Hundreds attend rally for police shooting victim

originally by: Mercury News
published : 23rd October 2010

Members of a dock workers union rallied on Saturday in support of an unarmed black man killed by a white transit police officer in Oakland.

The International Longshore and Warehouse Union said it shutdown ports in the San Francisco Bay area although a spokeswoman for the Port of Oakland said the event did not have a significant impact on the port’s operations.

Hundreds of people attended the rally for Oscar Grant in front of Oakland City Hall, some holding signs that read, “We are Oscar Grant.”

Former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle was convicted in July of involuntary manslaughter in the shooting of Grant on New Year’s Day 2009. He is scheduled to be sentenced in two weeks, and union members want him to receive the maximum penalty of 14 years in prison.

“We’re all here for Oscar Grant,” ILWU Local 10 President Richard Mead told the crowd. “An injury to one is an injury to all.”

The union, which is largely African American and Hispanic, has a history of social activism that includes opposition to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and apartheid in South Africa, union officials said.

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