Operation Small Axe Film on Oscar Grant Comes to LA


If you live in LA, you may wanna come out to check the film Operation Small Axe. It will help bring folks up to speed about the upcoming Oscar Grant trial which is being moved to LA. Not only will you learn about Oscar Grant, but you also learn how the Oakland Police department has been on a mission to frame a journalist who was covering the rally where hundreds came out to protest Grants brutal slaying.

JR of the POCC and Block Report Radio has long been outspoken about police brutality and the terrorism that people experience in the hood at their hands.

The Oscar Grant rebellions was an opportunity for OPD to swoop in on JR, snatch his camera and come up with some bogus charges about him setting fires. He is scheduled to go to trial and is looking at 4 years for a crime everyone knows he had nothing to do with.. TYhis film brings to light all that has been going on around Oscar Grant and JRs case.


  1. Lovelle Mixon was no kind of revolutionary. He was a desperate convict. Cowards can pull triggers to. Any attempt by anyone to pain him as some kind of revolutionary, is so far off…I don’t support cop killers, I don’t support killer cops. I support non-violence. Because, as you see here, and across the world, violence is not working, for anybody.

    May Oscar Grant rest in peace. I’m actually sad that I just wrote more about Lovelle, than Oscar Grant. May God forgive me.

    -Adisa Banjoko

  2. I find it so interesting that there is only ONE post to this article… maybe if it was Lil Wayne people would care..LOL.. actually if it was Lil Wayne someone would paint him as some kind of revolutionary too… so sad, so sad.

  3. Niggas are afraid of revolution!
    Last Poets!

  4. We’re not trying to paint Lovelle or Oscar as revolutionaries. Lovelle reacted to a situation that young Black men constantly face, racial profiling. To add to it, he was facing his 3rd strike, if he had been caught with that gun. Living in and being from the same Black community as him and where it happened, many people felt like he had the balls to do what most only think about it. I support people that defend themselves against unjust laws and practices. Adisa that is why you probably should see the movie. You seem to be more mad at Lovelle than the pigz. Im mad at what the police do to our community. Secondly don’t talk non-violence to us when we are the ones being killed on a regular basis, go tell the to the pigz that get away with killing us all the time. Non-violence is a fantasy in this current world. Its like Malcolm X said, “We’re non-violent with people who are non-violent with us.” You support and listen to that ex convict don’t you? It might just be class differences that we have – M.O.I. JR

  5. I probably should see the movie. I plan to. I talk non-violence to all people, from all walks of life. The “fantasy” brother is that retaliating with guns against police gets a long term result that benefits the Black community. I know that because of a lot of the frustration many African Americans have had, made some African Americans (sadly) feel that some “justice” was done when Lovelle shot cops (especially so close after the Oscar Grant shooting). But what really CHANGED for the community after that? Who “won”? Young Black males? Black mothers?

    Lovelle was up for this 3rd strike? Yeah, thats real revolutionary…Come on man…Again, it was a selfish act for HIMSELF, not “da hood”….Malcolm X: ‘To have once been a criminal is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the disgrace’…I can go quote for quote with you all day when it comes to Malcolm…all day.

    What class difference are you talking about? My fathers from Magnolia in NOLA then he grew up in the Mission. My mothers from Monroe LA and grew up in HP.

    Because of their hard work, I grew up comfortable with knowledge of my African self. I grew up with both parents. My father was a Cub Scout leader in HP….I hope you dont think I will apologize for my background. I also hope you dont think that because you may have grown up “richer” or “poorer” than me financially, that you are more correct in your assessment.

    I believe poor Black communities need more books than bullets. They need more homes with men than Molotovs….They need more REAL fathers than half baked revolutionary slogans. Our children need more knowledge of GOD, than guns.

    I am the product of a household that was drug, free and full of Black pride and knowledge. My parents took me across the plant showing me the achievements of our people. Now, I am happily married to a Black woman for 15 years (with 3 beautiful kids) and I speak in prisons, colleges and I work in the Mission every day working with kids to solve violence. I just brought Immortal Technique and the Brown Berets to come talk to our school about Latino gang violence. It was powerful. But don’t try to play the class card- it wont work.

    BOTTOM LINE: You can’t put a Black Panther band aid on a 2009 post crack epidemic/thizz world….You need new ideas that fit in todays world.

    You wanna be a Pather bad? Go put the guns away and FEED THE CHILDREN OF OAKLAND. They come to the school I work at unable to study because they are starving. You don’t need a gun to give a kid a sandwich. You only need to able to see a beauty beyond violence. I can. I do.

    I’m not a nigger/nigga and I’m not AFRAID of revolution. I have REFRAMED the revolution. Violence is not the solution.


  6. ^^^^ I think Adisa shut this conversation down. buahahahahaha!… on that note, I think that cats like JR are living in an image of the past… it’s 2009, not the 1960’s… feed some kids, teach ’em how to read before you start hollerin’ about who’s a pig or not. When a cop guns down a brother in Oakland it’s “rebellion time!”, but when a brother kills another brother it’s Town Bizzness… Go figure.

  7. Defending yourself is living in the past? I agree, more homes need fathers and children need guidance. That doesn’t give the pigz more of a right to take my life. LOVELLE may have done it for himself, but it affected more than him, the police seem to have been a little bit nicer after they saw that the “animals bite”. 2 other instances have happened also, one in Washington and one in Pennysalvania, and no I never said that they were revolutionaries either, but they were against the police . I didn’t say kill everybody, but we can’t just pray it away either. I believe God helps those that help themselves. If you pray for groceries, none will fall out the sky. It sounds like you and Jose hate the people, you are more against the community than the police. I’m not with paying taxes to keep someone killing us, I’m not with it in Palestine or in East Oakland. I NEVER CALLED HIM OR OSCAR A REVOLUTIONARY. I never called him having a 3rd strike revolutionary either, but at the same time the state through their legal system does not determine who is good or bad to me. I have friends and family that have no strikes and some with more than 3 strikes. Should I judge them how the judge judged them? That is what I mean by class – who one identifies with, not how much money your parents had/have. And to Jose, I do feed kids and teach them how to read among other things, you need to do your homework on me and the POCC. “A pig is a pig, that’s what I said…” And back to Adisa, I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I am married to the objective of us not funding our own genocide and fighting our oppressors through many different means, as expressed in the movie. Non violence is a tactic. I’m with that sometimes, but other times defense is needed. I’m married to the objective just like Malcolm X laid it out, “by any means necessary”. And that doesn’t mean that we don’t pay attention to other murders in the hood. We just don’t protest about it. Usually we try to utilize the relationships we have in the neighborhood, to quell senseless shit. And to the “post crack/thizz world” comment, I live in East Oakland, in the hood by choice, where I deal wit these youngstas and their parents on a daily basis so I think I have a pretty good handle on the needs as well as an assessment as to where we are at as a people especially in relation to the case of Oscar and Lovelle, which both went down in East Oakland. I MAKE NO BONES ABOUT NOT BEING A NON-PROFIT GOVERNMENT SANCTIONED PAPER PUSHER, I JUST CARE ABOUT THE COMMUNITY, DOES THAT MAKE ME A PANTHER OR OUTDATED IN Y’ALL’S EYES? I just want both of y’all to see the movie than lets converse after that. Do y’all have something against people who take a position that is against the state that enslaved us and is still oppressing us in so many ways? Why? – M.O.I. JR

  8. e-scribblah says:

    first of all, as an intelligent black man, i have a basic problem with equating Grant and Mixon on any level. to say that both are martyrs tot he same degree is troublesome, to say the least. OG may have had a criminal record, but he was gainfully employed, and trying to be a father to his child. he was also unarmed when he was shot –which is a key distinction.

    i dont see how Mixon’s actions were in defense of his community, or that he was community-minded in the least. community-minded people dont rape little girls. the fact that Mixon can be seen by some as a symbol of police oppression is interesting, but he’s no hero in my book. one has to have an ideology to be a revolutionary or a rebel. and this might seem like an obvious point, but how, exactly, was Mixon oppressed? from what i’ve read, it seems he made some poor choices in life.

    did Mixon’s actions result in positive social and political change, or were they just an excuse for supporters of Mehserle to characterize all young black men as dangerous armed thugs?

    IMHO, Mixon’s mentality is exactly what we are trying to get away from — i have to point out there’s a huge difference between him and someone like Mumia Abu-Jamal, who was and is a very vocal and eloquent critic of an oppressive and corrupt system. Mixon OTOH was just trying to get over. he was victimizing the community he lived in. at some point, JR, that has to be addressed.

    Maybe Mixon did what some people fantasize about doing, but to me that was just suicide by cop, not revolutionary suicide (to paraphrase Huey P Newton).

    having seen the trailer of OSA, i will say it’s provocative, but not necessarily as balanced as the subject (attitudes toward police by inner-city residents and vice-versa) deserves.

    perhaps this film will help balance the perspective shown by the discovery channel’s recent attempt at exploiting oakland’s thugged-out image.

    still, we shouldnt have to view two entirely separate documentaries to get a complete picture. maybe discovery channel has an agenda, but then so does JR.

    JR, i think Adisa raises some interesting points. But instead of addressing those issues calmly, you got a bit defensive in your response. certainly, the question of whether it’s realistic or pragmatic to espouse an ideology which was relevant 40 years ago, before the crack epidemic, the overturning of affirmative action, and the ramping up of the prison-industrial complex, has SOME validity.

    at this point, an armed response to repression (real or imagined) can only result in the realization of a police state–“they” are just waiting for an excuse to lock everything down anyway, so a community full of Lovelle Mixons does make an awfully convenient reason to dispense with whatever mercy there is.

    to me, a real revolutionary is someone who pulls himself or herself up and the community at the same time. it’s more revolutionary these days to read a book than to pull a trigger–i would hardly call Orlando Ware a revolutionary, for instance.

    if anyone was paying attention since 1855 or so, when Frederick Douglass first published his book “My Bondage and My Freedom,” liberation and literacy have always been linked for black people. That much, i think, is still relevant. Lovelle Mixon was a 9th grade dropout, so he chose the path he took–and the perhaps inevitable results–a long time ago. getting into petty arguments about class is divisive (cf. Willie Lynch) and misses the point. East Oakland doesnt need more guns, it needs jobs, better schools, child care, grocery stores, etc. even if you have a full clip in a fully auto weapon, you can’t kill every cop in oakland. and even if you did, the conditions wouldnt change.

  9. “I just care about the community”.. I question that.

  10. e-scribblah says:

    i have a question for JR: let’s say one of Mixon’s family members had been killed in the shootout which ensued after he shot the first two cops, then retreated back to his relatives apartment, where he lay in wait with an automatic assault rifle in a closet. in that scenario, who would have been responsible for what we’ll characterize as “senseless shit”? the police or Mixon?

    i do give JR props for conducting interviews with E. Oak residents in the film and getting a handle on why they have such strong anti-police sentiments. but what i saw lacked objectivity and nuance. if the community was able to police itself, that would be one thing. but how many people were actually killed by police vs. how many innocent bystanders were killed by stray bullets at sideshows or in gun battles over drug turf in 2009?

    the elephant in the room here is black on black crime, which has nothing to do with the police. good documentaries ask the tough (but obvious) questions, such as Jose raised.

    my hope is that the full-length version of this film, if it ever gets completed, will go beyond simple propaganda and romanticized revolutionary rhetoric and attempt to answer some of these tough questions. JR, if you truly care about the community, you would ask why people don’t protest “other murders in the hood.” and, you should also do interviews with law enforcement itself about their attitudes toward local residents.

  11. Actually I would love to see JR and Comrade Fred sit and have a “Beer Summit” with the police… sh*t, I would pay good morning to see that. (that is both really serious, and with a large tone of sarcasm on so many levels)

  12. Leave the past behind says:

    Have you ever heard the analogy that if you give a clean glass of water to a person that has been drinking dirty water all their life they will gravitate toward the clean.

    Well, that analogy is a crock of shit.

    People entrench in gutter crap love it. They associate their “family life” with it. It has become a staple of familiarity that they associate with comfort and “home”. When they taste “clean” water they don’t want it since they’ve adapted to crap all these years. “Clean water” is “boring” to them.

    I mean this in the same way that a woman abused as a child constantly attracts abusive relationships as a woman unless she get psychological help. This is how I view much of American ghetto and street culture , including “Heep Hop”. In fact it’s how I view much of the social structure period; but the consequences for the ghetto are greater than the suburbs.

    The only solution is to acknowledge it, admit it and then proceed to deal with it by putting down ALL drugs, reading things that have tangible utility (in a business run society), building up your personal set of talents and “marketable” skills, and focusing on self help and development……AND cutting off some ties to people that don’t want to exert the same degree of discipline, which unfortunately might literally be EVERYONE around you.

    Their will always be a few people that read the signs and move on to bigger and better things, and their will always be the ones that have been doing the same shit for 20 years wondering where time went (or so drunk and baked they don’t care).

    You will never change this – you can only facilitate the “push” for the few that have the intellectual ability to understand the truth of the matter.. And the truth is that you can’t change the ghetto, you can only change yourself and LEAVE the ghetto.

    Their will always be police, their will always be a class structure and their will always be “elite” classes who have a family lineage they have inherited that gives them and their children an edge over someone else, in the same way that we (U.S. citizens) have inherited a place as residents of the wealthiest nation in human history relative to the rest of the planet.

    The trick is to figure out how to make all this work FOR you instead of against you by focusing on the resources at your dispose and make them something larger than the sum of their parts…and through that you will help others who need it by default and by nature.

    With all the advances in medicine, biotechnology, computers, communications, etc all this 70’s -esk talk of “revolution” simply sounds like it’s coming from a group of people with an imaginary connection to some grand subjective social movement that only exist in dated ideological assumptions floating around in their heads. The people making real moves aren’t focused in ideology, they’re focused on engineering or finance, the ideological shit is just a play for the public by politicians and financial big wigs who are riding the wave of their constituencies assumptions.

    Nobody respects “revolution”, in fact nobody in America really respects much of anything – and nobody cares, or stands by their word. In my opinion understanding this and confronting it responsibly is ironically a more radical act than anything.

  13. ^^^^^ Ooooh weeeee… that right there, SUM’S IT ALL UP! … that needs to printed out, made posters of, and given to every school kid, and actually anyone and everyone in the hood. Tattoo that shit to your forehead.. that’s real talk!

  14. e-scribblah says:

    “ouch,” said the nail (after getting hit on the head).

  15. Damn, like THAT?! Well, ummmm, have a good Kwanzaa or whatever else you might celebrate and I’ll check y’all in 2010. Peace….

  16. Operation Small Axe is about the peoples voice. It centers on three major stories of resistance in Oakland California during 2009
    Oscar Grant, J.R. Valrey and Lovelle Mixon. We show how the people in Oakland feel about these stories. We let the actions of 2009 dictate the story. Everybody in the film might not have the same political mind frame as you, Look at that as a wonderful opportunity to see another side of the equation, How the people feel.
    Operation Small Axe is raw and uncut. No censorship
    no associated press seasoning. The story was not written , it was documented. If we can get all of you to continue manifesting your ideas for improvement in your communities, the Small Axe can cut down the big tree…
    Thats the Operation

  17. i like the operation small axe video it is an expression of the people of oakland ,about what they go through on a daily , with the police brutality and constant agrression that black men ,black,women ,black boys and little black girls in oakland and every else in our colonized black communities are strugglin against. ‘Right on to the brother 4 this story

  18. e-scribblah says:

    “Operation Small Axe is about the peoples voice. It centers on three major stories of resistance in Oakland California during 2009
    Oscar Grant, J.R. Valrey and Lovelle Mixon. ”

    pardon me if i dont take this at face value.

    mixon was resisting what, exactly, besides a third-strike arrest for being a felon in possession of a gun and two DNA matches for rapes of teenage girls? is that even mentioned in the film? doesnt seem like the brother was active in any sort of movement; rather that his actions–shooting four cops rather than return to jail showed a desperation and callousness which has been romanticized as “resistance” by East Oakland residents.

    now, i’m not downplaying actual incidents of police brutality, but mixon’s motivations for his deeds are suspect. all we know is his P.O. wanted him off the streets, evidently with good reason.

    so, is JR a journalist or an agitator? and can one be a “major voice of resistance” and still remain objective?

    also, when you say, “we show how the people of Oakland feel about these stories,” are you referring to the entire Oakland population of around 400k, a representative cross-section thereof, or just a small section whose opinions might not be indicative of a majority view?

    in other words, when you say, “no censorship” is that shorthand for unbalanced propaganda? are you in effect censoring any voices which may not agree with your agenda? if so, i question the validity of the picture you are painting as representative of oakland as a whole.

    good documentaries are able to make their points while showing both sides of the equation. but as far as “associated press seasoning,” linking mixon and grant in any way plays into the hands of rightwing racists and pro-police supporters who argue that johannes mehserle was justified in removing a “thug” from society.

    i realize it takes a wide perspective to see the big picture here, but i wonder if this film will do that.

    when you talk about “cutting down the big tree,” what are you referring to, exactly?

    how does shooting four cops result in positive and meaningful change? doesnt that just give po-po and excuse to be even more brutal?

    how does shooting four cops reduce black on black crime or the overall murder rate in oakland? how does shooting four cops create jobs, education and housing for our community? answer that, if you can.

    i live in oakland, the “riots” happened just up the street from me. i saw JR on the streets that night. i hope for his sake the bother is innocent, and being the only one charged out of 150 protestors arrested, many of them Asian and white, does seem like a set-up by the system. but i can’t co-sign Mixon’s actions, especially because there’s no evidence he was mistreated by police.

    i dont love cops, but i dont think we can maintain order without them. i feel sorry for Grant’s family and his daughter, but i have little sympathy for Mixon. Calling him a voice of resistance is a huge leap, by any stretch of the imagination.

    we need solutions, not rhetoric.

  19. not sure

  20. wow very interesting – 8