Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Saga Concludes: Free at Last

Ogun Used to Live on Granada Street in San Francisco

When I was a little girl the police came onto our property and my father ran them off with his hatchet. I remember him standing at the end of the driveway looking up the hill where the policemen ran.

I don’t know if we had Akbar and Batin then, maybe they were in the back chained up. In any event, the police came back and arrested Daddy.

Sister Elretha came to the house and took us to Daly City to stay with her while Daddy was in jail. I remember going to the jail to visit Daddy. We talked or I talked to him on the phone. He was behind a glass like Octavia was, only I could hear Daddy. I couldn’t hear Octavia.

Daddy had on a white shirt—looked like a t-shirt and slacks. I don’t remember chains. He didn’t smile and I remember being worried.

I felt worried when I left Octavia Sunday too and there was no one with me. Maybe because I am not a minor, everyone thought I’d be okay. I thought so too.

But I am not. Seeing a family member auctioned off and sold, is not easy to digest or get over.

I am not having as many anxiety attacks today. I feel a little better, but I am not out of the woods, because I haven’t heard from Rahim and I don’t know if Octavia is out and safely home yet.

It is 9:32 PM. The judge said she’d be released between 7 and 9 PM Grandmother said sometimes they don’t release them until 12 midnight. At that time the BART has stopped and probably the buses. It’s cold and rainy tonight too.

It is one thing visiting people you don’t know, it is an entirely different situation seeing your sister or father behind bars. You try to conduct yourself as if it is business as usual but in your mind there they are—it’s like you are visiting someone on a slave plantation and you have to leave them there because you haven’t earned enough money to purchase their freedom yet.

It is even harder to concentrate and stay calm when their freedom papers were stolen and you have to prove they are really free not slave/ innocent not guilty.

Since when is taking photographs illegal? Police take photos at rallies and protests marches—what’s the deal with that, if Octavia gets thrown in the county jail for doing the same thing?

How much does freedom cost—in Octavia’s case silence. She has been told to put up her sign and get off the picket line.

I remember after one of Bush’s stolen elections in order to ride BART we had to throw away our signs, otherwise the BART police wouldn’t let us in the station at 16th Street. They stopped one person because they didn’t like his shirt.

Octavia was noisy. She would not let the criminals in uniform rest in peace; she rattled their cage and said—you killed my son and I will not be silenced—

In her 60s Afro-wig she raised her fist and would not stand down, so those suckers tried to scare her into her grave with threats they made good on. In a post-9/11 world predators have licenses to hunt and kill wild game.

She was noisy; they were quiet; stealth, and good at hunting vulnerable prey. They crept up on my sister and as my dad would say shocked the sh—out of her. We are going to have to take this battle underground.


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