Saturday, January 29, 2011

2011-01-29 "Vallejo shooting protested" by Irma Widjojo from "Vallejo Times-Herald" newspaper
About 20 people gathered at the Solano County Justice Center on Friday to "demand answers" regarding the investigation into the death of Guy Jarreau Jr., killed last month in an officer-involved shooting in Vallejo.
At about 1 p.m., protesters held signs that said "Stop police terror" and "Stop police brutality, justice for Guy Jarreau."
Jarreau, a 34-year-old New Orleans native who had been living in Vallejo for more than eight years, was mortally wounded in an alley by an officer on Dec. 11. He died on the way to the hospital.
Friends say he was with some Napa Valley College classmates making an anti-violence music video.
Vallejo police officers said they came to the scene in response to a 911 call about a man brandishing a gun near some teenagers in the 2100 block of Sonoma Boulevard. Police said Jarreau ran into a nearby alley and was shot in self defense.
On Friday, rally spokeswoman Verrose Hill, who said he was Jarreau's friend and fellow student of Napa Valley College, read a list of items that protestors wanted released. The list included statements from the Vallejo officer involved in the shooting, medics and eye witnesses as well as the 911 dispatch recording, a video camera and tape.
"If they had done nothing wrong, then they have nothing to hide," Hill said.
The participants in Friday's rally included Vallejo residents, Napa Valley College students and members of the Diablo Valley College Students Democrats Society. Jarreau's family members and friends, who were involved in the music video, were not present.
"We tried to call them, but I think they are still in mourning," Hill said.
Hill said she did not expect any immediate action.
"Our goal is to stir up people and get the gears turning," she said. "Hopefully, we'll get the answer soon."
Despite discussions of moving the rally into the Justice Center, the rally remained outdoors and peaceful.
"We just want to make sure their actions remain peaceful, while exercising their right (to assembly)," Solano County Sheriff's Office spokesman Lt. Gary Faulkner said.
Solano County District Attorney Don du Bain said his office just received the investigation reports from Vallejo Police Department on Thursday.
"It is still under review by my office, and we will come to our own independent conclusion," du Bain said.
Vallejo Police investigators and six district attorney's investigators worked together since shortly after the shooting to determine what happened, du Bain said.
When asked when his office would issue its findings, du Bain said it was too early to speculate, since "it all depends on the length and complexity of the case."
All fatal and potentially fatal incidents involving police officers are investigated by the district attorney's office, he added
Students and activists hold a rally in front to the Solano County Hall of Justice in demanding the investigation into a fatal shooting by Vallejo Police. (Chris Riley/Tmes-Herald, Vallejo)

2011-01-29 "Report about 'Justice for Guy Jarreau' rally" by Frank Runninghorse
Brothers & Sisters of the OGC, SDS, MDS & PFP and Justice For Guy Jarreau Coalition.
Fridays Action was quite successful, over 30 people held what was said to be the 1st major protest against police brutality in Vallejo in over 10 years.
3 or 4 news outlets were there to cover the story and the District Attorney is now publicly on record as having to answer to the community and Guy Jarreau fellow students at Napa Valley College for this unnecessary and unjust killing.
Protesters pledged to carry on the struggle for justice for Guy and his family.
Several organizations sent delegations and representatives to the protest including the NVC Black Student Union [BSU], whose spokeswoman Verose Hill led the press conference, NVC SDS [Students for a Democratic Society], Solano County Peace & Freedom Party, God First, a group of Guys family and friends and MDS [Movement for a Democratic Society] members from both Vallejo & Concord.
Nearly half the crowd were folks who came from out of town to express support to the local activists and show that police brutality is not a isolated incident and must be fought with unity and solidarity.
The Oakland based "Oscar Grant Committee to Stop Police Brutality and State Repression" and the DVC SDS helped to organize the Solidarity Contingent.
The Laney College BSU also had a few boisterous representatives that called for BSU's across the state to take up the call for "Justice for Guy", who was a NVC BSU member.
They reminded the protesters that "an injury to one is a injury to all".
ILWU [Longshoreman's Union] member Stan Woods expressed the ongoing support from the progressive union for the struggle of working class community's against police brutality as they did on Oct 23rd,2010 when they staged a work stoppage to shut down the Bay Area shipping docks to support the struggle to get "Justice for Oscar Grant" another young black man unjustly killed by the BART police.
After the Rally the protesters went to a local restaurant ,consumed pizza ,drank beer and talked about the next steps in the struggle.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

2011-01-27 "LA District Attorney orders Gestapo-style police raid on home of Jeremy Marks; Terror tactics in the police war on video" by Doug Kauffman and Ian Thompson from "Liberation" newspaper
The family of Jeremy Marks awoke on Jan. 26 at 7:00 am to the sound of nearly 30 Los Angeles Police Department cops bursting into their house in full tactical gear, guns drawn. They searched the house, taking all computers, cell phones, cameras and trashing Jeremy’s bedroom, his parent’s bedroom and the living room.
Police vehicles filled the streets of the predominantly African American neighborhood in Lakeview Terrace. Neighbors were prevented from going into or out of their homes. A next door neighbor had guns pointed at him for trying to retrieve his children from Jeremy’s front porch, where they went every morning to be taken to school by Rochelle Pittman, Jeremy’s mother.
Pittman asked to see a search warrant. She knew that, by law, police must show a valid search warrant before entering a home. But there was none. For nearly 45 minutes, neither the police nor the District Attorney’s officers showed her anything. She continued to demand it until a warrant was produced well after the raid had begun.
And when Pittman asked, many of the invading cops refused to provide their names or badge numbers—a requirement under California law.
As the search ended three hours later, the house interior was unrecognizable. In addition to electronic equipment, Jeremy’s notes, papers and legal documents were seized—many of these documents are privileged attorney-client communications.
Every item used to communicate with the outside world about Jeremy’s case was taken from every member of Jeremy’s family, including his parents’ and siblings’ personal possessions.
The raid took place as Jeremy’s mother was attempting to gather herself and bring her kids and the neighbor’s kids to school. The neighbor’s children were at the front door when police came up with shields and shotguns ready.
Pittman recounted to Liberation at the scene that she shouted, “Let me get my granddaughter! Let me get my granddaughter!” as the police barged into the house. Pittman also demanded to wake up her son, Jeremy.
It was less than one year ago that Aiyana Stanley Jones, a seven-year-old girl, was murdered by Detroit police in a similar raid. Pittman knew better than to trust the police with her children and grandchildren. She did not want the cops to startle her son or give them any opportunity to harm him.

The truth behind the racist raid -
The pretext for the raid, ordered by Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley’s office, was an attempt to gather evidence surrounding the May 10, 2010 incident near a Verdugo Hills High School bus stop.
That afternoon in May, Los Angeles United School District Police officer, Erin Robles, beat up a 15-year-old African American student, allegedly for smoking a cigarette. Jeremy, 18, quietly videotaped the incident. But because he was on probation at the time, the police arrested him on charges of “attempted lynching.”
The L.A. District Attorney’s office claims Jeremy yelled something during the incident, which they claim amounted to trying to “incite a riot during an attempt to free a suspect from police custody.” This charge is baseless, as bystander videos of the incident show.
For taping the incident, Jeremy was thrown into jail near Santa Clarita and kept there until December 2010. During that time, his mother’s tenacity began to win support for his case.
Now, nine months after the incident, it is hard to understand why D.A. Cooley would need to order a Gestapo-style raid simply to gather evidence. He could have uncovered evidence through simple discovery before trial or by issuing subpoenas. But he did not.
In fact, the same day of Jeremy’s house raid, a community source told Liberation that the home of another Verdugo Hills High School student was raided. This student has no criminal charges pending. He was targeted because he posted videos of the original incident on Youtube. These videos show that Jeremy did nothing illegal.
Why the sudden need to shut down an entire community with an army of heavily armed cops—just to collect some cell phones, computers and video that has been publicly available on the Internet for nine months?
The raids were clearly an act of intimidation and terror with the purpose of instilling fear in those targeted. Jeremy’s pre-trial hearings will begin in February. Cooley and the cops seek to get leverage so that the case will end before going to trial. They want to intimidate Jeremy and potential witnesses in order to influence the outcome.
All along, they have wanted Jeremy to accept an unjust plea deal that would send him to prison for nearly three years. But neither Jeremy nor his mother will admit “guilt” when, in fact, he did absolutely nothing wrong.
After the raid, Pittman told Liberation, “I’m not afraid. We’re not afraid. All this shows is that the D.A. knows that they do not have a case.”
The D.A. and the police are truly fearful of Jeremy’s case because of its potential to spark outrage in the African American community and with progressive people in general. They also want to stop people from exercising their constitutional right to videotape police. That is all that Jeremy did—he recorded a police officer beating a young student.
The powers that be would like to sweep Jeremy’s case under the rug before more people learn about the supreme injustice involved. Videotaping officers throughout the country is exposing an ongoing epidemic of police violence. It is viewed by young people and people of color as a method of self-defense.
Terror tactics utilized by the police expose the role of the state as an instrument of repression aimed at working families. But this harsh reality has not deterred Jeremy, Pittman or the rest of the Marks family. On the contrary, it has strengthened their resolve to fight back.
Just hours after the raid, these Liberation reporters accompanied Pittman to the Foothill Police Station as she filed a police misconduct complaint. And community supporters, including the Congress on Racial Equality, the ANSWER Coalition, the PSL and others are organizing a rally and press conference with Jeremy and his family at D.A. Cooley’s headquarters on Friday, Jan. 28.
Jeremy Marks shows Liberation his room after the police raid, Jan. 26.
*Old Article* *just in case you are unaware of what occurred*

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The families of Derrick Jones and Oscar Grant invite you to a New Years Candle Light Vigil, Spoken Word, Community Open Mic
Justice for Derrick Jones and Oscar Grant
and the many others whose lives were snuffed out by killer cops
* Saturday January 1st - 12:00 noon
* Fruitvale Bart Station
Sponsored by the Oscar Grant Foundation – Oscar Grant Committee to Stop Police Brutality
& State Repression – Onyx – New Years Movement – Community Action Project-DVC SDS –
East Bay Movement for a Democratic Society
(For more information contact: Oscar Grant Foundation at 510-599-6357)
Oscar Grant Committee meets 2nd & 4th Tuesdays, 7 p.m. at Niebyl-Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph (at Alcatraz), Oakland.
Come join us New Years Day!

2011-01-02 "2nd Anniversary of Oscar Grants Foul Killing marked by Vigil/Rally at Fruitvale BART" by Frank Runninghorse
On new years day, 2011, a racially diverse crowd of 150-175 people marked Oscars murder at the hands of BART police with statements from Grant family members, reminiscences of Oscar and pledges from family and community alike to carry on and intensify the struggle to get justice for all of the many victims of unjust police violence.
The Vigil/ Rally was called by the Grant family with solidarity from the family of Derrick Jones, another unarmed black man from the east Oakland neighborhood near Fruitvale BART who was recently shot up and killed by the OPD.
The "Oscar Grant Committee, to Stop Police Brutality and State Repression" that includes Oscars 'Uncle Bobby' and family friend Jack Bryson among its active members played a prominent role in organizing and sponsoring the event.
The event was organized in a little over two weeks time, using the OGC's and Grant family's network of contacts.
The first part of the action was a candlelight vigil focusing on members of the Grant Family including Oscars mother Wanda was MC'ed by Uncle Bobby.
This was a collective sharing of grief and love with several prayers offered by ministers of different faiths including both christian and the NOI [Nation of Islam] minister Keith Mohammed.
Frank Jones, father of the slain Derrick Jones also spoke passionately and made common cause with the Grant family and vowed that this is only the beginning of a struggle for justice.
The well known attorney John Burris spoke on the epidemic of unjust police killing cases that have come to his office recently.
Dan Siegle the attorney from the National Lawyers Guild who is working with the OGC and recently helped to defend the 152 protesters arrested in Oakland on Nov. 6th also spoke.
During the 2nd part of the event ,Uncle Bobby turned it over to OGC organizers, who broke out colorful OGC and SDS [Students for a Democratic Society] picket signs and distributed them throughout the crowd.
The signs touched on the rallies themes, included: 'We Are Oscar Grant', 'Jail Killer Cops', 'Stop Police Terror', 'A Injury To One ,Is An Injury To All' , 'Without Struggle, There Is No Justice' and a series of signs that said 'Stop Police Brutality, Justice For ______' , with the blank spot filled in either with 'Oscar' or one of the other unarmed victims of lethal police violence that the OGC has voted to fight for such as Derrick Jones, Martin Cotton, and Guy Jarreau.
Several active OGC members/leaders including Lesley Phillips, Dave Welsh and Elizabeth Addams spoke on the groups organizing projects and battles for justice.
Lesley informed the gathering of the recent Vallejo police killing of a returning black NVC [Napa Vally College] student during a film project that the OGC is looking into and working with locals on.
OGC members encouraged the gathering to join with them and car pool down to Santa Cruz on Sat., Jan.8th to protest the unjust 'State Repression' focused on the heroic whistle blowers, Bradley Manning and Wiki-leaks Julian Assange.
Other community and political organizations spoke or slammed some poetry during the open mike time or were present to show solidarity including the Grey Panthers, BAMN [By Any Means Necessary], the IBT [International Bolshevik Tendency], the ISO [International Socialist Organization], the SDS/MDS [Movement for a Democratic Society], Berkley Liberation Radio, America Needs To Know [public tv program], Peace & Freedom Party, Speak Out, and the Green Party among others.
Members of the OGC presented small bunch's of picket signs to the Grant and Jones family's that said "We Are Oscar Grant" and "Stop Police Brutality, Justice For Derrick Jones".
They were warmly and gratefully received.
The two dozen police squad cars and armored personnel carrier staged around the corner had no call to move against the peaceful action and even the gods seemed to be smiling on us, as the rain clouds broke apart and the sun came out just long enough to conclude the rally.
Unlike our previous 3 events which got drenched.
All in all , I'll call it a peoples victory and a great way to start the new year off, uniting the the people and fighting for justice.
I'm very proud of all the brave street solders that shook off their new years hangovers, disregarded the rain clouds, feared not the the shadowy police state presence and came out to stand up for justice on new years day.
Stop Police Terror
We Are Oscar Grant
We are Derrick Jones