Updates from around the country:
The 2016 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation
Updated October 24, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
Diverse, Defiant Protests Against Police Murder Nationwide
Revcoms Build Toward Revolution
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.
For the latest on the protest and arrests in Chicago CLICK HERE
Sunsara Taylor (@SunsaraTaylor)
Photo: Special to revcom.us
Just days before October 22, an NYPD Sergeant shot and killed 66 year old Deborah Danner, a Black woman suffering from a schizophrenic episode in the bed room of her own apartment in The Bronx. In the wake of this murder, up to 150 people rallied on October 22nd at the Harlem State Office Building and marched in rain and high winds across 125th Street in Harlem, New York.
After the march, people gathered at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church for the Stolen Lives Induction Ceremony to add the names of John Collado, Kadeem Trotter and Jerame Reid, all murdered by police. The day was marked by outrage at the murder of Deborah and a determination that murder by the police must stop. The march included a stop to rally at the 28th NYPD Precinct, the site of civil disobedience to Stop-Stop-and-Frisk five years ago. The front of the precinct was marked off with orange tape with the names of people killed by the police across the country.
The New York Revolution Club challenged and engaged people—to get serious about preparing for an actual revolution to end these horrors, and to dig into Bob Avakian and the strategy and leadership he has forged—and in particular digging into “How We Can WIN—How We Can REALLY MAKE REVOLUTION.” Five people from the Revolution Club, including the speaker, stood on the American flag as they spoke. In the march large sections of the crowd took up the chant, “America was never great. We don’t need to vote, we need to overthrow!”
A wide array of people came to October 22 including 15—20 students from Sarah Lawrence College. There was a sizable Green Party contingent at the march, and vigorous back and forth on the nature and role of this system’s elections. Many people spoke, including family members of people murdered by police.
The mother, aunt and grandmother of Kadeem Trotter spoke powerfully of his murder at the hands of an off duty NY State Supreme Court police officer and the attempts by the NYPD to cover it up. They said that NYPD detectives came to his mother’s house and told them that he had checked himself into the hospital and his heart gave out. His mother learned the truth several days later in a news article. His grandmother said, “I don’t let any of my children do that ‘with liberty and justice for all’ with their hand on their heart. There is not liberty and justice for all.”
Watch coverage of the October 22 protest in NYC on TV news channel NY1 HERE
Build the Fight to Stop Police Terror as Part of Organizing for an Actual Revolution!
On October 22: Stop Police Terror!
Which Side Are You On?
A Call from Carl Dix
October 17, 2016
Bob Avakian on:
Police murder... and the murderous logic of this system's election game
“If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.”
Bay Area, California:
The Revolution Club Bay Area caravaned down International Blvd in East Oakland, starting at Fruitvale Station, the site of the cold blooded murder of Oscar Grant by BART police. We took a "tour" through Oakland, where Richard Linyard was killed by police, where Brownie Polk was killed by police... standing where these lives were stolen, speaking out, and telling the truth about a real alternative to this madness, the need for people to get organized for an actual revolution to put an end to this, and the scientific hope for humanity that can be found in the new communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian.
Photo: Special to revcom.us
Los Angeles, California:
LA Revolution Club in the house on Oct 22nd!
Photo: Special to revcom.us
Revolution received the following report from revcoms in Los Angeles:
The Revolution Club, LA led a caravan through the sites where Carnell Snell Jr. (CJ), Kenny Watkins, Richard Risher and Daniel Perez were brutally murdered by the LAPD in the recent period. The trucks at the lead were covered with the faces of those who have had their lives stolen by the police, large banners with the slogans: “It’s Time To Get Organized For An ACTUAL Revolution,” “Stop Killing Each Other and Start Fighting the Real Enemy,” and a banner with the theme of the National Revolution Club Organizing Tour: “America Was NEVER Great: Overthrow, Don’t Vote, For This System.”
At the start of the caravan, family members of 18-year old CJ spoke loudly and bitterly against the police who stole the life of their kin and lovingly towards the individual they cherished. One woman was not only mourning CJ, but she was also close friends with Richard and Kenny. At different points, we were joined by several cars, including at the start, people who knew CJ and Kenny Watkins.
As we rolled through the projects where Richard Risher was shot 30 times by pigs, people eagerly grabbed up the pamphlet “HOW WE CAN WIN—How We Can Really Make Revolution,” stopping their cars and asking for more than just one to get out to their friends and family. When we distributed the pamphlet to cars driving by and to others coming out of their homes and apartment buildings, we challenged people to get into the revolution and to get into the leader of the revolution, Bob Avakian.
Many who were not already outside of their home came out chanting Richard’s name or briefly joining in on some of the chants. When people put their fists up in solidarity, we challenged them to join the caravan right on the spot. One young Black woman took up that challenge and followed us through the projects for a period of time in her car. A grouping of five and six year old girls, observing the photos of people murdered by the police on the truck, cursed at the police and in particular voiced their outrage against the way the pigs murdered Richard. One recalled, “They were kicking and spitting on him.” We distributed the 6 Points Of Attention of the Revolution Club to them. As we left they began putting them up on their neighbors doors.
People from the neighborhood of Daniel Perez took part in the caravan, calling on people to stand up and not be afraid. The atmosphere was defiant and full of rage, but also full of joy, the joy of not only fighting against this particular outrage but most importantly the joy of bringing to people the scientifically grounded pathway out of this nightmare.
Outraged, people at the different sites spoke angrily against what the police did to those they knew and some asked questions as to why this happens all the time. The Revolution Club boldly put forward what’s in the “HOW WE CAN WIN...” pamphlet, that this system cannot be reformed and that it would take a revolution and nothing less to get rid of other outrages this system continues, and can only continue, to spew forth.
After the caravan the club and new people who participated in the action went to the book launch and discussion of THE NEW COMMUNISM by Bob Avakian at the Silver Lake Library where clips of the recent simulcast from the public forum with Cornel West and Carl Dix held in NY on Oct. 8 was shown. After the program the conversations continued informally at a local restaurant late into the night about the different problems facing the revolution and everyone got challenged to dig deep into THE NEW COMMUNISM, along with BAsics.
Around 100 people met outside the Minnesota Governor's residence to protest police brutality and remember lives lost in Minnesota at the hands of law enforcement.
Photo: Fibonacci Blue
O22 Around the Country:
Actions around the country took a range of forms, and involved people coming from an array of perspectives from protests to vigils to bike rides to concerts took place in cities including Cleveland, Santa Cruz, the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Houston, San Diego and cities in South Carolina.
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