In 1993 there was a community located outside of Waco, Texas of Branch Davidian believers. Their compound was known as Mt. Carmel. The leader of the group was David Koresh.
David Koresh was accused of misconduct and sexual abuse. The group was suspected of stockpiling illegal weapons. ATF authorities got a search warrant to find the weapons. It turns out that the Branch Davidians were legally purchasing many weapons, but the ATF used the excuse that some of the parts they were purchasing could potentially be used to modify weapons illegally.
A professional advised them against arrested Koresh at the compound, saying that because of the brainwashing his followers were likely to respond violently.
When the ATF began investigating the gun issue, Koresh invited them to come inspect the compound and guns and paperwork- but they declined.
So based on what is most likely a combination of prejudice, lies, speculation and repression the ATF raided the WACO compound on February 28th, 1993. The Davidians were tipped off about the raid, and despite knowing this the ATF continued with it. Koresh came out to meet the ATF when they arrived, unarmed. At that point, shots were fired. It is still disputed as to which party fired the first shots.
Over the next 2 hours a gun battle ensued. 4 ATF agents were killed, and 16 more were injured. 5 Davidians were killed- 2 by friendly fire. Continue reading
Oscar Grant was shot and killed by BART police in Oakland, California on New Years Day 2009.
Essentially, yet another case of police brutality, racism, violence, oppression, overreaction, lack of training etc. by the police state.
He was already detained and being held by the police when he was shot in the back. He was unarmed. The police were basically freaking out. They were responding to a supposed fight on the train. You have to question what good the police are if when called because of a fight they escalate the situation to the point of murder.
This is the cop that killed him. Johannes Mehserle.
His trial begins June 1, 2010- over a year after he murdered Oscar Grant, when he was less than 22 years old.
Unfortunately, this is just one of many cases of police killing an unarmed person of color. This case has received a lot of attention because the whole instance was caught on film by many people, which has led more folks to a pretty reasonable conclusion that Oscar Grant was murdered.
Technology was used positively in this instance in order to provide evidence as to the brutality of the police. Even though it is too late for Oscar this evidence might help prevent future injustices. Which is a good motivator for folks to carry cameras or video cameras, participate in Copwatch programs, etc. in order to monitor the behavior of police in our communities.
The Wingnuts (see http://www.thewingnutrva.wordpress.com) have decided that MAY is the month we will dedicate to remembering people who have been killed by the cops/FBI/CIA/state/COINTELPRO etc.
We are compiling a list of names to be used in a ceremony at our Memorial Day Cookout on May 31st. The information will also be incorporated into a mural/monument at the Wingnut.
As part of this whole idea, I will be posting a daily blog during the month of May on a different victim of the state. So lookout in May for profiles/bios/stories/pictures of these people. Because we should never forget about the terrible oppressive violence practiced by the police and the state on a daily basis.
If you check out the blog about the collective I live in, The Wingnut, (www.thewingnutrva.wordpress.com), you will see that we are having a Memorial Day cookout during which we intend to memorialize people killed by the state. So folks killed by police, CIA, FBI etc.
Examples include Fred Hampton, Oscar Grant etc.
We could use help compiling a good list. Continue reading