The Anastasio Project: Insights from the Community


I don’t have experience with this. This
is new for me. I use to be the kind of person who would just
sit at home watching these cases. Now i always say how awful, because now it
has happened to me But since this has happened to me and my husband I am always there to support people when something
bad happens and share their pain. Once you’ve gone through something bad yourself
you can really feel what they are going through. and it gives you the courage to stand up and
say “how can they keep getting away with this?
How?” The girl who took the video once said to me,
“Maria, your husband wasn’t doing anything.” “He didn’t do anything.” He was hog tied and handcuffed
when they beat him to death. Don’t get me started on boarder patrol The least training, the least accountability They get away with murder quite literally. There is no process after they kill somebody
for any kind of independent investigation The goal is not to have a human rights oriented,
well trained, safely mechanism at the border. It’s to have some trigger happy nuts
keep the boarder scary. And it’s working because we keep on seeing
them getting away with it over and over again There is like no real distinction between
border patrol and police they are all enforcers of the same system. I always kind of chuckle when people are all
shocked about police brutality
when the violence at the border at the hands of
law enforcement has been going on for years. People don’t understand it until they feel
it for themselves. Then they try to stratify it like,
“This is worse than this, no this is worse than this” But it’s the same enforcers for the same
system. They don’t like any of us the same. You know police brutality ain’t nothing
new. Shit, I still remember the Oakland riders. I’ve been dealing with police since technically I was like about 14 years old. I’ve been getting harassed since I was about 14. But you know because of how I look
its not really a surprise. I think the first time I really lost all respect
for the police I was probably about 16 years old. I was with my cousin. And my cousin had a
bad reputation. They pulled us over, they put me in handcuffs
and they beat me up. You lose complete respect for somebody when
you’re a little kid being beat up by three or four
grown men. I can’t even describe how it felt. It just made me feel some type of way. My whole life I have been getting harassed
by the police Never in my life have I thought that the police
were for us. I never felt like the police were there strictly
to help me. I don’t remember exactly were it was in
Hayward or I don’t know where. But we where at this woman’s house so my dad would bring a ball or something
so we could play in the parking lot
because we didn’t want to bother my mom during her work stuff. So we would bring balls or just things to
distract us. These white kids were messing with us, and
they were throwing things at us. so my dad told them to leave us alone. and then they left and they were just being
mean or whatever to me and my sister. And then next thing you know they are rounding
up all the men of color in that apartment complex Including my father. The cops came and they grabbed him and they
had them all on the wall We didn’t know want was happening. We were
all like “what?! What happened?!” So those kids said that my dad pulled a gun
or a knife on them, it was crazy.
My dads like we didn’t pull no knife on them. So they went through every one of them. It was like a group of I don’t know like
10 guys or something that where on the wall. So they picked my dad out of course because
he’s the one that told them something. We had like a little bucket like a little
Toyota hatchback. So they are like “yeah it was you.” And they asked him so you have anything in
the car? Do you have a knife or anything? So he remembered that you know in order to
cut the sandia he had a knife and it was like a kitchen
knife. So he said yeah actually I do have a kitchen
knife because of x y and z And they didn’t believe him. Well anyways, they did find the knife and
I don’t remember what happened after that. We where crying and we felt really bad
and then my dad told us that it was our fault Because we were messing with those kids and
he had to say something. And then my mom came and it was like super
embarrassing for her. I remember it was like this big thing Him being stereotyped and us being so scared
because we didn’t know what was going to happen. Taking the black male out of the family is
something they have been doing for years That was one of the best ways to keep us under
control you know The best way to destroy the family is to take
the male component completely out of the family. Whether its demasculating him in front of
his family, taking him away and killing him, Placing him in jail and keeping him away from
the family. You know they have been doing that since slavery. There has been so much suffering. More so with my children They ask, “when are we going to see our
father?” I can only do so much, I even have them in
therapy but… That was their father, there is no cure for
that. Just knowing that you are one interaction
away from being in jail or being detained Being shipped off to some detention center
or Guantanamo or whatever You are just one interaction away from it. It’s like being a runaway slave or like
being constantly on parole. That’s the only I can describe the feeling You’re only one interaction with law enforcement
away. That’s all it takes. I think they create a big fear in our communities. Even from when we were little, “Oh if you
don’t behave la policia are going to take you.” “Ahi esta la policia!” you get since you
were little. Like it’s a bad thing. And its not a bad thing in a “safety”
kind of way. Its like BAD. They are gonna take you and
that’s a rap for you. They bring a big fear into our families and
into our communities, and its just toxic.
Its like we’ve never seen were they have helped us till
this day, at least personally. I think when people get things mistaken when
they say “upliftment” in their community. Especially people who are not from these areas “Oh I want to stop violence” that’s
fine. “Oh I want to make it a better place to
live.” But then the question is, who are you stopping
the violence for? Who are you making this a better
place for? Is it for the people who are originally from
this community? Or is it for people who want to live here
who are not from this community? When you say “I want to bring in businesses
to this community,” to serve who? When you say “I want to bring new developments
as in apartments to this community,” to serve
who? When you say “I want to stop the violence
in this community,” to serve who? you know 24th and mission when they were trying to clean that area up
to make way for the new gentry to come in, they did a gang injunction. all of these communities that are ripe for
gentrification, The first thing they come do is attack the
community with a gang injunction. Gang injunctions target folks in the community,
the worst of the worst they say. Basically if you are on probation or not,
they have the right to search you. They have the right to tell you where to go,
who not to talk to, what colors you can wear. So I spent the whole day in San Francisco
one time, then i came back to Oakland. Right when I hit Oakland on 27th Ave, I seen
a cop drive by and hit a u turn. I was thinking in the back of my head like…
I got nervous, I know I’m legit… But I hit two blocks and just like a swarm
of cars pulled up on me. You know, pulled out their guns, I’m with
my girlfriend, and they are telling me to get out. So I’m getting out the car and I’m like “is
this all necessary?” I’m by myself with my girlfriend. They’re like “your a gang member, your on
the injunction.” And as they were cuffing me, it made my hair
stand up on my neck. cause a rookie cop came up behind me and was
shaking. You could hear the cuffs shaking, and I’m
like whoa! So i like froze. And I’m like “officer, why
are you shaking?” “Because you are a gang member and you might
shoot all of us right here.” They target, most of the time, these families
that have been their for generations and generations. Usually a lot of times they have their own
property. It’s basically trying to destabilize that
whole community. And make way for the new wave of new folks
with new money to come in It seems like its just a trap to bring you
back into that system. Cause if you go out there and you talk to
another person on the gang injunction, They can pull you over and give you a ticket.
If they see it agian they can give you six months up in the
county jail. Then you lose your house, you lose your car,
you lose your job. And then that brings like a cycle of going
back to your old ways because… When folks tend to see your past,
they don’t want to hire you. You know, once you find a job that is either
unaware or you are able to work around your immigration
status… you’re pretty much stuck there. because there is no job security. The minute
you quit or try to find another job… Even if you are qualified, even if you have
the education and the degrees it’s like… you still gotta jump that hurdle of whether
your status is gonna come into play. Prison system, thats the new slavery. Imperialism, neo colonialism, that’s the
new slavery. When you look at pop culture, pop culture
is the new slavery, especially with the minds of young folks. the way I approach immigration is, it’s not
a problem, it is a symptom of problems. And those problems are Imperialism, capitalism,
white supremacy, and the new world order. This cannot stay this way, we have to have
justice. I have a lot of anger, Because they left my children without a father. I am here fighting for them And I’m going to continue until there is
justice

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