SAN JOSE, CA – May 31, 2020 – Over the weekend, the San Jose community bravely spoke out against police violence and demanded justice for George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. The San Jose Police Department (SJPD) responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and batons.
The Silicon Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (Silicon Valley DSA) condemns these acts of violence. We stand with Black people who are targets of police violence every day. In order to assist demonstrators who are impacted by SJPD police brutality, Silicon Valley DSA has established a bail and legal defense fund. Donations to the fund may be used to pay bail, fines, legal fees and related expenses.
On May 29th, San Jose police chief Eddie Garcia attempted to differentiate his department from the one in Minneapolis, claiming, “[His] department along with others across this country are doing their best to move the needle in a positive direction.” However, demonstrators on the ground in San Jose dispute the legitimacy of this statement.
Alex Lee, DSA member and candidate for State Assembly District 25, participated in both Friday and Saturday’s protests. Lee witnessed police blockading downtown streets and opening fire on demonstrators.
“I was personally tear gassed and shot at,” Lee said. “I felt safe up until the cops showed up. Their biggest tear gas attack was at City Hall, where they penned hundreds of people into the plaza and caused a mass panic. The experience of being attacked by police and their weapons tells me everything about modern policing.”
The San Jose Police Department has a record of brutality and violence. Excessive use of force allegations spiked by 39 percent between 2018 and 2019, according to an annual report conducted by the city’s police auditor.
Lee spoke out against the use of force at the San Jose protests: “SJPD’s use of coercion, violence and intimidation was not to establish order—in fact, it just created more chaos. It’s clear that Bay Area police departments are not that different from those of Minnesota or any other state. SJPD’s brutal repression of protest proves definitively that police violence is rooted within the very institution itself.”
To donate to SV DSA’s bail and jail support fund, please visit:
Please also support the Bay Area Anti-Repression Committee (ARC) Bail Fund: https://rally.org/ARCbailfund
About Silicon Valley DSA
We are the Silicon Valley chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). We believe our economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. We are not a political party; we are a community organization building working class power and fighting for radical change.
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