Justice Rally for Slain, Unarmed Youths Set for City Hall

Following a successful and peaceful protest in front of the Long Beach courthouse last week, P.E.A.C.E. (Protect Everyone America Created Equally) founder Arlana Walton has announced a justice rally for Manuel Diaz and Oscar Grant this Wednesday in front of City Hall.

22-year-old Oscar Grant was unarmed and fatally shot by Johannes Mehserle of the BART Police at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland on New Year’s Day of 2009. After allegedly being involved in a fight on the train, Grant was apprehended by Mehserle, laid on the ground with his hands behind his back. According to Mercury News, Mehserle felt Grant was resisting and cell phone footage shows Mehserle saying, “Get back, I’m going to taze him,” and then shot Grant in the back.

Mehserle was convicted of involuntary manslaughter on July 9, 2010 and sentenced to two years; he was released on parole on June 13, 2011.

PEACE Rally 01Manuel Diaz, a 25-year-old resident of Anaheim, was approached by police on July 21, 2012, after police responded to a call about men suspiciously congregating. When approached, the unarmed Diaz supposedly attempted to flee and was shot, later succumbing to his wounds at a hospital.

The shooting caused massive protests and unrest, with Anaheim police controversially unleashing dogs towards children and seemingly firing rubber bullets at no one in particular. The two officers involved in Diaz’s death have yet to be apprehended or charged.

Walton, who previously emphasized her philosophy to the Post as educational, feels it is her and the community’s obligation to inform those less educated about how laws work–both for and against them.

“The last sentence in the Pledge of Allegiance reads, ‘Indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’ It’s a pledge to fulfill our duties and obligations as citizens of the Untied States,” Walton said in a release. “And to uphold the principals of our constitution, the United States Of America needs to practice what they preach. Until the system changes, it’s the responsibility of organizations like P.E.A.C.E., AnswerLA, the Oscar Grant Foundation and as well as the voices of you as a community member to speak out for change.”

P.E.A.C.E.’s mission to “increase the understanding of how to interrupt the law and how to effectively challenge the discrepancies within it” will continue with their justice rally for Grant and Diaz as well as their educational forum on the 14th Amendment.

“We have to fight for justice,” Walton continued. “If that means [we do so] with walk outs, sit-ins and weekly protests, then this is what we must do.”

P.E.A.C.E. will hold their rally at Long Beach City Hall, located at 333 W Ocean Boulevard, this Wednesday at noon until the crowd disperses. For more information, email [email protected].

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