It is difficult for me to find words at the moment to express my feelings of absolute horror and disbelief around the shooting of Oscar Grant (graphic and not suitable for children or work)
while being detained by the BART security with three other men. So I will instead focus on developing an appropriate response with my actions and let the the words of one woman who emailed us to bring this to our attention summarize my thoughts on this issue:
“This is a national issue. This is a Civil Rights issue. This is a part of our fight against hate.
Given the recent bruises our community and our movement has taken from the allegations of non-support by fellow communities working for civil rights, this seems like the right time to stand united against hate crime in any and every form.
The media tried to drive a wedge between the LGBT community and the black community after the passing of Prop 8 in California. The exit poll initially said that 70% of black people voted for Prop 8. The poll was wrong. New studies have come out saying that the percentage was closer to 58%. Racism acted quickly the day after the election. Our response to racism needs to be as swift and as consistent as our response to homophobia and heterosexism.”
Oscar left behind a 4 year old daughter and a family that deserve our honor and support. We must stand with them and express the sorrow we share for their loss and help to push for justice in the name of Ocsar Grant.
When an unarmed man who is peacefully pleading with his friends to remain calm as they are being detained is forced to lay down on the cold cement to be shot in the back people should not rest until justice is served! The response to this unnecessary death by the public has been swift. The video posted on youtube has created an outrage that brought people into the street in protest.
A facebook group has been created to draw attention to this crime which mentions this event:
PRAYING FOR PEACE, WORKING FOR JUSTICE
RALLY FOR OSCAR GRANT
WED JAN 14TH 4PM
FRANK OGAWA PLAZA
14TH AND BROADWAY OAKLAND, CA
Stand in solidarity with concerned citizens of Oakland, youth, clergy and elected officials who want Justice for Oscar Grant. Not one more life.
For those outside the Oakland area I strongly encourage you to contact local community leaders to find out if there are vigils in your city being held in Oscar Grant’s name. Go! Spread the word! Get people there! We must stand together against violence and hate crimes. If there is nothing organized in your city, then please make it happen.
There is a fund being set up by the family. When we have information about this fund we will update this post.
You can help spread the word. Join the facebook group.
facebook link http://poprl.com/CQq
One of the protesters from Oakland has the following to share:
FIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO DEMAND JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT:
1. Contact the DA of Alameda County. As of January 12, 2009, The District Attorney STILL HAS NOT PRESSED CHARGES against the police officer who shot and killed Oscar Grant about TWO WEEKS AGO. Demand that Johannes Mehserle be charged and arrested for murder now.
ALAMEDA COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY
(510) 272-6222 phone
(510) 271-5157 fax
1225 Fallon Street # 900
Oakland, CA 94612
2. Hold the media accountable. When the news reported that the protests on Wednesday, January 7, 2009 “turned violent”, they got it wrong! The protesters at the Fruitvale BART Station (organized by a grassroots organization called CAPE – Coalition Against Police Executions) were peaceful. The vandalism that occurred in downtown Oakland was a different group. They were two separate news stories, but the news collapsed them into one or completely ignored the peaceful protest.
LET THE MEDIA KNOW THAT YOU WILL NOT STAND FOR SHODDY NEWS REPORTING. Tell them that you are aware of and outraged by their mistake. And that you expect a superior standard of reporting from them at the next rally (4pm, Wednesday, January 14, Oakland City Hall).
CBS 5 / KPIX TV
3. Attend the next protest: Wed, Jan 14, 4pm at Oakland City Hall
Protest the Murder of Oscar Grant III
& All Victims of Police Brutality
Wednesday, Jan 14, 4pm
Gather at Frank Ogawa Plaza in front of City Hall
A peaceful march will follow the rally
4. Attend the next organizing & mobilizing meeting. Come and find out what ways you can support the movement. Take action. Speak out. Raise money. Build coalitions.
An action planning meeting
Hosted by The Black Clergy & CAPE
Saturday, January 17, 2009, 4:00 PM
Olivet Missionary Baptist Church
807 27th Street @ San Pablo, Oakland
5. Stay tuned for other actions, protests, etc., especially if you are in the Bay. One way to keep up with what is happening is to join CAPE on facebook.com.
CAPE – Coalition Against Police Executions
CAPE is a coalition to insure that Oscar Grant is the last citizen executed by police in this country.
CAPE contact Information:
Blogspot: Click here
Facebook: Click here
Email address 1: email@example.com
Email address 2: firstname.lastname@example.org