On the night of November 24th, the Direct Action Monterey Network went to Oakland in order to join a demonstration in solidarity with Michael Brown and the city of Ferguson in response to a grand jury decision NOT to indict Officer Darren Wilson.
In August of 2014, Officer Wilson shot Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager from Ferguson, Missouri. While the story of what actually happened is convoluted, Officer Wilson’s murder of Michael Brown is yet another example of white police officers killing people of color, both young and old. Beyond the obvious political implications (that is, the structures of power in place which allow white police officers to kill people of color with no consequence, the blatant racism that seems to be woven within the very fabric of our society, issues of race and class as they pertain to social perceptions of danger and authority, etc.) and the incredible pain that must inevitably follow Michael Brown’s family and friends after his death (all these of course being implications of every other death of a person of color by the hands, guns, Tasers, etc. of a white police officer), it sparked immediate outrage within the Ferguson community which spread to other communities as people began to realize that their own issues with police violence were in fact not isolated incidents, but proof of a more long-reaching systemic problem.
We joined the march of 1,000 people on their way back from the Highway blockade and shut down Broadway. “Shut down for Mike Brown!” and “Fuck the Police State!” were cried out amidst chants of “No Justice, No Peace, Killer Cops off our streets!”. As we marched down Broadway, we were met with a line of police officers in riot gear (all white police officers, by the way), blocking our passage. We demanded access beyond the intersection of Broadway and 8th Street as many shouted “Let us march!”. A group of protesters found a small trailer at the side of the street and pushed it, hurtling through the crowd, breaking the police line briefly. At about this point, much of the street began to fill with smoke from burning trashcans and debris. Behind us, small fireworks were thrown from the crowd and the police responded with a loud smoke bomb. Up both sides of the intersection of Broadway and 9th Street, police formed more blockades, attempting to herd us into a small location like animals. To avoid being kettled, we worked our way back toward Broadway and 14th Street to reach the BART Station. While one station was closed, we were lucky to escape through the gate to another station where the up escalator was not blocked off.
We are happy to stand in solidarity with Ferguson and, ultimately, against police violence.
Fuck the police.