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Oscar Grant and Oakland Local

December 30, 2009

Oscar Grant Memorial this Friday

Tomorrow night marks the 1 year anniversary of the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police officer Johannes Mehserle and emotions in Oakland are running high. From renewed anger over police brutality, to BART announcing it will increase the number of police on call for the night.  It’s a complicated issue with a lot of unanswered questions. But no matter where you stand on the fallout after of the death, hopefully you’re moved by the fact that a life was lost.  Politics, opinions and ideologies aside, a young man died. Let’s not lose site of that.

So to pay tribute to that life the Bay Area community is invited to come out to an Oscar Grant vigil and memorial this Friday from 2pm -11pm.  The event will begin with a prayer and vigil at Fruitvale BART, where Grant was killed and migrate to the Humanist Hall for an evening of remembrance through poetry, dance and communion.

The Oscar Grant case is relevant to me in another way.   Without Oscar Grant there probably wouldn’t have been an Oakland Local, the project I’m currently working on with Susan Mernit and Amy Gahran. OL was born out of a frustration with the way the media was handling the case and the lack of diversity in the coverage.  OL’s primary goal was and is to give all of Oakland’s residents a place to be heard and to promote conversations across race, class, gender and political lines.

To commemorate the occasion Oakland Local is doing a multimedia tribute to Grant which will kick off tomorrow.   This morning Susan posted and essay on the start of Oakland Local and our mission.  Check it out and the coverage for the rest of the week and come out to the memorial on Friday.

More info:

Oscar Grant vigil and memorial:

Susan Mernit’s Essay:

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