by Al Osorio from "POOR" magazine [http://www.poormagazine.org/node/4560]:
Last night's Town Hall in Vallejo drew a large crowd, at least eighty people - almost entirely people of color - filling a room at the North Vallejo community center. Cephus Johnson and his wife sister Beatrice X spearheaded the event, part of plans to specifically help the families of police murder victims in Vallejo while also incorporating them into the struggle of so many other black and brown families who have suffered at the hands of police violence. Needless to say fathers suffer as much as moms, however in so many cases moms have done the majority of the child rearing and thus bear the brunt of the pain of loss as well as the responsibility of seeking justice within a racist system with the odds stacked against them. Uncle Bobby (Cephus) unveiled the term MoM, Mobilization of Mothers. Sister Beatrice shared how she is a mom but can only imagine how much suffering this inflicts on a person. She recalled watching sharing a hotel room with her sister in law Wanda at the time of the Johannes Mehserle trial, observing her so consumed by pain she had difficulty getting up to answer the door.
Minister Keith Muhammad spoke well, his words resonating with the audience. He related the struggles to get the DA to charge Mehserle, and how video evidence was what enabled them to turn a corner and get a measure of justice. As Uncle Bobby stated often, it was history but not victory. Each mom spoke of their loss, their pain, their fight for justice. Their courage. And not just moms, dads spoke too.
Some brought us to our feet to clap as we witnessed their defiance in the face of overwhelming loss and pain. After they stood back to allow another mom to talk, we also witnessed what the love and the will for justice costs them. The quiver in the voice, the tears shining in the eyes, the body shaking as she is overcome by the endless agony of her baby stolen from her, dissolving into sobs as she is comforted by clergy and other moms.
It's never easy to see a mom cry.