In Oakland, as in many cities planning to react to the verdict, police are standing by to respond with force to solidarity demonstrations. Mayor Quan has warned business owners to reinforce doors with steel plates, while advising residents to avoid downtown. Her missive sets up a de-facto state of emergency, and one reads desperation in her attempt to convince us of how much OPD has “significantly improved,” as if we should be relieved that the armed wing of the state is improving on a rubric appropriate for an elementary school progress report.The people should and will respond to the verdict in cities everywhere, whatever it may be. We don’t need the police to facilitate our anger – they are the very reason for that anger. And we don’t need the courts to pretend to be neutral arbiters of justice. Guilty or not guilty will not bring Michael Brown back, and will not prevent the next shooting of a Black or Brown person by police. This war-making by the state can only be confronted by collective resistance driven by our commitment to self-determination.
Media and Communications Director