades. What began as redlining, and continued through a lack of outside investment and predatory lending ultimately has decimated our neighborhoods. This redevelopment’s projected outcome does little to serve the immediate communities of color in East Oakland, but does much to serve football fans and entertainment seekers. We march to demand an end to economic violence, police violence, educational violence and psychological violence that is perpetrated without consequence in our communities.
Families who have lost loved ones to police terror, militant Black leadership, organizations and unions who are on the frontlines of fighting economic terror, and multiracial groups standing in solidarity with the Black community will be speaking throughout the day. The Fruitvale rally and march thru East Oakland neighborhoods will be filled with vibrant, politically charged performances from groups like Young, Gifted & Black, the Pink Panthers and Alia Sharieff.
The rally at the Coliseum City Development site will end with a full blown concert headlined by Oakland’s own Kev Choice.
The Anti Police-Terror Project has released a long list of demands that were formally presented to Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf this past Friday. Specific demands around Coliseum City include:
· A local hiring policy that ensures 50% of the jobs go to Black people and the disenfranchised who are on probation and parole
· A Health Impact Assessment that lays out how many Oakland residents will be displaced as a result of this development and other undesirable outcomes
· A commitment to proving living-wage jobs with benefits to all employees of the Coliseum City project from the janitor to the retail clerk.
“We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered.” - (1967) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
The upcoming 96 hours of direct action across the Bay Area highlighted the unjust economic and political structures that King fought fiercely to defeat. Thousands unified, regardless of skin color, religion, or creed, as we reclaimed King’s legacy and act, in tandem, against police and economic violence; two primary tools of white supremacy.
Actions took place throughout the Bay, and successfully shut down BART stations, the Federal Building in Oakland, the State Supreme Courthouse in San Francisco, traffic intersections, an auction on foreclosed houses and political meetings. In addition to direct actions, guerrilla theater, creative retail disruptions, teach-ins and marches also took place throughout the weekend.
“This weekend was just the beginning,” said ONYX co-chair Cat Brooks. “Clearly the people of the Bay Area, the nation and the world are declaring Black Power Matters. And we are going to continue to speak up and connect the dots and be militant. Happy Birthday Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King! I’m sure if MLK were here today, he would shut it down.”
The Anti-Police Terror Project is a project of the ONYX Organizing Committee that in coalition with other organizations like the Community Ready Corps, the Alan Blueford Center for Justice, Workers World, Healthy Hoodz, and the Idriss Stelley Foundation is working to develop a replicable and sustainable model to end police terrorism in this country. We are a group of concerned and committed institutions, organizations and individuals committed to ending state sanctioned murder of Black, Brown & Poor People. We are led by the most impacted communities but are a multi-racial, multi-generational coalition. We meet every 3rd Thursday of every month at Eastside Arts Alliance at 7:30 p.m.