I went on Vacation to Oakland, California
And I joined
I was tired of spending my mornings glued to my phone for the latest Ferguson news
Reposting reports on Facebook
Tweeting my discomfort
Not just for the young life lost
But for all the lives lost to senseless police brutality
To all the lives cut in half and psychologically changed
I got tired of seeing the pictures of Geneva Convention banned war techniques, tear gas, sprayed on peaceful activists
This kind out outrage only comes from deep pain
I got tired of searching for “how many people have cops killed”
And getting the answer “no one knows”
Because there is no tracking system
So I went to downtown Oakland and I joined.
And as we marched, Peacefully, with pain in our hearts
Police in riot gear stopped us on Broadway and Seventh.
“You can’t go further. Anyone who crosses this line will get arrested”
Riot gear, police cars everywhere, to the right and left of us. Behind us. We were surrounded and stopped.
No one wanted outrage, no one wanted to lose the message
So we said “we aren’t leaving”
And we waited, until the other groups were allowed to join us, being directed by the police where to go
And I couldn’t help but notice as we screamed “No justice. No peace” “Hands up, Don’t shot” and we read the names of dead family members
When did this happen?
When did police in riot gear start showing up and arresting peaceful protesters?
I was scared, angry, confused
But mostly empowered and sadden
As Oscar Grant’s mother addressed the crowd and tears flowed
It reminded me most of why we are here
These people are real, their pain is real, it will never go away
And the police surrounding this protest and cutting off our civil liberties are real and they will never go away unless we do something