Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parable of Oakland at the Precipice

Parable of Oakland at the Precipice

Downtown stores and offices are boarded. Store windows have Oscar Grant posters--something learned from the '65 Watts Riot: Me Soul Broder too! The OPD is out in full force, even Homeland Security is on the street. Undercover police are everywhere, you can smell them. This is the power of a people who have done nothing yet. They are the victims of violence, yet because they seek justice, they are now the villain, the police are the good guys in white hats.

Youth are on the street passing out Oscar Grant posters. The youth want justice, not violence. They called for a rally at 6pm at 14th and Broadway whenever the verdict is announced. City officials plan to upstage the youth rally with one of their own at 5pm. Youth say they will still have their people's rally at 6pm, even if it is in the middle of the street at 14th and Broadway.

Clearly, youth and City officials are on a collision course. This is beyond a generation gap, it is political because youth say no matter what happens at the trial, there are on going youth issues the City officials have neglected, such as proper education, housing and jobs. Meanwhile, America is offering education, housing and jobs to insurgents in Iraq and Taliban in Afghanistan if they lay down their guns. Why not the same for marginalized youth in America? They are offered prison and jail, if not death in the hood at an early age.

Youth say City officials were slow to seek an indictment of the officer who murdered Oscar Grant as he lay on the ground and was shot in the back by a beast in blue uniform. It took violent street protests to make the DA file murder charges against the officer.

Mayor Ron Dellums is yet to meet with the sufferirng family of Oscar Grant. We remember his behavior as Congressman when we organized a rally at the Oakland Auditorium in 1979 to protest the killing of 15 year old Melvin Black by the OPD. Neither the Congressman nor Oakland's first black mayor, Lionel Wilson attended the rally of five thousand people.

The OPD had been killing a black man a month. After the rally, the police killings stopped, but Crack and drive by killings began and continue to this day.

So it seems the political chicanery continues with City officials planning to upstage the people's rally with one of their own to steal the thunder of the people's rage and anger at the likely not guilty verdict.
--Marvin X

No comments:

Post a Comment