Archive for bart shooting

Johannes Mehserle Arrested, Protests Continue

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 13, 2009 by Anarchy Library

The BART police officer filmed shooting Oscar Grant on New Year’s Day has reportedly been arrested. Update

A rally planned for Wednesday, January 14th from 4pm to 7pm in front of Oakland City Hall (Frank Ogawa Plaza) will proceed as planned, according to rally organizers. Christina Gomez from the Coalition Against Police Execution (CAPE) stated, “Tomorrow will definitely be a day for us to share this good news with folks. The job is not done. He has been arrested but he has not yet been prosecuted. We have to put pressure on DA Orloff… The fight is definitely not over.” More Details

There have been protests and meetings nearly every day since last Wednesday, when downtown Oakland erupted with social unrest, including one Monday night in San Francisco.

On Monday January 12th, BART police handed over evidence to Alameda County District Attorney (DA) Tom Orloff on the shooting. Johannes Mehserle has refused to say anything but police say they questioned the six other BART police officers who were on the scene. BART police also say they questioned 21 people who witnessed the shooting, but police decided to make no recommendation on whether charges should be filed in their hand-off to the DA.

Alameda DA Orloff had said he didn’t plan to charge Mehserle until the end of next week but it is now thought that he could respond sooner.

Indybay

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An Anarchist Perspective on the “Violence” of the Oscar Grant Riots

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2009 by Anarchy Library

The news of the riots that followed the shooting of 22-year-old Oscar Grant has sensationally occupied the headlines of Bay Area newspapers and television programs over the last week. These reports have focused almost exclusively on the vandalism of local businesses and cars and have remained chillingly silent on the topic of the police violence that occurred that evening. The troubling assumption made throughout all of the reportage is that the destruction of storefront facades and car windows somehow equates to the horrific execution of Oscar, and that it justified the police violence against demonstrators that night.

As anarchists who were involved in the demonstrations, we fully reject the notion that the vandalizing of private property could ever be weighed against the violence committed against not only Oscar Grant, but against youth of color every day by police and the prison system. This way of thinking, that gives property more value than people, is what allows the violence of the police to become dangerously normalized and unquestioned.

At the time of this writing, the police officer that executed Oscar Grant in cold blood still walks the streets without criminal charges, while some of those arrested during the demonstration are locked away in prison awaiting trial and will likely face harsh sentences. The violent system that so quickly punishes those who demonstrated while simultaneously protecting the murderer of Oscar Grant should be the target of our collective criticism and condemnation, not the angry youth who reacted to the shooting in the streets that night. While Bay Area journalists have presented themselves as being objective reporters of the aforementioned events, their reports and broadcasts repeatedly reveal their bias in favor of the police when recounting the evening of the demonstrations. The endless images of smashed windows and burned cars, and the litany of condemnations of “lawlessness” and “destruction” serve to obscure the most violent events of the night, and indeed the only violence perpetrated against human beings: the brutal police beatings of protesters. One witness described a police officer beating a protester on the head so severely his bike helmet was split in two. Another described how police made over 70 protesters lie down on their stomachs in positions that eerily echoed Oscar Grant’s pose as he was shot. A visibly pregnant woman was screaming in pain after being attacked by police. It is clear to us that the police were protecting private property and not human beings that night. We are disgusted by this, and we condemn Bay Area journalists for being complicit with police violence by attempting to justify their actions.

A very distorted and troubling view of what constitutes violence in our society is perpetuated by the current coverage. A car does not scream in agony when it burns, and similarly a storefront facade does not sob when its plate glass window shatters to the sidewalk below. It is true that the cost of replacing cars and windows may be a burden for the working-class people who were affected, and that is certainly regrettable. However, there is simply no comparison between those costs and the brutal consequences of police violence. The youth who were brutalized by police the night of the demonstration will have to live with their injuries and traumas for years to come, and Oscar Grant cannot be replaced. We call on the public to recognize the real violence in our society – the violence of the police, the prisons and the politicians. As long as police and corrupt politicians protect the cop that killed Oscar, as long as youth of color are continuously attacked and criminalized by the police and court system, as long as property is valued over people – we will not grieve over the property vandalized on Wednesday night.

Signed,
Bay Area Anarchists

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A parchment to those in Oakland

Posted in Anarchy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 9, 2009 by Anarchy Library

Fight The Police State“The day after the first night of rioting. BART trains are filled with police and BART headquarters in Oakland to ensure calm during the agency’s board of directors meeting, where many African-American community leaders expressed outrage over the killing of Grant. All vacation or days off for police are postponed and all police have been on call. The community leaders may rhetorically speak of justice for Grant, but the justice they speak of will be the cop getting away with murder and this entire apparatus distilling the rage into a pacifist bliss. Again back to the normalcy of daily life. This entire situation has a larger context. That of civilization, capital, class, work, school, submission, domination and the exploitation of daily life. The mechanisms of control – the police – are spreading everywhere throughout the city. On trains, in the streets and in the air. As a response to this state of emergency. The tightening on surveillance and the free movement of bodies.

These community leaders have been portrayed as the vehicle for the rage expressed during these nights.

Reverend Dion Evans denounces the rioters by saying “He is going to be held responsibly by the people of this community we will see to it before he leaves here today. No one has the right to co-opt the minds of our young people to send them in the streets to do disorderly and dishonest conduct.” The community this leader talks about is that of a hierarchical and exploitative community. Where the relations we share are of commodities in a world of commodities. A community based on capital and its rulers. In an attempt to quail the rage and push each other against one another. The corporate media which is another vehicle for the distillment of rage. Interviews local business owners (of the Lake Merritt area of Oakland. Which is largerly commerical and residential area) saying that most of them are women and people of color. This is a push of pacifism towards the rioters and to pit people against each other. A dichotomy of us and them. But if one looks at many of the targets attacked on the first day. It was not a violence of mob-mentality. When a Sears, McDonalds, Palapas Taco Bar, I.B.’s and cars of Oakland city where destroyed as well as cars of the bourgeoisie set aflame. This clearly shows a strategic direction of attack and a class analysis carried out into action. Media was also attacked, understandably so. Because during these riots the media will hand over photos of riots to the police. Doing the job for the police and the media is no better.

Anarchist in this area should hopefully delve into strategic dialogue about these actions and events (look at Greece). Specifically with the attacks on smaller business. Though it is not really know whether it was anarchists attacking these business’s or not. A degree of hypothesis considering the recent focus on insurrectionary text and ideas. The dialogue proposed would be to either keep the riots in the next few days going or to find a strategic focus for the next rupture in the social fabric.

As the riots enter a second night. As well as an attack on a police station in Berkeley across the street from the the Ashby BART station. Lets keep the rage going let it not die down and that many more fires will be set aflame. In echoing solidarity with Alex, Oscar, Jose and the countless others murdered by the police.
For a complete destruction of this world.
Some anarchists from afar.”

AnarchistNews.org