Thursday, March 26, 2009

Video Coverage of Lovelle Mixon Video

Video footage from the March 25th, 2009 Vigil for Lovelle Mixon and victims of police violence in Oakland:

Uhuru Movement Statement on the Killings of 4 Officers and Lovelle Mixon

International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement
7911 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland
(510) 569-9620


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

WHAT: Uhuru Movement statement on the killing of
four Oakland officers and Lovelle Mixon
CONTACT: Bakari Olatunji, 510-304-2078

The Uhuru Movement thanks all of our friends and supporters who have voiced their concerns about the position taken by the Uhuru Movement on the March 21 killings of four Oakland policemen and twenty-six year old Lovelle Mixon.

We unite with your interest in dialog and resolution to this situation and in building unity among the various communities in Oakland through genuine social justice.

The Uhuru Movement has always understood that our friends may disagree with some of our positions—positions which always uphold justice for the African working class community.

We understand and unite with your concerns that the tense situation in Oakland must be resolved.

It is unfortunate that it takes a situation like this to bring Oakland’s real problems to the surface.

We have to take the March 21 events in the context of the long history that the Oakland police department has had with the Oakland African working class community.

It was the infamous brutality of the Oakland police that gave rise to the Black Panther Party for Self Defense in the 1960s.

There has been the exposure of the notorious Oakland “Riders,” whose brazen violence, harassment, racism and dishonesty are well known.

There have been relentless police murders of African community members young and old, such as Casper Banjo, an elderly African man and well-known, respected artist who was blatantly shot by the police last year.

There are hundreds of African and Mexican working class people who have been murdered by police over the years, real human beings whose names fade from the collective memory so quickly. Many of these victims have been blatantly slandered in the media, doubling the pain of the grieving families.

The recent cold-blooded, point blank BART police murder of young Oscar Grant was only unusual because it was caught from many angles on video.

But it is much more than this. Oakland has a very clear publicly supported policy of police containment, implementing an incessant martial law with ever-present SWAT teams and police helicopters circling over neighborhoods daily.

California’s prison population is the fourth largest in the entire world and the OPD does everything possible to feed young African men and women from Oakland into that system for their entire lives.

Discriminatory legislation such as Three Strikes locks up countless African people as young as 14 years old for things that white people get to go to rehab for.

It has long been documented in articles by journalist Gary Webb in the San Jose Mercury News, for example, that the US government is responsible for imposing the devastating crack cocaine plague in African communities, and it is well known that the police have and continue to facilitate this.

The Uhuru Movement does not support the loss of life of any person. But the loss of life at the hands of the police in the African community of Oakland has been going on for half a century.

The “tensions” in Oakland are caused by the police, not by an impoverished community struggling to survive.

Even the mainstream media sources such as the New York Times and National Public Radio have had to mention in most reports that many in the African community do not support the police’s position in this case, and understand that Mixon’s actions were the result of years of oppression of a whole community which has come to a boiling point.

Lovelle Mixon’s life, like that of thousands of young African men in the impoverished neighborhoods of Oakland, was over long before he was killed by police. He faced a hopeless dead end of joblessness, poverty and criminalization by a society that would rather lock up young African men than make college or jobs available to them.

The police are not social workers; they are a military force with the assignment to carry out a violent containment policy against a whole community. The purpose of the police is to maintain power for the status quo and uphold the relations of poverty and wealth in the city.

If we want to move forward and “build bridges” as a city there is only one road to do so. We have to truly understand the calls of a community under siege and demand an immediate end to this completely failed public policy of police containment, this war without terms waged against the African community of Oakland.

We have to demand a policy of genuine economic development for the African community—development that truly benefits and uplifts the deeply impoverished African working class of this city, and is not just another cover for gentrification and dispersal of the oppressed.

We appreciate your continued support of the Uhuru Movement and urge you to take an active stand in transforming Oakland into a model city of shared prosperity and true social justice.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

RIP Lovelle Mixon

Lovell Mixon (below) with his uncle Curtis Mixon

The mainstream media, for the most part, portrays Lovelle Mixon as a despicable human being beyond reform - child rapist and urban terrorist.

The comments on previous posts to this blog attest to many peoples' willingness to believe in this picture of him.

I did not know him personally but I know a little bit about what young African men face in East Oakland and I know the history of this phenomenon - some from books and some from having lived to see the Stuart Case, the acquittal of the officers who beat Rodney King, the frame up of Fred Hampton Jr. and numerous other events unfold. Mostly, however, I have learned from the brilliant teachings and campaigns of the Uhuru Movement.

I learned from young men like Lovelle in my classroom as a teacher at Castlemont High (just down the street from where the events took place and also down the street from the Uhuru House), young men and women who were brilliant, ready to take on the world, but who were treated as less than intelligent and whose pride and brilliance prevented them from putting up with the miseducation, irrrelevance and boredom that often came with being in school.

It turns out that Derrick Mixon was Lovelle's cousin. Derrick was a 9th grader at Castlemont High who was witty, hilarious and creative and only lived to age 15 before he was killed last summer. There was no outcry about this young man's death. He was one of many young men whose unexplained death was unnoticed by the outside world.

With what I have learned from the Uhuru Movement about the history of slavery, the hundreds of years of lynchings of African people by regular white folks (my people), about the everyday terror of the chain gangs, police violence and prison system, there is no possible way that I could just believe what they want me to believe. The historic figure of the black man as rapist figures into the popular imagination to such a degree to stir up white nationalist lynch mob justice and to separate him from his community. And this young man is already dead.

It is time for white people who consider ourselves forward thinking and progressive to stand with the victims, stand with the families and with the communities who have suffered enough and whose movement can overturn a system that we also hate for its inhumanity, its brutality, its perpetual war here and in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

I encourage you to come out to support tomorrow evening - Wednesday, March 25th at 6pm at the Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland.

For other views diverging from that of the mainstream on Lovelle Mixon and the events in Oakland, see:

A decent letter to the editor by Sally Norvel of Alameda (at the top):

This article is mainstream but has a lot of details about his life that I haven't read about yet:

Monday, March 23, 2009

Defend African People's Right to Resist!

Defend African People's Right to Resist!
March, Candlelight Vigil and Rally for Lovelle Mixon and Family
Wednesday, March 25th, 6 to 8pm
Gather at Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland
6:30 March to Eastmont Town Center
Rally & Return to the Uhuru House

Contact: 510-569-9620,

Stop the Genocidal War on the African Community Now!
Economic and Social Justice for the African Community!
Statement from the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement calls on all progressive-minded people to stand against the brutal, long-standing, publicly-supported policies of police containment that keep the African community under the grip of a colonial occupation for which the Oakland Police Department is the front line of assault.

We call for support for the African community demands for genuine economic development and social justice for the African community.

The deaths of four members of the OPD on March 21, 2009, were the result of these relentless policies, which are manifested daily in the cold-blooded police murders, brutality and harassment of African men and women, youth and elderly by the heavily armed, military style Oakland police force;

In draconian laws such as Three Strikes that discriminatorily lock up tens of thousands of African people for life in the multi-billion dollar California prison industry;

In the hostile, substandard education system that profiles African male children as young as six years old as criminals and “super-predators,” and feeds the shameful juvenile prison industry that violates every principle of international law;

In the highly-documented government-imposed illegal drug trade which is often the only last-ditch source of employment in a community whose own economic infrastructure has been destroyed by “urban renewal” and gentrification;

In the specific targeting of African homeowners for predatory subprime mortgages, thousands of which are now in foreclosure;

In the cruel foster care system that turns African babies and children, victimized by this system, into profitable commodities for the lucrative white foster-care industry.

It was the historic brutality of the Oakland Police Department that gave rise to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in the 1960s.

We recognize that African communities of Oakland and throughout the US are locked down under a deadly colonial occupation no different than the conditions imposed on the Iraqi and Afghani people under the US military occupation and the near genocidal colonial assault on the Palestinian people by the illegitimate state of Israel.

We believe that all oppressed and colonized peoples have a right to struggle for liberation and to resist, as Malcolm X said, by any means necessary.

Just like the resistance of Nat Turner and Gabriel Prosser, enslaved Africans once vilified and today considered heroes, African people in Oakland have a right to struggle against this government-imposed terror. This is exactly what our brother Lovelle Mixon did.
We believe the actions brother Lovelle Mixon took were in fact a direct response to a system that upholds itself and protects itself through the imposition of a police state within the African community to enforce systematic harassment, torture, death and destruction on the African community, so that it can continue to thrive.
Africans have come to the conclusion that if you do not resist oppression from the police, you will end up unjustly murdered by them, all criminal charges will be dropped against them, hence injustice within the system perpetuates itself while Africans continue to die.
Knowing the history of how the police treat Africans, Lovelle Mixon felt he had to defend himself in the face of the oppressive police state. And he did so, honorably. Like the missiles launched from Gaza and the Iraqi resistance forces, African people will rightfully fight to free themselves against oppression in every form.

We call on the citizens of Oakland to unite with the demands raised by the Uhuru Movement for genuine economic development to the African working class community, for reparations for the families of victims of police violence, for a community controlled police review board with subpoena powers and for an immediate end to these failed public policies of police containment which have brought so much suffering to the African community for so long.

We call on Oakland citizens to join us in rejecting the knee-jerk criminalization of the oppressed African community by the city and state governments, and in recognizing that in order to go forward as a city we must unite in the quest for economic and social justice for the African community.

The International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement is an organization led by the African working class to defend the democratic rights of the African community.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Four OPD and One Young African Down in Billion Dollar War

In urgent response to yesterday's events in Oakland, we are inviting people to come out to the Oakland Uhuru House Today:

Stop the Billion Dollar War on the African Community!
Remember Oscar Grant, Jody Woodfox, Casper Banjo, Andrew Moppin, Gary King Jr.
and all the Victims of the Oakland Police Department Policies of Police Containment

WHEN: Sunday, March 22nd, 4 to 6pm
WHERE: Uhuru House, 7911 MacArthur Blvd, Oakland

Yesterday, in what the media is calling a "routine traffic stop,” four Oakland police officers, two of whom were members of the SWAT team were shot by a young African who was later shot and killed by police in East Oakland. Following the shootings of the first two officers, hundreds of police, sheriff, highway patrol and helicopters terrorized the entire community around 74th and MacArthur. 27 year old Lovelle Mixon, the suspect described as having "an extensive criminal history" was killed at the scene.

These events are in direct response to what has been happening in the African community of Oakland. Every day, the notoriously brutal Oakland Police Department comes into the neighborhoods to attack us and we have a right to resist. Nearly half of the city's billion dollar budget goes to support a militarized policy of police containment while one in five families in Oakland communities live below the poverty line. African people are on lock down in their own communities and never see justice for the police killings of African people. Lovelle Mixon is a victim of the policy of police containment and economic embargo of our African community.

The city and the media are using these events to cover up the police violence that plagues the African community and win support for their policies.
Come out today to get organized in unity with the African working class and join the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement and unite with the following demands:
Jail the killer cops
Reparations to the families of the victims of police violence
Economic development not police containment to the African community

Stop the Billion Dollar War on the African Community!
Build a sustainable future based on justice and liberation!
Justice for Oscar Grant and all the Victims of Police Violence!
Join the Uhuru Solidarity Movement!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

All Resources of the U.S. Empire Are Blood Resources

Tuesday, March 10th, 7 to 8:30pm
Uhuru Solidarity Movement Study
3127 Herriott Ave (off Virginia and High St), Oakland

We will watch a slide presentation, "All Resources Are Blood Resources" by African People's Solidarity Committee Chairwoman Penny Hess showing the foundation and ongoing collapsing system of U.S. imperialism based on slavery, colonialism and genocide from the diamonds in Sierra Leone to the prison economy in the U.S.  The presentation will be followed by a discussion of the theory of African Internationalism, the philosophy of the Uhuru Movement and the programs and campaigns of the Uhuru Movement including the All African People's Development and Empowerment Projects, the International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement, the African Village Survival Initiative in the U.S. and the work of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement and Uhuru Foods to win unity and support for these programs and building a new world based on justice and true sustainability under the leadership of the African revolution.  Email or call 510-295-7834 for more info.