K-Lo Retro Part XI: On The Day Of Mehserle’s Sentencing: A Feminist Vow

[From 05 November 2010]

[Today, former BART police officer Johannes Mehserle was sentenced to 2 years in prison, with 146 days already served, for the involuntary manslaughter of Oscar Grant. The Grant case marked the first time in California’s history that a peace officer was tried for murder.]



We as women, transgender people, two-spirit people, queers, gender-oppressed people, and allies of the Bay Area mourn the loss of Oscar Grant;

Whereas we recognize that this young man was just one of countless victims of police violence;

Whereas we understand and experience police repression, particularly in poor, queer, and working-class communities of color;

Whereas we know that police violence both enables and enacts rape, brutalization, and degradation;

Whereas police violence compounds the dangers we face in domestic violence, sex trafficking, and homophobic and transphobic hate crimes;

Whereas police enforce the criminalization of our disabilities, addictions, and mental illnesses;

Whereas police enforce the criminalization of our skin color, sexualities, style of dress and speech, gender identities, religious practices, and nations of origin;

Whereas police violently enforce our subservience to an economy that enriches elites, while slaughtering, starving, sickening, and stealing from us as workers, child-rearers, and culture creators;

Whereas the rich and influential deploy police to violently crush our efforts toward self-determination, from queer social spaces to workplace strikes;

Whereas the rich and influential deploy police to kill or capture our leaders and heroes, like the recently deceased political prisoner Marilyn Buck;

Whereas police are employed to do as they are ordered;

Whereas police violence comes 10% from individual bigotry and improper training, and 90% from a capitalist state system designed to protect property, not people;

Whereas such a property-focused police system, controlled by the rich and influential, enacts and supports gender-based and sexual violence;

And Whereas such a system can never be adequately reformed, based as it is in the fundamental inequality borne of a patriarchal capitalist system:

We maintain compassion for individual police officers who both experience and inflict suffering; who face and enforce mortal danger.

We vow, in the effort to end sexist violence throughout the world, to eradicate the police system of the United States as we know it; and to transcend the misogynist capitalist system that demands this type of policing.

We undertake this mission with no hatred in our hearts toward individual police officers or those who support the police system.

We accept this responsibility out of love for all people, and the unquenchable desire for universal freedom and equality.

In the service of this calling, we will sing, strike, fuck, fight, rest, write, rebel, and rebuild until we achieve liberation for all beings.

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