Thursday, March 26, 2009

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.


1 comment:

Jas said...

Hi, my name is Jason.I'm a 40 yr old white male born and bred in Tulsa,Ok. or as we like to call it "poverty central".I've noticed here that, as in some areas across the states,the black race raises there own not to forget how they came to the states.As honorable as that is you allow anger to filter into the history lesson.I understand it's a bitter pill to swallow but it has to stop because it's undermining the cause.In the early 19th century we,in Tulsa experience the worst riots in the Nations history.Unfortunately it involved a white teenage girl and a 20 something young black man.15+ Sq. Mls. of our city laid in ruins,hundreds dead, thousands displaced.It leveled our city,and when it was all said and done it turns out the little girl lied.There are places today that,in broad daylight,I cannot walk through without fear of reprisal.I ask you" Why is this?"I grew up in white middle class and held dear the best friends I had.Blacks are the same as me,my dearest friends have always been black,the first girl I kissed was black.And what I've learned from them,what they explained to me, is that alongside of the black undermining itself with hate,the politicians have undermined you also.Your vote for the Dem has been sold out from under you.Your welfare(not the chk.)is not their concern anymore.The Black Person needs to turn its back on the Dem. and focus on taking their community forward,taking your streets back.The past is past,leave it for the history books.Because to this day,nearly 100 yrs later, there is still not a shopping district that can compete with the hate and violence in North Tulsa.Not even a small grocery outlet can afford to provide for the residents because the hate kills prosperity.And what's even sadder is when there are no whites or elements of the 'Man' around you feed your anger on each other.As the undesirables have elevated themselves up the political ladder and undermined the economy and trust in the Constitution so has the Black Movement been set back from within itself.Take the 'Blinders' off and right the wrongs.I'm not asking for you to forget just to forgive.Research your history,the Black Person was not the only slaves traded in this country,and the White Man is not the only one to barter for slaves.History shows that man is cruel to all,but only wants to share blame.Your own kind sold you out centuries ago and still do to this day.If you want 'Change' don't expect someone to provide it for you.Take your streets back and make the change for yourself.I'm sorry if any of my statements have offended anyone,,,but we need to question all and trust no one......Thx.