Bay Area reclaims King’s radical legacy

Oakland, Calif. — For the fourth year in a row, the Anti Police-Terror Project supported the national call to reclaim King’s radical legacy, Bay style. APTP didn’t just have a huge, multinational, spirited and militant march on the Martin Luther King Jr. national holiday on Jan. 15. APTP held its fourth annual 96 Hours of Direct Action to #ReclaimMLK.

The overall theme for this year was “#NonCompliance with the Trump/[Oakland Mayor Libby] Schaaf corporate agenda.” This started Jan. 12, with a day themed for actions against state-sponsored violence. Jan. 13 was themed against displacement, for housing for all. Jan. 14, was Indigenous and international solidarity day.

Jan. 15 was the grand finale, with everyone joining in on the fourth annual March to Reclaim King’s Radical Legacy. About 2,000 people rallied and marched from Oscar Grant Plaza in downtown Oakland, past the Oakland Police Department headquarters and the county jail, through the Acorn housing projects in West Oakland and ending at the West Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit station, where a BART police officer had shot and killed Shaleem Tindle, a Black man, only a few weeks ago.

The march was led by children and differently abled people, to set the pace. Right behind was a contingent from Third World Resistance, which included banners proclaiming “Black Lives Matter from Haiti to the Bay” and “Hands Off Sacred Land, from Shellmound to Jerusalem, Palestine.”

“From the federal government to local agencies, our most marginalized communities are being attacked, surveilled, pushed out and discarded,” said Cat Brooks of APTP. “We will not stand idly by or remain indoors while our friends, children, families are seeing their human rights and dignities stripped away. We will not comply.”

Some of the actions which took place during the #96Hours included, on Jan. 12, a human billboard “morning wake-up call to say no to white supremacy” at the Rockridge BART, a rally to end state-sanctioned sexual violence in downtown Oakland and a giant projection to #DefendDurham on the San Francisco Federal Building.

On Jan. 13, the major action was a campout on Oakland Mayor Schaaf’s lawn. This was in response to her “solution” to the housing crisis, calling on Oakland residents to open their homes to houseless people. APTP challenged the mayor to lead by example.

Jan. 14 included a protest at the Richmond County Jail/Immigration and Customs Enforcement Detention Center; Third World Resistance’s teach-in on Martin Luther King’s resistance to racism, war and capitalism; a prayer at the West Berkeley Shellmound; and a #DefendTPS! [temporary protected status] rally for Salvadorans and Central Americans.

As in past years, APTP organized this entire weekend of actions by calling out to the entire Bay Area movement, individuals and organizations, to come to spokes council meetings, which started in December. The spokes councils were a place where people could bring their ideas for actions, ask for or offer support and calendar their events so that they didn’t conflict with one another.

(PHOTO: BROOKE ANDERSON)

(PHOTO: BROOKE ANDERSON)

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