October 30, 2011
Police in my city have made world-wide news for brutalizing peaceful protestors and I truly hope that no one is surprised. After all we are speaking of the same police department that served as the foot soldiers for the unlawful dismantling of the Black Panther Party. Therefore should it really shock anyone to discover that a young man can survive two tours of duty in Iraq completely unscathed only to live in Oakland, CA for less than a year and have his skull fractured by the police?
Before Occupy Oakland became an official part of the movement Oakland was already occupied by the boys in blue. I grew up in an impoverished underserved community on the East side of town in which a police station was built before we even had a grocery store to buy fresh food. As a matter of fact the very room in which I attended preschool in Eastmont Mall has since been converted into jail cells to temporarily house inmates on the way to county lock up. I’ve seen police brutality, I’ve experienced police brutality, and I’ve known police brutality for as long as my skin has been black.
So I see this young man named Scott Olson lying helpless in the street with blood streaming down his face. I see the cops continue to pump rounds of “Nonlethal” projectiles into anyone who is brave enough to cross the line in an attempt to retrieve him or offer him medical-aid and I think to myself; how vile, how disgusting, how typical of police in Oakland.
I must be honest with you all when I say that I am not a very well traveled man. I’ve never spent a semester in South Africa, or been to a convention in Spain. I’ve never studied in Iran either. However I always had a hunch that the police officers that I deal with on a near daily basis have got to be one of the most repressive forces in the entire world. Of all the places around the globe being “Occupied” I have yet to see a crack-down remotely similar to what took place in my town a few nights ago.
As enraged as I am about the whole situation, I can’t help but to feel just a slight bit validated and if you were from Oakland then I’m sure you would feel the same way.