Open Forums

Four Years Later.

October 10th, 2011 Hundreds of protesters poured into Oakland’s Frank Ogawa Plaza late in the afternoon, joining a multi-city movement taking aim at Wall Street… Two hours into the protest, a dozen participants set up tents and said they planned to settle in for a long stay.Oakland bartender Dion Jardine, 27, said he would camp “until things change or they force us out.” A large number of police monitored the peaceful protest… Four years, many millions of dollars in lawsuits, and much social upheaval later, the forces created or magnified by … Continued


Anti Police Terror Project Speak Out to Emeryville City Council

On September 1st, 2015, members of the Anti Police Terror Project led a speak-out against police terror and the execution of Yuvette Henderson by Emeryville Police at the Emeryville, City Council meeting. Powerful testimony was given by many, excerpts of which are provided below. Directly below is the video of an hour and twelve minutes of testimony. Speakers included Yuvette’s brother and Cat Brooks (both pictured at right), co-founder of APTP. Yvette Henderson was killed approximately eight months ago after exiting Home Depot over a dispute over shoplifting. At the … Continued


To Tase or Not to Tase, That is Berkeley’s Question.

Whether it is nobler to send 50,000 volts slinging through human bodies, or take arms against a sea of autistic, mentally ill, drugged, drunk, deaf, pregnant, and/or homeless people who more often than statistically plausible tend to be minorities will be debated. The issue of whether it is better to (gasp) de-escalate the situation is not on the agenda, but might be brought up by some intrepid public speakers. On October 6th, at 5:30 PM, the Berkeley City Council will hold a special meeting to consider a report on the … Continued


“I Opened the Door… They’re Pointing Rifles at Me.”

“I Opened the Door… They’re Pointing Rifles at Me.” So related a thirteen year old girl, one of the speakers at this year’s Urban Shield protest in Oakland, describing an encounter with a local SWAT team. Urban Shield, sponsored by the the Alameda County Sheriff, is an annual police convention and tradeshow, glorifying the militarization of police and violence. It’s an excuse for wanna bes to cosplay “Special Forces” for a couple days, taking part in military-style “exercises” throughout Alameda County. To get more of a sense of the spirit … Continued


Left Lying in a Pool of His Own Blood.

On September 10th, in response to an attack on September 3rd by an armed security guard on a man at the checkout counter – protesters converged at the Whole Foods at Harrison and Twenty-Seventh St in Oakland where the incident had taken place. This is how it came down. What’s Happening?   Happening now: PICKET WHOLE FOODS! STOP ANTI-BLACK VIOLENCE!! — Miguel (@guelo) September 11, 2015 Why’s It Happening?   Black folks organized, took the #wholefoods and held them accountable #oakland #blacklivesmatter @drmcclain — Hella-Erby (@hella_erby) September 11, … Continued


Open Letter to the Smashy Community,

Dear assorted hooligans, vandals, and other such free associating ruckus types, Understanding this is being read by police, especially Sean Whent (aka Top Cop!), pardon the length. When we say “Diversity Of Tactics” we’re not talking about voting, boycotting, marching, or writing firmly worded letters to the editor. When anyone says diversity of tactics, they are talking about you, you spray painting, wheat pasting, window smashing, cop car stomping, tear gas huffing, rubber bullet chewing, brick chucking, police fucking, champions of liberation through chaos… or is it chaos through liberation? … Continued


Oakland Celebrates Settlement Ending Indefinite Long-Term Solitary Confinement

Groups supporting the California Hunger Strikers and opposing Solitary Confinement today held a press conference at the Eliju Harris State Office Building in downtown Oakland, after the Center for Constitutional Rights announced a settlement in the case of Ashker v Brown, challenging the constitutionality of indefinite solitary confinement. The settlement effectively eliminates indefinite solitary confinement, allowing terms of up to five years (still far too long!) in solitary for offenses while in prison. It eliminates the practice of sending people into solitary “solely” for having some kind of gang affiliation. … Continued


Urban Shield: Out of Oakland But Still in the Hearts of OPD.

A Letter to Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Oakland City Council From the Oakland Privacy Working Group.   American law enforcement uses a lethal amount of force against a citizen every eight hours, killing on average 3.2 people a day in 2015. In July, at least 121 citizens were reported as killed by police, putting us on pace to reach 1,100 by years end. These facts are relevant because the Oakland Police Department (OPD) will again participate in Urban Shield in September. We ask that OPD refrain from participation in … Continued


14 Prepare to File Suit Against Berkeley Police in Dec ’14 #BlackLivesMatter Protest

If it’s not the Oakland Police, it’s Berkeley’s. They just can’t help themselves. Actually, they don’t care a whit. Make that give a shit. They are not the ones who will have to pay the settlements or face any consequences for their illegal and unconstitutional actions, so why should they? As the local Berkeleyside newspaper reports Attorneys representing 14 people struck and jabbed by police batons, clubbed, beaten, teargassed, slammed to the ground, fired on with “less lethal” projectiles or arrested during December protests in Berkeley related to the “Black Lives … Continued


Scott Olsen Runs for KPFA Board

As the Contra Costa Times notes: FOUR YEARS AFTER HE BECAME THE FACE OF THE LOCAL OCCUPY MOVEMENT, SCOTT OLSEN IS ENTERING PERHAPS AN EVEN MORE LEFT-LEANING ARENA.  The Iraq War veteran announced this week that he is running for an open seat on the KPFA Local Station Board under the banner United for Community Radio. Here is the UCR Platform: KPFA and Pacifica are irreplaceable, strategic and transformative resources for amplifying the voices of millions who are overlooked, marginalized or silenced by corporate media in the face of police … Continued