Ahmaud Arbery. Breonna Taylor. George Floyd. Tony McDade. Dujuan Armstrong.

Oscar Grant. Mario Woods. Willie McCoy. Steven Taylor.

We say their names and honor all who have died at the hands of white supremacy and police violence.

The Ella Baker Center began over two decades ago after Aaron Williams, an unarmed African American man, was murdered by SF police officer Marc Andaya. Since then, Ella Baker Center members and allies have worked tirelessly to lift up the voices of families and community members most impacted by police violence and mass incarceration. While there have been many victories along the way, the past week proves that huge systemic obstacles continue to block the path toward justice. 

We stand in solidarity with people across the country who are taking to the streets and giving voice to the anger and frustration built up from multi-generational oppression against Black, brown and low-income communities. We call for a response that not only holds killer cops accountable, but also shakes the very foundations that America’s racist policing system is built upon.

Recently in the Bay Area, Willie McCoy was shot while sleeping in his car by Vallejo Police. Steven Taylor was shot by San Leandro Police while having a mental health crisis. And in the midst of a pandemic, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to increase the Sheriff’s already bloated budget for the deadly Santa Rita jail, where 47 people have died while incarcerated since 2014. At a time when at least 33 people have died from COVID-19 inside California prisons and jails, and experts agree that decarceration is the best way to stop the virus’ spread, our elected leaders are funding repression instead of solutions.

For updates on the Bay Area actions and events in support of Black lives, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

If you are participating in actions, we encourage you to take all safety precautions recommended by public health officials. If you will be at The Town Sits Out the Curfew tonight, please follow these best practices:

This is why Ella Baker Center members and our allies organize every day to shift resources away from police, prisons and punishment and toward opportunities that build real safety: education, jobs and healthcare. 

Together, we can create more community-focused opportunities like Restore Oakland. Together, we can push state and county officials to put health first by decarcerating our prisons and jails during this pandemic. Together, we will continue to work to decriminalize unhoused Oakland residents, shut down youth prisons and reimagine what safety means without policing.

Now more than ever is the time for us to continue to lift each other up; because we keep us safe.

Ella Baker Center for Human Rights
1419 34th Ave, Suite 202  | Oakland, California 94601
510.428.3939 | give@ellabakercenter.org

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