Revolution #382, April 13, 2015 (

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

New from Sunsara Taylor

Calling All Students:
There Is a Need and There is Still Time to Throw in with #ShutDownA14 to STOP MURDER BY POLICE!

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


With just days/hours left until #ShutDownA14, momentum is building. Powerful voices of conscience like Alice Walker, Eve Ensler and others are joining with Carl Dix and Cornel West and dozens of families of police murder victims to shut down business-as-usual on April 14th. A buzz in the media has begun. And the whole country just witnessed yet another cold-blooded execution carried out by police against Walter Scott in South Carolina.

At the same time, precisely because the word is getting out so broadly, many people are only now hearing about #ShutDownA14 for the first time. This is very good—and there is a way and there is still time for everyone to throw in with #ShutDownA14 and this will really matter!

How? Just keep reading.

Bay Area High School Students Call for #ShutDownA14

Kenwood Academy (Chicago) students challenge University of VA students to walkout April 14 #ShutDownA14 #JusticeForMartese

NYC College Students Call for #ShutDownA14

“I'm a student and I just heard about this, what can I do?”

Showing up is standing up. So, look up the nearest protest to where you are (find the list here) and make sure to be there. Showing up tells the world you refuse to stand aside as Black and Brown people are gunned down by police. Showing up connects you to others who feel the same way. Do whatever you can to be part of one of the protests planned on April 14th.

“Is that all I can do?”

No, actually there is a lot more you can—and should—do. For starters, you can spread the word to others. Post info about the protest through social media and call everyone you know. Use this logo to make a poster with your local information and post it all over.

Even better: create a Facebook event with a meet-up time for everyone on your campus to go to the protest together.

Best yet: turn that “meet-up” into an on-campus protest and then travel together down to the main protest after that. Not sure how, read the next question.

“What if there is no protest planned in my area?”

Create one. Just pick a time and choose the busiest place on campus. Set up a Facebook event (you can post this image of the faces of people murdered by police, the videos of police murder victims, and videos from Carl Dix, Cornel West, Alice Walker and others) and start inviting everyone you know. When someone responds, ask them to do the same.

“What do I do when people show up?”

There is no one way to hold a protest. In Ohio, students at one school are starting the morning with a teach-in, following it with a poetry slam/speak out, and capping the day with a “surprise action.” In New York City, students at another school will gather on the main walk with posters of the Stolen Lives while taking turns reading the stories of those who died aloud, then they will travel down to the city-wide protest. In Virginia, some students plan to march through the cafeteria calling on others to join on the spot and then hold a rally where someone dressed as a slave in 1850 stands next to someone dressed as a prisoner today.

All you need for a successful protest are some signs that make clear what you are standing for and a plan to be as attention-getting and disruptive as you dare. Holding the pictures of those who have been killed and reading their stories is a good way both to bring alive the issue and to draw people together people who shows up into a group. Marching through classrooms (yes, while they are in session) and cafeterias are good ways to disrupt business as usual. So is taking over a building, doing a die-in, or blocking traffic. Do as much as you can. At the same time, if all you can do is hold the faces of those killed this is still very worth doing!

“What if no one shows up?”

Students in Madison, Wisconsin, protesting police murder of Tony Robinson, March 9, 2015. Photo: AP

While you should work to get as many people as you can, don't be discouraged—and don't call off the action—if very few people show up. Even one or a few people holding up these faces of police murder victims in public, bearing witness, and handing out fliers will make a difference.

In fact, if very few people at your school turn out for this, it is even more important that you represent on April 14th. This is how things change. Someone has to step out first and set a new standard of morality and justice. Everyone who hears about or walks by your protest is going to be impacted by what you do. And everything you do, even if it seems small, will be amplified in its impact because it is taking place together with others across the country.

Having said that, you had better also be prepared for what to do if a lot of people turn out. Think ahead about places you could march together, about chants, and about places you might “die in” to maximum effect.

“Are there other things I can do to have even more impact?”

Yes! Be sure to take pictures and, possibly even video, of what you do and send it in to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network at and to REVCOM.US at Also, ask everyone to wear shirts that represent for your college and make a sign or banner with your school name on it. Take a picture of people holding this banner and if you are coming down to a city-wide convergence be sure to bring this with you. In this way, your impact—and your school representing—will be seen and felt by others around the country. Showing how many schools take part is a critical part of calling forth a new student movement to escalate this fight even after the 14th.

“I care about this, but I am not that informed.”

Educate yourself. Start by visiting, the website of the movement which called for April 14th. Watch the speeches given on April 6th by Carl Dix and Cornel West as well as many of the films of the parents who have lost children to police murder. The website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, which Carl Dix is a member of, has a special page set up to analyze and report on the slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror. Learn more about how Cornel West sees these issues at:

“What if someone asks me something I can't answer?”

Tell them the truth, that you are still learning about this but you know enough to know it is wrong to stay silent any longer. Tell people why you are taking action, what you do know, and then challenge them to join you in googling the names of the faces on the Stolen Lives poster. And if anything comes up as you are organizing or if you need to after your protest, do not hesitate even a little bit about calling the national organizers number for help (646-709-1961).

“Won't it take more than just protests to stop police murder?”

It will. And within this movement, people have many different ideas about what this will take. To get a sense of this diversity of views—and of some of the different visions of social change all the way up to revolution—check out the Dialogue that happened last fall between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. There you will see a revolutionary Christian (CW) and a revolutionary communist (BA) debating out their differences while also coming together and calling on others to come together to STOP this outrage of police murder as well as other injustices now. Or, watch the speeches and testimony from April 6th which brought together many different perspectives all calling for #ShutDownA14.

“Who am I to organize this protest?”

You are someone with a conscience. Someone who knows right from wrong. It doesn't matter if you are white, Black, Latino, immigrant, Asian or anything else. It doesn't matter how old you are or what your gender or sexual orientation. If you have a sense of right and wrong, you have to take a stand on this issue now. And if no one else is organizing on your campus, then it is the right thing to do—no matter who you are—to step forward and take this responsibility. And if you are worried about your “privilege” and whether it is “your place” to take up this fight, take a few minutes and listen to the pleas from these parents whose children have been murdered by police as they call on YOU to act on April 14th. Read this letter from an ex-prisoner who spent most of his life locked down in a ghetto or a prison as he talks about what a difference it makes for people like you to speak out.

Really listen to what these people are saying, think about what it means if you and others stand on the sidelines as the police continue to kill, and then act on what's right. And don't let anyone tell you its not your place, because it absolutely is.

* * * *

Finally, if you read all this over and would still like some help getting started, do not hesitate to call or write:






Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

First Impressions of The PREMIERE of
The New Film of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion

A correspondence from Andy Zee, co-director of the film

April 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


“This film brought an awareness that we do need an actual change....” A young Latino brother echoed what was felt by audiences across the country who came to the March 28 premieres of the new film of the historic Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian that took place last November at Riverside Church in New York City. Wherever you were coming from, whatever experience you have had with what this system does to people every day, whether this was your first encounter with the revolution or you’ve been fighting to get rid of this system your whole life, you came away from seeing REVOLUTION AND RELIGION feeling this brother’s sentiment.


Watch the film now! Share it and spread it through social media!

In this correspondence, I am going to share some of my own and others’ first impressions. I urge everyone to watch, dig into, promote, and raise funds so that many more can experience and be moved by what Bob Avakian and Cornel West did on November 15, 2014.

Seeing the film on the big screen was special. Look, there was nothing like the excitement of being at Riverside with 1,900 people “live,” experiencing Bob Avakian and Cornel West together on this topic—I won’t ever forget it—being a part of something really historic.

Yet, watching this on film is just a different experience: profound and provocative. I found myself drawn deeply into their insights, their arguments, how they related to each other and engaged and struggled with the audience, the different methods by which they analyzed and approached big questions. I found myself learning more and anew. The film brings you up close inside Cornel West’s and Bob Avakian’s presentations and exchange: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice—pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity.

I attended the New York City premiere at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. It was fitting that this film was welcomed and debuted at this beautiful institution that resonates with the history of Black people. Watching the film on the big screen at the Schomburg—a screen that must be 40 feet across and 20 feet high with big, rich sound—was new for me after months of being a part of editing the film on small monitors!

BA and Cornel West really are two courageous moral voices of this moment. They hold and fill the big screen. The topic, Revolution and Religion, is huge: The fight for the emancipation of humanity and, in that context, looking at religion, which holds sway over much of humanity, especially the oppressed of the world, is an urgent question that demands and holds attention. But the dynamism and passion of both BA and CW, their humor and substance, their concern and struggle for the future of humanity, amplify and resonate in a special way through the film. Whether watching in a dark theater or up close on computer, TV, or smartphone, the film brings you into a personal experience with “Cornel and Bob,” so much so that afterward people who had never met either of them came up to me speaking of them by their first names as if they were life-long friends!

Cornel West and BA speak to the conditions and the potential of those who catch the hardest hell from this system. BA brings out why and how they rise to be emancipators of humanity. I want to return to what the young Latino brother who has lost a relative to the murdering police said right after the premiere:

You know, what struck me is that people do not have to have 100 percent the same views. Both of them are fighting for the same things, to free us. Especially with the system that’s been put in forever, that’s been keeping us oppressed, and you know, they criminalizing us, killing us. And this film brought awareness that we do need actual change, because it’s been too long a system that don’t work for us, it never has worked for us. And I think they brought that awareness to everybody—that we need real change.

...It feels like I just drank gasoline every time I hear about a new case the police killing somebody. Because it feels like my insides are burning, like my chest and my stomach are burning inside every time I hear about a new case of the police killing somebody... it feels like my insides are burning, like my chest and my stomach are burning inside. I feel so much anger inside. I feel like, oh my god, what can I do about it? And you know that’s why I thank god I found the revolution. It’s the only people who really back me up on how I feel... And I constantly argue with family and friends, but you know what I do? I don’t give up...

Available on DVD

Learn more about the film

I highlight this not just for the fury of the poetry, but because he speaks for so many whom this system despises, whose loved ones were killed or crushed in other ways by this system, and what they expressed after experiencing the film. So why should this film be spread far and wide? Because “it’s been too long a system that... never has worked for us... it feels like I just drank gasoline every time I hear about a new case of the police killing somebody... I thank god I found the revolution... I constantly argue... I don’t give up.”

* * *

Reading correspondence from organizers of the premieres around the country, I noticed that people repeatedly commented on Bob Avakian’s straightforward, clear, no-holds-barred telling it like it really is. People from very different backgrounds appreciated what BA nailed about this criminal system; the vision he put forth for what kind of world humanity could be capable of—if free from this life- and spirit-crushing system; why and how revolution could make this possible; and why we need a scientific approach to everything and what science even is. BA challenged people to think in a way they never had before about their religious beliefs, while at the same time he struggled for people to act now against injustice and for a radically different world. A student from the prestigious Stanford University said:

This is one of the first times I have come to something of this magnitude.... There is a lot of things that I have been contemplating and meditating on recently that were addressed especially by Avakian, especially about religion and Christianity...

I appreciated his honesty, and I think that the truth of what he was saying, a lot of the history behind what he was saying, and the science, the evidence behind what he was saying. Like I am studying engineering, so I believe, I root myself in science, within math, and in the physical, the real world. So I have been struggling a lot... like how I believe in the spiritual and in the soul, and I believe in a life after this one, but a lot of times those ideas are used to oppress people, and say you are suffering now, but wait till after this life. And so I am struggling with how do we get those people to realize that we can fight for a better world now. But still believe that we can have a better life afterward.

This student, a Native American, went on to talk about how seeing the film helped him recognize that the oppression of all the different nationalities is rooted in the same source.

The actual Dialogue took place last November just before the grand juries in Ferguson and New York failed to indict the police murderers of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. The rising of the defiant youth of Ferguson was still in the air, and indeed some of those youth were in the house at Riverside, having traveled for a day and a half by bus to get there. But this was a moment of a kind of intense calm, which then burst forth when the indictments didn’t come down, and the streets of the country filled with tens of thousands of youth. As people were walking out of Riverside last November, I spoke with the mother of a young man murdered by the NYC cops, and I asked her what she thought. Fiercely, she responded: “I know what to do.” While she was explicit about the immediate struggle, she was seeing herself more connected to and a part of the fight for the whole thing.

We are in a moment now when the movement against police murder, mass incarceration, and the whole spirit and understanding that Black and Latino lives matter is struggling to retake political and militant initiative. This film can impact how people think and act about that, because it raises sights to the system that gives rise to this outrage, the connection to all forms of oppression, and to revolution for a radically better world.

The film enables people to see what they haven’t seen—the reality that is “hidden in plain sight,” as BA says in the Dialogue. A young Black woman student said she would tell others that the film “actually wakes you up,” elaborating:

You need to understand what is going on around you. This fantasy world we are all living in, this thing that we think we are living in, is not really what’s happening. And if you want that, you need to go watch this film and wake up...

The film gives a vision of a future worthy of humanity. Cindy Sheehan, who has been fighting hard for a decade against the unjust wars of this system, commented after seeing the film: “The film is an invaluable tool to support communist/socialist revolution because it explains so beautifully the utopian vision.”

Watch and spread the YouTube clip from Bob Avakian’s presentation: “WHAT IF...?“ You can hear the exuberant applause and cheers of the audience as BA flips the script on all the outrageously unnecessary oppressions and ways people relate to each other today because of this system, inspiring all to feel what could be. This powerful oratory is the product of years of BA’s study and leadership to qualitatively advance the science of revolution. And throughout the Dialogue, he brings this out in a living way.

This is a film of enormous heart, determination, and struggle with each of us and all of us collectively to rise to the challenge of this time. Standing up against all this system does to people, building a movement for an actual revolution, are not easy. Both speakers acknowledged that. A young woman with the Revolution Club in Atlanta said she had been kind of down because her family has been telling her that being active in the fight against police murder is going to hurt her chances of getting a good job. But when she heard BA tell of the impact on him of the story that Mao Zedong, the leader of China when it was a revolutionary society, had told W.E.B. Du Bois that the one mistake that the Chinese revolutionaries and Du Bois had never made was the mistake of giving up—and heard BA saying this has never left him, this gave her a renewed determination and confidence that she was doing the right thing.

* * *

These first impressions from seeing the new film of the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian indicate the impact and import that this film has.

I want to close this correspondence with this: One key thing you see in this film is Bob Avakian modeling the method and approach of the new synthesis of communism that he has developed. He does this in dialogue with Cornel West, a public intellectual who himself models courage and integrity in speaking and acting against injustice. After working on the film, and then watching it again at the premiere, I recalled what BA said about the new synthesis of communism in a seminal work, “Making Revolution and Emancipating Humanity.” He said: “[W]e should not underestimate the potential of this as a source of hope and daring on a scientific foundation.” I considered these words from BA, and I thought, the film of the Dialogue really brings that. Now, let’s get to work so that this hope and daring on a scientific foundation takes root and spreads all over the world.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

April 12, 2015

Fighting Through to Retake the Offensive Against Police Murder

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There is a question that poses itself to every revolutionary as we go into April 14:


In the course of rising to this challenge, and as this system has continued with its drumbeat of police murder, things have polarized. And they have polarized, or divided out, in two ways. There is a polarization, a dividing out, between, on the one hand, those who feel that this is outrageous—and, on the other hand, those who either remain indifferent to it, or defend it. Within that, among those who oppose these outrages, things polarize once again. There is a polarization between two orientations, often finding expression between different forces and individuals, and/or even within a force or person: on the one hand, an orientation of truly feeling this is intolerable and therefore a fierce determination to stop this, and an urgent desire to see people in the streets once again, standing up and compelling all to deal with this... vs. an orientation of half-stepping, of conciliation with those in power.

Both of these polarizations are in flux, and not static; they are subject to change based on struggle, fierce struggle (as well as developments independent of us). And the struggle through, on, and in the wake of, April 14 must in fact change the current polarization, in which the urgency of stopping this—even as it bubbles up and boils over now here, now there—is overall being smothered.

April 14 itself, in order to fulfill both elements of the goal put forth above, must constitute, in actual fact and qualitatively, a retaking of the offensive, an actual bursting of the pall that has settled on the struggle. This means in the days and hours leading up to it continuing to imbue people with the urgency of taking the streets and finding forms through which masses very broadly can be part of that and in other significant ways support it. It means encouraging and reinforcing some, and struggling with others, to bring out the best in them. And it means on the day itself, actions which convey a sense of determination and break through to millions.

It is impossible now to predict who will come out and in what numbers on the 14th, in what mood different people who come may be, and what can potentially unfold. There have been positive developments and real progress of late: some of the programs in the past week or so, including April 6... some of the media coverage... some of the statements from people of conscience... some developments (though this is very contested) among groups concerned with this question... some positive motion among students. Some of these developments have been very significant; while none will in and of themselves “turn out the people,” they each tell us something very significant about how different forces and individuals (including political and literary representatives of different classes/strata) are seeing things. Each of these steps forward provides an opening for further transformations—again, with struggle. Further: There has grown and been tempered a core of people with the general orientation of stopping this, as well as a smaller core that sees this as part of carrying forward revolutionary struggle. Each and every one of these elements must go further in the time remaining. The biggest mistake would be to underestimate the potential significance of any of this.

On the 14th itself, no matter how many people initially turn out, it must be clear to all that there is a force determined in this next period to actually mount massive determined struggle in the streets against this outrage, with the aim, as Carl Dix put it on April 6, not of mitigating this murder and outrage, not of modifying this, but of STOPPING this.

DOWNLOAD & SPREAD: PDF for print | JPG for web | Banner-Size: English/Spanish
Banner-Sized are 10x15 feet at 200dpi and will print well up to 20x30 feet

Keep in mind that the large exhibits of the Stolen Lives poster that have been made provide a very direct expression of the outrage being protested and a powerful symbolic expression of the right that is on the side of the protesters. The police have no right, moral or legal, to suppress their manifestation of this truth right in the public square. Making these installations the centerpiece of what everyone has to relate to that day can be one expression of retaking the offensive. The broad power of these installations has been shown by the front page of La Opinion, displayed on this website.

The relatives of the police murder victims have further forged themselves as a powerful social force over the past months, and this must find further expression around April 14. The recent videos by these parents and relatives should be viewed and used widely in the lead-up to A14.

The Revolution Clubs have been and will continue to be a backbone force in all this. They will need to be ready for all kinds of responsibility, but at the same time there should be times when the clubs come together and show who they are, projecting the need for revolution and that there are people organized to bring that revolution into being. (How about adapting that high school cheerleading chant to ring out, “We are the revcoms, the mighty, mighty revcoms, everywhere we go, people want to know, who we are... so we tell ’em... we are the revcoms...” etc.? That lets people know that there is a FORCE that they can join.) And even as the clubs are playing a backbone, multifaceted role, they should be recruiting on the spot—bringing people in, giving them the basic card on the clubs’ mission and have some T-shirts there ready for new people.

There should be, in the short time leading up to the 14th, reaching out once again to ALL forces professing concern on this, working on the polarization within groups and people—bringing out the best in people, even if that means sharp struggle at times. To give a sense of the potential right now in doing this, one of the people struggled with in our article two weeks ago, “Wanted: People of Conscience,” when she saw the criticism got back with us and said, “You know what? You’re absolutely right.” So let all people and social forces know that as they come into this, they should make and bring banners, homemade signs, etc. saying where they are from or, if they are with a group, giving expression to that.

As a major part of this, both on the streets and in talking with people one-on-one, fundraising has to be a major task. All-out mobilizations like this have already cost money and will cost much more—people understand this, and supporting this with money is something very important that everyone can do.


Watch the film now! Share it and spread it through social media!

On the day itself (as well as the time leading up to it), people should be getting palm cards for the new DVD of the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion (and be backpacking the DVD itself), as well as Revolution newspaper. The fact that there is a way out... that revolution could deal with this and IS, in fact, possible... needs to be made known to people, and the ways to find out more opened up to them.

The demonstrations on the 14th should take all the freedom that they can, both in terms of the righteousness of their actions and fighting through—carrying this forward into the evening and, if possible, beyond. Anyone who is arrested should be defended. And we should all have the orientation and work toward the possibility of sustaining this past the 14th—that is, it may be possible to bring forward continued actions around this, as happened in the months of November and December.

Finally, everyone at these manifestations must have a way to come very soon to a meeting of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network or a Revolution Club, and a way to be part of these even before there is a meeting—again, these groups should be actively recruiting on the spot. People will want to be able to come together to talk about and sum up what was accomplished and to talk about how to go further, and this should be done while “the iron is hot.”

With all this in mind, we should go transform the world.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Eric Harris—Another Black Life Stolen By This System!

Tulsa Sheriffs Caught on Video Murdering a Black Man!    

Statement by Carl Dix

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Another Black man gunned down by police. This time it happened in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Eric Harris is the man whose life was stolen. On April 2, officers of the Tulsa Sheriff's Department chased Harris, and wrestled him to the ground. Harris is swarmed by cops who struggle to handcuff him. In the midst of this, Robert Bates, a 73-year-old reserve officer, which means he is a part-time cop, pulls out his gun and fires one shot, killing Harris. The Tulsa Sheriff's Department quickly announced that Bates had neither committed a crime nor violated any police policies. To use their words, the shooting was the result of a stressful situation, and Harris' own actions contributed to his death.

The inhumanity the cops showed in taking Harris's life is stunning After Bates shot Harris, the cops kept wrestling with him and telling him to “stop fighting.” As Harris cried out again and again, “He shot me,” the cops continued to kneel into his back and twist his neck. Near the end of the video, Harris cries out: “I'm losing my breath.” And the fucking pigs respond, “You fucking ran! Shut the fuck up!" And "Fuck your breath." In exonerating these killer cops, the authorities explained that the other pigs didn't know Harris had been shot.

Bull Shit! They didn't care that he had been shot. This was a free one because Harris had run from them. This meant that they had a free hand to brutalize him, and even kill him as a lesson to both him and anyone else who might think about forcing the cops to chase after them. Eric Harris didn't have to die. His death resulted from the way Black people are demonized and dehumanized in this country, treated like permanent suspects; guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence. So, if a part-time pig kills one of them, no big deal.

And I don't want to hear any shit about Harris being a dangerous criminal the police needed to use deadly force on. Or that this was just an accident caused by Bates getting confused between a taser and a gun. The cops had swarmed Harris and wrestled him to the ground. And it is a symptom of the sickness of this system that someone who donates money to the local sheriff's election campaigns and to buy equipment for the cops gets to go out on the streets with a badge and a gun, inflicting brutality and even murder on oppressed people.

This wasn't an older, part-time cop bungling things, and it, together with all the other videos and stories of cops brutalizing and murdering people, shows that this doesn't come down to few bad apples or rogue cops. This was the police doing what they are out there to do: to beat people down and even murder them as part of playing their real role in society: protecting and serving the system that rules over the people—keeping the exploitation and oppression; the poverty, misery and degradation the system inflicts on people in effect.

These sheriffs were swaggering thru a Black neighborhood like an occupying army. This is racist and illegitimate and must be STOPPED! It's up to us to STOP it!

This murder underscores the need for people all across the country to stand up and say NO MORE to police being given a green light to murder people.

April 14 is the day to act. If not now, when? If not you, who?






Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

"We Are Workers, Not Slaves!"
Farmworkers in Baja California Stand Up!

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


As many as 50,000 Mexican farmworkers in the San Quintín Valley of Baja California, just 200 miles south of the U.S. border, walked out of the fields March 17, at the peak of the growing season, demanding an end to horrific conditions—including extremely low pay, inhuman working and living conditions, child labor, and sexual abuse of women workers. The fruits and vegetables grown under these conditions are sold to many of the leading grocery chains in the U.S.

After leaving the fields, the striking farmworkers took over the Trans-peninsular Highway, the only way to ship produce out of Baja into the U.S. They set truck tires on fire on the highway and stopped vehicles trying to go north, shutting down the highway for over a day. With the link broken between these sites of extreme exploitation and the U.S. grocery giants that profit from them, companies like Walmart, Costco, Safeway, and others began reporting shortages of tomatoes, strawberries, zucchini. and other fresh produce. More than 225 farms were paralyzed, including the 12 largest, which dominate production in the region and are the main suppliers of this produce to the U.S.

It is the first time in decades that farmworkers in Baja California have stood up and challenged the brutal—and extremely profitable—production relations of capitalist-imperialist exploitation that dominate agriculture in Mexico and other oppressed countries around the globe; and the political structures as well as the violent force of this U.S. client state used to enforce and maintain those conditions.

The Mexican government wasted no time in coming to the aid of these agribusinesses, sending in the federal police and military troops. Using tear gas, rubber bullets, and clubs, they reopened the highway and arrested 200 farmworkers. A thousand police and military forces were then spread out in this area of Baja.

Intolerable Conditions

The majority of workers on these farms are indigenous people brought by contractors from the Mexican state of Oaxaca, as well as other impoverished southern states like Chiapas and Guerrero. These workers once continued to migrate north into the U.S., following the harvests up the West Coast. But the ever-increasing militarization of the U.S.-Mexico border in recent decades has led these workers to settle in and around San Quintín.

Told they would be able to make enough money to send some back to help the families they have left behind, migrant workers find that in reality the $8 or so a day they make is barely enough to support themselves. This daily pay includes mandatory overtime and they work seven days a week. It is also common practice for the employers to break the law and not pay the workers till the end of the harvest season, to ensure the workers won’t leave early. By the end of the season, there is less produce left to harvest, so their pay, which is tied to the amount they harvest, drops even further. Many of the workers putting fruits and vegetables on American tables are themselves malnourished.

Many of the employers also violate the law by refusing to provide the medical benefits the workers are entitled to through membership in the Mexican Institute of Social Security (IMSS), the public health system. The housing in the labor camps, where the workers are forced to live, is overcrowded and filthy. Workers have had to carry water to the camps for drinking and washing at times because there was no water.

San Quintín has become one of the most productive agricultural regions of Mexico, with as many as 80,000 people working in the fields and packing plants. Because it is so close to the U.S., major agribusinesses have poured millions and millions of dollars into developing the infrastructure. This has dramatically transformed farming, with modern, large scale irrigation systems and greenhouses for many of the crops. These state-of-the-art facilities stand in sharp contrast to the horrific working conditions and social relations, which have been described as “19th century.” The fact that the U.S.-bound produce is more precious than the people who produce it is symbolized by the requirement that farmworkers who handle produce like peaches cut their fingernails so that they cause no harm to the fruit.

The largest agribusinesses in the San Quintín area have deep political connections with the politically powerful in Mexico—such as ex-president Felipe Calderon—who are deeply invested in agribusiness exploitation.

The farmworkers’ strike also challenged the government- and business-controlled unions. This strike was organized by a coalition of groups called the Alliance of National, State and Municipal Organizations for Social Justice, which is representing the workers in opposition to the company-run unions. Its organizers have had experience organizing farmworker struggles in the U.S. One of the leaders was involved with the Immokalee workers union in the tomato fields of Florida; another led a battle in Oregon to get rid of a contractor stealing wages. The United Farm Workers—UFW—has also been involved, circulating a petition supporting the Baja workers which it plans to give to the major supermarket chains.

By the end of the first week, with produce rotting in the fields and packing plants, and millions of dollars being lost, the workers forced the alliance of company representatives—the Agricultural Council of Baja California—to negotiate directly with the Alliance, bypassing the official unions.

“We Are Workers, Not Slaves”

With negotiations approaching an impasse, on March 26, thousands of the striking farmworkers marched 15 miles alongside the Baja Peninsular Highway in an angry show of force. Carrying banners saying “We Are Workers, Not Slaves,” and surrounded by police in riot gear, they marched to state government offices in San Quintín.

The following day the talks broke down when the growers’ representative walked out after their offer of a 15 percent increase in wages was rejected by the workers’ representatives. The growers’ statement claimed that raising the wages any higher “would lead to economic collapse.”

On March 29, a 10-bus caravan traveled from San Quintín to Tijuana, Mexico, where workers went to the border and reached out in solidarity to farmworkers and supporters on the U.S. side, and spoke out about their strike. A 19-year-old youth, who has worked in the fields of San Quintín since he was 12, said: “We all thought it was normal that they suspended people for 3 or 4 days or fired them for demanding that our rights be respected, for trying to force the bosses to pay overtime or to pay us for working on our days off... We got used to earning 100 pesos (a little over $6) for more than 10 hours a day, but now that’s not enough even to cover the bare necessities, to live, to support a family.”

And a Mixtec Indian from Oaxaca, who started working in these fields at the age of seven, described the discrimination and abuse from the bosses she faced because she didn’t speak Spanish. She went on, “That’s how it was for many years. That was too much already. During all that time we were asleep, but now the people have stood up and we will continue in this struggle for what is right, so that our grandchildren will have a better future.”

But by March 31, nearly two weeks since the beginning of the strike, the majority of the farmworkers began returning to the fields. Although the companies claimed “the people are happy with the raises”—which amount to about 12 cents an hour—the strike leaders say the farmworkers “are returning under protest, under threat.” The supplies that had been collected to support the strikers had been used up, and many workers feared that those who didn’t return then would be blacklisted, with no chance of being hired in the future.

“Product of Mexico”

A part of the backdrop to this strike was a four-part series on agriculture in Mexico published in December, 2014 by the Los Angeles Times entitled; “Product of Mexico.” The 18-month investigation by reporter Richard Marosi and photographer Don Bartletti revealed that over 100,000 children under age 14 are employed in agriculture for pay, and that many workers are held almost as slaves.

Interviewed on NPR, Marosi called the farmworkers “the invisible people of Mexico, the poorest, the most discriminated.” They “live in rooms 6-by-8 generally, and shedlike housing, sometimes no furniture. They sleep on scraps of cardboard.” He said, “A lot of these places, they illegally withhold the wages of the workers; they’re there on three-month contracts, they’re not paid until the end. That means they don’t even have the money to catch a bus and escape the farm.”

This strike and the fallout in its wake come at a time when all across Mexico, there has been upheaval and protest, particularly focused on the disappearance and murder of 43 students in the state of Guerrero. An opinion column in the national daily La Jornada called the killing and disappearance of the Ayotzinapa students “a state crime”—“repression carried out by a government that has brought organized crime violence into its service.” With a deepening political crisis and a government losing its legitimacy, this strike by the farmworkers has stung the Mexican ruling class and its U.S. backers. It could well signal the emboldening of new sections of Mexican society, further fueling the upheaval and revolt from below.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

As Mexican Caravan Heads East from Chicago: Confrontation at the Mexican Consulate

April 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

The “Caravana43” closed its visit to Chicago on Monday, April 6 with a press conference and march to the Mexican consulate. The “43” refers to the 43 young Mexican students from a teachers college in southern Mexico who were brutally attacked by police, kidnapped and disappeared six months ago. The three prongs of the caravan are made up of fellow students who survived this horror and relatives of the others who disappeared. These are people from the rural poor in Mexico who have left their homes and jobs to travel thousands of miles through cities and towns in the United States, and will join up in Washington, DC and then head to the United Nations to demand that the students be returned alive, to demand justice. See other coverage about the caravan and the struggle at this website (Caravana 43 Arrives in Chicago, and Interview with Massacre Survivor: Caravana 43 Brings Ayotzinapa Students' Struggle to U.S.).

Caravana 43 march to Mexican consulate in Chicago

Cops block people from the consulate

Photos: Special to

The march to the consulate became confrontational, when some of the people struggled to take the street and a pushing match with the Chicago cops ensued. An outpouring of anger and emotion burst out as people rallied in front of the entrance of the consulate. Many were moved to give short and heart-wrenching testimonies, and the consulate entrance was blocked for a time. Besides the caravaners, a woman from Juarez, Mexico who now lives in Chicago testified about the murders and disappearances of women in that northern Mexican state. A young woman who works at a legal aid service in Chicago spoke about sexual abuse by police in the local jails. And there were many others who spoke out.

Chicago cops protected the consulate, blocking people's attempts to enter and pushing people out of the street (although they didn't bust anyone). This really enraged some of the people—it was so outrageous to have these pigs blatantly defending the representatives of the murderous Mexican government. One of the activists spotted the Stolen Lives poster and came and got a copy, holding it up in the faces of the cops, and quite a few others did the same; it just became a part of the whole protest. There was controversy among middle forces who supported the caravan, with some of the union people blocking some of the younger people who were trying to enter the consulate. Others spoke out with a tenor that, while that wasn't the tactics that they would use, they defended the people who were. They said that they supported the more radical ones because they were fighting for Mexico.

People are wrestling with how to carry forward the struggle around the disappearances. One of the women who spoke out said, “This is not just about Mexico, this is about the world!”

Watch for and support the righteous efforts of this caravan as it heads through Michigan and other states en route to the United Nations.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

From A World to Win News Service

The horrific murder of Farkhunda

April 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


April 6, 2015. A World to Win News Service. Farkhunda, a 27-year-old Afghan woman accused of burning the Koran, was brutally beaten to death on 19 March by a lynch mob in the presence of a group of police who did nothing to stop them. The murder took place near the famous Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque and shrine in the centre of Kabul, only a few hundred metres from the presidential palace.

Hundreds of men beat Farkhunda to the ground with their fists and wooden planks. Then they trampled her. She tried to struggle against them and was beaten again. This continued until she stopped moving. The men ran her over with a car and then set her body ablaze near the Kabul River.

Protest of murder of Farkhunda, Kabul, March 24Protest of the murder of Farkhunda, Kabul, Afghanistan, March 24. Some young protesters painted their faces red to bring to mind Farkhunda's bloody face as she resisted the mob. AP photo

This horrifying murder shocked the country, the world, and provoked protests and demonstrations following her funeral. Farkhunda, whose last name is not revealed, probably for the safety of her family, had just earned a degree in religious studies and was preparing to take a teaching post.

What led to her murder was her brave protest against the selling of amulets and charms by the mullahs and religious authorities. According to family members, she urged women at the mosque shrine not to waste their money on superstitious wares, arguing with the mullah who sold them at the mosque. In retaliation, the mullah took out a few burned pages from a fire pit and shouted, "This infidel woman burned the holy Koran." Men began yelling at her and the sparse crowd quickly congealed into a lynch mob.

Under pressure from the authorities, Farkhunda's family had to leave Kabul, supposedly for their own safety. It was announced that family members said she was mentally ill and had previously tried to commit suicide.

Such incidents are not uncommon in Afghanistan. Domestic and international media were slow to react until videos of her murder circulating on social networks sparked outrage in Afghanistan and abroad. Her funeral on 22 March was attended by thousands of men and especially women. Her coffin was carried exclusively by women, said to be an unprecedented gesture. The angry women chanted "Justice for Farkhunda!" and "Death to the killers!", and did not allow a prominent cleric to take part in the funeral.

Farkhunda's funeral, March 22.In an unprecedented gesture, Farkhunda's coffin was carried exclusively by women, March 22. AP photo

The biggest demonstrations condemning her murder took place the day after. Thousands of women and men of all ages attended. Some young protesters painted their faces red to bring to mind Farkhunda's bloody face as she resisted the mob. Protesters also chanted slogans against the officials and religious leaders who had initially justified the attack. They chanted, "Supporting crime itself is a crime," "We all are Farkhunda," "Ignorance, ignorance is the enemy of humanity" and "Shame on you, A and G," meaning Abdullah Abdullah and Ashraf Ghani. Ghani was recently elected president with U.S. backing, and Adbullah, his former rival, occupies the new post of chief executive in a power-sharing deal brokered by Washington.

Protests against Farkhunda's murder were not limited to Kabul but also broke out in other major cities such as Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif. This support allowed her family to resist government pressure to distance themselves from their daughter and instead to publicly proclaim that they were proud of her defiance and courage. At the funeral they were able to mourn the death of their beloved along with the thousands who were present and the sympathy of millions around the world. Her brother Najibullah changed his family name to Farkhunda in memory of his sister and denied that she was mentally ill.

The Role of Afghanistan's Islamic Government and Religious Authorities

This murder threw a harsh spotlight on Afghanistan's brutal political system. Videos of the scene clearly show a score of armed police officers present but doing nothing to stop the lynch mob. The initial government reaction was to condemn Farkhunda, not her killers. The spokesman for the Kabul police chief called Farkhunda "an apostate," which meant that her murder was acceptable. According to Human Rights Watch, Abdul Rahman Ahmadzai, a top official in the Ministry of Religious Affairs, told the Kabul television station 1TV that if Farkhunda had done something "in opposition to the ayahs [religious verses] or the Koran, she’s not a Muslim, we justify the action of the people."

Some clerics also insisted that mobs have a right to defend "their" Islam at any cost. They went so far as to say that if the government arrested those involved in the killing, that would provoke "an uprising." All the official statements condemned people who insult the Koran rather than condemning the cold-blooded murder of this young woman. They implied that the mob members, whom they called "the people," were doing their duty.

It was only when they saw the outrage all over the country and the world that the authorities began to change their tune. President Ghani declared, "We are not going to allow mob justice," and the Afghan parliament stepped in to channel the anger by forming an investigation commission. An official investigator said no evidence was found that Farkhunda had burned a copy of the Koran. Later, the authorities announced that they had arrested 28 people, suspended 13 police officers and sacked the police spokesman. But this U-turn was no surprise because in the face of people's indignation, even the Taliban on 24 March condemned the murder of Farkhunda.

Obviously at this point all these reactionaries had little choice but to condemn the murder of this young woman. President Ghani knows full well that "mob justice" is an inseparable part of his regime and of this kind of regime in general, which relies on thugs, whether from the government overall or particular rival factions, to enforce their will in the name of the religion of the people and the will of god. In countries around the world, including Iran, to name jut one of many examples, mobs often act as unofficial enforcers of reactionary regimes, their state ideology and their values, along with the more official representatives of the state.

Some Points About the Importance of This Attack

It is amazing that even in a country that has been devastated by reactionary wars for more than 35 years, where air bombardments and other imperialist crimes created some of the bloodiest scenes in recent history, still the murder of Farkhunda was not and could not be treated as an ordinary murder. Rather, this murder concentrates some of the country's most important contradictions. The Western imperialists, led by the U.S., invaded and still occupy the country–in fact have made it clear that there is no near end in sight for their occupation–under the pretext of liberating women from the fundamentalists, but all they have brought is national ruination, more entrenched fundamentalism, and more oppression of women.

Farkhunda was brave to challenge the mullah and his wares, his so-called good-luck charms, because she knew they were useless and only for deceiving the people. The incident showed that there are women who despite being hemmed in so brutally do not give up and are not intimidated, but are determined to fight even though it might cost their life. It also showed there are many people who will offer their support despite the risks. Instead of strengthening religious fundamentalism as intended, this dirty and viciously backward act brought people to condemn and expose religious backwardness and its representatives, including those who hold state power. This struggle could also expose those who are running the crime scene from behind the curtain—the U.S. and its allies.

The Afghan authorities, the imperialists, the Taliban, domestic and foreign media, and even many activists and ordinary people who support the protests have been united in stressing that her murder was unjustified because Farkhunda was innocent of the accusation against her. It has been said that in opposing good-luck charms she was standing up for "real Islam" and should be considered a religious martyr. Whatever the facts may be, such a totally wrong approach could imply that her murder would have been justified if she had in fact burned a Koran. This stand objectively accepts the values of male chauvinism and religious obscurantism. It represents an authorization for mullahs or mobs to murder other women and men because they are not "real Moslems." Instead, what should be emphasized is that the murder of Farkhunda would have been a vicious crime even if she had burned a Koran. Nobody should be allowed to force anyone to accept what to believe or not believe. The possibility that the accusation against Farkhunda was false only makes the horror more obvious.

Even though the government officials who at first justified the murder retreated under the pressure of people's protests, it never even occurred to them to clearly state that her murder should be unambiguously condemned in any case. This shows that they have the same mentality as the mob that lynched her. What else could be expected from a regime whose rule is based on serving the imperialists, whose life blood is corruption, and whose legitimacy comes from religion and fundamentalism? The regime will never go far from these reactionary pillars that sustain it. It can only promote and enforce the oppressive social relations and values represented by the mullah at the Shah-Du-Shamshaira mosque and the mob that brutally murdered Farkhunda. This is what connects the mob, the mullah, the regime, and the imperialists who invaded and began occupying Afghanistan 14 years ago.

The protest of women and men against Farkhunda's murder must continue. It could be turned into part of a struggle for a better society, a society where there is no oppression of women, no religious rule, and no imperialist domination. Carrying out a fight throughout Afghan society against male chauvinism, fundamentalism, and imperialism would be an important step in such a struggle.


A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.





Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Latest Front in War on Women:

New Fascist Kansas Law Criminalizes Most Second Trimester Abortions

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 7, the governor of Kansas signed into law a bill which criminalizes most abortions in the second trimester. The “Unborn Child Protection from Dismemberment Abortion Act” uses deliberately false, unscientific, and inflammatory language to ban the safest and most medically accepted procedure for abortions in the second trimester. Doctors in Kansas who provide this procedure for their patients will now face misdemeanor or felony charges.

This new law, actively promoted by the National Right to Life Committee as part of their 2015 legislative agenda, represents a major new offensive in the unrelenting and systematic assault on a woman’s most fundamental right to control her own body and determine if and when to have a child. On April 8, a similar bill was passed by the Oklahoma legislature, and other similar bills are being pushed in Missouri, South Carolina, and South Dakota. All of these laws and bills must be actively protested and opposed.

Julie Burkhart of the Trust Women Foundation and the South Wind Women’s Center in Wichita, Kansas, has called the Kansas law the “physician intimidation and criminalization act.” Kansas has long been a focal point for fascist attacks against women and the doctors who serve them. In 2009, Dr. George Tiller, one of few heroic providers of late-term abortions in the entire country, was shot down in cold blood in Wichita by an anti-abortion fascist. And Kansas is one of the states that already have some of the most draconian laws designed to create insurmountable hurdles to women seeking abortions—parental notification, 24-hour waiting period, and mandatory fetal ultra-sound.

The new Kansas law prohibits “dismemberment abortion,” which it defines as “causing the death of an unborn child, knowingly dismembering a living unborn child and extracting such unborn child one piece at a time from the uterus through the use of clamps, grasping forceps, tongs, scissors or similar instruments that, through the convergence of two rigid levers, slice, crush or grasp a portion of the unborn child’s body in order to cut or rip it off.”

This lurid and completely unscientific and non-medical description is deliberately designed to promote the damaging lie that abortion is murder and that fetuses are babies—all in an effort to further stigmatize a procedure which is absolutely essential for women’s ability to control their lives and their health. The truth of the matter is: A fetus is NOT a baby! And abortion is NOT murder!

A Fetus is Not a Baby
Download PDF poster

Let’s dig into the science of this. A fetus is not an “unborn child”—it is living tissue, which is growing and developing, but is not yet a human being and has no life separate from the life of the woman in whose uterus it is. For more on the science of what an abortion is, read “What Is an Abortion and Why Women Must Have the Right to Choose; Life Cannot and Should Not Always Be Preserved.”

The procedure which is being prohibited—the use of forceps—is one essential part of the process of dilation and evacuation (D&E)—the abortion method which is used for pregnancies in the second trimester when a simple vacuum-aspiration is no longer possible. While abortion in the second trimester is still a very safe procedure, it is more complicated. The fetus, although still far from being able to survive separately from the woman (even at the end of the second trimester) is larger, and must be taken out of the woman’s uterus in pieces. This is done by a combination of forceps to remove larger pieces of tissue, curettage to gently scrape the uterine lining and remove tissue, and finally suction to make sure all the tissue is removed.

Banning the use of forceps is effectively banning the use of the D&E procedure and forces a woman into the only other alternative still available: having a medically induced abortion, using a combination of drugs that terminate the pregnancy and induce labor. This procedure involves two to three days of waiting, and in the second trimester often must be performed in a hospital due to the increased risk of complications. While both procedures are safe with proper medical care, there is significantly a higher risk of complications with the medically induced abortion in the second trimester.

Download the PDF of this pamphlet: A Declaration: For Women's Liberation and the Emancipation of All Humanity

It is completely unacceptable for laws to be enacted that dictate to a physician which among the safe and established medical procedures he/she can or cannot provide for a patient. This rising tide of a new round of laws—being promoted and pushed through state legislatures by anti-abortion fascists like the National Right to Life Committee—is an ominous development, coming on top of decades of murder and terror directed against abortion providers and their patients.

It is the latest front in a whole war on women, a war which has forced the closing of dozens of clinics around the country, making abortion effectively unavailable to large swaths of the population, particularly in rural areas, leaving women with no choice but to take drastic and unsafe measures to try to end their pregnancies. Women’s lives are at stake. The anti-abortion movement has never been about babies, it has always been about reducing women to being incubators and foreclosing their ability to make decisions about their lives and to contribute to society in the fullest way.

Abortion on Demand and Without Apology! Women are NOT Incubators! Forced Motherhood Is Female Enslavement!




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

South Carolina Cop Caught on Video Murdering Black Man

Statement by Carl Dix

April 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Carl Dix

Carl Dix

Another cop caught on video murdering a Black man. This time the victim was Walter L. Scott, a 50-year-old man who had been stopped for a traffic violation. The murderer was Michael Slager, a South Carolina cop, who shot Scott 5 times, 4 of them in the back as he ran away. And this murdering pig didn't stop there. He handcuffed Scott's lifeless body, ran back to the spot where he initially confronted Scott. It appears Slager picked up the taser he had shot Scott with and carried it to where Scott lay and placed it beside the body, after shooting him in the back as he ran away.

This case was shocking, and not at all surprising. Shocking because you can see the cop chasing Scott and gunning him down as he tried to flee, AND because it appears Slager planted evidence to make it look like Scott was some kind of a threat. Also shocking because you see other cops come onto the scene and watch this evidence planting occur. But none of them said anything about it before the video got out.

Not at all surprising because there have been many, many cases of cops murdering people, including more than a few where the murders were caught on videotape. There have been many, many cases where witnesses to these murders have said that the cops planted evidence to try to justify their criminal actions. And in almost every single one of these cases, the system let the killer cops walk.

This time the killer cop has been charged with murder, but let's be clear. This would never have happened if there hadn't been a video that made it impossible to claim that the cop had reason to fear for his life. Slager hasn't yet been convicted for the murder that we can all see him committing. We saw Eric Garner get murdered by police last year, and the system still exonerated his murderers. The prosecutors may still forget how to prosecute in this case, and this killer cop may still be allowed to walk.

Don't get this twisted. The indictment of the cop who murdered Walter Scott doesn't mean that the system is working to provide justice in this case. The system was working the way it always works; well on the way to exonerating another killer cop, until the video came to light. The real message from this case is not that there is one bad cop who murdered someone and planted evidence to try to justify that murder. It's that police are still wantonly murdering Black and Latino people. And that the system still works to exonerate cops when they murder people. THIS MUST STOP!

Anyone with a shred of justice in their hearts needs to join in acting to STOP it by taking to the streets on April 14! to stop the “business as usual” of killing by police.

Carl Dix


Watch Cornel West and Carl Dix Speak on April 6—

The Police Are STILL Killing Unarmed People, and This Must STOP!





Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Planting of "Evidence" by Police: The Notorious Case of LAPD Rampart Division

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The cell phone video of the murder of Walter Scott by a South Carolina cop appears to show the pig blatantly planting “evidence” on his victim as part of an attempted cover-up. Such planting of “evidence” by cops to justify their crimes against the people is not new or a rare event. It happens all the time among police forces across the country—but very rarely does it come to light. One major example of police planting such “evidence” being exposed was the infamous scandal involving the Rampart Division of the LAPD.

In 1999, a huge exposé of the LAPD “anti-gang” unit and the Rampart Division revealed a nest of police corruption, cover-ups, and murder and other foul crimes against the people—hundreds of people were convicted on the basis of trumped-up charges and evidence. Because of the huge outrage from the exposé, the powers-that-be were forced to put three of the Rampart cops—out of many more involved—on trial, but they were not charged with the most serious crimes, including murder. But after a jury came down with guilty verdicts on the cops, an LA judge simply threw out the verdicts.

We are republishing here an article that originally appeared in the October 3, 1999 issue of the Revolutionary Worker (former name of Revolution newspaper) when the Rampart scandal broke out.

The Rampart CRASH Unit:
Blood on the Hands of the LAPD

On the streets of Pico-Union, South Central, East L.A., Watts and other neighborhoods of oppressed people in Los Angeles, there is a certain understanding about the police. It’s a knowledge that comes from bitter experience—from firsthand experience of police beatings, harassment and murder.

In 1991 many more people had their eyes opened to that reality through the video of the Rodney King beating. The 1996 O.J. trial brought us the audio—L.A. cop Mark Fuhrman boasting on tape about how he and others mistreated and brutalized African-Americans, Mexicans and women.

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. This talk, followed by questions and answers, is a wide-ranging revolutionary journey, covering many topics. It breaks down the very nature of the society we live in and how humanity has come to a time where a radically different society is possible. It is full of heart and soul, humor and seriousness; it will challenge you and set your heart and mind to flight. Watch the entire film online at

Now, a huge exposé—involving the “anti-gang” CRASH unit and the Ramparts Division of the LAPD—has revealed a nest of police corruption, cover-ups and foul crimes against the people. The authorities might have to review the cases of hundreds of people whose convictions were based on testimony by fired or suspended cops. The whole LAPD is engulfed in a deep and massive scandal. It’s the “Fuhrman tapes” multiplied many times over.


October 12, 1996 Javier Francisco Ovando, 19 years old, was walking down the hallway of an apartment building in the Pico-Union when two cops, Rafael Perez and Nino Durden, stopped him. They forced him to his knees, handcuffed him and shot him in the face. Ovando slumped to the floor. The cops took off the handcuffs and planted a rifle in his hands. Ovando lived—but he is paralyzed and will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair.

The cops claimed that they were in a vacant apartment when Ovando burst in and pointed two guns at them. The police said they fired in self-defense. Based on the cops’ shameless lies, Javier Ovando was convicted of attempted murder of a police officer. A judge declared that Ovando showed no remorse for his “premediated crime”—and sentenced the young man to be locked away for 23 years.

At the sentencing Gloria Romero—the mother of Ovando’s girlfriend, Monique Valenzuela—confronted the cops and said, “Sooner or later, the truth will come out.”

Three years later, the truth has come out. Officer Rafael Perez admitted to the truth about the shooting of Javier Ovando and other crimes committed by CRASH cops. His confession was part of a plea bargain in which he admitted to stealing over eight pounds of cocaine from a police evidence locker.

Another dirty shooting by CRASH that Rafael Perez revealed took place July 20, 1996. José Perez was standing in front of his apartment house in the 600 block of Shatto Place. When he saw several carloads of cops roll up, he walked inside his building. The CRASH police charged in, shooting at residents. José Perez was shot in the back with no warning. Juan Manuel Saldana was killed with multiple gunshots in another part of the building. A third man, Salvador Ochoa, was seriously wounded as he walked down the stairs with his children.

As he was recovering from his wounds José Perez found out that his friend Juan Saldana was dead. He also learned that the police claimed he was armed and that they were charging him with his friend’s murder. He recalled, “I got shot in the back and my homeboy got killed. They have to make a story out of it. I didn’t have a gun. I was on the floor, bleeding and they handcuffed me. I wasn’t even running. I was walking. They said I was pointing a gun at them. But I didn’t even have a gun. Neither me or my homeboy ever shot a gun.”

The chief of police declared the killing of Juan Manuel Saldana and the wounding of José Perez and Salvador Ochoa “justified.” After 10 months in jail, José Perez was offered a deal to plead guilty to assault on an officer to avoid a life sentence. He finally got out with 10 months time served.

The confession of Officer Perez has exposed a mountain of police crimes against the people: Murder, attempted murder, brutality, frame-ups, robbery, extortion and drug dealing. These crimes were covered up by commanders and rubber-stamped by the chief of police. The criminals in blue were praised, promoted and given rewards, honor and respect by their colleagues and superiors. The exposures that started with Officer Perez have produced the biggest LAPD corruption scandal since the 1930s.

Officer Perez is on his way to prison, and Officer Durden has been suspended. Perez’s former partner, David Mack, is in a federal lock-up for bank robbery. Twelve cops have been fired or suspended with pay.

Pico-Union, where Officer Perez used to prowl, is the most densely populated neighborhood in the western U.S. Hundreds of thousands of people from Central America and Mexico have transformed the area into a vibrant immigrant community. It is home to poor proletarians working in the garment factories, restaurants, car washes and private homes of Los Angeles.

The authorities have hit Pico-Union with sweeping repression. The police have set up “barricaded zones.” An INS detention center was built right in the neighborhood—and Migra agents work alongside cops in the Rampart Division. Much of this repression has been focused on the youth. Belmont High, the main high school in the area, is a mini-police-state where students have to run a gauntlet of cops and metal detectors just to get to class. Under two “anti-gang” injunctions against a youth organization, the 18th Street, 140 individuals are subject to arrest for things like hanging out together or carrying beepers and cell phones. The cops are given a free hand to gaffle people up—to question and harass them in the name of enforcing the injunction. The L.A. “anti-gang” injunctions have become a “model” for cities all over the country.

CRASH (which stands for “Community Resources Against Street Hoodlums”) has been at the forefront of this war on youth in Pico-Union and other parts of the city. CRASH units are known for fomenting fighting between different gangs and dropping gang members off in hostile neighborhoods. They shot 15-year-old Tony Gutierrez in the back in East L.A. Just days after the current scandal broke, CRASH cops shot and wounded two people in the Nickerson Gardens projects in South Central.

During the 1992 L.A. Rebellion, people in South Central witnessed LAPD “kill squads” roaming around and carrying out drive-by shootings. These cops rode in unmarked Chevies typical of CRASH.

CRASH has put together huge computer databases with the names and alleged gang affiliations of young people. Their databases include up to half of the youth living in certain poor neighborhoods. This information is used for lists of “the usual suspects” when the cops are looking for someone to frame, as well as for the “anti-gang” injunctions.

As justification for these injunctions, the DA used statements of eight CRASH unit cops who have now been fired or suspended. These cops provided the names of half of the people named in the injunctions. Prosecutors considered the police story about the shooting of Javier Ovando “some of the most persuasive police testimony” in favor of the injunctions. Rafael Perez himself provided key statements as a “narcotics expert.”

When the current scandal began, DA Gil Garcetti was planning hearings on more injunctions against the people of the area, based on the same lying testimony from CRASH cops. But the scandal has forced the authorities to suspend the “anti-gang” injunctions against the 18th Street gang.

Despite the ugly facts that are coming to light through this scandal, official figures are unrepentant, describing the problem as just a few “rogue” cops. When Garcetti talks about the problems caused by the exposure, he doesn’t mention the scarred and stolen lives of the people beaten, framed and murdered. He talks about how the authorities are going to save their injunctions. Mayor Richard Riordan told the police, “You have the support of the Los Angeles community.” At Rampart Division, cops hung a banner on the front of the building saying, “The Community Loves the Men and Women of Rampart Station.” Lawyers for cops accused in the scandal have said that the CRASH unit is unfairly criticized by “criminals” who want to damage police officers’ careers.

The official investigation into the LAPD is being carried out by—the LAPD itself. The DA’s office is responsible for deciding whether to prosecute any of the cops, but it will act on information from the police themselves. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has announced an investigation into possible “violations of civil rights,” but they too are going to rely on LAPD investigators.

Javier Ovando’s conviction was overturned at the request of the DA—reportedly the first time in the city’s history that the DA has gotten an innocent person released. The DA’s office first announced that Ovando would be deported to Honduras, where he lived as a young child. Then he was released to the LAPD, who are holding him practically incommunicado at an unknown location. The LAPD says they are trying to “protect” him. But clearly, it’s murdering cops that he has the most reason to fear.

The unfolding scandal has brought a sense of vindication for the people who live the day-to-day reality of police murder and brutality. People from Pico-Union who have been silenced for years are getting to speak out. And those in other neighborhoods are getting to hear them. When Javier Ovando was shot, there was a witness. But he didn’t try to testify. As one of his friends put it, “The homeboys wanted to say something, but they couldn’t. Who would believe 18th Street gang members?” As this police crisis rages, people all over the city want to—and need to—hear the stories from Pico-Union.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

OUTRAGE in Miami: Cops Kill Mentally Ill Black Man "Armed" with a Broomstick

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


The day after the release of the video of the cold-blooded police murder of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina, another video emerged on Wednesday, April 8.

Another deadly shooting of a Black man by a cop. This time in Miami.

25-year-old Lavall Hall was shot on February 15. His mother had called the police for help because Lavall was having a psychotic episode. When the police arrived Hall was carrying a broomstick.

In the police video, released by Lavall Hall's family, you can hear a cop ordering Hall to “get on the f---ing ground or you’re dead.” Then moments later, you can’t see Hall in the video but you hear the shooting of five deadly rounds.

Melissa Edwards, the mother of Hall’s 8-year-old daughter, told the Miami Herald, “I was outraged, furious, devastated and very emotional... They killed him, murdered him.”

The lying cops, of course ran out their story—that they were forced to shoot because Hall “attacked” them with “deadly force” using the broom. But now the video shows Hall trying to flee before he was shot and killed.

Another OUTRAGE. Another reason to SHUT IT DOWN on April 14!




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Pasco, Washington:

4 Arrested at Protest Marking 2 Months Since Police Murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Pasco, Washington, April 11—Several people were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at a demonstration marking the two-month anniversary of the police killing of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, an immigrant worker originally from Mexico.

People in Pasco, Washington took over a major four-lane bridge, protesting the police murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, February 21.

People in Pasco, Washington took over a major four-lane bridge, protesting the police murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes, February 21.
Photo: Special to

On February 10, Antonio was reportedly throwing rocks at passing cars. He clearly was not acting rationally and needed help. He had nothing more than rocks or dirt clods. But the police aggressively confronted him and, in the words of his family, killed him “execution style.” When the cops shot Antonio Zambrano-Montes, he was trying to flee and was not a threat. This horrific murder is caught on video, which reveals him being cut down by a storm of bullets from three deadly cops. There have been determined protests in Pasco since then demanding justice for Antonio.

On Saturday, April 11, people rallied and then marched through the streets heading to the intersection where Antonio was shot and killed. Cops followed protesters, threatening them over a loudspeaker that people would be arrested if they kept blocking traffic. The protesters responded by chanting, “Whose streets? Our streets.” Police used barricades at one intersection and then came in and arrested four people. People then marched to the jail at the Franklin County Justice Center and linked arms in front of the building, chanting, “Indict, convict, send the killer cop to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

According to the Tri-City Herald, the demonstration was organized by the Eastern Washington University chapter of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán). Students from Eastern Washington, Pasco High School, Everett Community College, Yakima Valley Community College and Heritage University made up a majority of the protesters. Martin Negrete, the MEChA chapter president, told the Herald, “A lot of these students have fear. They know they are being targeted. We are united because we know we can bring that (unity), that empowerment, to the youth here in Pasco.”

Actions are planned for April 14 in Pasco as part of the nationwide Shut Down against police murder and brutality—3 p.m. at Volunteer Park. (See this page for info on "Where to Be, What to Do" on April 14 around the country.)

See TV news coverage of the Pasco arrests here.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Police Murder of Walter Scott: Window into Lives of Black People in North Charleston

by Li Onesto | April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


After the cold-blooded murder of Walter Scott by North Charleston cop Michael Slager, a representative of Scott’s family said, “This was a cop who felt like he could get away with just shooting anybody that many times in the back.” Walter Scott Sr., appearing on the Today Show, said, “The way he [Slager] was shooting that gun, it looked like he was trying to kill a deer...”

Dot Scott, president of the Charleston branch of the NAACP, was one of those protesting in front of City Hall on March 8, the day after the video of Walter Scott’s shooting became public. She told the Guardian news, “We see police officers saying they fear for their lives, but black men need to be fleeing from officers because you never know when you get these kinds of officers.”

There IS an epidemic of police murder of Black and Latino people in this country—with the police walking free in almost every instance. And among Black people in North Charleston, there is a widespread feeling—more than a feeling, an understanding based on real-life experience—that the police murder of Walter Scott is not an isolated incident. Muhiyidin Moye D’Baha, an organizer with the activist group Black Lives Matter, said, “This is something that exists within a system down here.” Otha Meadows, who has lived in the city for nine years and is president of the local chapter of the Urban League, said, “The community has felt that those shootings have gone on deaf ears and been swept under the rug.”

In fact, The State newspaper in Columbia, South Carolina, found that during a five-year period, police in South Carolina fired their weapons at 209 people—only a few of these cops were even accused of a crime and NONE were convicted.

Just like the murder of Michael Brown shined a light on the whole oppressive situation of Black people in Ferguson, Missouri, the murder of Walter Scott provides a window into the daily DANGER Black people face, where at any moment they can be stopped by the police, supposedly for something like a broken tail light, and the next moment they can be tased, beaten bloody or lying dead on the ground.

When protesters gathered at South Charleston City Hall, they spoke out about their experiences of being discriminated and harassed by the police. Some of the youth talked about how they can’t even count on their hands the number of times they have been profiled and stopped by the police.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

Tyeesha Aiken, one of the protesters said, “Raising two boys here, I’m afraid of sending them to school, because the police are not there to protect and serve.” She has just completed a degree in criminal justice, but told the Guardian that she is now rethinking her career because she does not trust law enforcement. Dot Scott and the North Charleston NAACP have spoken out against the stop-and-frisk policy of the police, which they say opens the door to racial profiling. They are still waiting for answers in the June 2014 incident when Denzel “Jaba” Curnell, 19, died from a bullet wound to the head after an encounter with a South Carolina cop. The cop says he stopped Curnell because he suspected him of “criminal activity.” Why? Because it was 85 degrees and Curnell was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. The police say Curnell committed suicide. The police have a tape from a surveillance camera with a gap in the footage due to, they say, a motion sensor. It shows the cop stopping Curnell but then skips ahead to after Curnell has been pinned down on the ground by the cop and there is gunfire.

The Standard Script

Appearing on CNN, Defense Attorney Mark Geragos talked about the bigger picture the Walter Scott murder reveals. He said, “The police always come up with the same thing, it’s like a standard script that they teach at police university 101: always say that there is a threat, always say that he reached for your gun, and then say he wrestled for your gun. This is an epidemic in the various communities of the U.S. And unless somebody sees it with their own eyes—this is what’s so crazy about it—they will not believe that this is possible.... You know, my father was a prosecutor for many years [and] used to say, there’s more guys in state prison for broken tail lights than any other offense. Broken tail light means go hassle somebody of color.”

And in North Charleston, a city that is about 48 percent Black and 42 percent white, Black drivers were are pulled over twice as often as whites, according to state law enforcement data of all stops that did not lead to an arrest or ticket.

The Danger of Driving, Walking and Eating While Black

A “routine traffic stop” means something completely different for Black people in North Charleston and in cities and towns across the USA. It can mean anything from being humiliated, jacked up, unjustly given hundreds of dollars in being beaten up or shot in the back and killed.

Dorothy Williams has been on the city council for 24 years and says she hears the same story over and over about how people are pulled over for not signaling, for a registration tag that wasn’t visible or for a broken taillight—then asked to consent to a search. She says, “Then it escalates. If you say no, they arrest you for disorderly conduct, or worse. As Rev. Thomas Dixon, an African American community organizer in North Charleston said, “If you fit the profile, you are going to be pulled over.” (Reading Eagle, April 10, 2015)

There are so many stories. When news reporters talk to Black people in North Charleston the stories pour out. People talk about officers stopping them for minor violations or for nothing, then assaulting them, using Taser stun guns on them for no reason and more.

Alicia Delesline, 48, has been living in North Charleston her whole life. She says it was about five years ago when she stopped trusting the police. She was walking to the store then changed her mind and turned around. This was enough for a police officer to deem her “suspicious.” They accused her of turning around because she saw authorities up ahead. Delesline said, “They just rolled up and bothered me for no reason and searched me. They serve and protect when they feel like serving and protecting. But when they feel like harassing, they do that.” (New York Times, April 9, 2015)

James Randolph owns Pete & Rita’s Café in North Charleston. He was out there on the steps of City Hall protesting the day after the video came out. He spoke out about how the police have targeted his place as well as other Black-run businesses for zoning violations, which he says is done to collect revenue for the city. Randolph says the police come in on busy nights, issue zoning violation tickets of up to $1,100 a piece and try to shut them down. He said he’d even been ticketed by Slager. Randolph told the Guardian news, “If they can harass and antagonize someone like me, imagine what the young brothers go through that I see every time in [Charleston County Court] go through.” (Guardian, April 8 and

Brian Knite Yates, a 28-year-old Black veteran, says after a traffic stop in 2008, he was unnecessarily assaulted and tased by a white police officer. Yates was at his mother’s house in Ladson when he got a call from his wife that his daughter was sick and needed to go to the doctor. He was driving to go pick up his wife and daughter when he was pulled over, even though he says he was following all traffic laws. The police incident report says Yates was pulled over for reasons including “loud bass and music coming from his car.” According to Yates the cop ordered him out of the car, then twisted his arm and tased him in the back. Police and court records show that the officer deployed his taser three times. Yates was originally charged with loud noise from a vehicle, no driver’s license in possession, and resisting arrest/disorderly conduct—charges that were later dropped. Brian Yates is now suing the City and the North Charleston Police Department. On Friday, April 10, 35-year-old Garnett Wilson filed a lawsuit, saying that Michael Slager, the same cop who killed Walter Scott, shot him in the back with a stun gun while other cops held him down. The filing alleges federal civil rights claims and violations of state laws and in addition to naming the two officers involved also names the North Charleston Police Department and Chief Eddie Driggers. The incident, as with so many other cases of police brutality and murder, began with a traffic stop. John Gentry III, Wilson’s attorney, said his client had his hands above his head and wasn’t resisting when the officers held him down on the ground. Then as two cops prepared to handcuff Wilson, Slager stood over Wilson and told the others, “Watch out! I’m going to tase!” Wilson was then arrested and charged with driving with a suspended license—the charge was later dropped.





Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Before the Video:
There Was Already Evidence that Walter Scott Was Murdered by the Cop

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


After Walter Scott was gunned down by North Charleston, South Carolina, cop Michael Slager just after 9:30 am on April 4, the police immediately started cranking out lies to justify his murder. Just two hours later, the Charleston Post and Courier posted an article on the shooting presenting the police account—that “the dead man fought with an officer over his Taser before deadly force was employed... an altercation ensued as the men struggled over the device. Police allege that during the struggle the man gained control of the Taser and attempted to use it against the officer. The officer then resorted to his service weapon and shot him, police alleged.” Slager and other cops also claimed that they had administered CPR unsuccessfully to save Scott’s life. (For details on the initial police account of the shooting, see Charleston Post and Courier, April 4, “Man shot and killed by North Charleston police officer after traffic stop; SLED investigating,” and April 6, “Attorney: North Charleston police officer felt threatened before fatal shooting.”)

Slager was placed on “administrative duty” pending the conclusion of the whitewash... excuse us, the “investigation”... which would almost certainly have ended with him out stalking the streets again—like it happens over and over again across the U.S. when police kill people.

Then Feidin Santana, a courageous 23-year-old Dominican barber, contacted the family with cell phone video of what actually happened, and the official lies fell completely apart. Very quickly after this, the authorities did an about-face and arrested Slager, charging him with murder, and also opened a new investigation into past incidents of brutality by Slager, which they had previously covered up.

Over and over again people said that “this would never have happened without the video.” It’s true that there would almost certainly have been no indictment without the video, but let’s be clear on why that is.

It’s not that before the video came to light, there was no evidence for an indictment. In fact, almost everything the killer cop said, according to those initial media accounts, was an obvious lie, just based on the forensic evidence readily at hand:

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

"Yes there's a conspiracy... to get the cops off" Is a clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003 in the United States. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. This talk, followed by questions and answers, is a wide-ranging revolutionary journey, covering many topics. It breaks down the very nature of the society we live in and how humanity has come to a time where a radically different society is possible. It is full of heart and soul, humor and seriousness; it will challenge you and set your heart and mind to flight. Watch the entire film online at

If there had actually been a serious investigation, Slager should have been arrested immediately. But the reality is that cops can string together whatever bullshit they want and the “investigators” will make sure they don’t contradict it, and their higher ups will put it out in the media, and the media will report it like it is the truth. This is how the overwhelming majority of police murders of the people become “justifiable homicide.”

The video does paint an even fuller picture of the craven brutality of the police—showing them tampering with the crime scene, casually standing around while Scott is dying on the ground, and especially the cold-blooded manner in which Slager aimed at and shot down Scott. But the reason it played the key role in the cop being arrested was not because it revealed new evidence—but mainly because, by showing the public what actually happened, it prevented the police and the media from burying the evidence of murder that was already in their possession.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

DOJ Report:

Coverup for the Police Murder of Michael Brown

April 6, 2015, new introduction March 16, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Editors’ Note (March 16, 2017): Two and a half years ago, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old Black youth, was shot dead in cold blood as he had his hands raised, by a white cop in Ferguson, Missouri. People in Ferguson and around the country rose up and delivered their verdict on this wanton police murder of an unarmed Black man. In the face of this, the St. Louis County prosecutor and then the U.S. Department of Justice refused to bring any charges against the pig, Darren Wilson, who carried out this heinous crime. Recently, a new documentary about Mike Brown and his murder, titled Stranger Fruit, was released. We have not seen the film, but it reportedly indicates that events leading up the murder of Mike Brown are more complicated than was previously known—including a previously unreleased surveillance camera video showing Mike Brown at a convenience store some hours before he was killed. This video clip has been widely shown in recent media reports. A different video from the same store was released and used after the murder as part of efforts to demonize Mike Brown and justify letting the cop off. The St. Louis County prosecutor arrogantly dismissed the newly revealed video as “not relevant” and continued to demonize Michael Brown. In light of these events, we are re-posting the following article which appeared at after the Department of Justice released their report outrageously declaring there was no basis to bring charges against the killer cop Wilson.


The Department of Justice (DOJ) released a report recently that came to the outrageous conclusion that there is no basis to file federal charges against Darren Wilson, the cop who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Another report on Ferguson by the DOJ, released at more or less the same time as the one on Michael Brown’s murder, acknowledged long-standing brutality and abuse of Black people by the Ferguson Police Department, deeply embedded racist hatred on the part of Ferguson cops and city officials generally, and a system of legalized theft and extortion that kept much of the Black population of Ferguson and surrounding cities impoverished, and in and out of jail.

But we are told that this pervasive racist hate had nothing to do with the murder of Michael Brown. The report on Michael Brown says the unarmed Brown tried to grab Wilson’s gun, then charged at Wilson and put him “in fear of his life.” Now all kinds of racists, reactionaries, fools, and cowards have jumped on this to spread confusion and demoralization about what happened in Ferguson, and to demobilize the powerful movement against murder by police that rose up last summer and fall. A recent headline in the Washington Post screamed “Hands up, don’t shoot, was built on a lie.”

This is bullshit! Wilson shot Michael Brown and chased him down the street. Michael had his hands in the air and pleaded with Wilson not to shoot. Wilson poured several volleys into Michael and put a bullet into his brain.

People at the scene saw this, and they told the world about it! No amount of confusion “legitimized” in a government report or a grand jury hearing, no amount of lies repeated in an endless loop on Fox News or CNN can change that!

Dorian Johnson, Michael’s friend, who was with him at the time Wilson stopped them, said he saw Michael Brown stop and turn around with his hands in the air. He said he heard Brown say either “I don’t have a gun” or “I’m unarmed” before Wilson unloaded his gun on Michael. At the time of Brown’s murder, two white construction workers raised their arms in the air to show what Brown was doing and were recorded saying, “He wasn’t no threat at all” and “He had his fucking hands in the air.”

The Department of INjustice, just like the grand jury in Ferguson, decided to ignore all that in the name of what they said was “plausible” in the string of lies and justifications of the murder that Darren Wilson told them. Their report says Michael Brown was somehow the “aggressor” towards the gun-wielding cop stalking him, and that Wilson acted “reasonably” when he shot at Michael 12 times, hitting him either six or eight times.

A woman who saw the police shooting of Michael Brown tells what happened

They dismissed all the testimony of people who saw Michael with his hands in the air. They dismissed the testimony of a woman who said she heard Michael Brown say, over and over, “I didn’t do anything.” They said a woman who said Michael “looked scared” could not be “credible.” The people who saw Michael Brown with his arms up, and his hands out, and who said Michael was “walking” or “staggering” towards Wilson, not charging him as Wilson claimed—their testimony too was dismissed.

Yes there's a conspiracy, to get the cops off

A clip from Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About, a film of a talk by Bob Avakian, given in 2003. Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. Watch the entire film online at And get into Bob Avakian.

Dorian Johnson, who has been grilled endlessly and who has been threatened with perjury, put this DOJ decision in good perspective: “No indictment means no justice. It’s hurtful to think that someone can be murdered and, you know, their killer walks away free. The fight doesn’t stop here. I don’t condone violence on no type of level, but like I said, I do understand the anger. I feel the same anger they are feeling.”

Here’s the truth of what happened. Wilson shot Michael Brown in the hand when Michael came to his car. With gun drawn, he then came at Michael and Dorian. When Michael Brown turned and faced Wilson, with his arms and hands up, Wilson fired several rounds of high caliber bullets into him. Michael’s right lung was hit twice, his jaw was shattered. Then Wilson coldly put a bullet into Michael’s brain and murdered him.

The killing of Michael Brown was straight up murder by police, and people were righteously justified in their fierce protests. “HANDS UP, DON’T SHOOT!” is indeed one very fitting and powerful slogan and symbol for the mass resistance that needs to be built against the outrage of police brutality and murder, and everything bound up with it.

Wilson’s Story, or the Pig’s Tale

The story Darren Wilson told the grand jury was full of obvious holes, inconsistencies, and outright lies. But not only was Wilson never challenged, his story was taken as the truth that everyone else’s story was measured against.

These are just some of the most glaring inconsistencies for which Wilson never had to answer. But these aren’t even the worst of it. Wilson left the scene of the murder as other cops arrived moments after the shooting, against the advice of his sergeant. He went to the Ferguson Police Department, where he knew Barbara Spradling, his fiancée, was on duty. He washed his hands, and packaged his own gun in an evidence bag.

David Klinger of the University of Missouri at St. Louis told the Washington Post, “An officer driving himself back? Wrong. An officer booking his own gun into evidence? Wrong. The appropriate investigative procedures were not followed.” A 2013 manual of the Justice Department states that when crime scenes are processed, investigators “Do not allow suspect to use bathroom facilities, or to alter his/her appearance, including brushing hair or washing hands.” The reality is that from the beginning Wilson never was considered to be a suspect.

Elementary rules of police investigation were not followed either by Wilson, his superior officer, or his fiancée, but the Department of Justice, in its official report, says Wilson’s explanations are “credible.”

Wilson told his story to Spradling before any other cops got there. Whatever they worked out between themselves at that time was the story Wilson told in subsequent questioning. As the old saying goes, “That’s his story, and he’s sticking to it.” The DOJ admits that Spradling has “potential bias” in this case—an understatement if ever there was one—but that her testimony, completely based on what Wilson told her when they had some time together right after he shot and killed Michael Brown, and despite her negligence in allowing Wilson to wash away evidence, is “credible.”

All this is what’s known as “getting away with murder.” And it was condoned by the U.S. government’s “Department of Justice.” Why should anyone believe this crap? No one should accept the decision of this report!

The Kill Shot

The DOJ report says that evidence has to prove that Darren Wilson acted “willfully” and “unreasonably” when he shot and killed Michael Brown. It says every shot fired by Wilson must be justified.

The shot that killed Michael Brown entered the vertex (peak) of his skull. Michael Brown was about the same height as Wilson, 6’4.” This means that Brown was either bent over double from the pain of multiple gunshot wounds and extensive bleeding, or on his hands and knees—there is testimony to both—when Brown put the “kill shot” into Michael Brown’s brain.

If putting a bullet into the top of the head of a heavily wounded man bent over double or on all fours is not “willful” and “unreasonable,” what the hell is? This DOJ ruling not only gives Wilson a free pass for his murder of Michael Brown, it is a license to kill for every other pig in the country.

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” is true and a righteous slogan. And we should proudly uphold and continue to shout it. It concentrates what happened to Michael Brown and what has happened in every city and town in this country. And those who fall for or are influenced by the line of reasoning in the DOJ report should ask themselves: in the highly unlikely event that every word Darren Wilson told “investigators” is true—would that justify him gunning down Michael Brown?

If someone supposedly steals a package of cigars as Wilson and the DOJ claim Mike Brown did, does that mean he should be shot to death in the street? If a cop doesn’t like the look on someone’s face—especially if it’s, say, a Black face—is it all right, is it reasonable, for the cop to be in fear for his life, and able to use that supposed fear as justification for killing the Black person? If a youth is bent over double or on all fours bleeding profusely from multiple gunshot wounds, would the person who shot him be justified to put a bullet through the youth’s head and claim the youth was “charging” him? Do Wilson’s hateful, racist, and obviously self-serving statements, which the DOJ report accepts without question or comment, about Michael Brown’s supposed state of mind and appearance—that Brown “looked like a demon,” that he made “the most intense aggressive face” Wilson had seen, and others—does that justify a cop shooting a youth with his hands up in the air?

A basic question of morality is involved here. It is immoral and unjust that police continue to shoot down young Black and Latino men. It is immoral and unjust that any sorry “justification” the murdering pigs come up with—“he reached for his waistband”; “he had a shiny object in his hand”; “he made a sudden move”; “he tried to grab my gun”—is enough to keep them from being charged with anything at all. It is immoral and shameful for anyone to be influenced or accept in any way these worn out excuses.

A legal system that justifies these murders and allows them to continue unpunished is illegitimate and deserves no respect whatsoever.

There Is No Justice from the Department of Justice

As we wrote when the DOJ report was first issued:

The Justice Department essentially found Michael Brown guilty of causing his own death. NO!!! Again, no trial to actually find and test the truth. Again, trying to excuse the basic fact that Michael Brown had no weapon. Again, ignoring killer cop Darren Wilson’s racist grand jury testimony equating Michael Brown to a “demon.” Again, taking as true the highly dubious scenario that Michael Brown, already shot by the cop Wilson several times, somehow rushed the cop who killed him.

Why would they cover it up? Well, think about this: if the Justice Department had actually said that depriving a young Black man of his life without due process is a crime and that Darren Wilson should stand trial for this, don’t you think that would have caused an even more major shit storm among the powers-that-be—who are already at each other’s throats? And what would that do to their whole agenda of repressing Black and Latino communities, an agenda that relies on violence by the police? This was a “compromise deal”—to make people think something will be done, but to keep full support for the police... and to put the people themselves on the defensive.

Now is emphatically not the time to be “cooling out” the struggle that erupted so brilliantly last year. Now is the time for this resistance to become more powerful. Now is the time to say “No More to the System Giving a Green Light to Killer Cops!”




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

San Bernardino Sheriffs Caught on Video:

The Savage Beating of Francis Pusok

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Just days after a murderous cop was caught on tape shooting Walter Scott in the back, a KNBC-TV helicopter crew captured the savage beating of Francis Jared Pusok, a 30-year-old father of three, by 10 San Bernardino, California, sheriff’s deputies. KNBC reporters described the beating: “In the two minutes after the man was stunned with a Taser, it appeared deputies kicked him 17 times, punched him 37 times and struck him with batons four times. Thirteen blows appeared to be to the head. The horse stood idly nearby.... The man did not appear to move from his position lying on the ground for more than 45 minutes. He did not appear to receive medical attention while deputies stood around him during that time.”

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

An attorney for Pusok told KNBC-TV as they left the jail that Pusok has a badly swollen eye and marks from the beating over his face and body, and is in pain.

“He remembers being beat, and he remembers that he wasn’t resisting, that he laid still, he complied immediately. He says that he didn’t even move a muscle because he didn’t want to be continuously beat, yet it still happened.” Another attorney said that Pusok told him that one of the cops whispered in his ear after the beating, “This isn’t over.”

The 10 cops involved in this Rodney King-like beating are on paid administrative leave (aka vacation).

The ACLU recently opened an office in San Bernardino in response to numerous complaints of abuse. On August 12, the San Bernardino Sheriffs murdered Dante Parker, an unarmed Black man. Parker was riding his bicycle near his home when a homeowner reported that “a Black man” was trying to enter her home. Parker was shot between 10 and 25 times by a Taser while he was hogtied laying face down on the ground. The Sheriff’s Department has not yet even supplied the names of the officers involved.

Enough! Shut it down April 14!




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Carl Dix Calls for Huge Stolen Lives Installations for April 14th Actions!  

April 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On April 14th, we've got to revive the spirit of Ferguson, that spirit of refusing to suffer the brutality and murder of the system in silence. We've got to revive it—and we've got to take it higher. We have to get back out in the streets, and we've got to declare that we're not backing down and that we are NOT going away. We have to say that we're determined to fight this on April 14th—and then coming after April 14th, we've got to continue building wave upon wave of resistance, even more powerfully, until we can STOP murder by the police. [applause]

We need to push the truth back out there. And we've got to put ourselves on the line as we do it. We can use these posters [pointing to Stolen Lives poster] in doing that, taking them into the streets, out of the campus or into school, into your neighborhood. We need to use them to polarize the situation, forcing them to look square in the eye of reality, and challenging them to join us in doing something about it.

DOWNLOAD & SPREAD: PDF for print | JPG for web | Banner-Size: English/Spanish
Banner-Sized are 10x15 feet at 200dpi and will print well up to 20x30 feet

Now this is a pretty big poster. But we need to make even bigger enlargements of this poster. HUGE enlargements—maybe even something like 30 feet. And then carry them into the streets on April 14th­, like they're floats, you know. They need to be so big that by themselves they will capture the attention of people and break things out of the normal routine of society, whether we got a thousand people carrying it, or 10 people carrying it. These posters powerfully represent the hundreds of people the police kill every year. When we take them into the streets, we are carrying the justification for what we are doing, the thing that indicates we are right to do it. We're putting the horror of police murder out there for everybody to see. And we can't back down when we do this. If the authorities come to us and say, oh you have to get off to the sidewalk, we have to say: No. This needs to be out in the streets. This needs to be where everyone can see it. [applause]

And then leading up to April 14, this next week, these posters have got to be everywhere. You know, they should be big. They don't have to be as big as the 30 foot one I'm talking about—they should be big enough to attract attention. When you do that—'cause I just came back from L.A., we were at UCLA, we were at UC Riverside on Stolen Lives Days—riveted people's attention. People wanted copies of the poster. They wanted to take pictures of themselves in front of it, and tweet in and put it on social media. We need to be doing this for this next week, and we need to be recruiting the people whose attention is riveted by this poster, to act with us on April 14th to stop these horrors.

People need to go to the website of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network that Cornel and I co-founded. That's And we need to be working to drive people to that website. And we also should be working to drive people to the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Everybody needs to be going to these sites, finding out what's going on, getting a fuller perspective of what's behind what's happening, and getting organized and organizing others. People need to send in photos, reports, stories and vines to these sites, and we'll post them up, so that the people can get a sense of the growing nationwide movement of resistance.

In this way, we'll be making a huge move against police getting away with murder, and against mass incarceration—and also a move towards the transformation of all of society. We can do this, sisters and brothers. A whole lot of people want to see something done to stop the way the system gives a green light to killer cops. It's right beneath the surface, and sometimes it bubbles over, comes out in the open for people to see.

Excerpt from Carl Dix's speech at the April 6 emergency meeting on police murder. Go here for more on the April 6 meeting.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015


The Time Is Now, the Potential Is There, to Shut Shit Down on April 14

April 8, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Last Saturday, April 4, Walter Scott—a 50-year-old Black man—was gunned down by a murdering cop in North Charleston, South Carolina. Walter Scott—a man, his brother said, who loved to tell jokes and dance... a man who was allegedly “wanted” for failing to pay child support... a Black man, the cops claimed, who had a “broken taillight”—was shot in the back, brought down in a barrage of eight shots—murdered—as he ran away, unarmed, from a cop who had Tased him.

Let’s be clear. Murders like this happen all the time. All the time.


Tweet this... | Poster size...

The difference here is that this one was caught on videotape—a fact which only came to light Tuesday, April 7, three days later. It shows Scott running away, posing no danger whatsoever to anyone, while the pig Michael Slager shoots him. The video shows Scott’s killer go back to where the incident started and pick something up—something that appears to be a Taser gun—and then set it down near Scott’s body. The video shows Slager and his partner stand there indifferently while Scott bleeds out and dies (even though their report claims they attempted to give him CPR).

When this news broke—when the documentation of this horrifying, back-shooting, cold-blooded murder came out—then and only then did the authorities move, charging Slager with murder. And, again, let’s be real clear: this monster would not have even been charged if people had not stood up in Ferguson, if people had listened back then to those who told them to calm down. And note well that the pig who did this to Walter Scott claimed—and will almost certainly claim at his trial and may well get off—that he was in danger of his life. The same claim that Michael Brown’s killer made in Ferguson... the same claim they always make... and always get away with, as they did in Ferguson... and as they will here, unless people raise holy hell about it.

Nobody with any claim to oppose police murder, nobody with any claim to conscience can at this point stand aside from the call for major outpourings of people on April 14.

The night before this hit, in New York, Carl Dix and Cornel West addressed an emergency meeting on police murder. Over 400 people crowded into a church to hear them. We won’t try to summarize it here—everyone reading this should go to hear on this website the speeches of these two leaders, as well as the powerful testimony of the relatives of those murdered by police. You should listen to the hot fury and the compelling analysis... the whole history this comes out of and the raw experience of those who face it... the determination of a new generation and the support of prominent artists and people of conscience and the impassioned response of the audience. All this showed the potential for April 14 to enable people to go back on the offensive against this epidemic of wanton police murder. An offensive that is clearly and urgently needed.


The Police Are STILL Killing Unarmed People, and
This Must STOP!

Cornel West and Carl Dix Speak


Click here for video of the program and messages of support

This potential was underlined the next day, when Reverend Calvin Butts—who attended the emergency meeting—led a coalition of clergy in NYC in issuing a call for people to act against police murder on April 14. There is a need and a hunger to go back on the offensive, increasingly felt in society. This has been boiling and bubbling in different cities where the rage has bubbled over... this came out at the emergency meeting... it was reflected in the action of Reverend Butts (and in other actions reported on across the country on this website)... and the outrage erupting in the wake of the South Carolina murder underscores this. APRIL 14 MUST MEET THIS URGENT AND DEEPLY FELT NEED FOR RESISTANCE AGAINST POLICE MURDER.

At this point, there is tremendous potential to meet that need, potential that is more apparent and in some ways far greater than it was a week ago. After all the slanders, misleading lies, and promises... these monsters were caught on camera once again carrying out murder... and people in their millions are again outraged.

But even with the powerful basis for resistance, even with the growing potential, there is very hard and creative work needed to make April 14 really happen in the way that it must. There are people—there are thousands—who can and must be organized to help make this happen. But that is a process—even if a telescoped one in the days now remaining until April 14.

Listen. You can’t just give people some materials and tell them to go challenge people. You can’t just tell someone who expresses interest about a meeting that’s coming up. That’s part of it, yeah. But it’s not enough. It can be a big step to go from sympathizing to resisting... and an even bigger one to go from resisting to organizing others. When people give you their names, you have to stay in touch... you have to introduce them to others in their school or neighborhood and help them mesh... you have to listen and think and draw them out as they tell you what they’re running into—positive and negative, clarifying and confusing—and work with them to make sense of it all and traverse it. Even in the short time remaining, there is a need to work WITH people... solving problems together on how to reach out... and through that, laying the basis for this thing to really take off as the days get closer.

Now in all this, the two main websites that are fighting for April 14—this one,, and the website of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network—, are absolutely critical resources. Here is where you'll find reports on what's going on, the questions that people are running into, and how to understand and answer them. With,, you get the way this is part of the whole larger dynamics driving the world, and a whole struggle for communist revolution. These sites are invaluable; and the more that people can get into these together, digging into them and talking it over collectively, the more their impact can be amplified.

Speaking to revolutionaries, our role here is a) to keep people focused on the reality of the situation:

the horror of the systemic and systematic police murder of Black and Latino people, made so powerfully clear in the Stolen Lives poster;

the epidemic proportions of that horror;

the way this is built into the system but at the same time totally unnecessary;

what was accomplished by the actions of the fall, when thousands took to the streets in resistance;

the ways the rulers hit back against all that;

and the need now to powerfully re-take the offensive.

And b) on that basis, to work with people who come forward in many different ways, giving them the ways to be organized and organize others, ways to learn more as they do, even if they may not be ready or in a position now to drop everything or go 24-7. This doesn’t mean being modest in our plans or turtle-like in our approach; it DOES mean working with people to develop and realize all the things, big and small, that are needed to actually reach the goal of powerful, high-impact April 14 outpourings. April 14 is not “our thing” in some kind of narrow way— increasingly it is, and must much more be, the project of many, many people and forces, embodying the hopes of millions. And the work to bring that into being must reflect that.

The campuses play a crucial role in this. There were students in the house to hear Carl and Cornel, and there are students taking this up. In some places there are cores... more often, right now, there are ones and twos, sometimes people who didn’t know each other before. But the movement needs many, many more! And we can draw forward more, taking the Stolen Lives posters onto the campus and working with parents and other people from the hard streets to bring reality directly to the students. We can draw students forward as well by finding the ways to saturate social media with highlights from the April 6 program.

We must also continue to go into those hard streets, fighting despair and uniting with the seething anger and desire to take this on that boils right beneath the surface and has been bubbling over in the past few months... finding the ways with people in these communities to make the 14th a powerful, meaningful outpouring.

And it will be important to persevere in the struggle to re-polarize people of conscience, building on the very significant statements and positions that now have been taken by those courageous ones who dared to step out first, and fighting to break into the media with all this. Again, given this outrage in South Carolina, what was not possible yesterday may be possible today... and still more, beyond what we imagined, possible tomorrow. Those who have stood aside up to now must be re-faced with the reality both of the murder of Walter Scott and the stands taken by people like Cindy Sheehan, Alice Walker, Eve Ensler, Arturo O’Farrill, Charles Burnett, and the other people of conscience who have stepped out.

Watch the film now

Watch the trailer

More about the film

Finally, a word here on the Dialogue between Bob Avakian and Cornel West, REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. This dialogue has huge meaning and importance in many, many dimensions, giving people an entirely different sense of the world that is possible, and the kind of revolution we need to get to that world. It is not an exaggeration to say that it is world-historic—again, in more than one sense. So, obviously, it has importance above and beyond A14—but it is also in fact a tremendously powerful positive factor FOR A14. Experience does show the tremendous importance of people being exposed to this, how important and positive this dialogue is for raising people’s sights and strengthening their resolve to change the world. Yes, be out there all day fighting the power... challenge people— and unite with them—on the horror and outrage of police murder and mass incarceration... work with and bring forward and organize new people as you do, learning and leading... and, at the same time, be promoting and watching together this gift of a dialogue from BA and CW.

With all this in mind, and with daring, well-founded tactical plans that give full expression to the desire of people to be free of this horrific madness, we can and will go forward to make April 14 a success—and a springboard to take this way higher and STOP this insanity.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Los Angeles and New York City Press Conferences Call on People to Hit the Streets on April 14

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Thursday, April 9, in Los Angeles and Friday, April 10, in New York City, press conferences organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) called on people around the country to act on April 14 against the continuing murders, especially of Black and Latino people, by the police. The press release in NYC said: “Yet another unarmed Black man shot down like an animal by police, left to bleed out in total disregard of his humanity. Caught on videotape. This Must STOP! People are mobilizing. There will be mass RESISTANCE with defiance, courage, conviction and conscience answering a Call put forth by Cornel West and Carl Dix and joined by families of the victims and by prominent voices: #SHUTDOWN APRIL 14!”

In Los Angeles, in addition to a statement from SMIN, Rev. Frank Wulf, pastor of USC United University Church, passionately called on people of all religious faiths to stand up on April 14 with others throughout the country; and Christian Ramirez and Óscar Ramírez Sr., brother and father of Óscar Ramîrez who was shot in the back and killed by Los Angeles Sheriffs in 2014, spoke to the urgency of the April 14 protests.

The next day, La Opinion—the largest Spanish-language newspaper in the U.S.—had a front page saying “Todos Somos South Carolina” (We Are All South Carolina) and featuring a big photo of the April 14 banner with faces of people whose lives were stolen by the police, and had major coverage of the press conference for April 14. Other media at the press conference included KABC Channel 7, Fox Channel 11, Azteca Channel 54, L’Agence France-Presse (AFP), and USC Annenberg School of Communications and Journalism.

At the New York City press conference, Carl Dix—from the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-initiator, with Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network—gave the main statement (see video). Also speaking at the press conference were parents of youths whose lives were stolen by police: Nicholas Heyward Sr., Iris Baez, and Hawa Bah. Media covering the event included NY1 (cable channel, which covered the press conference in its 6 p.m. news), Telemundo, Univision, and radio stations WBAI and WKCU.


Listen to audio of complete Los Angeles press conference.

Statement by Rev. Frank Wulf
On Walter Scott and April 14 Shutdown Day, at the Los Angeles Stop Mass Incarceration Press Conference, April 9

It's ironic to me that the murder of Walter Scott happened in the Christian calendar on the day before Easter, the day in between the brutal execution of Jesus on Good Friday and the day we celebrate the resurrection. It's ironic to me because in this so-called Christian nation, this kind of thing continues to take place. We know that what the video shows in Walter Scott's murder is this pattern of behavior in which a police officer kills somebody and then we're normally left only with the police officer's word. And then again and again and again police officers are exonerated for these murders, for these killings. In this particular case we have the good fortune that somebody was brave enough to take a video and then brave enough to share that video. So we are able to see that there was much more involved than just the police reacting to a threat. In fact, the only threat that was present in North Charleston was the threat against Walter Scott. He was the person that was threatened by the police officer from the moment that he was stopped until the moment that he was shot dead. And the planting of evidence was just, for us, one more piece to ensure us that we do not know what happens in most of these police killings. The police version can not be followed, can not always be trusted.

We are left simply with this string of police killings over and over and over again. Black and Brown people are killed in a disproportionate number—a disproportionate number to other people killed by police. People with mental illnesses are killed in a disproportionate number to other people, so-called normal people in this society. People on the margins, people on the fringes, are consistently being targeted. And they're not just being targeted for murder, they are targeted for harassment by police forces. They are being incarcerated at rates that are extraordinary at this particular point in time. As you all know, the United States incarcerates far more people than any other nation on earth in spite of the fact that we are not the largest nation on earth. And the vast majority of those people that we incarcerate are Black and Brown. So we are dealing with a situation that is intolerable.

I, as a follower of Jesus Christ and a Christian pastor in this nation, have to say on the basis of my faith that this must stop. You cannot continue to kill Black and Brown people—in fact you cannot continue to kill mentally ill people or any people, wantonly, in my name. You cannot continue to do it in the name of a nation that claims to be more religious than any other nation on earth, a nation that follows various religious principles that tell us that love is stronger than evil, that love is more important than evil, that love is more important than hate or fear. If that is true, then we need, as religious people, as people of faith,  to live our faith. And we have to say no. That is why I'm supporting April 14.

And I'm supporting the need for us simply as a people, as a people, to stop the system because by not stopping the system we are giving tacit support to these policies, to these practices of criminal injustice that are taking place in our society and taking place in what is becoming more and more of an obvious way. The good news is that it's no longer underground, it's no longer hidden, it's beginning to come out where all of us can see. But now that all of us can see, we have a moral obligation to do something. And from my perspective as a person of faith I'd say we have a religious and spiritual obligation to do something as well. Our faith will not allow us to do anything different. So I'm supporting April 14. And I hope we can get religious people, people of faith out, as well as other people, out on the streets on April 14 to say no.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Press Coverage Spreads Call for #A14 to 100s of Thousands in U.S. and Beyond

Updated April 13 | Published April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


In a wide range of media, from a major front page story in La Opinión the largest Spanish language newspaper in the U.S.... to a story in Jet magazine... to community, campus, and religious newspapers... calls for #ShutDownA14 are breaking into the mainstream, creating a buzz in media, and reaching hundreds of thousands of people.

4/13/15: interviews Carl Dix on #ShutDownA14!
Carl Dix responds to questions including: Why march on April 14? What happened to the movement of last fall? Is the problem that white people are indifferent to the police murder of Black men? And what kind of unity is being forged for April 14?

Jet Magazine /

Jet Magazine

The Jet story (April 9) was titled “Cornel West Sparks #ShutDownA14 Movement: Movement seeks to put a stop to police killings...” It reported: “Dr. Cornel West has called for people across America to participate in a national movement to put a stop to the killing of black and Latino people. Dr. West’s call to action is trending on social media under the hashtag #ShutDownA14, with supporters and participants of the movement using the expression to speak out on the injustice of police brutality.” The article—online—embedded video of Cornel West speaking at the emergency program held on Monday, April 7, at the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew in New York.

Los Angeles

La Opinión. April 10, 2015, page 1

La Opinión. April 10, 2015, page 2

A major front-page story in La Opinión (April 10) featured a large photo of the Stolen Lives Banner, with “Tuesday April 14 / #ShutDownA14 / STOP MURDER BY POLICE,” and a headline “Todos Somos South Carolina” (We are all South Carolina—referring to the police murder of Walter L. Scott). The article included a call from Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) at a press conference for people to be at LAPD Headquarters at 1 pm on April 14. (See English translation by

Page 2 of the April 10 issue included a large photo of the front page of Revolución calling for April 14, photos of posters for April 14, and a substantial article about the need for protest on that day.

Coverage of the call for April 14 has been included in a number of stories about police brutality in the past few days, including coverage of the brutal beating of a man by Riverside County Sheriffs on April 10.

New York

NY1 coverage includes video of Stop Mass Incarceration Network calling for April 14.

On April 10, El Diario reprinted the headline article from La Opinion under the headline "Desde Los Ángeles convocan a paro nacional por tiroteos de policías".

NY cable news channel, NY1 announced on April 11: “City Activists Call for Nationwide Day of Protests in Response to Shooting Death of Unarmed Man in South Carolina”. The article includes a video of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network rallying in front of City Hall in downtown NY calling on people to stop business as usual in America on April 14.”


The Chicago Defender, in an article titled “Dr. Cornel West To Address Police Killings Of Unarmed People“ (April 6) reported: “On Monday, April 6, Dr. Cornel West and Carl Dix, co-initiators of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, will discuss police brutality against unarmed people at Church of St. Paul & St. Andrew in New York, NY. The emergency meeting was called to address the need for people to gather for a national mass shutdown held by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network on Tuesday, April 14.”

An article in the Final Call (April 7), “Time for top cop to go! say Chicago activists,” covered a press conference denouncing Chicago’s stop-and-frisk practice that subjected 1,500 minority youths to illegal harassment per day, and quoted Grant Newburger from Chicago Stop Mass Incarceration Network calling for “a massive national day of protest and walkouts against police brutality on April 14.”

On April 10  eNews Park Forest (Illinois) wrote on the April 6 Emergency Meeting in New York City: “Cornel West spoke with fury seldom heard, scathing against those in power and all who stand aside when the business as usual of police killing unarmed people goes on, even before video showed the most recent police killing of unarmed Walter Scott Saturday in South Carolina.” And quoted Carl Dix: “On April 14, we're going to revive the spirit of Ferguson, that spirit of refusing to suffer the brutality of the system in silence. . .We have to get back out into the streets to declare that we're not backing down, we're not going away.” The article provides links to videos from the event.


The newsweekly Cleveland Scene (April 8), in a story titled “Better Than a Listening Tour: ‘People’s Tribunal’ on Police Brutality Scheduled For Saturday“ announced a people’s tribunal on police brutality and reported “the local branch of the national Puncture the Silence-Stop Mass Incarceration Network is gearing up for another disruptive action on April 14. It will likely take the same form as the marches and protests Cleveland saw in October and November, in the immediate wake of Tamir Rice’s shooting.”

Berkeley, California

The April 10 issue of the University of California, Berkeley newspaper, the Daily Cal, ran a story “‘Speak-out’ event at campus’s multicultural center calls for end to police brutality,” which reported on the speak-out ,which it described as “a prelude to” April 14 protests.

Pasco, Washington

An article in the Tri-City Herald in Washington on ongoing outrage over the murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes (“Frustrations still high two months after Pasco police shooting”) ends: “Tri-Cities Community Solutions is taking part in a nationwide day of protest against police brutality April 14. The group asks people to step out of their daily routine and “walk out,” according to a news release. The April 14 event begins with a Unity Walk at 8 a.m. at John Dam Plaza, 1815 George Washington Way, Richland. It will move through the Tri-Cities and end at 3 p.m. with a rally, featuring speakers and musicians, at Volunteer Park in Pasco.”

Latin America

On April 9 and 10, Spanish and Portuguese language media coverage in Latin America of police murder in the U.S. included notice of calls by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network for protests on April 14. (See, for example, “Pedem investigação sobre caso de violência policial nos EUA.”)

The SMIN press conference, including the time and place for the protest was also covered by Fox Noticias Mundial (World News).

An article in the Mexican newspaper El Tiempo (4/11) calls attention to Shutdown April 14. The article quotes Carl Dix and includes a full size image of the centerfold with the faces of those killed by police.

Global Research

An article by Revolution correspondent Raymond Lotta distributed through GlobalResearch, “The Murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina. On April 14, People across America will take to the Streets” (4/12/15) begins:

The murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina, shot down the way a slave chaser would gun down a rebellious slave, on top of everything else that has happened in the past months, calls out to us: What are you going to do now?

On April 14, people in cities across the country will take to the streets to disrupt business as usual because business as usual includes police getting away with murdering Black and Brown people. What will you do on this day?


El Diario de Coahuila

The northern Mexico newspaper El Diario de Coahuila had major coverage of the call for #ShutDownA14.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

UC Riverside Student Statement on April 14: "Which side of history do you want to be on?"

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


This is a press statement issued by a student at University of California, Riverside:


The criminal (in)justice system is sustaining the slow burning genocide on Latino, African American, Indigenous, low-income, disabled, and transgender communities. If you think it's one or two bad apples, think again. It's about the legacies of Anti-black racism and indigenous racism in which our country was founded on through slavery, genocide, degradation and dispossessment. Slavery was never abolished by the 13th amendment, it only criminalized poor folks and black and brown bodies. How many innocent lives have to be brutally taken for you to see and wake up? How many social well fair programs have to be cut for struggling families and communities for you to have compassion and action? How many transgender women of color have to be incarcerated or killed by the police, family, friends, and strangers for you to understand patriarchy is killing all of us? How many prison walls have to be built for private multinational corporations to reap the benefits from the incarceration of 2.2 million ( not including folks detained in ICE facilities, folks on parole, and folks with felonies)? How many Eric Garner's, Michael Brown's, "Africa's," Trayvon Martin's, Walter L. Scott's, and the list goes on and on and on and on, have to be killed for people to go out in the streets and do something? As the speaker and activist Tim Wise said "Lynching is the extra-judicial killing of people," this perfectly encapsulates the historical legacies of lynching in the United States. A modern day lynching is upon us. Are we going to sit with apathetic eyes and hearts or are we going to stand up for our fellow people? I beg you with an urgent heart to head to this call. On April 14th there will be a national shut down all across the United States to stop business as usual and shut it down. The University of California Riverside will be meeting at the Belltower at 11 am on April 14th and march around campus and do die-ins. Then, we will march down University Ave. to 4100 Main St. "Hall Of Injustice" to protest along with community members to stop murder by Police!!

We refuse to live this way!! What side of history do you want to be on?

UCR Students have to stand by the sides of these victims in this historical day to bring this guilty system to a halt!! Come join us to heed this call to action! 

Gather 1PM @ downtown Riverside Police Station.

Thank you so much for announcing this, 

Sarah Doyle 
Organizer at the University of California Riverside




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

"Justice for Justus" in Zion, Illinois

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

On April 4, Justus Howell, 17 years old, was shot twice in the back and murdered as he ran from a cop in Zion, Illinois. It was the same day that Walter Scott was also shot in the back and killed as he ran from a South Carolina cop. There was no video in Justus Howell’s case, as there was in Walter Scott’s, but there were eyewitnesses who said that Justus was unarmed and running away when he was shot. His uncle, Dennis Howell, expressed his anger, saying, “My nephew Justus Howell didn’t deserve to die. They shot my nephew down like a dog.”

Zion, Illinois, is a small town, north of Waukegan and not far from the Wisconsin border and Milwaukee. The funeral for Justus on Friday, April 10, was attended by hundreds, and he was clearly loved and missed by family and friends. On Saturday, April 11, there was a short march to the Zion police station where a rally was held. The crowd of 200 or more was overwhelmingly Black and young. There were also Latino friends of Justus there and a significant section of older people as well. The march and rally were organized by community activists, including Clyde McLemore, a precinct committeeman. Tio Hardiman of Ceasefire Violence Interrupters, Black Lives Matter organizers, and revolutionaries bringing ShutDown April 14 to the event, all from Chicago, joined the protest by local residents.

Zion, Illinois, April 11Zion, April 11

There were many handmade signs calling for “Justice for Justus.” There were damning signs carried by young people—“BLOOD ON THEIR BADGES.” Throughout the day, there was a passionate call for justice and a barely contained anger that kept breaking through the surface. Some of the speakers advocating that the protests be respectful, or calling for working within the system’s dead-ends (like by filing complaints)—were verbally interrupted and challenged. At times a section of the crowd just drowned out that message with chants of No Justice, No Peace. When one speaker chided the defiant ones about no foolishness and only peaceful protest, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune overheard one young man talking back, “They didn’t build this country peacefully. Shackles and chains built this country.”

At the rally outside the police station, local community activists, Justus Howell’s relatives, and religious leaders spoke, demanding an independent investigation and making sure that the killer cop, whom the Zion police department had not yet publicly identified, is fired and prosecuted. The Chicago revolutionaries were welcomed warmly and brought to the front to speak at the rally. A large banner of the Stop Murder by Police poster drew much attention. A woman speaking for the Stop Mass Incarceration Network in Chicago drew the parallels with the South Carolina murder of Walter Scott and pointed behind to the banner with the 44 stolen lives on it to stress that this is business as usual in America. She led the crowd in the chant, “Every city, every town, has its own Michael Brown. April 14, shut it down!” She introduced Gloria Pinex, the mother of Darius Pinex, shot down and killed during a traffic stop in 2011 in Chicago. Gloria Pinex told the crowd the bitter truth—how she had taken her case through criminal and civil court, and the cops were exposed as lying through their teeth about how the murder of her son went down, but they were still exonerated! The fact that Gloria came to stand in solidarity with them was very much appreciated by the crowd.

Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?

"Why are we still fighting for justice in 2015?" is a clip from the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. The film is of the November 2014 historic Dialogue on a question of great importance in today's world between the Revolutionary Christian Cornel West and the Revolutionary Communist Bob Avakian. Watch the entire film here.

People swarmed the revolutionaries to get ShutDown April 14 materials and Revolution newspaper. The poster of Stop Murder by Police with stolen lives from Revolution was grabbed up, along with palm cards and stickers for April 14. Many people wanted to give contact information. In one poignant moment, several young girls (maybe as young as six) were counting how many people’s pictures there were on the banner. They asked if they could have Stolen Lives posters. In response to a comment that it was sad that the poster is what the little girls felt they needed to have, Gloria Pinex said, “Yes, it’s sad they have to count them.” We really felt the crying need for a world where this never happens.

The day ended at a community center “town hall meeting” with 70-80 people filling a large room. There continued to be many ideas about how to go forward, with some urging reliance on complaints filed with the police or electing better officials. When the two women revolutionaries were introduced and asked to speak about Stop Mass Incarceration, they spoke to the need from this day forward to put an end to this—that all this must stop now with April 14 being a decisive part of this. People who participated in the march and rally brought the Stolen Lives banner and put it up on the front wall for all to see. People were again moved when Gloria Pinex spoke of the pain and outrage of losing her son to police violence and then seeing that same murderous cop go on to kill yet again, and said, “We must all act now and resist all of this—we can’t rely on the police or the politicians—if we don’t stand up to all this we will end up being extinct like the dinosaurs and we are not going to wait around and let that happen.” [Editor's note: six months after being acquitted in the murder of Gloria's son, Officer Serra went on to murder Flint Farmer]

People then sang the “I Can’t Breathe” song popularized by Samuel L. Jackson and were led again in the chant, “Every village, every town, has its own Michael Brown. April 14, shut it down!” Community organizer called on people to go to Chicago on April 14. People were debating about whether to have a ShutDown A14 in Zion/Waukegan or to bring a “Justice for Justus” contingent to Chicago.

The meeting ended with people forming a large circle and a woman from Black Lives Matters in Chicago led the whole room to hold hands and repeat the chant made famous by Assata Shakur. "It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and support each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains."

Afterward, there were a number of people who took photos and videos of themselves with the Stolen Lives banner. In particular, a group of youths who had gathered in the parking lot came over and took the banner so they could take their pictures with it. More palm cards, stickers, and posters were taken, many by the bundle.

Walter Scott and Justus Howell are now joined in this terribly painful way... both murdered by police on the same day just three hours apart... both shot in the back in the same way... one caught on film and one not. It has to stop and that is on us.





Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Tell so the whole world can know: Contribute to coverage of #ShutDownA14

April 11, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Dear readers of, correspondents, photographers, journalists of all types:

We are asking you to contribute to coverage of the April 14 protests to STOP police murder. Send photos, videos, and correspondence, links to Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram uploads, YouTube videos, Dropbox folders, etc., to You can also call in reports to 718-812-7651. And we are encouraging you, and everyone you can get word to, to check in during the day from your mobile devices to get a feel for how things are developing nationwide.

Last fall, people all across the country rose up against the egregious murders of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and others by police, and the exonerations of the killers. Their actions woke people up all over the world. But the murders keep happening. More must be done to stop this daily, deeply seated, deadly horror.

On April 14, people all across the country will shut things down, bringing the “normal operation” of things to a halt through mass political mobilization and action.

These actions will sound a loud call to millions, here and around the world, that there are people determined to STOP this... It will make it clear that there are people—and there is a movement—determined to fight for a future where our youth are not cast off, locked down, warehoused, routinely abused and even murdered—a future where they can instead live with their humanity fully recognized.

Be part of contributing to coverage of April 14 at to give the world a picture of the courageous actions that day, large and small—from high school walkouts and campus and neighborhood rallies to major street protests.


In that light, here’s what we need:

And send or call in descriptions painting a picture of the protests—again, we’ll have a phone number for this soon.

Questions to ask when there are opportunities to interview people (and aim to get a mix of kinds of people that reflects the diversity of who comes):

Send photos, videos, and correspondence, links to Tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram uploads, YouTube videos, Dropbox folders, etc to: or call 718-812-7651.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Building for April 14 Shut It Down:

"Stolen Lives" Truck in Harlem with 3 Days to go: "We're on the FRONTLINES"

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From NYC revcom correspondents:

A truck has been touring New York City for the past few days decorated with a 7x14 foot banner with portraits of the faces of 44 of OUR brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, OUR children—all of them people whose lives have been brutally stolen from them—from us!—by the police. The truck’s banner makes it very clear next to these 44 faces: STOP Murder by Police. SHUT IT DOWN! Union Square 2PM Tuesday April 14!!

Harlem, April 11

Harlem, April 11

Harlem, April 11 Photos: Special to

On Saturday, this huge portrait of 44 stolen lives made its way west to east across the main artery of Harlem, 125th Street! Stopping at major intersections where—for a hundred years and more—making and changing history has been debated, by artists, authors, activists, and everyday people—today, with the Revolution Club and April 14 Shut It Down! organizers. Some who came out had just met up with A14 at the Monday night EMERGENCY gathering with Cornel West and Carl Dix, and others stepped up and joined right on the spot, and made plans together with A14 organizers for now through Tuesday.

Hundreds of selfies were taken with the huge portrait of the 44—mostly in group shots as people studied and grieved and raged at seeing those lost, and came together determined to stop this. Activists invited everyone to step forward and be part of spreading the word widely: “Because you know this, you feel this, and you hate it! It must stop!” Whole families, young people, old people, people from all over the world handed their cameras to organizers and each other to take group pictures. Over 10,000 palmcards, thousands of stickers, and hundreds, maybe even thousands, of poster-size reproductions of the Stolen Lives 44 went into hands taking them across Harlem and New York.

Harlem, April 11

People spoke with rage and pain about day after day, over and over, seeing more of our people being beaten down and killed like animals: the cop shooting down 50-year old Walter Scott in the back; 10 San Bernardino sheriffs piling on to Tase and beat 30-year old Francis Pusok as he lay face-down on the ground. People poured out their own stories of being beaten, arrested, losing a brother to the police, seeing the police pile into 18-year-old Ramarley Graham’s house in the Bronx and learning later that evening he had been killed... People gathered round to sign up and get materials “Can I get one of those posters? How much does it cost? Can I take four for the lobbies in my apartment complex? ... for the counseling meeting I’m going to ... my library ... my school... my church ... I’m putting this up at my job, and if they mess with me, I’m gonna be back here with you volunteering full-time!”

Almost $400 was raised as people were challenged to recognize, and contribute to, the impact of the faces of these 44 touring NYC on this truck AND being made into a huge stop-everything construction for Tuesday, April 14 as part of shutting shit down across the country.

A musician who had just met up with A14 organizers on Monday and came with them to the EMERGENCY meeting with Cornel West and Carl Dix gave an hour-long, high energy, galvanizing performance of his signature song about police brutality, “We’re On the Front Lines,” woven together with Samuel Jackson’s “I Can’t Breathe” song challenge and syncopated A14-SHUT IT DOWN. People stood and sang TOGETHER, contributing a vibe that was inviting and encouraging and joyful, while very serious.

Harlem, April 11

Why did all this burst out on this beautiful sunny day in the streets of Harlem? Because the image of these 44 faces tells the truth in a huge and unmistakable way about what people are forced to live with, day after day. Because it announced by its scale and boldness the seriousness of building a movement to STOP this—and within this atmosphere activists invited everyone to step forward themselves and increase their own active participation.

When have we seen people singing together, with beauty and joy and defiance, on the street? (Hint: in the fall and winter, North America, when thousands of complete strangers poured into the streets because they refused to live in a society that is sanctioning the genocidal killing of its Black and Latino young people... and many can never forget feeling that close to so many human beings at the same time.) Today voices were filling the Harlem air well beyond this famous thoroughfare, “I can hear my brother saying ‘I can’t breathe’, Now I’m in the struggle and I can’t leave,” and, “We are walking targets...We’re on the FRONT LINES...” “SHUT IT DOWN—A14!”

On Saturday, thousands heard and FELT the message “we won’t go back” and dozens, even hundreds, pledged to organize the many thousands more they are reaching out to. Organizers doubled down on plans for knitting together organized networks by phone, email, texts—strategizing and working with people stepping up to make A14 happen in the two days remaining. Again, the guiding words from the April 8 editorial: “When people give you their names, you have to stay in touch... you have to introduce them to others in their school or neighborhood and help them mesh... you have to listen and think and draw them out as they tell you what they’re running into—positive and negative, clarifying and confusing—and work with them to make sense of it all and traverse it. Even in the short time remaining, there is a need to work WITH people... solving problems together on how to reach out... and through that, laying the basis for this thing to really take off as the days get closer.”





Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Taking A14 to the MEChA National Conference

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

April 11—Over this weekend, the MEChA chapter at DePaul University in Chicago has been hosting the 2015 National Conference of MEChA, a national organization of Mexican-American high school and college students [Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan]. MEChA was born in the late 1960s out of the struggles for justice of the Chicano (Mexican-American) people of the Southwest U.S. And it has a long history of social and political activism.

Hundreds came from across the county to be at this conference held in the historically Mexican Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. Some MEChA veterans from the 1960s invited the Stop Mass Incarceration Network to bring the message of April 14 Shut It Down to this gathering. So for the last two days, we have had a table at the conference with piles of A14 literature and a big enlargement of the Stolen Lives poster.

At the 22nd Annual National Conference of MEChAAt the 22nd Annual National Conference of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chican@ de Aztlan). The Idaho Chapter stands with A14 and the Stolen Lives Families.

And for two days the MEChA youth came by—usually in small groups—to check out the poster, learn more about A14, and almost always leave with materials and ideas for how to shut shit down at their schools when they returned. Sometimes it was more of a trickle and at other times a rush. We talked to well over 100 youth from more than 33 schools. Sixty-seven people left their contact info and significantly more are taking materials back to their campuses. Many came from the western U.S., with large delegations from colleges in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, and Utah. But we also met students from five high schools and five colleges in the immediate Chicago area.

Over the two days there was very little time when were not involved in deep and earnest discussions about how outrageous—and for some unbelievable—it is what the police are doing every day to unarmed Black and Latino people. Almost everyone we talked to knew about (and most had seen) the North Charleston, South Carolina video of Walter Scott being shot in the back by a cop. This was a very raw nerve.

Our approach was to call on each new person (or group) to start by looking at the big Stolen Lives poster. What is the message of this poster? Most people quickly understood that these were all people murdered by the police. But the fact that they were all unarmed and none of the cops were punished—that was news to some. Some initially thought that that these were all the people murdered by the police, so for them it was shock to learn that this is just a tiny fraction and at least 80 more unarmed people have been murdered just since January 1, 2015—and this after all the massive protests of the fall. It wasn’t like these youth had no understanding of what the police do, but for many the scope—and the utter depravity of it—still took them aback.

There were many moments with different groups when the conversation would just stop for a moment and looks would be exchanged that said “oh my god, this is really serious. We have to stop this shit.” This was the point at which stacks of materials would start to be grabbed up as people asked about what they could do and how exactly did we intend to shut this country down. Everybody got stickers, which many put on right there and wore throughout the conference. They got copies of the A14 student organizing flyer and stacks of the Stolen Lives poster to take back to their campuses. Almost everyone left with a copy of Revolution newspaper. We also made wide use of the fact that A14 was a recent cover of La Opinion which brought to many just how big a deal this is becoming. We encouraged students to take pictures of themselves with the large Stolen Lives poster and post it on line, and many did. And while there were some students who shied away from publicly identifying themselves with shutting the country down on A14, they were a definite minority. The more common response was anger at this epidemic of wanton police murder and eagerness to take a stand against it and to let others know that.

But we also tried wherever possible not to settle for just uniting with their anger. We asked people how they would explain why the police just keep killing people and getting away with it. This was a hard one for most people. Some would talk about how the police are trained, but most were not very satisfied with their own answers. So we dug deeper with them—to the fact that things have developed in this country where there really is no future for millions of non-white youth—the factories have fled overseas and only prison or the street are realistic options for so many. And the rulers of this country really don’t have any option other than terror to try and keep the lid on all this. That’s why they can’t stop the killing nor punish the killers. You can’t be a gangster and show any weakness. In a number of conversations, digging into things this way lead to an “ah ha” moment for the students involved. And as the genocidal logic behind this became clearer, so did the urgent need to act.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

At Abyssinian Baptist Church, NYC: "This is terrible and it really DOES have to stop!"

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

Sunday, April 12—The statements from Cornel West and the Rev. Calvin Butts calling on people to join in the April 14 actions against police murder and brutality were very important and received very well by people streaming out of Abyssinian Baptist Church today. Knots of people stopped at the banner with the faces of 44 people murdered by the police in the past 20 years. Virtually everyone who stopped told us about Calvin Butts' announcement of the demonstration and their intention to attend. "This is terrible and it really DOES have to stop!" was one woman's comment. The sentiment echoed by many others in various ways. "All the cop has to say is that he feared for his life, they never ever get punished!! I am going to be out there with you all."

DOWNLOAD & SPREAD: PDF for print | JPG for web | Banner-Size: English/Spanish
Banner-Sized are 10x15 feet at 200dpi and will print well up to 20x30 feet

A half dozen people stepped up and took "selfies" to send out to friends, on Instagram, email, or Facebook; we distributed about 400 posters, collected $149 and got out 1000 palm cards. A large part of the material distributed was in stacks to people going to their apartment buildings, work places, clubs etc. The posters were extremely popular and everyone wanted more than one to get to family and friends to put up in places where others could see it and promote April 14.

One older Black woman said, "This country is truly going to face the Lord's reckoning soon." At least six or seven people had been to the meeting on April 6—where Cornel West and Carl Dix spoke on April 14, joined by families of victims of police murder and others—and seemed highly motivated to participate on Tuesday. A number of people wanted to take part in carrying the enlargement in the streets and relished the idea of putting it out for all to see the reality of America for Black and brown people. Last week there were several comments about Black on Black crime being the important issue we need to address. This week several people specifically denounced that position.

Referring to video of the cop shooting Walter Scott in South Carolina a man said, "You expect a criminal to do harm. But the police are supposed to be out here to serve and protect us! Black killing other Blacks is not the issue here. It's to cover this up! These police obviously feel if they have a badge and they have a gun they have a right to do anything they want to do. That man in South Carolina. You know what's going through his head! He thinks that's alright he thinks he can just shoot this man down he's going to get away with it! And he would have gotten away with it if not for the video and people speaking up." The same person also made a point about the photographer being an immigrant and what they face.

One woman, about 65, recognized my button with the image of Bob Avakian (BA) and said, "Oh you all the people with that young white man who shared the stage with Dr. West!" She had not been at the Dialogue but a friend had told her that the "young white man" was very interesting. "I thought it was supposed to be about revolution versus religion but it wasn't like that was it." I told her the title and what BA and Cornel West discussed and struggled over. I explained to her who BA is, the new synthesis of communism, our strategy and vision for a whole different way the people can work together, learn to live work and struggle together to change the world in the interest of humanity. She left with the Revolution newspaper and posters and planned to join us in Harlem at noon on Tuesday, April 14.





Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

South Central Los Angeles:

Interview about April 14: "I'm standing by it 100 percent—this needs to stop"

April 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader: This is an interview I did at Florence and Broadway in South Central LA with a young Black woman.

Q: We’re out here on Florence and Broadway, talking about the movement and the demonstrations on Tuesday; what do you think?

A: I think that I’m standing by it 100 percent. This needs to stop. It’s been going on for too long, as you said. I’m a Black mother myself growing up out here, and I know the pain and the suffering my Black people go through, and the police try to put fear in us, and I don’t understand why; we don’t deserve this. All of us come out, we all different people; we come from different places, that doesn’t mean we all have to be dead because of one person’s behavior.

We don’t have to be sittin in jail because of one mistake we make, that messes up our whole life, because there’s something you did as a child or something, holding it all against him. Black boys growing up, killing them, not even letting them have a future. They’re young, they didn’t even get the experience, to go through changes, they killed them; they’re still learning, even at 18, 19 they still don’t know, they still need that guidance, and help, and I feel like the police instead of trying to kill them they should help them and try to influence them to get back on the right track, instead of trying to hurt their pride, and make them feel less of a man than what they are.

DOWNLOAD & SPREAD: PDF for print | JPG for web | Banner-Size: English/Spanish
Banner-Sized are 10x15 feet at 200dpi and will print well up to 20x30 feet

And it hurts. I cry, because I don’t want my son to come home to me and let me know the police pulled him over because he’s Black and they feel like he’s in a gang, and in reality he’s not, because he rose up from a good family; because we Black don’t mean we don’t have good Black people out here when we do. I’m sorry unfortunately some of them make mistakes, they don’t think before they react, but not all of them does that.

And even if they did they shouldn’t be killed for it; at all; no one – Black, white, Hispanic, or anything, no one deserves to die because of a petty mistake that they made. They probably wasn’t thinking at the time; you never know. That person at the end of the day they coulda helped you in life. You probably needed them. And you’ll never know because you killed them.

Q: They’re targeting Black and Latino people. Why are they doing that?

A: If I could tell you I would tell you. I just wish they could make them stop. It’s not worth it. Everybody got family members. Now these kids are going to grow up fatherless, because you just killed their father and that’s just grow them up to have corrupted mind because you started it from the beginning. You just killed his father, so now his son is messed up, because he don’t have a dad no more, because you done killed his dad.

...I observe and I see, and I see how mean they are. I’m scared of them myself and I admit that, I am. I know that they capable of killing people and I don’t want to die, so what I’m gonna do, when they come around I’m not saying nothing, I’m not about to argue with them, I’m not gonna give them the power. So I’m gonna just be quiet.

Q: What do you think about call for shutting down the country on Tuesday, April 14?

A: That’s very important. They need to know, they need to hear us. We’re not playing. This has gone on for too long, and they got away with it long enough. Now it’s 2015. How long; how much longer?

Q: What do you think you can do to build for it?

A: I’m gonna get the word out; get it on Facebook; I try to get it around as much as I can especially to my fans, because we all Black and I socialize with my Black friends and I’ll let them all know. And my baby daddy is a male Black guy and I let him know all the time, cause he gets frustrated with the cops. And I let him know like don’t give them the power cause that’s what they want, they want you to do that, so then that gives them the right to say, “Oh, cause he started going off, that’s why I killed him.” No. Don’t give them that power. Don’t say nothing. They can’t argue back when nobody not saying nothing. But then again they may just kill you cause you not saying nothing.

Q: So we’re building a movement to put an end to this.

A: Yes. And I’m on top of that movement, right along with you guys.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

North Charleston, South Carolina:

Protests Demand Justice for Walter Scott—
"No more! No More!"

April 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Protests began right after the video came out showing the cold-blooded cop murder of Walter Scott in North Charleston, South Carolina.

On Wednesday, April 8, protesters gathered outside North Charleston's City Hall. Traffic was blocked as people chanted, "No Justice, No Peace!" "Black lives matter!" "No more! No more!" One woman said, "We cannot sit still and be quiet anymore. This is our season to speak!" Others spoke out saying that the killing of Walter Scott cannot be seen as an isolated incident and talked about how the North Charleston police have a common practice of harassing Black people for all kinds of small things like broken brake lights--the kind of thing that Walter Scott was stopped for, leading to his murder. Some people held signs that read, "The whole world is watching" and "Back turned, don't shoot."

When the city's mayor held a press conference, it was repeatedly interrupted with chants of "No justice! No peace!" People called for the mayor to step down and then marched through the building chanting, "No Justice, No Peace! No Racist Police!"

At one intersection in Charleston, a small group stopped traffic, calling on people to join the struggle and singing "Which Side Are You On" and "Justice for Walter, Justice for Us All." One woman did a call and repeat with the crowd, crying out: "We have nothing to lose but our chains. It is our duty to fight for our freedom! It is our duty to win! We must love each other and support each other!"

On Friday, April 10, a large crowd of students rallied and marched through the College of Charleston campus to protest the murder of Walter Scott. The crowd was mainly Black students, but white students came out to protest as well. People chanted, "No Justice, No Peace, No Racist Police!" and "Hands Up, Don't Shoot!"

On April 8, students gathered to protest at the University of Mississippi. Walter Scott was a father figure to Ole Miss student and Rebel defensive lineman Fadol Brown. Students held a die-in, chanting "Black Lives Matter!" One student said, "This is important because it seems like the country is moving backwards with this kind of thing and we need to wake up people, it seems like people are sleeping to this kind of thing and we're not comfortable so nobody else should be comfortable."

The Charleston branch of the Black Lives Matter organization issued an ultimatum to the North Charleston City Hall on April 10, demanding an emergency meeting of the town's city council within 24 hours to discuss instances of racial profiling and discrimination by police officers. Black Lives Matter spokesperson Muhiyadin Debaha said that if negotiations and peaceful demonstrations do not bring about change and show that they have "people power," resistance will be the "only option" remaining.

The funeral for Walter Scott was held at a North Charleston church on Saturday, April 11. With the church filled with 400 people, hundreds of others stood outside in the rain to pay their respects and to express their sorrow and anger at the taking of Walter Scott's life by the police.




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Families Speak Out About Lives Stolen by Police—and Fighting to STOP the Outrages

April 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


A week before April 14, a powerful and inspiring speak-out and call to action against police murder took place at the UC Berkeley campus (see "From Families of Victims of Police Murder, Students & Young Revolutionaries: Heart-Rending Testimony, Powerful Calls to Act"). The following are from the testimonies of some of the family members at the event.


Laurie Valdez

On February 21, 2014 my son's life was changed forever. We've been sentenced to a lifetime of pure grief. Antonio, he was undocumented. It's been 14 months already, and we still don't have answers about what happened on that day. The university police officers shot him in the back twice.

They both had body cameras on. In truth, the transparency the government talks about with these body cameras—it doesn't mean shit. The two officers who killed Antonio had them on and we still haven't seen them. Transparency means now, not when they are good and ready or when they figure a way to cover it up. Antonio was a good person. Being undocumented should not have been a reason for him to die. I knew him better than anybody and he would never do what they said he did because he didn't want to get deported and never be able to see his son or my daughter who he raised since she was three. He loved them more than anything.

Laurie Valdez, Vickie Showman, Angela NaggieFrom left: Laurie Valdez, wife of Antonio Guzman Lopez, Vickie Showman, mother of Diana Showman, Angela Naggie, mother of O’Shaine Evans

That morning I was watching the news I heard that there had been a killing near San Jose State. I had just spoken to him and he was on the way to our house. I didn't know that the person that they had killed near San Jose State was Antonio. I was angry because he was supposed to be at my house a long time ago and he hadn't shown up. I was wondering what happened to him.  I wasn't told until 7 in the evening that I was told it was Antonio—and he was killed at 11 in the morning. When I asked the coroner's office if I could go see his body they said, "No, there was a crime being investigated." I said I need to know, my kids need to know, if it is him. My daughter doesn't want to believe that it is him. They kept telling me no. In my head I didn't want to believe it was him.

The following Tuesday I went to the San Jose Police Department to find out information and asked them, how do you know that it is Antonio? He said that they got confirmation from the scene that that is who it is. I said that there were video cameras. How come they are not showing the videos. He said it was being investigated. So I said when are we going to get it? He said when our investigation is over the District Attorney will do it and you'll get to see the videos. I asked how long did it take for them to get help to Antonio—this is before I found out that he was shot right through the heart from a lady at the mortuary. He never died upon arriving at the hospital like they said. He died right there. He fell face first on the ground in the middle of the street.

In the last minutes of his life he was sitting with neighbors off the campus. He was sitting on the lawn eating his lunch. He saw the cops roll up in their SUV. Antonio was always being harassed by them. He got up and said, "I'm going to get out of here before these cops start messing with me," and walked away. Neither one of the officers spoke Spanish so I don't know how in the hell they told him to stop. They said that he had a knife in his hand or a blade. Two witnesses came forward and told me they never saw Antonio with a knife in his hand. They didn't know where they got that from. If he had something it had to be in his backpack because he collected things that he found so it was a saw blade... When I spoke to these two witnesses who didn't know each other and saw things from different angles, they both said the same thing that Antonio fell face first and he was bleeding and the cops just looked at him and then they put him in handcuffs.

It hurts me. My daughter is haunted by this. She can't go one week without having dreams of her poppy coming to her at her school and smiling at her. We don't even have a gravesite for him because his body was sent back to where he was from. They don't want to be reminded of the life that was stolen because he was undocumented.

My son Josiah, he was only four. He's five now. He can't sleep with the light off.  When he was little he used to go to sleep in the dark—no problem. Every time he sees a cop he has a fear—both my kids. It hurts me because they don't need to fear those who are supposed to serve and protect them. My son asks me, "Why can't the cops just kill me so I can see my daddy? I just want to die and go to my real home with my dad." This is what my child has been sentenced to: a life of not knowing why he doesn't have a dad. He's been made fun of at his school by little kids. They say that he is weird because he is the only one who doesn't have a dad. They don't know that his dad was killed. He's not weird. He's hurting. He's going to get angry. He has emotions. But then the system will just say that he is a bad kid. They are going to try and make him a product of their system so they can put him in juvenile hall and lock him up, put him in prison later.

They are not going to have that with me. That's why I'm asking everyone to be out in the streets. Don't be afraid if you see a cop harassing someone. Love yourself, love humanity enough that the person comes out of that system alive. The cops are just people with job titles. Those job titles don't give them the right to take lives.

I have no answers for my son. A four-year-old had to see his father in a coffin. He asked, “Why is my father in a box? Mom, where are my dad's legs Are his legs broken? How come he won't wake up?" He's four. He doesn't understand. This is something I will have to deal with and I will do my best to make sure another family doesn't have to go through this. You can't even imagine the pain. I can't even breathe because I'm trying to help my kids physically and mentally while trying to get answers, the truth, and get some results.

The University police got off for two weeks. Two weeks paid vacation. They killed Antonio. They destroyed my children's lives. They need to be held accountable...

When my son cries out, I want my daddy back, why can't I have my daddy back, I have no answers. I wish I did. But what I can do is fight like hell to get the truth. Fight like hell to try to make change...

You might think our families are vindictive and bitter and that we want revenge. We don't want revenge. We want justice. We want accountability. ...

As long as our leaders are allowing the police to do this and our people are doing nothing to stand up this is going to continue... We need to take over and we need to make the rules...

They are bullies with badges and this cannot happen no more. They need to be stripped of those badges and guns... So I'm asking you guys to get out there on the streets on April 14. Shut it down.


Vicky Showman

My daughter Diana was shot and killed by Santa Fe police on August 14, 2014. It will be eight months next week. We have had no information from the police. No information from the D.A. They are content to just let it be swept under the rug and they hope it will just go away. My daughter had bipolar disorder. She needed help. We were working so hard to get her help. And they killed her. They just killed her. We need to do something to stop this. The police need to be held responsible. My little girl had so much potential. She worked with autistic children. She worked with older people. She had compassion. She had kindness. She had a mental disorder as well but her life mattered. All lives matter.


Angela Naggie

Today marks six long months since my son was taken away by the SFPD. I'm still thinking in the back of my head that my son is going to come home. That he is going to turn his keys in the door. He's going to call to me "mommy, what are you cooking?" But it's never going to happen until we see each other in a different world.

My son's name was O'Shane Evans. We came here in 1992 from Jamaica. He was four years old when we came here—just a baby boy. He went to school and did the kind of things all kids do like sports and other stuff. He was preparing to be a professional boxer when his life was taken away too soon. He was only 26 years old.

Angela NaggieAngela Naggie, mother of O’Shaine Evans

Right now I'm out there fighting for justice. I'm not going to stop until the last breath is in my body because he was my baby. I have five kids but he was the youngest. His life was just taken away too soon. He was a son, he was a brother, he was an uncle he was a cousin, he was a nephew. He was close to everyone. I am just here today to say I am fighting for justice. And come April 14, I'm right out there shutting it down. If I can't get no justice these officers they can't have no peace. Like I told Chief Suhr in San Francisco. When it rains that's my son's blood washing down on San Francisco. And my son's blood is on his shoulders and I'm not going to stop until I get justice. And if I can't get no justice when I pass on then my children are going to pick it up and carry it on. I didn't come here from Jamaica for my son to be called a victim. He has a name from the day he was born. Now he is called a victim and I am sick and tired of hearing that name. We are not victims we have names. Tell them to call us by our names. Come April 14 shit it down.


Cyndi Mitchell

I am the sister of Mario Romero who was murdered by Vallejo police on September 2, 2012. He was sitting in front of our own house, minding his own business, like a lot of us do... My brother was attacked by Vallejo police officers Sean Kenney and Justin Joseph. He was fired at 40 times. He was shot 30 times. He was shot eight times through the palms of his hands. He was cut from his seat belt and his body was stolen from the scene of the crime. We didn't bury him until a month later because they were hiding his body for a month. Sean Kenney, one of the officers who shot my brother, killed two other people in 2012 in Vallejo, all within a five-months period. After he murdered my brother he planted a police-issue training weapon in my brother's car. When the "recovered" the weapon the only fingerprints on the gun were the officer's. The witnesses who saw this gun were denied.

Cyndi MitchellCyndi Mitchell, sister of Mario Romero

Immediately after, we began protesting and calling for justice because there is no other way to put it. There was no cause and effect. They say they "feared for their lives." You don't fear for your life in a situation where you are creating chaos. You don't fear for your life when you are the only one who has a weapon that can kill somebody. You don't fear for your life when you are terrorizing a community.  This officer claimed to have fear for his life but jumped on the hood of my brother’s car and repeatedly shot his gun after reloading. My brother kept saying, “Wait, we have our hands up.” I keep trying to figure out how in the process of shooting 40 bullets into an unarmed man, how the hell did they fear for their lives and when did they stop?... There is no way to put it other than that this is terrorism in our communities.

Since my brother was murdered I've been out there fighting. My family has been out there fighting. We've suffered a lot. We've had a lot taken from us for standing up and demanding justice. We have been illegally evicted. We've had our cars illegally towed. We've gone through all of these things just because we are standing up for justice. It's so sad that when you stand up against a crime that has been committed by police, they automatically assume that something is wrong with the people who are standing up.

There is this process: they murder them in the flesh and then they assassinate their character. That's what they did with my brother. They told the public that he was a parolee who was afraid of going back to prison, who jumped out of his car and pointed a fake gun at two officers with two real guns with real bullets and said, I'm not going back to prison. But he had never been on parole and never been to prison...

There were a lot of witnesses who saw what happened who were begging the police department, hey, we seen what happened. We know that the police came and they attacked. There was no reason why they had to stop and attack like they did.

We're fighting so hard to educate the public that if your loved one is murdered it does not have to be through any fault of their own. And when they are murdered your family becomes a target because you are standing up against an injustice. We've sacrificed everything just so we could tell Mario's story because he shouldn't have had to die like that. We’re fighting for change. We're out here stompin’ the ground. We're marching for miles. We are breaking our bodies because it is important to get our stories out. It is important for the world to know if the system is created to protect us why is it killing us?...

We've made complaints we've been to the district attorney's office, we've written letters to the Attorney General. We were told by the Solano County District Attorney's office that they didn't want to accept evidence that we had that proved it was a murder. They told us, "You have your attorneys and we have ours." When we told them that we weren't represented by an attorney and we were more interested in justice. They said again, "Well you have your attorneys and we have ours."...

We've found out that the man who killed my brother, Sean Kinney, has been promoted to detective and is in charge of investigating officer involved shootings. It's a repeated slap in the face. It's important for everyone to come out on April 14 to stand up, to fight for justice. This could happen to anyone. It doesn't matter who you are or what you are doing, if you get attacked by the police they will say that they feared for their lives and they will try to assassinate your character after they have killed you. They will attempt to cover up the crime and you will have to fight for justice. They will change their story repeatedly and in the end it still won't make sense because it is a lie...

People say you are trouble maker or you are disruptive but will you sit and allow your loved one to be murdered and not do anything? I won't. I don't consider that an option...

It's important for everyone to come out on April 14 and stand up. Tell the world enough is enough. It's time to stand up and the killing has got to stop.


Dionne Smith Downs

I am the mother of James Earl Rivera, Jr, 16 years old. My son was murdered July 22, 2010, the day before his 17th birthday. A total of 12 officers was out there, but they only gave us three officers, two Stockton police and the sheriff. They shot 48 times, 18 entered my son's body. He was shot with AR-15... This is what the AR-15 did to my son. That's why we are on board with this April 14. Mothers like me have been in the struggle almost 5 years. I have not received police reports, personal property, I have not received anything regarding the death of my son. I have been traveling city to city, state to state, trying to get support, trying to get out the information that I have gathered by investigating in the community and also being on the scene.

Dionne Smith Downs and Carey DownsDionne Smith Downs and Carey Downs with photo of James Rivera

Before he was murdered the last supper me and my son ate was McDonalds. That's the last time I touched my son, held my son, laughed with my son and hit him on the cheek. By 10 o'clock the next morning he was dead. I got a phone call from a young lady down the street from my home and she said, the officer had stopped your child. I am the mother of 14, and she didn't say which child. I didn't pay attention because all my older kids they all have their driver’s license, get a ticket and go on about their business. So I didn't respond to the phone call.

She called again this time in a voice that was like "get up!" I asked her where this was happening and she gave me a location. The next thing I heard was guns going off. But I thought it was fireworks because it was in July. I'm going down Stanfield. I got to the stop sign. I had a weird feeling but I didn't know what the feeling was. Then I seen people running, I seen cars flying. Once I get to the location I see officers, I see a whole bunch of activity going on. One of the officers had the yellow tape blocking everything off.

I finally got there and as I'm approaching people were saying, "That's your son." And I'm like, you don't know me because it wasn't my neighborhood. As I get closer I get out of my car. I'm still not clicking in that that's my baby right there. I got out of my vehicle and am asking questions. And they are saying, "The police did it, the police did it." I still couldn't see. I saw them slapping him. Normally if you see your mom, you'll say "help" or something. My son never said a word.

One of the men he knew was out there and he confirmed to me that it was James. They said I did a scream—I don't remember. As soon as they saw that I was there they hurried and put him in an ambulance and drove him away. I followed the ambulance and I got two police officers behind me because I didn't stop. They were telling me to pull over. I'm not pulling over. I called 911 on the police. At that time I didn't know that the police were the ones who did the damage.

I get to the hospital and I'm on the phone shaking and I called my momma and I said, "Please, please, help me. Something is bad." Then I called my husband. All this time I was telling them he had Medi-Cal, I was telling them his blood type. I'm giving them everything I could give them.

They put the dogs on me. They did everything that they could to keep me away. The only thing that I could do is fall on the ground and pray. I felt helpless and I cried, and I cried, and I cried. Before I got the news that he had passed, they had already announced it on the news and my family is looking for me. I still didn't know that he was shot by the police. They never told me my son had expired. I tore up the hospital. Nobody could go into the emergency room. The hospital was shut down. They had the dogs on me. And I'm just begging them, "Please sir, can I hold him." I said that if he hears his momma he will fight because he is a fighter like me.

I went back over there to the community, and the people told me what happened to my son. They told me my son was scared. They were telling me about the accident. They said the van had flat tires. They told me the police hit him and knocked him into the stop sign. I didn't know that he was hit twice and hit from the back and hit from the side and when he was hit from the side he was knocked into two mail boxes then into two garages, and that's when they opened fire.

I've been out here fighting for five years on the battlefield and I've been supporting a lot of mothers, a lot of siblings because I know how it feels to lose a loved one and I know how it feels when you don't have support. When we get killed by the police, who do we run to? Who do we complain to? We have to depend on each other. The only way that we are going to get justice for my son is to connect with the people in the community and in the schools. Give them awareness and be there for them.

What we've been doing—I took the challenge of "no mother left behind." There are a lot of mothers who have lost a lot of children and are scared to speak up. A lot of people are afraid to speak because they fear that they will be exposed about their old stuff. We don't care about your old stuff. We're going to fight together. We're going to let them know you're not going to buff us.

I went to the city hall. I never knew we had a city hall. I learned how to protest. I learned how to use a computer. All the stuff I'm learning now I never knew of. When Oscar Grant was killed, remember they had marches in LA and Oakland. When I came back from Oakland I shut Stockton down! That was my first time. I didn't know what I was doing. I knew I did something because people said, "We never knew that people could protest like that in this town." I said that I didn't know either but I just went to Oakland.

I've been out doing what everyone is doing, researching, and sharing information because once we learn something we do better. I'm not going to go away. I'm not going to be blind. I'm going to fight until I can't fight no more. My mother, who was my big supporter, passed on November 18. When I traveled she watched my kids. I could call her for my backbone. When I need a community feed I call my momma. When I lost my mom I didn't know if I wanted to continue to fight because my momma was sick and I was too busy fighting this battle for justice, against police brutality to pay attention to my mom. But she was a fighter. She didn't want me to see her sick because she knew I would stop. So I thought about it and my mom wouldn't have wanted me to stop.

And guess what. We shut it down again. And on April 14, I'm going to kick Stockton's ass...




Revolution #382 April 13, 2015

Family of Viola Liuzzo Recognizes Stolen Lives

April 13, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Rev Roger Mohr of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit, Tony Liuzzo. and Mary Liuzzo Lileboe.Rev Roger Mohr of the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit, Tony Liuzzo. and Mary Liuzzo Lileboe.

Don Lee, Detroit historian and friend of the Liuzzo family, with the family.Don Lee, Detroit historian and friend of the Liuzzo family, with the family.

Legendary civil right attorney Dean Robb and his wife.Legendary civil right attorney Dean Robb and his wife.

Participants in event honoring Viola LiuzzoOther participants in the church event.

Detroit, April 12, 2014—Today photos were taken of Liuzzo family members with the Stolen Lives banner at the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of Detroit. The family are here for a week of events honoring them and their mother, Viola Liuzzo. During the reception after the church service, this banner and another banner about "92 Lives..." were passed hand-to-hand as people took photos.

​​Present were Penny Liuzzo Herrington, Sally Liuzzo,Tony Liuzzo. and Mary Liuzzo Lileboe.

On March 25, 1965, on the final day of a four-day, 54-mile civil rights march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery, a car carrying four members of the KKK pulled next to a car carrying two civil rights workers, Viola Liuzzo, a 39-year-old white woman, and Leroy Moton, a 19-year-old Black man. The KKK racists fired at the car and the shots struck Viola in the head, killing her. For more on the life of this heroic woman, and her murder, see "Home of the Brave: The Defiant Spirit of Viola Liuzzo."

Mary Liuzzo Lileboe described to us how she searched the internet for instance of unarmed innocent people recently killed by the police and within a short time found about 42 cases. She was angry and determined to play a role ending these police murders.

For more about what the family said at the church service, see a local newspaper report from the Detroit News.