Monday, January 5, 2009

Protest the BART Police Shooting of Oscar Grant III!

22 year old Oscar Grant of Hayward was gunned down by a BART police officer on the morning of New Year's Day.

Numerous videos taken by witnesses from their cell phones show that Grant was face down on the ground in handcuffs when he was shot in the back at close range on the Fruitvale BART station  platform at 2am following a New Year's Eve outing with his friends.  

In this new year, it is the same old story. Police killings of African men like Oscar Grant have reached epidemic proportions. In fact, the number of police killings outnumber the killings of U.S. soldiers in Iraq in a war that is clear for anyone to see who has been paying attention against the African community in the U.S.  This war usurps the budgets of cities like Oakland which pays out the majority of its monies to "public safety" justifying the war in the eyes of the outside world by the "war on crime" and "war on drugs." This has been the reality for decades since the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements of the 1960's and 70's.

Last year in Oakland, the Oakland police killed Casper Banjo, Jose Luis Buenrostro, Jody Woodfox and at least four others. The previous year the OPD killed Gary King Jr. and Andrew Moppin on New Year's Eve. The heavy handed policing in East and West Oakland is justified by the economic reality that these communities face that make them "high crime" areas, code word for the conditions faced by African and Mexican communities because of the legacy of slavery and colonialism.  

Oscar Grant III's young life was brutally taken away by the police. In this case, there were many witnesses making the police unable to fabricate a story and say that Grant had a weapon. Grant's family members and friends have come out to express their grief in losing their son, nephew and friend making the press unable to slander Grant's character like they normally do. His four year old daughter is left without a father to raise her and a family and community mourns the loss of this well loved young man who worked as a butcher at the Farmer Joe's Market in the Dimond District of Oakland.

In this time of hope and change, we have to take an honest stand against the policies in place that systematically ends young lives yet never stirs an outcry from white people who call ourselves progressive. 

We can stand up against the U.S. war in Iraq or in other places, but we say nothing about the killing of African people who are criminalized by the police and media.

It is time to speak out! We must stand up against this cold-blooded murder.
The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement and the Uhuru Solidarity Movement will join the protest called for this Wednesday, January 7th at 3pm at the Fruitvale BART Station. 

Stop the war the African community! Justice and reparations for the family of Oscar Grant III! Jail the killer cop!

The Uhuru Solidarity Movement works under the leadership of the Uhuru Movement to organize political and material solidarity from the white community with the African led Uhuru Movement. Uhuru Means Freedom!

Email oak_office@apscuhuru.org or call 510-625-1106 to join the work of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement

13 comments:

Scott said...

This killing must be the most senseless act of police brutality I've ever encountered. The snail's pace of any action regarding this is inexcusable. I will be unable to attend the demonstration, but I hope it will be the first of many until justice is served.

I would like to ask, however, what the basis for this sentence is, if you don't mind:

"In fact, the number of police killings outnumber the killings of U.S. soldiers in Iraq in a war that is clear for anyone to see who has been paying attention against the African community in the U.S."

I have never encountered such statistics, and if true that is an extraordinary figure.

JJ77 said...

Although I agree that most cops are nothing more than criminals with a badge, I disagree with the mentality of this writing. First, details are not all in yet, so this may have been an accidental shooting...even cops are not stupid enough to do this on purpose in front of so many people. Second, you like pointing out facts supporting your views about the cops, but leave out the fact that the victims in this case was a convicted drug dealer and had previously resisted arrest while armed...and was in a fight the night he was shot. If you really want a case of how cowardly and murderous cops are, you should focus on the shooting of a man on hwy 101 and 92 in San Mateo by 10 CHP cowards. They justified the shooting by several cops as self defense because the victim held up a 20 lb rock, as if he could have done much with that...they hit him with 10 or more shots. BTW - you keep calling yourself and referring to African...last time I checked Oakland was not in Africa and unless were born there, someone cannot be African...we are talking about Americans here...maybe a different shade, but still Americans...If you think you are African, then leave and go back to where ever you came from.

JJ77 said...

ok, I just looked up the story I referred to and I was worng. It happened in Belmont on 101. She was hit 7 times. At least 2 cops fired, but he was surrounded by several cops. So, my facts were a bit off, but point was about cowardly cops who kill out of fear or just the desire to do so.

Scott said...

@JJ77: Have you seen the video here? I don't care what previous convictions this kid has, there's no excuse to shoot a guy in the back that's lying face down on concrete while being pinned by another officer's knee on his neck. Most accounts even agree that he was handcuffed at the time. What conceivable threat did he pose to anyone?

JJ77 said...

Scott

Not disputing what you say, I have seen the video, I just think that is not clear enough to understand what happened. It could have been a mistake by the cop, so why is he being convicted by public opinion? The victim's criminal history is important in uderstanding why he was being taken down in the first place...why was he? The others involved in this were all sitting down and not being singled out...Why? Why was Grant singled out? Maybe he said something or did somethin...who knows...that was not on the video was it?

JJ77 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Scott said...

@JJ77: That's quite a mistake. Whatever that kid did or said, at the point when he was shot, he was totally in their custody. He posed no threats, and the papers have been absolutely clear that he was unarmed. There may have been a good reason to take him into custody. Once you have him in custody, it's totally inexcusable to use that kind of force on him.

Worse, the dept is dragging their feet in the investigation, and the officer has refused to make any kind of statement. There needs to be much more accountability in this situation.

Cleavon said...

The police officer that killed Oscar Grant is going to walk. This case is similiar to the Everado Torres vs Marcy Noriega, in which officer Noriega killed handcuffed Torres in the back of a police cruiser. She argued that she mistook her service revolver for her taser gun. The result - she walked, and then tried to sue the Taser Company.
http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/circs/9th/0516762p.pdf

Cleavon said...

The question is what will we do when he walks? That's what we need to start planning for! This happens everyday and I'm sick of it.

Wendy Lea Snyder said...

Thanks for all the comments everyone. I think the dialogue is great! We are going to be doing a lot of actions including a march on Monday, January 19th for MLK day. See details on the blog. The point about the soldiers killed in Iraq is so that we can understand that there is a concerted war on the black community in the U.S. The reason that the Uhuru Movement refers to black people as AFRICANS has to do with the goals of the African liberation movement led by Uhuru which looks at the historic oppression of African people who were forcibly removed from their land and resources which continues to be plundered (see COLTAN in the Congo, OIL in Nigeria, DIAMONDS in Sierra Leone and BAUXITE in Guinea, etc. etc.) there is a lot. Check out www.apscuhuru.org HOpe you all can come get involved! write at oak_office@apscuhuru.org

Scott said...

I think you misunderstood me. I'd specifically like to know what you're basing this statement on, because I don't think it's true:

"In fact, the number of police killings outnumber the killings of U.S. soldiers in Iraq"

4WardEver said...

We are with our brothers and sisters across the water on this senseless and brutal killing of an innocent unarmed man.

http://www.4wardever.org

All power to the family of Oscar.
One Love

nobody said...

Wendy Lea Snyder said "...The point about the soldiers killed in Iraq is so that we can understand that there is a concerted war on the black community in the U.S."

Scott said... "I think you misunderstood me. I'd specifically like to know what you're basing this statement on, because I don't think it's true:

'In fact, the number of police killings outnumber the killings of U.S. soldiers in Iraq'"

__________

It is not necessary for there to be more Africans killed by police than U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq (in the same time-frame) for it to be true and understandable that there is a war against the domestic African community by the U.S. gov't.

The war against the African community exists plainly for anyone who cares to look at it. Furthermore, those who are looking to expose that war should not resort to inflammatory and unsupportable statistics to prove their point.

Doing so only gives those who would elect not to pay attention to their cause an excuse to do so. This seems counter intuitive to the goals of a solidarity committee trying to build support in a population whose material interests seem hostile to such an exposure.

I wish you the best in, and support, your efforts/demonstrations/marches to create justice for Oscar Grant III!