The following is a statement put out by the Oakland branch of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement about the situation in Oakland, CA, reposted from UhuruNews.com.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM) calls on all progressive-minded people to stand against the brutal, long-standing, publicly-supported policies of police containment that keep the African community under the grip of a colonial occupation for which the Oakland Police Department (OPD) is the front line of assault.
We call for support for the African community demands for genuine economic development and social justice for the African community.
The deaths of four members of the OPD on March 21, 2009, were the result of these relentless policies, which are manifested daily in the cold-blooded police murders, brutality and harassment of African men and women, youth and elderly by the heavily armed, military style Oakland police force;
In draconian laws such as Three Strikes that discriminatorily lock up tens of thousands of African people for life in the multi-billion dollar California prison industry;
In the hostile, substandard education system that profiles African male children as young as six years old as criminals and “super-predators,” and feeds the shameful juvenile prison industry that violates every principle of international law;
In the highly-documented government-imposed illegal drug trade which is often the only last-ditch source of employment in a community whose own economic infrastructure has been destroyed by “urban renewal” and gentrification;
In the specific targeting of African homeowners for predatory subprime mortgages, thousands of which are now in foreclosure;
In the cruel foster care system that turns African babies and children, victimized by this system, into profitable commodities for the lucrative white foster-care industry.
It was the historic brutality of the Oakland Police Department that gave rise to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in the 1960s.
We recognize that African communities of Oakland and throughout the U.S. are locked down under a deadly colonial occupation no different than the conditions imposed on the Iraqi and Afghani people under the U.S. military occupation and the near genocidal colonial assault on the Palestinian people by the illegitimate settler-state of Israel.
We believe that all oppressed and colonized peoples have a right to struggle for liberation and to resist, as Malcolm X said, by any means necessary.
Just like the resistance of Nat Turner and Gabriel Prosser, enslaved Africans once vilified and today considered heroes, African people in Oakland have a right to struggle against this government-imposed terror. This is exactly what our brother Lovelle Mixon did.
We believe the actions brother Lovelle Mixon took were in fact a direct response to a system that upholds itself and protects itself through the imposition of a police state within the African community to enforce systematic harassment, torture, death and destruction on the African community, so that it can continue to thrive.
Africans have come to the conclusion that if you do not resist oppression from the police, you will end up unjustly murdered by them, all criminal charges will be dropped against them, hence injustice within the system perpetuates itself while Africans continue to die.
Knowing the history of how the police treat Africans, Lovelle Mixon felt he had to defend himself in the face of the oppressive police state. And he did so, honorably. Like the missiles launched from Gaza and the Iraqi resistance forces, African people will rightfully fight to free themselves against oppression in every form.
We call on the citizens of Oakland to unite with the demands raised by the Uhuru Movement for genuine economic development to the African working class community, for reparations for the families of victims of police violence, for a community controlled police review board with subpoena powers and for an immediate end to these failed public policies of police containment which have brought so much suffering to the African community for so long.
We call on Oakland citizens to join us in rejecting the knee-jerk criminalization of the oppressed African community by the city and state governments, and in recognizing that in order to go forward as a city we must unite in the quest for economic and social justice for the African community.
The International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement is an organization led by the African working class to defend the democratic rights of the African community.