Three developments in these last few days have given pause to those who believe the Oakland Police will remain, as they have for so many decades, untouchable.
The Oakland Police Department has a sordid history going back at least to the 1960′s when unremitting police brutality spurred on the formation of the Black Panther Party, one of whose principal goals was the protection of African-American neighborhoods from the police.
For decades officers have ruled the streets of Oakland much as an occupying army (1), willfully ignorant of the Bill of Rights, impervious to the political attacks on their power that wax and wane as City administrations come and go, and able to shrug off multiple assaults by civil rights attorneys — which end up costing the taxpayers, but not Oakland’s Police Department, millions of dollars a year in civil rights settlements.
Even when forced to sign onto agreements (‘negotiated settlements’) in 2003 and then 2005 which promised drastic reforms in their policies and procedures, they have been able to effectively ignore those court-approved and monitored settlements through into the current decade. The latest but certainly not the only manifestation of this was their handling of Occupy Oakland, in direct violation of both settlement agreements.
What has suddenly happened?
Click here to read the entire essay, finding out what has happened
Photo is of Federal Judge Thelton Henderson, who is presiding over the case that might finally take OPD down.
By JP Massar
When your house is invaded by insects, everyone knows it’s time to call the exterminator.
When your house is invaded by ghosts, everyone of movie-going age in 1984 knew it was time to call Ghostbusters.
But when your house is invaded by banksters? The Federal government is of no use. Calling Jaime Dimon produces a recording of hysterical laughter. Prayers have not been shown to have any efficacy in stopping the sheriff from tossing your kids out onto the street. Lawyers cost the money you don’t have and usually can’t do much anyway. And even if they want to seek help, people are often ashamed.
What to do?
It’s not for the faint of heart, but those who are angry enough to be willing to fight back on the edge of the law have one last resort — calling Occupy and friends.
“Unruly mobs” of Occupy activists and other home defender groups such as ACCE have formed all across the country, pledging to draw a line in the sidewalk to not allow foreclosures, auctions and evictions by invasive banksters to take place — not without a fight anyway. From Minnesota to Atlanta, from Eugene to Brooklyn, from Detroit to Los Angeles and Anaheim, From San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Stockton to Maine, auctions have been disrupted, evictions prevented, people organized, and sufficient publicity generated to force banksters into modifying loans they once claimed were impossible to rework and unevict people they thought they had removed.
By JP Massar
Workers locked out of the Castlewood Country Club in Pleasanton, California since February 25th, 2010 will be able to return to their jobs — and health care coverage — on October 16th.
After a judge ruled that Castlewood Country Club workers were illegally locked out for more than two years, the employees will be allowed to return Oct. 16.
A month ago a federal judge, finding that Castlewood Country Club had engaged in unfair labor practices and failure to negotiate in good faith, ordered the Castlewood workers reinstated with back pay, giving Castlewood management a month to appeal. Choosing not to appeal, management asked for and was granted additional time to negotiate a settlement with the workers and UNITE HERE, local 2850, the union that represents them. This is the first fruit of that negotiation.
This step, having the lockout end and returning the workers to their jobs under the terms of their old contract, is just the beginning, but it is incredibly important. It means that the worst of it is finally over for dozens of workers who have kept up the struggle for more than two and a half years. From UNITE HERE’s press release:
“Ive been praying for this day to arrive,” said Castlewood janitor Maria Munoz. “I feel really happy now, and thankful to all the people and organizations and churches and bands who have come out to support us. And most of all thankful for my co-workers, who were always out there looking out for each other — I feel lucky that they’ve become like family to me.”
A new contract, and the exact terms of how much back pay will be provided and to whom, are still to be negotiated.
Read the full essay, including a section on Occupy Oakland’s support for the Castlewood workers, at Daily Kos
The following documents are the results of a public records request from the Oakland City Administrator’s office regarding the People’s Library at 1449 Miller Avenue.
The following are the results of a Public Records Act request to the Oakland City Administrators office about the killing of Alan Blueford.
Rally Against FBl Repression
Friday September 14th @ 4:30pm
Ron Dellums Federal Building in Oakland
1301 Clay Street
(Behind Oscar Grant/Frank Ogawa Plaza)
The FBI raids and Grand Jury investigations of our comrades in Portland are just two of many steps the State is taking to repress our dissent. Oakland will not sit back and allow this to happen. It could be any of us.
Grand Jury Resistors Head Into Court, Expect Jail
From Portland comrades: Supporters will be gathering today in front of the Federal Court House in Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington to express opposition to the secret grand jury investigating the anarchist movement, and to show their support for those refusing to testify.
This will be the third time Leah-Lynne Plante
has been called before the grand jury. Each time, she has publicly refused to cooperate. She is expected to be imprisoned after today’s hearing.
“So far as I can see, the authorities are just using these hearings to intimidate people, create suspicion, and collect information that they can use to disrupt political movements,” said Leah-Lynne Plante, of Portland. “It isn’t working. None of the subpoenaed activists have testified, and the support we’ve received from the broader community has been really overwhelming.”
Yesterday hundreds of people from around the country faxed letters of protest to US Attorney Jenny Durkan, demanding she call off the grand jury investigation of the anarchist movement. The “fax petition” read, in part: “This case clearly shows that your office is persecuting political dissent. It is despicable that the US attorney and the FBI are harassing and intimidating this group of people for their political beliefs.”
For more information from the Portland folks, email The Committee Against Political Repression at email@example.com
By JP Massar
In 2012, Alan Blueford was shot by OPD while trying to escape.
We know this is but one of many incidents in Oakland’s sordid past…
In 2007 unarmed Charles Davis was shot in the back and paralyzed…
In 2008 unarmed Jody Woodfox was shot dead while trying to escape…
In 2009 unarmed Oscar Grant was shot dead lying flat on his back…
In 2010 unarmed Derrick Jones was shot dead while trying to escape…
In 2011 unarmed Raheim Brown was assassinated in his car…
You can help SPEAK OUT AGAINST THE MADNESS.
Read the entire essay ‘Shot While Trying To Escape’ by clicking here.
This is a partial response from OPD to a public records request regarding communications and documents about the People’s Library at 1449 Miller Avenue. A complete response is expected in November.
Attachments to some of these emails are below.
A week ago local activists from labor, Occupy Oakland, and other progressive and radical groups came together at Oscar Grant Plaza in Oakland at a rally in support of the Marikana miners who were slaughtered by police in South Africa. The Occupy Oakland Labor Solidary Committee read a statement of support at that rally which has now been published:
To the workers striking against Lonmin:
We are the Labor Solidarity Committee of Occupy Oakland. We have been watching your struggle and are inspired by the strength, courage, and determination you have shown. We always support any and all workers who realize their power and stand up to fight back back against injustice. Injustices come from bosses, government, and even supposed allies.
None have fought with more fervor and righteous persistence as you. Few have ever faced the horrors that you have in return. We are both mournful and enraged by the brutality we know you have suffered. These actions must not go unanswered.
We extend to you a hand of solidarity from across the globe. We want to fight alongside you. We are workers also; your battles are our battles. We are on the same side; we share the same enemies on the other side.
We call on all people who have only their labor to survive and any of their organizations to not just speak, but to act in solidarity with you. We would like to take action against any company that buys, transports, or invests in products from Lonmin PLC. This includes refusing to install, sell, use or transport products containing material from this mine. It also includes shutdown actions against investors and companies who service Lonmin PLC.
We also support every effort to resist unjust economic and government systems, including your actions resisting murderous, violent police. This is another common battle that we share.
Lastly, we support your ability to organize in any way that way that you, as workers, decide, in order to combat the injustices you face. We will do what we can to support and defend you. This is one fight; we should be one fist.
In mourning, outrage, and solidarity,
– The Occupy Oakland Labor Solidarity Committee
Click here for an essay on this which includes video of the massacre and video of the rally