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In the wee hours of the cold, wet morning of November 20th, 2012, as a cadre of SEIU Local 1021 workers in Oakland prepared to shut down the Port of Oakland in search of a contract without clawbacks they had been without for more than a year, a man wearing a Justice 4 Alan Blueford T-shirt -- who has never been a member of a union -- arrived.


That man is Adam Blueford, father of Alan Blueford, executed by Oakland Police Officer Miguel Masso on May 6th, 2012. What would make a man who had lost his only son just six months ago drive hours in from his home in Stockton, CA, rising up out of bed at some insanely early hour, all to march back and forth in the rain starting at 5:00 AM -- for a cause that he would never directly benefit from?

Members of SEIU Local 1021, members of the Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition (JAB), and members of Occupy Oakland's Labor Solidarity Committee have a history of working together. SEIU Local 1021 became the second Bay Area union local to pass a resolution supporting the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition's demands, following the lead of ILWU Local 10. And so when the call went out for picket support just a few days prior to November 20th, Adam Blueford and his friends from JAB, OOLSC & Occupy Oakland made it clear that they would be there for the SEIU. And in fact they did come out, visibily and actively.

In an ongoing joint effort, the Occupy Oakland Labor Solidarity Committee and the Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition have patiently and persistently sought out Labor's support. First, as noted, the ILWU and SEIU; more recently UNITE HERE Local 2850 and the Oakland Education Association.

The success of these efforts laid the groundwork for achieving a larger goal, one that had been being pursued diligently for months. On Monday, January 14th, the San Francisco Labor Council -- with 150 affiliated unions representing more than 100,000 union members and their families -- unanimously approved a resolution in support of justice for Alan Blueford.

Adopted unanimously by SAN FRANCISCO LABOR COUNCIL, Jan. 14, 2013

Whereas a Black person is killed by law enforcement once every 36 hours, per the Malcolm X Grass Roots Movement's study;

Whereas the federal report monitoring the Oakland Police Department states that the Oakland Police Department pulls guns on Black and Latino people disproportionately to the number of times guns are pulled on whites;

Whereas two new reports by a federal monitor, criticized the OPD's handling of officer-involved shootings and Occupy Oakland protests;

Whereas Alan Blueford, an 18 year old Black youth, who was about to graduate from Skyline H.S., was killed by OPD Officer Masso on May 6.

Whereas OPD has provided at least four versions of what happened the night Alan Blueford was killed, including the claim that the Officer Masso was shot in a gun battle with Alan Blueford, when he later admitted that he shot himself in the foot;

Whereas the OPD:
  A.    Engaged in racial profiling and violated numerous OPD policies;
  B.    Engaged in a cover-up (Made numerous false statements and repeatedly changed their story);
  C.    Showed complete disregard for the life of Alan Blueford and the dignity of the family;
  D.    Had the coroner's report withheld from the family for 3 months, and the police report for 5 months;

Whereas, the Coroner's Report reveals that Alan Blueford had no gun residue on his hands, no alcohol or drugs in his system, and implies that Alan Blueford was shot while lying on his back;

Whereas Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley declared she will not charge Officer Masso for the killing of Alan Blueford. Her report shows strong bias as, for example, relying on Masso's statement that Alan was standing when he first shot him, despite 11 out of 12 witness statements to the contrary;

Therefore, be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council pass a resolution seeking Justice For Alan Blueford and demand that the Federal Monitor take strong action against OPD including:
  1.    Stopping the OPD from racial and ethnic profiling and violence against people of color;
  2.    Instituting stricter background checks, training, apprehension and gun use policies within the OPD;
  3.    The firing of Officer Masso;

Further be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council demand that the Alameda County District Attorney immediately charge Officer Masso with murder.

Finally be it resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council send this resolution to U.S. District Court Judge Thelton Henderson, Alameda District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, SFLC affiliates, the Alameda Labor Council, the California Federation of Labor, the AFL-CIO, for concurrence and action.

Submitted by Marcus Holder, ILWU Local 10; David Welsh, NALC 214; Carl Finamore, IAMAW, Air Transport Local Lodge 1781; Alan Benjamin, OPEIU Local 3; Allan Fisher, AFT 2121; Rodger Scott, AFT 2121; Alysabeth Alexander, SEIU 1021.

Similar resolutions have been passed by ILWU 10 Executive Board and General membership meetings, SEIU 1021 Executive Board, the Oakland Education Association Representative Council (on 12/3/12) and Unite Here 2850 Executive Board (1/7/13).


Not since the Oscar Grant movement put together an impressive coalition have we seen the beginnings of a coming together of community and community organizations like this in the Bay Area.

On Oct. 23, 2010 the ILWU - in partnership with more than 50 other organizations - is shutting down the Port of Oakland to demand justice for Oscar Grant as the sentencing date for his murderer, convicted former BART cop Johannes Mehserle, approaches.
All the more impressive the support JAB has been able to obtain from Labor and others in the community -- insofar as Alan Blueford was killed not on camera in a crowded BART station in a circumstance where all the world could see and judge for themselves. He was killed on a street in East Oakland where few, if any, claim to have actually seen Miguel Masso pull the trigger four times, though many heard the shots.

This is how you fight injustice.

This is what solidarity looks like.


Information on Alan Blueford:

Justice 4 Alan Blueford Coalition website.

Documents relating to the Blueford Case.


Another Young Black Man Gunned Down by Police on the Streets of Oakland.

I Am The Mother of Murder Victim Alan Blueford.

No Justice, No Peace

End Racing Profiling. End Stop & Frisk. The Movement is Building. The Movement is Now.

And the Children Shall Lead Them.

Are the Oakland Police Going Down At Last? At Long Last?

Wouldn't 136 Bullets Have Been Enough?

Angela Davis Speaks Truth to Power. Come Hear Her Live and Up Close..

"As a Long Time Resident of Oakland I Feel Personally Responsible for Having Allowed The Police of This City to Continue Their Practices of Racist Violence"

Originally posted to jpmassar on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:24 AM PST.

Also republished by Occupy Wall Street, California politics, SFKossacks, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, In Support of Labor and Unions, and Black Kos community.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Solidarity... a foreign sounding concept for many (8+ / 0-)

    Thank you for the picture and the report. It takes more than talk, writing letters and signing petitions to build coalitions, consensus and political power. Literally standing beside others in their struggle is necessary even though it is usually inconvenient and difficult.

    Infidels in all ages have battled for the rights of man, and have at all times been the advocates of truth and justice... Robert Ingersol

    by BMarshall on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:22:25 AM PST

  •  Republished to (6+ / 0-)

    In Support of Labor and Unions


    Black Kos.

    There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

    by Puddytat on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 10:36:03 AM PST

  •  Thank you so much, JP. (4+ / 0-)

    This really gives me hope. God, I hope this makes it to the Rec list or at least gets "rescued".

    For the record, I went to the same High School as Alan Blueford, and so did Oscar winning actor Tom Hanks.

    If "elitist" just means "not the dumbest motherfucker in the room", I'll be an elitist! - David Rees from "Get Your War On".

    by Oaktown Girl on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 01:13:32 PM PST

  •  From Occupy Oakland; A brief history (5+ / 0-)

    Occupy Oakland

    History of Oakland Police Department

    During World War II, the shipbuilding industry created a job boom in the East Bay. Tens of thousands of poor farmworkers—both Black and white—left the Deep South for Oakland in the hope of landing jobs. The southern whites brought with them the expectations of preferential treatment that they received in the Jim Crow states and expected a subservient attitude from their African American coworkers. But the southern Blacks, no longer under the yoke of Jim Crow segregation, began to fight back and demand equal treatment in the Oakland community.

    In the 1950s, the Oakland Police Department began openly recruiting police officers from the Deep South to impose unofficial Jim Crow injustice in the city of Oakland. The brutality of these southern cops gave impetus to the formation of the Black Panther Party in Oakland in 1966.

    In the early 2000s, Oakland residents filed a class-action lawsuit against the OPD for allowing a group of officers calling themselves the Rough Riders to routinely and openly use excessive force, falsify reports, and plant incriminating evidence. In 2008, 16 Asian women won $2 million from the city when it was demonstrated that OPD officers had singled them out for sexual harassment. Recently, it has been reported that photos of an African American judge and an Asian city official hanging in OPD headquarters were defaced with blatantly racist language. With such a history, it makes sense that the OPD would actually seek out an officer with Masso’s history.
     - emphasis added

    It's very good to see the words union solidarity again in these times , and even better to see solidarity in action getting the job done - nice work

    Thx jpmassar

  •  Inspiring. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Words In Action

    Thanks jp.  I just wish this had gotten more eyes and attention.  But then I got here too late to help.  But this is the kind of coming together and solidarity which the P&J movement needs so very much now, before it is too late.

    "Truth and love will overcome lies and hatred.” Vaclav Havel

    by dharmasyd on Sun Jan 20, 2013 at 09:00:10 PM PST

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