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Commentary :: Human Rights
04 Feb 2009
The police killing of Oscar Grant on New Years Day in Oakland, California was an outrage. These murdering pigs took Oscar off a Bay Area Rapid Transit train. While cops kneeled on his back and punched him, another pig pulled out his gun and shot Oscar in the back. What can you call what they did to this brother but murder, execution style?
People from all over the Oakland-San Francisco area took to the streets, outraged over this murder. Cries of, “We Are All Oscar Grant” and “The Whole Damn System Is Guilty” rang out! The police responded with vicious repression, arresting more than 100 people. Despite this people continue to stand up and resist. This is on time.

Oscar’s Grant’s murder was videotaped and seen all across the country on YouTube. That same New Years night, Adolph Grimes was shot dead by police in New Orleans in a hail of 48 bullets sitting in his car in front of his grandmother’s house. On New Years Eve, Robbie Tolan was shot by police in a suburb of Houston after he protested them roughing up his mother in front of her own house, causing injuries that have ended his promising baseball career.

Where’s the nationwide sense of outrage? Where’s the condemnation from the White House of these foul murders? Where’s the call from the highest office of the land for the police to stop brutalizing and killing Black youth? Didn’t Oscar Grant “deserve a chance to pursue his full measure of happiness?” Or is his a case that illustrates what it means when the powers-that-be tell us that Black youth “have no more excuses”?

Back when Obama was running for president, he told people to “respect the verdict” when the cops who murdered Sean Bell, firing 50 shots at him, got off the hook. Back then people excused him, saying, “He has to say that or he won’t win.” Well, what’s his excuse now that he’s won? “New day” with Obama? Smells like the same old nightmare to me.

Even worse, where are the voices of protest across the country? Why aren’t people taking to the streets and responding in other ways in cities nationwide to condemn these murders? Why aren’t prominent voices of conscience being heard saying, with the youth in the streets of Oakland, “Enough is Enough”?

Do we only raise our voices and take to the streets when Bush or Giuliani* are in power? Does having a Black president mean we should be silent when the system commits crimes against the people? No one concerned about justice should be willing to accept that kind of devil’s bargain! Shame on you if you do!

I was down in Washington, DC during inauguration weekend telling people that putting a Black president in charge of this system wasn’t going to change how it operates—that it would still wage wars for empire, exploit whole nations, subject women to oppression and that its cops would still be murdering youth in the streets. A number of people, including a lot of Black people, were acting like they were trying to get jobs as ventriloquists’ dummies. Their lips were moving, but what spilled out of their mouths was the ugly words of their master. These fools told me that if I didn’t like this country, I should leave it and go somewhere else.

Well, I’m not loving it, and I’m not leaving it either. I’m fighting it. I’m throwing my heart and my soul into fighting the power and transforming the people for revolution to get rid of this system and all the brutality and misery it inflicts on people here and around the world. As part of doing that, I’m responding to the call from the Bay Area Revolution Club for a Stolen Lives march in Oakland to condemn the murder of Oscar Grant on Friday, February 6. I’m going to be out in the streets in New York City that day, standing together with people in Oakland, to say, “Enough Is Enough, We Are All Oscar Grant, The Whole Damn System Is Guilty and No More Stolen Lives!” What will you be doing on that day? Will you be standing with us?

There will be a march on:
Friday, February 6 at 3:00 pm
at Frank Ogawa Plaza
14th and Broadway, Oakland, California

End Police Murder Now! Justice For Oscar Grant!
Convict The Murdering Cop And All His Accomplices!
The Peoples' Anger Is Justified! Drop All Charges Against Demonstrators!
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