Jose Campos Torres, and Oscar Grant, Trayvon Martin, Amadou Diallo, and countless more of us

Gil Scott-Heron — Jose Campos Torres, and a Visual Poem for Oscar Grant

Gil Scott Heron’s “Jose Campos Torres” (1978) and video by TripleTruth

Trayvon Martin (no justice, just us)

Inspired by Gil Scott Heron’s “Jose Campos Torres” Brooklyn born lyricist/poet/singer Glennjamin Bishop digs deep and touches real-life issues and emotions in the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin tragedy.
Published on Apr 4, 2012

Oakland Police Shoot Oscar Grant’s Cousin

by Jorge Rivas, Colorlines.com, Wednesday, February 22 2012

Over the weekend Oakland Police seriously injured 24-year-old Tony Jones after they shot him in the back. Jones’ mother says he is a cousin of Oscar Grant — the Hayward man killed by a BART police officer on Jan. 1, 2009.

“I talked to my son. My son said ‘Momma, the officers [are] lying. They watched me get out of the car. They watched me walk. They started speeding up and I took off running across the street and when I took off running and I heard the gun go pow, pow, pow,’” Jones’ mother Betrina Works-Grant told KGO. “He said he was running with his hands like this [at his sides]. The police shot at him and shot him in his back. They never said they [were] the police.” Continue reading

Oscar Grant’s Killer released — the people “Fight the Power” while others say “Join the Power”

Mistah F.A.B. vs. Revolutionaries – Mehserle Release Protest 6/12/11

video and text by “mezkillercop” on Jun 18, 2011

Slave owners have always used the tactic of using the loyal “house slave” to shut the “field slaves” up. The white owner will always point to the polite house slave and say, “If you just work hard and make no waves, then SOMEDAY you may work in the comfort of my house.” The highest goal the slaves in the field can aspire to is work in the master’s house kissin’ his ass. But for the vast majority, the masters sweet ass will never touch their salivating lips. The false promise is nothing more than a way to pacify the masses in the cotton fields with an illusion of a just and benevolent ruler who is looking out for their own good. The promise of making it as a house slave serves as a red herring to divert criticism away from the slave owner. Note how this system of exploitation ultimately blames the slave for their inability to get ahead in life. Nothing much has changed. Now, people are encouraged to just “work harder” to raise themselves up. Continue reading

Oakland, California: A People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Violence


Saturday, February 19th & Sunday February 20th

Edna Brewer Middle School
3748 13th Ave, Oakland 94610  (Gym Entrance)
9:00am-5:00pm
Free food both days

The People’s Hearing is an expression of the outrage over the string of Police murders in Oakland and the Bay Area preceding and following Oscar Grants’ murder.  The aim of the People’s Hearing is to eliminate the isolation of the victims of police brutality, unite the peoples and communities targeted by the governments’ repressive policies and practices, and to link local struggles for social justice and human rights with national and international struggles.

Confirmed jurists include John Burris, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, David Gespass, Ajamu Baraka, Bill Ong Hing, Alberto Saldamando and others.

Saturday, February 19th: Keynote by Rachel Jackson

-Session 1 (9:00am):  Racial Profiling

Testimony from Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Huaxtec, Youth Together, All of Us or None, Community Youth Center and Arab Resource & Organizing Committee

-Session 2 (1:30pm): Police Killings

Testimony from family members of Oscar Grant, Gary King, Andrew Moppin, Derrick Jones and Raheim Brown.

Sunday, February 20th: Keynote by Sanyika Bryant

-Session 3 (9:00am): COINTELPRO to Patriot Act

Testimony from San Francisco 8, Freedom Archives, American Indian Movement, Stop FBI Repression, New Year’s Movement, Haiti Action Committee, Laney Black Student Union and Onyx

-Session 4 (1:30pm):  Organized Resistance

Testimony from New Year’s Movement, Mujeres Unidas, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Coalition to Stop the Gang Injunctions, SF Legal Immigrant Legal Education Network/AROC

For more information on the People’s Hearing on Racism and Police Brutality visit www.peopleshearing.wordpress.com

The People’s Hearing is co-sponsored by Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, EastSide Arts Alliance, New Year’s Movement, National Lawyers Guild, Arab Resource and Organizing Center, Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant, Collision Course Video Productions, Hard Knock Radio, Onyx, African People’s Socialist Party, International Indian Treaty Council, National Conference of Black Lawyers, the National Alliance for Racial Justice and Human Rights, and the US Human Rights Network.

 

Mumia Abu-Jamal: ‘Oscar Grant is you–and you are him, because you know in the pit of your stomach that it could’ve been you

OSCAR GRANT–and YOU

by Mumia Abu-Jamal

Like you, I’ve seen the searing phone-camera tape of the killing of 22-year-old Oscar Grant, of Oakland, California.

And although it’s truly a terrible thing to see,  it’s almost exceeded by something just as shocking. That’s been how the media has responded to this police killing, by creating a defense of error.

This defense, that the killer cop who murdered Grant somehow mistook his pistol for his Taser, has been offered by both local and national news reporters–even though they haven’t heard word one from Johannes Mehserle, the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) cop who wasn’t even interviewed for weeks after shooting an unarmed man!

If you’ve ever wondered about the role of the media, let this be a lesson to you. You can see here that the claim that the corporate media is objective is but a cruel illusion.

Imagine this: if the roles were reversed, this is, if bystanders had footage of Grant shooting Mehserle, would the media be suggesting a defense for him?

Would Grant have been free to roam, to leave the state a week later?

Would he have made bail?

The shooting of Oscar Grant III is but the latest, West Coast version of Amadou Diallo, of Sean Bell, and of hundreds of other Black men–and like them, don’t be surprised if there is an acquittal–again. Continue reading

Malaika Kambon: The Many Faces of Oscar Grant and Mumia Abu-Jamal

San Francisco Bay View Newspaper, November 18, 2010

by Malaika Kambon

 

The community signs the Justice for Oscar Grant banner that was carried at the front of the march to the Fruitvale BART Station that followed the rally on Nov. 5, the day killer cop Johannes Mehserle was handed a sentence that may keep him behind bars for only another 72 days. – Photo: Malaika Kambon

In our land, bullets are beginning to flower

Poem by Jorge Rebelo

Come, brother, and tell me your life
come show me the marks of revolt
which the enemy left on your body

Come, say to me “Here
my hands have been crushed
because they defended
the land which they own”

“Here my body was tortured
because it refused to bend
to invaders”

“Here my mouth was wounded
because it dared to sing
my people’s freedom”

Come, brother, and tell me your life
come relate me the dreams of revolt
which you and your fathers and forefathers
dreamed
in silence
through shadowless nights made for love

Come tell me these dreams become
war,
the birth of heroes,
land reconquered,
mothers who, fearless,
send their sons to fight. Continue reading

November 5: Killer Cop Mehserle Sentenced to Two Years in Prison

{This is the first post-sentencing story issued by FOX 2-KTVU, which has performed as the killer’s publicist, after the judge springs the killer with the smallest sentence he could give.  After the Grant family spoke out in outrage at the judge’s sentence, KTVU’s Rita Williams came back time and again to dismiss the family’s rage–continuing her promotion of this killer,  and her dehumanization of Oscar Grant and the Grant family.  We are waiting to hear the voices and the verdicts of the people.–ed]

1:22 pm PDT November 5, 2010

LOS ANGELES — A former BART police officer was sentenced to two years in prison Friday — but credited with nearly a year already served in jail — for the slaying for Oscar Grant III on a Bay Area transit system platform in January 2009.

In sentencing Grant, Judge Robert Perry also dismissed a defense motion for a new trial and tossed out a gun enhancement charge that could have added another four to 10 years to Johannes Mehserle’s sentence.

Mehserle’s involuntary manslaughter conviction had a sentencing range of two to four years. State law also allowed Perry consider granting Mehserle probation under unusual circumstances.

Perry credited Mehserle with time served — 292 days. So Mehserle would be serving a little over a year in prison. In issuing his decision, Perry recognized the community would be upset but said that he did his best and had “not asked for the case.” “Tensions ran high in the courtroom all morning long as a man was escorted out shortly after the motions debate began for an outburst. Perry told the jammed pack Los Angeles County Superior Court courtroom he would not tolerate any outbursts from the crowd. Continue reading

November 5 Mobilization: Justice for Oscar Grant!

[Friday, November 5, the day former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will be sentenced for killing Oscar Grant III (after conviction for "involuntary manslaughter") will bring the "Justice for Oscar Grant" Movement into the streets to remember and honor this 22-year old victim of police violence.  Oscar Grant was shot and killed in the back while laying on the ground, face down.  Millions wonder if a Black man killed by a policeman can ever win justice in America.  It is time to remember the details of the killing on January 1, 2009. And to note that no cop in American history has ever been tried and convicted for First Degree Murder.  What will it take to win justice?--Frontlines ed.]

OAKLAND REMEMBERS OSCAR

Community Gathers in Response to Sentencing of Johannes Mehserle

(Oakland, CA)

WHAT: Rally and Gathering to honor Oscar Grant and Respond to the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle. Live Art, Spoken Word, Speakers, Music and an altar erected to honor the memory of Oscar.

WHEN: Friday, November 5, 2010.  Live Art from 2:00-4:00. Program from 4:00-7:00

WHERE: Oakland City Hall , 1 Frank Ogawa Plaza, Oakland , CA 94612 1

WHO: The ONYX Organizing Committee, the General Assembly for Justice for Oscar Grant and the New Years Movement

WHY: On Friday, November 5th, former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle will be sentenced for the shooting death of Oscar Grant, III.  Hundreds of concerned community members will gather together to respond to the sentencing and to honor Oscar.

“While many of us will undoubtedly be angry on that day, we will also take time out to honor the memory of Oscar Grant,” said Ann Weils, Attorney at Law. “Oscar ignited a movement across the entire nation and this movement will not stop with the sentencing of Johannes Mehserle.  We will continue to build and to organize until the State understands that we will not lie down silently as they murder the people in cold blood.” Continue reading

Justice for Oscar Grant: Activists Denounce KTVU’s Mehserle Interview

KTVU-FOX has been running a series of  deceptive “humanizing” stories which aim to create sympathy for the cop Johannes Mehserle, who killed Oscar Grant on January 1, 2009.  Mehserle is being sentenced Friday, November 5, for the crime of killing Oscar.

Activists Denounce KTVU’s Mehserle Interview

By Shoshana Walter | baycitizen.org | November 1, 2010

Protesters plan to stake out the offices of KTVU in Oakland until 5 p.m. Monday to denounce the television station’s “biased” coverage of Johannes Mehserle, the former BART police officer convicted of fatally shooting Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day 2009.

The focus of the Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant’s disdain is Mehserle’s first televised interview Thursday with KTVU reporter Rita Williams. Mehserle told Williams he wanted to do the interview to share his side of the story. “Over the last couple of years, I haven’t really had a chance to say anything. … I know for most people who don’t know me, I’ve been portrayed differently than who I actually am. This is more for the public to see who I am. I’m not asking any sympathy at all,” he said during the interview.

The group said they’d like Williams to be fired and also said they plan to file complaints with the Federal Communications Commission for the immediate suspension of KTVU’s license. The group released a statement from Rachel Jackson of the New Years Movement for Justice denouncing the Mehserle interview.

“Rita Williams’ recent ‘interview’ of Mehserle was not that of an authentic reporter, but a shockingly dishonest, untruthful PR stunt with the intention of creating a more sympathetic picture of Mehserle for his sentencing judge, Robert Perry, and KTVU’s viewers,” she said.

Monday, November 1 was the last day of politicking before the election.  Candidate for California Governor Jerry Brown had gathered his supporters near KTVU2, the Oakland, California FOX station. After protesting at KTVU, the Justice for Oscar Grant movement brought that message to the Jerry Brown rally.  “Following KTVU, many of us adjourned to a Jerry Brown/Get Out the Vote event taking place a couple of blocks away, also at Jack London Square. We dropped the KTVU Supports Killer Cops banner right in front of the media podium, much to the irritation of some belligerent dudes who seemed to think we had no right to do so and took it upon themselves to move us along. Some other belligerent dudes attempted to cover our banner with a big pro-Jerry Brown sign once we had moved to the sidelines…to which we responded with loud chants of ‘Justice for Oscar Grant!’

Black Agenda Report on the Struggle for Justice for Oscar Grant

Check out the Black Agenda Morning Shot for Monday, October 25th, 2010 with an interview with Jack Bryson, father of two of the victims at Oscar Grant’s murder, SEIU member, and key organizer of the Rally for Justice for Oscar Grant on Saturday, October 23rd in Oakland, CA organized by ILWU Local 10.

Oakland Rally Says: Justice For Oscar Grant! Jail Killer Cops!

Indybay, October 23, 2010

With Bay Area Ports Shut down, Longshore Workers and Oakland Community Rally to Say: JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT! JAIL KILLER COPS!

Chris Kinder

Oakland was fired up today, and longshore workers led the way, as close to 1500 people came out in a drizzling rain in Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza, in front of City Hall. After almost 2 years of rage among Oakland’s primarily black working class community over the unprovoked police murder of Oscar Grant, the rebellion continues, and shows no signs of abating.

Today the longshore workers of Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), together with their sister locals and supporting friends in the union movement, shut down all the ports of the San Francisco/Oakland Bay Area in support of Justice for Oscar Grant! Maximum Sentence for Johannes Mehserle! Local 10 executive board member Jack Heyman said, “The killings of black youth by the police have got to stop, now!”

Mehserle, the ex-BART cop who in 2009 shot Oscar Grant to death while he lay face down on a BART platform, faces sentencing in LA on November 5th. Since the maximum sentence for the absurdly light conviction of involuntary manslaughter (with gun enhancement) is 14 years in state prison, several speakers pointed out that this wasn’t enough. While some speakers said that any conviction of a white cop killing a black youth was a victory, and focused on calling on the judge, John Perry, to give the maximum sentence, jailing Mehserle and throwing away the key seemed to be the general sentiment.

As longshore workers came out for Oscar Grant, they remembered that workers shot down by police is nothing new for them. During the 1934 West Coast maritime strike–a pivotal labor struggle in the US–several strikers were shot and killed by police, including two in San Francisco. As Clarence Thomas, a Local 10 spokesman put it, longshore workers honored the memory of the two martyred strikers by moving the struggle forward. “This was the beginning of the ILWU,” he said. The workers’ answer to this police murder was the San Francisco General Strike. Similarly, the Oscar Grant movement has gone forward to create actions such as that held today. Continue reading

Dock Workers to shut down Bay Area ports to protest police killings

Counterpunch, October 18, 2010

Jack Heyman

Emotions ran high when longshore workers at their July membership meeting were addressed by Cephus Johnson, the uncle of Oscar Grant, the young black man who was killed by a cop at the Fruitvale BART station in Oakland on New Year’s Day 2009. Recounting the sidewalk mural in the front of the hiring hall near Fisherman’s Wharf that depicts two strikers lying face down with the inscription: “Two ILA (longshoremen) Shot in the Back, Police Murder”, he appealed to the union to support justice for his slain nephew. He said, “That mural shook me because that’s exactly what happened to Oscar”.

It got even hotter in the union hall when Jack Bryson took the mike. He is the father of two of Oscar Grant’s friends terrorized by police at the train station as they sat handcuffed and helpless watching their friend die and hearing him moan. Bryson reported that police were calling for a rally the following Monday in the lily-white suburb of Walnut Creek to demanding that Johannes Mehserle the convicted killer cop go free. He asked the union members to join Oscar Grant supporters to protest the cop rally and they did. Outnumbering the 100 or so pro-Mehserle demonstrators by 3 to 1.

The New Year’s Day horror scene was videotaped by other young train passengers and broadcast on YouTube and TV news across the country. Grant, the father of a four  year old girl worked as a butcher’s apprentice at Farmer Joe’s supermarket nearby on Fruitvale Avenue. The litany of police killings of innocent young black and Latino men has evoked a public outcry in California. Yet, when it comes to killer cops, especially around election time, with both the Democratic and Republican parties espousing law and order, the mainstream media either expunges or whitewashes the issue.

Angered by the pro-police rallies and news coverage calling for killer cop Mehserle’s freedom, Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union has called for a labor and community rally October 23rd in Oakland to demand justice for Oscar Grant and the jailing of killer cops. Bay Area ports will shut down that day to stand with the black community and others against the scourge of police brutality. Continue reading

Oakland: On October 23, Rally and Shut the Port Down for OSCAR GRANT!

 

A rally protesting the murder of Oscar Grant




OAKLAND, October 23rd 2010
Rally: 12 Noon, City Hall, 14th and Broadway

OUTRAGE! 
An Innocent Black Man Shot in the Back by Police and… 
Killed for No Reason!

Killer Cop Gets Off With Involuntary Manslaughter!

Photographic Evidence Proves: It Was Murder!

Oscar Grant was a father of a young daughter, a working person in Oakland, and innocent of any crime!  He was shot while he was held face-down with his hands behind him, by BART cop Johannes Mehserle!

Only because of massive street protests in Oakland, and cell-phone videos of the shooting which made it onto the nightly news, was the cop eventually charged with murder.  But after a change of venue to Los Angeles, Mehserle received the lightest conviction: involuntary manslaughter.  Oakland’s integrated community rose again to protest.

ILWU Calls Rally & Port Shutdown!

With Mehserle’s long-delayed sentencing set for November 5th, Local 10 of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), supported by many other unions and local community groups, called for a rally in downtown Oakland for Saturday, October 23rd at 12 noon.

And now the longshore membership has voted for a port shutdown as well, to say: Justice for Oscar Grant!  Labor Unity With the Community!  Jail Killer Cops! Continue reading