On Sunday, October 7, 2012, the Oakland Chapter of the Black is Back Coalition (BIBC) held its second monthly Black Community Convention (BCC) at the Uhuru House located in the heart of East Oakland.
The October theme was entitled “Don’t let the Oakland Police Department (OPD) Oscar Grant YOU! Building a Movement to End Police Containment of the African Community.”
The BCC is an event that Black is Back Coalition, Oakland, holds on a monthly basis to unite the entire African community and African Liberation Movement from throughout the Bay Area under one anti-imperialist program.
Each Black Community Convention follows a different theme.
The program of this month’s BCC began with opening statements and the recital of the African Pledge by comrade Ceressa Edwards, chair of the Uhuru House Community Garden.
The pledge was followed by the singing of the African National Anthem, which was led by long-time Uhuru Movement supporter and soul singer, Malika Ubaka.
Diop Olugbala, chair of BIBC Oakland and President of the International Peoples Democratic Uhuru Movement, began by providing a political report to the BCC.
Next was a panel discussion which featured key members of the BIBC Oakland chapter, including DJ Rage, who is a member of the Race for Times media team, and Taharka Henson, who is the President of the African Students’ Union at the Academy of Art San Francsisco.
During that same panel, Adam Blueford, the father of Alan Blueford who was murdered by the OPD on May 6, 2012, made a statement on the status of the struggle for justice for his son.
In his presentation, Blueford recognized the need for the African community to get organized in its own interests.
The panel discussion also featured the premier of the video entitled “Free Bakari! Put the OPD On Trial!”
This video laid out the historical analysis of the struggle to Free Bakari OLatunji, a long time veteran and organizer of the Uhuru Movement.
Bakari was assaulted and then arrested on May 4, 2012, during an attempt to serve Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan a people's subpoena charging the Oakland Police Department with committing crimes against the African and Mexican communities.
As always, when the police assault an African, they charge the victim with assault.
After viewing the video, the majority of BCC attendees committed to attending Bakari’s pre-trial hearing scheduled for Friday, October 26.
The highlight of the event was the keynote presentation given by Chairman Omali Yeshitela, National Chairman of the Black is Back Coalition and Chairman of the African People’s Socialist Party.
High energy from start to finish, the Chairman provided the perfect theoretical and political analysis of the current state of the struggle.
The Chairman connected the struggle in Oakland with the worldwide African Revolution.
The final phase of the BCC program was the passing of a resolution addressing the question of police violence.
Everyone in attendance was united with an anti-colonial position on the question of the police.
Resolutions and agreements made
The following resolution was passed: The establishment of a legal organization to protect and defend Africans and our leaders in a legal capacity.
This would include establishing a legal fund to retain lawyers and for bail money for protesters.
This committee also agreed to:
-Advise all Africans to go to trial.
-Promote a “DO NOT take a deal” policy in the African community. To always take your case to trial.
-Use your right to remain silent.
-Don’t tell your story to the police.
-DO NOT participate with the police.
-Get on juries to keep Africans out of prisons.
By the end of the event several people expressed interest in joining the Black is Back Coalition.
On November 1, BCC Oakland will hold a convention entitled “Beyond Obama: The Struggle for Peace Prosperity and Black Power,” where the question of the upcoming bourgeois elections will be dealt with and where a deeper understanding of how the Black Power Movement must intervene in this question.
For more information, visit blackisbackcoalition.org or email: Oakland@blackisbackcoalition.org