What does it mean when a white mob comes to an African’s home and demands that you send somebody out? Usually, it means there’s about to be a lynching… but not this time!
Join the March on Bronson, Florida on July 7 to defend 18-year-old Eric Oliver who beat back a white lynch mob!
On June 12 in Bronson, Florida, a white lynch mob came to the home where Eric Oliver lives with his wheelchair-bound mother and his younger brothers and demanded that they send out 16-year-old Mikey Vasquez from the home.
But on that day, these Africans weren’t about to let a lynching happen. Eric heroically defended his family and fought off the mob. Then, instead of arresting the mob that attacked the family’s home, the Levy County Sheriff’s Department arrested one of the mob’s targets, Eric Oliver, and demanded a $100,000 ransom bond for his release.
They didn’t even bother to interview neighbors who witnessed the mob attack. They just took the lies of the mob members and locked Eric up. Eric was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. They said he knocked out the leader of the lynch mob, Chris Milton.
Lynch mob violence a legacy in Levy County
White lynch mob violence is nothing new in the Bronson, Florida area. Bronson is a town only 20 miles from the site of the Rosewood massacre that happened on New Year’s Day in 1923. In that white mob attack a whole African community was burned down out after a white woman falsely claimed to have been raped by a black man. The black survivors of Rosewood had their property ripped off by the same attackers who destroyed the thriving black village.
Some descendents from the Rosewood massacre are in the Bronson area today. Eric Oliver’s great uncle was one of the last living survivors of the Rosewood massacre, and that white lynch mob legacy is still alive today and supported by the Levy County Sheriff’s Department and State Attorney.
The arrest of Eric Oliver for defending himself and his family is just the Sheriff’s Department’s way of trying to finish the lynching that the mob couldn’t. There’s no other way to explain how an African teenager could defend himself from a white lynch mob and end up being victimized by the State, arrested, and imprisoned for 13 days on trumped-up charges.
It’s that same old “down south justice” that we saw with the Emmett Till lynching, the Troy Davis legal lynching and the case of Trayvon Martin.
The Levy County Sheriff’s Department and State Attorney William Cervone are no different than the Sanford Police Department who sat around for 44 days allowing George Zimmerman to hide and manufacture evidence after he murdered Trayvon Martin. The case of Eric Oliver is Trayvon Martin all over again, except this time the victim fought back and got locked up.
Organized resistance pushing back “down south justice”
A campaign to defend Eric is being organized by the Eric Oliver Defense Committee, which was built by the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement (InPDUM).
After call-ins, write-ins and demonstrations, the State backed down on the $100,000 ransom they had on Eric. Right before the bond hearing started, Eric’s lawyer told everybody who was inside the courtroom supporting Eric Oliver to stand. Almost the entire courtroom stood up.
The judge, still attempting to defend the system and the white mob that attacked Eric in the first place, refused to grant the defense’s motion for Eric to be released on his own recognizance. Instead he reduced the bond ransom to $10,000, and he was bonded out on Tuesday, June 26.
It was clear in the attitude that the judge had with Eric’s lawyer that he was disgusted at the thought of African people resisting that old down south justice.
But the resistance ain’t stopping no time soon. This struggle isn’t just about Eric Oliver. It’s a struggle against white lynch mob violence against African people and the system that these mobs attempt to protect.
Africans have a right to resist oppression, whether it comes from lynch mobs or lynch mobs with badges, and it’s going to take getting organized to stop that oppression and get power to defend our communities and control our own lives!
Join the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and join the Eric Oliver Defense Committee!
No more Rosewoods! No more Emmett Tills! No more Trayvon Martins!
What You Can Do:
March on Bronson on July 7! The march will start at the Levy County Jail at 9150 NE 80th Avenue and will march to the Levy County Courthouse.
Join the Eric Oliver Defense Committee: Contact the committee at (727) 851-3659 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Also find us on facebook.
Call, email and/or fax State Attorney William Cervone:
email@example.com · (352) 374-3670 · Fax (352) 338-3218
- All charges against Eric Anthony Oliver must be dropped and a public apology made to him for this frame up
- Reparations must be paid to Eric Anthony Oliver for his frame-up and incarceration
- All officers associated with this arrest must be fired for this frame up
- An immediate investigation of the Levy County Sheriff’s Department and State Attorney William Cervone concerning their treatment of the black community in Levy County must be held