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JULY 21, 2016
Christy Tennery-Spalding 301-520-9933
Scott Parkin 415-235-0596

Community organizers stand in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives to demand #FreedomNow and reinvestment in communities.

OAKLAND, CA – Community organizers are currently gathered at the Oakland Police Department and are occupying the area as a part of the #FreedomNow Global Call to Action. Organizers are locked to the doorway, in order to highlight the ongoing crises of police brutality, housing and displacement, and institutional violence against Black people both here in Oakland and nation-wide.

In solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives, the group is currently occupying the doors of
the Oakland Police Department, calling on Mayor Libby Schaaf to address the demands of the
community regarding defunding the Oakland Police Department. The group joins the chorus of
voices demanding that the city redirect 50% of its current police budget to meet community
needs, including housing, mental health services, and jobs. We echo their call for #FreedomNow.
“We are here to demand an end to violence against Black people and Black communities as well
as the end to policing in this country as we know it. Until Black people are free from violence
and oppression, as well as the impacts of gentrification and displacement, none of us is truly
free,” said Sarah Raridon.

The Oakland Police Department currently consumes 60% of Oakland’s city budget. Meanwhile,
under Libby Schaff’s leadership, the city of Oakland continues to cut funding for essential
services including job training and youth programming.

“We here today to call attention to the ongoing crisis of institutional racism and violence against
Black people and communities. We do not believe that policing creates safety. We are here
demand that our city divest from the destruction of Black communities and to invest in their
futures,” said Lisa Prochello.

Until these issues are addressed, we continue to take action in solidarity with the Movement for
Black Lives and demand an end to police murder of black people in Oakland.