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Minority-Run Psychedelic Church Targeted in Raid, Potential Violation of Racial Justice Act, Leaving Veteran Congregation Deprived of Vital Sacraments Amidst Rising Crime and Mayor’s Recall Efforts

Oakland, California – The Ritual Church of Community Ceremony, the only minority-run psychedelic church in Oakland, is reeling from a distressing raid conducted by the Oakland Police Department (OPD) with the assistance of the US Marshal. There is growing concern that this intrusive action may be specifically targeting the church due to its minority leadership, potentially constituting a violation of the Racial Justice Act. Moreover, this raid has left their veteran congregation without access to the sacred sacraments that are vital to their spiritual growth and well-being. This unfortunate incident comes at a time when Oakland is grappling with escalating crime rates and the ongoing recall efforts against the mayor.

On 5/20/24, the OPD, accompanied by the US Marshal, forcefully entered the premises of the Ritual Church of Community Ceremony, the only minority-led psychedelic church in Oakland. The timing and nature of this raid raise questions about the potential targeting of the church based on its racial and ethnic composition. As a community that has long advocated for racial justice and inclusivity, the Ritual Church of Community Ceremony is deeply concerned that this raid may be a violation of the Racial Justice Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race or ethnicity in law enforcement actions.

The raid not only disrupted the church’s operations but also deprived their veteran congregation of the essential sacraments that are integral to their spiritual growth and well-being. Many members of the community rely on these sacraments as a source of healing, guidance, and connection. Depriving them of these vital resources hampers their ability to engage in their cherished religious practices and undermines their overall well-being.

It is disconcerting to witness law enforcement agencies potentially targeting a minority-run institution while Oakland grapples with a surge in crime rates. The city’s residents, particularly those from marginalized communities, already face numerous challenges and disproportionately bear the brunt of crime. In such a climate, it is imperative that law enforcement agencies prioritize community safety and work collaboratively with religious institutions to foster an environment of trust and harmony.

Furthermore, the ongoing recall efforts against the mayor of Oakland have added another layer of complexity to the situation. As the city navigates this political turmoil, it is crucial to ensure that the rights of minority-led religious institutions and individuals are protected. The raid on the Ritual Church of Community Ceremony not only disrupts the spiritual growth and well-being of its veteran congregation but also raises concerns about the broader implications for racial justice and religious freedom in the community.

The Ritual Church of Community Ceremony, as a minority-led institution, stands firmly against any form of discrimination and calls for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding the raid. They urge the OPD, the US Marshal, and relevant authorities to address the potential violation of the Racial Justice Act and take appropriate action to rectify the situation. The church also calls upon city officials, community leaders, and advocates for racial justice to support their cause and ensure that minority-led religious institutions are treated with fairness and equity.

The Ritual Church of Community Ceremony remains committed to promoting spiritual growth, holistic well-being, and racial justice within their community and beyond. They will continue to advocate for the rights of minority-led religious institutions, emphasizing the importance of inclusivity, equality, and racial justice in all aspects of society.

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