Candice Elder, founder of East Oakland Collective, along with members Julius Ceasar Johnson, and Marquita Price speak in East Oakland at the Black Solidarity rally.
By Howard Dyckoff
Almost 200 East Oakland residents gathered last Saturday, February 10th and marched up International Blvd to build community and to celebrate Black solidarity. Several groups worked on the event which was the start to Black Solidarity Week as part of Black History Month.
“This is a kickoff …. of events and a march to honor the birthday of Huey Newton of the Black Panther Party and also kicks-off a week of activities for black solidarity and honoring Malcom X,” said Cat Brooks, co-founder of the anti-Police terror project.
“Frankly our people don’t feel connected to City Hall.” Brooks added. “This is where we eat, sleep and raise our families. So we wanted to bring the message of solidarity and unity,” she said, ” with such much happening to our communities right now, like being displaced or killed by the State or the incarceration of our children.”
Candice Elder, founder of the East Oakland Collective, explained the that the March was partly to honor the memory of Huey P. Newton, who was the Chair of the Black Panther Party and also to gave a chance for East Oakland resident to organize and demonstrate.
“It was the first of any march in Deep East Oakland that most of us can remember. It was important to hold this march to unify Black residents, show the City that we are still here and embrace our fellow brothers and sisters in love,” said Elder. “The March was a call to action against Black displacement and gentrification in our most vulnerable neighborhoods that we are fighting to preserve and revitalize.”
Marquita Price, also of the East Oakland Collective, said, “We wanted to show law enforcement, and elected officials who take advantage of us that even through all of our adversity as Black people in Oakland and America, we still stand united in solidarity against gentrification, displacement, police brutality, and inter communal violence.”
Price continued, “The sight of people spilling out of their shops and houses to join us or throw up their first was heart filling.”
Nehanda Imara of the East Oakland Building Healthy Communities EOBHC], explained that the March was organized by several groups including CRC, the Community Ready Corps and the East Oakland Collective..
She added “We are always building on awareness and unity, getting Black people in Oakland together.”