October 22, 2016:
Ground Zero Chicago—Brutal Pigs Attack Defiant March Against Pig Brutality
Updated October 24, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
October 22nd is the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. This year, there was a range of defiant protest expressing outrage among different sections of people over the ongoing and escalating epidemic of police terror.
Resistance to murder by police is essential if the oppressed are not to be ground down, and unable to raise their heads, and instead can play a critical role as emancipators of humanity. And the struggle against police murder has been where the most defiant resistance to the many crimes of this system has been going on. This is a struggle through which many are being led to question the legitimacy of this system.
A Basic Point of Orientation, posted at revcom.us, says:
It is very important that people rise up and refuse to accept the continual murder of people, particularly Black people as well as Latinos, by police—this, and the other outrages and atrocities continually perpetrated by this system (as concentrated in the 5 Stops), cannot go down without people fighting back and rocking back the powers-that-be. But this must be built toward revolution—an actual revolution that overthrows this system at the soonest possible time—because there is no solution to these outrages under this system, and as long as we live under this system, this will go on...and on. There is a way that we can make a real revolution —and bring into being a radically different and better society: we have the strategy, program, and leadership for this revolution, in the work of BA and the Party he leads, the Revolutionary Communist Party. Everywhere we go, and in everything we do, even as we are continuing to learn more about it, we need to be spreading the word about this revolution far and wide, and organizing for this revolution, drawing people around and into the Revolution Clubs, on the basis of the statement from the RCP Central Committee.
The Revolution Club, and the revcoms, represented, and were organizing for that.
October 22nd in Chicago
Chicago was ground zero for October 22nd this year. Protesters with a permit to march in the street were viciously attacked by police who tore their “Stolen Lives” banner from them, tackled and brutalized them, and arrested them.
The day kicked off with speeches by Carl Dix, an initiator of October 22nd and representative of the RCP and Noche Diaz from the Revolution Club.
LaToya Howell spoke. She is the mother of 17-year-old Justus Howell who was murdered by Zion, Illinois police. Gloria Pinex spoke. She is the mother of Darius Pinex who was murdered by Chicago police. Mark Clements spoke, he had been tortured by Chicago Police Commander Jon Burge. And this powerful testimony represented the tip of the iceberg. Just a few of the victims:
In August, Paul O’Neal, an 18-year-old unarmed Black youth was shot in the back by Chicago police as he ran away from them. Video showed Paul O’Neal, lying on the ground, dying, surrounded by cops, while they plan how to cover-up the murder.
Late December 26th, Quintonio LeGrier, a Black college student, placed desperate calls to 911 asking for help with a mental health crisis. Bettie Jones, a 51-year-old mother of five who lived downstairs in his building, came to help. A few minutes after Quintonio’s last call to 911, Chicago police arrived on the scene and immediately opened fire, murdering the two unarmed victims as they stood inside the entrance to their building.
Laquan McDonald, 17 years old, was gunned down on a busy street by a Chicago cop just seconds after the cop pulled up and jumped out of the squad car in 2014. Video, later released, showed Laquan was walking away from the cops, hands at his side, when a cop shot him 16 times. This cold-blooded execution of a teenager was followed by a massive cover-up.
Each of these murders has been met with outrage in the streets. The murder of Laquan McDonald unleashed a torrent of protests that continued day-after-day, last year, including thousands of people shutting down the Magnificent Mile, Chicago’s most prestigious shopping district, last “Black Friday.”
And as protests have rocked the city, revelations of torture, brutality, and the role of Chicago police in the city’s deadly drug trade have been brought to light.
There have been new revelations of ongoing, systematic torture by police in a city where police commander Jon Burge tortured, and organized the torture, of Black men in Chicago for 20 years or more. In 2015, the Guardian newspaper exposed a secret police torture chamber—Homan Square—in the heart of the overwhelmingly Black West Side, where police secretly detained people as young as 15 years old, beat them, shackled them, refused them access to attorneys. In at least one case a man was found dead after being “interviewed” at Homan Square.
Just this month, forty thousand copies of the pamphlet “Code of Silence,” a publication of The Intercept, have been distributed in Chicago by The Invisible Institute. The pamphlet exposes how police “were major players in the drug trade on the South Side.” And how Chicago officials protected “a massive criminal enterprise within the [Chicago police] department.”
Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s “answer” to all this? 1000 more police.
All that and much more set the stage for October 22nd in Chicago this year.
The city of Chicago had granted a permit for two lanes of traffic, and protesters had an enlarged copy of the permit—poster sized—to show to police and the media. Still, police on bicycles and with cars repeatedly shoved people as they were stepping into the permitted region of the march. Police tore the Stolen Lives banner from people’s hands, dragged people into the street, tackled them, piled on them, and arrested them.
The Revolution Club was in the lead. And the moment the march stepped into the street, they were viciously attacked by the very pigs that carry out a reign of terror. Police on bicycles and cars attacked and shoved people as they were stepping into the permitted region of the march. Noche Diaz of the Revolution Club, who is part of the Get Into the Revolution National Tour, was among those singled out for attack and arrest. The march continued, marching through downtown Chicago, reaching thousands of people in the face of an intimidating police presence.
Activist De Ray Mckesson re-tweeted a video of the attack on the march to his 580,000 followers and it has been re-tweeted 900 times.
There are critical stakes of the battle to defend those arrested, and spread the message the Revcoms brought into the streets. And to recruit people into the movement for an actual revolution. The Get Into the Revolution National Tour is in Chicago, and is having a rally Saturday, October 29, 1 pm Downtown in Grant Park at the Northeast corner of Michigan & Congress.
The Revcoms were also in the streets on October 22nd in several cities around the country, including in New York City, Los Angeles, and Oakland.
On this page are snapshots and reports from among those we received from around the country.
More From Chicago
From inside the paddy wagon, people were illegally jumped by police, brutalized, and arrested for participating in a permitted march, sent this message:
Demonstrators and the Revolution Club were viciously attacked by the Chicago Police at O22—the national day of protest against police murder and brutality. The March was permitted. Police targeted people, they beat people with batons, threw people to the ground, viciously twisted people and threw them in the paddy wagon. People should vigorously denounce this police riot and should remain in the streets fighting police murder and all the crimes that this system because it’s against humanity. Get with the revolution. Stop Police Murder. Indict and convict killer cops and send them to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell. We refuse to be silent in the face of the vicious brutal murder being [carried out by] the police across this country. Revolution is what we need to liberate people around the world.
Later on October 22nd, about 300 people rallied at Millennial Park in Chicago. This was a combination of CPAC (Civilian Police Accountability Council) and folks who turned out for rapper Vic Mensa’s video release of 16 Shots. The Revolution Club (somewhat diminished in numbers from the earlier arrests, but still powerful) marched up and chanted and got in formation and agitated before the thing officially started, and got attention (positive and negative) and then dived into it with a bunch of folks. The HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution pamphlet got out to nearly everyone—and some people got pretty deeply into what this revolution is about, why you need one, what it means, the strategy, and the mission of the tour.
One group of five young Black friends came from hearing about the protest on rapper Vic Mensa’s twitter feed, watched the Club march in, in style, and watched the mixed reaction as well from forces representing different outlooks on the problem and solution, and different agendas (including ones opposed to revolution). These folks listened to what the Revolution Club was saying, and got into discussion of reform vs revolution, this country’s whole history and why the cops never go to jail, what that means and what it will take to stop, plus broadening out to the 5 stops.
At one point in the back and forth, one of the youth who came to the protest pulled the HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution pamphlet back out of his pocket and began leafing thru it, reading parts. He commented, “You don’t hear many people in favor of communism... I guess that is part of their brainwash.” He was positively intrigued and inclined towards this, not so much communism, but that we were completely unconventional.
Later one of them asked, “What do you think of Black Lives Matter.” The Revcoms said, “As a slogan and rallying cry, absolutely righteous and needed!” They broke down how Black lives have NEVER mattered to America from slavery, Jim Crow, down to today and how essential it is everyone who is in the streets standing up and demanding this now... But they brought out the reality that “You are not going to pass some reforms or laws and get these cops to stop killing...” and the need to overthrow, not vote for the system, and to be getting ready for that now. There were deep discussions with many different knots of people throughout the evening—about reform vs. revolution, the limitations of non-violence, what it will take to get ready for an actual revolution—a lot on the mission of the tour—and some getting into the 6 Points Of Attention of the Revolution Club.
The Revolution Club got into things with clusters of students as well who came out—from University of Illinois, Chicago; and Columbia College. Protesters marched on the sidewalks through busy downtown Chicago till around 9pm.
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