As the fight against racial injustice in African-American communities continues, several prominent organizations have joined forces for a powerful demonstration in Oakland, CA.
Together with the Black Lives Matter Bay Area chapter, Black Youth Project 100 and several other local groups, the Movement For Black Lives organization gathered with dozens of attendees to begin a 24-hour demonstration outside of the Oakland Police Officers Association on Wednesday afternoon. A joint press release from the groups stated that organizers are "speaking and protesting issues of police accountability, housing and displacement of long-time Oakland residents and the current crisis of failed leadership in Oakland." The ultimate goal of the peaceful demonstration is to get the attention of Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and have her address the community to speak on plans for reallocating police department funding to increase spending on things like youth programs, jobs and housing initiatives for displaced residents.
"Why are we continuing to funnel resources into OPD when our homelessness crisis is at an epic level? When we can’t get living wage employment? When our schools are failing Black youth? OPD comes into our communities and they target, harass, and profile our people," the press release said. "We’ve come to the Oakland Police Officers Association today to let them know we won’t be silent, or complicit with the continued brutalization of our communities. We demand a divestment from the OPD and an investment in building Black futures.”
The demonstration was also intended to urge the Mayor to confront the negative impact of the city's recent gentrification efforts on Black neighborhoods. "Black people are left behind, criminalized and over-policed in their own communities and forced to leave," the release reads. "The impacts of gentrification and the displacement of Black people in Oakland further intensifies the criminalization and violence against them.”
According to a separate statement from the Movement for Black Lives organization, similar demonstrations also took place in several other cities across the country including Detroit, New York and Chicago.
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