“No more killing of our young people!”

East Oakland Remembers Richard Linyard and Says No More Police Murders

July 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

On the evening of July 24, about 100 people gathered at 64th Ave. and International Blvd. in East Oakland near a memorial display for Richard Linyard, a 23-year-old Black man who died the previous Sunday following a confrontation with police in a routine traffic stop. (See “Richard Linyard didn’t have to die. The whole damn system is guilty!“) People came to remember him, protest his death, and say “No More” to the epidemic of police killings of young Black men.

On the memorial were messages of love and outrage: “This shit ain’t right, bruh,” “Fuck the system, you are truly missed,” “God bless your smile,” “I love you son, Momma.”

Richard was a musician who rapped under the name Afrikan Ritchie. He had many friends of different nationalities as well as family in the community, who were instrumental in organizing the protest and march. Some others at the protest didn’t know Richard before but wanted to take a stand against yet another police killing. One woman, whose son was killed by the police, said that she drove an hour to be at the protest. A sentiment of the crowd was best expressed by a young woman who shouted, “No more killing of our young people!” repeatedly.

As people gathered, Richard’s music was played over a small speaker amplified by bullhorns and people took turns expressing their outrage at his death. Others took stacks of the leaflet from the Revolution Club and signs against police brutality into the busy street stopping cars, which responded with supportive horns and raised fists.

A veteran revolutionary led people in reading a quotation from BAsics by Bob Avakian in a call-and-response style: “No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that.” (BAsics, 1:13)

Seven people bought BA Speaks: Revolution—Nothing Less! T-shirts and donned them on the spot to join others already wearing them, adding a revolutionary edge to the protest. Revolution was in the air through the night.

Richard’s mother got on the bullhorn saying that the police had stolen her son’s life and that too many young men of all nationalities are being killed and that the people shouldn’t stand for it. Soon a march of more than 80 people took off, led by members of Richard’s family. The march, with whistles blaring, took over both lanes of International Blvd, the main street through East Oakland. Police trailed the march, threatening people with arrest if they didn’t get out of the streets—at which point some people who had been marching on the sidewalk went defiantly into the street.

The most popular chant was “Richard didn’t have to die, we all know the reason why! The whole system is guilty!” Other chants rang out: “Justice for Richard!” “No Justice, No Peace!”

At one point several police cars converged on the march and police jumped out, apparently targeting someone on the march. A line formed between the police and the demonstrators and soon the police were beating a hasty retreat amidst chants of “Fuck the Police” and blowing whistles.

After the march ended people hung around, standing in the street and stopping traffic, hugging each other, lighting the candles and writing messages on the memorial for Richard.

Members of the Revolution Club and supporters of Revolution newspaper distributed Club cards for a showing of the film of the Cornel West-Bob Avakian Dialogue on Revolution and Religion next weekend in the community, as well as copies of Revolution, and let people know about a gathering the next day in Oakland as part of nationwide actions for Sandra Bland. A crew of people from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network passed out leaflets and organizing for the #RiseUpOctober actions in New York City on October 24.


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