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Occupy Oakland responds to Michael Brown and the people of Ferguson

Occupy Oakland responds to Ferguson
Occupy Oakland responds to Ferguson
Peggy Reskin

A protest by Occupy Oakland will be held at 6 PM at 14th and Broadway in Oakland tonight responding to the death of Michael Brown shot 10 times, 7 times as he lay wounded without a weapon. Michael and his friend who witnessed his being shot were attempting to flee the police. As the events unfold, and two witnesses report, a police car pulled up and the officer told them to get off the street, then moved to open his car door. The door bumped into Brown, bounced back and was taken as an assaultive move by the officer, who then attempted to pull Michael Brown into the police car. He was trying to free himself, the officer told him he was going to shoot him, and did. Wounded with blood coming down his chest, Michael Brown and his friend attempted to get away. The officer left his car, then shot Brown again in the back as he ran away. Brown then put his hands in the air and turned around to face the officer who shot more shots until he dropped to the ground continuing to shoot a total of 10 shots. The response from the police of Missouri was to armor their police with the military gear and weapons and tanks used in Iraq and Afghanistan acquired by local police reportedly around the country. These reports are consistent on cable news, and have brought up the issues of killing young black men, police brutality and no accountability and the arming of police with the means to carry out acts of war.

HANDS IN THE AIR was the chant of the thousands who showed up reported by journalists, some of whom were arrested themselves or at least taken away by the police without charges being filed. Many of us who came to Occupy Oakland last night for the silent vigil to honor Michael Brown were there when the Zimmerman verdict came out, and the results of Trayvon Martin and Oscar Grant's deaths had to have some response from those of us who refuse to be numb to what is happening on the streets in Oakland or anywhere else where human beings are gunned down weaponless. The energy of this gathering corresponded with the confusion and anger in Ferguson. The morning for those keeping track of what was happening in Ferguson brought the presence of Captain Ron Johnson who stepped into the center of the outrage by the people in Ferguson. Johnson gained some confidence from the people who chanted hands in the air in the aftermath of a night of tear gas and chaos the night before. The issue of the murder of the 18 year old college bound Brown, by his grieving parents and the people in mourning for one more time, and the community is not going away. A young black man being killed will not be tolerated, and the people are not going to go home without recognition of the that with his hands in the air and two bullets the officer had already shot into his body, he was shot seven more times and left to die on the streets unattended for three hours.

Governor Nixon of Missouri and Captain Johnson are in direct contact with the people, and Captain Johnson has taken exception to the fact that 4 days after the shooting of Brown, the name of the police shooter was released and simultaneously a store video was released showing Brown in an interaction with the clerk at a convenience store over cigarillos. The police are now saying that there was a assault by Brown on the store clerk around a $1 cigar; viewing all the frames, it looks more like an interaction than an assault between known to each other parties. But in any event Captain Johnson and the public at large feels that the police putting out the name of the shooter and then the attribution that 18 year old Michael Brown took the $1 cigarillo have nothing to do with the fact a policeman shot Michael Brown ten times and left him in the street to die over a few hours.

The nation is watching, the federal agencies are looking, the world is looking at this negation of democracy, equality and incidence demonstrating racism and brutal police behavior toward young black men in the streets of Los Angeles, New York, Richmond and now Ferguson. The stakes are high, and there is no room for recovering from this incident without real and meaningful federal overseeing of police systems that need accountability and retraining. Oakland police have come through the Federal agency imposing change on their practices of abuse. This year measures of improvements established by the Federal Agency in all the markers set for them to change the manner in which police do their job, as public servants accountable to higher federal authority were reported to have improved significantly by the Federal Agencies. Like Watts in the 60's, change is needed and revolting will continue until there is recognition of the killing, and the dilemma of a justice system that is not color blind.

Captain Ron Johnson has the leader's slip and we will all be watching and participating in whatever way we can to support justice going forward in this tragic incidence that has brought everything to light about our country that needs that light, and needs meaningful change. He says the people of Ferguson are good people and coming together over this tragedy. So must we all.