From Revolution Club, SF Bay Area:
Standing Up Against Murder by Stockton Police... and Struggling Against False Paths
August 30, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
On August 16, the Runaway Slave Patrol, I mean the Stockton Police, gunned down another young Black man, 30-year-old Colby Friday. The pig approached Colby because he “fit the description” of a “suspect” (turned out it was the wrong guy), then gunned him down as he was running away. Eyewitnesses said that the pig—notorious K9 Unit pig David Wells—started shooting when Colby stopped to pick up his cell phone, and then kept shooting when he was down, riddling his body with bullets.
Then the police came up with the story: “While he was running, Friday dropped his handgun... Wells ordered him not to pick up the weapon, but Friday bent over and grabbed the gun... That’s when Wells, fearing for his safety and the safety of others, opened fire.” This is just BULLSHIT, typical pig justification, which the media picked up and ran, along with the description of Colby, “a documented gang member with prior arrests,” and David Wells, a veteran “who was named the Italian Athletic Club’s Officer of the Year in 2015.”
Everything about this FITS THE DESCRIPTION of this damn system, and what it does to people every damn day in this country. Why did the pigs come after Colby in the first place? Hmm, young Black man with dreads. Why did he run? Hmm, why might a Black man in Amerikkka run when he sees the police? Maybe it’s because anyone that’s been paying any attention knows that ANY encounter could end in a death sentence for any reason or no reason at all. Maybe it’s because they have CRIMINALIZED a whole generation of Black youth which this capitalist system has no jobs and no future for. Maybe that’s why Colby ran, because he already had “two strikes” on his record and was one of the millions of people in this country pushed and forced by this system to live in a constant state of being “on the run.” But the deeper truth is, as Bob Avakian said, THIS SYSTEM HAS THREE STRIKES.
Bob Avakian: Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game.
The next day, the Revolution Club was on the scene in Stockton at the site of the murder, along with family members, friends, activists, and neighbors who came to tell what they had witnessed and pay their respects. We got out copies of the Message from the Central Committee of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” to everyone there. We showed people Bob Avakian’s video clip, “Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system’s election game.” We listened to friends and family tell us what kind of person Colby was, an artist, a rapper, a good guy. We listened to people speak about the situation in Stockton, one of the poorest cities in California, where people told us that 10 percent of the total population of the city has a felony on their record. And we struggled with people over the root of all this and what it’s really gonna take to uproot it.
We struggled against some of the false paths being put forward about working with politicians and police to “improve police/community relations.” All this is just another means to the same end of violently maintaining control over oppressed people, a velvet glove on the same iron fist, and just more of that old “good cop/bad cop” trick they play. Don’t be played!
And even more, is our goal to get these oppressors to listen to us, or is our goal to overthrow them and end oppression? But as one woman said, “people need hope.” Yes, but first they need to confront reality and cast off illusions. No, it’s not the easy road of hoping this system will listen to us and change, which is a false hope which just serves to keep people enslaved... but yes, there is the real hope of revolution. This system in this country is full of cracks, and there is a strategy to work now to bring it down at the soonest possible time. There is a plan for a much better society Day 1 after the revolution. And there is highly advanced leadership in Bob Avakian (BA) leading this movement for revolution now. These questions of reform vs. revolution, and the need to take a scientific vs. a faith-based approach, were big topics of discussion throughout the day.
We also showed people the MSNBC video of the Revolution Club at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to give people a sense of how this revolutionary force is impacting the larger world, and to bring them into the battle to drop the charges against those arrested at the convention, and give them a sense that this is how the revolution advances—through fighting back against the counter-revolutionary attacks like these charges. And we struggled with people over the role that they can play, in digging deeper into BA, into the science of revolution, and in spreading this message as they learn more. Several people took stacks of the Message with plans to get them out in different places in Stockton, and several people said they want to be involved with the Revolution Club.
We struggled with people over the Revolution Club’s Points of Attention. In particular, point 4 about the revolutionary potential of the most oppressed, after someone made the comment that we wouldn’t want to talk with someone like him who “fits the description.” And we got into it around point 2, “Women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades,” after someone said that he only talks “man to man” and doesn’t speak to or listen to “females.”
As we were arguing with this guy, someone told us, “Stop arguing, we’re here for Colby, not for this.” I said, we ARE here for Colby, but we’re also here to change the world, so that this doesn’t keep happening. And this patriarchal mentality is just slave-master thinking, and keeps the world the way it is. I asked them, what if a white person said, “I only talk to or listen to white people”? That seemed to change people’s perspective on it.
All in all, we thought it was important to change our plans as soon as we heard about what happened and come out to Stockton. As the RCP letter to the Revolution Clubs says, “This will be a time when the clubs will have to be even more at the forefront of the sharp struggles that jump off, or can be jumped off, around the genocidal program of police terror and mass incarceration; against the demonization and repression of immigrants; the oppression and degradation of women; the capitalist plunder of the environment; and the wars of empire that these imperialists are constantly waging, openly and through other forces who do their dirty work.”
Plans are in the works for protests against the cold-blooded murder of Colby Friday.
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.