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Comment Archives: stories: Blogs: News

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

Apparently I can now add "terrorist" to senior citizen, grandmother and retired school librarian to my list of descriptors. I joined the melodic testimony as a member of the Interfaith Committee in Solidarity with Black Lives. Mr. Grant has just proved our point about Urban Shield being a racist, Islamophobic expo that militarizes police so that those they are sworn to serve and protect become enemy combatants. It has nearly nothing to do with genuine emergency preparedness. He has also just proved (along with an endorsement of Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, a retweet of Richard Spencer & a booth for the Oath Keepers under an Alameda County awning) why we must replace Sheriff Ahern in the next election!

Posted by Marcia Lovelace on 09/26/2017 at 11:44 AM

Re: “Attorneys Tell Federal Judge OPD Commanders Should Still be Disciplined for Mishandling Sex Crimes Case

Now, let's see. Will new Police Chief Kirkpatrick resign soon or will she wait a couple of years until the pile of unresolved management problems spills out of her office door forcing her to accept a job offer from Newark or Baltimore where Police Chief desktops are swept clean every year?

Will Mayor Schaaf run again for office using her developer-sourced reelection funds (begun shortly after her election as mayor) to remind us how much safer Oakland has become (and OPD become much more community-oriented and ethical) under her watch?

Always something new and exciting in Oakland.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 09/26/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

Mr Grant's comments reflect his prejudices. Those people I know who protest Urban Shield are engaged in civics and government, they vote, they work, some are clergy, they are young, old, of many races and religions and no religion at all. What binds us is the belief that a poluice force does not need military rade weapons to protect the public. What we share is perception that yes, people of color and poor people are targeted by police. We share a desire for democracy. We do not want a de facto military government imposed by force under the pretense of civil protection. We do not believe that the of the freedom to bear arms means a police force bearing arms against the public.

Posted by Suzanne Gamble on 09/26/2017 at 11:01 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

It's important that this article has brought Mr. Grant's inappropriate behavior to light. His behavior reflects one of many reasons that the task force evaluating Urban Shield is not in the position to be able to evaluate Urban Shield effectively. It is made up mostly of people who have a financial investment in Urban Shield going forward. As the members of the task force agreed at the meeting being discussed, this task force is not capable of assessing the impact Urban Shield has on communities. We need data about the rising militarization after Urban Shield and we need to hear from impacted communities including communities of color and Muslims about their experiences of interactions with the police. We especially need data about how many incidents occur involving violence from police towards community members.

I, too, attended the meeting being described in the article as a part of the interfaith for black lives committee. During the meeting, I was shocked by a comment from a woman on the task force who works with Bart calling us "militant." This comment was in response to us calmly quietly sitting in the room with small signs and one by one to lightly getting up and giving testimony including an original 9 verse song. I was somewhat heartened that task force members seem to listen to each other during the meeting and even changed their votes after hearing testimonies and the song from those of us challenging Urban Shield. The racist, xenophobic, islamophobic, and hateful messages mr. Grant put forth are shocking and completely out of proportion to the discourse that happened in the room that day. However they do reflect the ongoing discourse by those involved in Urban Shield outside of the task force. This is an example and one reason of many that I feel that this task force is not enough to change the culture of Urban Shield. Urban Shield must be stopped!!

I was deeply disturbed to hear there was talk at this year's Urban Shield Expo that "black rifles matter." At a time when people of color are continually losing their lives to armed police officers and have come up with a black lives matter slogan to remind society of their humanity, it is disgraceful for police, who are supposed to be protecting people and pillars of our community, to engage in the kind of rhetoric and behavior that they are! They need to be reprimanded and educated!

As American citizens, the freedom of speech is a guaranteed right that insures our democracy. Those involved with stop Urban Shield for years have exercised this right and should be applauded for the creative heartfelt tactics used that do not involve violence of any kind. If only police and other emergency responders would use heartfelt creative responses, our community would be a very different place and we would not need to be having this dialogue. Urban Shield is a gun expo that promotes militarization, racism, and xenophobia. It must be discontinued!

Posted by Susala Kay on 09/26/2017 at 10:33 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I teach a class on self-care and community care for faith leaders. The day after Stop Urban Shield presented during public comment, our guest speaker from Buddhist Peace Fellowship led us in the song that they sang during public comment. It was playful, inspiring, and had a positive message. It makes me ill that singing in public, and speaking up about ending violence against innocent people of color and religious minorities would be counted as terrorism. We need more creative and positive community building and less toxic, uninformed lies by appointed decision makers. Using terminology like "terrorist," "slime" and "bad people" from "overseas" behind people's backs and at the end of the process is, as Supervisor Haggerty noted, cowardly. As someone who chose to become a US citizen out of my deeply held commitment to its best values, I believe his actions are also un-American, in contrast with those of Stop Urban Shield. Thank you for bringing this to light.

Posted by Sandhya Jha on 09/26/2017 at 10:22 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

I am grateful for this article that brings into public awareness this inflammatory and dangerous email exchange. We have seen in this first nine months of the Trump administration how the propagation of these kinds of xenophobia and racist ideas can lead to hate crimes and the creation of policies that endanger lives.

This country is in need of deep healing and re-education around how to live in peace with our neighbors across lines of religious, ethnic, racial, and every other kind of difference. As a Christian and active member of the Bay area interfaith committee, I hope that people of faith can join with all people of goodwill to cultivate ways of leading with love. I am grateful to the Stop Urban Shield coalition for modeling that in so many ways, including the provision of a beautiful, community-oriented, participatory public emergency preparedness fair on September 8 at Lake Merritt. I learned how to tie a tourniquet, how to do basic self-defense, what needs to go in my earthquake kit, and how to create herbal tinctures to deal with stress and other conditions. Is this the dangerous terrorist/thuglike behavior that Mr. Grant finds so threatening?

I am a part of both the Interfaith Committee for Black Lives and Second Acts, a Christian nonviolent direct action group, and I've been supportive of the coalition to Stop Urban Shield precisely because of the ways in which Urban Shield feeds into the kind of Islamaphobia, racism, and knee-jerk jingoism expressed in this email and shared by Sheriff Ahern, who recommended Grant for the task force.

Posted by Nichola Torbett on 09/26/2017 at 9:54 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

As an attendee and representative of Interfaith for Black Lives, and member of the clergy, I am deeply troubled by the inflammatory, ignorant invective coming from a representative of the Alameda Board of Supervisors. It was bad enough that the (BART) woman referred to us during the meeting as "militant" because a group of people peaceably stood, held up small signs, and asked permission to sing a song instead of speaking individually. Have these people not heard of the constitution? Can they not differentiate a threat to democracy when they hear it? Has all capacity to think rationally escaped such people? "thugs"? What is the definition of a thug?

These acts are an example of the polarization in this country. It is an example of the take over of the minds of the people and any sound reasoning by cognitive dissonance. Moreover, it is an example of why an increasingly number of people use the word "fascism" to describe the current trend in government. And that, for me, as a Christian, as a leader in that community, works toward keeping true to the work and words of the Leader of the Church, and to not assist in ignoring or denying the reasons for His crucifixion.

The reality of the day, with molesting children of color, causing mental and bodily harm to people of color, to killing at random by law enforcement, the reality is that law enforcement is being used as an instrument of terror, and it must be stopped.

Posted by deGrace on 09/26/2017 at 9:20 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

As one of the Stop Urban Shield coalition members in the room that day (among the Buddhist Peace Fellowship representatives), I'm disturbed and saddened by the racist vitriol in this email, but unfortunately not in the least surprised. In fact, I'm glad it has come to light, because it will help us reveal and discuss the racist, xenophobic, militaristic fear-mongering at the heart of Urban Shield -- its raison d'tre.

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. described racism, militarism, and extreme materialism as the giant triplets fueling oppression in U.S. society. We might add gender oppression, ableism, and ecocidal arrogance in there, too. Urban Shield, as a program, entrenches and exacerbates every single one of these fundamental antagonisms. And the fact that one of the few individuals entrusted to evaluate the program's efficacy not only espouses raging Islamophobic views, but *owns a gun shop,* is extremely telling.

Grateful to the East Bay Express for reporting on this. Such a revelation should, I hope, invalidate all of Mr. Grant's votes on the Task Force, and call into question the fundamental nature of the Task Force's procedure and findings. Its purpose, after all, as mentioned in the article, was to "address concerns that Urban Shield has militarized local police agencies and that some of its content has been racially insensitive." How can such concerns be addressed, let alone allayed, with sitting members holding aggressively bigoted views, and using those views to influence Task Force voting?

I hope Mr. Grant sees fit to apologize and make amends. If he won't, I hope the Alameda County Board of Supervisors will -- by ending Urban Shield.

Posted by Katie Loncke on 09/26/2017 at 6:23 AM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Kirkpatrick Points Blame at Ex-Chief Whent for Mishandling of Celeste Guap Sex Crimes Case

The mishandling of this case also was orchestrated by the monitor Warsaw and his team. I am surprised there is no accountability on Warshaw's part as well. He has overall control of the department and he gets a free pass is also unconscionable. As for Lois and Holmgren they should not hold the positions. Lois snaked his way to the top, be careful chief, given the chance he will stab you in the back. He was Whent's puppet and when he felt the heat of the case he quickly changed his side to the monitor and did everything he could to save his hide. Holmgren is incompetent, he has been involved in cover up murders by the Department and other cases where he seems to slither away.

Posted by Daffy_Duck on 09/26/2017 at 5:35 AM

Re: “Urban Shield Task Force Appointee and Gun Dealer Calls Police Critics 'Terrorists'

From publicly available information on the Internet, Grant appears to run his business from his residence and employs one person, himself. The business Gun Repair Unlimited has no business website and there is no such corporation or LLC registered with the CA Secretary of State. The nonprofits that compose the Stop Urban Shield Coalition: Critical Resistance, Ella Baker Center, American Friends Service Committee, Arab Organizing and Resource Center, Jewish Voice for Peace, Black Alliance for Just Immigration and Buddhist Peace Fellowship generate far more jobs for Alameda County residents.

Posted by Tracy Rosenberg on 09/25/2017 at 8:12 PM

Re: “Oakland Looks to Close Owner Move-In and Occupancy Loopholes, Reduce Evictions and Harmful Rent Increases

Why do small rental housing providers have to subsidize their tenants? Maybe the property owner in Karna Leggett's house has family issues also. For all we know, the owner might have health problems- some of which could even be from subsidizing Karna's rent for many years! We all hear about tenants suffering. Why is the suffering of the property not a concern? Don't tell me ALL property owners have it better than their tenants. I know property owners who have it worse off than their tenants- meaning they earn less per year, they drive older cars, they take staycations versus the trips around the world the tenants take.

Posted by Really! on 09/24/2017 at 9:49 AM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Kirkpatrick Points Blame at Ex-Chief Whent for Mishandling of Celeste Guap Sex Crimes Case

Whatever the details of the OPD failures in the Guap case, it's very sad and disturbing that trying to clear the air regarding this mess is still a major focus of the new Chief.

It seems to me that what the Chief really needs to do, for the sake of all Oaklanders, is to articulate a vision of a new and evolved OPD which is
actually community-oriented and able to reduce the burden of violent crime on Oakland's poorest citizens. This means a comprehensive public safety plan as a minimum.

I don't think that any of us can be confident that OPD is going anywhere in the future that it hasn't been in the past.

Posted by Hobart Johnson on 09/24/2017 at 8:14 AM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

"If every city had its own bank creating infinite money we would drive up prices for resources in limited supply"

This is exactly what private banks do today is it not? What a shame we have allowed a private cartel to control the US money supply and the subsequent costs we pay for granting them that privilege.

Posted by Chance DG on 09/22/2017 at 10:37 PM

Re: “Oakland Police Chief Kirkpatrick Points Blame at Ex-Chief Whent for Mishandling of Celeste Guap Sex Crimes Case

I suggest that Darwin get his facts correct and perhaps actually reading the report might help. Also, Darwin as a "reporter" you may also want to ensure that either you or your editor proof your spewing for grammatical errors. Is there not something better that you can spend your time and energy on?

Posted by Bettygene Egan on 09/22/2017 at 6:49 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

Once you have a plan for construction, you should figure out what core banking software you should use to run transaction accounts, loans, payments, etc. for the computers to hook themselves up to the financial infrastructure.
I would ask the BND what core banking service system they use and purchase from the same company.

Make sure you have the necessary banking equipment like this stuff:

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 4:36 PM

Re: “Oakland Port Board Expected to Approve Ban-The-Box and Living Wage Agreements for Massive New Warehouse Project

So basically, they're going to be given the chance to make minimum wage.

Posted by Jay78 on 09/22/2017 at 2:40 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

Theoretically, a bank doesn't need depositors or deposits to create credit. The BND doesn't have depositors but it takes deposits from taxes to create credit.
A city bank could work like the BND and have few if any depositors or even deposits from taxes and work by creating credit to fund city development.
If the city bank will create credit but have no restriction on credit creation based on deposits, it must work with both the county and the state to determine a loan growth quota, meaning a yearly allotted amount that can be legally created to fund city development that year.
If there are no restrictions on credit creation, the bank could theoretically create a limitless amount of money when resources are limited and needed elsewhere. If every city had its own bank creating infinite money we would drive up prices for resources in limited supply, so those resources need to be allocated properly through a loan growth quota.

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 2:05 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

One more thing that needs to be mentioned is governance of the bank. If it is a city public bank how much influence or control do the elected representatives of the city have over the management of the bank? If you are the CEO of the city public bank what is your relationship with the mayor of the city and its council? Can the mayor fire you and appoint someone else to run the bank if he/she feels that your decisions do not represent the will of the elected majority? Should their be more collective decision making between the mayor, the city council, and the person appointed as CEO of the bank?

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 12:32 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

I think a public bank for the city needs to have city development goals like financing adequate housing needs, small businesses, and clean energy needs.

Then it needs key borrowers who are willing and can be trusted to use funds to hire the necessary people to construct the city. Those borrowers can either be representing individual private for profit interests or the public sector. Like someone can borrow money to buy private property for solar panels to make a profit on it or someone representing the public can buy land under the public sector and build panels that generate profit to fund public services of the city.

Posted by JJ174 on 09/22/2017 at 12:06 PM

Re: “Oakland to Host Forum on Public Bank Plan

An Oakland Public Bank has considerable merit, and it extends far beyond servicing the local legal cannabis industry (both medical and soon recreational). Yes there is an effort to create a state-wide public bank, but the success of that effort is far from a forgone conclusion, and in any event, the two are not mutually exclusive.

An immediate win would be the use of the bank as a depository for city fund, where the money can be used to support community needs and return interest to the City Treasury, rather than the current scheme of depositing that money in Wall St. banks that gouge the city while placing our deposits at risk via their use to fund shaky financial instruments. We know how that story ends.

Posted by Chance DG on 09/22/2017 at 11:37 AM

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