Free Eric Oliver! - Bronson, Florida - July 7
What: March for Justice
When: Saturday, July 7, 10:00 a.m.
Where: Assemble at Levy County Jail, 9150 NE 80th Ave. March to Levy County Courthouse, 355 S. Court St.
Contact: Eric Oliver Defense Committee, firstname.lastname@example.org or 352.486.6168
This Saturday July 7th, community members and activists will march in Bronson, Florida to demand justice for Eric Oliver, a black 18-year-old charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after defending his family from a white lynch mob.
On June 12th a group of over 10 local white residents led by Chris Milton stormed onto the property of the Oliver family home, shouting racial epithets and demanding that the family hand over Eric’s 16-year-old friend Mikey Vasquez.
The family refused and came under assault by the white mob, which left Vasquez with a fractured hand and other injuries. The white assailants also physically attacked Eric’s younger brother and threatened his ailing mother. Eric came to his family’s defense and drove the mob away. The defeated mob members then called in the police to continue the attack on the Oliver family that the mob had failed to complete.
“When a mob of white people come to your house shouting ‘send the ### out’, history teaches us to expect a lynching” says Chimurenga Waller of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement, which is working with Oliver’s family to win justice for Eric. “Eric did what he was supposed to do and stood his ground to defend his family. In this climate of white mob violence, black people have a right and a responsibility to resist.”
While Oliver was initially held on $100,000 bond, no arrests were made of the more than 10 white people who intruded onto the Oliver family’s property and assaulted its inhabitants. Police took statements from the white mob members, but refused to take statements from neighbors who witnessed the attack.
Bronson is located in the same county as the former town of Rosewood, Florida, a prosperous black municipality that was the site of a white mob massacre in 1923 that set the town on fire, murdered scores of black residents and drove the rest to flee.
Eric Oliver’s great-uncle was a survivor of the Rosewood massacre. He was 11 years old at the time. Observers speculate that some of the white residents of Bronson may be descendants of the mob that murdered Rosewood’s black residents.
Advocates for equal justice under the law charge that Florida’s “stand your ground” statute serves only as a legal cover for the killing of black people, citing law enforcement officials’ handling of George Zimmerman’s tracking and fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, in juxtaposition to their immediate arrest of Eric Oliver for his legal actions in defense of his family on his own property.
Organizers of Saturday’s march are calling for an end to “down south justice”. They want the charges against Eric Oliver to be dropped, reparations to be paid to Oliver for his imprisonment on frame-up charges, and civil rights violations investigations into the Levy County Sheriff’s Department and State Attorney William Cervone.
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 email@example.com. Also find us on facebook.
Call, email and/or fax State Attorney William Cervone:
firstname.lastname@example.org · (352) 374-3670 · Fax (352) 338-3218
No more Rosewoods! No more Emmett Tills! No more Trayvon Martins!