The Outside Agitator & White Vigilantism: A Reportback from Oakland

oakland_riot(Written on July 22nd, by a Collective in the Bay Area)

“I’m tired of the marchin’, the rallyin’, the protestin’
We hoopin’ and hollerin’, still we gettin’ no justice”

Dead Prez, ‘Made You Die’

In the past week, the city of Oakland, along with the rest of the nation, has been shaken by a series of large protests and small-scale riots in the wake of George Zimmerman’s acquittal in Florida. The Oakland Police Department (OPD) and City Hall were largely taken by surprise by the massive outpouring of grief and rage of local residents, and both struggled – as a result of several high-profile court settlements which have forced the OPD to reconfigure its crowd control tactics – to contain a growing unrest which picked up greater and greater momentum as each day passed.

Even as Oakland business leaders applied enormous pressure on the OPD to restore order, whether through the use of micro-policing procedures (such as the increased enforcement of pedestrian or minor traffic infractions, which closely resemble stop-and-frisk techniques) or full displays of force, (seen later in the week, in which mobile cadres were supplemented by snatch squads and vehicular surveillance units) City Councilman Neil Gallo lamented their inability to quell the sporadic uprisings, commenting that “protestors are better organized than our Police Department.” Continue reading

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Day 3: Newark Protesters Block Rush Hour Traffic for 4 Days Straight

Editor’s note: Accordinimage-283x237g to some facebooks somewhat spontaneous blockages of Broad St. have been going on for over a week. Details are difficult to find – if you have any feel free to drop a comment or an email our way.

NEWARK – Two protests were held in New Jersey today over the verdict in the Trayvon Martin murder trial.

In Newark, supporters filled the intersection of Broad and Market streets at rush hour today, shutting down Broad Street for the third day in a row. And they say they will be back Wednesday.

The group is angry over the death of Trayvon Martin and frustrated over George Zimmerman’s acquittal. Demonstrators called on the Justice Department to file civil rights charges in the case.

More than 200 protesters also took to the streets today in Jersey City, demanding justice.

How to Organize #block4trayvon

Proposal for #block4trayvon
Okay, so we’re tossing a line out there, seeing if it catches.

#Block4trayvon will be successful only to the extent which anyone, like us, calls a gathering point, sets a time, and publicizes it–only to the extent that this little meme becomes real.  

We’ve received messages from countless people asking where it’s happening, groups asking to be involved, and media outlets asking for more information. Everyone wants an event.

So, here’s how it could go do down:

July 25-26

#b4tCHI, #b4tLA, #b4tNYC …etc should appear, and each reveal their city’s meet-up spot. Add the local hashtag and #block4trayvon to every post. Even if its just you and your friends, set up a twitter or FB & post a gathering point. We live in insane times; little protests become uprisings. We’ll do as we have been doing, and post and rp all information as it comes to us.

It’s literally up to all of us make this happen. like #occupy, #block4trayvon will begin outside of the political parties, established organizations, even against the program of a lot of the so-called community organizers. Props to Cornel West for his intense remarks about Obama on Democracy Now, but we need more than radical celebs to break with this racist society. We need all of us, in the street, crazier and full of more life than the cops.

Day 11: FL Protesters Occupy Governor’s Office for Ninth Day

TALLAHASSEE — When the young activists known as the Dream Defenders marched into Gov. Rick Scott’s office last week, few observers expected the group to attract much attention.

But seven days later, the Dream Defenders have proven hard to ignore.

What began as a modest protest has morphed into a week-long occupation of the Florida Capitol. The organizers, most of whom are college students and young professionals, say they are prepared to stay for weeks or even months — as long as it takes for Scott to call a special session on racial profiling and the state’s controversial Stand Your Ground law.

Nevermind that Scott has refused, making the odds of a special session almost non-existent.

“We stay until we win,” said Gabriel Pendas, one of the group’s co-founders. Continue reading

Statement from Arrested Oakland Protester

The writer, Hannibal Shakur, was arrested during the second night of demonstrations in Oakland against the Zimmerman verdict.

The political nature of my charges cannot be over-stated here. To give human rights to a mechanical entity constructed solely for the sake of profit and exploitation is a perversion of those rights and what it means to be a human being. In Florida, a white man walks for the obvious murder of a black boy. That young boy, that black child, wasn’t even given the rights of a dog. When the verdict is released, black people across America rise up to protest our non-citizen status. What could be called a riot ensues. A handful of people are arrested with charges of felony vandalism of whom I am one defendant. Continue reading

New York Protesters March Over Brooklyn Bridge

(from Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

In spite of the scorching heat, more than a thousand demonstrators marched over the Brooklyn Bridge to the Brooklyn Federal Court building on Saturday to commemorate Trayvon Martin, the black teenager shot to death by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted of Florida in Martin’s killing.

The marches were sponsored by National Action Network’s “Justice for Trayvon” 100 City Vigil, hosted by Reverend Al Sharpton and the mother and brother of Trayvon Martin, Sybrina and Jahvaris Fulton.

Demonstrators gathered for speeches in Cadman Plaza Park in Brooklyn across from the courthouse and promised that Trayvon’s death would not be in vain. Continue reading

Day Seven: Rallies Happening in Over 100 US Cities

Protests led by veteran civil rights leaders and the parents of Trayvon Martin are set to take place across the US on Saturday, amid ongoing anger over the acquittal of the man who shot dead the unarmed black teenager.

Demonstrators are set to gather outside federal court buildings and police headquarters in more than 100 cities, to call on the Department of Justice to file a civil rights case against George Zimmerman, the man who was found not guilty of second-degree murder of the 17-year-old. Continue reading

Day Five: Florida Youth and Students Occupy Governor’s Office

1374248993000-19capitol-protest-fla-1307191153_3_4More than 100 protesters from the group Dream Defenders, which previously coordinated with a unit of the Obama administration’s Justice Department, descended upon the Florida state capitol Wednesday demanding to meet with Governor Scott to request that a special legislative session be held to repeal the state’s Stand Your Ground law, which Scott supports. Scott, who is facing tough re-election odds in 2014, initially showed no sign of desiring a meeting with protesters, but eventually caved in at 9 pm ET Thursday night, at the end of Day 2 of the protesters’ sit-in in the lobby of Scott’s office.

“I asked to meet with the protestors this evening to personally hear their concerns following the jury’s verdict in the Zimmerman case. I expressed my own sympathies for the Martin family and all those affected by Trayvon’s death. Earlier this evening, I also spoke to Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon’s mother, to again give my condolences on the loss of her son and let her know that she and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers,” Scott said in a statement provided to The Daily Caller. Continue reading

Day 2: Oakland Marches and Takes Over I-880

BPQ1sO2CUAAijfO(from Monday 7/15 protests, mainstream press)

OAKLAND — A crowd of estimated 750 people protesting the acquittal of George Zimmerman in Florida briefly shut down traffic on Interstate 880 during a lengthy march Monday evening, blocking numerous streets before a group of more than 100 people scuffled with police shortly after 11 p.m.

At least one person was injured when he was struck on the head with a hammer or a similar object. Witnesses said a protester was injured and writhing in pain at Broadway and 16th Street after apparently being struck in the shoulder by a police projectile.

The late-night skirmishes began after police charged at several vandals who smashed windows at the Men’s Warehouse at 15th Street and Broadway.

Police deployed flash-bang grenades; protesters threw fireworks at lines of officers wearing riot gear.

Protesters later marched up Broadway and Telegraph Avenue, where people stood in front of bars and restaurants to protect them from window-smashing vandals. Continue reading

Day One: Oakland’s First Night of Vengeance for Trayvon

oakland_riot(A reportback from a participant in Oakland’s first night of protest, 7/13)

Shattering illusions and misplaced hope, they have made a costly decision.

Hundreds in Oakland last night were full of rage and lashed out at every reminder of a legal system that sanctions the murder of black youth, a police department that targets the poor and dark-skinned, and a city that puts capital ahead of community. Smashed plates of glass, fires, and anti-police graffiti covered our downtown urban landscape last night. Uptown was smashed because those hipsters partying and hanging out in the clubs and bars on this night, have clarified their position, they don’t give a fuck. Folks swarmed the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse, because the theater of justice that takes place inside is not entertaining, it ruins thousands of lives. We know that justice can never be found in the courts and that the prison is not the place for the Zimmerman’s of the world. Continue reading