Occupy Oakland Activist Arrested on Charges Related to MayDay Protest – #FreePrince
Occupy Oakland was and continues to be one of, if not the most, radical occupations in the nation. During the first year of our street protests many of our comrades in the struggle were targeted, violently arrested, and caged in an attempt by City officials to discourage and terrorize the public into avoiding the fast growing movement. Through this constant state repression, the Occupy Oakland community became stronger and gained the necessary skills needed to combat further threats against our co-revolutionaries. With these learned skills comes the unfortunate reality of putting them to use, this time for one of my very best friends, and beloved friend to many within the OO community, Prince Hasheem Bason.
During the 2012 Mayday protests in Oakland, the OPD switched up it’s normal crowd control tactics and sent in ‘snatch squads’ to remove people who they perceived to be planning unlawful actions. Without any warning, groups of officers marched in formation directly through the crowd in search of their targets, as you can see in the below video. Prince was one of the activists to be targeted and arrested early in the day. More than three officers assaulted Prince, before one used their tazer to bring him down. It’s more than clear that there was no reason for any of these arrests to be made, as no illegal activity (on the part of the protesters) was taking place. Prince was held for 72 hours, brutalized, and released with no charges. The DA quietly filed charges later, and issued a warrant for his arrest.
Two of the officers involved in Prince’s brutal arrest on MayDay have been identified as Officer Fukuda and Officer W. Burke. Officer Burke was seen on Mayday, multiple times, pointing his rifle at people in the crowd, and waving it around carelessly. Officer Burke was also fired at one point, for falsifying search warrants, but was rehired in arbitration.
On Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 the Oakland Police Department sent ten officers to Prince’s home to make good on their warrant. With their rifles drawn, the officers surrounded his home before entering and removing him from his bedroom in handcuffs. Prince’s warrant came from a court date where a third charge, PC 69, (threatening an officer) was added by the Alameda District Attorney’s office without notice.
With his first child expected to be born within the month, Prince needs all of our support so he can be home and ready to embark on the journey of fatherhood, rather than battling the legal system because he decided to stand up for what he believed in. A better world for the next generation, is that too much to ask?
He is currently facing the following charges, and is being held on $25,000 bail, which may change. To support Prince’s legal battle, please click HERE.
- PC 243(b) – battery on an officer
- PC 644/211 – robbery of an officer
- PC 69 – felony obstruction & resisting
- PC 148(a) – m obstruction
His Arraignment will be on March 21st at the Wiley Manuel Courthouse at 2PM in dept 112. (661 Washington Street Oakland, California 94607,) where his supporters plan to Pack The Courts! RSVP on Facebook HERE. You can also bring attention to Prince’s situation and help us gain more public support by tweeting with the #FREEPRINCE hashtag.
UPDATE 3/21/13 9:50PM-
More than 30 of Prince’s comrades showed up for today’s 2PM arraignment! Judging by the smile on his face when he saw us, I think it’s safe to say he felt our solidarity and love.
All charges, with the exception of PC 69, were dropped! Though he was denied release by his own recognizance, we were able to raise the funds needed to post bail! Prince is expected to be released from the Santa Rita jail late tonight (2AM) where we will be waiting to take him home!
The pretrial hearing has been set for April 4, 2013 and the pretrial examination has been set for May 8, 2013.
On behalf of the Free Prince committee we would like to extend a huge thanks to the Oakland anti-repression crew for all of their support, and a shout out to everyone who helped get the word out so fast! With your help, we were able to raise the funds for bail in ONE NIGHT! Solidarity forever friends! <3
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Prince, an original occupier, gave an interview at the beginning of Snow Park about embracing new people to Occupy and making the camp welcoming for people who can’t make it downtown. From October 8, 2011.