Rally for Human Dignity and Pack the Courthouse for Nanci Armstrong-Temple

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Monday, November 7th 2016
8:00am Rally / 9:00am Pack the Courthouse
Wiley Manuel Courthouse. 661 Washington St, Oakland 94607

The Anti Police-Terror Project, together with the Nanci for Berkeley Campaign, faith leaders, and allies, urges the Bay Area community to come out on Monday and rally around our most vulnerable neighbors. We will take a stand against the City of Berkeley's coordinated campaign to criminalize homelessness which has manifested as the criminalization of life itself. The Berkeley Police continue to mercilessly carry out their role as the shock troops of gentrification, selectively enforcing unjust laws against unhoused persons.

Calls to action:

  1. Follow the Facebook event page for updates and information (www.facebook.com/events/1625282964431883/)
  2. Show up at the 8AM rally on Monday, November 7, 2016 at the Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse (661 Washington St, Oakland, CA 94607) 
  3. Pack the court (Arraignment is scheduled for 9AM. Please note that we are showing support, not asking for direct action at this time. Please be respectful of the families of other impacted folks that may need access to the courtroom.)
  4. Contribute to the bail and legal fund (www.paypal.com, send to aptpinfo@gmail.com)

Residents of all our cities, regardless of housing situation, have a right to self-determination and dignity. All people, and especially our elders, deserve to live free and safe from state-sanctioned terror and abuse. Nobody should have to sleep with one eye open, hoping a police officer will not drag them out of their home in the middle of the night, barking at them to hurry up and ordering them not to dare try to set up a new home down the street.

Yet, that is precisely what happened on Friday, November 4, 2016 at 5:00 AM - under the cover of night and away from the general public’s eyes. Witnesses say the Berkeley Police Department violently raided an encampment of community members residing in tents at the corner of Fairview and Adeline Streets. Police forced residents out of bed and into the streets, seizing their property and arresting four people. The encampment had served as a safe place for those seeking shelter from the rain and cold.

Among those arrested Friday was District 2 City Council candidate and Anti Police-Terror Project member Nanci Armstrong-Temple, who responded to calls for help. Armstrong-Temple implored the police to stop the eviction, to treat the homeless residents with care and to provide reasonable accommodations to those with visible disabilities. Instead, the police used force and threats to clear the encampment. When the police dragged away an elderly woman who was pleading for her cane, Armstrong-Temple verbally demanded to know what they were doing. Without warning or cause, Armstrong-Temple was slammed to the ground by Berkeley police. She was arrested and faces two false charges: one charge of felony “lynching” and one charge of resisting arrest.

The use of the word lynching is a form of psychological abuse that is being employed to torture activists in the movement for black lives. White supremacists have historically used lynching as a method of criminalizing and terrorizing Black people into submission after the the 13th Amendment gave birth to a new kind of slavery - forced labor by those convicted of a crime. The pointed use of this charge against a Black woman verbally objecting to elder abuse highlights the continued enslavement of Black and Brown bodies. This is the third recent case of a prominent black woman activist being accused of this act when protesting wrongdoing by law enforcement.

Berkeley Police Department’s violent terrorizing of sick and elderly people at the tent city and the apparent endorsement of their conduct from Gregory Daniels of the City Manager’s office is disgraceful. This was a strategic act to do on a Friday, as many of the affected individuals would likely have had to spend at least the entire weekend in jail.

Video statements from Armstrong-Temple and Michelle Lot (also arrested during the raid) can be found here and here.

For More Information Contact
Legal questions: Attorney EmilyRose Johns, Siegel & Yee - 510-839-1200 x 208
Anti Police-Terror Project: Leigh Davenport, Black Leadership Committee - 415-326-8422
Nanci for Berkeley Campaign: Debra Avery, Communication Manager - 510-512-0410
www.antipoliceterrorproject.org / www.siegelyee.com / www.nanciforberkeley.vote