05-21-2018  5:34 am      •     
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NEWS BRIEFS

Raina Croff to Speak at Architectural Heritage Center

'When the Landmarks are Gone: Older African Americans, Place, and Change in N/NE Portland’ describes SHARP Walking Program ...

Portland Playhouse Presents August Wilson’s ‘Fences’ Through June 10

May 20 performance will include discussion on mental health; June 10 performance will be followed by discussion of fatherhood ...

Peggy Houston-Shivers Presents Benefit Concert for Allen Temple CME

Concert to take place May 20 at Maranatha Church ...

Family Friendly Talent Show, May 18

Family Fun Night series continues at Matt Dishman Community Center ...

3 high school seniors die in crash weeks before graduation

YONCALLA, Ore. (AP) — School officials say three senior girls were killed in a car crash on Interstate 5 in western Oregon, just weeks before graduation.Eagle Point High School said on its Facebook page that Luciana Tellez, Giselle Montano and Esmeralda Nava died Saturday night after their...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

Cyclists tried to scare cougar but it attacked, killing 1

SEATTLE (AP) — The two mountain bikers did what they were supposed to do when they noticed a mountain lion tailing them on a trail east of Seattle.They got off their bikes. They faced the beast, shouted and tried to spook it. After it charged, one even smacked the cougar with his bike, and...

The Latest: Cougar that attacked cyclists was underweight

SEATTLE (AP) — The Latest on a cougar attack that killed one mountain biker and wounded another outside Seattle (all times local):4:10 p.m.Authorities say the cougar that attacked two cyclists east of Seattle, killing one of them, appears to have been emaciated.Washington Department of Fish...

OPINION

Golfing While Black Is Not a Crime

Grandview Golf Club asks five Black women to leave for golfing too slow ...

Discovering the Best of Black America in 2018

Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis discusses the DTU Journalism Fellowship & Scholarship Program ...

Will Israel’s Likud Party Ever Respect the Rights of Palestinians?

Bill Fletcher weighs in on the precarious future of the two-state solution between the Israeli government and the Palestinian people ...

The Future of Medicinal Marijuana in Pets

Dr. Jasmine Streeter says CBD-derived products show beneficial therapeutic benefits for pets ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Native American lacrosse teams leagueless in South Dakota

Travis Brave Heart was planning to spend his senior season this spring and summer tuning up to play college lacrosse in the fall. Instead, the 17-year-old standout from Aberdeen, South Dakota, is faced with the prospect of not playing at all.His Lightning Stick Society team was one of three Native...

2018 midterms show start of Democratic scramble for 2020

ATLANTA (AP) — Look closely enough at the 2018 midterm campaign and you'll see the stirrings of a Democratic scramble to reclaim the White House from President Donald Trump.The leading players — from established national figures such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Bernie...

Black women look to flex power in Georgia governor's race

ATLANTA (AP) — This week's primary election in Georgia presents black women voters with a rare opportunity: To give a Democrat who looks like them a chance at occupying the governor's mansion in a Republican-controlled state.A Democratic primary win Tuesday for Stacey Abrams or Stacey Evans...

ENTERTAINMENT

'Deadpool 2' ends Avengers' box-office reign, rakes in 5M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Deadpool and his foul-mouthed crew of misfits and malcontents have taken down the Avengers.Fox's "Deadpool 2" brought in 5 million this weekend, giving it the second-highest opening ever for an R-rated movie and ending the three-week reign of Disney's "Avengers:...

Winners in the top categories at Billboard Music Awards

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A list of winners in the top categories at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, held Sunday at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.— Top Hot 100 song: "Despacito" by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber— Top Billboard 200 album: "DAMN." by...

The Latest: Janet Jackson honored at Billboard Awards

The Latest on the Billboard Music Awards (all times local):7:18 p.m.The youngest of the legendary Jackson musical family, Janet Jackson gave her first televised performance in nine years at the Billboard Music Awards.She was honored as the first black woman to receive the Billboard Icon Award on...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

School victims honored at Billboard Awards; Janet, BTS shine

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards paid tribute to the students and teachers affected by recent deadly shootings in...

Economic talks between US and China lead to trade war truce

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and China are pulling back from the brink of a trade war after the...

In North Korea nuke site closure, spectacle trumps substance

TOKYO (AP) — Foreign journalists will be allowed to journey deep into the mountains of North Korea this...

Abbas, 83-year-old Palestinian leader, still in hospital

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian president's condition has seen a "clear improvement" after he was taken to...

4 years after coup, Thailand wearies of junta rule

BANGKOK (AP) — Four years after seizing power, Thailand's junta has a singular success it never hoped for:...

Nurse dead in Congo as Ebola vaccination campaign starts

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) — A nurse has died from Ebola in Bikoro, the rural northwestern town where the...

Kevin Weston New America Media

Editor's Note: After weeks of mostly peaceful demonstrations as part of the Occupy Oakland movement, police clashed with protestors last night, hurling tear gas into the crowd. Tensions rose early Tuesday when hundreds of police dismantled protestors' encampment at civic center plaza. Two police officers were reportedly injured, while 102 people were arrested yesterday, local media reported. NAM's Kevin Weston witnessed the aftermath of Tuesday's chaos of tear gas, shock grenades, mace and batons, and offers this perspective on the spectacle.

OAKLAND, Calif. -- There is a feeling -- among certain circles of politically conscious and active black people and other people of color not involved in the Occupy Oakland movement, but hovering around its fringes -- that the Oakland protest was mostly made up of people that embody the word occupiers, except they are seen as occupying neighborhoods that were, just a few years ago, almost all black and brown.

They are the prototypical/stereotypical gentrifiers. Young, kinda scruffy looking, with bikes, dogs and weed. Cool though, but odd finding them out during all times of the day and night in West Oakland. The politics behind the movement are undeniable to folks that grew up informed by the Bay Area led movements of the '60s and '70s -- the Black Panthers, Free Speech/Ethnic Studies movements, Gay Rights, etc. We've seen it all and been there done that and don't mind if massive street protests get done again, just not by us.

The Occupy Oakland Facebook site had been lit up weeks prior to the crackdown with posts and threads beefing about the lack of diversity at the camp and in the decision-making processes on site. This kind of racial divisiveness is typical of the East Bay activist, left community and is a decades old struggle. Race and racism are hardly discussed anywhere, let alone inside a revolution.

The feeling among those on the sidelines looking in boiled down to this: There is no way a gathering of more than a few dozen non-white youth -- with tents and grills and signs lambasting capitalism or police brutality or whatever, would have been allowed to set up shop in front of City Hall for this long. Occupiers could get away with it though, for a time.

After a young black man, Oscar Grant III, was shot in the back by a former BART police officer on New Year's Eve 2009, protestors were met on the street by riot police and paddy wagons. Folks involved in the mostly peaceful organized protests, filled with hundreds of young people of color, would not have been allowed to spend the night.

Even before the crackdown came, it wasn't a question of when it would end, but how badly and by what force. Would a crackhead light his pipe up in front of kids? Would a bipolar drunk grab a woman's breast? Would children be maced? Would a rubber bullet take out an old woman's eye? Then the next thought is: Whew, glad none of my people were down there.

Either through its own human waste, internal strife (fueled by race) and crime-filled inertia or the governments iron fisted crackdown, Occupied Oakland at Frank Ogawa Plaza was doomed. After the carnage melancholy creeps in. A chunk of Americans are reported to "agree" with the politics behind the occupy movement. And I imagine there is plenty of sympathy in this city -- ravaged by unemployent, foreclosures and budget cuts -- for a lot of their agenda.

Power to the people, and more power to them, because if somebody is going to take these particular actions -- camping out (basically a sleep-in) and battling police on the street -- it might as well be the Occupiers.

Hundreds of families in Oakland have more intimate concerns that require sustainable forms of fighting injustice. While Occupy Oakland was pitching tents, parents, teachers and concerned communities supporting the handful of schools facing closure because of budget cuts are organizing single mothers, elders raising kids and students to save their schools. Hundreds are expected to attend a school board meeting tonight to fight the closures.

As the night fell on Tuesday protestors and police clashed in and around Frank Ogawa Plaza -- tear gas, shock grenades, mace and batons. No one knows if this is the end or just the beginning of total chaos.



photo credit: J.P. Dobrin photography



Kevin Weston is writer at NAM you can follow him on Twitter and Facebook. email at kweston@newamericamedia.org.

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