Economic Recovery in Oakland Through War on the African Community

On July 28th, the city of Oakland was awarded $19.7 million in federal funds through the COPS Hiring Recovery Program that will enable Oakland to hire an additional 41 police officers through the Department of Justice. This is the largest grant of this type awarded of any municipality in the U.S. and is part of Obama’s economic stimulus package but will do nothing to make life better for the one in five families in Oakland facing dire poverty and will further escalate the war being carried out on the African and Mexican communities of Oakland.

As in Philadelphia, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and Uhuru Solidarity Movement has been active for the past year exposing Oakland’s war budget, where with police overtime, the city spends over 50% of its budget on police services. 
This is in a city that is notorious for the police violence carried out against the African community, the same state violence that gave rise to the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1966 is still wreaking havoc on the lives of African people in the city.
Just in the past two months, two African men have been killed by the Oakland police. The police and the media work together to systematically absolve the police of any wrongdoing.
On July 15th, 36 year old Parnell Smith was shot and killed by “problem solving” officers Phong Tran and Scott Hewitt on the 1400 block of 16th Avenue because they matched the description of a rape suspect who used a cane, police said.  The same journalist in the following day’s newspaper revealed the contradictions in the story with witnesses revealing that they saw Parnell drop his gun prior to being executed inside a garage.

On August 1st, 46 year old African handyman Brownie Polk was shot and killed in an East Oakland liquor store because police said he was “wielding a hatchet,” painting a picture of someone less than human who didn’t deserve to live. 

These are just two examples of the Oakland police killings that occur with more regular frequency and will escalate following the “economic stimulus” money awarded to the Oakland police department. 

As the new police chief steps into his role in Oakland to “solve Oakland’s crime problems,” it is our task in the Uhuru Solidarity Movement to win membership to our program to stand with the African community struggle for the revolutionary national democratic program of overturning the policies of police containment that they experience on a daily basis and struggle for true economic self-determination through the African Village Survival Initiative.

Come out to our meeting Wednesday, September 2nd at 7pm at Mama Buzz Cafe at 2318 Telegraph Ave in Oakland. For more info, call 510-625-1106 or email

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