Saturday, March 22, 2008

Defeat Patrick McCullough in Oakland District 1!

No vigilantes and attempted child murderers on Oakland's city council!
$7.7 million for economic development for the African community, not more police!
Economic development for the African community, not police violence and murder!

In 2005, self-appointed Bushrod neighborhood vigilante Patrick McCullough shot his neighbor, unarmed 16 year old  Melvin McHenry as he was running away from McCullough. 

McCullough was not charged or jailed for his crime. He was praised as a hero by police, city officials, the media and white people who are gentrifying the historically black Bushrod neighborhood.  

Now McCullough is running for city council for North Oakland's district one on a platform of law and order violence targetting the African community.

McCullough is a black man who acts as a convenient front from all those intent on dealing with Oakland's deep social and economic problems with a military solution similar to Israel's genocidal assault on the Palestinian people of Gaza.

Oakland just granted $7.7 million of tax payers' money for more police and has launched an aggressive recruitment drive for the OPD with base salaries over $87,000 a year and up to $244,000 with overtime.

Since the police budget was allocated in March, already two people have been killed within a few days by the OPD. Casper Banjo, 71, a well-known and respected African artist was gunned down on March 14th by police. On Wednesday, March 19th, 15 year old Jose Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez was murdered by police. Both took place in East Oakland.

This is the murderous climated advocated by McCullough. Remember that just reported in the New York Times was the fact that in Oakland, one in every five families live on less than $15,000 and the poorest 20 percent live on $7600 annually. Oakland is a city of deep disparities: crushing African poverty while the Bay Area has the highest rate of millionaires in the country.

California has the world's sixth largest economy and the third largest prison population. The black population in California is 7 percent but makes up 32 percent of the California prison population, a growth industry that pumps billions of dollars into the state's economy.

In 1996, Gary Webb from the San Jose Mercury News exposed that the U.S. government was responsible for the massive influx of crack cocaine into Oakland. This came in the wake of COINTELPRO, the Counterintelligence Program that destroyed the Black Power Movement of the 1960s and that was responsible for the assassination of L'il Bobby Hutton right here in Oakland. 

Urban renewal and gentrification destroyed the economy of the African community where today it is estimated that half of young black people face unemployment. Sometimes just to put food on the table African people are forced into a government and corporate-controlled economy that studies show pay minimum wage for young street workers but make millions of dollars for banks and Wall Street.

In a city where white people are snatching up deals on houses and lofts at the expense of the lives of an impoverished African community the question is, "Who is the real criminal?"

The problem is poverty, oppression and public policies of police containment of the African community.

For peace and unity in Oakland, we need genuine economic development to transform the conditions of the African and other impoverished communities.  We need an end to police containment and violence against African and Mexican people. We need people like Patrick McCullough to pay a political price for their white-backed terror against the African community. 

Defeat Patrick McCullough in Oakand District 1!

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