Communities in Oakland have been struggling against police violence, surveillance, criminalization, and incarceration for generations. Police here are becoming more and more militarized daily, there are joint trainings between local police, the U.S. military, IDF, and Bahrainy security forces. Soldiers, trained killers returning from war, are joining the local police forces. Local police departments are investing in and using military grade weapons for low intensity warfare upon civilians here. We experienced the raids and night raids here in Oakland. Many of us were beaten or brutalized by rubber bullets, bean bags, and tear gas canisters; even more of us were witness to those violent actions on the part of the Oakland police department. Now imagine that situation under the conditions of actual warfare with soldiers using live rounds, grenades, and bombs.
Those are the conditions on the ground in Afghanistan every single day. The massacre of 16 Afghans in Panjwai, Kandahar, nine of whom were children, is not an isolated incident. It just happened to get media attention. We’re outraged not only about this latest atrocity, but by the drone attacks, the night raids, the “kill teams” murdering for sport and collecting body parts as trophies, the urinating on dead Afghan bodies while filming it, and the burning of Qurans. In addition to the recent wave of atrocities, there is an agreement being negotiated known as the “U.S./Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement,” which, if passed, will extend U.S. military presence in Afghanistan until 2024 and beyond.
In Afghanistan and throughout the worldwide Afghan community, people are rising up to military and police violence and holding mass protests. As Afghans, Muslims, and people of color, we call upon communities of resistance, upon Decolonize Oakland, Occupy Oakland, Occupy SF, and other allies, to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people. We ask you to stand up and join us and our nonviolent direct actions. We encourage you all to have your own autonomous actions as you see fit as well. We need to stand in solidarity with the Afghan people and end the military occupation that is having devastating consequences on communities both at home and abroad. We also need to stand in solidarity with economically disenfranchised youth of color who are targeted by military recruiters and end up joining the military as their only way out of systematic oppression at home. Recruiters with quotas target our children, not only in high school but middle schools, so we are talking about 12 year olds.
For these reasons, as our first nonviolent direct action, we have chosen to shut down the U.S. Army, Navy, and Marine Corps Recruiting Center in Fremont.
On Friday, March 30th, at 3:30 pm we will meet at Fremont BART.
We will start marching towards the recruiting center at 4:00 pm.
What we need:
- Fremont has the largest Afghan immigrant community in North America. Fremont also has a high population of police & military personnel and people who strongly support them. From our own experiences, there’s a lot of overt racism there as well. Therefore, we need our allies to please show up in strong numbers and support us as Afghan, Muslim, and immigrant people.
- We need the presence of legal observers.
- We need the presence of our own media people.
- We need help getting the word out about this action.
- We need people to pass out literature that is pertinent to this effort at the event.
- We need you to join us as allies in this action, as well as future actions. Help us build a network of resistance against militarism across diverse communities.
- While we need everyone to help us organize, we’d like our actions to be led by the communities who are most affected by war and militarism, such as people of color, Muslims, Arabs, Afghans, and immigrants.
A few cultural sensitivity points:
- Does anyone know what the most common chant in our part of the word is? “Marg bare Amreekaa.” Its translation is “Death to —.” Now we are not saying what you should say, but what we are saying is that a phrase like “fuck the police” can easily be replaced with a more culturally acceptable phrase to Afghans, such as “Death to —.” 🙂
- Please keep in mind that we are dealing with a highly at risk community which has a lot of legitimate fears due to which most have never been able to attend a protest before. For many, this will be their first protest. We want them to feel empowered and to engage in more actions and hopefully mobilize into May Day. We need to make sure that our community is as safe as possible, while also being able to come out and express their pain, anger, and struggles. For us, the risks are not the same as some of you here. We face severe FBI repression, deportations, indefinite detentions, etc. We trust that you are intelligent people and will understand and respect where we are coming from.
It’s time the we occupy the occupiers. Occupy the U.S. military. In the last two weeks alone, we have experienced the massacre of Afghans by U.S. soldier(s), the murder of Trayvon Martin, and now the murder of a Muslim Iraqi woman. From hoodies to hijabs, they criminalize and murder us!
Afghans for Peace
Co-organized by: SF Bay Area Iraq Veterans Against the War
San Jose Peace and Justice Center
Courage to Resist
World Can’t Wait SF Bay
Event details: https://www.facebook.com/events/372239879462997.