[News] Demanding End to War on Black People, Oakland Protesters Blockade Police Department

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Dec 16 10:26:36 EST 2014


*Link: 
http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/12/15/demanding-end-war-black-people-oakland-protesters-blockade-police-department*


  Demanding End to War on Black People, Oakland Protesters Blockade
  Police Department

Black-led direct action disrupts business-as-usual

by
Sarah Lazare, staff writer 
<http://www.commondreams.org/author/sarah-lazare-staff-writer>
Monday's protest was organized by black organizations including The 
Blackout Collective, #BlackBrunch and #BlackLivesMatter. (Photo: 
Blackout Collective)

Monday's protest was organized by black organizations including The 
Blackout Collective, #BlackBrunch and #BlackLivesMatter. (Photo: 
Blackout Collective)

Bearing a banner declaring "Black and Breathing," protesters surrounded 
and temporarily blockaded the Oakland Police Department headquarters on 
Monday morning while shutting down a nearby freeway entrance to demand 
<https://baysolidarity.wordpress.com/> "an immediate end to the war on 
Black people."

"We fight for justice for every single Black life that has passed at the 
hands of police, but we must also stand up and shut down for the Black 
and breathing who are at risk of the same fate," said Deirdre Smith, one 
of the organizers of the action, which was led by the all-black 
organizations the BlackOut Collective, #BlackBrunch and #BlackLivesMatter.

Chaining themselves together, demonstrators blocked four sets of doors 
to the Oakland Police Department while approximately 30 black protesters 
held the space in front of the station. Meanwhile, others shut down a 
major intersection leading to a freeway close by, causing significant 
traffic disruption.

At one point, a demonstrator scaled a pole to replace an OPD flag with 
one memorializing Oscar Grant, Eric Garner, Alex Nieto, Renisha McBride, 
and Michael Brown---all people of color, almost all of them black, 
killed by police or vigilante violence. A group of people locked 
together at the base of the pole to prevent the alternate flag from 
being taken down.

At the time of publication, organizers announced that they had reached 
their goal of maintaining the blockade for 4 hours and 28 minutes. "The 
4 hours honor the memory of Michael Brown, whose body lay in the streets 
of Ferguson for more than 4 hours after he was killed by a police 
officer," explains a joint statement 
<https://baysolidarity.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/why-4-hours-and-28-minutes/>. 
"The 28 minutes highlight the startling fact that every 28 hours a Black 
person is killed by police, security or vigilantes in this country."

Protesters say that now is the moment to take a stand against this 
deadly status quo.

"This action is part of a larger, sustained effort to disrupt business 
as usual in the tradition of the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the 
Woolworth counter sit-ins," said Jeralynn Blueford, the mother of Alan 
Blueford who was killed by an Oakland police officer in 2012.

"We didn't get an equal seat on the bus or at the lunch counter because 
we said 'please,'" Blueford continued. "We got our seats because of our 
highly organized and effectively sustained protests and boycotts, 
disrupting business as usual. We hold this space today as a 
demonstration of Black peoples' right to exist and to thrive, just like 
anyone else."

"We fight for justice for every single Black life that has passed at the 
hands of police, but we must also stand up and shut down for the Black 
and breathing who are at risk of the same fate," said organizer Deirdre 
Smith. (Photo: BlackOut Collective)"We fight for justice for every 
single Black life that has passed at the hands of police, but we must 
also stand up and shut down for the Black and breathing who are at risk 
of the same fate," said organizer Deirdre Smith. (Photo: BlackOut 
Collective)

/Common Dreams/ spoke over the phone with Alex Tom, a protester with the 
Asian solidarity group #Asians4BlackLives, which, along with the white 
ally group Bay Area Solidarity Action Team, helped organize Monday's 
action under the leadership of black organizations. "This was a really 
important action because it was bringing all communities together to 
show that fighting for Black lives should not just be the job of Black 
people," Tom declared. "It is important for us as Asians to put our 
bodies on the line and shut down institutions like the OPD that 
perpetrate the war on Black people."

Felicia Gustin of the Bay Area Solidarity Action Team told /Common 
Dreams, /"We are part of a national movement to say Black lives matter. 
As white activists, we want to stress that white silence means violence. 
We as white people have to join with black communities to end violence 
against Black communities in this country, making sure to do that under 
their leadership with accountability to them."

At least 27 people were arrested at the action, and participants are 
urging support 
<http://www.youcaring.com/help-a-neighbor/opd-shut-down-bail-fund/278631> for 
those detained.

Monday's protest comes on the heels of massive demonstrations 
<http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/12/13/we-will-have-justice-tens-thousands-march-day-resistance> 
in New York City, Washington, D.C., and across the country over the 
weekend amid a groundswell of anger and mobilization in response to 
institutionalized racism in the U.S. and police killings of unarmed 
black people and other communities of color---including in Oakland.

According to data <http://antievictionmappingproject.net/opd.html> 
obtained by the Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, the Oakland Police 
Department, California Highway Patrol, and BART police have killed at 
least 78 people since 1970. Of those 74 percent were black and 99 
percent were people of color.

The organizers of Monday's action have been in close touch with 
protesters across the country, including in New York and Ferguson, and 
have explicitly endorsed a series of demands 
<http://fergusonaction.com/demands/> which emerged from the organization 
Ferguson Action, including: "an end to all forms of discrimination and 
the full recognition of our human rights" and "an immediate end to 
police brutality and the murder of black, brown and all oppressed people."

"There is a war on Black people in America and police are the 
militarized force leading it," said Wazi Maret David, an Oakland 
resident and violence prevention educator. "We are here today to bring 
our demands to OPD's front door, to stake claim on their space, and to 
bring an end to state-sanctioned violence against all Black people."

A video of the action is available at the link above


-- 
Freedom Archives 522 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 415 
863.9977 www.freedomarchives.org
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20141216/d6b83712/attachment.html>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: blackoutcollective.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 299310 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20141216/d6b83712/attachment.jpg>
-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: black_and_breathing.jpg
Type: image/jpeg
Size: 61503 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <http://freedomarchives.org/pipermail/news_freedomarchives.org/attachments/20141216/d6b83712/attachment-0001.jpg>


More information about the News mailing list