Friday, September 10, 2010

A Day in Solidarity with African People

Come out to the Oakland event for the Campaign for a Day in Solidarity with African People:

Beyond Obama:
Seeking Real Solutions to the Growing Racial Divide in the U.S.

Sunday, September 19th
1 to 5pm Humanist Hall
390 - 27th St., Oakland
$10 to $25 suggested donation.
No one will be turned away for lack of funds. (510) 394-1780
A $35 donation (or $20 for students) includes a one-year Uhuru Solidarity Movement membership.



Keynote Speaker, Omali Yeshitela
Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party-USA
and leader of the Uhuru Movement.

Speaking throughout Africa, Europe and the U.S., Yeshitela continues the unfinished legacy of Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah. A brilliant theoretician, he has authored several books including One Africa! One Nation!

glen ford

Glen Ford
Executive Editor of the Black Agenda Report and a
leading member of the Black is Back Coalition for Peace, Social Justice and Reparations

Ford has had a long career as a radio host and commentator. He is the author of "The Big Lie: An Analysis of U.S. Media Coverage of the Grenada Invasion" and of countless articles and radio editorials on the oppression of African people and exposing the truth about the Obama administration.

Penny Hess

Penny Hess
Chairwoman of the African People's Solidarity Committee (APSC)APSC builds support from the white community for the call for reparations to African people and for the movement for the liberation of Africa and African people.

Hess is author of Overturning the Culture of Violence, a book telling the true story of America’s history built on slavery and genocide and exposing white complicity with the oppression of African people.

1 – 1:15 Opening and Cultural Performance

1-2 Presentation by Penny Hess, Chairwoman of the African People's Solidarity Committee
and Author of Overturning the Culture of Violence

2 - 2:45 Presentation by Omali Yeshitela, Leader and Founder of the Uhuru Movement and
Chairman of the African Socialist International

2:45-3 Fundraising

3-3:30 Glen Ford, Executive Director of Black Agenda Report and member
of the Black is Back Coalition,

3:30-3:45 – Video - Solidarity with African Liberation

3:45-4:40 Panel Discussion on Oakland's War on the African Community with Jabari Shaw,
Member of the Campaign for Justice for Oscar Grant, Orlando Johnson, Campaign Manager
for Don Macleay for Mayor, Sealli Moyenda, International People's Democratic Uhuru Movement and others.

4:30-4:45 – Uhuru Pies and Uhuru Solidarity Movement

4:45-5 Culture and Close Out

5-7 Dinner

Based on the strategy and campaigns of the African People’s Socialist Party, the
Uhuru Solidairty Movement organizes in white communities.
We call on white people to unite with our true human interest in recognizing that
the struggle of African people for liberation and justice has a relationship to the
fact that our lifestyle rests on a pedestal of African oppression. APSC organizes
forums, demonstrations, studies and events to educate other white people about
the true history of this country, founded on slavery and genocide, and what we can
do to support the struggle of African people

Sunday, July 11, 2010

No Justice for Oscar Grant: Verdict Sparks Outrage and Police Containment by the City

“We could not even get six hours of deliberation. My son was murdered. He was murdered. He was murdered. My son was murdered. And the law has not held the officer accountable the way that he should have been held accountable,” Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant

On July 8th, after less than six hours of deliberation, a jury in Los Angeles found former Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) cop Johannes Mehserle guilty of involuntary manslaughter for the murder of 22 year old African Oscar Grant. The charge of involuntary manslaughter with a weapons enhancement is expected to result in a maximum sentence of eight to ten years.

Oscar Grant was killed by Mehserle, who is white, at point blank range during the early morning hours of January 1, 2009, after having been made to lie on his stomach in submission on the Fruitvale BART station platform in Oakland, CA. The murder of African people by police is an all too common occurrence in the U.S. government’s undeclared war on the African community, which faced the colonial policy of police containment on a daily basis. The murder of Oscar Grant was only significant in that it was caught on video by BART passengers for the world to see.

The historic resistance of the African community of Oakland forced the arrest of Mehserle, the first time in history that a police officer has been put on trial for murder in the state of California. Immediately, the state worked overtime to ensure that Mehserle, if convicted, would face minimal jail time.

The state succeeded first in moving the trial three hundred miles away from Oakland to the city of Los Angeles to lessen the impact of the resistance of the African community on the trial. Next, the defense was able to dismiss all potential African jurors due to either their affinity with the case of Oscar Grant or their experience with being targeted by the police or “racial profiling.”

In the end, the jury who made the decision to give Mehserle a mere slap on the wrist for the crime of murder was made up of seven whites and five Latinos. Four of the jurors were reported to have police officers among their friends and family.

The lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter should be of no surprise in a system that treats the murder of African people by the police as a commonplace and necessary occurrence in the containment of our criminalized and colonially occupied community.

To be expected, the jurors sympathized with Mehserle’s crocodile tears as he performed the rehearsed narrative on the stand that he had mistaken his gun for his taser when he shot and killed Oscar Grant. Even though the defense showed Mehserle’s prior handing of a taser minutes before the killing and also showed the difficulty in firing a weapon “by accident,” the jurors bought the former white cop’s lies and please for mercy.

In preparation for the potential rebellion, the state set up "Operation Verdict" in Oaklnad, mobilizing police agencies from throughout the area and putting the National Guard on alert. The city of Oakland and police department held a press conference, collaborating with local non profits to put forward the reactionary message of "violence is not justice," further criminalizing the African community by condemning the potential African resistance and sanctioning the state's colonial violence and containment that maintains the relationship between the white ruling class and neo colonial government and oppressed African and Mexican working class.

In spite of neo-colonial Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums' expressions of pride in how crowd gathered peacefully initially following the verdict, te people had no right to freedom of speech and assembly since the rally was cordoned off within two blocks of the downtown area by thousands of police in riot gear and row police cars and helicopters overhead to ensure the farcical "freedom of speech" was contained and that no unsanctioned expressions of outrage could occur.

The fact is that the African community throughout Oakland was put on lockdown with twelve passenger vans of Oakland police patrolling the MacArthur corridor in front of the Uhuru House to quell any potential rebellion.

The media looked hard for a story that would justify the military style presence of the police; however, the fact is that when darkness fell in downtown Oakland a handful of people smashed windows, set fires and looted a Foot Locker store. The police had corralled hundreds of people and later declared "an unlawful assembly," putting on gas masks and taking out clubs to ensure that the police state was in full effect.

While the struggle for justice for Oscar Grant continues, the Uhuru Movement calls for the following demands:

1. Justice and reparations to the family of Oscar Grant and all victims of police violence from BART and the city of Oakland.

2. End the city of Oakland’s public policy of police containment of the African community carried out through police chief Anthony Batt's war on ‘gangs, guns and drugs’ and his recently imposed gang injunction.

3. Economic development for the African and Mexican communities.

We call on the community to:

• Support the right of the African community to resist the state violence.

• Join the Uhuru Movement.
Meetings of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement on Tuesdays at 7pm at the Niebyl Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland