Posted 10 months ago on July 25, 2012, 5:23 p.m. EST by OccupyWallSt
Anaheim kids give firsthand accounts of police brutality
Last Saturday in Anaheim, California, police on routine patrol killed an unarmed person of color (Manuel Diaz), shooting him in the back in broad daylight. As a crowd of concerned neighbors gathered at the site to demand justice, they in turn were attacked by heavily armed police, who were recorded on video firing rubber bullets and pepper balls at close range into the crowd, which included women and children. In the ensuing chaos, an unrestrained police dog charged the crowd, mauling two people. Although police claim this was an accident, neighborhood witnesses disagree. Witnesses further report that, even as the events were still unfolding, police offered to buy footage from people's cell phones, apparently to cover up the incident. Later that same night, Anaheim PD shot and killed another person under suspicious circumstances. This is at least the sixth "officer-involved" shooting in Anaheim this year alone.
These are not isolated incidents; police violence is pandemic across the nation, and indeed the world. For people of color, poor people, immigrants, LGBTQ people, drug users, and other marginalized communities: EVERYWHERE IS ANAHEIM.
Although statistics documenting the number of "officer-involved shootings" (doublespeak for killings and attempted killings committed by police) are nearly impossible to find (we looked), marginalized communities everywhere know they are commonplace. We have not forgotten Sean Bell, Oscar Grant, Duanna Johnson, Rekia Boyd, or the countless other victims of police violence. As long as power is concentrated in the hands of an (overwhelmingly racist, sexist, classist, and homophobic) elite, we continue to see police violence used against those of us at the margins.
Terrorized communities are left to ask: who polices the police, and why are police able to deploy lethal and potentially lethal force against unarmed people in the first place? In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Aurora, Colorado, where police were able to arrest a heavily armed suspected mass murderer without injury, why are police empowered to act as judge, jury, and executioner when it comes to people of color, poor people, immigrants, LGBTQ people, drug users, and other marginalized communities?
Enough is enough. Terrorized communities are standing up. Demonstrators, including members of Occupy Orange County and other regional Occupiers, have rallied outside the Anaheim Police Department headquarters and at Anaheim City Hall, in spite of the menacing presence of riot police throughout the city.
Manuel's parents have held vigils with hundreds of their primarily Latin@ neighbors and have pledged to file a lawsuit, saying their son was merely out with friends when he was murdered by the police – even as corporate media parrot phrases like "suspected gang member" (a label applied liberally by police to further profile, criminalize, and incarcerate people of color), and villify protesters by flashing images of property damage that pale in comparison to videos of police wantonly brutalizing civilians that instantly go viral online but are rarely shown on for-profit news outlets. Two officers have been placed on paid leave and the city has said they are conducting an independent review – but we know that justice rarely comes when the State is allowed to police itself.
We demand real justice and accountability; power must be restored to the people! From Anaheim to New York and beyond, the people must respond: No justice, no peace, disarm the police!
In Anaheim – even amidst escalating police violence – spontaneous demonstrations numbering in the thousands have continued to grow nearly every night since Manuel's murder. We encourage solidarity demonstrations everywhere else! See below for more info on actions:
In addition to spontaneous nightly demos, according to an event announced on Facebook event, weekly protests at the Anaheim police department are also being organized:
ANAHEIM PD IS CORRUPT: WE WILL NOT BE SILENT
Sunday, July 29, 2012
12:00pm - 2pm Pacific Time
Every Sunday we gather at the Anaheim Police Department 12 noon -2pm to bring awareness to the community in Anaheim and the surrounding cities of Orange County. Anaheim Police Department has gotten away with their lies, brutality, excessive force, racial profiling, misconduct and MURDER for far too long. Their corruption and blatant disregard for our HUMAN/civil rights will NO LONGER BE TOLERATED!! Join us ... stand up and let them here your voice ... we want JUSTICE, CHANGE, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND TRANSPARENCY.
A solidarity demonstration is being organized for tomorrow in San Francisco. via Indybay:
SF Solidarity with Anaheim against Ongoing Police Repression
Thursday July 26, 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
The Ferry Building in San Francisco
On Saturday, July 21, Anaheim police officers murdered 25-year-old Manuel Diaz by shooting him in the back & head as he ran from them. When Manuel’s friends, family & neighbors gathered to voice outrage over the murder, police responded with continued violence by shooting at the crowd, which included small children, with rubber bullets, beanbag projectiles, & by unleashing attack dogs.
Just a few days earlier, on Wednesday, July 18, San Francisco officers murdered 32-year-old Oakland resident Pralith Pralourng near the Embarcadero. According to eyewitnesses, Pralourng was shot twice in the chest while hand-cuffed.
The pigs have made their intentions clear: they will murder people so long as they feel they can get away with it. They count on us to stand idly by so that they can continue their reign of terror. It’s time to stand up in solidarity with the people of Anaheim & voice our shared outrage over continued & violent police repression. The people will NOT stand idly by when the state’s violent arm of the police makes it impossible for us to live without fear that they’ll simply shoot us whenever they want.
To our comrades in Anaheim: Do not be afraid to revolt. The state and its police will continue to demand our subordination with such grotesque executions. In times like these, when our enemies are backed into a corner, our acts of refusal are unmistakable.
Solidarity with Anaheim! Fuck the Police!
The following call to action has appeared on Facebook for a solidarity demo in Harlem on Friday.
Justice For Manuel Diaz - Solidarity FTP March In Harlem
When: Friday, July 27, 2012 | 8:00pm
Where: Corner of 99th and 3rd avenue 10029
This march will be in solidarity with those in Anaheim who were protesting the fatal police shooting on Saturday.
Cops shot non-lethal rounds toward men, women and children and unleashed a dog who charged toward a stroller during a clash with mostly Latino residents.
FTP marches are autonomous. There will be no one group giving directions or making rules. We will discuss and make decisions through consensus.
Bring banners, bandana's and protest shields if you like. We respect a persons decision to protest how they see fit but we ask you not to destroy any property that belongs to residents and the working class. Wear black.
To those who are interested in organizing, meet in the park at 7:30pm.
editors' note: OccupyWallSt.org recognizes diverse tactics and autonomous action as foundational principles of the Occupy Movement. As always, we encourage nonviolent protest and discourage advocacy intended and likely to incite imminent lawless action, especially violence and civil disorder.