On Tuesday, June 3, 2008, everyone in Oakland who believes in justice and real unity won a victory! Voters in Oakland city council district 1 overwhelmingly defeated Patrick McCullough, neighborhood vigilante and self-proclaimed “anti-crime activist” who three years ago shot and wounded his 16 year old neighbor, Melvin McHenry.
The campaign to expose and defeat McCullough as a front man for the interests of property and gentrification moving at the expense of the African community was initiated by the black-led International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) with the support of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement.
The Uhuru Movement campaign, along with all justice-loving voters in district 1, successfully pushed back McCullough and his backers. Voters rejected McCullough who ran on a platform criminalizing the African community and justifying self-enrichment and gentrification at the expense of black residents.
The InPDUM campaign forced the media and others to acknowledge that McCullough was a violent vigilante terrorizing African youth and neighbors who did not meet the approval of the white neighborhood association.
The efforts to defeat McCullough called for a recognition of the profound poverty experienced by African people Oakland. The Uhuru Movement is uniting Oaklanders in demanding the only real solutions to the deep divisions in our town today: genuine economic development to bring shared prosperity, not martial law, increased heavy-handed policing and vigilante violence.
The campaign successfully distributed thousands of door hangers to households in Bushrod Park, the Shattuck Corridor, Temescal and Rockridge neighborhoods. Campaigners talked to the public at the Temescal farmers market on Sundays during the campaign, spoke out at candidates’ forums and circulated posters in district 1.
The overwhelming response to the Uhuru Movement-led campaign was positive and appreciative. The campaign opened up a deeper discussion about how to bring about real peace to Oakland, where the divisions mirror the racial divide throughout America, a country built on the enslavement of African people and the theft of the land of the Indigenous population.
The campaign drew out the stark disparities in a city where one in five households live on less than $15,000 a year in the middle of the Bay Area, which is home to the most millionaires per capita in the U.S.
The Campaign to Defeat Patrick McCullough galvanized Oakland residents to work for positive, African-led solutions to the deep poverty and oppression that African and other communities face. It gave voice to the white community efforts to break from the public policies of police containment and law and order violence against the African community, policies which are used as vehicles for white gentrification.
Defeating Patrick McCullough proves that Oakland can move together as one only through shared prosperity, no one group at the expense of another.
We have much work to do to push for economic development, not police containment in the city of Oakland, but we have won a victory in defeating Patrick McCullough! Join the Uhuru Movement and join your neighbors in building real hope and change right here!
Join the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement!
Come to the Forum on Thursday, June 5th - "Black People Under Attack: Organize to Fight Back!" at 7pm at the Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur Blvd in Oakland