This is the latest drama going down in Oakland… Police stopping two innocent men at gun point who they claimed ‘fit the description‘ … This sort of harassment has gone on for as long as we can remember.. When I saw the video what immediately came to mind, was a young 2Pac Shakur who was stopped in similar fashion not too far from that same area 20+ years ago by OPD.. Sadly Pac didn’t have the advantage of a Youtube, folks with cell phone video cameras and twitter to get the word out.. He wound up getting severely beaten..
Police rolling up on folks is not an aberration but part of a long-standing unwritten procedure pioneered by LA Police Chief William H Parker where police were encouraged to make their presence known and felt by young Black and Brown males at a young age so they would know who ruled the streets. That was damn near 50 years ago and since then we’ve seen things get exponentially worse. From Stop and Frisk in New York where incidents like the one shown happen over 680 thousand times a year to the ‘Jump Out’ routine which is what we see here in this video..
It’s incidents like these that often go unreported but lead to the anger, unrest and the weekly protests (FTP Marches) that happen weekly. It’s these types of incidents that result in the city of Oakland having to shell out a whooping 58 million dollars in brutality and harassment settlement over the past 10 years..
Here’s how the video poster described the scene
these young men strolled past me casually having a conversation before the Oakland Police Department clearly racially profiled them as they “fit the description” but were released right after the incident. Now if they had the info to release them, why on earth did they feel like pulling live ammo out on a public street in the middle of the day, right in front of a cafe? NEWSFLASH OPD all BLACK MEN ARE FUCKING CRIMINALS!
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This is why using a tactic like filming the police is absolutely necessary. Whether folks are just pulling out their camera phones and filming from a safe distance or folks are going out on organized cop watch team patrols in their communities. Filming the police helps to combat police violence and misconduct while having the potential to police institutions for what they really are…what people of color communities have known them to be for centuries. All too often and for far too long, they have been occupying forces in our communities that have only worked to maintain control over us, instill fear in us, invade our living spaces and schools, brutalize us, criminalize us and murder us. By assaulting our bodies, hearts and minds, they have effectively succeeded in convincing many of us that we do not have power. But we do have power. There is power in our bodies. There is power in our hearts. There is power in our minds. We must locate all that that power and protect ourselves and each other. We must locate that power, create the vision of a world we want to see and work toward that vision together. Every 36 hours a black woman, man or child is killed by police and a much smaller number of security guards and vigilantes in this country. I dream of better days where freedom, liberation and self-determination are actualized for all oppressed communities. I love. I dream. I struggle. And do it over and over again.
having the potential to expose police institutions for what they really are*
The lady filming is obviously a loon job who leads a boring life. Its sad people like her attach themselves to legitimate issues of police misconduct.
Nadia, The only thing that will “liberate” “oppressed communities” in the U.S. is to encourage a culture where young people realize these communities are never going to change or “go anywhere” and hence help them understand the only solution is to divorce oneself from these confused nonsensical “communities” altogether. These “communities” are populated by erratic police, erratic ghetto idiot peers, erratic politics, useless dated schools and an erratic culture of confusion… including most of this “activist” nonsense. The way to do it is to encourage young people to be ruthlessly independent individuals and learn as much as they can and adopt marketable niche skills and/or careers so they can make lots of money and ride a strong wave of independence divorced from ideologues like yourself and the communities these police “occupy”. Hence encouraging a stable intelligentsia who grow to see past all this nonsense and hopefully change it from a more aware and broader institutional sense. But even if they don’t, at least they’re safer and more educated (and learned to get “out”) – which is a plus.
All the rest of your idealism is rooted in fantasy. Nobody cares … they just play along because it feels good.
When I graduated from college I jumped into movement work with a desire to change my condition and work with people who also cared about changing their condition. A desire to gain some type of control over my own life and work with people who desired to gain control over their lives…attempting to create structures where community control was in fact a reality for us. A young person that graduated college and jumped into this work with commitment, optimism, passion, love, doing continuous political education (to this very day), and beginning to develop a vision of the world I wanted to see. A world I wanted to live in. A world we want to live in. Free and liberated. A young person that always had the desire to see change but didn’t quite know how to go about it and didn’t quite have the right people in my corner yet. A young person that grew up in certain conditions and watched people grow up in even worse conditions and I was not going to accept that. While people are working to create communities separate from what we’re currently in, it’s important for other people to be doing the work to meet people where they are at. Cop watch is a tactic that deals with the issue in the now. Who says that people can’t be doing cop watch while building towards something different? Something alternative? Something we control, for instance? I am still relatively young and I won’t allow the negativity and the insults you just threw at my character to stop me from doing this work. You simply cannot come at people and just tell them to divorce themselves from what they’ve always known and for that to happen overnight. Political education takes time. It takes time to unlearn things you’ve learned and to wake up from the coma that you may be in after years of socialization, oppression, lies, you’ve been subjected to. I am not of the opinion that just telling young people to earn lots of money and ride a strong wave of independence, as you call it, is the way to go. Especially not in this capitalist society. Especially not with a certain amount of political education and collective work. But hey, to each their own. Like I said in my previous comments, cop watch is a tactic…that is, ONE tactic. NOT the only way. Just ONE way. While we do live in these conditions, we might as well be doing the work that deals with the problems people are dealing with today. The problems people are dealing with NOW. People’s lives literally are being lost. People are living in fear. People are being harassed. Communities are being shattered. Young people are growing up in a hellish state. It’s easier said than done to do what you are proposing above. You can say all the negative things you want about activists or organizers… it was the work of activists and organizers that made an impact in the past and it will be the work of activists and organizers that do that now.That includes the rest of the community, whether they actually call themselves activist and organizers or not. The beautiful thing about people my age and younger is the passion and optimism that helps keep us going. And most importantly the LOVE. Revolutionary ideas have lived on past the passings of the freedom fighters who where optimistic, passion, love-driven, community centered and visionaries. Revolutionary ideas live through me and many others. And even when I am no longer on this earth they will continue to live on. The struggle continues and will continue on. Take your negative talk elsewhere and don’t try to pounce on me. Peace.
Also, the woman filming absolutely is NOT a loon job. She is fed up with police violence. She is fed up with police abusing us whenever they feel like it. She is fed up with the humiliation we deal with. She is fed up with us dying. She is just plain fed up. She witnessed cops messing with those two young men for no reason and she her response totally made sense. And you know what, all the talking and recording she did probably helped those young men end up getting let go safely…although they severely harassed by the cops in that moment and thus probably were dealing with and might still be dealing with their feelings w/ regard to that. That type of mess is traumatizing. Period. For the observer and the one who is going through it. I appreciate her for what she did. Nothing is perfect. It did the job though.
Historically, the role of policing in the US has been to maintain, protect, and perpetuate the ruling class structure i.e. white privilege, which originates with the chattel enslavement of Black people. Read Article 4 sec. 3 ~ The Fugitive Slave Law of 1793 and subsequent Fugitive Slave Acts. Since Blacks have been, historically and up to the present, the sole focus of law enforcement attention, is it any wonder why Black people are continuously murdered, beaten, harassed, and criminalized by the police and the ‘courts’ with impunity? The criminal perception of Black people has been culturally transmitted throughout police forces and moreover, harbored and supported by the larger society for generations. This is nothing new for the policing apparatuses has and continues to receive wide support from the vast majority of people. Remember, the police are not acting alone and without consensual support. People. We the People, have not given the TPTB and their lowlife police protectors, a valid and compelling enough reason not to murder, beat, and harass innocent people; regardless of their skin color. Only recently has attention been directed toward ‘police brutality’ as more whites; and those who have continuously supported the established order, have fallen victim to excesses of the state. Read Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ~ The Gulag Archipelago. He had the right idea.
Blacks kill more blacks than white police. The ghetto (and the rest of the underclass) creates more problems for itself than white police . At this point it doesn’t matter where you believe the cultural embedding comes from as long as you realize it’s now 100 percent completely self perpetuated.
What matters is vigilant independence to remove oneself from it. This isn’t a negative comment, it’s a positive and honest one based in reality and not idealism. Everything I’m saying isn’t easy to do at all. In fact it’s alot more difficult than most people can stomach but it’s really the only responsible course of action I see to these issues.
I think your comments are an example of basking in your own vanity for theaters sake and you simply don’t realize how little anyone cares about whatever images you have in your head or the statistics you read.
Here’s a quote:
“I’m a firm believer that most people simply prefer to do nothing” – Robert Greene (author of the 48 laws of power).
Personally I have a tendency to agree with the sentiment behind this quote, and I also believe isn’t going to change anytime soon. The trick is to accept it and move on.
Best of luck with your endeavors.
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“What matters is vigilant independence to remove oneself from it.”
Hilarious! I think someone like yourself has absorbed the notion (either by self or taught- it matters not) that people can simply remove themselves from any given attachment. Yet the hypocrisy of your comment is culminated in your conclusion: to accept it and move on. Really? Your proposed remedy of action is no action?
Heed your own advice: “I think your comments are an example of basking in your own vanity for theaters sake and you simply don’t realize how little anyone cares about whatever images you have in your head or the statistics you read.”
Good luck with your ridiculous self-help book quotes, absolutely preposterous.
The video is an all to surreal image of life not only in Oakland but America.The cowardice of the person “yinyang” show’s a detachment and lack of understanding of these situations.Hopefully very soon these and like situations may visit “yinyang” The woman filming may have been anxious, however in times of adversity we need outspoken people who dare to be a so-called “loon” ,instead of a coward.