There is No Justice in This System!

We are out in the streets today in memory of Oscar Grant. This is not a day of mourning. We are here because we refuse to allow his murder to be ignored. We refuse to ignore the fact that Johannes Mehserle will be released two and a half years after he murdered Oscar. Mehserle is free to walk the streets, free to be with the other BART cops who terrorized Oscar and his friends and others on the BART platform that night. They still walk the streets. Oscar does not. This is the justice of this system.
This is a system of injustices. There is no justice for Tatiana, Oscar Grant’s 6-year-old daughter. The settlement she got from BART will not bring her father back to life. Sophina (his fiancée), his family, friends and community will never enjoy his company again. His young life was senselessly ended. There will be is no justice for Oscar Grant and most of us.
Yet, we MUST demand justice. We must demand that this system no longer be allowed to take the lives of young men. Oscar Grant was executed on the Fruitvale BART platform early New Year’s Day 2009, in front of hundreds of witnesses. His murder was recorded on camera and put on the internet for all to see. Those who are responsible for this system should have responded with shock and anger. Instead, for them, it was business as usual.
The murder of Oscar Grant has come to represent much of what is wrong in this society. Oscar’s murder represents the brutality of the police in many of our communities today. His murder represents the attitude of many police and officials of this society toward young men in poor neighborhoods – especially young Black and Brown men.
The violence in many of our communities is epidemic. Up and down the Bay, from San Jose, to Hayward, Oakland, Richmond and Vallejo many people are afraid to step out of their homes. Children can no longer play freely in their neighborhoods. Every week another young person meets a tragic end in the streets – at the hands of another young person or the cops. The police, who are supposedly there to maintain the peace, are often the greater force to fear. We cannot tolerate this situation any longer!
We have a choice in the face of this assault on our lives. We have a choice to stand together and raise our voices and show our strength and say we will not allow the murder of Oscar Grant to be forgotten. We will not allow the police to get away with murder. We will not allow the dreams and hopes for a decent life to be stripped from the children and youth.
We are few in numbers today. But each one of us can leave with the deep conviction and understanding that it is our role to organize and fight for a better world, for current and future generations. It is not only possible. It is necessary.
We have no other choice.