DC PDX Jan. 1, 2012 Statement: We take this day to remember Oscar Grant, executed by Oakland police in the early morning of New Year's Day, face down, hands cuffed behind his back, while dozens of people filmed...
We take this day to remember Aaron Campbell, shot in the back a few days after Oscar Grant by Portland police. Called in supposedly to stop Aaron from killing himself, the police saw this young Black man as nothing but a threat. Not as a son, a brother, a human whose brother had died earlier that day, a human who needed support and care. From Aaron, we learn we must create community resources and institutions to address the scars caused by this system, and they must exist outside of the system. Any movement that relies on this system for change is a movement that will ultimately reproduce the oppression they seek to eradicate.
We take this day to remember Keaton Otis, pulled over by Portland police for "looking like a gangster." We remember he was tazed and then shot while in the driver's seat of his car...
We take this day to remember the countless names we don't know of those who have suffered and continue to suffer from police violence. Too often these are people of color, youth, sex workers, women, queer and trans folks, undocumented folks and immigrants/refugees, poor and houseless people and those who live at these categories' crossroads. The intersections of these identities mean people live in the place where nightstick meets flesh. From all these brave survivors, we learn we are always at risk, we are always vulnerable - we exist in the crosshairs. We see all of these murders by police, and the use of police violence as a whole, as a continuation of colonization.