January 1st marks the 8th anniversary of the murder of Oscar Grant III by then BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle. As in years past, Oscar’s family, friends and the Oakland community will gather at Grant (Fruitvale) station on Sunday, January 1, 2017 from 12-4 pm to honor the life of Oscar J. Grant III.
In the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, Oscar was making his way home from San Francisco with his friends when they were pulled off the train by BART police officers. Within minutes, the unarmed Oscar was called a racial slur, punched, handcuffed, slammed to the ground and ultimately shot in the back. The BART police officers were so violent and escalated the situation so quickly that train passengers pulled out their phones and captured the entire tragic incident. The videos of Oscar’s murder sparked a grass-roots community led movement with an international reach and forever changed the way families and communities organize against police brutality.
Indeed, the Black Lives Matter Movement of today can easily be traced back to the three-year struggle led by Oakland community members as they struggled for justice for Oscar. That struggle eventually led to the first time in California history, an on-duty police officer was arrested, tried and convicted for the shooting of an unarmed black man.
“This is a vigil – a celebration of my son’s life. We will stand in unity with our community and with a prayer that the violence ends today – and that no other family ever has to endure what we have managed to survive.” Let this day be a reminder for ourselves and for others where we stand in the struggle for justice. As we honor Oscar, we also honor ourselves. We are all Oscar Grant!
Performances featuring Mark Bamuthi Joseph, Candice Antique, Ryan Nicole, Young Gifted and Black, Kev Choice and other special guests.
About the Oscar Grant Foundation (OGF)
The Oscar Grant Foundation (OGF) was established in August 2010, as a Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation after the criminal trial and subsequent conviction of former B.A.R.T. Police Officer Johannes Mehserle for the January 1, 2009, unlawful killing of Oscar Julius Grant III. Oscar’s mother, Rev. Wanda R. Johnson, now heads the Foundation, and its mission is to help bridge the gap of distrust between individuals in at-risk communities and law enforcement. The goal of the OGF is to be a resource for those in need.