The project emerges out of folks in East Bay Solidarity Network seeking to answer the question of how to stand in solidarity with people of color and fight for our own liberation. It’s clear to many of us that #BlackLivesMatter is about more than police brutality, but rather about calling into question the structures of power that maintain neo-colonialism and white supremacy. Gentrification is a key piece of these structures, a piece that plays a huge role in Oakland. Newly gentrifying neighborhoods are seeing increased policing, as well as new private security forces. So what does solidarity look like in this political climate? Well, here is our attempt to answer that question. We are calling our friends and community to help us outreach to primarily white and transplant communities to start conversations about police violence and inform them of alternatives to calling the cops.
Our main goal is to find ways to effectively discourage other class and race privileged folks from bringing police into Oakland neighborhoods. This could happen through door knocking, workshops, flyering, online resources, or whatever other means we can develop. It will also require us to learn about the alternatives to calling police and make those options more widely known as well. You certainly do not have to have a lot of organizing experience to be a part of this project! A primary part of it will be reading together and furthering our understanding of the forces fueling gentrification and it’s consequences. Plus, we will really support everyone when it comes time for the hands-on outreach work. We are asking 4 hours a week from participants, 2 of which will be grass roots outreach, and 2 of which will be readings and meeting time. Please contact us (eastbaysol (at) gmail (dot) com) with any questions and feel free to pass this on.