Thursday, January 8, 2009

From Athens to Oakland

On New Year's Day in Oakland, Calif., a police officer shot in the back and killed Oscar Grant, an unarmed young Black man, as he lay prone in a BART subway station, pinned down by two fellow cops' knees. Several onlookers videotaped the murder; the following is one view.

Now, as they did in Athens, Greece, last month, and as they will whenever the state commits an atrocity against oppressed youths, young people in Oakland have taken to the streets in protest. Today the news is full of headlines about Oakland "rioters," at least a hundred of whom were arrested last night. But really, can anyone equate justifiable anger at killer cops and some damage to police cars with the racist murder of Oscar Grant?