No good deed goes unpunished in Oakland.
The mercenary crew known as the Oakland Police Department raided the Victor Martinez People’s Library in the early hours of this morning, evicting the librarians on site and boarding up the building.
When a young man from my neighborhood was murdered a block from his house two months ago the police response was essentially zero. No team of squad cars, no cordoning off the site, no attempt at investigation at all as far as we can tell.
But when people in Oakland try to serve the community and open a public space that’s really public, dozens of cops descend immediately. City workers are woken at midnight and rushed to the site in order to board up the building under cover of darkness.
To borrow a phrase from Noam Chomsky, the people’s library presents the threat of a good example. If people see a community center opened outside of the law, without the intervention of the city or a church — then they might start thinking about what else they could do for themselves and maybe question why the city and the cops have so much power in the first place.
That’s why no good deed will continue to go unpunished in Oakland.
PS to Oaklanders: Meet outside the library (1449 Miller) at 10:00 this morning for a meeting about what to do next.
Did they give a reason for boarding it up?
I wasn’t there at the time, but I think it the stated reason was that the librarians were trespassing. (The building and lot are owned by the city, which is apparently happy to let it sit vacant and use the police to keep the public out of a publicly-owned space.)
Can we drop the illusion that the United States government is “of/by/for the people” now? The police work for the State, and the State uses our money for its own purposes. Look around us.
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