The Uhuru Solidarity Movement shares the following urgent memo from InPDUM and calls on all of our members and supporters to call in to the Chief of Police: 510-238-3131, OPD Jail Division: 510-238-3455 and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office: (510) 268-7500, and demand the immediate release of Rickey Clay on the grounds that he is a political prisoner, locked up only because of his beliefs – and NOT because he violated some law! Free Rickey Clay, aka Bakari Olatunji! Drop all charges!
FREE BAKARI! CALL IN TO THE OAKLAND POLICE AND DA!
On today, Tue, May 8 at 2PM PST, Bakari Olatunji aka Rickey Clay will be arraigned on felony charges stemming from the police attack on him and other members of the Uhuru Movement during a Oakland Police Dept “open house” event. The Committee to Free Bakari Olatunji is calling on everyone to participate in the struggle in the following ways:
If you are in Oakland: Come out to demonstrate at 1pm at 7th and Washington at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse. Come show support in court in Dept 112.
EVERYBODY: Call the Oakland Police Dept, Chief of Police and Alameda County District Attorney demanding the immediate release of Rickey Clay on the grounds that he is a political prisoner, locked up only because of his beliefs – and NOT because he violated some law.
Join the Free Bakari Committee and Register for the Oakland Freedom Summer Project, where we will bring in forces from throughout the world into Oakland to participate in grassroots organizing work for self determination to the African community of Oakland. To register go to uhurusummerproject.org.
Background of the case:
On Friday, May 4, comrade Bakari Olatunji aka Rickey Clay, a 20+ year veteran of the Uhuru Movement, was viciously attacked and arrested by Oakland Police as we attempted to serve the people’s subpoeana to the Oakland police Chief Jordan. Bakari is currently being held for ransom at the notorious Santa Rita County Jail on $25,000 bail. He has been charged with California Penal Code 69, a felony which basically means “threatening an officer or resisting arrest with force or violence.”
The struggle began as the Oakland branch of InPDUM held a press conference in front of the police headquarters in Oakland. The purpose of the press conference at which we announced the Court for Black Justice and Reparations – scheduled for Sat, May 5 at the Uhuru House. Through the Court for Black Justice, the African community, under the leadership of INPDUM, will put the Oakland Police Dept on trial for crimes of colonial genocide against the African community. The press conference was strategically planned to be held at the same time and location as the “police-community relations” meeting, at the Oakland Police Headquarters. The plan was to go straight from the press conference and demonstration to the police event, where InPDUM organizers would physically serve the People’s Subpoeana to Police Chief Howard Jordan, who was expected to be in attendance.
When InPDUM organizers attempted to enter the building where the meeting was being held we were immediately blocked from entering the building and told that we were not allowed to go inside. This is despite the fact that the police were allowing people to come and go freely beforem during and after our press conference. This revealed to us that the police were only interested in allowing Africans to the event who were not interested in criticizing the brutal relationship the police have with the African community.
After long, heated debate with the police – all in full view of InPDUM supporters and ruling class and independent media, the police had no choice but to allow us to enter the building. IT was either that or be forced to admit that the police is willing to abrogate our right to free speech as a means of avoiding our criticisms of them. When we entered the building Police Chief Jordan was nowhere to be found, further illustrating our point. As we searched the room for Jordan, several InPDUM organizers, including President Diop Olugbala and local leader Bakari Olatunji, were immediately attacked by the pigs and physically removed from the building. After this blatant attack on our movement and our right to peaceful assembly, after the police succeeding in ousting us from the building, Bakar Olatunji then sustained another attack. He was targeted by the police, placed in handcuffs and dragged away.
InPDUM Oakland immediately jumped to action, holding another press conference to sum up the attack and mobilize onlookers to attend the Court for Black Justice. Later that evening we held a candlelight vigil in honor and memory of all Africans who were killed at the hands of the OPD. During the candlelight vigil we mobilized even more support for the Free Bakari campaign.
By arresting Bakari the police intended to demoralize our forces and discourage us from resisting. However, this attack has only served to deepen our resolve and will to resist. We are currently moving forward to hold the Court for Black Justice and Reparations and struggle for a People’s Sentence which will, among other things, call for the immediate release and exoneration of Rickey Clay aka Bakari Olatunji.
Bakari has been released from Santa Rita jail on $25000 bail – the 10% of which was fronted by a family friend. However, we still have to raise the money to reimburse her. Therefore, we are calling on all lovers of freedom and social justice to make a donation to the bail fund.