Monday, July 12, 2010

Parable of Walter Riley

Parable of Walter Riley

Plato Negro's friend and supporter, Attorney Walker Riley, was beaten and arrested by OPD pigs as he attempted to enter his office on Broadway as rioters and looters ransacked the Footlocker next door to his office.

The legendary civil rights attorney and humanitarian works closely with actor Danny Glover on radical social projects. Walter, wife and daughter, were in Haiti on the day of the earthquake. The Bay Area was concerned for their lives until we learned they were safe and doing humanitarian work which they've been doing in Haiti for many years.

Speaking on KPFA radio, along with his son Manual (rapper Boots Riley is another son), Walter said as he put his electronic key in his office door, the police grabbed and beat him several times with their night sticks. His son tried to intervene but the police were in such force he did not try to fight back but only help his father. Walter was taken to jail along with other protesters. Of course he will file charges against the OPD for this unjust and violent treatment of himself and others.

Walter said Mayor Ron Dellums, OPD Chief Bates and other City Council persons who asserted the police did an admiral job were full of poppycock. They were violent under the color of law, as per usual.

Riley also objected to the narrative that Oakland was beset by outside agitators. If anything, he said the OPD is a gang of outside agitators since most of them do not live in Oakland. He issued a statement on outside agitators:

The murder of Oscar Grant is a universal issue of justice and civil rights.

I do not like this divisive campaign to divide our community and protesters by calling people outsiders. Oakland is not an isolated town in the desert. This is a great metropolitan area with people from all over; with a world class university; we expect people from all over the map to participate in Oakland. Calling people outsiders in this instance is a political attack on the movement. The subtext is that the outsiders are white and not connected to Oakland. From the days of the civil rights movement to now the outsider labeling failed to address the underlying problems for which people came together.
For those whose frustration with progress leads them to violent protest, we must engage in respectful political struggle. I understand the frustration; I do not support destruction and looting as political protest. I adamantly object to calling our youth and political activists outsiders. I call upon everyone to push back against this tendency.
Walter Riley
Attorney at Law
1440 Broadway

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