East Bay for Everyone recognizes that there’s nothing new about the murder and abuse of Black people, Indigenous people, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ folks, and the poor by police departments in the United States. The only thing that has changed is that it’s on camera now. The murders of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Atatiana Jefferson by Dallas police, Breona Taylor by Louisville Metro police, and Ahmaud Arbery by a former policeman and an accomplice, have been the spark to the resistance we’ve seen across the country.
As an organization whose leadership is predominantly Black, and whose membership includes many marginalized people, we’ve been forced to confront the reality of police abuse. After the murder of Nia Wilson, East Bay for Everyone dedicated its activism to combating growing calls for a draconian police system that would criminalize the poor. We pushed our transit system to hire de-escalation community nonprofits. Throughout the East Bay, we’ve pushed back against the criminalization of RV dwellers and the homeless. In Downtown Oakland, we called out Oakland police’s targeting of Black businesses. In suburban Alameda County, we’ve fought for housing and shelters against anti-Black opposition.
Our organization has consistently opposed calls to resolve problems with over-policing, but we can and will do better to center Black people in our work. We will continue to listen to and act with Black organizations, Black communities, and our Black members on solutions to the problems that disportionately kill and affect Black people in the East Bay. Right now, it’s policing.
East Bay For Everyone participates in and stands with the protests across the country. Police violence must end. We must take whatever action is necessary today to dismantle centuries of racist policing and exploitation of Black communities because Black lives matter and are important.