Oakland City Council Creates Official Task Force to Defund OPD by 50% in 2021


August 2020

By Oakland Defund the Police Coalition

Oakland, CA: The people of Oakland moved one step closer to realizing the goal of refunding resources to the community. After weeks of sustained protest and direct action, City Council unanimously approved a resolution last night to create an official task force to determine how to cut the Oakland Police Department’s budget by 50% next year.

The 19-person “Reimagining Public Safety Task Force” will have four advisory boards and a five-month timeline to develop draft recommendations. It will meet once or twice per month to make final recommendations to the City Council to defund OPD by 50% by March 31, 2021.

The transition team was an idea of the Defund the Police coalition, lifted up by CM Nikki Bas and later joined by CM Loren Taylor after intense community pressure. Oakland residents have overwhelmingly demanded that affected community members and survivors of police violence lead the new task force.

“While there is still much work to be done, this is a win for the People of Oakland. We forced the so-called Equity Caucus to commit to defunding OPD by 50% and investing that money in areas that truly keep us safe like housing, mental health, healthcare, and youth programs.” Cat Brooks, Anti Police-Terror Project

“This transition team only exists because of pressure from the People. Tireless years of organizing made this happen — and we will not relent until we actually cut OPD funding by 50%.” – liz suk, Political Director, Oakland Rising

In recent weeks, thousands of Oakland residents have joined what has become an international call to invest in services that truly keep people safe by divesting from police — building on the Anti Police-Terror Project’s five-year campaign to #DefundOPD and the Black Organizing Project’s 10-year campaign to dismantle the OUSD police department.

The Defund the Police Coalition, a broad coalition of Oakland-based community groups, has succeeded in mobilizing the community to defy the curfews, kicking school police out of Oakland schools and colleges, holding packed town halls, marching in the streets by the thousands, and engaging in peaceful civil disobedience at the homes of the school board directors, councilmembers, and the mayor.

Nearly two-thousand people from Oakland participated in a survey outlining who should serve on the commission- and made clear that survivors of police violence and community based experts should be centralized on the transition team. The community said resoundingly that current or former representatives from law enforcement and their families should not be involved in the task force. Thousands of community members have voiced support for reinvesting the money cut from OPD into housing, mental health support, healthcare, youth programs, jobs, and other social services that are proven to strengthen public safety.

“The People are clear: we want to divest from policing and invest in the Black New Deal. We’ll settle for nothing less — and there will be repercussions for any councilmember who stands in our way come November.” – James Burch, Policy Director, Anti Police-Terror Project

The Defund the Police Coalition includes Anti Police-Terror Project, Defund OPD, Oakland Rising, Ella Baker Center, East Bay Alliance for a Sustainable Economy, ACCE, Community Ready Corps, Bay Rising, Communities United for Restorative Youth Justice, Asians for Black Lives, Black Organizing Project, and many other Oakland community organizations.

Defund the Police Coalition marches to an Oakland City Council member's home

Defund the Police Coalition marches to an Oakland City Council member’s home. | Photo: Zach Land-Miller

Trump’s Storm Troopers


By David Sole, August 9, 2020

“….It should not be left up to the two capitalist parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, to work out how the election ends up. Remember how George W. Bush stole the 2000 election from Gore in Florida. Fascist-like gangs invaded government buildings where ballots were being counted. The Democrats, fearing a mass uprising, only asked for a limited recount while people around the country were waiting vainly for the Dems to call them out to come to Florida. Finally the Supreme Court of the United States weighed in to give Bush the election.

With an unprecedented progressive mass movement now in the streets revolutionaries should seriously be thinking of how to put forward concrete actions to guide the masses to direct, militant action, even knowing that the bourgeois elections do not really give an opening for real revolutionary change. In 1973, when Nixon faced impeachment and many feared that he would call out troops into the cities in a coup d’etat, revolutionaries printed tens of thousands of 4 page newspapers that appealed to the rank and file soldiers to “refuse illegal orders.” These appeals were stockpiled and, it turned out, did not have to be used.

The instability of the U.S. capitalist system is growing. A mass anti-racist movement, broader than anything seen in history, is sweeping the country at the same time as the profoundest economic crisis spreads unemployment, hunger, and homelessness. The lack of a large disciplined revolutionary party is unfortunate at this time, but it is not fatal. Revolutionaries must act now to unite with the hundreds of various currents that are spontaneously arising and which can combine into a serious force to challenge white supremacy, capitalism and imperialism.”

Federal agents in Portland

Federal agents in Portland. | Photo: Noah Berger / AP

Rockford, IL August 13, 2020: Use Of Force Policy Committee Sit In

Use Of Force Policy Committee Sit In

This Thursday at 5:30 pm the Community Relations Commission is hosting another meeting to discuss RPD’s use of force policy in City Hall Chambers.

Show up and share your story.
Especially if you have experience with how RPD exercises their use of force.

The City of Rockford’s administration should be held accountable for any error, danger, or negligence within the use of force policy.

It is important to differentiate the Winnebago County Sheriff’s office from the Rockford Police Department.

On August 7th of 2020 it was the Winnebago County Sheriff’s police force that used pepper spray on protestors at City Market. Including children who were within the vicinity.

Geno Washington and Joseph McCormick are two names we have of people who have died inside of the winnebago county jail. Joseph McCormick’s autopsy determined that he died of asphyxia. The findings of Geno Washington’s autopsy was not immediately released. It took seven months for the winnebago boone county integrity task force to release the statement that 35 year old Eugene Washington died as a result of sleep apnea.

A list of some people killed by the rockford police department. Eddie Patterson, Mark Barmore, Michael Sago Jr, Shannon Graves, Demetrius Bennet, Kerry Blake, and Phillip Johnson. There are more.

The reason this is being brought to your attention is to remind you that this meeting is specifically in regard to the rockford police department’s use of force policy. However these police forces along with the mayor are working together to intimidate, harass, unlawfully arrest, suppress and punish those exercising their rights of free speech. Do not forget this.

They want a public present to give insight.
Do not forget to wear your mask and show up early to get a seat if you wish to speak.

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Milwaukee, August 12, 2020: Stand For Justice!

Stand For Justice

“Stand for Justice”

Let’s ALL exercise our right to support Black Lives Matter in ways both large and small. Come “Stand” with us rain or shine every Wednesday and Saturday from 12:00-1:30 p.m. on 27th & Oklahoma. Bring your own sign and chair if you like.

This small protest is perfect for folks like me who are unable to attend long protests and rallies. Remember: EVERYTHING WE DO MATTERS.

Joel Acevedo March Milwaukee July 13 2020

July 13, 2020 “Justice For Joe Acevedo” march / Photo: Joe Brusky

Making History: Broad Based People’s United Front from Across Wisconsin Demands Equality and Builds Unity in Waupaca August 9, 2020

Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement

Dozens from across Wisconsin came to Waupaca, WI August 9, 2020 to defend Black Lives Matter community activists and to continue building a broad based People’s United Front to oppose racism and to raise up people’s demands.

A diverse array of multinational workers, youth and students from the Fox Valley (Fon du Lac, Oshkosh, Appleton, Neenah ….), Green Bay, Manitowoc County, Madison, Milwaukee and numerous other cities participated. A mass rally took place at a downtown park followed by a strong, disciplined march down Main Street in Waupaca and then returning to the park.

All photos and video: Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement

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More coverage at: Wisconsin Bail Out The People Movement

Milwaukee, August 17, 2020: March on the 2020 DNC – We Can’t Breathe

March on the 2020 DNC – We Can’t Breathe

Hosted by Coalition to March on the DNC

The Coalition to March on the DNC will host a rally and march on the Democratic National Convention the week of August 17th – 20th, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

We will march behind the slogan “WE CAN’T BREATHE” to continue to the righteous protest against police killings of Black people. We demand real police accountability and an end to police crimes and racist policies that have been enabled by both the Democratic and Republican leaders.

The Coalition to March on the DNC is a broad, national coalition of left and progressive forces, working with dozens of local Milwaukee groups and activists. We are rallying behind demands including but not limited to:

– Community Control of the Police / Stop Police Terror
– End US Wars and Interventions / Money for Human Needs, Not War
– Legalization for All / No More Deportations
– Tax the Rich
– Medicare for All
– Climate Action Now
– Fight to Expand Union and Worker Rights
– We Demand Peace, Justice, and Equality!”

“All eyes will be on Milwaukee when the people’s movements protest outside the DNC as it takes place at the Fiserv Forum the week of August 17th. The Coalition calls on all progressive, left, democratic and socialist organizations to join us in unity,” says Omar Flores, spokesperson for the Coalition.

In previous years, organizers of the Coalition led mass marches that drew tens of thousands to the 2008 RNC in St. Paul, MN, and thousands to the 2012 RNC in Tampa, FL, and the 2016 RNC in Cleveland, OH.

Our solidarity will be based on respect for a diversity of tactics, and the plans of other groups.

Contact this page for all media or organizing inquiries: Coalition to March on the DNC