Partisan Defense Committee Letter
9 January 2009
Partisan Defense Committee P.O. Box 99, Canal Street Station, New York, NY 10013
Contact: Kevin Gilroy (212) 406-4252
PDC Protests Oakland Cop Rampage
9 January 2009
Alameda County District Attorney
1225 Fallon Street, Room 900
Oakland, CA 94612
Dear Mr. Orloff,
The Partisan Defense Committee vehemently protests the arrests of more than 105 demonstrators by the Oakland Police Department on the evening of January 7. Beaten, tear-gassed, shot with rubber bullets and arrested by an army of cops, the protesters now face charges of vandalism, unlawful assembly, rioting and assault on a police officer for expressing their justifiable outrage over the New Year’s killing of a young black man, Oscar Grant, by BART cop Johannes Mehserle. Over 20 of those arrested are juveniles. While many have been cited and released, others are being held at Santa Rita and Glenn Dyer County jails. We demand their immediate release and the dropping of all charges against the anti-police-terror protesters!
At least four cell-phone cameras held by passengers on the BART train idling next to the Fruitvale platform captured images of Oscar Grant lying face down when Mehserle pulled out his gun and shot him in the back. The images have been broadcast on local television and streamed online, evoking widespread rage and revulsion over the cold-blooded killing.
Grant’s death is the latest atrocity in a city rife with police violence against blacks, Latinos and other minorities. We bitterly recall the killings of Patrick Gaston, Gary King, Jr., José Luis Buenrostro-Gonzalez and others at the hands of the Oakland police. Yet the three cops from the notorious “Riders” gang of Oakland police who were charged with savage beatings and frame-ups were outrageously acquitted on all 60 counts. This was a slap in the face to all working people and all victims of police terror.
The latest vindictive arrests by the OPD are intended to silence and intimidate those who oppose the rampant repression at the hands of the BART and Oakland cops. Drop all the charges!
for the Partisan Defense Committee
cc: Mayor Ronald Dellums
John Russo, Oakland City Attorney
National Lawyers Guild
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The PDC is a class-struggle, non-sectarian legal and social defense organization which champions cases and causes in the interest of the whole of the working people. This purpose is in accordance with the political views of the Spartacist League.