Jessica Hollie aka Bella Eiko speaks to the Oakland City Council

This is from the Occupied News Wire. It originally appeared in the Occupied Oakland Tribune.

Transcribed by @MrEJFox

Can I get the technician to put this image up for a couple of minutes? It’s a close-up of what Bridget was holding just a second ago, so you guys can actually see the reason of us needing this.

And before I really go into what I’ve written, I want to let you know, Ms Kernighan, that I just found out my mother has 12 months to live, and I gotta come here and explain to you that a shield is about self defense. So let’s put your silliness in perspective really quick before I start.

Number one, I live in Oakland. I’m an Oaklander. I’m a raider, Oakland raider. I wear black. Black power. Black panthers. That’s what I do. Guess what? Our football team, what is their emblem? Skull and bones and shield, and you want to prosecute Oaklanders? Are you kidding me? Like on different levels I don’t understand the willful ignorance that you constantly perpetrate here.

The quotes for SFGate that Michael just talked about, I don’t wanna re-read it, I want you to know unfortunately for you I get to have a dissenting voice. In case you didn’t get the memo, with the constitution and the first amendment, let me be the one to remind you that I don’t care if you think a protest should look like that or not. I don’t think I should have to come out, downtown Oakland, before 12 noon to be tear gassed 3 times, and have to dodge a damn grenade or whatever it was that exploded behind my head. After I came and cried to ya’ll about me being afraid to go document mayday.

I went to see a therapist to get diagnosed with temporary PTSD, from the shit I saw on May 1st! The same shit that soldiers come home from war with, Iraq, Afghanistan, hiding in ditches, watching people get shot and killed, dragging families out of their home. They come home with the SAME SHIT.

You should be fuckin’ shamed of yourself.

I don’t have time to curb my language, because shit is fucked up and bullshit. I can sugarcoat it all day long, but all it does is make people be comfortable to be appeased. So I hope I am making you uncomfortable.

I also wanted to let you know I am running for city council. Because I plan to agitate the fuck out of you, do you understand? I don’t really wanna win, because I don’t have any faith in electoral politics anymore, didn’t come up here on december 20th like that. But if I do win, I promise I will ride your ass like a rodeo junkie. And make sure you don’t just get away with whatever. And I am talking to you like this, because you’re the one who said that citizen’s concerns are fucking ridiculous.

I remember I had to stand up for Sven when he  jumped down your throat like she should have. Remember that? It’s on YouTube, I made a video and sliced it up so people could just go on and watch that. As someone who worked with the radical feminist groups during the 70s I am disturbed by your consistent actions and statements that citizens concerns are foolish. And that’s only some of the reason I’d love to hear more about Jane Brunner’s term limits for city council members, because you’ve been here too long, it’s time for you to go.

With all this focus on violence I want to know what you’re doing about the very violent OPD that caused me to have PTSD after May Day. I didn’t commit a crime, unless maybe 148 a,b,c, what is it? I was standing on the sidewalk and when the police came I told them I had a right to be here, so maybe I blocked them for a second. Is that a crime? Should I go to jail for that? Do I not have a right to travel freely in downtown Oakland?

Shame on you for trying to pass legislation like this, using the fear mongering that MSM caters to while committing video plagiarism and then trying to label a very moralled college professor as a troublemaker. You can see mainstream media is gone, they don’t even wanna cover the shit I speak for. Of course these programs come here to express gratitude for you for the table scraps you offer them in comparison to what the police get to criminalize the same people that these programs are trying to help.

Like Lupe Fiasco said, “tease them with the upper crust, you give, then you move it, so you never keeping up enough.” Right, crabs in a bucket fighting for survival? They gonna be happy for the little table scraps you offer them, but you always have hella money for OPD, right? Resourceful as hell. You can reach out and fucking touch somebody, huh, to get some money for OPD. But when it comes up for social programming, or schools or any of that, you’re at a loss. Cry me a river I’m tired of your excuses. What I wanna know is why you’re cutting mental health services for the children, you should know these are the same children in Oakland who are getting mental health issues by coming outside and seeing what the police are doing when their parents try to teach them about their right to protest and have a dissenting voice in this country.

I wanna know why you haven’t talked about Grace Napolitano’s initiative, the Mental Health in Schools Act, that she’s been trying to push for some years. That had very successful test results in southern California. Do you know anything about that? That was my NFALD debate topic last year where I actually found that and did the research on my own because I’m concerned about my community and that was something that I was interested in debating. I did that for free. Actually I paid for it, because I have to pay to go to school. You get paid to be here, it’s your job to make shit better, what’s your problem?

I wanna say look at the Ice Cream 3, I spoke about Nneka before I came in here and cried, talked about her mom. Her mom’s right there. I talked about her sister, and how her sister’s a lawyer now. We’re all trying to go to law school. These are the same individuals that the Oakland Police Department and mainstream media slandered their names. Hate crimes. They don’t say anything about the fact I was standing there that my footage caught the lady calling teardrop a nigga, that I ran in front of her and said “don’t hit me” because she had her first drew back to hit him. But somehow the OPD managed to falsify the police reports to say that there were people present there who weren’t even there, they were just known occupiers. Hold on, let me give you one, they say Teardrop is Melvin, Teardrop is shorter than me, Melvin is hella tall, it doesn’t even matter do you see what I’m saying?

This happens in the court of law with the abusive legislation you put forth. Telling me “Oh I don’t think they’re going to prosecute it that way.” YES THEY DO. Because I am not as big as a sidewalk, when I stand on the sidewalk I am not blocking you from going by me, but I will get arrested for malicious obstruction of a throughway, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

I don’t see any recognition of the police department’s complete and utter failure to do anything that resembles law enforcement in regards to occupy protests. Instead the city council keeps giving them money and passing more legislation to excuse the abuses.

I’m talking to you please don’t look away from me right now.

I want to talk about mayday again, let me go back to that. Because we’re talking about this new policy OPD has, right? Well guess what their new policy did? Their new policy for snatch-and-grabbing still shot teargas in the crowd.

I’m talking to you, Ms. Kernighan, it’s your initiative, I’m talking to you, I don’t care! Look at me. I don’t care, stop talking! You don’t talk ’til all the speakers do. That’s your rules, abide by them. That’s your rules. Abide by them, it’s your job.

I want to talk about May Day again, okay. How many years has mayday been happening in the city of Oakland? How many times did it get teargassed? There were asthmatics in the group, children, disabled people. I’m standing behind the line of police, where the protestors are over there, and I gotta dodge canisters. And somehow that’s an improved policy? Like I said before, the policy doesn’t need to be changed, we got this reform so far up our asses it’s clouding our judgement. The policy doesn’t have to be changed, they need to be held accountable. You can sit up here and say whatever. I can say I’m not gonna cuss on the mic but if I get up here and still do it, then I’ve proven you I have no integrity, right? My word cant be counted on? Well they came and said they wouldn’t come and teargas large groups of people and crowds to control them, especially to grab one individual. They lied. Don’t believe it? Go to ustream.tv and search Bella Eiko, Courtney Occupy, Justizin. It’s free. You don’t gotta pay Comcast hella hundreds of dollars to get that.

Why is it that you don’t understand that you keep giving money to the same gang. Organized, oppressive, militarized force, oppressing our community. The same community you can’t seem to find resources for to provide permanent jobs. To provide a quality level of education. I’m talking to you, still talking to you. You are not doing your job. You are not doing your job. You are not, doing, your, job. You are fired, in my book. Do you understand? If I could hand you a pink slip right now.

I’m not a nihilist but I wish they would burn every fucking thing down except for the houses so we could understand we don’t need this system to survive. I don’t need to pay a corporation for food and water that’s provided by this same fucking earth. That we will arrest people who try to start urban farms… Don’t silence me. Don’t you dare.

[“Jessica…”]

I am so tired. What you dealin with is more than rage. What your dealing with is me having to go to a fucking therapist to tell me I was fine on the morning of may 1st but by the evening I had an issue, PTSD.

[“Miss Hollie your time has expired”]

Yeah, her time has expired too. And unfortunately don’t get to just shut me off. If you cut off the mic I’m still loud enough.

The side effects from the teargas on May Day may have me coughing up pleghm still, may make it hella hard for me to breathe so I borrow my boyfriend’s asthma inhaler. But I have enough in me to tell you that my Momma is dying, and you got me fucked up if you think that I’ma let you get away with continuing to criminalize my motherfucking community. I have got to deal with this as a black woman here. You don’t have to deal with this.

So you need to get off your high horse and remember the fact that you are a servant. Public servant. And you are not serving the people correctly. You are on your knees serving capitalism. Get up and get your mind right. Because if you take our shields, the only thing left is our 2nd amendment right. So when we shoot back, I want you to holler safety. And the American flag, the supreme court ruled it’s a perfectly protected form of self expression to burn that piece of shit that don’t represent nothing except imperialism and fucking oppression. But guess what? It’s not made of flammable material, you need an accelerant. So you are officially stopping free speech with your dumb ass initiative. I don’t live in the minority report movie, you do not have the right to arrest me because you think I might commit a crime. Fuck that, you on some dumb shit, I’m done too. You don’t have the right. You don’t have the right to arrest me because you think I may commit a crime, with a shield.

[Kernighan: “Ms. Hollie, are you going to just go on and on or,”]

I could go on and on because this is some ignorant shit. Instead of going to my momma. No, no, instead of being in my momma’s bed-

[Kernighan: “That’s where you should- I’m sorry about your mom and, uh, you should probably be there. Is there another speaker? One more?” and then city council chambers erupted into chants of “The system has got to die, hella hella occupy!” ]

  4 comments for “Jessica Hollie aka Bella Eiko speaks to the Oakland City Council

  1. Angella
    June 2, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Stunningly powerful speech. Bella, Bella OCCUPY!!

  2. Jackie
    June 2, 2012 at 8:30 PM

    Wow. Thanks, Bella.

  3. elona
    June 6, 2012 at 8:16 AM

    That was mind-blowingly awesome.

  4. Cynthia Crafton
    September 3, 2016 at 3:39 PM

    Your voice is being heard, loud & clear. Keep up the outstanding work! You are one brave woman. P.S. Kernighan is an asshole)

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