2013-04-19 update from "Free GP!" campaign:
GP's parole revocation hearing was this morning. The results:
1. All charges against him dismissed.
2. His parole is over (retroactive to January).
3. He will (or may have already) be(en) released today.
More info about the State security agencies targeting Black Community Leadership: [unitedstatesfascism.blogspot.com/2013/05/targeting-of-black-leadership.html]
[all "Free GP!" campaign information out-of-date as of Monday, April 19th, 2013]
Our Brother and Comrade GP has a hearing on the 19th. Lets let the crooked parole board know that we DEMAND that he be released. Write a letter no matter how long or short saying why it is important for our brother to be with his family and community NOW. You can send your letters to[email@example.com].
Please send love and light in our brother direction. He is doing as well as he possibly can under such horriffic conditions.
Liberate GP, donate now!
We are raising funds to support the wife and three children of ONYX Co-Chair Ghetto Prophet who is being unjustly imprisoned at Santa Rita jail as retaliation for his participation in a Justice for Alan Blueford rally at Alameda County Courthouse on March 5, 2013. GP is the sole provider for his family.
UPDATE! As of 3/20, the following are specific ways to provide material support for the family this month, as GP remains in custody:
• Hygiene products for teen girls
• Baby wipes
• Any possible assistance with housing or housing vouchers
• Prepaid VISA for phone time so they can actually talk to G (its expensive!)
• Pull ups are a constant need
• Buss passes (3 youth and 1 adult)
UPDATE! GP had his Morrisey hearing Monday, March 25th. The state offered him -- 150 days plus an extension of the parole he wasn't on... His attorney refused this "deal." Next hearing will be April 19th.
Meanwhile, awaiting "justice to be served" in this system means he is still locked up in Santa Rita. Naomi Masako Reagan, organizer for the "Free Ghetto Prophet" campaign, will be sending another letter or card today or tomorrow. Holler if you'd like to sign and/or have any sentiments you'd like to share.
2013-03-16 "Ghetto Prophet Arrested Hours After Speaking Out at Justice For Alan Blueford Event; Supporters Say Community Activist Ghetto Prophet Target of Political Attack by Police"
press release from "Free Ghetto Prophet!" [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/03/16/18733762.php]:
On March 7, Michael Walker, aka Ghetto Prophet (GP), co-chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee, was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. Police claimed he was in violation of his parole, but GP has been off of parole since August 2012. And at no point since then has the state called him, sent him mail or shown up at his door to let him know he failed to report (which according to the parole office is mandatory and common practice before an arrest warrant can be served)
Supporters believe this is a political attack. On March 5, GP participated in the Justice for Alan Blueford (JAB) Coalition rally at the Alameda County Courthouse. He had at least two verbal altercations with police and gave a fiery speech condemning them. Couple that with the fact that it is public knowledge that ONYX is launching strategic and sustainable campaign against police brutality, and a literacy program launches on April 3.
Given his penchant for leadership and his past record, Comrade GP would be viewed as and important (and easy) member of ONYX to attack. As of March 16, Ghetto Prophet is still being held at Santa Rita jail and supporters are asking for donations to help support his family.
"Crying Foul: The Arrest of Ghetto Prophet -- FREE GP!!!" note by Naomi Masako Reagan:
On March 7th, after speaking out at a recent Justice 4 Alan Blueford rally, Comrade Ghetto Prophet (GP) was arrested under false pretense. He still remains in custody, guilty only of speaking out and engaging the people in the struggle against police repression! We believe this is a political attack and call upon the community to spread his story and to rally in support of him and his family.
Ways to support:
* Spread the word. Share the videos linked, repost this note..refuse to let the state's tools of repression silence GP and our communities!
* Donate what you can, via wepay, to support his wife and three kids - as well as to keep funds on his books while he is inside: [https://www.wepay.com/donations/liberate-gp_1]
* We are also speaking with the family to find out how we can provide material support for his wife and three kids while he remains in custody. Check back for updates.
2013-03-07 "Ghetto Prophet arrested after speaking out at Justice For Alan Blueford event"
from "Free Ghetto Prophet!" [http://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2013/03/07/18733283.php]:
PLEASE SPREAD WIDELY: Today, Comrade Ghetto Prophet (GP), Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. The pigs claim he is in violation of his parole. The problem with that is, GP has been OFF OF PAROLE SINCE AUGUST OF 2012. And at no point since August has the state called him, sent him mail or shown up at his door to let him know he failed to report (WHICH ACCORDING TO THE PAROLE OFFICE IS MANDATORY AND COMMON PRACTICE BEFORE AN ARREST WARRANT CAN BE SERVED)
We believe this is a political attack. On Tuesday, GP participated in the Justice for Alan Blueford (JAB) Coalition rally at the Alameda County Courthouse. He had at least two verbal altercations with the pigs and gave a fiery speech condemning them. Couple that with the fact that it is public knowledge that ONYX is launching strategic and sustainable campaign against police brutality. Door knocking was to commence the first Saturday in April. This information is all over the internet and we are one of three hosts for the town hall on the OUSD PD scandal tomorrow night at Uptown Studios where we will announce the campaign. We were also part of the coalition that released the transcript and subsequent analysis about the OUSD PD scandal.
What better time to hit an organization than when they are organized and initiating the on-the-ground work of engaging the people in the struggle against the police repression.
In addition to the campaign against police brutality - our literacy program launches on April 3rd and we are well engaged in our healthy images campaign and of course continue feeding the people.
When the state feels threatened, it strikes. Given his penchant for leadership and his past record, Comrade GP would be viewed as and important (and easy) member of our organization to attack.
We assume the state believes that we will now have to drop our work for the people and deal with this organizational crisis. They have severely underestimated us, our comrades and our coalitions. We will continue our work while SIMULTANEOUSLY fighting to liberate our comrade from the state.
FREE GP. FTP!
O.N.Y.X Organizing Committee
* Foods4Thoughts Poetry Reading and Open Mic – 2nd & 4th Sundays 5272
Foothill Blvd-$7at the door or $5 w/donations (non-perishable
food/hygiene products). 6-9pm
* Physical Training –
1st &3rd Sundays @ De Fremery Park 1pm.
2nd $4th Sundays @ Arroyo Park 1pm.
With political education every 1st Sunday after training
* Literacy Classes – 1st & 3rd Wednesdays 5272 Foothill Blvd 7pm.
* Literacy Classes On The Block- Times & Location TBA.
2013-03-14 "Meet Ghetto Prophet"
video by E. Philip Black [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUcSahMS9_I]:
The state has decided to hold Comrade GP until at least the end of the week - most likely Monday 3/18. Please remember - HE DID NOTHING WRONG! He is being targeted for his political activity.
2013-03-09 "Repression of Ghetto Prophet: ONYX Co-Chair Cat Brooks"
video by E. Philip Black [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qguWc6aZJxQ]:
Message from Cat Brooks (Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee) - "We are the people. They work for us. We forget that. They work for us. So let's fire them and let's hire a different system. Let's imagine another system. Let's envision another system. Let's get our people empowered. We've been in this condition way too long."
2013-03-08 "Free Ghetto Prophet (GP)"
video by E. Philip Black [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_44i1KYH3M]:
Message from Cat Brooks (Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee) -
Comrade Ghetto Prophet (GP), Co-Chair of the ONYX Organizing Committee was arrested at his home by the California Highway Patrol. The pigs claim he is in violation of his parole. The problem with that is, GP has been OFF OF PAROLE SINCE AUGUST OF 2012. And at no point since August has the state called him, sent him mail or shown up at his door to let him know he failed to report (WHICH ACCORDING TO THE PAROLE OFFICE THAT WE SPOKE WITH TODAY IS MANDATORY AND COMMON PRACTICE BEFORE AN ARREST WARRANT CAN BE SERVED)
2013-03-08 update from E. Philip Black:
Free Ghetto Prophet ! Tonight 6-8 Uptown Studios in Oakland!
Life imitates art in this case as CA HP snatched GP from his home after he appeared at protest rally for Alan Blueford. He didn't have time to call 911. That's OK, he's calling now and we're answering...
"Someone Call 911" [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc-hLl8-gAY]:
2013-01-29 upload to "Youtube.com" by Zainab Saudah Saaliq
Transformative Visions 2013 Poetry Submission.
Tha Ghetto Prophet, Co-Chair Onyx Organizing Committee.
1 of 2 Usual Suspects of Paid Poet $ociety
"Ghetto Prophet speaking out at Justice for Alan Blueford, March 5th, 2013"
upload to "Youtube.com" by dukkhaboy [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Todvy25H_YI]:
2012-05-12 "The Ghetto Prophet Speaks Out Against Police Brutality"
by "TomVeeTV" [youtube.com/user/TomVeeTV] [youtube.com/watch?v=SO6dDVjZ2_Y]:
2012-12-06 "Drive By 1 & 2"
[youtube.com/watch?v=4nwTyJJLSMk]: Tha Ghetto Prophet spitz Drive By on east 14th street at Holla Back!!
"Crying Foul" -- the Ghetto Prophet
I'm crying foul from an Inkwell...
The government doesn't seem to think My people can think well...
It's time to show them something different!
No matter how much cocaine we push,
it isn't going to elevate them to a higher state of living,That's a given
We're at war....
Not just cause we're Black
although that's part of the reason:
But because we are poor, in America
And it's a rich man's season.
We try to elevate your mind
And get accused of treason;
They say it's unpatriotic for a Black Man
To be seeking a reason,
As to why we are still treated as second-class citizens,
In the supposed land of equal...
The brave and the free.
They ought to call this, the Democratic Republic of the slave and the thief;
I swear it's hard to believe
That this country can rip the world off
And says she does it for me;
See if it wasn't we...
They have to pay their own folks to sell crack...
But us? We do it for free.
They treat us as lab rats
Let me stab at, the reason for that;
It's cause they don't see us as actual people
They just see us as Black.
And our brown kin...in lighter brown skin
Ain't living much better;
They're still treated as slaves...
On their own land
In the name of democracy unfettered.
The richest nation on the globe
Raising a generation unlettered.
And it ain't no coincidence
What our school system lack...
But we are number one in defense.
Smart populations ask real answers,
So they're keeping us dense.
Just smart enough to go to war;
Playing a deadly game shoot first
And ask questions never.
The world is slowly becoming hell.
Just take a look at the weather.
We're suffering catastrophes...
The way these presidents act.
If you don't see them as a soveriegn ruler...
I'm curious as hell...Even nosy in fact;
I would love to get my eyes on some classified facts,
some military memos and agendas or an official Pentagon fax
That'll possibly help explain, why this nation which claims to be so democratic and free;
Won't let no other country choose who they want to have lead.
They interfere intensively.
They propagate lies immensely.
They start wars on foreign lands and orchestrate hostile takeovers.
I'm crying foul from a cage.
'Cause America needs an immediate makeover.
They say our days are numbered,
I wonder just how many the world has left?
Don't want the clock to stop with me stuck in this box...Cause I wouldn't get to hug my babies goodbye.
See I ain't George Jackson, but I got blood in my eyes.
See, my pupils is bleeding due to the atrocities witnessed;
My eardrums wailing 'cause of cries I've heard;
And if I'm alive when this revolution kicks,
then I'm getting up in it;
And that's my word.
I just hope by then, it's enough of us left to put a dent in this system.
And I know it's gonna be hard to keep operations clandestine
in a world full of so many snitches.
See, I've been in courtrooms thousands of times but never once as a witness;
But most of my crimes were against my own kind.So I'm barely on America's "Nigga to get" list,
But I wish I was alive while the Panthers were active
I'd have had me a black beret, and a cool leather coat,
with a pistol tucked and a shotgun
trying to knock this establishment down like a New Orleans leavy.
See, I'm in the field at all times.
I'm a Playmaker, never a spectator;
I stay in the thick of the heat,
Ready to die for mines even if mines wouldn't die for me.
I say progress is bred through the womb of the struggle
and change is only realized through conflict,
so we all must hustle...
'Caause living in a land that's labeled as free...?
Is a whole lot of things, but none of them are cheap.
Pac said, "It cost more to be free than spending life in the pen."
That's true but it don't seem cheap to that cat that's never tasting freedom again.
This is 2013 and it's the battlefield earth.
And we're still getting reports from the front lines say it's going from bad to worse.
Sometimes I get so made I could curse;
'Cause I'm part of a race of people who's forgotten their worth
And I'm living in a nation seems morally cursed.
That's why I'm crying foul from the belly of this American beast;
Although I'm Ghetto raised, I've seen better days.
I've seen some war and some peace.
I've done been involved in riots - both in the pen and on the streets.
I've done seen a president who's a terrorist and loved to make blood spill,
In the name of what he would say was "freedom"
He'll kidnap, hijack, rob, loot, and kill.
He'll exploit the people's passion and fears
He'll extort the blood of the poor,
and then sign the bill that gives him action and more...
But I'm considered a monster, for trying to survive this game.
When every time I turn around it seems the rules get changed.
Three strikes they say you're out now
Attempted murder can get you life now.
My people lost in the system and can't be found now,
Locked away in cells and can't get out now.
Over forty percent of my state is stuck on lockdown...
But now they wanna reduce the numbers 'cause it's unsafe for the cops now...
But Schwarzenegger just wanted to build a few more prisons,
We're running out of schools but overcrowded with jails.
That's why I'm crying foul from this inkwell.
This government doesn't seem to think my people can think, well...
We 'bout make them sit up and listen.
We're going to broadcast our revolution in HD, live and direct.
And we ain't stoppin'...
Why was Ghetto Prophet targeted by California State Police? Oakland City has a contract with the State Police to patrol the lower-income districts of the city...
2013-03-10 "Oakland's use of CHP help draws critics; Critics cite budget, crime worries after approval of officers' pay"
by Justin Berton from "San Francisco Chronicle" [http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Oakland-s-use-of-CHP-help-draws-critics-4343994.php]:
The moment the driver in the green Lexus spotted a California Highway Patrol cruiser on 78th Avenue in East Oakland, she reversed the car, pulled into a parking spot and slouched behind the steering wheel.
"Come on, we see you," said Officer Sean Deise, who pulled the driver over for not wearing her seat belt.
As the driver rolled down her window, Deise caught a whiff of peach-flavored alcohol.
"A seat-belt stop that turned into a DUI investigation," said Deise's partner, Officer Robert Koehn. "Now we'll see where this goes."
These streets, some of the most dangerous in a city beset by the highest violent-crime rate in the state, are also now the concern of the CHP, which has helped Oakland police patrol targeted neighborhoods since November. Last month, for the first time, the Oakland City Council agreed to pay the state for the officers to continue their work through April.
Critics weigh in -
But the CHP patrols, which call for frequent traffic stops and emphasize high-volume contact with residents, have their critics. At the extreme end, a handful of antipolice activists view the tactic as the latest sign of an overbearing police state that targets the city's poorest neighborhoods. In the political arena, two members of the City Council who voted against the $162,000 contract characterized the approach as a piecemeal plan for fighting crime.
"It's the way in which we couched what we're paying for that I'm opposed to," said Councilwoman Desley Brooks, who along with Councilwoman Lynette Gibson McElhaney voted against the contract. The CHP officers, she said, are "not responding to 911 calls and priority-one calls," major crimes that include homicides, robberies and sexual assaults.
"The broader issue here," Brooks said, "is that we're playing into people's fears and pretending like we're doing stuff to address violent crime, and we're not. It's a Band-Aid approach, all smoke and mirrors."
The CHP officers aren't limited to making traffic stops. At a briefing last week for officers about to spread out across a 5-square-mile area of East Oakland, CHP Sgt. Ezery Beauchamp congratulated his troops for arresting an 18-year-old suspect wanted for murder. The man fled from CHP officers the previous weekend in an SUV and crashed into a tree in the Oakland hills.
"Let's do the same thing tonight," Beauchamp said.
Before they set out, Deise and Koehn were updated on a list of wanted suspects in Oakland, including alleged members of the city's Case and Money Team gangs.
"It's been like a mini-Iraq out here lately," said Koehn, who served as a Marine before he joined the CHP five years ago.
U-turn arrests -
The partners have seen more action since their duties detoured from the freeways onto city streets. They once stumbled upon a gunman opening fire on a Corvette. On another occasion, they pursued a suspect who dumped a duffel bag that carried his identification and four loaded guns. They've provoked car chases by simply making a U-turn.
"That guilty conscience kicks in," Koehn said, "and they think we're coming for them. But we're just turning around."
The CHP's main mission, however, is to perform rapid-fire patrol stops. In a 20-minute stretch Thursday along Bancroft Avenue between 73rd and 78th avenues, Koehn and Deise stopped a driver for having tinted windows, another for expired license-plate tags and a third for not wearing a seat belt. They hoped to make 25 to 30 stops before their shift ended at 2 a.m.
The idea is that people committing minor offenses might be more inclined to commit major ones. When it comes to crime, Koehn said, "I'd rather stop it before I get called out to it."
Keys to change -
At a press conference Wednesday, one of the Police Department's outside consultants, former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton, cited three key components he believed would reduce the amount of violent crime in Oakland: improved technology, a larger police force and help from outside agencies like the CHP.
"When you have a small department," Bratton said, "you can't do it all. You have to have collaboration."
From the start of CHP patrols in November through Feb. 28, the state officers made 2,556 traffic stops, issued 2,078 citations, impounded 790 cars, arrested 327 people, recovered 92 stolen vehicles and 15 firearms, and conducted 1,805 field interviews, CHP figures show.
Oakland police Sgt. Chris Bolton, chief of staff to Chief Howard Jordan, said the CHP cruisers are a "visible deterrent" that frees Oakland officers to respond to 911 calls and allow city officers to perform more proactive policing.
Bolton said the California Police Chiefs Association suggests that officers spend a third of their time engaged in proactive work. The typical Oakland officer, he said, "is in the single digits" when it comes to finding time for such work.
"Every stop is one interaction that we would not have had" if officers were able to do more to head off crime before it happens, Bolton said.
Gang suspect's arrest -
A few hours before Deise and Koehn took to the streets for their East Oakland patrol stops, Charles Eberhart, 21, attended a preliminary hearing in an Alameda County courthouse, where he was charged with evading an officer and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.
Eberhart, an alleged gang member, crashed his car Jan. 31 in East Oakland while fleeing from a CHP cruiser, authorities say. After CHP officers recovered a pistol with a 30-round magazine, they took Eberhart to a hospital for treatment of his injuries, then handed him over to Oakland police for questioning and booking. He pleaded not guilty.
"He was one of the guys the OPD wanted badly," Beauchamp said.
Relying on outsiders -
Councilwoman Brooks says she appreciates the CHP's collaborative approach. But she worries that city officials are becoming too comfortable with paying outside help, such as state troopers or Bratton, to get their jobs done.
She fears that when the city draws up next year's spending plan, the costs of the patrols and outside contracts - which have yet to be factored into the budget, she said - will come at the expense of libraries and public services.
"We're spending a lot of money that wasn't budgeted for," Brooks said. "And then what? Nobody has talked about what's going to happen when everybody walks away and we're left to our own devices."