Tuesday, July 26, 2005

"Sideshows" to be banned in Oakland

OAKLAND (KRON) -- Oakland Police are enforcing a new city law that bans spectators from attending so called sideshows. A first offense can lead to a $500 fine and possible arrest.
"The attacks comes down primarily on the African-American community through these sideshows," Bakari Olotunji with the International People's Uhuru Movement told KRON 4's Tony Zarella. "There are a lot of other people who participate but the majority of people who participate are African people who live here in the city of Oakland so yes, it is a very racially divided question here in the city of Oakland.
City councilman Larry Reid doesn't want to hear it.
"Uhuru doesn't speak on behalf of the African-American community," Reid told Tony. "They are a socialist organization. Every year I've had more homicides in the city than anyplace else. 80% of our homicides are African-Americans who look like me and 80% of those who are committing the crime are African-Americans. That is not racial profiling. That's black-on-black crime and it needs to stop."
Police have made 179 arrests at sideshows in the last two months.
"Again," Olotunji said, "it's a consequence of young people coming together trying to induce self-expression. We talk about Grateful Dead concerts when young white people are coming together at Oakland Coliseum for their artistic expression, it was a similar kind of activity.
Olotunji says he worked as a nurse and saw people dying at the Dead shows.
Reid says it's not about cracking down on youth.
"These are not young people," Reid said. "These are young adults ages 26 up to 34, 37 years old who are out there until two, three, or four o'clock in the morning engaging in this insanity."
The city of Oakland has added 16 extra police officer through Sunday to find and crackdown on sideshows


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