After the recent beating of Brandon Manning, a 24-year-old African American resident, the Richmond chapter of the NAACP called a vigil in El Sobrante, CA on Feb. 5, 2009, to support Manning and his family. Two dozen community members joined city and religious leaders who huddled together in the rain at the park where Manning was attacked. “I’m here to give my support to the Manning family,” said Richmond Mayor Gayle McLaughlin. “Ultimately I want to say Richmond is a place that welcomes people of all races, creeds and cultures, all sexual orientations — and at times like this, we come together to support each other and to strengthen our resolve and ability to respond and to just come back stronger.”
February 16, 2009 - 9:00pm
January 21, 2009 - 9:00pm
On the Sunday before the presidential inauguration, thousands of people celebrated the upcoming presidency of Barack Obama at the “We Are One” concert, featuring performances and speeches from a wide range of celebrities. The festivities, held in front of the Lincoln Memorial, were launched with a powerful opening prayer by Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop. Bishop Robinson’s invocation unfortunately was not aired during HBO’s live broadcast of the event. You can watch the entire “We Are One” concert, with the invocation included at the beginning, at HBO’s website. Below is a video of the invocation by itself and the text of the invocation:
January 21, 2009 - 9:00pm
In the aftermath of the police killing of Oscar Grant and the riots that ensued, Oakland residents are demonstrating the strength in their communities. Here’s a collection of stories from our town showing how Oakland is resisting violence: Oakland School for the Arts Students Participate in Walkout On Friday, January 9, fifty students at Oakland School for the Arts, located in the Fox Theatre in downtown Oakland, mobilized in a walkout. The protesters marched and chanted in resistance to both the execution of Oscar Grant and the continued occupation and active aggression toward Gaza and all of Palestine. The procession moved from OSA, on 19th and Telegraph, to 14th and Broadway, an intersection that has seen much dissent regarding Oscar’s murder.
January 11, 2009 - 9:00pm
The following is a personal perspective from Patrice O’Neill, executive producer of The Working Group. This week, just outside our office doors, hundreds of young people ran through the streets of downtown Oakland smashing windows and stomping on cars. The so-called “riot” was prompted by the killing of Oscar Grant, a 22-year-old African American man who was shot to death by a white Bay Area Rapid Transit system police officer. Several witnesses captured the killing on their cell phone cameras. They show Oscar Grant face down on the ground, surrounded by police officers. Officer Johannes Mehserle appears to pull out his gun and shoot Oscar Grant in the back. KTVU’s local news report features video of the police shooting. And check out an insightful take on the protests and riots on 38th Notes, an Oakland blog.
January 6, 2009 - 9:00pm
At the height of the holiday season, community members in Richmond and neighboring cities came together to show support for the survivor of a brutal hate crime. On December 27, over 150 people gathered for a candlelight vigil held for a woman who was gang raped by four men. The victim, an openly gay 28-year-old woman, was assaulted on the evening of December 13. Upon leaving her car, which had a rainbow sticker on the license plate, the woman was struck with a blunt object and repeatedly raped by the four men. Throughout the 45-minute attack, the attackers made remarks about the victim’s sexual orientation. The attack ended when they forced her out of her car and drove away, leaving her naked by a burned-out apartment complex. Last week, police arrested four suspects, two adults and two teenagers, in this case. The four men have been charged with kidnapping, gang rape, and car jacking. Hate crime enhancements have also been brought against one of the assailants.