The Ella Baker Center's Statement Supporting #OurBudgetOurCity Day of Action
On Wednesday, June 10th, the Refund Oakland coalition is organizing a day of action demanding that city offiicals refund and reinvest in Oakland. The following is Ella Baker Center Executive Director Zachary Norris' statement supporting the action, and denouncing the city's nighttime protest ban:
"Today, the Refund Oakland coalition is calling for a day of action to demand that Oakland spend its resources on the needs of its residents. We stand in solidarity with the demands of the coalition, asking for a reinvestment in tenants and housing, workers, equity, public services, and responsible development. As Mayor Libby Schaaf and Oakland's city councilmembers negotiate the city's new budget, they must focus on rebuilding communities in Oakland that have been most damaged by criminalization, incarceration, and law enforcement violence.
Right now, far too many Oakland residents are trapped in a cycle of poverty and incarceration. But instead of prioritizing concerns about the human rights violations suffered by victims and survivors of law enforcement abuses, the city has prioritized addressing property damage by instituting a repressive policy banning nighttime protests. Oakland has a well-established history of law enforcement violence, beginning after the migration of thousands of African-Americans following World War II, and continuing to this day. It is time for Oakland officials to hold law enforcement accountable and to reinvest in resources that will strengthen dignity, prosperity, equality, and safety for all communities in Oakland."