Revolution #64, October 8, 2006
On the 40th anniversary of the Hunters Point Uprising
A Call to the Community to Fight to Drive Out the Bush Regime
Editor’s Note: This correspondence was read and distributed at a demonstration on the 40th anniversary of the San Francisco Hunters Point rebellion, and appeared in The Bay View newspaper.
I still remember the day back in September 1966. I was 32 years old and working for MUNI. I had a split shift and was making my way to a store on Third Street before going back home to Doublerock where I lived. I met these cops, and one cop asked me where I was going. I said I was going to a store and then I was going home. He said, “You can’t go any further than this. Take your Black ass and get out of here.” Then the sergeant got called in. He saw my MUNI uniform and said I could go as long as I went straight home and didn’t join the crowd on Third Street. I said OK even though I planned on going down to see what was happening. As I turned around the first cop whacked me with his club in my back knocking me over onto my car. Then the sergeant said something like “let him go,” and I got in the car and took off.
I went down where people were gathering and found out that the police had shot in the back and killed Matthew Johnson, a 16-year-old kid from the neighborhood. There were hundreds of mainly young people out there. People were very angry and yelling at the police, “Get the fuck out of here” and demanding that the police who shot the youth be charged with murder.
People were standing up and speaking the truth. The whole scene was very repressive at that time especially for the youth. Even going down and playing basketball in the projects you were risking being harassed—or worse—by the police. Just like today the system wasn’t offering much hope for the youth. By rebelling, people were standing up against the whole way they were being treated and the hypocrisy of American society, which talked about civil rights but wasn’t giving us anything. Our rage was uncontainable.
The Bay View wrote, “The mayor called in police sharpshooters to line up on Third Street, execution style and fired into the Bay View Opera House where terrified children had sought refuge.” They brought in the National Guard, sent tanks and armored vehicles with machine guns into the streets, but still people rebelled for several days. It was right to rebel and if people hadn’t fought back there probably wouldn’t be ANY Black people in San Francisco today. But still the rebellion didn’t hit at the core of power and today we still have the same oppressive system over us. Only a revolution can uproot this thoroughly rotten setup.
Look at how the Black people were treated around Katrina. Like Kanye West said, “George Bush Doesn’t Care About Black People.” They left poor people to die in their houses and Black dead bodies floated down the water-filled streets. Families were split up and scattered over the country just like families were split up in slavery days. And a year later, people still haven’t gotten any help and it looks more and more like Black people are being ethnically cleansed out of New Orleans. But Kanye West didn’t go far enough. The fact is that racism and national oppression are built into the very foundations of the system.
Immigrants come over here and are having all their rights taken away. They make money for the bourgeoisie but can’t even send money back to their families. They’re forced to live six or seven to a room. Black people have been catching hell for a large part of our lives. Those of us on the bottom of this society have a deep sense of why the Bush regime needs to be stopped and this needs to be made visible. And when we take the streets in this way it inspires and challenges people from all walks of life.
We’ve been on the defensive too long, getting our asses beat. This Bush regime is literally killing us and our brothers and sisters around the world. We need to get on the offensive against the system, politically. And the sooner the better.
I’ve talked to many people out in the streets here, and, let’s be honest, while the attitude of most Black people is “Fuck Bush,” too much people are cursing at their TVs, or relying on saviors from the Democratic Party, and not taking this on in the streets.
This situation needs to be transformed. On October 5, in over 80 cities around the country tens of thousands of people will not be going to school or work and will be marching in the streets, determined to not stop until the Bush Regime is driven out. All sorts of folks from college and high school students, anti-war activists, immigrants, people from the suburbs, people from churches, and academia, and especially the youth will be out there. Bayview Hunters Point needs to be in the house.
Are there barriers to overcome? Yes. For myself, I’ve found it very helpful to listen to the seven new talks by Bob Avakian. These talks gave me a deeper sense of how we got in the situation we’re in today, and the possibility of a revolutionary communist future that we can fight for. They’ve given flight to my imagination of a whole new world. If you dream about that, too, get these talks (also available at bobavakian.net)
Another barrier to overcome is that a lot of us feel isolated and alone. Let’s get together, talk about how to organize many others to join us on that day. Doing this takes planning and organization. Let’s form committees to organize for contingents from the Hunters Point and other communities.
The future is unwritten, which one we get is up to us!
Drive Out the Bush the Bush Regime Cause the World Can’t Wait
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