Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Community Forum & Election Rally

Wealth, Poverty & Crime in Oakland:
What's Going on?
Community Forum & Election Rally

Thursday, May 29th, 7pm, 
Humanist Hall, 390 - 27th St., Oakland

Featuring Diop Olugbala, International Organizer with the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement
Diop organized the International Tribunal for Justice for Sean Bell in New York City. He has led efforts to support the Jena 6 and other victims of attacks on the African community. Diop has also built organizations on the ground in Sierra Leone and Ghana as part of uniting African people all over the world facing the same colonial conditions to take back control over their own lives and to challenge the imposition of poverty and violence.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Defeat Patrick McCullough for City Council June 3rd!

Vigilante McCullough shot 16-year-old black neighbor; Fronts for white gentrification in Bushrod, Would deepen division, inequity, insecurity in Oakland
Written by Penny Hess, the leader of the African People's Solidarity Committee

(left, Patrick McCullough in 2005, being given a party by a Rockridge family following the shooting of 16 year old Melvin McHenry)

In 2003 George Bush led the U.S. bombing and invasion of Iraq. It is a war that many now agree is an unjust assault on an oil-rich nation that has left massive death, displacement and destruction in a vain attempt to maintain cheap and plentiful gas for the U.S.

In 2005 Patrick McCullough shot his unarmed 16 year old teenaged neighbor, Melvin McHenry as he was coming home from school.

As a black man fronting for the interests of property and white gentrification in the long-standing African community of Bushrod, McCullough’s assault on an African child could be compared on a neighborhood scale to Bush’s aggression against the people of Iraq.

Like the U.S. war, the stance upheld by McCullough represents the arrogant assumption that the “haves” can forever ramrod their interests over the “have-nots” regardless of the human and societal price to the victims.

Like the Bush government’s attempt to seize other people’s oil resources, McCullough represents the white community drive for real estate in what many up until recently believed to be an endless Bay Area housing boom.

As the low interest rates of the early 2000’s fueled a frenzied housing bubble, many white people who were priced out of the trendier Oakland neighborhoods found “bargains” in West and North Oakland areas that have long been African communities.

As the white people move in with renovations, privacy fences and landscaping, they set up vigilante and police organizations such as neighborhood watch to push out and contain the African community, whose incomes are often way below those of the new homeowners.
If the gentrifiers can find a black man like Patrick McCullough to front for this community invasion, all the better.

In Oakland the gap between the more affluent white and the impoverished African communities has deepened and intensified over the past few years. While the top 20 percent of Oakland lives on nearly $100,000 a year, a recent article in the New York Times stated that one fifth of Oakland subsists on less and $15,000, well below the federal poverty level.

While most white children in Oakland expect to go to college and find meaningful and gainful employment, an African child born in Oakland today faces the high probability of poverty, joblessness, prison or early death. There are no bright futures for thousands of Oakland residents on the other end of the gentrification equation.

In the face of the recent “invasion” robberies –the result of deepening poverty and desperation, some politicians are pushing for more and more police.

Clearly, the ever-growing resistance in Iraq should show us that oppression, martial law and containment policies will never make Oakland more secure.

As long as one community continues to live at the expense of another there will be no security, safety or peace in our town. McCullough’s campaign for City Council represents the same oppressive approach as America’s failed war against the Iraqi people.

For security, peace and prosperity in Oakland we need genuine and massive economic development to uplift and stimulate the conditions faced by the entire African community, to give a future to all children and the opportunity to develop their talents, skills and abilities.

Say no to Patrick McCullough, gentrification and injustice on June 3rd.

Say yes to peace the only way peace ever works—peace built on a foundation of social and economic justice and true community solidarity, no one community at the expense of another.

Join the Uhuru Movement, an African working-class led movement for liberation, self-determination and economic and political development for African people in Oakland and worldwide.

Uhuru Solidarity Movement provides and opportunity for white people to come together to participate in righting these long-standing historical wrongs in a country whose wealth is built on slavery and genocide. USM is for white people who find living at the expense of African and oppressed people intolerable.

Oakland must not be the command center for the war against the African community. Let’s make it a model community for the world to emulate.

Election Rally and Community Forum on Thursday, May 29th, 7pm
Humanist Hall, 390 - 27th St., Oakland

For more info 510-625-1106 oak_office@apscuhuru.org

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Walk the District 1 Blocks Saturday

This Saturday, May 17th, walk the block to put up door hangers to Defeat Patrick McCullough for District 1 City Council in Oakland.

Meet at 1pm at BakeSale Betty's.
Go out for two or more hours.

Support Economic Development and Social Justice, Not Vigilante Actions and Police Containment!

Candidates Forums This Week:
Come out to ask questions of McCullough and show support for economic development, not police containment!
Wednesday, May 14th - Piedmont Avenue Neighborhood Improvement Association, 7:30pm, Piedmont Gardens, 110 - 41st St., 11th floor Sky Room

Thursday, May 15th - Rockridge Community Planning Council, 7:30pm, College Avenue Presbyterian Church, 5951 College Avenue

For more info on the Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough, see earlier post.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Join the Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough!

Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough!
Get active in the last month of the campaign. Please contact uhurureparations@yahoo.com if you are able to participate in any of the following activities leading up to the June 3rd elections:

Door Hangering:
Walk the blocks in District 1 to put fliers on peoples' doorknobs to inform them about what McCullough really represents!
Saturdays May 10th, 17th, 24th and 31st from 1 to 5pm. Meet at Bakesale Betty's at 1pm on 51st and Telegraph.

Candidates Forums
Come out to ask questions of  McCullough and show support for economic development, not police containment!
  • Wednesday, May 14th - Piedmont Avenue Neighborhood Improvement Association, 7:30pm, Piedmont Gardens, 110 - 41st St., 11th floor Sky Room
  • Thursday, May 15th - Rockridge Community Planning Council, 7:30pm, College Avenue Presbyterian Church, 5951 College Avenue
Thursday, May 29th Event: Defeat Patrick McCullough, Support Economic Development Not Police Containment of the African Community!, 7pm, Humanist Hall, 390 - 27th St., Oakland

Monday, May 5, 2008

Campaign Update: Defeat Patrick McCullough for Oakland District 1!

It's been too long since I have updated this blog on the Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough. 

Listen to our first attempt at a Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough YouTube video from the campaign. There is more to come!

Here is a recap of the work that we have done in the past month:

Outreach at the Temescal Farmer's Market
We have done outreach on six consecutive Sundays at the Temescal Farmer's Market in the DMV parking lot on Claremont in North Oakland. Many people have already gotten the information and every week we meet folks who were thinking about voting for McCullough and who are rethinking their positions!  We have been set up right next to McCullough himself, so the campaign has been quite lively!  One the first day out, McCullough told one of our members that she "was going to lose her house."  Last Sunday, McCullough, after taking pictures of our table, said that he would "see us in court!"

Candidates Forums
We have attended four different candidates forums - the April 5th forum sponsored by the League of Women Voter's at Oakland City Hall, the April 19th forum in Temescal sponsored by STAND, the April 28th forum sponsored by Black Women United for Political Action and the May 2nd forum sponsored by United Seniors at St. Mary's off of San Pablo Ave.

We reached hundreds of people through leafletting at these forums and have had success in putting McCullough on the spot.  At the STAND forum, he admitted to shooting 15 year old Melvin McHenry. Before the forum, one of his campaigners took one of our leaflets, crumpled it up and threw it on the ground.  (A similar tactic used by McCullough's "security coordinator" Kevin Thomas at the Temescal Farmer's Market.)  At the forum sponsored by Black Women United for Political Action, McCullough lashed out at our questions saying we were "brainwashed" and that these were "falsehoods" (the fact that he has been part of gentrifying Bushrod Park). He also got personal and said to an Uhuru Movement member, "I bet you are not even registered to vote."

People who are still wondering where they stand on McCullough should check the mainstream press. Numerous articles talk about McCullough's actions. Is this the kind of representation you want on your city council? Sure, he has now schooled himself in presenting a more "respectable" face and can quote MLK and Malcolm X at the forums, but the fact is that he shot a child and was put forward as a hero!  He blatantly lies about what happened on that day back in February in 2005. 

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement is struggling for leadership that addresses the deep economic and social divisions in Oakland through economic development and social justice, not a "Fix Oakland" platform that continues the criminalization of the African and oppressed communities. McCullough caters to the white community's fears of takeover robberies (which are a reality) and muggings. We aim to look at the fundamental causes of the deep poverty in Oakland that are driving people to desperation. We encourage people to do the same and not settle for the status quo which can only deepen the fear-mongering, oppression, injustice and polarization between the haves and the have-nots in Oakland.