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Why this Tribunal? Why now?

This initiative grew from the outrage that has built over decades, that was particularly manifested throughout two years–from the videotaped murder of Oscar Grant Jr, the police attacks, arrests, and beatings of many protesters on many occasions, the belated and half-hearted prosecution of the murderous and brutal police, and the minimal sentencing of Mehserle, the rehiring of BART Officer MarySol Domenici (who perjured her testimony under oath to protect fellow abusive cops) and the role of the lying and fabricating repressive media.

Because of the struggle for Justice for Oscar Grant, the many aspects of racist state repression have become prominent and public, and the opportunity now exists to put the system on trial—not only for the murder of Oscar Grant Jr. but for all the police murders, the racial profiling, the state repression, the criminalization of migrants, of tracking youth out of school and into the military and prison, of the systematic attacks on the refugees from imperialist wars, of the ICE raids and thousands deported, of the gang injunctions, and the repression of resistance.

All these issues have been with us for a long time, but the economic and political crisis of the imperialist system in recent years has intensified these attacks on a world wide scale, with ever-expanding wars and suppression of people’s struggles and solidarity movements. The government’s terror has been brought down on the people and especially on oppressed and displaced and “profiled” communities. This is a huge challenge to the people, but it also creates the basis for more unified resistance. Once exposed, the system is thrown on the defensive. Our experiences and issues have rarely been so prominent, and we can now detail them with testimony and link them. Giving our voices to the experiences we have, both individual and shared experiences, we can truly indict the system and document the people’s case throughout our communities, across the country, and around the world.

The victims and witnesses of police violence and state repression don’t have to be isolated with this knowledge. When it is shared, we will gain a significant edge in the struggle for justice. But all must play a part and bring this knowledge forward. The struggles waged over the past years have created a platform. The People’s Hearing put the case against racist police violence and state repression to test.

The People’s Hearing also presented many ways to fight forward on every front, with more unity at each step.

Please support the event and the spirit of it by sharing the videos and transcription, that you can find on our main page.

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