On a Wednesday night Aug. 20, hundreds of people from all over the Bay Area gathered in Oakland to support the courageous people’s struggle for justice for Mike Brown happening right now in Ferguson, MO and across the nation. People gathered in four different places in Oakland and marched to the Oakland Police Department downtown headquarters, blocks away from Oscar Grant Plaza, named for another victim of racist police murder.
People chanted “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and “No Justice; No Peace; No Racist Police!” as a line of riot cops attempted to prevent the community from rallying in front of the OPD’s doorsteps. The community was not deterred and held the rally in front of the line of cops, demanding to be heard! Family members of Alan Blueford, Oscar Grant, James Rivera Jr., Kenneth Harding, Alejandro Nieto and other victims of killer cops extended their solidarity to the family of Mike Brown and all families and communities that have lost their loved ones to police terror, and vowed to continue the fight for justice until all children are safe.
Demands were read starting with the call to indict officer Darren Wilson for killing Mike Brown, and the Ferguson police force for their other racist murders! The demands ranged from simple reforms like mandatory drug testing for the police force, especially during an officer involved shooting, which is currently NOT a requirement for California Police, to having an elected community review board that has direct control over police policy, rather than the current boards that serve as a propaganda piece for the police to show “they care about community concerns.”
Central to all demands was the desire for real accountability for the police with the understanding that the problem is not just one bad apple, but, as Ferguson has shown, a systematic policy of racist, brutal training and hiring practices that target poor people, especially poor people of color.
The rally ended with the participants affirming the right to resist the occupation by police forces of poor communities of color across the country. The protest left the OPD’s headquarters and marching through downtown Oakland chanting, “From Ferguson to Palestine; Occupation is a crime!” “Hey, hey, ho, ho, killer cops have got to go!’ and as the march entered Oscar Grant Plaza the chant switched to “Whoop, whoop, that’s the sound of the police; whoop, whoop, that’s the sound of the beast!”
People then broke out into three big groups to talk about how to organize in their neighborhoods against police terror, recognizing that this is a struggle that needs a national united movement.
Today’s action was initiated by the Onyx organization.