Picture of Oscar Grant

Oscar Grant Committee

Against Police Brutality and State Repression


Upcoming Actions/Events
NOTICE!: Our monthly meeting date has been
changed to the First Monday each month

Next Meeting: Monday, August 7th at 7 PM.

The meeting is generally on the second floor of the Niebyl-Proctor Marxist Library on 6501 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94609.

Rally Held in Oakland To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal!

July 8th 2017 — A rally in Oakland demanded freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal yesterday. A journalist, MOVE supporter, former Black Panther Party member and political prisoner, Mumia Abu-Jamal was framed in 1981 for a crime he did not commit. His supporters have fought for his release since then, and this rally was held in solidarity with their call for actions world-wide on July 7th to free Mumia now!

The rally was built partly on the strength of Mumia’s important victory against the prison system’s years-long refusal to properly treat Mumia for his Hepatitis-C infection, in which Mumia came very close to death. Hep-C is a chronic condition faced by many prisoners in the US today.

Support From South African Workers For Mumia

Strong international support, including labor support, has come in for Mumia over many years. The following letter was sent in support of Mumia’s struggle for proper and effective treatment for his Hep-C from NUMSA, the South African Metalworkers Union last year. NUMSA compared the treatment of US prisoners like Mumia today with that suffered by anti-apartheid fighters from the 1950s into the 1990s:

“The refusal of health care reminds us of the conditions we were put in (under) apartheid prisons where sick detainees were allowed to die in very deplorable lonely conditions in solitary as part of the punishment for their role in the struggle.”

Letter to PA Governor Wolf from So. African Metalworkers Union. 21 January 2016.

Mumia has now been cured of his Hepatitis-C infection due to an international campaign and support from thousands of people like you, who refused to accept the official excuses, and demanded the full and effective anti-Hep-C treatment: “No Execution By Medical Neglect!”

7,000 other Pennsylvania prisoners with Hep-C, and thousands more across the US, stand to benefit from the precedent set by this important victory. Mumia’s win against his Hep-C infection--which he contracted in a transfusion after being shot and almost killed by police in 1981--depended on this kind of mass support. With a movement like this, we hope to go on to free Mumia!

Rally Demands Truth of Mumia’s Frame-Up!

The rally in Oakland was held to demand: Full Disclosure of Documents relating to Mumia’s innocence and frame-up! and Free Mumia Now! Flyers on this event, explaining the reasons for the rally and Mumia’s case, were distributed to many receptive workers leaving work in downtown Oakland on Friday.

The rally was led by former Black Panther and ex-longshore worker Gerald Sanders, and Ras Ceylan, a member of Chairman Fred Hampton Jr's POCC "Panther Cubs" (Prisoners Of Conscience Committee).

The rally was called by the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal, and participated in by Oakland Teachers For Mumia, The Oscar Grant Committee, Workers World Party, ANSWER Coalition, Party of Socialism and Liberation, Haiti Action, Bay Area United Against War, CODEPINK, Freedom Archives, Socialist Viewpoint, Socialist Action, the Mobilization To Free Mumia, the Freedom Socialist Party, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Partisan Defense Committee, Doro Chiba (the Japanese Railway Workers Union), and the Hoshino Defense Committee.

Speakers Demand Mumia’s Freedom!

Most of these supporters had speakers at the rally, covering Mumia’s case and other related issues: Jack Heyman (ILWU Local 10 retired) spoke for the Labor Action Committee; Oakland teacher Bob Mandel for Oakland Teachers for Mumia; Tova Fry, Workers World Party; and Richard Becker of ANSWER.

Marsha Feinland spoke for for Peace and Freedom Party, and gave a clear denunciation of the capitalist two-party system. “I’m glad this demonstration is not just about Trump,” she said. She went on: “Who was it who signed the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act?” “Clinton!” roared back the crowd. “And what is his party?” “Democrat” said the crowd. “And who was it who refused to pardon Mumia on his last day in office?” “Obama!” “And his party?” “Democrat!” ‘Nuff said, and thanks to Marsha for this reminder.

Ricardo Ortiz-Perez of the Frente Socialista de Puerto Rico reported on the recent victory of the liberation of Oscar López Rivera, a Puerto Rican nationalist militant; Seto-San of the Hoshino Defense Committee and Doro-Chiba reported on Hoshino Fumiaki, a wrongly imprisoned anti-war activist in Japan; Gerald Sanders and Ras Ceylan spoke of the MOVE 9, framed for a crime they had nothing to do with; Pierre Labossiere of the Haiti Action Committee reported on the struggle against US imperialism and its puppet government in Haiti; Carole Seligman of the Kevin Cooper Defense Committee spoke for freedom for Kevin Cooper, a falsely convicted prisoner now on death row in San Quentin; and several speakers called for freedom for Leonard Peltier, the native American leader falsely accused and still imprisoned for the deaths of two FBI agents, a crime he didn’t commit.

Other supporters/speakers included: immigrant rights activist Cristina Gutierrez, who linked the struggle of black and brown workers to the struggle against US imperialism, and activist Alia Sharrief, who recited a spoken word poem of her creation.

Mumia Should Benefit From Williams v. Pennsylvania

Mumia’s case for freedom is many-fold: he is a journalist who exposed the corrupt and racist police regime of Frank Rizzo in Philadelphia for it’s brutal crackdowns on the MOVE organization. As a result of that he was targeted by police and almost killed in 1981 at the scene of a shooting; and he was then framed by cops, prosecutors and politicians as the shooter. One of those prosecutors, Ronald Castille, later sat in judgement over Mumia’s appeals against this frame-up as a member of the PA Supreme Court, despite defense demands that he should recuse himself!

Now, a 2016 US Supreme Court ruling, Williams v. Pennsylvania, gives Mumia an opening: the Court says that a former prosecutor cannot later sit as a judge over the appeals of a case on which he was a prosecutor. Fairness, due procedure, unprejudiced judges, etc.: sounds obvious, doesn’t it?

Not so fast: the courts have often twisted or dropped their precedents in order to uphold the framing of political prisoners and victims of racist frame-ups such as Leonard and Mumia; and in this case, the Philadelphia district Attorney’s office is trying to deny Mumia’s defense the court-ordered discovery of notes, instructions and documents that will show exactly how former DA and prosecutor Ronald Castille involved himself in Mumia’s case. We need to make this happen: that is why we need a mass movement to free Mumia.

Build a Mass Movement To Free Mumia!

At the rally Friday, we had about a hundred more or less, and that was what we could muster on short notice. But we need to work toward a mass turnout to free Mumia. In 1995, thousands turned out to stop a death warrant issued against Mumia just before his appeal hearing of that year; and in 1999 the longshore workers of the ILWU shut down all the ports on the West Coast to free Mumia, and many of them (ILWU Local 10) came out to lead the march in SF to free Mumia on his birthday, April 24th. Also that same year, Oakland teachers mobilized to hold unauthorized teach-ins in the Oakland public schools on Mumia and the death penalty.

The Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal calls for your help: let’s build this important movement. Please respond to this email with any comments and/or offers of support.

Comply with the judge’s order! Release all documents pertaining to Mumia’s frame-up! Free Mumia and all victims of racist frame-ups! Build mass and workers’ actions to free Mumia!

Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal — July 2017 — http://www.laboractionmumia.org/

Mumia's Struggle For Freedom at Crucial Stage!

End the Cover Up! Free Mumia Now!

RALLY: 4 PM Friday July 7th

Oscar Grant Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland

Mumia Abu-Jamal has been kept alive while on the slow death life imprisonment without parole, by those who came out to support him worldwide in the fight to get him hepatitis-C treatment! Now, let's act to finally free him!

“...I'm Hep C ‘negative'! Aint't that a gas? I wanna thank you and the brothers in N. Cali for helping to make it happen. Without a people's movement we would have never gotten into ct. W/out it, we never coulda won...”

Excerpt from Mumia's letter to the Labor Action Committee To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Mumia's Hepatitis-C infection, which came from a blood transfusion in the hospital after he was critically wounded from police shooting him on December 9, 1981, is cured due to active support by thousands of supporters who tirelessly resisted the PA prison system's refusal to supply the needed medication. Mumia's federal legal victory is now the precedent to provide Hep-C treatment to thousands of prisoners.

Mumia's New Legal Action

Now, Mumia has a new legal action pending in the Pennsylvania courts, and the movement of Mumia's supporters worldwide has called for actions to free Mumia on July 7th.

Mumia's legal action is based on the 2016 US Supreme Court ruling in the case of Williams v Pennsylvania. The Supreme Court ruled that a prosecutor who “had significant personal involvement” in a “critical decision” cannot later sit in judgment in appeals concerning the very same case. This was found to be a conflict of interest, which violates the due process right to an impartial appeal. In the Williams case, the former DA, then judge, was one Ronald Castille. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Williams now has the right to re-litigate all of his legal arguments that were previously rejected.

In Mumia's case, the very same Ronald Castille was the Philadelphia District Attorney who argued to uphold Mumia's frame-up conviction and death sentence in 1989 and then as a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice denied all Mumia's post-conviction appeals from 1998-2008. Last August Mumia filed a post-conviction appeal based on the Williams decision. A legal victory in Mumia's action will reinstate his appeal rights to assert his innocence and the wholesale denial of his due process trial rights.

Mumia Won “Discovery” But DA's Office Stonewalls

On April 28, 2017 Mumia Abu-Jamal won in court against the prosecution motion to dismiss Mumia's new appeal. The judge also ordered the District Attorney's Office to disclose all files and information that would support Mumia's claims that his state appeal process was corrupted because Philadelphia District Attorney Ronald Castille was involved in prosecuting Mumia's appeals. Not surprisingly, the DA's office did not comply. Only public documents from Mumia's case that have Castille's name listed as District Attorney were released. Mumia's lawyers have demanded “full compliance” with the judge's order and the judge issued a new order to the DA to release the files by July 7.

The DA's office states there is no evidence of Castille's involvement in Mumia's case. This is a cover-up of the prosecutorial, police and judicial frame-up of Mumia. It is inconceivable that Castille as District Attorney did not make “critical decisions” on Mumia's appeal given that he was elected to that office as a “law-and-order” and pro-death penalty candidate. When he ran for Supreme Court justice he openly bragged that he put 45 men on death row. Castille also stated publicly that he was personally responsible for all filings in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Mumia Challenges Race Discrimination and Lies in Prosecution

Mumia's appeals included direct challenges to the practice of racial discrimination in jury selection, as well as prosecution's arguments that told jury's they could ignore the responsibility for sentencing someone to death, since a defendant had “appeal after appeal.” Mumia also challenged the prosecution using his teenaged membership in the Black Panther Party to argue that Mumia had a life-long intent to kill a police officer. These issues were fought in the PA Supreme Court and then in the U.S. Supreme Court by Mumia while Castille was the District Attorney.

As DA, Castille produced a training videotape to instruct prosecutors how to evade the 1986 Batson decision, a US v Supreme Court ruling which banned racial discrimination in jury selection. Prosecutors were told how to keep Black people off their juries and how to conceal this discriminatory purpose.

During Mumia's 1988 appeals to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and then to the U.S. Supreme Court, the D.A.'s office argued that Mumia could not prove the prosecution's discriminatory motive when they removed Black people from his jury. The existence of the videotape, which was the very evidence of the discriminatory motive, was suppressed.

Former Prosecutor Sits In Judgement On Mumia's Case

As a PA Supreme Court Judge, Castille sat in judgment over all the appeals of Mumia's case since 1998, including the issues of his direct appeal—jury selection (Batson), jury integrity (appeal after appeal), membership in the Black Panther Party, as well as the new evidence of coercion of witnesses, of falsified ballistics, the confession of Arnold Beverly, who confessed to being the actual killer, and the racial bias of the trial and post-conviction hearing judge Albert Sabo, who stated, “I'm gonna help ‘em fry the n----r”.

In 1996 and again in 2002 Mumia's lawyers demanded that Castille recuse himself from hearing the case, on account of his earlier role as prosecutor over the same case. In each instance, Castille refused to recuse himself, stating he had no knowledge of Mumia's case. Castille denied any knowledge of the DA/TV videotape.

Yet Castille's alleged “non-involvement” is what the current Philadelphia DA now wants us to believe, as their office has refused the full “discovery” of evidence of Castille's collusion (in framing Mumia), which was ordered by the Philadelphia Court earlier this year! This is why we call for action now.

Demand Full Disclosure of Documents in Mumia's Case!

We need to free Mumia now, and demand full disclosure of documents in his case! The Williams decision could lead to the throwing out of all the negative decisions on Mumia's appeals by the PA Supreme Court, which, in turn, could lead to throwing out his original false conviction! But all of Mumia's scant victories in court, such as the reversal of his original death sentence, have depended on the mass mobilization of his supporters worldwide.

Mumia Abu-Jamal is a journalist, a former Black Panther, a MOVE supporter and an innocent political prisoner. His freedom from false murder charges is long overdue, after 36 years for a crime he did not commit. Winning Mumia's freedom is a fight against this injustice system and paves the way for others, as did his victory to get Hep-C treatment, which is precedent for Pennsylvania prisoners as well as other thousands nationwide.

Former political prisoners such as Panther Albert Woodfox, whistle-blower Chelsea Manning, and Puerto Rican Nationalist/activist Oscar Lopez Rivera have recently achieved freedom with the help and support of masses of supporters. Now, let us move on.

In 1995 we mobilized in the thousands against the death warrant issued by the Pennsylvania governor; and in 1999 Longshore workers on the entire West Coast of the US shut down all ports to free Mumia. Also in 1999, Oakland teachers held unauthorized teach-ins in Oakland Schools on Mumia and the death penalty.

Join us at Oscar Grant Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland, on Friday July 7th, at 4pm. Rally and march to the Federal Building, with flyers to distribute on Mumia's case. Solidarity with Mumia and all his worldwide supporters! Free Mumia Now!

End the Cover Up! Free Mumia Now!

RALLY: 4 PM Friday July 7th

Oscar Grant Plaza, 14th & Broadway, Oakland

The July 7th action, called by the Labor Action To Free Mumia Abu-Jamal in Oakland, is initially endorsed by: Oakland Teachers For Mumia, Oscar Grant Committee, Oscar Grant's Uncle Bobby of Love Not Blood Campaign, Workers World Party, Speak Out, Party of Socialism and Liberation, ANSWER Coalition, Freedom Socialist Party, Socialist Viewpoint, Mobilization To Free Mumia, Socialist Action, and Doro Chiba-the Japanese Railway Workers Union.

Download the flyer (PDF)

Ground Breaking Police Policy Faces First Test

Justice4Pedie is Justice4All

In January 2016, the Richmond City Council responded to a grassroots social justice movement by establishing a new police accountability policy desiigned to protect Richmond residents from unjust police violence by holding police accountable for such actions. The new procedure requires a special investigaion, independent of the Police and District Attorney, of any police killing or serious injury caused by police. If successful, this new policy could inspire other cities across America to follow its example as a measure to stop the epdemic of unjust police violence that plagues our nation.

The first test of this landmark policy will be the case of Pedie Perez, a young man shot and killed by Richmond Police Officer Jensen on September 14, 2014, leading to widespread community concern over a possible cover-up.

The social justice movement, the people of Richmond, and the whole nation are watching. Attend this public forum which will outline the facts of this case, the progress of the investigation, and the implications for the broader struggle for justice here in Richmond and across the nation.

Justice4Pedie Community Meeting

Featured speakers include:

Jovanka Beckles
Vice Mayor, City of Richmond; Candidate for State Assembly, 15 AD (2018)

Eduardo Martinez
Councilmember, Richmond City Council

Other community leaders are being invited

Saturday, June 24, 2017 4-6 PM
Doors open at 3:30, forum starts promptly at 4 pm
Richmond Public Library, Whittlesey Community Room
325 Civic Center Plaza. Richmond, CA 94804

Co-sponsored by: Richmond Progressive Alliance, Oscar Grant Committee, and Veterans for Peace, East Bay Chapter

For info: Gene Ruyle 510-332-3865 or email: [email protected]

Labor donated by OGC Volunteers 6/14/2017




There is a Need for the 'Value Human Life' Bill

Pedie Perez, murdered by the Richmond PolicePlease sign the Change.org petition below:

Proposed Initiative Measure for a Value Human Life Bill

We the undersigned see a dire need for change. The average American taxpayer understands that communities need good police officers and they are willing to compensate them with a great salary and benefits for their commitment to protect and serve. As law-abiding taxpayers and residents of those communities, we are no longer willing to tolerate our tax dollars being used to reward cowardly-incompetent police officers.

An incompetent officer, is an officer equipped with a bullet proof vest, pepper spray, a taser, a baton, a radio to call for assistance, a canine police-companion and training in hand-to-hand combat, but favors using deadly force; knowing that the police department will rally in support of their actions, simply because they are members of the same union.

Since 1974, police officers have benefited tremendously from having additional rights bestowed upon them, through the passage of Joe Biden's Law Enforcement Officer’s Bill of Rights. Yet, the taxpayers have not gained any additional protection under the law. As a result, each year there are hundreds of officer involved homicides, which the general public overwhelmingly believes were 100% preventable. 

Despite having an understanding of basic criminal laws and tactical training, the number of people killed by the police, is a clear indication that there is a need for legislation to protect citizens. We need protection from officers who have undetected mental illness, egos, unknown biases and the propensity to kill although other options are available. There is no test that can accurately detect those character traits because no one can be certain of what’s in a person’s heart.

As taxpayers, who are concerned about everyone’s safety, it is time to reaffirm the value of human life by putting our support behind a Value Human Life Bill.

Value Human Life Bill 

First, police officers who kill or cause serious injury to an unarmed civilian must be suspended without pay during the investigation. Due to the nature of the job, officers should be required to carry insurance that will help their families financially if this were to happen. A police officer's CalPERS Industrial Disability Insurance will not be pre-funded by tax dollars. 

Second, police departments cannot investigate themselves. The blue code of silence and cover-up is blatant, and it's evident in the long list of no conviction cases. There are too many cases where charges are not filed by top officials despite physical evidence and eyewitness testimony, contradicting the police department's statement of events. The investigation process must include an immediate toxicology exam. In addition, unedited civilian video recordings must be considered evidence. 

Third, police officers who fire upon an unarmed or legally armed civilian who is not in the act of committing a felony offense will be fired, and charges brought against that officer. They do not get to continue their careers within law enforcement. Taxpayers will not cover the cost of that officer's legal defense. 

Fourth, the number of White, Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American police should be proportionate and reflective of the members of that particular city. Officers should be working in pairs, with those officers identifying as two different races.

 Written with love, signed in blood. Thank you for your support.


If you have any questions regarding this petition, please visit justice4pedie.com or Email K. Harley [email protected] or Patricia Perez at [email protected].

This petition will be delivered to:

//www.change.org/u/15446422

Click for PDF




       
       


New Stuff on the Site

Video: ILWU March & Rally Against Police Brutality San Francisco, Mayday 2016
Video: Justice for Mario Woods: interviews with hunger strikers
Document: Anti Police-Terror Project's investigation of the Demouria Hogg killing (June 6, 2015, Oakland)

Resolution passed May 3, 2016

RESOLVED: The Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression opposes and condemns the use of collective punishment by any police or military force. We consider such policies war crimes against the people of the world.

We oppose and condemn any politician, Donald Trump or any other who advocates such a war crime as policy. We must fight them every step of the way.

The Nazis routinely practiced collective punishment in their conquered territories, sometimes wiping out entire villages. NEVER AGAIN!

Resolutions passed on April 5 2016

RESOLVED: The Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression opposes and condemns Donald Trump's call for increased state repression of U.S. Government prisoners through the use of waterboarding and other even harsher methods of torture. The progressive movement must vigorously oppose these torture techniques as a dangerous move in the direction of a repressive police state.

RESOLVED: The Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality and State Repression recognizes and endorses Senator Bernie Sanders's call to investigate every police killing of an unarmed civilian and any death of a prisoner in police custody. We support building a mass movement to implement these demands.


New video & pictures: Hernan Jaramillo

New video & depositions: Pedie Perez


Recent reports/press

Press Conference/Speakout: Justice for Pedie Perez!

Press Conference
Activists gathered with the Perez family before the Richmond City Council meeting to explain why they are insisting that the city conduct a truly independent investigation of the fatal shooting of Pedie Perez on Sept. 14 2014 by Richmond Police officer Wallace Jensen. They then spoke during the Council's Open Forum period.

Oscar Grant Anniversary 1/1/16

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

SF Police Commission Meeting Following Mario Woods Shooting

Gerald S., Stan W., and Steve J. of the Oscar Grant Committee went to the SF Police Commission meeting on 12/9/15 following the shooting of Mario woods and gave this report:

[Gerald Smith:]
At 5 pm Wednesday nite there was a rally on the front step of SF City Hall. About 500 attended this rally and tried to get in the SF Police Commission meeting. Our forces, the working class opposition to police brutality, were not well organized, as per the related events that preceded this meeting (the Vigil 12/3/15 about 1,000 participants, the Town Hall Meeting 12/4/15 just under 1,000 participants) Because there were so many people the SF Police Commission bureaucrats had to set up an overflow room in which was a TV screen broadcasting the Police Commission meeting.

[Stan Woods:]
The racial/ethnic composition was good with at least half of the crowd black, latino, and asian. Approx. half of the crowd was white. Also, many youth participated.

[Steve Jacobsen:]
There was a crowd of protesters at SF City Hall, many speaking to the Police Commission. About 200-300 couldn't get into the hearing, but they stayed in the hallway doing mike-checks. Several young women led the crowd yelling chants for Police Chief Suhr and Mayor Ed Lee to resign. They were fired up. They fired up everybody in the building. It is the spark to create the fire that will result into another Ferguson. Also the people called for the six guilty officers to be indicted for this murderous crime. It felt like the beginning of the Sixties.

Original video of shooting (16 sec)

Advise Show News (11 min)

San Jose Mercury News story on Policemen's union statement regarding the shooting (with video)

Vigil for Kendall Walker in Vacaville


Friends, family recall man who died in police shooting

ACLU App Empowers People against Police Brutality

The app is a tool to preserve documentation of police brutality.

The Californian branch of the civil liberties group ACLU launched a free smart phone app on Thursday to guarantee they can document and preserve recorded instances of police brutality.

The app allows ordinary people to both record and document encounters with state authorities from their cellphones while having it instantaneously transmitted to the ACLU’s servers. In light of past instances in which authorities have deliberately confiscated or destroyed such evidence, the app would guarantee the recordings’ preservation. It also allows people to send an alert to anyone in close range to the incident in order to potentially facilitate an organized community response. Get it here.

Videos, Witness Statements in Pedie Perez Shooting

Pedie enters store
Videos of Pedie's shooting and death



The Oscar Grant Committee Against Police Brutality & State Repression (OGC) is a grassroots democratic organization that was formed as a conscious united front for justice against police brutality. The OGC is involved in the struggle for police accountability and is committed to stopping police brutality.

In alliance with the International Longshore & Warehouse Union (ILWU) we organized the October 23, 2010 labor and community rally for Justice for Oscar Grant. On that day the ILWU shut down the Bay Area ports in solidarity. Our mission is to educate, organize and mobilize people against police and state repression. Sisters and brothers! The Oscar Grant Committee invites you to join us in this vital struggle.

We meet on the 1st Tuesday of each month at 7 pm at the Neibyl Proctor Library, 6501 Telegraph Avenue (near Alcatraz) in Oakland. For more information please call us at 925/798-3698 or e-mail us.
You can join our discussion list by sending a blank (doesn't even need a subject) email to [email protected]
Where we meet: 65th & Telegraph, about halfway between Ashby & Rockridge BART stations
Map: 65th & Telegraph
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