portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article announcements portland metro

actions & protests | police / legal

J'ACCUSSE. I Accuse.

Hammick in 2002, Kendra James in 2003 and James Perez, James Philip Chasse, Jr. all unarmed and killed by Portland Police. Diallo, Sean Bell, and Now Oscar Grant, unarmed and killed by Police. It is now here:
 http://aworldbeyondcapitalism.org/onlinevideo.htm or
 http://www.peacecommunities.org/onlinevideo.htm - It must end.
22 year old Oscar Grant had a 4 year old daughter who'll never see her dad again
22 year old Oscar Grant had a 4 year old daughter who'll never see her dad again
J'ACCUSSE. I Accuse.

An Open Letter to the World Regarding the Worldwide Police Killings of
Unarmed People:

During moments when writing this letter, I cried, then wiped my eyes and
I pulled my self together to try to sound civilized... civilized.. about
the police officers shooting and killing Oscar Grant, a completely
unarmed, handcuffed Black man who was down on the ground while other
police officers held him down...and the entire atrocity was captured in
a video tape that I just saw. It is now here: It is now here:
 http://aworldbeyondcapitalism.org/onlinevideo.htm or
 http://www.peacecommunities.org/onlinevideo.htm.

After much thought, I then realized what I would do. So first, I did
research. For those unaware, J'accuse ("I accuse") was one of the most
famous open letters in history written about the Dreyfus Affair. It
involved the conviction for treason in November 1894 of Captain Alfred
Dreyfus, a young French artillery officer of Jewish background who was
wrongly sentenced to life imprisonment on Devil's island. Two years
later, in 1896, the real criminal was identified: French Army Major
Esterhazy. The Open Letter was published in a newspaper on January 13,
1898 by the influential writer Émile Zola. Most of the work of exposing
the errors in Dreyfus's conviction was done by Dreyfus's brother
Mathieu, a Jewish journalist and anarchist Bernard Lazare and two others
who included a French army officer and the Vice president of the French
Senate. It is worth noting the writers community, anarchist community,
members of the military and members of the Senate all worked together to
find justice in the Dreyfus Affair.

The letter was addressed to the President of France and accused the
government of antisemitism. The ramifications of the open letter
prompted legislation such as a 1905 law separating church and state. I
am not an influential writer like Émile Zola. I am a disabled,
financially disadvantaged, African-American feminist living on the West
coast who happily writes with lots of typos and a blatant disregard for
the grammatical rules of the Colonized English language.

In Portland, Oregon, three unarmed African-Americans were killed by
Police within 25 months; Hammick in 2002, Kendra James in 2003 and James
Perez shortly afterwards. James Philip Chasse, Jr. was not
African-American, yet another unarmed person who was literally beaten
(not shot) to death and killed by Portland Police officers in September
2006. Long ago, I researched every aspect of the Amadou Bailo Diallo
killing, in which an unarmed Black man was killed in a barrage of 41
bullets fired by Police. But I told myself it couldn't get worse. After
all, the police said it looked like Diallo drew a gun, but it turned out
he pulled out his wallet to show them the Photo ID because they
requested to see it even as their guns were drawn. Whenever police
harass me with racial profiling and ask me for ID, I move slowly,
carefully and remember Diallo. <  http://www.dsame.com/remember.pdf >

In November 2006 Sean Bell, an unarmed New Yorker was killed just hours
before his wedding. Its not just an American issue of social class. In
December 2008, two Greek policemen had a verbal argument with a small
group of teenagers near the center of Athens. They had a verbal
argument. During the argument, one of the cops shot 15-year-old
Alexandros Grigoropoulos. The victim later died.

The crisis is not confined to social class. Bobby Tolan was a reserve
outfielder during his time with the Cardinals, with whom he won the
World Series in 1967... and batted second behind Pete Rose in the Reds
lineup. Bobby Tolan has a son names Robert (Robbie) Tolan who plays
professional baseball in the Washington Nationals. On December 31, 2008,
Robbie was shot by a Bellaire, Texas policeman. Robbie was unarmed and
driving his own vehicle. The bullet lodged in Robbie's liver; perhaps
ending his professional baseball career. According to Tolan's uncle,
"Her son was on his back at the time, and he raised up and asked, 'What
are you doing to my mom?' and the officer shot him -- while he was on
the ground." Tolan's uncle, Eddie Tolan, was a sprinter who won two Gold
Medals in the 1932 Summer Olympics.

I am writing openly because I (representing no organization) encourage
an international non-violent writing movement beginning immediately
called "J'ACCUSSE. I accuse." You can participate in this event from
anywhere by telling someone how you feel about any unarmed person being
shot by police anywhere. You can circulate my letter, which is copyleft,
or shorten it, or you can write your own open letter... even if the
entire open letter is only four words:"J'ACCUSSE. I Accuse". Write your
thoughts in a letter and share it with at least one person. It has made
a difference to me just writing this open letter and opening my heart
and sharing this with you now even as tears pour down my face. I haven't
cried this hard in over 10 years and typically admitting to crying would
feel like a weakness but today it feels like a strength.

I was born in Philadelphia and I know there is crime but the police have
tasers, pepper-spray, rubber bullets, dogs, riot gear, batons and other
kinds of unethical weapons and some are against the Geneva Convention so
why must they carry guns? Even if you had to write "J'ACCUSSE (I
accuse)" with handwriting in crayon and post it in one place it will
make a difference because you will let yourself and others know that you
will not remain silent about police killing unarmed people anywhere
worldwide and you will let people know that the system of armed police
in our communities must end.

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that
matter." Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968)

It is time to start working on a new way of life for people worldwide.

J'ACCUSSE. I Accuse.

I love you all,

Love for the people,

-T. Love

homepage: homepage: http://aworldbeyondcapitalism.org/onlinevideo.htm