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Militant Journalism

Thousands gather in Martinez to condemn white supremacy and police brutality

A July 12 action in Martinez, California, by Together We Stand, Southern Alameda County Resistance Network, and Martizians for Black Lives protested against white-nationalist fliers distributed within the small Bay Area community.

Nakenya Allen, a resident of Martinez who lives a few blocks from where the fliers were found, said: “There was absolutely no way as a Black woman living in the midst of that with a Black son, that I could let that go … and we needed to do something about it.” The fliers were riddled with racial slurs and threats against Black Lives Matter protesters and featured a white-power symbol.

More than 2,000 protesters gathered in front of the Contra Costa Court where a Black Lives Matter mural was recently vandalized by white supremacists. Before the march to the waterfront, a single white nationalist attempted to curtail the gathering and was chanted away by hundreds of those condemning his actions.

Demonstrators, including the Brown Berets and Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice, held signs that read “Defund the police” and “We need a revolution NOW” as the demonstration marched through the streets of Martinez.

Sandy Sanchez, the mother of Anthony Nuñez, who was murdered at age 18 by San José Police in 2016, spoke at an intersection while a small white-supremacist gathering looked on. “He needed help, and calls were made for help. And instead of help coming, they came and they murdered my son,” she said.

Nuñez’s killers, Michael Santos and Anthony Vissuz, were found by the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office to be justified in their killing of the young man in need of medical assistance. The Nuñez family went on to sue the city in civil court and won against the San José PD. But, Sanchez said, “I don’t want their money … I want my kid back, I want my son back.”

The group then marched towards Waterfront Park chanting “Cops and klan go hand in hand.” A video filmed by ABC News showed one of the men in the white-supremacist “counter-protest” patting a Martinez cop, who was donning riot gear, on the back.

‘We don’t want to hear about the good police’

Leia Schenk, founder of EMPACT Org, spoke on the failure of police in protecting and serving communities: “The police are hunting us like rabid dogs, and they’re killing us in our moments of distress.” She added: “We don’t want to hear about the good police. We don’t want to hear about those of us who know ‘good police officers.’… We also don’t want to hear about blue lives matter because there’s no such thing as a blue life.”

Various speakers gathered on a makeshift stage assembled by Richard Perez Jr., father of Pedie Perez III, who was killed by Richmond police in 2014. Wallace Jensen, the police officer who killed Perez, was never charged by the Contra Costa district attorney even though an independent community commission found he lied in his testimony and initiated physical violence against the victim. According to Perez Jr., Jensen received disability retirement from killing his son, providing an income of $70,000 dollars a year.

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