January 7, 2009
As of this writing (late on January 7th, 09), young people from the Fruitvale neighborhood and around Oakland are in the streets protesting the outrageous shooting of Oscar Grant III, an unarmed man who was LYING ON HIS STOMACH on a BART (subway) platform in Oakland early on New Years day. He died a short time later at Highland hospital. The shooter was a BART cop who stood over the victim and fired the shot into Oscar at point blank range for no apparent reason. Cell phone video footage, now displayed at www.ktvu.com, a local tv station, shows clearly that Grant was flat on the ground and not resisting at the time of the shooting. Protesters have closed three BART stations, attacked police cars, and marched on city hall. The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal (an Oakland-based defense organization), also protests this horrendous, barbarous act of murder. Justice for Oscar Grant! Jail killer cops!
Oscar Grant III was a young black man and father of a young girl, who lived in Hayward and worked as a butcher in an Oakland food market. The cop, who has only been publicly named after a week’s delay–Johannes Mehserle–HAS YET TO EVEN BE INTERROGATED ABOUT THE INCIDENT, let alone arrested! But crocodile tears over the “tragedy” continue to rain down from BART officials and the press–no justice there! Famed civil rights attorney John Burris has filed a $25 million damage suit on behalf of the family, to which we say: go for it, but no amount of money can make up for police atrocities such as this.
Forged largely to replace slavery after the Civil War, the criminal “justice” system in this country is so bent with racial and class bias as to make the word “corrupt” sound limp. Torture and murder of black people at the hands of cops has been even more prevalent and longer lasting than the frequent Klan lynchings in the South, which went on for decades. And the infamous beating of Rodney King in LA, also caught on video, resulted in an acquittal of the cops, who were conveniently tried in a white suburb full of police residences. While these crimes go unprosecuted and ignored, now suddenly, in reaction to the Bush administration’s criminal “war on terror,” we learn that “the US doesn’t torture”! What a farce.
The innocent are routinely put to death by a system which values “timeliness” and courtly rules and regulations above evidence. Innocence is no defense in the US! This is what threatens political prisoners like Mumia Abu-Jamal, whose case, now before the Supreme Court, could still result in his execution for a crime he didn’t commit. And the same threat hangs over many other victims of this system, such as Troy Davis, whose Georgia frame-up is now before the 11th Circuit Court.
We say: free Mumia, free Troy Davis, and free all class-war prisoners and innocent victims of the death penalty system! And:
NO REPRISALS AGAINST PROTESTERS OF THE OSCAR GRANT MURDER! JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT! JAIL ALL KILLER COPS!
-The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal