All Out for October 22, 2012:
The 17th Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation
by Carl Dix | October 7, 2012 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
October 22 is the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. This year October 22 needs to be a day marked by varied forms of determined resistance that bring together those who bear the brunt of the brutality and murder this system enforces on the oppressed with people throughout society who don’t want to live in a society where people face this kind of injustice because of the color of their skin or because of their country of origin.
October 22, 2012 has to be more than a day of protest as usual. It must be a day when our rage at the whole criminal “injustice” system in this country is manifested. A day when people go to the prisons and call for an end to mass incarceration. When there is mass political resistance against the institutions and officials involved in profiling Muslims, Arabs and South Asians and against those carrying out raids and deportations aimed at immigrants. People have to figure out the ways to creatively make our determination to end all this injustice real and powerful.
The whistles that reverberated on September 13—when people blew the whistle in cities coast to coast, on stop-and-frisk, racial profiling, police brutality and murder, and the pipeline to mass incarceration—need to be heard throughout society on October 22, signaling a continuing determination to refuse to accept this injustice in silence. Whistles need to get into the hands of many more people as part of spreading a form that those who are forced to bear the brunt of this injustice can take up to get involved in the resistance to all this. These whistles need to be heard everywhere, disrupting the normal routine of racial profiling, brutality and murder widely enforced in Black and Latino neighborhoods.
October 22 is the day to make a leap in resistance to the way the whole criminal “injustice” system comes down on the people. We need to build on and take to a new level the whole way that this has been a day when those forced to live their lives under the guns and billy clubs of brutal murdering cops have a platform to call out the way the brutality and murder perpetrated by the system’s enforcers have devastated their lives. The day when people from many different walks of life stand together with them to call for an end to this injustice. The day when those who hate the way immigrants are forced to live their lives on the margins of society, those who detest the profiling that targets Arabs, Muslims and South Asians, and those who oppose the repression that is increasingly moving U.S. society in the direction of a police state, join in with people of different nationalities to say NO MORE of all this BS.
In the last 16 years, a key feature of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality has been testimony from the loved ones of those murdered by the police, which has brought to life the injustice being inflicted on so many. This year we need to build on that tradition and extend it to bringing to life the way the warehousing of so many in prison, and subjecting people to torture-like conditions in prison, represents the same kind of injustice as when cops commit brutality and murder on the streets.
We need October 22 to be this kind of day because we face an emergency situation. The powers-that-be have unleashed their whole criminal “injustice” system to carry out an intensifying murderous assault on oppressed people across the country. Law enforcement treats whole generations of Black and Latino youth like criminals, guilty until proven innocent—if they can survive to prove their innocence. This approach is concentrated in policies like the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk, under which almost 2,000 people, most of them Black or Latino and almost all of them doing absolutely nothing wrong, are subjected to harassment, disrespect, brutality and worse EACH AND EVERY DAY. And police departments across the country carry out the same kind of racial profiling.
Police routinely commit brutality and even murder and almost always get away with no punishment for these crimes. In Saginaw, Michigan, cops killed a homeless man, firing 46 bullets at him. In Arkansas, a young Black man who was searched twice, then double handcuffed and placed in a cop car was shot dead, and the police claim he shot himself! Reynaldo Cuevas, a young man who was fleeing a burglary scene in the Bronx, was killed by the cops who were called to deal with the robbery. And I could go on and on.
Close to 2.4 million people are warehoused in prisons in the U.S. All of them are held in miserable conditions, and more than 80,000 of them are held in solitary confinement, subjected to conditions that fit the international definition of torture.
More than 5 million people who have already served their sentences and been released face discrimination when seeking work, are banned from living in public housing, can’t get government loans and aren’t allowed to vote.
All this adds up to tens of millions of people living their lives enmeshed in the web of the criminal justice system. I have likened this situation to a slow genocide, one that could easily become a fast one, aimed especially at Black people.
All this is built into the very fabric of this system. The explosion in the prison population resulted from the way capitalism’s chase after profits stripped access to factory jobs from people in the inner cities of this country. This left the millions of people concentrated there facing futures of hopelessness. It was fed by conscious policies adopted by the U.S. rulers in the wake of the uprisings in the 1960s to suppress the Black youth who had spearheaded those uprisings. None of this is being—or can be—addressed by either presidential candidate because they are both political representatives of the imperialist system that is the source of the problem to begin with. And it is worse than useless to call on the youth to pull up their pants, act respectable and take personal responsibility for their lives. Worse because it blames the victims for what the system is doing to them.
It’ll take nothing less than revolution, millions of people rising up when the time is right to get rid of this system and building a totally different and far better society and world to replace this one. It’s not time yet to go all-out to seize the power away from those who rule over us and to bring a new power, serving our interests. But it is time to build a movement for revolution, which means spreading revolution everywhere and introducing people to the leader we have for this revolution in Bob Avakian. And it means Fighting the Power, and Transforming the People, for Revolution.
Mass Incarceration + Silence = Genocide!
Time to Break the Silence!
It is a crucial necessity to meet this murderous assault with heightened mass political resistance. The racial profiling, the police brutality and police murder, the warehousing of people in prison, the discrimination against formerly incarcerated people; all of this must be met by people standing up and fighting back. This kind of resistance has been rising over the last year; from the hunger strikes of prisoners in California and other places, the movement that grew in opposition to the legal lynching of Troy Davis, the mass resistance to stop-and-frisk in New York City that began with civil disobedience actions last fall and has continued thru the Fathers Day Silent March and Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk on September 13. We need to build on this resistance and take it to a whole other level.
This is crucially needed to keep the system from getting away with beating the oppressed masses so far down they could never stand up and do anything about what’s being done to them. And because when people resist, they can reject the authorities’ justifications that their repression and suppression is aimed at controlling crime and the dead-end road of blaming themselves or each other for what the system does to the people. This opens the door to many more people lifting their heads and coming to see the source of the problems they and many other people are up against and how all this could be gotten rid of thru revolution; to see the kind of world that’s possible and the kind of struggle that’s needed today to have a real shot at bringing that world into being.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.