When Is a Protest too much?
There is constant outflowing of emotion, discussion and feelings in Oakland since the murder of the 3 police officers on Saturday. I saw several signs in the Dimond today informing folks of neighborhood crime prevention meetings canceled because of the hurt to the Oakland Police Department. New has been leaking out - albit a bit chaotically a la typical Oakland style - about a vigil tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 6:00pm at the site of the murders. Some folks, Oakland Residents for Peaceful Neighborhods are encouraging people to not go as a statement against the ineffectiveness of Mayor Dellums and the City Council in terms of fighting crime and improving the safety and peacefulness of the city of Oakland.
Is it too much? Is it not a time to be political? I've read many different comments about it today online. Yet the reality is that everything is political, whether we want it to be or not, whether we realize or accept it or not. Yes. It is a tragedy that the three men died and a fourth is brain dead. Yes. Iit's a tragedy that they died as police officers serving us - members of the city of Oakland. No. It isn't the direct fault of the Mayor or the Council. Yes. People do have the right to make it political. In the end the organization of a vigil at the crime scene is a political choice. I doubt it's what the families of the 3 fallen officers want as their place, time and context of mourning. The question isn't so much how far is too far. Rather it's how do we move forward. Will it be typical finger-pointing and politically safe and evasive answers? Or will we move beyond the polarizing position-taking to taking not just a position but action in terms of fighting crime, sending a clear message about the vision of Oakland and empowering people to not just feel safe but to contribute to safety in our city.