Revolution #411, November 2, 2015 (revcom.us)

Voice of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

The October 22-24 Demonstrations—Rise Up October

An Important Step Forward in the Fight Against Police Terror—That Must Now Be Taken Further

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

October 24
Rise Up October, October 24, 2015, New York City. The front of the march. Photo: Erik McGregor

The demonstrations on October 22 to 24 against police murder and terror said in unmistakable terms that THIS MUST STOP. The thousands who testified, resisted, and marched through the streets made clear that there was a force, a movement, that is determined to draw a clear line, challenging everyone, throughout the country, to RISE UP against this.

Last fall, the exoneration of the blue-coated murderers of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and then Eric Garner in Staten Island, New York, provoked thousands to pour into the streets for weeks and weeks, and then in Baltimore in the spring people rose up in righteous rebellion. In response, the powers that be acted to both repress and derail the movement. The people needed to come back into the streets, determined to STRUGGLE to end the genocidal madness of rampant police murder and mass incarceration, and determined to reach out broadly to do so. The dual tactics of outright attack and the sugar-coated poison of misdirection actually intensified in the days leading up to and through these demonstrations. (See "Cops Can't Do Their Job on Video—Then What IS Their 'Job'?!" "No, Mr. President! Aiding and Abetting the Slow Genocide of Black People Is a Crime Against Humanity," and “Reality Check on October 20 Events in East Harlem, NYC: The REAL Problem,” which goes into how an incident with an NYPD cop just days before Rise Up October was used as a pretext to attack the protest.)

In the face of all this, all kinds of people came out. This included the force of over 100 family members who had lost loved ones to police murder, fighting through their pain to let the world know what happened and expressing a determination to put an end to this terror and murder. It included voices of conscience who joined with those parents and, in some cases, came under attack for doing so. It included students coming from scores of different colleges and high schools, often having made this a question on the whole campus. It included those, again sometimes in groups and sometimes alone, coming from the neighborhoods where the police terror goes on daily and where mass incarceration scars the lives and destinies of whole peoples. It included people from the suburbs, clergy and religious people of different faiths, artists and scientists and teachers, who refused to turn their heads or be silent. It included people from all the different regions of this country. And it also included the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Revolution Club: bringing out the full picture of WHY this was happening, pointing to the solution to this through revolution and the leadership of that revolution in Bob Avakian, and showing how this struggle contributed to that, and—at the same time—giving leadership and coherence to a movement that is capable of uniting with everyone who could be united right now to demand that this genocidal murder STOP.

As people testified in Times Square and sat in at Rikers Island prison and then poured through the streets on October 24, the full dimensions of the horror began to emerge. Its roots in the system of white supremacy and the centuries-long and ongoing oppression of Black, Latino, and Native American peoples in this country were exposed. And the legitimacy of this system’s violence began to be put on trial. What happened at these demonstrations, and the voices of some of those who came, are highlighted in this issue. (See "No More Stolen Lives: Say Their Names," "A Shout-out to the Courageous Fighters Who Put Their Bodies on the Line to Shut Down Rikers Island Prison," and "Thousands in the Streets of NYC for #RiseUpOctober: STOP POLICE TERROR! Which Side Are You On?") The key to the agitation and organizing that led to this was to sharply lay out the reality to people and squarely put the challenge to them: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

Shut Down Rikers, October 23

Protesters blocking the entrance to Rikers. Photo: revcom.us

The outpouring hit with real impact. There were page-one pictures and stories in some of the major New York City papers, as well as broader coverage nationally and internationally. (See the Stop Mass Incarceration Network website, stopmassincarceration.net, for the national and international media coverage of Rise Up October). Then, directly after the demonstrations, forces in the police (including NYPD Commissioner Bratton) and the media (especially but not only FOX News) not only attacked the demonstrations but also specifically targeted film director Quentin Tarantino for coming to the demonstrations and calling out murder by the police. The movement hit back, and through all this began to pose the challenge to even broader sections of society: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? Now, in a certain sense, the struggle has been joined on certain terms—you’re either for keeping this shit, in some form or other, or you’re against it.

Now we all have to carry forward this whole “Rise Up! Which Side Are You On?” standard of uniting ALL who want to struggle to stop police murder. This means defending Quentin Tarantino in that context, mobilizing people against further outrages as they happen, and really getting people out there for the November 22 day of action to forcefully demand the indictment of the cops who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice for playing with a toy gun. (See "Voices of Conscience Step Up in Defense of Quentin Tarantino and Condemn the Police Union Threats and Boycott" and "November 22: Justice for Tamir Rice!"; and go to "Breaking News and Outrages" for news of ongoing outrages, like the videotaped police brutalization of a high school student, a young Black woman, in South Carolina.)

These three days in October were just a foreshadowing of the movement that we actually need and which in fact is possible. The thousands who came out, their spirit of militant STRUGGLE, and their determination to CHALLENGE ALL OF SOCIETY TO TAKE SIDES marked the emergence of what could be and what must be something new. The fact that at least in a beginning way new people worked and sacrificed to make this happen—donating money, throwing themselves into organizing and helping to lead—provides a foundation for this to really go forward in a more powerful way. The program of struggle called for by Carl Dix and Cornel West (“A Message from Cornel West and Carl Dix on October 24”) gives a focus. In the days to come, the movement needs to both dig into what we did right and what we did wrong—our strengths as well as our shortcomings and mistakes... but even more, it needs to do this in the spirit of going forward, united in even more powerful expressions, until this is actually STOPPED.

What we said in our editorial in September, applies to the task before us now:

There is a place for you in this. Your ideas, your support, your efforts are urgently needed... In fact, this can only happen on the scale that is absolutely necessary if many, many people throw in on this, now—people who have been fighting this, as well as people who are just now coming to the fight. You are needed. We face a decisive moment, a crossroads, where terms are being set as to what is legitimate, what will be tolerated and what will be opposed. Lives are at stake. Be part of determining the outcome.

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

U.S. "Boots on the Ground" in Syria:
Turning Up the Flames in a Hellish Clash of Criminals

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On October 30, Barack Obama ordered 50 U.S. troops into Syria. To listen to the news and politicians in America you would think the only problem with Obama’s move is that it puts 50 Americans “in harm's way.” Here’s a reality check and a morality check: American lives are not more important than other people’s lives. Obama’s move will intensify the living hell for millions of people in Syria and beyond, and ratchet up a whole set of deadly and dangerous conflicts.

The current multi-sided war in Syria has killed over 200,000 people in four years, and—as of 2014—driven over 11 million people from their homes. Seven and a half million are refugees within Syria. Another four million have been forced out of the country. This year the situation has gotten worse—Syrians make up the single greatest source of humanity risking their lives to cross vast expanses of land and sea to seek refuge on the cruel, unwelcoming shores of Europe, or risk ending up dead at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. And the most defining factor in the whole complex set of forces that created this horror is the United States.

How Did We Get Here?

In March of 2011, in the midst of “Arab Spring” uprisings in countries like Tunisia and Egypt, protests broke out in Syria against the Assad regime. The U.S. rulers saw this as a moment to make a move against a regime that has been aligned with rival powers—Russia and Iran—it sees as a threat to its “turf” in a strategic part of the world. And so the U.S.—that self-proclaimed “champion of freedom and democracy”—enlisted, unleashed, or set loose a murderous collection of reactionary Islamic fundamentalist, anti-Assad military forces in Syria—including affiliates of Al Qaeda. These reactionary forces quickly pushed any other opposition to Assad out of the way. The military forces fighting Assad today have different agendas and regional backers—including Saudi Arabia—with sometimes violently conflicting interests. But none of them are any good. And none of them are too thuggish, or too dark-ages reactionary, or even too tightly aligned with Al Qaeda, that the U.S. won’t declare them part of the “moderate opposition” when and to the extent it serves their interests.


The escalation of imperialist violence in Syria is bound to force more Syrians to flee their country. Refugees from places where the insane workings of imperialism have made life impossible do not, overwhelmingly, make it to Europe. Instead they end up trying to survive in camps in other poor countries. Above: Syrian Kurdish refugees at a refugee camp in Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border. Photo: AP

 


The waves of refugees who do enter "Fortress Europe" are facing harassment, discrimination, and organized hate campaigns created by many of the ruling forces in Europe. Above: Migrants attempting to cross the border from Greece into neighboring Macedonia, August 21. Police at the border fired tear gas and stun grenades to drive them back into Greece. Photo: AP

In 2013, when the tide of the war seemed to be turning in favor of Assad and his backers, the U.S. threatened to massively escalate direct military involvement. Those threats came in the midst of accusations that the Syrian government was using chemical weapons. The accusations might have been true, and the Assad regime has committed massive war crimes. But according to human rights agencies, all sides in the conflict, including the forces backed by the U.S., have been carrying out kidnapping, torture, and summary assassinations of their opponents and civilians. Human Rights Watch reports that "non-state armed groups opposing the government also carried out serious abuses including deliberate and indiscriminate attacks on civilians, use of child soldiers, kidnapping, and torture in detention.” Many of those non-state armed groups are backed by the U.S.

The devastation, chaos and power-vacuum that war created are fueling the growth of more and more virulent jihadists, and ISIS has been able to take advantage of the situation to seize power in large sections of the country. Meantime, the U.S. has not been able to cobble together anything close to a force on the ground it can count on to serve its agenda. The U.S. and other powers have found themselves in a situation where every move they make ratchets up the conflicts they face, increasing the suffering of the people, and increasing the danger of a whole other range of conflict and war.

In late July of this year the U.S. and Turkey made an agreement where Turkey, a reactionary regional power and U.S. ally, would cooperate more with the U.S. in exchange for a U.S. okay for Turkey to bomb Kurdish forces in Syria and Turkey—even as the U.S. is enlisting many of these same Kurdish forces to fight in its interests in Syria. That set off a devastating Turkish bombing campaign against the Kurds in Syria and ferocious violent repression against Kurdish people in Turkey.

At the end of September, in response to the increasing vulnerability of the Assad regime, Russia launched air strikes against forces fighting Assad. And Russia and Iran have stepped up their on-the-ground role in the fighting. Obama’s action to send in U.S. troops “sees” Russia’s move and ups the ante, increasing the potential for a direct clash between the U.S. and Russia, or an escalation in the role of other regional powers including Israel and Saudi Arabia. And Obama’s injection of U.S. troops directly into Syria—accompanies new negotiations over who will emerge in the best position to carry out more and worse crimes in Syria and in the region and beyond.

Needed: ANOTHER WAY

All of the forces fighting on the ground in Syria are reactionary and fighting to entrench or expand the interests of global or regional exploiters and oppressors. But nobody in this conflict is more responsible for the horrors than the United States and its allies. One way or another this new escalation of U.S. involvement is bound to make things worse.

How to break out of this hellish cycle? The situation—where there is not visible and determined opposition to the crimes of “our government”—MUST CHANGE. The more a movement of opposition to the crimes of “our government” isin the streets of the United States, the more basis there is for the world to see that the real interests of humanity lie completely outside capitalist-imperialist powers or Islamic fundamentalist Jihad. And to bring forward another way—a real and liberating alternative to these horrors.

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Breaking Out of a Deadly Dynamic

An Excerpt from:
Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution

by Bob Avakian

Excerpt republished November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The following is from Part 1 of Unresolved Contradictions, Driving Forces for Revolution, an edited transcript of a talk given by Bob Avakian, Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA, Fall 2009. The entire work is available online at: revcom.us/avakian/driving

 

I want to begin by briefly speaking to the continuing relevance and importance of the “two historically outmodeds” analysis in today’s world—that is, historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, with a particular focus on U.S. imperialism. As we have, for good reason, repeatedly emphasized, the greater harm done and the greater danger to humanity is by far embodied in the imperialist “outmoded,” and in particular U.S. imperialism. And because of this, it is criminal to (at least objectively) support U.S. imperialism and its many monstrous crimes in the name of opposing the other “outmoded.” Even with the very real horrors committed by Islamic fundamentalists—against women in particular, but against the masses of people more generally—it must never be forgotten, or covered up, that these very forces and the crimes they commit have, in a fundamental sense, been fostered by the imperialist system itself, directly and indirectly, through conscious efforts to support and build them up in certain circumstances (for example, U.S. support for and massive aid to such fundamentalists in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation of that country) and through the overall functioning of the imperialist system with the massive dislocation and upheaval and brutal oppression and suffering it causes for masses of people in the countries of the Third World under imperialist domination.

Breaking Out of a Deadly Dynamic

It is also very important to emphasize yet again that these “two outmodeds” do, in fact, reinforce each other even while opposing each other; and that therefore supporting either of these “outmodeds” leads to the strengthening of both and the continuation of this deadly dynamic and a disastrous dead-end for humanity. This is something which many people have difficulty, for various reasons, grasping or coming to terms with. To put this another way, many people have a hard time understanding how it is we got to where we are today.

There is, ironically on the Fox channel, an interesting TV program called Lie to Me, whose main character (played by Tim Roth) is Dr. Cal Lightman, a scientist who is supposed to be the world’s leading deception expert. As presented in this program, Lightman is able to study people’s body language and facial expressions, etc., and tell much more accurately than a lie detector when they are lying or covering something up, or what emotions they are feeling, even when this may be manifested in ways that are difficult to discern by the ordinary person without the necessary training. Well, whether it is really possible, scientifically, to determine things like this in this way—or to what degree that might be possible—may be of interest, but it is of secondary interest in regard to the point I am emphasizing here. More interesting, in this regard, is an exchange that took place in one of the episodes of this program (Lie to Me) where the FBI had gone in and bugged some Islamic mosques, and at one point, as a result of doing this, they were supposedly able to prevent a crime from having been committed—another “terrorist act,” although on a lesser scale than September 11, 2001. And then in the aftermath of this, at the end of this episode, there is an exchange between Lightman and an FBI agent (played by Mekhi Phifer), where Lightman says: Well, you may have prevented a specific act, but you’ve created a lot more Islamic fundamentalists by the way you did it—because you went in and committed this outrage against a sacrosanct mosque, you invaded this holy place in this way by bugging it. And the FBI agent comes back with: Yes, but we prevented this horrible act from taking place. In response to this, Lightman insists that you have to think about the longer term effects—to which the FBI agent replies: that’s a problem for tomorrow. And then Lightman comes back with the punch line, which “caps” the exchange: How do you think you got to today?

This, in its own way, captures what a lot of people don’t understand. You keep this dynamic going—whether it’s Israel or the U.S.—you go and you obliterate whole sections of a country, as was done in Lebanon and then in Gaza by Israel with the full backing of the U.S. (including Obama, by the way, in the middle of his campaign in 2008) and, with every bomb that falls, with every small child that’s buried in the rubble, you are creating a new generation of thousands and thousands of Islamic fundamentalists. Now, of course, there is a role—a very important role—for people who are genuinely, and from a much better place, against the imperialist system and opposed to what Israel represents in the overall framework of the imperialist system and as an occupying colonial settler state in Palestine; it’s the responsibility of such people to actively resist this, and it’s our responsibility to unite with people in opposing this and work to win them to our revolutionary viewpoint. But when people, especially those in the imperialist countries themselves, support, or passively acquiesce in and do nothing to oppose, the acts of war and wanton slaughter, torture and so on, carried out by their governments, which today are aimed largely against people in the Middle East and other countries where Islam is the dominant religion—and whether this support or acquiescence is justified in the name of “modernity,” in the name of ending horrible oppression of women, or is rationalized in some other way—this only serves to reinforce the dynamic where the imperialists have a freer hand to carry out these acts, and as a consequence new legions of Islamic fundamentalists are being created. So that tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow there are more and more people willing and determined to engage in acts of “terrorism against the West”—while, in the name of opposing these acts, and the forces who commit them, you are supporting imperialism or Israel or other reactionary forces in the world—while the dynamic goes on, and on, and the terms become increasingly worse.

People need to be confronted with that question: How do you think we got to today—and what do you think is going to be the dynamic if we don’t actually stand up and oppose the crimes committed by U.S. imperialism, by our own government, in our name—or, even worse, if we actually support these crimes in the name of the horrors committed by the other “outmoded,” by Islamic fundamentalists and other similar reactionary forces?

All this emphasizes, once again, the need to break out of, and fully rupture with, this whole framework and dynamic. Unless and until this is done, the people whose actual interests don’t lie with either one of these reactionary forces, either one of these “historically outmodeds,” will have no initiative, no way in which their real interests can actually be expressed in the powerful way they need to be.

So, it is crucial that revolutionaries and communists—but others as well who genuinely abhor these crimes committed by the one outmoded and the other, and who want to see a different kind of world where these crimes are not endlessly perpetrated and perpetuated—step forward and resist this. And this is all the more so, in recognition of two things, if you’re in the imperialist countries and in particular the U.S. First, it is in reality the imperialist “outmoded,” and in particular U.S. imperialism, which by far has done the greatest harm and poses the greatest danger to humanity. That’s an objective fact. I challenge anyone to look into the facts objectively, and if you do so you cannot but come to the conclusion that this is true.

And secondly, in recognition of the fact that you live in this country, that this government acts in your name and justifies its acts on the basis of “protecting” you and acting in your interests. This only gives a further dimension to the need to step forward and oppose this imperialist “outmoded” in particular while, at the same time, working to break things out of this whole framework—opposing both “outmodeds” and the ways in which this deadly dynamic goes on where they mutually reinforce each other even while opposing each other.

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

The Police Attack on Quentin Tarantino – and the Urgent Need to Stand Against It

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

by Annie Day

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, and Quentin Tarantino march with families representing people murdered by police

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West and Quentin Tarantino in march on October 24 with families of people murdered by police. Photo: Special to Revolution

On Saturday, October 24, the prominent filmmaker Quentin Tarantino stood before a protest of thousands as part of Rise Up October to Stop Police Terror/Which Side Are You On? and stated: “I am a human being with a conscience and when I see murder, I cannot stand by and I have to call the murdered, the murdered and the murderers, the murderers.”

For this, he has faced an intensifying and vicious attack with high stakes and big implications for all of society.

The following day, Patrick Lynch, head of the NY police union (PBA), issued a statement: “New Yorkers need to send a message to this purveyor of degeneracy that he has no business coming to our city... It's time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino's films.” The nationally prominent police commissioner of New York City, Bill Bratton, said, “Shame on him... basically, there are no words to describe the contempt I have for him and his comments.” A number of commentators on Fox News, including the notoriously racist ex-cop Mark Fuhrman*, have gone so far as to say that police should make it impossible for Tarantino to film in U.S. cities (denying him permits, refusing to redirect traffic, etc.). Police unions across the country have joined the chorus, including from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Jersey state, and more. Now, the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) has called for a boycott, distorting Tarantino's comments and the protest: “As a high-profile figure, Tarantino’s language is utterly irresponsible, particularly at a time when the nation is seeing increasing and persistent calls for the killing of officers. Anti-police rhetoric like Tarantino’s threatens the safety of police and citizens alike.” They added, “We ask officers to stop working special assignments or off-duty jobs, such as providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of Tarantino’s projects. We need to send a loud and clear message that such hateful rhetoric against police officers is unacceptable!”

What these fascists and police organizations actually find unacceptable is that someone with the prominence and stature of Quentin Tarantino had the courage and morality to speak out against unjust police violence which goes unpunished time and time again.

Which Side Are You On?

At the same time, people have pushed back and defended Quentin Tarantino. This includes those who have been directly victimized by – yes – police murder; as well as other prominent artists and voices of conscience.

Nicholas Heyward, Sr., whose 13-year-old son was murdered by the NYPD while he was playing with a brightly colored toy gun, said: “I need to give a big shout out to the brave and noble man, Mr. Quentin Tarantino... Unlike far too many who see this injustice going down on a nationwide level, Mr. Quentin Tarantino could no longer stand back and not say anything... because he did what many are afraid to do and say, the police unions in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and others are going to boycott his movies, in a cowardly stand which is saying to all others like brother Quentin Tarantino with celebrity status that if you speak out against the injustice of this system, the system will target you to bring you down... I am asking that everyone who believes in truth and justice to please stand up and support Mr. Quentin Tarantino for standing up and being unafraid to say: enough is enough...”

Lsana D'Jahspora, father of Cinque "Q" D’Jahspora who was murdered by police in Jackson, Tennessee in 2014, said: “...First you kill our loved ones and deny us justice, you criminalize us and our families, and then you incriminate any like Tarantino who dare to stand with us and call it what it is. The police call for boycott is a throwback to the blacklist of the ’50s and ’60s, and dares anyone to stand on behalf of people of color. Tarantino stood with us, stood with those suffering profoundly from the terror; he connected with the families as we sought to connect with each other. Stack up Quentin Tarantino's moral stand and authenticity against the government-sanctioned criminal terror raging across this nation, and it is clear who is on the right side of history.”

Several challenged others in Hollywood to have the courage that Tarantino had in speaking out. Alicia Kirkman, mother of 17-year-old Angelo Miller who was murdered by Cleveland police on March 23, 2007, said: “I loved that Quentin Tarantino stood with the families! It showed he cares. Even though he is a famous person – he is on the front lines with us – saying he won't put up with murder by police either. He put himself in our shoes. He walked with us. It's not like he's too famous and can't be touched – no, he walked together with us and we feel good about it. More celebrities need to support us like he did. It's not like others who watch police murder our children on TV, but then don't come out because they are scared about their image. It's what they are trying to do to Mr. Tarantino – boycotting his movies, attacking him for doing right – that other celebrities are afraid of. Don't be afraid. Treat us like human beings like he did...”

These are tremendously significant, and more voices of those who face these attacks should be coming forward in support.

There have also been statements from other prominent voices of conscience, including Cornel West, filmmaker Charles Burnett, First Amendment lawyer Martin Garbus, musician Arturo O'Farrill, actor Peter Coyote and others. The National Coalition Against Censorship called out the dangers of “this disturbing message” from Lynch and others. The novelist Joyce Carol Oates tweeted: “It should not require unusual courage to protest police brutality as Quentin Tarantino has done but, evidently, it does.” Burnett – one of the most prominent of independent Black filmmakers – said that “I can’t say enough about Tarantino. He said what needed to be said. I hope his rage encourages all of us to speak out against genocide. When his new film opens, I will be there to show my support.”

These statements against the attacks on Tarantino are important and have garnered some media coverage. But there need to be scores of people speaking out against these attacks – prominent actors and directors, musicians, writers and intellectuals of all nationalities have a responsibility to stand up against this kind of dangerous threat and intimidation. When artists come under attack in this way, when their livelihood and ability to create their work are threatened, other artists and prominent voices of conscience need to stand with them and make it known that they are not alone.

Why the Police are Attacking

People have seen video after video of Black and Brown people being brutalized, beaten, tazed and murdered – in their cars, in their homes, walking down the street and now in their schoolrooms – and the police are exonerated almost every time (even if they are fired or suspended in a case which sparks widespread outrage and protest, they almost never end up on trial, let alone convicted). In the face of this increasing exposure, and in the face of resistance against these crimes, sections of the ruling forces in society are trying to put this protest on the defensive. They do not want the brutality of the police forced into the light of day any more, and they are very afraid of those who do not experience this terror directly standing with those who do. Tarantino came under attack for his role as part of a group of artists and other voices of conscience who stood with the loved ones of police murder victims at Times Square on October 22 and (in the case of Tarantino) again two days later at the big demonstration in NYC demanding police terror STOP. Attacking Tarantino in this way is a sign of their tremendous weakness and their fear that other voices of conscience will also bring their platforms and spotlights onto the reality of what this means for the victims. Stung by the exposure of their ongoing, constant and illegitimate brutality, the police are hitting back harder, attempting to bully people into submissive silence.

Carl Dix, co-initiator of Rise Up October and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party said, “The police threats against Quentin Tarantino amount to a mafia-style protection racket, only the payoff being demanded is toeing a political line, not cash. 'Don't dare criticize police who kill people, or we'll make it impossible for you to work in our towns.' It is aimed at sending a message, not just to Tarantino, but to anyone whose voice carries great weight in society: if you speak out, we will come after you, threaten your livelihood and attempt to scare you back into silence. They want the people who suffer the brunt of this brutality alone and ignored...

Those are heavy stakes, and people cannot allow that – silence is complicity, and Quentin Tarantino must be defended. This is far more important than narrow self-interest, individual career-above-all-else or even real, but in this context secondary, differences with those who are unjustly under attack. And if we DO step forward... if we DO defeat this attempt at isolation, pillorying and censorship... we can actually open up new space for people to step out and speak out. And that would be very good indeed.


* Fuhrman was a witness at the O.J. Simpson trial whose testimony was impeached when tapes of an interview with him in which he bragged of fabricating evidence and openly professed vile racist views came to light; for this he has become an “expert” commentator on Fox! [back]

 

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Carl Dix
Photo: Eino Sierpe

audioListen here

Carl Dix at the October 24 Rally: “Let’s do all that we can to stop the horror of police murdering our people. And then let’s do even more because we gotta stop this.

The following is a rush transcript.

Okay, Okay. You have seen the faces of the lives that have been stolen by the police. Beautiful lives that were cut down too short. This is unacceptable and our demand is very simple: police terror, police murder must stop. Not be reduced a little bit. Must stop!

Now sometimes people say well, your demand needs to be more concrete than that, Carl. So let me give you a concrete demand:

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

[chanting with crowd:]

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

One more time.

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

Now look, that’s a simple and just demand. But we need to be very clear that when we raise that demand we gotta fight for it. Because there is a whole system that’s behind those killer cops. It ain’t just a few killer cops on the beat with some rogue DAs, or corrupt DAs, district attorneys. It’s a whole system all the way up to the top, that arrested people en masse when we protested these killings over this last year, that demonizes our people, especially the young people to try to justify these murders.

Now when I say that, some people might be thinking, well wait a minute Carl, didn’t Obama say he was going to do something about this a couple of days ago? Didn’t he say that he supports Black Lives Matter? Well, let’s be clear. The Obama who said something about Black Lives Matter six months ago said that the youth of Baltimore were thugs and criminals when they rose up in response to the police murder of Freddie Grey. So let’s not get twisted by that. He’s trying to rope us back in. He also said along with saying I’m gonna do something, it has to be incremental. Now what does that mean? It’s gotta be small, slow steps to change things. That ain’t going to cut it. This has got to stop. We don’t want no small reduction of the people they warehouse in prison or the people that they kill. We want it stopped.

And look, we are going to fight to make that happen. Ain’t no body going to do it for us. And we are doing that today. We’ve been doing that this week. Thursday, No More Stolen Lives/Say Their Name. Thursday afternoon, march and rally for the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. Yesterday, some of us put our bodies on the line to pose the demand, Shut Down Rikers Island—that debtors’ prison and torture chamber. And that’s what we’re doing to do today and we’re going to keep doing that.

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October 24: Voices of Loved Ones of People Murdered by Police

Before and after the Rise Up October march through NYC on October 24, dozens of family members and other loved ones of people murdered by police shared the terrible loss they suffered, the outrage of lives stolen by police, and their solidarity with all victims of police murder. And over and over they declared their determination to continue to fight for justice—for their own loss, and to STOP all police terror. Following are just a few of those voices.

Lsana D’Jahspora is the father of Cinque “Q” D’Jahspora, killed by Jackson, Tennessee police, on November 6, 2014: Remember the name: Cinque, we called him Q. Q is here today I guarantee you. This young man’s spirit was connected to mine even before he was born, and trust me, he is here. Cinque was gunned down—I say executed—in Jackson, Tennessee, just three months after Mike Brown. Lying on the ground, face down, and shot in the back. And not only that, Cinque caused so little threat these cops actually went to the car and then came back and shot him—in the back. You can see the execution on video. But even until this day they are in denial. They have even lied about the cop who fired the shot, this is how layered the conspiracy is, the cover-up. So I say to you families, I’m glad to be part of this justice train. I will go anywhere to stand with any family, but bring this justice train to the plantation in Jackson, Tennessee. Those of you who can, November 6 is the one-year anniversary. We got to take this train all around the country, but come to the plantation, because we need you there brothers. It’s as bad as it was in the fifties and sixties.

Yolanda McNair, mother of Adaisha Miller, killed by an off-duty Detroit cop at a party at his house, July 2012: No investigation into my daughter’s death. And they waited 25 minutes to call 911. They never checked him for alcohol or drugs. They stopped short of saying she shot herself. She had no gunshot wounds on her. She was shot in her lungs and it went through her heart. I don’t think her going out that night to celebrate her life, her upcoming birthday, was her plan to end up dead. The last thing I told her was that I loved her. And I thank God that I got to hear her say ‘I love you’ back because I gotta keep that, I gotta remember that, for the rest of my life. But I’m here to fight for my daughter. I’m here to fight for everybody’s child, parent, and grandchild. I’ll be their voice. I’m gonna be here. And the police officer in Detroit who killed my daughter, I will be there when you go down too.

Venus Anderson, mother of Christopher Anderson, shot to death by Highland Park, Illinois, police in the hospital, November 3, 2014: My son was shot down in an emergency room by the Highland Park police station. Now my story might be a little bit different from y’alls considering my son did have a weapon on him, but it took them about two-and-a-half hours to realize he was armed. My son never pulled a gun out on the police. He was in the hospital for two-and-a-half hours before they discovered he had a gun on him. My son went walking through the hallway with his hands in the air saying ‘Don’t shoot, I surrender.’ They put him back in a room and gave him forty-four seconds to put the gun down before opening fire on him, in 1.7 seconds, nine bullets at my son in a small closed in room in a curtain. My son was shot in cold blood. He fell over off the bed, and while his body was dead, they put handcuffs on him. And when they rolled him over, ladies and gentlemen, the gun was still beneath him indicating he never pulled a weapon on the police. This is injustice. So whether they have a gun or not, you have to look at the circumstances. My son didn’t deserve to die that way, like none of your family, none of your kids deserved to die like this. We pay the police to serve and protect us, they are no longer hiding behind white sheets, ladies and gentlemen, they are hiding behind their shields. These are the new age police. Let’s shut em down!

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Thousands in the Streets of NYC for #RiseUpOctober: STOP POLICE TERROR! Which Side Are You On?

October 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us | More to come, check back...

Revolution/revcom.us greatly appreciates the many photos, videos and reports we received of Rise Up October. While we may not be able to post all of them we really encourage people to keep sending us these valuable contributions.

See coverage below.

  • Rise Up October, October 24, 2015, New York City, The front of the march

    Rise Up October, October 24, 2015, New York City. The front of the march. Photo: Erik McGregor

  • Carl Dix speaking at Washington Square Park

    Carl Dix speaking at Washington Square Park. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Cornel West speaking at Washington Square Park

    Cornel West speaking at Washington Square Park. Photo: Phil Buehler

  • #SAYHERNAME contingent. The #SAYHERAME campaign documents women murdered by police.

    #SAYHERNAME contingent. The #SAYHERAME campaign documents women murdered by police. Photo: Cindy Trinh/Activists of New York

  • Jivonte Lee Davis, a close friend of Tony Robinson who was killed by the Madison police on March 5, 2015.

    Jivonte Lee Davis, a close friend of Tony Robinson who was killed by the Madison police on March 5, 2015. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Justus Howell was killed by police in Zion, Illinois, April 14, 2015

    Justus Howell was killed by police in Zion, Illinois, April 14, 2015. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, Quentin Tarantino, on march with family members

    Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, Quentin Tarantino, on march with family members. Photo: twitter.com/tuneintorevcom

  • Contingent from Ferguson at Rise Up October

    "Ferguson is in the House"—Contingent of Ferguson and St. Louis activists marched on October 24.

  • Members from Stop Mass Incarceration, San Francisco/Bay Area, CA

    Members from Stop Mass Incarceration, San Francisco/Bay Area, CA. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Revolution Club contingent, made up of members from around the country.

    Revolution Club contingent, made up of members from around the country. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Revolution Club contingent, made up of members from around the country.

    En route from Washington Square Park to Bryant Park. Photo: Oscar Diaz @oscmdiaz

  • Artwork contributed to Rise Up October

    Artwork contributed to Rise Up October

  • Artwork contributed to Rise Up October

    Artwork contributed to Rise Up October

  • Carl Dix speaking at Washington Square Park

    Photo: Cindy Trinh/Activists of New York

  • The Audre Lorde Project march to end police brutality and murder. They demand justice for the McNeil family, whose sister and mother, Yvonne McNeil, a homeless lesbian, was murdered by the NYPD in October 2011.

    The Audre Lorde Project demanding justice for Yvonne McNeil, a homeless lesbian, murdered by the NYPD in October 2011. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • St. Mary's Episcopal Church,  Harlem, New York.

    St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Harlem, New York. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Youth and others take the message to Times Square. Police attacked, and arrested six people.

    Youth and others take the message to Times Square. Police attacked, and arrested six people. Photo: twitter.com/StopMassIncNet

  • Huge, beautiful  portraits of people murdered by police were contributed by French street artist/photographer, JR as part of his #insideoutproject-A Global Art Project by JR.

    Huge, beautiful portraits of people killed by the prison system and prison authorities were were contributed to Rise Up October by French street artist/photographer JR as part of his #insideoutproject-A Global Art Project. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • South Bronx Community Congress.

    South Bronx Community Congress. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Unitarian Universalists.

    Unitarian Universalists. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

  • Columbia University students. Photo: Noel Altaha @ngaltaha

    Columbia University students. Photo: Noel Altaha @ngaltaha

  • Demanding justice for Justus Howell and all victims of police murder

    Demanding justice for Justus Howell and all victims of police murder

October 24:

Thousands in the Streets of NYC for #RiseUpOctober:
STOP POLICE TERROR! Which Side Are You On?

 

Thousands took to the streets of Manhattan today to demand STOP Police Terror. And to pose to the world: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? The march was the culmination of three days of Rise Up October. The people were fired up with righteous determination. This is a beginning snapshot of what happened.

Carl Dix led the crowd chanting, “I am a revolutionary!” Cornel West challenged people: “When you love folks you hate that they’re being mistreated!” Eve Ensler declared “I am tired of living in a country where state violence has created a terror state for Black and Brown people, it is unacceptable!” Between the beginning and end of the march, scores of family members and representatives of victims of police murder shared their pain and outrage and challenged everyone to fight. They led the march. People defied police attacks that seized five people near the end of the march, and six more youth out of a group of a couple hundred youth and others who took the message into Times Square. The march posed to the world: Which Side Are You On?

A contingent carried posters of women murdered by police and prison authorities—#SAY HER NAME! Faces of those murdered by police were everywhere, on signs and banners—calling out for justice and an END to the horror. Unitarians demanded JUSTICE and LGBT activists called out sadistic police brutality that targets trans people. There was a striking mix of all nationalities, and representatives of people around the world. There was a sea of signs: RISE UP! STOP POLICE TERROR! The Revolution Club manifested fight the power, and transform the people, for revolution. A chant erupted up and down 6th Avenue: “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Students came from around the country—from the Truman State SDS chapter in Missouri to students from California to Prairie View A&M University in Texas. They came from Sarah Lawrence College, and Hofstra University’s NAACP chapter. A grad student and teacher told Revolution, “They’re killing my students with slow genocide.” Youth and others came from the communities of the oppressed, from the East, South and Midwest as well as from NYC. An example: a contingent from Waukegan, IL representing the struggle for justice for Justus Howell and for all victims of police murder.

Unitarian-Universalists came from the Upper West Side of Manhattan and a contingent marched from the Holy Ghost Upper Room Filling Station Ministry in the oppressed community of Jamaica, Queens. St Mary’s Episcopal Church in Manhattanville, NYC carried a banner that declared, “We are not afraid!” Film director, Quentin Tarantino spoke: “When I see murder I cannot stand by.”

At the end of the march Carl Dix declared “You should feel good about what you did but not so good you’re ready to go home, pat yourself on the back, and go back to normal, because normal is the police murdering people, especially Black and Latino and Native people. We have been acting to stop it and it goes forward from today.”

 


 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/carl-dix-at-october-24-rally-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Carl Dix at the October 24 Rally: "Let's do all that we can to stop the horror of police murdering our people. And then let's do even more because we gotta stop this.

October 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Carl Dix

Carl Dix speaking at the rally. Photo: Eino Sierpe

audioListen here

The following is a rush transcript.

Okay, Okay. You have seen the faces of the lives that have been stolen by the police. Beautiful lives that were cut down too short. This is unacceptable and our demand is very simple: police terror, police murder must stop. Not be reduced a little bit. Must stop!

Now sometimes people say well, your demand needs to be more concrete than that, Carl. So let me give you a concrete demand:

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

[chanting with crowd:]

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

One more time.

Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

Now look, that’s a simple and just demand. But we need to be very clear that when we raise that demand we gotta fight for it. Because there is a whole system that’s behind those killer cops. It ain’t just a few killer cops on the beat with some rogue DAs, or corrupt DAs, district attorneys. It’s a whole system all the way up to the top, that arrested people en masse when we protested these killings over this last year, that demonizes our people, especially the young people to try to justify these murders.

Now when I say that, some people might be thinking, well wait a minute Carl, didn’t Obama say he was going to do something about this a couple of days ago? Didn’t he say that he supports Black Lives Matter? Well, let’s be clear. The Obama who said something about Black Lives Matter six months ago said that the youth of Baltimore were thugs and criminals when they rose up in response to the police murder of Freddie Gray. So let’s not get twisted by that. He’s trying to rope us back in. He also said along with saying I’m gonna do something, it has to be incremental. Now what does that mean? It’s gotta be small, slow steps to change things. That ain’t going to cut it. This has got to stop. We don’t want no small reduction of the people they warehouse in prison or the people that they kill. We want it stopped.

And look, we are going to fight to make that happen. Ain’t nobody going to do it for us. And we are doing that today. We’ve been doing that this week. Thursday, No More Stolen Lives/Say Their Name. Thursday afternoon, march and rally for the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality. Yesterday, some of us put our bodies on the line to pose the demand, Shut Down Rikers Island—that debtors’ prison and torture chamber. And that’s what we’re doing to do today and we’re going to keep doing that.

And we are delivering a very serious message: Stop police terror, which side are you on? Because don’t tell me no BS about “I’m in the middle” or “I’m neutral.” This is murder, this is genocide we’re dealing with. And in the face of a genocide there ain’t no neutrality. You’re either on the side of acting to stop that genocide or you’re on the side that says it’s ok for it to happen. That’s the two sides. Which side are you on? That’s the challenge we’re bringing to people.

And look, I can give you the numbers of how many people the police kill, more than 930 since January first. But this ain’t about numbers for me. This is personal. Look I sat with Mertilla Jones a few days after her granddaughter, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, had been murdered by the Detroit police. I met Sharon Irwin a couple of days after her grandson, Tony Robinson, had been murdered by the police. I’ve worked with many more families, many more than I can talk about now. I have to say, my wife’s brother more than 40 years ago was gunned down by the police on his mother’s doorstep, one day after they had told her she would never see her son alive again. So this is personal for me. And it is up to us to stop this. We have to take that on.

And when I say stop this, it’s not just the horror of what the police is doing to Black and Latino people although we gotta stop that. It’s also the attacks on women in this society; it’s the attacks on our immigrant sisters and brothers; it’s what happens to lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender people; it’s the wars for empire; it’s the way they are destroying the environment of the planet. And I will tell you it’s going to take revolution, nothing less to end all those horrors once and for al. That’s what it’s going to take.

Now, some people tell me I shouldn’t talk about this. But I gotta talk about it because it’s what you need to hear. Fred Hampton, a brother that I really respected 40 years ago, said something that I’m going to repeat right now. He said: “I am a revolutionary.”

And I feel like some of y’all feel like that way too. So say it with me: I am a revolutionary. [with the crowd:] I am a revolutionary.

And look, I’m not just a revolutionary. I’m a revolutionary communist. I follow a man, Bob Avakian, who’s got a strategy for making revolution and a blueprint for bringing a new society into being. You need to check him out if you want to be free.

But look, all of us gotta be in this together. Cornel West, who you will hear shortly, is a Christian, a revolutionary Christian. I’m here with the clergy. I’m here with the students, I’m here with the people from the community. I’m here with the victims of police murder. We all have to be in this together. Our diversity, our different voices make us stronger.

Now let me say this. Fred Douglass said this a while ago, more than 100 years ago. I’m not quite old enough to go back to then, but I know what he said. He said power concedes nothing without a demand. That was true then and it’s true now. It’s gonna take struggle to bring about a change for the better. And that is what we’re doing sisters and brothers. But we gotta keep doing it. And we should not pat ourselves on the back for having been out here today and say we did a good job and feel good about ourselves. That ain’t it. We gotta be in this for the long haul. It says stop police terror, and that’s how long we gotta be in it.

There’s some next steps. Travis talked about it. November 22—Tamir Rice, one year ago murdered and no justice. We have to act on that. December 3, Eric Garner—one year ago they let those murdering cops go free. We gotta act on that. We gotta keep acting and not stop acting until this is stopped.

Now I’m gonna close with this. But I’ve been doing this for a long time. I am tired of putting together lists of victims killed by the police. I am tired of putting pictures on posters of people murdered by the police. I am tired of making hashtags for the victims. This has got to stop. I got an 8-year-old granddaughter. I do not want her generation to come up to be talking about what are we gonna do about the police killing our people. I want her generation to talk about this as history that really is history ’cause it don’t happen no more. Not the way that we have to talk about Emmett Till as history that echoes and reverberates today.

So let’s do all that we can to stop the horror of police murdering our people. And then let’s do even more because we gotta stop this. We gotta do it for ourselves. We gotta do it for our children. We gotta do it for future generations. Stop Police Terror! Which side are you on?

We know what side we’re on. We’re challenging the world and the whole country: Which side are you on?

Thank you sisters and brothers.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/october-24-voices-of-loved-ones-of-people-murdered-by-police-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

October 24: Voices of Loved Ones of People Murdered by Police

October 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Before and after the Rise Up October march through NYC on October 24, dozens of family members and other loved ones of people murdered by police shared the terrible loss they suffered, the outrage of lives stolen by police, and their solidarity with all victims of police murder. And over and over they declared their determination to continue to fight for justice—for their own loss, and to STOP all police terror. Following are just a few of those voices.

Lsana D’Jahspora is the father of Cinque “Q” D’Jahspora, killed by Jackson, Tennessee police, on November 6, 2014: Remember the name: Cinque, we called him Q. Q is here today I guarantee you. This young man’s spirit was connected to mine even before he was born, and trust me, he is here. Cinque was gunned down—I say executed—in Jackson, Tennessee, just three months after Mike Brown. Lying on the ground, face down, and shot in the back. And not only that, Cinque caused so little threat these cops actually went to the car and then came back and shot him—in the back. You can see the execution on video. But even until this day they are in denial. They have even lied about the cop who fired the shot, this is how layered the conspiracy is, the cover-up. So I say to you families, I’m glad to be part of this justice train. I will go anywhere to stand with any family, but bring this justice train to the plantation in Jackson, Tennessee. Those of you who can, November 6 is the one-year anniversary. We got to take this train all around the country, but come to the plantation, because we need you there brothers. It’s as bad as it was in the fifties and sixties.

Yolanda McNair, mother of Adaisha Miller, killed by an off-duty Detroit cop at a party at his house, July 2012: No investigation into my daughter’s death. And they waited 25 minutes to call 911. They never checked him for alcohol or drugs. They stopped short of saying she shot herself. She had no gun shot residue on her hands, clothes or wound track. She was shot in her lungs and it went through her heart. I don’t think her going out that night to celebrate her life, her upcoming birthday, was her plan to end up dead. The last thing I told her was that I loved her. And I thank God that I got to hear her say ‘I love you’ back because I gotta keep that, I gotta remember that, for the rest of my life. But I’m here to fight for my daughter. I’m here to fight for everybody’s child, parent, and grandchild. I’ll be their voice. I’m gonna be here. And the police officer in Detroit who killed my daughter, I will be there when you go down too.

Venus Anderson, mother of Christopher Anderson, shot to death by Highland Park, Illinois, police in the hospital, November 3, 2014: My son was shot down in an emergency room by the Highland Park police station. Now my story might be a little bit different from y’alls considering my son did have a weapon on him, but it took them about two-and-a-half hours to realize he was armed. My son never pulled a gun out on the police. He was in the hospital for two-and-a-half hours before they discovered he had a gun on him. My son went walking through the hallway with his hands in the air saying ‘Don’t shoot, I surrender.’ They put him back in a room and gave him forty-four seconds to put the gun down before opening fire on him, in 1.7 seconds, nine bullets at my son in a small closed in room in a curtain. My son was shot in cold blood. He fell over off the bed, and while his body was dead, they put handcuffs on him. And when they rolled him over, ladies and gentlemen, the gun was still beneath him indicating he never pulled a weapon on the police. This is injustice. So whether they have a gun or not, you have to look at the circumstances. My son didn’t deserve to die that way, like none of your family, none of your kids deserved to die like this. We pay the police to serve and protect us, they are no longer hiding behind white sheets, ladies and gentlemen, they are hiding behind their shields. These are the new age police. Let’s shut em down!

Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, murdered by NYPD, September 6, 2011: My uncle got murdered for breaking up what he thought was a fight between two individuals, and one of the individuals involved in the fight was a police officer who never identified himself. And that same police officer who killed my uncle had murdered somebody two years prior to that. And he’s still working on the force. And I’m here fighting for a better world, a decent world, where we can live in peace without having to fear for our lives!

Marlee Kanosh, on behalf of Corey Kanosh, killed in by a Millard County, Utah, deputy October 2012; Paul Castaway by Denver police, July 12, 2015; Sarah Circle Bear died in custody July 5, 2015 in Aberdeen, South Dakota. (all Native Americans): Addiction and mental illness is not a crime. Most of our people are dying because of that. Life sentences. My brother Corey Kanosh was a passenger in a car that was eluding police. The driver was a white male. When the car was stopped, the driver ran, and my brother stayed in the vehicle. Approximately forty steps away, which would be ten seconds, the driver heard two shots. My brother cried out in pain. The next day when we heard the cops’ story, they said Corey ran two hundred yards away, and they discredited the driver’s story because he had a little bit of alcohol in his system.... The only person who went to get medical attention was the cop because he said he was attacked by a canine. ...Paul Castaway recently passed away. He was a mentally ill Native American who had a knife to his own throat when police shot him. Also,our Native American women. Sara Circle Bear, just like Sandra Bland, was found unresponsive in a jail cell. The inmates who were in jail with her said she was pleading with the jail staff to help her because she had a medical condition and the jail staff told her to quit faking. She was found dead in her jail cell.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/408/tens-of-thousands-come-to-dc-for-justice-or-else-rally-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Tens of Thousands Come to DC for Justice or Else Rally
What Is Really Needed for the Movement to STOP Police Terror?

October 12, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Tens of thousands of people turned out in Washington, DC on October 10 for a rally demanding “Justice or Else,” led by a coalition initiated by the Nation of Islam. A lot of Black college students turned out from all over, along with a lot of Black families. The mood was serious, purposeful, and fed up with what is happening to Black people and other oppressed nationalities, looking for a way to go forward in resistance and for answers to the deeper question of WHY this keeps going on. Just so many people coming together for that purpose, with real seriousness, gave a sense of potential power that nearly everyone there commented on.

Justice Or Else march, Washington, DC, October 10, 2015. Photo: revcom.us

People like Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Travyon Martin, as well as family members of other victims of police murder, and Benjamin Crump, the lawyer for the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, powerfully condemned police murder. Other speakers drew out sharply the many forms of oppression that Black people face in America. The whole U.S. history of genocide against its native inhabitants was movingly decried by a number of Native American speakers. Spanish was spoken from the podium and common cause was drawn with the struggle of immigrants. The roots of the antagonism between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which share the same island, were shown to exist in slavery, and a call was issued to overcome these antagonisms and unite to take on their oppression as nations. One highlight of the program was the linking of the struggle of African-American people in the U.S. with the struggle of the Palestinian people. All this was very positive, and needed to be heard.

But while the uprisings against police murder last fall shook this whole society, ever since the militant demonstrations of April 14 and the uprising in Baltimore (which itself was followed by national demonstrations), the movement has not been out in the streets. Some of the forces fighting for justice are focusing on developing “policy reforms,” others are getting into the political campaigns... meanwhile the rulers of this country have come back against the movement with repression and slander, and are increasingly censoring the news of the police murders that do happen. They are trying to turn the “conversation” to “the problem of Black-on-Black violence” (and the police have helped in this by unleashing and directing some of that violence), while assuring the masses that “reform is happening.” In actual fact, for all the talk about reform, not only are the “dogs still in the street,” they are biting with even greater ferocity. The actual struggle to END this reign of murder and terror, and to root out the whole genocidal program of which it is the spearpoint, has come to a crossroads. Many of the thousands who came to DC on October 10 were looking for leadership and direction.

What Is the Problem—What Are Its Depths, and What Is Its Source?

But while the initial part of the program was mainly positive, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, who gave the major speech of the day, put forward an analysis and program that would lead in a seriously wrong direction, both for this movement and in terms of what kind of new society could put an end to this and other horrors.

Farrakhan did applaud the Black Lives Matter movement and the Ferguson, Missouri, uprising (though Nation of Islam actually attempted to suppress the rebellious youths on the scene, as well as slandering and attacking revolutionaries who fought side by side with the youths). He also exposed some of the ugliness of U.S. history. But in the main he provided people with a wrong analysis of the problem and a wrong path forward. His method and approach substituted religious prophecy for scientific analysis—at a time when a scientific understanding of the problem we face and the solution to it is more critical than ever. We will focus in this article on a few key points (even as there is more to talk about at another time).

First, while Farrakhan called out America on many things, he did not really show people anything close to the full dimensions of the genocidal policy now being pursued against African-Americans and the dire implications of this situation; nor did he really get into the causes of it. Instead, he talked in a sort of timeless way about the tricks of the 10 percent of white men who supposedly understand the “laws of cause and effect” and who dominate Black people as a result.

In fact, while what is going on today has a long and ugly history, it is not same-old, same-old; right now is a particularly crucial and dangerous time. The capitalist-imperialist system that actually runs this country (and which is, yes, overwhelmingly run by white people and flesh-and-bone connected to white supremacy) has by this point taken things to an extremely dangerous turn. Right now these capitalists regard millions and millions of Black (and other oppressed nationality) youths as not very “pliable” for exploitation. They find it more profitable to exploit immigrants with absolutely no rights, and to ship production overseas where they can exploit women in low-wage, deadly factories. As a result, these capitalists see our youth in the Black and Brown communities as potential social dynamite—people who must be demonized as “super-predators” and locked down, penned in and if necessary killed off. Farrakhan’s speech did not urgently sound the alarm about this. This is a slow genocide that could become a fast one at any time.

Can Liberation Be Won Through Boycotts and Land Purchase, or Must We Struggle?

Farrakhan did not really call on people to struggle against police murder, to organize and rise up against it. He did not challenge people to draw thousands of others actively into this struggle right now and to move millions more to get on the right side of it and take it up. He did not provide a path toward making this horror STOP.

Instead, he called on people to boycott Christmas and give money to the Nation of Islam to buy land. This land, it seems, would go to build up economic power within capitalist America and then at some point perhaps lead to a separate state. All that would somehow be done in the middle of an America that first forcibly enslaved Black people and then, after slavery was ended in law, still denied them the right to self-determination and enforced generations of terror and oppression and super-exploitation. All this would somehow be done against rulers who have only ever conceded anything as a result of extremely sharp struggle involving millions, such as the Civil War and the Black liberation struggle of the 1960s.

There was talk of “hard truths.” What about the hard truth that only a struggle of at least those earlier dimensions would even have a chance against the New Jim Crow system that now rules the lives of the masses of Black people? Instead, Farrakhan claimed that “God’s judgment” was now on America—but that America’s rulers still had time to repent for all the horrible crimes they’ve committed. This judgment and repentance deal sounds a lot easier than massive struggle, but it was wrong 60 years ago when Nation of Islam put it forward and it is still wrong today.

And by the way, the idea that Black capitalism would do anything other than enrich a few Black capitalists is an illusion—a deadly illusion that only serves those who are or aspire to be a new bourgeoisie, exploiting and ruling over their own people. Capitalism requires exploitation, capitalism requires that some people own the means to produce wealth and that others have to sell themselves for wages to survive, and exploitation means that the majority will always be oppressed. Capitalism is capitalism, no matter the flavor, and as such will only ever benefit the capitalists. The capitalists of an oppressed people are themselves oppressed by the imperialists, and can at times be united with. But if they are given the leadership of the struggle, it will lead not to liberation but merely to a new capitalist class—or really, more often than not, to a deal to be “junior partners” with the reigning oppressor-nation capitalists (as has happened in South Africa). Just to reiterate and be clear: this does NOT mean that we cannot and should not unite with Black capitalists who oppose police terror and brutality, as well as other ways in which oppression comes down; to the contrary, we should and must reach out to such forces. But if the program or outlook representing Black capitalism leads, the struggle will neither get to full emancipation nor even be firm enough around the immediate aim to stop police murder and terror

Religion Is NOT the Road to Emancipation

Here a word must be said about the constant casting of real-world material problems in religious terms. What was done to Africans—the kidnapping and murder and enslavement of millions, and then keeping them chained in living hell for centuries, does not have a damn thing to do with any supposed prophecy from any supposed god. The twin crimes of the enslavement of Africans and the genocide against Native Americans came out of the very real-world workings of the capitalist system. THAT is a scientific fact.

While many, many people with religious beliefs play a positive role in the struggle for liberation—indeed, most people in this struggle ARE religious—and while in many cases these beliefs propel them to do positive and courageous things, in the final analysis if religious thinking guides the struggle, it will not get to liberation. Stories of Moses and the Israelites being saved by God’s intervention against the Pharaoh may be nice (if you don’t read the “fine print”1) but as a political program they come up way short, to say the least! Indeed, waiting for “God’s judgment” or for any kind of savior is ultimately a slave mentality. It will take struggle against a very worldly—and understandable—capitalist power structure to prevent that power from beating people down and even carrying through genocide. It will take a revolution to dismantle this system of white supremacy and the whole capitalist economic and political system in which it is embedded and which that system in America has always required. To do any of this, we are going to need to rely on a real-world scientific understanding of things, and not hopes of redemption from on high.

10,000 Fearless Men—But to Do What and Against Whom?

Farrakhan’s call for “10,000 fearless Black men” is both vague and off base; at least at one point in his speech he seems to be saying that these men would be deployed to stop the crimes that some Black people do to others, and that if they did that they would then also have to deal with what he called “rogue cops” who “had fun” and benefited from this. This totally mixes up who is the main enemy.

Yes, there is crime that is concentrated in the ghettos—in part due to the conscious steering of such crime by the police into the neighborhoods of the oppressed; in part due to people internalizing the constant drumbeat of the system and its culture that treats Black people as worthless; and in largest part due to people who are given nothing and have nothing but the snarl and contempt of their oppressors actually applying the dog-eat-dog, me-first mandates of capitalism to their lives in the only ways available to them. But even while we struggle with the people caught up in serious crime that actually harms other people (or themselves) to get out of that destructive stuff and get into revolution and mass struggle, they are not anywhere close to the main problem.

The main problem again is the system that both deploys the pigs AND keeps people in a situation in which some of the system’s own theorists say that crime for such youth is a “rational choice.” Yes, we need fearless people (whatever their gender!) right now to stand up and stop this outrageous killing of our people; and ultimately we need many more than 10,000 people to go up against this system, all-out in the struggle for power, at the soonest possible time—to make revolution, to dismantle and destroy this SYSTEM that causes it. It is just that aim—mobilizing and preparing millions to do that, hastening the time when that CAN be done—which the Revolutionary Communist Party is committed to carrying out.

As this movement grows in strength, it SHOULD definitely set different standards and morality among the people, standards that do not allow for predation on each other. But you can only set these standards by involving people in the struggle against the main enemy and, as you do so, struggle with them over what their lives will really be about. If we do that, such people can actually rise from the depths to be emancipators of humanity and nothing less—precisely on the basis of fighting the power, and transforming themselves and others as they do so, for revolution.

We absolutely do NOT need to “police our own people” within the confines of an economic and political system that can never produce anything other than exploitation and oppression. Nor should we call on the police to resolve problems or disputes that take place among the people. This almost always leads to worse disasters, as the countless people who asked for help in dealing with mentally ill relatives and friends, only to see them murdered by police, can so painfully testify. The movement does have to figure out ways to resolve these kinds of things—but this can ONLY be done in the context of going up against the real power that keeps people continually clawing and scratching at each other and themselves, like so many crabs in a barrel.

A System Enforced by Illegitimate Violence—Not a Few “Rogue Cops”

Further: the problem with police and prison goes far beyond some rogue cops. You could have a total cessation of crime done by Black people against Black people tomorrow and it would not have stopped the harassment (leading to murder) of a Sandra Bland, the brutalization of a James Blake, the torture and driving to suicide of Kalief Browder, or the murder of an Eric Garner, a 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a Tanisha Anderson, a 13-year-old Andy Lopez—none of whom were doing a damn thing criminal. These pigs are given a green light by the system to break people’s spirits, to bully, abuse, brutalize, frame up, and outright murder Black and other oppressed people—ALL of these police are given that green light, most of them take advantage of it, and none of them will come forward to oppose it. The problem is not some rogue cops, but the standard operating procedure for a force whose mission and raison d’etre (reason for being) is enforce the relations of exploitation and domination, of degradation and oppression, that this system requires for its functioning and cannot help but generate.

What is required is actual MASS STRUGGLE against those who rule this system—nothing has ever been won without this and no larger struggle and certainly no revolution for human emancipation—and again, this is what is ultimately required—ever could or will be won without it. Right now, the challenge for thousands is to ACT to STOP murder by police—to follow your convictions that this is wrong, to find the best ways to oppose this and make this movement grow, and to learn more about the source of the problem and its solution as you do so.

Patriarchy: Part of the Problem, Most Definitely Not Part of the Solution

Finally, but hardly least, there is the patriarchy that permeated Louis Farrakhan’s speech. The whole speech was suffused with the outlook of the old James Brown song that “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World (But It Would Be Nothing Without a Woman or a Girl).” This is a world in which men are the creators, the leaders, and the warriors—and in which women, even if they are scholars or scientists, are mothers and domestic slaves above all. There are, unfortunately, too many instances of this in Farrakhan’s speech for this brief article to get into—talk of the “luscious hips and lips of women” and even upholding polygamy, to take just a couple examples—but surely one of the worst was when Farrakhan had some women from Nation of Islam come up on stage and then pointed to them and proceeded to brag about how they are trained to cook, to sew, to rear children and, yes, to dress in a way that covers up most of their body.

Even if women are supposedly put on a pedestal in this worldview, they are treated as lesser human beings whose mission is to help “their” men. As for those women who refuse such treatment and refuse to dress and act as lesser beings than men, the implication is that they are undeserving of respect—and therefore “deserving” of the harassment and worse that they get. Farrakhan’s upholding of the right to abortion is of a piece with this—he immediately followed this with a strong assertion that abortion is wrong, shaming the women who DO get abortions and effectively treating women as breeding vessels—a view that has much in common with that of the slave masters.

This is not just a case of someone who happens to have “traditional values” or someone who hasn’t got the news—this is an attempt to cohere a movement around male privilege and domination, and this is something going on all over the world wherever religious fundamentalism forms the core ideology of a movement. The terrible results of such a movement coming to power, especially but not only for women, can be seen in countries like Iran and Afghanistan.

Going along with this is the fact that while a number of other important struggles and causes were spotlighted at the DC rally, not a single speaker represented for the movement against the oppression of women as women. As for the supposed “inclusion” of LGBT people, through the parable of casting the first stone, let’s remember that that parable still assumes that “the woman at the well” had sinned—and by implication, that LGBT people are, by who and how they love, “sinners.”

This is NOT the movement we need to be building. It is true that for some time to come there will be a struggle in this movement over whether we are fighting for a world in which everyone gets emancipated from ALL forms of oppression or for something lesser, but the standards of this movement must be clearly against the oppression of women.

Where to Now?

Tens of thousands of people came out to call for justice, to protest and to seek answers. To all who did come out and who felt the power of their numbers: now is the time to build on this. The question of what to do now to STOP murder by police remains sharply posed; the moment to actually ACT on this situation, to take concrete action and challenge millions of others to do so as well—to ring out the call to ALL society of WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?—is here and now, and urgently must be seized.

 

1. The actual books of the Bible concerning the story of Moses—see, for instance, Numbers 31:7-18—show him to be someone we would consider a tyrannical monster today, inflicting wholesale genocides and mass rapes on people who are not Israelite but who possess land that they think was promised to them by God, and wild, vengeful slaughters not only against the Egyptians but those among the Israelites who disobey him or incur his displeasure. [back]

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

A Celebration:
Grand Opening of Revolution Books in Harlem

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Revolution Books-New York has announced a celebration of its grand opening featuring the internationally renowned Kenyan writer, post-colonial literary theorist and former political prisoner of conscience, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o.

Ngugi Wa Thiong'oNgũgĩ has said of Revolution Books:
"I think what's so beautiful and wonderful about Revolution Books is that even when you close your eyes and go to any of the shelves here and pick any one of the books, it is likely that it will contain the kind of dreams that Martin Carter was talking about when he said, 'And so if you see me looking in your hand, listening when you speak, marching in your ranks, you must know, I do not sleep to dream, but dream to change the world.'"

Two celebratory events are planned on Sunday, November 15, 2015 at the new store at 437 Malcolm X Blvd in Harlem, NYC. At 2 pm, the first program at the new venue will open with a talk by Andy Zee, Revolution Books’ spokesperson. Ngũgĩ will then read and give a talk, followed by discussion. Then, a second, very special event: a benefit dinner will be held the same evening at 6:30 pm to continue raising the urgently needed funds to complete the renovation of the new space and to forge a community of people to support Revolution Books.

The opening of the Revolution Books-NY matters. This is the flagship of the Revolution Books stores around the country. Revolution Books is the place where people from all over the world come to find the books and the engagement about why the world is the way it is and the possibility of a radically different world through revolution. It is the place where people can find, experience, and connect with the movement for revolution guided by the advance in the science and theory of revolution based on the new synthesis of communism and the leadership of Bob Avakian.

The grand opening celebrations are two extraordinary events to open an extraordinary place. This is a do-not-miss event: Students standing up against injustice; people from Harlem—the literary and cultural folks and the people from the streets and projects who raised money and worked on the renovation; critical thinkers and dreamers; downtown and out of town writers and artists—everyone spread the word and plan to be a part of opening the bookstore about the world and for a radically new world.

With these grand opening celebrations Revolution Books is extending a tremendous invitation to everyone to learn about and experience the store. It is a big deal that Ngũgĩ is coming to New York to open the new Revolution Books. And it is a big deal that Revolution Books is opening again, and in Harlem. There has been a huge hole in the radical and revolutionary political and cultural life in New York for the five months that Revolution Books has been closed. Now, there’s the opportunity to put the new store back on the map, starting November 15.

The Grand Opening of Revolution Books will also be an opportunity for people to experience why the store is so needed today and for a future where people the world over could be free. Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is an amazing writer of imagination and depth who is consistently on the short list for the Nobel Prize in literature. Imprisoned for his beliefs, he has stood for a liberated Africa. His works were once “arrested” and removed from stores. Ngũgĩ has been a voice for the masses of people of Kenya and the world, and in the face of being beaten for his convictions, he continues to stand firm.

Ngũgĩ coming to New York for the purpose of opening Revolution Books says a lot about what the store means to the people of the world. His grand opening appearance is signal of what is, and what is to come, at Revolution Books.

Revolution Books spokesperson Andy Zee has dialogued with many writers, artists, and activists and co-directed two films featuring Bob Avakian and his work. He will speak on the role of Revolution Books and the fight for the emancipation of humanity.

What will people find at Revolution Books? Books. Films. Talks. Dialogue. An ethos of cooperative relations and community. A movement for revolution and theory that guides it. And, coffee. But more, what makes Revolution Books unique? Nothing less than revolution—and an approach to revolution that lives and breathes with a scientific way to know and change the whole world, an approach that goes hand in hand with a poetic spirit—an appreciation of poetry, literature, and art that inspires the imagination; a critical spirit of inquiry and debate—of going for the truth; the liberating joy of struggle and the seriousness of a movement for an actual revolution that could at long last put an end to all forms of oppression and exploitation throughout the world. How rare, how needed is this today?

Most of all, what people find, and what is the heartbeat and foundation of it all, is the leadership of Bob Avakian, concentrated in the new synthesis of communism. BA has made a qualitative breakthrough in the science of revolution and communism. In a world crying out for fundamental change, and many decades after the previous great socialist revolutions were defeated, this is a game changer for a new stage of revolution and communism. At Revolution Books people have the opportunity to discover, to experience, to engage, and to be a part of a movement for an actual revolution that is guided by this scientific method and approach, and the concrete strategy and vision for a new society.

Humanity is up against horrific and complex problems—from the devastation of the environment; to the raging endless wars in the Middle East, with no liberatory armies in the field today; to the war on women throughout the world; to the unending terrorizing, incarceration, and murder of Black and Latino people in the U.S. To act on and change this world requires revolutionary theory to comprehend this, to find and see the patterns and pathways to change, and most of all to guide an actual revolution. It requires knowing quite a bit about the world. Thus, the mission of Revolution Books. Based on the deepened scientific method and approach of the new synthesis, people can learn from the diversity of experience and imagination in the books, films, and discussions found at Revolution Books to discover and understand the underlying dynamics driving the horrors of today’s world and come to see why it is that revolution for a radically new world is necessary and possible. Revolution Books is a place of revolution with the wide arms and critical spirit and method to embrace the great breadth of human experience, where people from the projects, students from the universities, people from the neighborhoods, artists and intellectuals, people of all nationalities, genders and ages, wrestle with ideas and what it is going to take for humanity to get free. And it is a place where people can connect with the work of Bob Avakian, and have the opportunity to become a part of the movement for revolution.

The next two weeks will be an all-out fight to re-open Revolution Books in Harlem. There is still $35,000 to raise to complete the extensive renovation that was necessary to open the new store. Selling tickets, but more, raising the funds for Revolution Books to complete its renovation, is essential, and a great way to involve people in contributing to something really important. There is still much work to be done for the store to open—volunteers are needed to help stock the shelves and complete the work to renovate. The five-month battle to re-open has been an inspiring struggle, with scores of volunteers helping in different ways, and with many hundreds of people contributing funds to open the store, from world-renowned artists to homeless people on Malcolm X Blvd. This, and the tremendous positive feelings that people have for the history of Revolution Books in New York City, must now be marshaled to re-open the store.

Revolution Books will be open every day after November 15. Capping the first week will be a weekend-long open house November 20-22, with different special conversations and happenings, including a children’s book reading on Saturday morning, and a special performance by Burnt Sugar and friends on Saturday night.

The opening of Revolution Books is cause for celebration—and it will be one hell of a celebration! Everyone who cares about the future of the people of the world and the planet itself, all who value and want to fight for literature and critical thinking that propel history forward, everyone who has dreamed of revolution and those working for revolution today—be a part of making the grand opening of Revolution Books commensurate with the great things that lie ahead for the center of the movement for an actual revolution for a world free from all forms of oppression and exploitation.

The World Needs Revolution.
The Revolution Needs Revolution Books.
Revolution Books Needs You.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/ngugi-wa-thiongo-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o: Kenyan Writer Dedicated to Opposing All Oppression

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Ngugi Wa Thiong'oNgũgĩ has said of Revolution Books:
"I think what's so beautiful and wonderful about Revolution Books is that even when you close your eyes and go to any of the shelves here and pick any one of the books, it is likely that it will contain the kind of dreams that Martin Carter was talking about when he said, 'And so if you see me looking in your hand, listening when you speak, marching in your ranks, you must know, I do not sleep to dream, but dream to change the world.'"

Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o is a Kenyan writer and intellectual. He is one of the most prolific and beloved writers in the world today. His work includes novels, play, memoirs, and numerous theoretical works focused on the cultural and political necessity for oppressed people to develop their own literary movement in opposition to the dominance of imperialist culture and thinking in the nations dominated by imperialism. Ngũgĩ has dedicated his life and his work to opposing imperialism and all of the oppression it brings down on the people of the world.

Ngũgĩ was born in 1938 in a rural part of Kenya populated by the Gikuyu people. Two forces were in motion in Kenya at the time and both deeply impacted the Ngũgĩ’s thinking. First, Kenya was a British colony and British colonial rule in Kenya was savage—concentration camps, wanton slaughter, and the total suppression of any form of indigenous culture in the country. In the early 1950s, the Kenyan Land and Freedom Army, a peasant-based group that included Ngũgĩ’s older brother, launched and fought the Mau Mau War of Independence until it was defeated 1962. In 1963, Britain pulled back from direct colonial rule of Kenya to rule through the establishment of a neo-colonial regime that was formally independent but in reality was entirely dependent on British imperialism for its survival. This regime was first led by Jomo Kenyatta and then by Daniel Arap Moi, who ruled until 2002. Daniel Arap Moi considered Ngũgĩ and his work a major threat against his regime.

Ngũgĩ attended college at the University of Makerere in Uganda, where he first met other African intellectuals and artists struggling against British colonial rule. It was here that Ngũgĩ’s first major play, The Black Hermit, was produced as part of the celebration of the end of Britain’s direct colonial rule in Uganda. It was during this time that Ngũgĩ really exploded on the literary scene in Africa and Britain, writing eight short stories, two one-act plays, two novels, and a regular newspaper column, all rooted in his developing critique of imperialism and neo-colonialism and its impact on oppressed peoples. His third novel, A Grain of Wheat, written in 1967, marked a turning point in the form and ideological direction of his work, with a big emphasis on the collective replacing the individual as the center of history. And it was during this period that Ngũgĩ began to develop his theoretical work as well, focusing on the need for writers and artists from oppressed nations to work in their own culture and language as opposed to, and struggling against, the domination of British and other imperialist countries. Over the next 30 years, Ngũgĩ continued to develop his theoretical work and his arguments concerning the importance of artists in the struggle for liberation and it was during this period that Ngũgĩ wrote both his seminal works on this question: Decolonizing the Mind and Penpoints, Gunpoints and Dreams.

1977 was a hallmark year for Ngũgĩ and his work with the publication of his novel Petals of Blood, which painted the harshest depiction of life for the people in neo-colonial Kenya yet. During this same period, Ngũgĩ (together with Ngũgĩ wa Mirii) wrote and staged the play I Will Marry When I Want, again painting a scathing picture of the inequality and oppression that was life for the Kenyan people. The play attacked capitalism, religious corruption and corruption in neo-colonial Kenya. This play was a hallmark in Ngũgĩ’s life and work. Influenced by a reading of Mao Zedong’s Talks at the Yenan Forum on Literature and Art, Ngũgĩ not only stood with the Kenyan people, but he worked with the peasants and laborers to tell the truth about their lives. The play was written in Gikuyu and the people contributed to the entire process, from overseeing the content to building the theater and developing the staging of the play. The Kenyan government quickly moved to shut the play down and destroy the theater. Ngũgĩ was also arrested at this time and spent one year in a Kenyan prison camp. During his time in prison, Ngũgĩ wrote his novel Devil on the Cross on toilet paper provided by a friendly prison guard. His case became an international campaign, with Amnesty International declaring Ngũgĩ a prisoner of conscience. He was released in 1978.

At this point, Ngũgĩ was forced into exile as a result of the Kenyan government’s efforts to isolate, attack and even kill him. Ngũgĩ continued his writing and in 1986 published his novel Matigari, another powerful critique of neo-colonialism in Kenya that unfolded around the main character, Matigari, traveling around the country talking with people about their lives in neo-colonial Kenya and coming to the conclusion that Kenya needs a revolution to be liberated. Moi, the Kenyan dictator, thought that Matigari was a real person and issued an order for his arrest! When Moi learned that Matigari was a fictional character in Ngũgĩ’s novel, he arrested the book, sending undercover police to bookshops all over the country.

In 2004, Ngũgĩ was finally able to visit Kenya after 22 years in exile. While in Kenya, Ngũgĩ and his wife, Njeeri, were brutally assaulted in a very suspicious attack in their room inside a high security hotel. Ngũgĩ and Njeeri narrowly escaped with their lives.

During his time in exile, Ngũgĩ has worked with the London-based Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners in Kenya and he has taught at numerous universities around the world. From 1992 -2002, Ngũgĩ taught at New York University. It was during this period that Ngũgĩ discovered Revolution Books. Since 2002, Ngũgĩ has been teaching at the University of California, Irvine and has continued his work, including speaking at various universities and conferences around the world. In 2006, Ngũgĩ published Wizard of the Crow, a no-holds-barred and howlingly funny critique of modern day neo-colonialism and capitalism. He has also published two memoirs and other theoretical work, and he continues to write, teach and speak around the world today.

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

October 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

A message from
Cornel West and Carl Dix

Cornel West and Carl Dix

 

Brothers and sisters, fellow resisters:

You are beautiful. You have straightened your backs and can inspire millions of others.

The spirit of Rise Up must go forward—— and that spirit needs to be made manifest in STRUGGLE and ORGANIZATION.

Be out there on November 22, the anniversary of Tamir Rice's murder.

Be out there November 27, to actively boycott Black Friday.

Be out there December 3, one year after the cops who murdered Eric Garner were exonerated.

Be out there, making a powerful force of the voices of the relatives of those murdered by police.

Be out there, carrying forward the struggle to shut down Rikers Island.

And be there this next month, at organizing meetings of Rise Up.

POLICE MURDER AND TERROR MUST STOP!

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

www.stopmassincarceration.net / 646-709-1961

 

Download PDF of this statement

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Quentin Tarantino Interviewed by Michael Slate

October 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Quentin Tarantino was interviewed by Michael Slate while marching in October 24 Rise Up October: STOP POLICE TERROR.

When Black and Latino lives are being stolen by the police in epidemic numbers—we need more and more people saying this:

 

Listen to audio of this interview HERE.

Listen to Michael Slate interview Jamal Joseph, Eve Ensler, Kwame Anthony Appiah and Arturo O'Farrill HERE.

Michael Slate: I’m from KPFK in LA.

Quentin Tarantino: Hey!

Michael Slate: Can I talk to you? Ask you just a few questions as we are walking? All right. You came out on Thursday. And it was very moving... I was there just listening to those stories. Then you come out today and it’s pretty important that you are out here, that your voice is out here. What made you feel compelled to be here?

Quentin Tarantino meets Kimberly Griffin, whose son Kimoni Davis was killed by police, Times Square, October 22, at No More Stolen Lives: Say Their Names, A Public Reading and Remembrance--A Demand for Justice.Quentin Tarantino meets Kimberly Griffin, whose son Kimoni Davis was killed by police. No More Stolen Lives: Say Their Names, A Public Reading and Remembrance--A Demand for Justice, Times Square, October 22. AP photo

Quentin Tarantino: Well, what made me feel compelled basically is I’m a human being and I have a conscience. I’ve been sitting here and I’ve been watching. It’s been going on for a long time, but for the last year and a half it seems like you just see one Black and Brown man or woman killed... murdered by the police. Unarmed. And I believe that there is a problem in the police culture itself that is corrupt and the culture needs to be changed. And the thing about it is if I actually do feel that it is murder and it’s not extenuating circumstances, then I have an obligation to stand with the murdered against the murderers and that’s what I’m doin’ here.

Michael Slate: A lot of people have made the reference to genocide, a slow genocide yes... but a genocide that’s in formation and actually taking place as we go along. What do you think of that?

Quentin Tarantino: I think that makes a lot of sense. I mean, you know, to me the whole mass incarceration situation that’s been going on for the last 20 years, I think 30, 40 years from now people will call it “slavery, part 2.” American slavery, part 2. And that issue and this issue are married to each other, they are linked in arms. My job isn’t to be the most eloquent person speaking on this subject that there is. There’s a whole lot more people here more eloquent than me. But I can put my body here.

Stolen lives poster
Poster PDF (for print) color | black & white       JPG (full size, for web)

Michael Slate: And also it does make a difference that your voice is heard. There’s people in society that have disproportionate influence based on the work that they do, a lot of times, in your case in particular. So it makes it... no matter what it is it’s actually important when someone like you comes out and stands up and says, “Look, I see what’s going on. I can’t sit there and pretend I don’t.”

Quentin Tarantino: That’s the thing. One of the things about the movement that actually just means so much is that they have a powerful slogan: “Which side are you on?” If you’re not on our side, you’re on their side. There’s no straddling the fence. There’s no silent majority. There is none of that. You have to take a stand. If you believe it’s murder, then you gotta call it murder. And you gotta call the murderers, murderers.

Michael Slate: Absolutely. One more and then we’ll be through. Well, two more. One is this Niemoller quotes have been coming up in my mind a lot in relation to this. First they came for these people, but I didn’t say anything1. And it goes down the line. Then there’s a second one2 he talked about that a lot of people don’t talk about where he speaks to this last point that you made—What if... When he got out of the concentration camp, he said I have to think, what if we had stood up, what if we had spoken out, what if we had done something, think of how many lives might not have been taken

Quentin Tarantino: Oh, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s funny, a lot of people here involved in this movement, some of them are of very different minds about what should be done, and some of them are for all out revolution. I like the idea of that, but I don’t think that’s the only answer. I actually do think that massive resistance, which is what this is, can stop this, can put a pause in it, can put a second thought in it with these cops. And I do believe that there is a corrupt culture inside of the police force, that needs to be straightened out. They are just too authoritative. Nobody should be stopped and actually have no rights during that encounter until later. That’s just untenable.

Michael Slate: What would you say to people who hear your voice now, what would you say to them about what they need to be doing?

Quentin Tarantino: If you don’t believe the way we believe, well then you don’t and that’s where you stand. But if you believe where we’re comin’ from, and you believe that it is murder, and you believe people are being killed, then you have to say something. You have to join. You have to stand up. You have to join with us, and there’s a lot of different ways you can do that, but you need to. Because that’s the only way it’s going to stop.

Michael Slate: How actually do you see it being made to stop?

Quentin Tarantino: I actually do think that if this happens enough, and it actually becomes like a ’60s movement thing in a real way, which actually would be very interesting because the Civil Rights Movement was led by young people in the ’60s. This is being led by moms, this is being led by fathers, this is being led by family members and young people are catching up and that’s a really terrific thing. And so I think that it literally can be a situation, if it comes out there, then we can change the police force, we change the way the police academy teaches the police, and we can get rid of some of these cops. You should have a higher calling to be a cop. We expect our doctors to aspire to a higher calling, not just have a job. We expect the people who work... the paramedics and the ambulances, we expect them to aspire to a higher calling, not just have a job. And we need to expect that from the police. They’re not just having a job and things happen.

Michael Slate: Quentin Tarantino, thank you very much.


1. Poem by Martin Niemoller, a German pastor who opposed the Nazis:
First they came for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up. [back]

2. “We preferred to keep silent. We are certainly not without guilt or fault and I ask myself again and again, what would have happened, if in the year 1933 or 1934, 14,000 Protestant pastors and all Protestant communities in Germany had defended the truth until their deaths? If we had said back then, ‘It is not right when Hermann Göring simply puts 100,000 communists in concentration camps in order to let them die.’ I can imagine that perhaps 30,000 to 40,000 Protestant Christians would have had their heads cut off, but I can also imagine we would have rescued 30 to 40 million people, because that is what it [cost us].” [back]

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/michael-slate-interviews-at-rise-up-october-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Michael Slate Interviews at Rise Up October

Updated October 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

At the Saturday, October 24 Rise Up October rally and march, and at the Thursday, October 22 Say Their Names public reading and remembrance in Times Square, Michael Slate was able to catch up with a number of people to get their reasons for coming out, and their views on the epidemic of police terror and murder. Listen to some of those interviews here:

 

Quentin Tarantino:   Listen here | Read transcript

Jamal Joseph:   Listen here | Read transcript

Eve Ensler:   Listen here | Read transcript

Kwame Anthony Appiah:   Listen here | Read transcript

Arturo O'Farrill:   Listen here | Read transcript

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/October-22-Rise-Up-October-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Family members and representatives of the following victims of police murder spoke at Times Square:

 

Nicholas Heyward Jr.

 

Eric Garner

 

Akai Gurley

 

Aiyana Stanley-Jones

 

Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket

 

Terrence Kellum

 

Mohamed Bah

 

Jordan Baker

 

Ahjah Dixon

 

Meagan Hockaday

 

Kimoni Davis

 

Cinque "Q" DJahspora

 

David Silva

 

Janisha Fonville

 

Jonathan Ferrell

 

LaReko Williams

 

James Rivera Jr.

 

O'Shaine Evans

 

Nathaniel Wilks

 

Mario Romero

 

Richard Linyard

 

Daniel Covarrubias

 

Justus Howell

 

Darius Pinex

 

Dakota Bright

 

Freddie Latrice Wilson

 

Emmett Till

 

Gary Hopkins Jr.

 

John Collado

 

Angelo Miller

 

Kiana Nicole Blakey

 

Dontre Hamilton

 

Dale Graham

 

Tyrone West

 

No More Stolen Lives: Say Their Names

October 22, A Public Reading and Remembrance: A Demand for Justice

 

See coverage below (updated October 23).

 

Photos are being added as revcom.us receives them. If you were there and have photos please send them to revolution.reports@yahoo.com.

  • Jamal Joseph

    Lulu Fogarty, actress, playwright and co-producer, and Jamal Joseph, professor and filmmaker.

  • Tony Montenieri, and Eve Ensler, author and playwright

  • Nicholas Heyward

    Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr., 13, murdered by NYPD, 9/22/94

  • Sister Shirley on behalf of Eric Garner's family

    Sister Shirley on behalf of the family of Eric Garner, 44, choked to death by NYPD, July 17, 2014.

  • Religious Contingent

    Clergy from different religions stood with the families to Stop Police Terror.

  • Mertilla Jones, grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7 years old, murdered by Detroit police, May 16, 2010.

  • Reverend Phelps

    Rev. Stephen Phelps

  • Ma-hi-vist Goodblanket

    Simon Moya-Smith, for Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket, 18, killed by Custer County OK sheriffs, December 21, 2013.

  • Joshua Lopez

    Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, murdered by an undercover NYPD cop, September 6, 2011.

  • Hertensia Petersen, aunt of Akai Gurley, 28, murdered by NYPD on November 20, 2014.

  • Terrence

    Kevin Kellum and Yvette Johnson, father and step-mother of Terrence Kellum, 20, murdered by immigration police in Detroit, April 27, 2015.

  • Gbenga Akinnagbe and Artuo O'Farrill

    Gbenga Akinnagbe, actor (left), and Arturo O'Farrill, musician

  • Mother of Mohamed Bah

    Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah, 28, murdered by NYPD, September 25, 2012.

  • Mother of Ahjah Dixon

    Ishtyme Robinson, mother of Ahjah Dixon, 23, died in Corsicana TX police custody, March 4, 2010.

  • Meagan Hockaday cousin

    Mayesha, cousin of Meagan Hockaday, 26, killed by Oxnard CA police, March 28, 2015.

  • Kimoni Davis

    Kimberley Griffin, mother of Kimoni Davis, Murdered by Hanging Rock OH police, 6/29/15

  • Father of Cinque Djaspora

    L'Sana DJahspora, father of Cinque "Q" DJahspora, 20, killed by Jackson TN police, November 6, 2014.

  • Naomi Wallace and

    Playwrights Naomi Wallace (left) and Kia Corthron. Photo: Phillip Buehler

  • Chris Silva for David Sal Silva

    Chris Silva, brother of David Sal Silva, 33, beaten to death by Bakersfield CA police, May 8, 2013.

  • Janisha Fonville

    Paris Bey, cousin of Janisha Fonville, 20, murdered by Charlotte NC police, February 18, 2015.

  • Jonathan Ferrell's Mother

    Georgia Ferrell, mother of Jonathan Ferrell, 24, killed by Charlotte Mecklenburg County NC police, September 14, 2013.

  • LaReko Williams' family

    Meko, Lavic, Lameka, Tameka, Family of LaReko Williams, 21, tasered to death by Charlotte NC police, July 20, 2011.

  • Rev McCorry

    Raquel Almazon, actor, and Reverend Jerome McCorry

  • James Rivera's Mother

    Dionne Downs, mother of James Rivera, 16 years old, murdered by Stockton CA police, July 22, 2010.

  • O'Shaine

    Cadine Williams, sister of O'Shaine Evans, killed by San Francisco PD in October 7, 2014

  • Nathaniel Wilks

    Chemika Hollis, partner of Nate Wilks, killed by Oakland police August 12, 2015

  • Cindy Mitchell's sister

    Cyndi Mitchell, sister of Mario Romero, 23, murdered by Vallejo, CA police, September 2, 2012.

  • Jessica Gatewood

    Jessica Gatewood, mother of Richard Linyard Jr., 23, murdered by Oakland police after a "routine traffic stop," July 19, 2015.

  • Mother of Daniel Covarrubius

    Lanna, Elijah, and Marilyn Covarrubias, for Daniel Covarrubius, 37, killed by Lakewood WA police, April 21, 2015.

  • Lawyer and Philosopher

    Civil rights attorney Martin Garbus (left) and ethicist and professor Kwame Anthony Appiah

  • Latoya Howell

    LaToya Howell, mother of Justus Howell, 17 years old, killed by Zion IL police, April 4, 2015.

  • Darius Pinex

    Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex, 27, murdered by Chicago police, January 7, 2011. Also in picture are Darius' three brothers.

  • Airicka Gordon-Taylor, Emmett Till's cousin

    Airickca Gordon-Taylor, cousin of Emmett Till (1941-1955), lynched by white racists in Money MS, at the age of 14.

  • Gary

    Marion Hopkins, mother of Gary Hopkins Jr., 19, murdered by Prince George's County, MD police, November 27, 1999.

  • Quentin Tarantino and Gina Bellafonte

    Quentin Tarantino (left) and Gina Belafonte. Photo: Phillip Beuhler

  • Brother of Kianna Blakely

    Art Blakey, Brother of Kiana Nicole Blakey, 17, killed by Cleveland police, 1989.

  • Parents of Dontre Hamilton

    Maria and Nate Hamilton, mother and brother of Dontre Hamilton, 31, murdered by Milwaukee WI police, April 30, 2014.

  • Tyrone West

    Family, for Tyrone West, 44, murdered by Baltimore police, July 18, 2013

  • Tyrone West

    Tawanda Jones (speaking), sister of Tyrone West, 44, murdered by Baltimore police, July 18, 2013. At left, Gloria Pinex, mother of Darius Pinex, 27, murdered by Chicago police, January 7, 2011.

  • Darlene Cain, Mother of Dale Graham

    Darlene Cain, mother of Dale Graham, 29, killed by Baltimore police, October 28, 2008.

  • Carl Dix

    Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA

  • Families - Phillip Buehler

    Hertencia Petersen, aunt of Akai Gurley, 28, murdered by NYPD on November 20, 2014; Mertilla Jones (at mic), grandmother of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, murdered by Detroit police on May 16, 2010; Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr., murdered by NYPD on September 22, 1994. Photo: Phillip Buehler

  • Banner brought from San Francisco to Say Their Names

  • October 22

    Crowd at Times Square, October 22. Photo: Phillip Beuhler

"Don't hide behind the lies, don't hide behind the blinds..."

Times Square, NYC: Saying Their Names & Demanding a STOP to Police Terror

The truth: An epidemic of police murder and terror. The DEMAND: It must STOP! The message broke into the light of day from a stage in the middle of Times Square in New York City, and before the world, on October 22.

No More Stolen Lives: #SayTheirNames was an unprecedented event. It was a coming together of more than 30 family members, loved ones, and representatives of victims of police brutality from around the country, together with prominent voices of conscience. It launched three days of Rise Up October, leading up to the National March to STOP Police Terror on October 24 in New York City.

People came to share the stories and outrages, pain and anger of losing a loved one. They came to support each other, and have the backs of those fighting for justice. They exposed the crimes of the police, and shined a bright light on the epidemic of STATE TERROR especially against Black people, Latinos, and Native Americans. Most of all, they courageously came to STAND UP and FIGHT and to call on others to do that until police terror is brought to a stop.

~~~~~~~~~~

Early in the day, Nicholas Heyward, Sr. stepped to the front of the stage. His 13-year-old son, Nicholas Jr., was murdered by police in 1994 for playing with a toy gun. Nicholas Sr. shared the pain of that loss with courage. And he didn’t stop there. He issued a challenge that would echo across the world from the center of NYC: “We are talking about innocent lives that are taken constantly and the police never, never are held accountable. Enough of these officers killing our children. We need to put a stop to it. It don’t matter which one they bring into office, we still have to suffer these injustices to our children and that is something we need to put a stop to.”

Darius Pinex’s 2011 murder by Chicago police was covered up by a massive conspiracy of lies by the Chicago police and other city officials. His brother said: “People don’t know what we go through at the crib, thinking about the loved ones I lost, the ones you lost. For people to just keep saying, ‘Oh, he pointed a gun at me,’ or ‘I saw a shimmer, oooh’ they just steady lyin’ goin’ with the same excuse, steady over and over. And nobody pays attention, and nobody cares. Just ‘That’s what he did.’ That’s bogus man. Thank y’all for coming out. Justice for all y’all. Justice for Darius Pinex! Justice for Dakota Bright! Justice for Tamir Rice! Justice for everybody! Rise up October!”

The loved ones of victims of police terror came from all over New York City and beyond—from Cleveland and Detroit, from Oklahoma and Oakland, and everywhere in between. There was a contingent of clergy, representing in their vestments. They were joined by prominent voices of conscience. Artists contributed powerful works. Hundreds gathered to listen in Times Square, increasingly drawn into saying the names of victims as they were challenged to do so from the stage.

LaToya Howell is the mother of Justus Howell, 17 years old, killed by Zion, Illinois,  police, April 4, 2015. She said: “The first thing they tell you when they kill one of our youth is ‘I fear for my life.’ What are you trying to force us to do? Because we fear for our lives every day. Every day we send our child outside those doors we fear for our lives. We’re shown on TV, we’re shown on computers, we hear from word of mouth, we hear it all—that your child can be killed by the way that they look, walk, or talk.”

And she issued a challenge: “I am Justus Howell and I stand for all of our youth and loved ones. I want y’all to go home and think it over. Because today is the first day of the rest of your lives. And I need y’all to be a part of the solution. If you have a mouth, speak about change. If you have eyes, use them to see this bullshit. Don’t hide behind the lies, don’t hide behind the blinds and act such as you are blind. I see this every day and I have to live it every single day, and the pain never goes away. These are not just pictures and posters, these were people breathing, living their lives dreams and their compassion for people. My son and your son, I will fight for the rest of my life. No justice no peace!”

~~~~~~~~~~

Prominent voices of conscience read names of victims of police terror, told their stories, and lent their moral and physical presence to the day: actress and playwright Lulu Fogarty; graduate theology student Nkosi Anderson; professor, artist, and activist Jamal Joseph; Eve Ensler, creator of The Vagina Monologues, and Tony Montenieri; Rev. Stephen Phelps; actress Raquel Almazan; Rev. Jerome McCorry; playwrights Kia Corthron and Naomi Wallace; philosopher and novelist Kwame Anthony Appiah; civil rights attorney Martin Garbus; director Quentin Tarantino; activist Gina Belafonte; and Carl Dix, co-initiator of Rise Up October and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

Martin Garbus told the story of the murder of Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton in 1969—a political assassination of a freedom fighter and revolutionary by the Chicago police and the FBI. Eve Ensler ended saying “Can we just take a moment to think about each of these lives, each of these very real people, and hold them in our hearts for a second.” And after a moment of silence, she threw her fist in the air and challenged everyone: “Rise up to end police brutality and murder!”

For four hours in Times Square, the picture came more and more sharply into focus: A toy gun... A man walking down housing project stairs when the elevator wasn’t working... A seven-year-old child sleeping on a couch... Someone in desperate need of mental health care and compassion... MURDERED. The sadistic randomness... The insulting and absurd excuses... The systemic pattern of targeting Black, Latino, and Native American people for nothing...The pervasiveness of police terror... The fact that over and over and over, these murdering police are exonerated if not promoted.

~~~~~~~~~~

Searing testimony and stories from the loved ones of those killed by police and voices of conscience, including voices that rooted the current epidemic of police terror and murder in the genocide, slavery, and Jim Crow oppression, and in the persecution of immigrants that are the history of this country.

Airickca Gordon-Taylor spoke. She is a cousin of Emmett Till, who was tortured and brutally murdered by white racists in Mississippi 60 years ago for whistling at a white woman. She described the vicious, horrific way Emmett Till was tortured to death. And then declared: “This is still Emmett Till! What we have going on today, instead of hiding behind white hoods, cops are hiding behind their badges. This is a system with the new Jim Crow, it’s no different. And if we don’t rise up, it’s never gonna change. It’s up to us to make a change! Rise up! Rise up! Rise up!”

~~~~~~~~~~

Over the morning, the stories were told of about 250—out of literally thousands of people murdered by the police. And what was revealed was far, far more than enough to indict a whole damn system whose police are not there to protect and serve, but to enforce a world of slavery and oppression.

No More Stolen Lives: #Say Their Names—A Public Reading and Remembrance: A Demand for Justice was the kick off for three days of Rise Up October. It took place on the 20th anniversary of the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, along with a protest later in the day in Brooklyn, and marches in other cities across the country.

In the face of lies and denial, whitewashing and threats, the stand of the families, the voices of conscience, the activists, organizers, and volunteers was absolutely necessary, courageous, and inspiring. It set a standard for everyone to rise to, stand on, and advance off of in the three days of Rise Up October, and the battle to bring an end, once and for all, to a situation where—among all the other horrors—every Black, Latino, and Native American child is born with a death sentence hanging over their head.

 

Chicago October 22, 2015

Chicago, October 22. Photo: Frank James Johnson

 

 

See reports of October 22 National Day of Protest in Brooklyn, NYC, and across the country.

Read more


 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/reports-from-october-22-national-day-of-protest-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Reports from October 22—20th Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation

October 23, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

These are reports we've received from cities about October 22 protests around the country. We will add other reports as we receive them.

 

Rally and March in Brooklyn: Fierceness, Anger, and Determination to STOP Murder by Police

On October 22, in New York City, about 200 people rallied in Brooklyn for the 20th anniversary of the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

There was a fierceness and anger in the spirit of the crowd and in the rally—a determination to be heard, to shout out loud that this rampant police murder MUST STOP. This was brought home very powerfully when the parents of those whose loved ones have been killed by the police took the microphone and spoke from the heart, with passion and tremendous anger. There were at least a dozen family members at the rally, coming from New York City and other cities, who had taken part in the public reading of names of lives stolen by the police in Times Square earlier in the day.

One of the first groups to show up was a contingent of 25-30 students from St. Anne’s High School. The group, mainly white, all marched in together. At least one teacher from the school also came with them. One student said, “This is something I hadn’t thought about much but I should, it’s a big problem.” Another said what’s happening to Black people is genocide. There were other high school and college students at the rally as well and many others, including a group who came together from Housing Works, a social service agency that works with people with AIDS and the homeless. About half a dozen transgender people came together from the Audre Lorde Project. There was a banner expressing solidarity with the Palestinian people’s struggle.

There were a number of other speakers and cultural performances, including a nine-year-old reading a poem about police brutality and an older Black man playing the violin and singing a song about those who have been killed by the police. Rev. Jerome McCorry, who heads up the national faith task force for Rise Up October, spoke, calling on ALL the churches, Black and white, saying that there was no excuse for them not to join this struggle. Carl Dix, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-initiator of Rise Up October, called on people to look at the pictures of loved ones killed by the police, and to think about the fact that this is just a drop in the bucket of the people killed by police. He said this is an illegitimate system and called on everyone to come out on Saturday to march in the streets to demand a stop to this police terror.

After the rally, people marched through the streets to Barclays Center for a short rally.

All Photos: Special to revcom.us

Chicago

Chicago October 22, 2015

Above and below, Chicago, October 22, 2015. National Day of Protest. Photos: Frank James Johnson

More than 70 people gathered at the James A. Thompson Center in downtown Chicago for a spirited “Say Their Names” protest. The crowd formed a circle to represent how the thousands in New York City on October 24 will figuratively “form a circle” around the families of police murder victims. Each person in the circle read three names of stolen lives, chanting “Say Their Names” after each name, and a pot and pan were banged after each reading in the spirit of the Mothers of the Disappeared in Argentina. There was a contingent of 25 mainly Black youths from a high school. One of the young women had a handmade sign against the police murder of her boyfriend by the Chicago PD this summer. Also participating were 25 people from Save Our Sons and Daughters—a community organization from the West Side—and some college students, including seven or eight students from the University of Dubuque, Iowa, who were in a class studying social protest and drove three hours to be part of October 22. Speakers of conscience included Unity Lutheran Church Reverend Emily Heitzman, pastor with Youth and Households Edgewater Congregations Together, who called for more “holy anger” at the systemic racism in America. The crowd joined together to sing “I Can’t Breathe” and “Hell You Talmbout.”

Chicago October 22, 2015

Then the youths marched through downtown bursting with energy and defiance, chanting “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail, the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” The high school youths were boldly in your face to the police; one youth shouted, “You talk about Black-on-Black crime, how about Blue-on-Black crime?” A number of people on the street joined in the march and came to the final rally where people spoke out against the crimes of police and why we have to Rise Up October. Several people signed up for the bus to New York City on the spot.

Cleveland October 22, 2015

Cleveland

Fifty people assembled in front of the Justice Center in Cleveland to read hundreds of names of a small portion of the people killed by the police in the past 10-plus years from all over the country. Many people came up and read, from a family member, to a Black professional singer, to people organizing in the Black community, to white middle class activists, to Black people from the bottom, and a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party. And some of the people reading are coming to Rise Up October in New York City. We had many posters of people killed by the police from Cleveland and many Stolen Lives posters. There was a serious and determined feeling among the people there that the police killing is indeed an epidemic and part of genocide against Black and Brown people and only we the people can stop it.

The readings were interspersed with two vocalists; the readings went on for almost two hours. A Black man who is part of Rise Up October summed it up this way: “People need to hear the names. It could be any of us, our family, our children. If you don’t do something it will probably be one of our names, family members or someone we know. They kill people and no one is accountable. If we commit crimes we are held accountable. I fear for my life. For us Black and Brown people it’s modern-day slavery, a way of controlling.” Brenda Bickerstaff, a Black woman whose brother was killed by police and whose niece died in police custody a few months ago, said, “[We are] reading names so people cannot forget and have a constant reminder. We are tired of putting these pictures on posters.” A young white activist said, “Reading the names reminded us of why we are going to NYC.” At different points people called on others to get on the bus and be in NYC on October 24 to declare that the police terror must stop, and “which side are you on?” has to be a rallying cry throughout society.

Seattle

Seattle October 22, 2015 Seattle October 22, 2015

Photos: special to Revolution

The October 22 protest in Seattle was riveting and inspiring. Black and white youths, Native Americans, middle class white people, basic people of different nationalities, students from community colleges and art schools and others lined up to read the names and stories of cherished people who have been ripped from their families and us by police murder. April Nation, the aunt of James Whiteshield, told the horrifying story of her nephew’s beating and murder in jail in Seattle. Jamilla Gardner told of how the police stole away the life of her dear friend Victor Duffy Jr. As the stories were read of the people lost, their lives and the horror done to them, youths openly wept and people shook their heads in disbelief. The “Say Their Names” went on for an hour. People were welded into a determination to take this out to the streets and to people, to challenge them about which side they are on in the face of this genocide. People took off in a defiant, spirited, and youthful march through downtown, marching down main streets and disrupting traffic, singing “Hell You Talmbout” and other songs and everywhere saying the names of those lost to police terror.

 

Los Angeles

 

Atlanta

Atlanta October 22, 2015

Houston

Houston October 22, 2015

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/a-shout-out-to-the-courageous-fighters-who-put-their-bodies-on-the-line-to-shut-down-rikers-island-prison-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

A Shout-out to the Courageous Fighters Who Put Their Bodies on the Line to Shut Down Rikers Island Prison

Updated October 24, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Rikers Island Prison Shutdown October 23, 2015

See photos of the action and statements from courageous resisters HERE

Watch the rally and action at Rikers



The torture chamber and debtors prison known as Rikers Island was, for about an hour, shut down on the morning of Friday, October 23! Seventeen courageous freedom fighters, in a demonstration of civil disobedience, sat and laid in front of the only entry to the dungeon and were arrested. And about 100 others gathered around them chanting, "We Are Kalief Browder," "Rikers, Rikers, Shut It Down! This audacious and historic action made a powerful statement: we're not going to stop until the epidemic of systematic mass incarceration and police terror end.

An incredibly powerful rally on the street leading to Rikers fueled everyone's determination to shut it down. The reality of this prison: where 85 percent of the prisoners have not been convicted on their charges, but waste away for months, even years in Rikers awaiting trial, as happened to Kalief Browder; the people who died because of the actions and inactions of prison authorities; the torture, cruelty, and indifference routinely meted out to prisoners and their families. All this and more was exposed and condemned.

But even more, speaker after speaker—students who agonized over committing civil disobedience for the first time, and decided they must; "Raging Grannies" who sang a song of protest against mass incarceration; families who lost loved ones to police murder and traveled from across the country to contribute to Rise Up October—expressed a fierce determination to STOP this shit, and challenged others in society to take a stand.

The people committed to civil disobedience laid down in front of the gate to Rikers. In front of them, beautiful enlarged portraits of people killed by police, including 11 who had died at Rikers; around them, about 100 witnesses, determined to carry forward the fight for Rise Up October and to shut down Rikers. Rikers Island is an abomination, an atrocity. It is a concentration of the horrific abuse this system routinely, daily inflicts on Black and Latino youth. The heroes who sat in and laid down at the gates of Rikers have put a challenge in front of anyone with a conscience and a sense of justice

Reverend Jerome McCorry, a leader of Rise Up October and a witness to the Rikers Island civil disobedience, said, "I think this is fantastic. It's going exactly the way it should have gone. The people are sick and tired of being sick and tired. And today all this changes. This dynamic weekend, this Rise Up October, will always be remembered as the October that change is made. And it's going to happen exactly like this."

All of those arrested were released late Friday night. Call the NYC Mayor's office at 212-788-1400 and Queens County DA Office at 718-286-6000 to demand the dropping of all charges on the protesters.

Rikers Island Prison Shutdown October 23 2015 Rikers Island Prison Shutdown October 23, 2015

All photos: Special to Revolution

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/voices-of-conscience-step-up-in-defense-of-quentin-tarantino-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Voices of Conscience Step Up in Defense of Quentin Tarantino and Condemn the Police Union Threats and Boycott

Updated November 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Rise Up October to Stop Police Terror, three days of beautiful and powerful resistance, involved people from many different perspectives who recognize that stopping the epidemic of police terror and murder will take struggle and protest. Families of those killed by police murder, voices of conscience, clergy, students, revolutionaries and others joined together to say Police Terror Must Stop and challenged many others: Which Side Are You On?

Quentin Tarantino and Gina Bellafonte read names of those murdered by police

October 22, 2015, Quentin Tarantino and Gina Belafonte at No More Stolen Lives: #SayTheirNames in Times Square. Patrick Lynch, head of the New York Police Brutality Association (PBA), has called for a boycott and made other threats in response to Tarantino's firm stand against police who are murderers. Photo: Special to Revolution

For his participation in this mobilization, Quentin Tarantino has come under attack. Patrick Lynch, the head of the Policeman's Brutality Association (PBA) called for a boycott of Tarantino’s films. Police unions in LA, Philadelphia, and New Jersey have joined this call. The proven-racist, ex-cop Mark Fuhrman has gone even further, calling for police to deny Tarantino permits or protection to do filming.

The following are statements responding to this attack:

Carl Dix, co-initiator of Rise Up October, representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party
The police threats against Quentin Tarantino amount to a mafia-style protection racket, only the payoff being demanded is toeing a political line, not cash. "Don't dare criticize police who kill people, or we'll make it impossible for you to work in our towns." It is aimed at sending a message, not just to Tarantino, but to anyone whose voice carries great weight in society: "if you speak out, we will come after you, threaten your livelihood and attempt to scare you back into silence." They want the people who suffer the brunt of this brutality alone and ignored. This is unacceptable.

Video after video has shown unarmed Black, Latino, and Native Americans being tazed, stomped, brutalized, and shot in the back by police and almost never are the police even indicted. What kind of society allows this? What does it say when those who raise their voices against this are the ones who come under attack?

We must not allow the intimidation or silencing of those who use their influence to shine a light on the epidemic of police terror. Artists need to be able to express themselves on progressive causes without fear of retribution and attack. We will have Tarantino's back and call on others to join with us.

Cornel West, co-initiator of Rise Up October, Professor of Philosophy and Christian Practice at Union Theological Seminary
Can we keep the focus on what I, Brother Carl Dix, Brother Quentin Tarantino, Sister Eve Ensler, and THOUSANDS of others tried to do—a moral focus on the unnecessary deaths of those killed by police. Of course the killing of police is wrong but the killers do go to prison. Ought not policemen go to prison when they kill us?

Cornel West and Carl Dix on the Brian Lehrer show on WNYC on Rise Up October, the attacks on Quentin Tarantino, the FBI director's claim video keeps police from doing their jobs, and the struggle to stop police terror. Listen here (first 18 minutes of the segment).

Statement by Hector Villagra, Executive Director of the ACLU of Southern California, in Support of Quentin Tarantino’s Condemnation of Police Killings

So far this year, police in the United States have killed 970 people. The number of people killed by police in Germany and the United Kingdom combined is two. To be sure, the U.S. population is larger than that of Germany and the U.K.—about 2.5 times larger—but not hundreds of times larger.

We are in the midst of a crisis. But it’s not just about deadly policing. It’s about deadly and biased policing. People of color make up less than 38 percent of the population but a startling two thirds of the unarmed people killed by police. This year police have shot and killed an unarmed black man every five days, according to a running tally in the Guardian newspaper. Each death shows just how painfully far our nation remains from equality and brings us back to the same crossroads.

Are we going to accept a deeply divided nation where only some can trust the police? Are we willing to accept that growing up black in this country too often means being vulnerable to the brutality of racism, even by police? The answer should be clear. We cannot remain coldly silent and ignore what is happening.

Quentin Tarantino has decided that he will not be silent or ignore what is happening. He has spoken out, as is his right, in the strongest terms against the biased policing that has led to this sickening tide of fatalities. Organizations representing police officers immediately distorted Mr. Tarantino’s comments, suggesting he was referring to all officers and calling him a “cop hater.” Police unions, as is their right, have called for a boycott of Mr. Tarantino’s films.

The ACLU of Southern California stands with Mr. Tarantino and supports his condemnation of those police officers who have killed unarmed citizens who pose no threat. He has given voice to the frustrations of millions of Americans who stand for justice, and we raise our voice with his, speaking up as we have for decades to make it very clear that we condemn not the police, but police brutality and challenge the conspiracy of silence around police abuse.

Ilan Pappé, historian and social activist
A country in which artists are not allowed freedom of expression, while the police are free to profile, discriminate and even kill innocent civilians just because of their race and color is a Guantanamo country. It is a place where millions of people are faceless and can be arrested, wounded and killed without hesitation or fear of restitution. The right of Quentin Tarantino to express himself freely in his films equals his right to protest publicly against police brutality. Denying either right or both will retain the USA in the eyes of the world as a Guantanamo state.

Ed Asner, actor
There is no freedom of speech and evidently Quentin Tarantino thought there was. He was wrong. You don’t wave that red flag in front of cops and the world of policedom, including that savant Commissioner Bratton. This has come down on Tarantino’s head. Regrettably. Enough gas has been emitted. I think the demonstrations in New York protesting the many killings demonstrate this most important factor—that the training and education of police throughout the country has to be greatly improved and intensified so that the instances of trigger happy shootings will diminish.

Viggo Mortensen, actor:
[from interview on Democracy Now] I saw both the clip of what he said on the 24th of October, and I saw him on All In last night with Chris Hayes, and I thought that Quentin Tarantino knocked it out of the park in his interview last night. He clearly saw what anybody with eyes on their head could see in certain videos. Fortunately, those certain events were videotaped, of police brutality. He was commenting, like the people, the families of those who had been slain by police officers—unarmed people, you know. In some cases, those acts have been condemned, you know, have been called murder. And in other cases, they have controversially not been—what happened on Staten Island, you know, recently, and in other places, even though they were videotaped, and all could see what was going on.

David Zeiger, filmmaker, tweeted:
Yes...it is murder. I call on my fellow documentarians to #SideWithQuentin

Gina Belafonte, Sankofa.org co-director, tweeted:
Defeat attempts at censorship and silencing. celebrities speak out and #SideWithQuentin

Simon Moya-Smith, Native American writer and activist, tweeted:
I #SideWithQuentin. #BlackLivesMatter & #NativeLivesMatter are not anti-police. We are in opposition to systemic oppression of ppl of color.

Michael Moore, filmmaker, Instagrammed:
Quentin Tarantino, a brave and good American, standing with families who've lost loved ones to police violence. Now certain police, the same ones who defend the cops who've killed unarmed innocent black citizens, are out to get Tarantino. They've called for a boycott of his movies. Really? I think just the opposite. I think millions of us not only stand with Tarantino, we're going to make sure we go see his next movie! Who's with me? Stay strong Quentin. They're just frightened and in shock that a well-known and respected white guy would dare to speak out.

Robert Meeropol, founder, Rosenberg Fund for Children
Police departments in the United States have been militarized. The police in many communities, particularly when dealing with people of color, act as an occupying army and treat residents as the enemy. The shooting and killing of unarmed people of color, terrorizing those communities, is the inevitable result. The police violence must stop, and the police in question must be brought to account. Public protest against such police violence is the right thing to do. The protesters, whether they are Hollywood personalities or the average person on the street, should be commended, not attacked, for their actions. Efforts by police fraternal organizations to intimidate them must be resisted. Police violence and intimidation are incompatible with the free, just and democratic society we aspire to.

Sudie Gordon, Founder/Gloria Norwood, Co-Founder, Support for Families and Friends of Murdered Victims (November 9, 2015)

As Founder and Co-Founder of Support for Families and Friends of Murdered Victims, located in Waukegan, IL, it is with pride and determination that we stand behind Mr. Quentin Tarantino in his bold and courageous stand against police brutality and killings.  

Through our mission, we have witnessed much of the violence by police that Mr. Tarantino is speaking about. In the Lake County area that we live in we have families that come to our support group attempting to find others who have been affected and to unite as kindred spirits who are grieving because of the loss of a loved one. We attempt to sympathize, love and share whatever resources may be helpful in giving these families strength. 

We personally feel that Mr. Tarantino is an asset to this country, both as a member of society and as a iconic movie producer.  

Thank you Mr. Tarantino...from the bottom of our hearts...

Jamie Foxx, actor
When Foxx had the stage to present an award at the Hollywood Film Awards on November 1, referring to Quentin Tarantino's words at the Rise Up October demonstration, Foxx told him to: "Keep telling the truth, keep speaking the truth and don't worry about none of the haters."

Joyce Carol Oates, author, tweeted:
It should not require unusual courage to protest police brutality as Quentin Tarantino has done but, evidently, it does.
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Ironic that police defending police brutality plan to boycott violent Tarantino films.

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Despite threat of police boycott of literary novels, poetry, & belles lettres we are bravely supporting Quentin Tarantino.

Tom Morello, musician, tweeted:
Proud of Quentin Tarantino 4standing w/police brutality opponents. Bullying by FOP to silence the truth is typical. Would Django apologize?!

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RATM OFTEN boycotted by police 4 speaking truth. Fuck ticket sales/Oscar backlash. Tell the truth Quentin & let the chips fall where they may

Peter Biskind, cultural critic, film historian, journalist 
Good for Quentin Tarantino for joining the RiseUpOctober demo and incurring the wrath of the rabid police unions.

Roland Martin, radio host, tweeted:
Cops are upset that someone with #QuentinTarantino’s stature would stand w/those of us against police abuse. @Carl_Dix on #RolandMartinShow

Billy Corben, director of Cocaine Cowboys, tweeted:
Tarantino didn’t call all cops murderers. He said: if you murder, you’re a murderer. Regardless of your occupation.

Martin Garbus, civil rights lawyer
Quentin Tarantino is to be complimented and acknowledged for his truthful remarks at the rally [on October 24, 2015]. He accurately helped describe a terrible problem in America today. We should support him, not chastise him, for using his voice in the defense of freedom.

Charles Burnett, filmmaker
I can't say enough about Tarantino. He said what needed to be said. I hope his rage encourages all of us to speak out against genocide. When his new film opens, I will be there to show my support.

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, and Quentin Tarantino march with families representing people murdered by police

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West and Quentin Tarantino in march on October 24 with families of people murdered by police. Photo: Special to Revolution

Arturo O'Farrill, Grammy award winning jazz musician, Advisory Board, Rise Up October
Last time I checked this was a free nation in which an artist, or any citizen, was allowed to speak their mind without fear of retribution. Calling for the boycott of Mr. Tarantino's work is within the rights of free speech just as Quentin's statements were. Calling for obstruction to his business is probably illegal. One does not have to agree with Mr. Tarantino's terminology to see that the discharge of a weapon is serious business, and when we see the remarkable numbers of unarmed citizens fired upon by police officers, one must speak out. You don't have to agree with anything anyone says publicly but the premise of this nation is the idea that we have an inalienable right to question how we are governed. It is the foundation of the American revolution and constitution, and all of our subsequent liberties.

National Coalition Against Censorship (http://ncac.org/blog/quentin-tarantino-the-nypd-and-the-first-amendment/)
Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino exercised his First Amendment rights by speaking at a New York City protest against police brutality. At the October 24 event, he denounced "police terror," and reportedly said this: "I have to call a murder a murder, and I have to call the murderers the murderers."

In response, Patrick Lynch, the head of New York's Patrolmen's Benevolent Association union, called Tarantino a "cop-hater" and said that it was "time for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino's films." A union affiliated with the Los Angeles Police Department has reportedly endorsed the boycott as well.

The union has as much as right to disagree with Tarantino's speech as the filmmaker has to denounce police brutality. But one would hope that police officials would take care not to ignore the constitutional rights of people with whom they disagree. Lynch's statement says that Tarantino "has no business coming to our city" to express himself. He most certainly does have such rights. That a law enforcement official would suggest otherwise sends a very disturbing message that is antithetical to basic free speech principles. Indeed, in light of the police department’s unfortunate history of violating the rights of peaceful protesters, Lynch would do well to remind officers of their obligation to respect the legal rights of even those with whom they disagree.

Peter Coyote, actor and writer
One has to wonder why the statements of a private citizen who is articulating that he has a conscience and is against killing; who speaks critically of police killings which are nearly extra-judicial—consider the shooting of a man in a wheel chair; threatening to “light-up” a woman pulled over for failing to signal, throwing an undisciplined student over backwards in her chair—or any of the hundreds of questionable murders by police now being questioned by citizens because they have cell-phones and can show the world what an undisciplined law officer can do. I don’t understand why this generates formal protests from a police union, for instance, as if the members have all voted and are in accord with seeking financial retribution against a citizen exercising his constitutional rights. Wake up people. It could be any one of us under the gun next time. Police are employees, and until their employers tell them STOP! Enough! We need to understand that that silence is actually a dog-whistle signal to a quiet constituency that is afraid to speak up about their deep fears of African-American men. What is that dog whistle signal? It’s simple. It is, “We’re not gonna let them get you.” And they prove it daily. Until their fellow officers stand up the crazies and until their employers—the mayors, boards of supervisors, governors etc. say, “STOP” it will continue. It will only be a matter of time before some people begin to fight back. That’s a bad future to look forward to. Good for Quentin Tarantino. Shame on those who do NOT speak.

Jen Marlowe, author, filmmaker, playwright 
It's absolutely unconscionable that Quentin Tarantino should face intimidation and threats for speaking out about state murder. As an artist—as a citizen—Mr. Tarantino's right to free speech and to dissent must be protected, not attacked.

Shaul Schwarz, filmmaker—Narco Cultura, Southern Rites 
Police brutality in this country is an urgent problem and the last thing that journalists, artists and filmmakers, should be, is bullied to not say what they think, this is exactly what is done now to Tarantino and I think it's a disgrace.

Bill Ayers, Movement Reimagining Change
Praise to Quentin Tarantino for adding his voice against the serial assassination of Black people by the militarized armed forces of the state. When the Top Cop in the country, FBI Director James B. Comey, gets into a blue rage and goes on a public relations rampage, claiming that the police are being sidelined by scrutiny, blaming the victims of police murder, their allies, and the activists who rally in the name of justice and humanity, it’s high time everyone—residents, citizens, artists, activists—stand and be counted.

Comey’s out front with a clear statement about a particularly perverse police perspective on public safety and the place of the cops in a free society: let the cops loose everywhere; let them do what they do without oversight or constraint or citizen/community scrutiny; don’t watch; trust us. If they would just stop watching, things would be fine.

Good for Quentin Tarantino.

Taigen Dan Leighton, Zen Buddhist teacher, priest, scholar, and author:
The Black Lives Matter movement and Rise Up October is a nonviolent reasonable response to the urgent need for change in the face of weekly or more incidents of murder or brutalization by police of unarmed African-Americans. This horrible pattern of police violence against African-Americans is a threat to all citizens. I deeply respect and congratulate Quentin Tarantino for his participation and support of this demonstration. He represents me and many other "white" Americans who are morally alarmed at this pattern of police violence, but could not be present ourselves at this event. At a time when our society urgently needs a respectful, unprejudiced, responsible police force to protect all citizens, regardless of race, I am further alarmed at the police officials threatening boycott and even suppression of Mr. Tarantino's creative work and livelihood. We must protect the rights of all citizens to speak our truth, and we must work together to heal the violence in our society. This attack against Quentin Tarantino only increases the problem, and reflects poorly on our police forces.

Roshi Pat O’Hara—Zen Buddhist priest and New Yorker:
I am saddened by the reactivity and ignorance of the police, who are supposed to serve as agents of our government, that is, our employees. We need more citizens like Tarantino who will have the courage to speak up against the violence and injustice routinely visited upon people of color. The police should be thanking Tarantino for his citizenship and concern!

See also at revcom.us: "Quentin Tarantino Interviewed by Michael Slate" and "Moya-Smith: Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Sends Message to Mother of Slain Native American."


Statements from families of victims of police murder who were some of the 100 families who were in NY for Rise Up October.

Paris Bey, cousin of Janisha Fonville, murdered by Charlotte, NC police, February 2015
Quentin Tarantino means a lot to us - at Rise Up October, he wasn't just a film director or a public face - he was a person who cares what cops are doing to us and to all the families. He's not afraid to lose endorsements and he is not scared of boycotts. He walked with us the whole time, speaking with us, hearing us. He gets big ups for that and a lot of respect. And it pushes our movement forward! Yes, the media focuses on his involvement in Rise Up October... but... WHY was he there? He was there for the victims who have lost loved ones to murder by police. We should boycott the police and promote Quentin Tarantino movies, because he cares about the community. The media can put out the positive, but they don't, it's all negativity. The police unions call for a boycott! It's all negativity. Tarantino called the murders murder and the murderers the murderers. The fact is he stood up for us. He put himself out on a limb for us. We are behind him 100%, no ifs, ands or buts. Hollywood A-listers worry about becoming D-listers and don't want to lose their livelihood or money. Hollywood: what is wrong is wrong and what is right is right. We are being shot down. Stand up for justice. The platform you have is powerful. You have the power to change everything. Which side are you on?

Marilyn Covarrubias, mother of Daniel Covarrubias, who was murdered by police in Lakewood, Washington in April 2015
It took a lot of guts, a lot of heart, for Quentin Tarantino to come out and speak [about] the killings that have been happening. And I have much love for him, because he didn't need to do that but he did it. And when his movies come out I'll come see them 5 or 6 times that night. And I'll invite everyone else I know to come see them too. Because I love that man for doing that.

L'Sana DJahspora, father of Cinque "Q" DJahspora, murdered by Jackson, Tennessee police, November 2014
Quentin Tarantino at Rise Up October—Stop Murder by Police! I am impressed that Quentin Tarantino saw our plight and struggle as meaningful enough to place himself among us and take in our experience, our pain. Celebrities often do cameo appearances for such causes, and that can be valuable, but Quentin was with us throughout most of the Rise Up October gathering of victim's families. That impressed me and the other families. We knew it was genuine and authentic. Many would not have the courage to say “murder is murder” and a “murderer” is a “murderer.” The attack on Tarantino and call to boycott his films by the NYPD, LAPD and Philadelphia police unions is pure gangsterism consistent with the ongoing terror of what amounts to a national gang, putting a hit out on him. When you're being bullied, like all of us victim's families feel, you don't disown the ones who stand up for you. No to the boycott; we should be holding Tarantino movie festivals and marathons in appreciation. He put his name, face and livelihood on the line to stand and identify with us, with justice and what is simply right. Place that up against those voices of injustice and Quentin Tarantino clearly holds the moral high ground here. His action shows courage, while police unions throw a protective circle around cowards who commit murder with the expectation of impunity. They position themselves to have NO MORAL STANDING AT ALL! First you kill our loved ones and deny us justice, you criminalize us and our families, and then you incriminate any like Tarantino who dare to stand with us and call it what it is. The police call for boycott is a throwback to the blacklist of the 50s and 60s, and dares anyone to stand on behalf of people of color. Tarantino stood with us, stood with those suffering profoundly from the terror; he connected with the families as we sought to connect with each other.  Stack up Quentin Tarantino's moral stand and authenticity against the government-sanctioned criminal terror raging across this nation, and it is clear who is on the right side of history.

Yohana Flores, daughter of 52-year-old Ernesto Flores, murdered by San Bernardino, CA Sheriffs, April 15, 2015
I appreciate Quentin Tarantino coming out to support the cause of stopping murder by police! A lot of celebrities don't, or just say something once and that's it. Quentin Tarantino took the time to walk with the families—and did so for two of the three days of Rise Up October in NYC to Stop Police Terror. The NYPD and LAPD call to boycott his movies is ridiculous. What he said is he can't support murder or murderers. If you oppose him saying that, then if the shoe fits wear it... because it shows you support murders and murderers yourselves, it shows you support the murder of innocent people by police. So, I am very thankful for Quentin Tarantino's words and his actions and for standing up. He knew he would be criticized but that didn't stop him. All the families who have lost loved ones to murder by police, here and all over the world, appreciate him!

Quentin Tarantino

Quentin Tarantino, with Kimberly Griffin, holding photo of her son Kimoni Davis, murdered by Hanging Rock OH police, 6/29/15. Photo: AP

Marie Hamilton, mother of Dontre Hamilton, killed by police in Milwaukee, April 2014
Given the very different class of people Quentin Tarantino is surrounded by, I appreciate the time he spent with me, my family, and other families who have been traumatized by police brutality. It’s a tragedy that so few other privileged people have come out, and taken the blinders off, as clearly as Quentin has.

I’m glad that he recognizes the truth. For me, meeting him was not about the limelight. It was heart-wrenching and heart-felt. I appreciate him because he took a HUMAN stand. I applaud him for coming out BOTH days. He could have come out just one day, and shown us, the moms, and the families, that he cared. He KNEW there would be backlash, and he was compelled by hearing our stories to come out the whole weekend and support us. I wish a lot more of the upper class, the 1%, would take the blinders off and open up their hearts to the solution. It's not going away, regardless of your economic status. You're NOT exempt. My family has had discussions about him since then. He could have taken all the time he wanted when he had the microphone. INSTEAD, he wanted families to speak out. THAT was compassion. We need a lot of people with money and pride to let it go, and speak out. They’re not exempt, regardless of economic status. This affects all people, police brutality is killing all people. RISE UP!

From Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward, Jr., murdered by the NYPD, September 27, 1994. He was playing with a brightly colored toy gun.
I need to give a big shout out to the brave and noble man, Mr. Quentin Tarantino who traveled to NYC to stand with the parents and families who have been fighting for justice for their murdered loved ones at the hands of police. He didn't have to make this noble stand, but unlike far too many who see this injustice going down on a nationwide level, Mr. Quentin Tarantino could no longer stand back and not say anything. So on October 24, 2015 he stood up with the families. And because he did what many are afraid to do and say, the police unions in New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and others are going to boycott his movies, in a cowardly stand which is saying to all others like brother Quentin Tarantino with celebrity status that if you speak out against the injustice of this system, the system will target you to bring you down. Now I tell you brothers and sisters like all the other injustice of this system, this right here is wrong. And I am asking that everyone who believes in truth and justice to please stand up and support Mr. Quentin Tarantino for standing up and being unafraid to say: enough is enough. No more killing innocent unarmed humans nationwide and never being held accountable. We refuse to be intimidated by police and government repression or by threats of boycott on those who seen the injustice for far too long, and have risen up to support the families who suffer from this injustice system. Please stand up and support our brother, Mr. Quentin Tarantino.

Chemika Hollis, partner of Nate Wilks, killed by Oakland police August 12, 2015
Rise of October was a very powerful strong and positive reinforcement that I am thankful to say that I was able to stand in solidarity with so many different families. I am very much appreciated that this brave strong willing human being, I said human being because only a person would know that this is wrong killing our people and only a person would have feelings towards this genocide of our communities. Quentin Tarantino took stance with us. I am grateful for that, there is still lots of people who are sitting down from a computer saying stop police terror and that's it, but Quentin Tarantino put his action into place and came out and marched, spoke and held our hand the whole time as we took over New York City streets to stop police terror on our brothers and sisters. I stand with Quentin Tarantino and his actions and I support him 2,000,000,000%. How could a person want to boycott someone for speaking their rights. Everyone has a freedom of speech and he spoke what he felt, right is right and wrong is wrong. If more celebrities came out and support us then this will be impossible for them to boycott his movies because he'll have a line of celebrities and families. You have me and my family's support Quentin Tarantino!!!

Alice Howell, grandmother of 17-year-old Justus Howell murdered by Zion, IL police, April 4, 2015
Shame on you, for attacking such an individual who has a conscience and knows that these murders are wrong and calling murderers just what they are... murderers. I commend you Quentin Tarantino for standing with the families, exercising your rights as a human being and Rising Up against these murderers. We will not be silent. We stand with you Quentin!

Latoya Howell, mother of Justus Howell, murdered by Zion, IL police, April 4, 2015
I am glad that Mr. Tarantino was in NYC marching with us, the cause of this march was for those who had their lives stolen due to police injustice to come together in great numbers to show the world THIS WAR ON CIVILIANS IS UNACCEPTABLE and to show those who were afraid or just didn't care to speak of these murders by police that by standing in solidarity with others in the name of justice will be a great move to solving the problem. Quentin Tarantino is a huge icon in the public eye so his presence along with others raising awareness is a necessity for change. Police are murdering more than 3 humans a day, if we as a people don't stop this tragedy there is no hope for the future! STOP POLICE TERROR NOW!

Andrea Irwin, mother of Tony Robinson, killed Madison, WI police, March 2015
Me being the mother of a child murdered by police, I appreciate a man of stature such as Quentin Tarantino standing with us. He’s a man. His position and career have nothing to do with what we were doing on October 24th. He stood as a man standing with people who were standing up against what’s wrong. He should not be dealing with retribution. I fully support him. He’s a man above anything else. Retribution is terrible. Why is it just because he’s a movie director, and he’s well known, he has to deal with this? He’s standing up for what is right. It is unfair to attack a man in his position for his personal beliefs. His career should have no bearing on his supporting us. It is disgusting that the New York Police union is highlighting and attacking Quentin Tarantino. If you publicly attack Tarantino, you should attack every one of these mothers. He stood with us, we stand with him. You cannot attack one person out of thousands. You should not be going after his position and his career. Quentin Tarantino spoke my son’s name. He stands with me. I stand with him. The New York City police union is showing their fear. They’re taking it out on the wrong person. Because you (the New York police union) is too afraid, you’re attacking a person of stature, instead of addressing the issue and attacking the problem. You’re going to call him out? Call us all out! This is not a little march or movement any more. This is a revolution! Their fear is showing.

Cephus 'Uncle Bobby' Johnson, Uncle of 22 year old Oscar Grant, murdered by Bay Area Transit Police in Oakland, CA, January 1, 2009
Uncle Bobby, the Uncle of Oscar Grant and ‘The Love Not Blood Campaign', believe Black Lives Matter everywhere and police accountability is a human right. Our vision is a world where no one has the right to take the life of another and be protected from the consequences of doing so by a system of structural racism, obfuscation and propaganda. Quentin Tarantino and many others like himself, have a right, as we families and community do, to call a "murder a murder" and call "the murdered the murdered.” For a system, such as the police agencies, police unions, and its culture to attack someone's belief and freedom of speech, is a direct assault on ones First Amendment right. The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition. It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely. It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government. The most basic component of freedom of expression is the right of freedom of speech. The right to freedom of speech allows individuals to express themselves without interference or constraint by the government. Quentin Tarantino, as well as those affected by police terrorism, has this right to assemble and right of expression. For a culture such as the police union to attack an individual or group for their expression and assembly is as heinous as a state that sanctions state violence. We, families, that have suffered this harm say: hands off Quentin Tarantino. For the United States to allow such an attack, people will ask the question, “What kind of country will allow people to be attacked for their expression by police officers that have a history of murder?”

Tawanda Jones, sister of Tyrone West, murdered by Baltimore Police, July 18, 2013
I am so happy Quentin Tarantino stood with the families at Rise Up October. Words can't express how I felt and the deep gratitude I have. It touched my heart in many ways. He even gave his time up at the microphone at the national march because of his support for the families. This pain never goes away. We and he did this to save others from this pain. They want us to turn off our grief and postpone Rise Up October!? Please let me know how you postpone grief? There are too many lives stolen by law enforcement and this has to stop! Quentin Tarantino did something special and significant. Now they come with a call for a boycott!? That's an outrage. We need to boycott killer cops. The entire weekend Quentin Tarantino holds up the families, wipes away our tears, tells us he is very sorry for our loss, and walks with us. He is a humble spirit and is setting a leading example for others in Hollywood. Hollywood! Use Quentin Tarantino as a leading example and join the cause.

Kevin Kellom, father of Terrance Kellom, who was shot dead by ICE agents in his own home in front of his father, on April 27, 2015
The movie director Quentin Tarantino standing with us on the front lines - that made me feel special! The police are killing our kids! But our children are the future. Quentin Tarantino stepping out and standing with us - that's beautiful, and many more movie directors should do the same. I have not felt good since my son was shot down on April 27, 2015. Today I feel good for the first time since my son was shot down in my own home. I have Quentin Tarantino to thank for it. I will stand with anyone, Black, Brown, Red, White, Yellow or Green - to stop murder by police, just like Quentin Tarantino did. This boycott is a damn shame - the police are full of shit. Now we know, again, which side the police are on. Quentin Tarantino is standing up for something right. He is standing up for my son and so many others. Stop being scared and stand up with him. Murder by police happens every day - children getting killed by police. Quentin Tarantino is standing up for us, and I love him for it.

Alicia Kirkman, mother of 17-year-old Angelo Miller, murdered by Cleveland Police, March 23, 2007
I loved that Quentin Tarantino stood with the families! It showed he cares. Even though he is a famous person—he is on the front lines with us—saying he won't put up with murder by police either. He put himself in our shoes. He walked with us. It's not like he's too famous and can't be touched—no, he walked together with us and we feel good about it. More celebrities need to support us like he did. It's not like others who watch police murder our children on TV, but then don't come out because they are scared about their image. It's what they are trying to do to Mr. Tarantino—boycotting his movies, attacking him for doing right—that other celebrities are afraid of. Don't be afraid. Treat us like human beings like he did. That boycott call is ridiculous and I don't think it's going to work!

Freddie McGee, father of Freddie Latrice Wilson, killed by police in Chicago November 13, 2007:
Make me to understand this: Police and authorities in our system act like this is some kind of game. Killing people’s family members – and it’s OK. Our or their lives don’t really matter? What happened to our Black male police officers? Our Black women officers. Did they join the Ku Klux Klan? Against their own people? You hate your own people so much it is time to wake up. Police stop killing us or find yourself another job. Please help stop our leaders from turning over and over in their graves. Think about it before it is too late. If it’s not already. Power to the people of all races! Help stop this darkness so it can come to the light. ’Cause if it does then you can sleep better at night.

Angela Naggie, mother of O'Shaine Evans, killed by San Francisco Police, October 2014
Quentin Tarantino stepped out real good, and supported us. This touched me. He didn't have to do what he did. It shows there are people that care about us, who care about families who have children the police have killed. It is something I truly appreciate. Quentin Tarantino stood with us in solidarity. All the rest of you in Hollywood: support him, join him! C'mon all of you in the movie industry, stand by each other!

Patricia Perez, grandmother of Richard "Pedie" Perez, unarmed, murdered by Richmond CA Police, September 2014
We SUPPORT Quentin Tarantino ALL THE MORE. If there are any other high-profile people, out there...who will STAND UP, on the side of what is RIGHT...that would be very ADMIRABLE. We NEED the SUPPORT of ALL who can “put themselves in our shoes” and “FEEL” our PAIN of having a member of your own family, who is UNARMED and NOT committing any type of a CRIME whatsoever...SHOT DEAD by a Gun-Happy Cop! What is happening to our LOVED-ONES, at the hands of MURDERING COPS, is a HORRIBLE THING. Until the rest of the people are as OUTRAGED as the families of the VICTIMS, our struggle is made all the more difficult. IF it happened to one of your most Loved-Ones...you would be doing exactly what we are doing. THANK YOU Quentin Tarantino.

Edward Powell, father of 27-year-old Martice Milliner, murdered by Chicago police, July 9, 2015
I feel like Mr. Tarantino was standing by a group of many who have lost loved ones due to the excessiveness of Law Enforcement across the U.S. As someone who has lost a son to excessive force by police I felt that comfort and I felt at ease knowing Mr. Tarantino felt my pain.

I’m appalled that the Police Department of New York City would do such a thing to Mr. Tarantino because he felt the pain of many. If standing with people is that wrong to try to stop a person’s way of living we have a problem with the American Justice System.

Ishtyme Robinson, mother of Ahjah Dixon, killed in police custody in Texas, March 2010
I celebrate Quentin Tarantino's presence at Rise Up October in New York City -- all three days! It was moving for me as a mother, who has lost a daughter (in jail custody) and a son, and who up to now has received no support from the surrounding community, to now have support, including from Quentin Tarantino. This movement is helping to create a new story of resistance, of resilience, announcing to the world that our children matter. Many people who are killed by police are poor people, with no value placed on their lives by the judicial system. In most cases these are marginalized groups with no voice. If all lives mattered, we wouldn't have to say Black Lives Matter. For Quentin Tarantino to come to Rise Up October, in a most sincere way, to come and stand up with us, to challenge societies standards, made a world of difference and I say that with all my heart. Boycott Tarantino movies? This is supposed to be a democratic society. Freedom of speech is suppose to be woven into the fabric of society. Families of murdered and lost victims and Quentin Tarantino have a right to voice our opinion regarding any type of infraction, injustice or pathology and no one has the right to rob us of freedom of speech, here or anywhere else in the world.

Chris Silva, brother of David Silva, murdered by Kern Co. Sheriffs and California Highway Patrol, May 8, 2013
Quentin Tarantino showing up to Rise Up October is a great thing. Rise Up October is "trending," there's big attention and popularity, including because of Quentin Tarantino's participation (and I didn't expect it). It shows he cares. He knows he had to stand up to murder by police, and I thank him for being with us. He probably expected the "negativity" because we get it everyday, the families, and myself with David's murder over two years ago—all these internet trolls with their negative comments aimed at us... Quentin called out the NYPD and LAPD and all the cops who kill unjustly. He is not saying anything more than what these cops have done. I'm so glad he stood up, because many celebrities may wear a t-shirt but don't always show up and stand up for what they believe. This boycott call is ridiculous and it makes it sound like Tarantino means all police are killers... he didn't say that. He said there are murders and murderers, cops killing blatantly and for no reason at all. Recognize and hear the truth. I am sure many are telling him to stay quiet but Quentin Tarantino should know he has the backing from us families and many others!

Dionne Smith-Downs, mother of 16-year-old James Rivera, Jr., murdered by Stockton, CA Police, July 22, 2010
It's a good thing that Quentin Tarantino came to Rise Up October and stood with us! It's been 5 years for me, 5 years since my son was murdered. And we had the #1 call—Which Side Are You On? That's serious. That's the call. And Quentin Tarantino answered the call for change. He took that opportunity to walk with us and it was a pleasure to walk with him. He was interested to really talk to us. We support him! We'll get on TV and support him. If they want to fight fire with fire, then let's go. Whatever is needed, I am there. Rise Up October isn't just a march. There is a message. Which Side Are You On? He heard our call. We are not alone and he is not alone. This system is targeting him because he wants to be part of change. He chose to stand with the families. Carl Dix, Cornel West, they all hugged us. They heard what we said. This is bigger than me or him or any one person. Rise Up October is from the heart. There is no script. This shit has to stop. It takes us to take care of us, I am a team player, and we support Quentin.

Cadine Williams, sister of 26-year-old O'Shaine Evans, murdered by Oakland Police, October 7, 2014
Quentin Tarantino's stand at Rise Up October is great, and I mean that with all my heart. More people should be saying NO MORE to this system and its police brutality. More people like Quentin Tarantino should stand with us. And Rise Up October with Quentin Tarantino participating should wake a lot of people up! How can people just sit back and let this happen to innocent people? Quentin's stand is awesome; it means a lot to us. Boycott?! That's crazy. It shows what this country is about and what kind of system this really is. A call for boycott because someone steps out and says what he believes in? That's bull. We need Quentin Tarantino and more people like him in this world. I am willing to be on the front lines marching for him. He has our back and we have his back!

Meko Williams, mother of LaReko Williams, tasered to death by Charlotte, NC police, July 20, 2011
It was an honor to meet Quentin Tarantino at Rise Up October in New York City, to meet someone who understands what we are going through as families who have lost loved ones to murder by police. This is what Rise Up October is about, saying the truth. Quentin Tarantino said "I am a human being with a conscience and when I see murder, I cannot stand by and I have to call the murdered, the murdered and the murderers, the murderers." That is the truth. The police unions are trying to deface our movement, because it's now national and international. They say ""it's the worst thing" - NO, it's the greatest thing. What Tarantino said is no different than Cornel West, Carl Dix or Meko Williams saying the same truth. They want to separate him, put him in a box, but his voicing of the truth is no different than others who voice the truth. Writers and movie directors express themselves through their art; they go off of what's happening in history, in society - just like Django Unchained. This is freedom of speech. And it's ignorance on behalf of the police unions. We know well what the police have done and what they do. Quentin Tarantino was by my side, he was with me, and it was an honor. This boycott is just plain ignorance, because what Rise Up October is, and Quentin's comments do, is bring light to the Stolen Lives and to mass incarceration. Let's focus on that! The use of guns, Tasers, and chokeholds to murder people, like my son. Let's focus on the truth. Tarantino's words... calling the murdered the murdered and the murderers the murders is just simple truth - it is what it is. And I feel the same way he does.

From an older Black woman who attended Rise Up October
I am totally appalled at the denouncing of Mr. Quentin Tarantino because he supported Rise Up October. Yet at the same time they entertain supporting a rich idiot as the lead position of this country. This even goes as far as to tell me again that I don't matter. How do you dare tell someone that has looked in a coffin at someone that was supposed to be on their honeymoon that it was a tragic mistake. How do you tell a mother or father that identifies their child's body that no drugs or weapons just paid protectors' bullets. How do we teach our children to trust and believe in paid protectors when paid protectors killed their mother or father sister or brother or people around them. How do you see this happening over and over and not see a change is needed. Mr. Tarantino: I have a great respect for you announcing that above any and everything else you are human and you have the ability to feel. What is pathetic is that more people of status need to rise up from fear of being ostracized for what they believe in. I will get a group on opening night of his new movie and go just to show love and support. Even more reason to Rise Up.

Send your statements in support of Quentin Tarantino and against the NYCPBA attack to Rise up October at outreach@riseupoctober.org or call 646.709.1961.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/statement-from-carl-dix-i-challenge-pat-lynch-to-a-debate-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Statement from Carl Dix:
“I challenge Pat Lynch to a debate”

October 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It is outrageous and unconscionable that media and the head of NY PBA have lied and distorted reality to condemn the Rise Up October (RiseUpOctober.org) protests in NY on Oct 22-24, of thousands of people, including scores of families whose lives have been stolen by police from across the country, using the fact that a NY police officer was killed last week. Distorting reality and attacking the people fighting for justice they assert "there is a war on police," that "people must support the police all the time and on every corner," and say that people should stop protesting the rampant, ongoing, systematic murder carried out BY the police. This is wrong and upside down.

Let's talk about the reality: Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Natasha McKenna, Andy Lopez, Walter Scott and many more people have had their lives stolen by those who are sworn to protect and serve. In almost every case, the system has exonerated the killer cops and the media has criminalized their victims, aiding and abetting the justification of these murders. This must STOP! Not be incrementally reduced, but STOPPED! And it will take determined mass resistance and protest to stop it.

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, Quentin Tarantino, on march with family members. Photo: twitter.com/tuneintorevcom

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, Quentin Tarantino, on the October 24 march with family members. Photo: twitter.com/tuneintorevcom

Pat Lynch, loudmouth bigot and head of the Patrolman's Brutality Association, has called for a boycott of the films of Quentin Tarantino for his support of people fighting for justice. Tarantino was right to join us and everyone needs to pick a side: are you for or against police terror and murder? Lynch said a year ago that Eric Garner "died from a number of bad life choices." What life choices led to Garner's being choked to death at the hands of the NYPD? Being born Black in a country where police patrol Black neighborhoods like an occupying army?

I challenge Pat Lynch and anyone else to a debate over what's the real problem: our protest of murder by police or police getting away with murder.

Carl Dix is a co-initiator of Rise Up October and is a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party (revcom.us)


Rise Up October (RiseUpOctober.org) – three days of protest and resistance to Stop Police Terror. October 22: almost 40 families of victims of police murder from NY and across the country joined with prominent voices of conscience in Times Square to say the names and tell the stories of loved ones lost to police violence and demand justice. October 23: 17 people were arrested, including Carl Dix, for non-violent direct action with the demand: Shut Down Rikers! They shut down all traffic coming into and out of Rikers Island, the torture chamber they were calling Guantánamo-on-the-Hudson, for over an hour. October 24: 4,000 to 5,000 marched through the streets including almost 100 families of victims of police murder alongside clergy, students, immigrants and more. Prominent voices in attendance included co-initiators Cornel West and Carl Dix, Quentin Tarantino, Eve Ensler, Michael Rappaport and more.

Rise Up October revealed a tremendous story of a movement being born against police terror that recognizes there will be no progress without struggle, without resistance and protest. These three days were filled with deep substance: the stories from the families of those killed by police murder of their loved ones and how they were murdered and then criminalized by the media after, from voices of conscience standing up themselves, from clergy, students and revolutionaries all joining in together to say Police Terror Must Stop and drawing a line for all of society: Which Side Are You On?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/pat-lynch-the-loudmouthed-bigot-leading-the-pack-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Pat Lynch—the Loudmouthed Bigot Leading the Pack in the Pig Attacks on Quentin Tarantino

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West, and Quentin Tarantino march with families representing people murdered by police

Eve Ensler, Carl Dix, Cornel West and Quentin Tarantino in march on October 24 with families of people murdered by police. Photo: Special to Revolution

Pat Lynch, the head of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association (the union for NYPD cops), has been leading the pack in the vicious pig attacks on Quentin Tarantino for speaking out against murder by police. The day after Tarantino joined in with thousands of others who rallied and marched as part of Rise Up October to demand an end to police terror, Lynch issued a call to boycott his films—followed by similar attacks and boycott calls from police unions across the country including Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Houston, Chicago and New Jersey, with this reactionary venom spread widely by the media.

This isn’t the first time the media has given Lynch a big loudspeaker to spew his shit. After NYPD cop Daniel Pantaleo murdered Eric Garner with a chokehold—violating the NYPD’s own rules—Lynch was covered widely by the media when he said Pantaleo used a legal “takedown maneuver,” not a chokehold. Then Lynch blamed Garner for his own death, saying that he “died from a number of bad life choices,” including selling loose cigarettes. As Carl Dix says, “What life choices led to Garner’s being choked to death at the hands of the NYPD? Being born Black in a country where police patrol Black neighborhoods like an occupying army?” (From “Statement from Carl Dix: ‘I challenge Pat Lynch to a debate.’

Lynch has attacked the New York Civil Liberties Union for creating a smartphone app that lets users record stop-and-frisk encounters and notify other users of nearby police activity. He has said that “disciplinary practices” (in other words, any official action against cops for things like violating people’s constitutional rights) were “beating down morale” with “overly harsh penalties.”

Recently, after former professional tennis player James Blake was assaulted and arrested by an NYPD cop outside a Manhattan hotel—simply because he was a Black man standing on the sidewalk—Lynch said that criticism of the cop for doing this was “irresponsible, unjust and un-American.” Again this made headlines.

The attack on Quentin Tarantino isn’t the first time Lynch has gone after someone in the cultural arena for taking a stand against police murder. In 2000, Lynch (along with then-NY Mayor Giuliani) attacked Bruce Springsteen for his song “American Skin (41 Shots)” about the killing of Amadou Diallo, an unarmed 23-year-old immigrant from Guinea in West Africa, by NYPD cops who fired 41 shots at Amadou. In 2008 Lynch said an art installation by Dread Scott at NYC museum titled The Blue Wall of Violence about police brutality “promotes hate.”

Lynch and other reactionaries like him are defending the right of the police to brutalize and kill people, especially Black and Latino people, and never be questioned for their actions. This is part of the codification in law and culture of the racist, white supremacist treatment of Black and Latino people as LESS THAN HUMAN, to be beaten, arrested and killed by the police just because of the way they look or how they speak.

The fact that these ugly, loudmouth defenders of state-sanctioned murder by the police are given such a media platform reveals that the efforts to expose the reality of this epidemic of police murder—and the people standing up to this and saying NO MORE—is stinging this system. This should serve as a call to redouble our efforts in the struggle to STOP police terror and draw even more people forward into this fight.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/reality-check-on-october-20-events-in-east-harlem-NYC-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Reality Check on October 20 Events in East Harlem, NYC

The REAL Problem

Updated October 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The reactionary New York press—from the Daily News to FOX News and the New York Post—wasted no time slandering the extraordinary culmination to the three days of Rise Up October actions in New York City—the powerful, stunning rallies and two-mile march of thousands of people from all over the country up 5th Avenue, demanding “Stop Police Terror” and challenging the thousands on the sidewalks riveted to it to join this battle and take their stand: “Which Side Are You On?”

These media hitmen ridiculed and degraded as a “gripe-fest” the family members of dozens and dozens of people murdered by police in cold blood who courageously traveled from across the country to tell their stories describing their devastation at the wanton killing of their loved ones and the determination to stop this from happening to anyone else. And these media are using the death of a policeman in Harlem four days earlier to say this event should never have happened.

In light of the controversy fueled by the media in the wake of this important and controversial Rise Up October, and the attacks on the demonstration, we are re-issuing this statement: The Real Problem.

* * * * *

Last night a policeman named Randolph Holder was killed in Harlem. Nobody knows the circumstances of what happened last night, including whether self-defense was involved. But already the politicians, media and police are trying to make this the center of attention of everyone. They declare that "there is a war on police," that "people must support the police all the time and on every corner," and say that people should stop protesting the rampant, ongoing, systematic murder carried out BY the police.

Rise Up October

No. This is wrong and upside down.

Let's talk about reality. This year, police have killed at least 923 people. This figure does not count instances of people dying in custody, like Sandra Bland—the young Black woman found hung in her cell in Texas after being arrested for changing lanes. Of those people, at least 187 were unarmed. (This figure is conservative, for it leaves aside instances where the police claim the murdered person was armed but in which this claim is either false or distorted.)

Very, very few of the cops who inflicted these homicides will ever face charges. On those rare occasions they do go to trial, it is only due to either powerful mass protest and resistance OR the existence of dramatic video evidence, and fewer still will be convicted. And sometimes even THAT is not enough. In New York last year, a gang of police choked the unarmed Eric Garner to death for selling loose cigarettes, with the whole heartless, excruciating lynching caught on video. No cop was even charged. The same kinds of things go on day after day after day. And these murders are only the concentration point of a daily rule of verbal abuse, bullying, harassment and violence.

Over half of the 900 plus people that police have killed so far this year were people of color. This is no accident. One out of three Black males born in 2001 will end up spending time in prison, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. Over 40 percent of Black children live in poverty. Black women in New York City are 12 times more likely to die in childbirth than white women. If this were happening to any other people in any other country, people would call it by its name: genocide.

THIS is the real war going on, a war against people of color. The police are the institution that enforces, with violence, this genocidal program. The police are the institution that enforces with violence a law and order of exploitation and degradation, of white supremacy and discrimination. The police play the role of an occupying army in the Black and Latino communities, 24/7/365. They play the role of modern-day slave-catchers. Any individual cop must fit his- or herself into that institution and do that enforcement—and if they don't, they don't last.

The mass political activities calling for an end to police terror and mass incarceration, called for October 22 to 24, absolutely must not only go on but be built as powerfully as possible. The thousands who will gather on those days will remember the thousands and yes millions who have been victimized by this, or who face the prospect of this every day, to insist that this MUST stop.

Which side are you on?

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/pro-police-nyc-tabloid-attacks-rise-up-october-march-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Parody Exposes NY Post attack on Rise Up October

October 29, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The Monday, October 26, front page of the tabloid NY Post was a big attack on Saturday’s Rise Up October action when thousands marched through the streets of New York City to demand “STOP Police Terror.”

New York Post October 26

Keegan Stephan, a NYC writer, quickly tweeted out a sharp spoof of the Post cover, saying “Here’s what’s really going on in that NY Post cover photo.”

New York Post October 26

As Stephan points out, “The Post apparently did zero research about the people pictured, because unfortunately for them and the NYPD, they speak volumes about the urgency and necessity for protests against police terror.

“The man giving the police the finger (which is well-established, First Amendment protected free speech) is Joshua Lopez, the nephew of John Collado, an unarmed man who was shot and killed by an undercover NYPD cop in 2011 when Collado attempted to break up a fight in front of his house between the undercover cop, named James Connelly, and another man.

“The facts of Collado’s case and the lack of justice for his family, including Lopez, are staggering.

“First, the NYPD claimed Collado had the officer in a chokehold, lifting him a foot off the ground, but the cop managed to pull out a gun and shoot him in the stomach...

“Two days later, the Daily News reported Collado’s family obtained a surveillance video they say shows he was not choking the detective.

“That video has not been made been public because a federal lawsuit filed by Collado’s family against the NYPD is still pending. However, Connelly was cleared by a grand jury in 2012.

“And earlier this year, it was revealed that Connelly had shot and killed another man in 2009 for which he was also cleared...

“Now that’s disgraceful.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/moya-smith-filmmaker-quentin-tarantino-sends-message-to-mother-of-slain-native-american-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Moya-Smith: Filmmaker Quentin Tarantino Sends Message to Mother of Slain Native American

October 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

This article by Simon Moya-Smith was originally posted at Indian Country Today Media Network.com on October 26. It is being republished here with permission. The original article can be found here.

A few weeks ago, a fellow journalist called me an activist. And although many reporters would rather gouge their eyeballs with broken beer bottles than be called an activist, I don't mind it all. I am one. Indeed, I got into activism for the same reason I got into journalism – to correct the mythical American narrative and effect change.

So when I was asked to speak on Saturday at Washington Square Park in New York City during Rise Up October – a rally and march against police brutality – I did not hesitate.

It was not yet noon when I took the stage with friend and fellow Native American Jared Dunlap, who’s Ojibwe, and reeled for four minutes (my allotted time) about 520 years of domination and conquest and racism and hubris and bigotry and lies. I spoke about the deaths of Sarah Lee Circle Bear, Paul Castaway, and others, and I went into detail about the brutal death of Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket, the 18-year-old Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Eastern Band of Cherokee youth who was shot seven times, once in the back of the head, by Custer County Sheriff’s deputies in Oklahoma in December 2013. The two deputies who shot and killed Goodblanket both received the Medal of Valor.

At about the third minute into my mad rant, I blared into the microphone that it was 125 years ago this year that the Medal of Honor was awarded to 20 U.S. soldiers who participated in the indiscriminate killing of 300 Lakota, 200 of whom were unarmed women and children, during the Wounded Knee Massacre in December 1890. “More medals for more dead Indians,” I think I said.

The overall message [that a genocide was committed on this land, and that that genocide continues] seemed to resonate with the crowd, which by 1 p.m. had swelled to the brims of the park with hippies and NYU students and the families of victims, and wandering tourists who didn’t seem to really know what the fuck was going on.

After I stepped off the stage, one of the event organizers approached me and asked if Jared and myself planned to march with the masses. “Of course,” I uttered. The organizer, Annie, said we should line up a block away and be prepared to lead the march with the other speakers, many of them still with tear stains streaming down their faces from having earlier recounted what happened to their loved one.

One of the last invited speakers to say a few words was Academy Award-winning filmmaker Quentin Tarantino. When he got to the microphone I had every intention of listening to his statement, but I got distracted when a white man standing behind me whispered “This is bullshit. I don’t know what they expect to accomplish.” I turned around, eyed the man and the woman he was whispering to and shot them both a sinister grin before they decided to scurry back into the park where small groups had congregated to share in their own heated debates.

By 1:30 p.m. we were marching – stopping and going, heading north toward Bryant Park. Protesters – including Jared – were yelling at onlookers to join us and march in solidarity. A young, blond passerby began to chuckle as she filmed the march with her phone, which set off a family member who was marching near the fringes. “This is our lives!” she yelled at the girl. “These are our loved ones.” The woman’s cries did nothing to phase the young blond. She just kept sauntering and filming until she was out of sight.

We were nearing 25th St. when I noticed, to my right, Tarantino and I were marching side-by-side. I didn’t notice this at first, until he laughed, and his signature vibrato guffaw reverberated off the facades of the Manhattan canyon.

I immediately noticed he was holding a sign of another victim of police brutality. Jared was marching just a few yards ahead of me when I called out to him to come back. “I want to get him to hold this sign [of Mah-hi-vist Goodblanket] so we can get a photo,” I said to Jared.

“Quentin,” I said, tapping him on the shoulder. He first looked at me, summing me up, and when he noticed I was a fellow protester, he leaned in ear first.

“Hey, man, do you mind if we get a picture of you holding this sign?” I asked.

I showed him the picture of Mah-hi-vist.

“His mother couldn’t make it,” I said.

“Sure,” he responded.

I handed him the placard, which he held with his left hand as he continued to cling onto the other with his right.

In an instant we got the picture, and the filmmaker handed the placard back to me. I thanked him for his willingness and went about hoisting the big board of Mah-hi-vist back over my head, marching deeper into the city. “NO JUSTICE! NO PEACE!” was the song of the day, and Jared and I joined in.

Suddenly, a hand reached out and nudged me. It was Tarantino. “Hey,” he said to me. “Send my love to his mother,” which I did, and to which Melissa Goodblanket, Mah-hi-vist’s mom, responded that she was brought to tears by his heartfelt message.

One foot on the street, one foot on the web, folks. That's how we'll get it done.

Simon Moya-Smith, Oglala Lakota, is the Culture Editor at Indian Country Today. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. Follow him @Simonmoyasmith.

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/high-school-student-on-video-of-sc-cop-assaulting-student-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

From a High School Student:
On the Video of S.C. Cop Assaulting Student

Updated November 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Watch the video [of Deputy Ben Fields in SC]. It is right there. It is irrefutable. Yet another agent of the state brutalizing our youth. This is police terror. You should be outraged. Where is your fire? Your sense of what is right. I call upon all of you. It is 2015, we have had enough. Take to the streets. Rise up. The system has failed us, let us not fail each other.

Be out there on November 22, the anniversary of Tamir Rice's murder. He was a 12 year old boy that was murdered by police within seconds of them showing up on the scene. Justice has not been served. It is time for the masses to rise. 

Indict, Convict, Send Those Killer Cops to Jail
The Whole Damn System is Guilty As Hell 

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

No, Mr. President!
Aiding and Abetting the Slow Genocide of Black People Is a Crime Against Humanity

November 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Stolen lives poster
Poster PDF (for print) color | black & white       JPG (full size, for web)

Obama, at a major speech at the International Association of Chiefs of Police conference in Chicago, said he rejects “any narrative that seeks to divide police and communities that they serve.” He added, “I reject a storyline that says when it comes to public safety there’s an ‘us’ and a ‘them.’”

But what Obama rejects as a “narrative,” a “storyline,” is in fact the reality.

Let’s look at the police killing of Walter Scott in North Carolina, the chokehold of Eric Garner in New York, the assassination of Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco, WA, the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, all caught on video, and the list goes on and on, as any Internet search of “police kill unarmed person” will demonstrate.

Obama did not, in a nearly hour-long address, mention even one murder among the spate of police murders of unarmed people. He completely whitewashed the growing list of those brutalized and killed by the police. Obama instead projected a false “narrative” that it is police whose lives are at risk, rather than those of Black and Latino people in the neighborhoods they occupy and terrorize.

The reality is that the Stolen Lives of those killed by the police concentrate the relations between the police and especially the Black and Latino “communities that they serve,” between “us” and “them.”

Later, Obama chummily talked about his experiences of being stopped by the police and, while under-playing the life-threatening consequences this was potentially fraught with, went on to grudgingly admit “you've got to say that there’s some racial bias in the system.”

This was but a mere whisper in the face of a genocidal tsunami, and his humor a cruel insult to Sandra Bland, Sam DuBose, and so many others whose lives were stolen in similar encounters. Rather than Obama’s race and experiences affording, as some think, special privilege as a source of truths about the genocidal proportions of police terror and brutality, Obama marshals these experiences to confuse, disorient and demobilize people who should be rising up to STOP police terror.

Obama’s claim that the slow genocide of Black people is just a “narrative” or a “storyline” is covering up, aiding and abetting a crime against humanity.

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/who-is-mark-fuhrman-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Who Is Mark Fuhrman?

October 29, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On Monday, October 26, as part of the media onslaught against Quentin Tarantino for taking part in the Rise Up October protests and speaking out against police terror, FOX News host Megyn Kelly had on Carl Dix, co-initiator of Rise Up October and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, versus Mark Fuhrman on the police side. (See video clip of Carl Dix shutting up Fuhrman here.)

The name Mark Fuhrman rings a bell with many people—but for others who don’t recognize the name, this is the former LAPD detective who was revealed during the 1995 trial of OJ Simpson as a fascistic racist. These days, Fuhrman makes regular appearances on FOX News, promoted as a reliable voice for U.S. law enforcement—and indeed he IS! So who is Fuhrman, and what does it mean that this Nazi ex-cop is spotlighted as a major law enforcement “expert” on national TV?

The October 26 appearance wasn’t the first time Megyn Kelly has relied on Fuhrer-man. She brought him in to slander the young people of Baltimore when they refused to quietly accept the police murder of Freddie Gray; and before that when the young people of Ferguson, Missouri, rose up after Michael Brown was murdered while his hands were in the air. During jury selection for the trial of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, Fuhrman described Trayvon as “a dead victim or dead suspect” depending on “which side you’re on.” 

Mark Fuhrman was a key detective in the trial of OJ Simpson, accused of killing Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. Fuhrman was early on the murder scene, claimed he found blood in OJ’s Bronco, illegally entered Simpson’s estate, and then claimed he found a bloody glove lying out in the open. When the defense raised the possibility of the deliberate planting of evidence by police, Fuhrman was at the center of it—because he was pinned down as and proven to be a racist and a liar. After testifying that he had not used the “n-word” in 10 years, the defense produced four witnesses—as well as 13 hours of audiotapes from interviews he had given as part of a movie project—that proved he was lying. Fuhrman was eventually convicted of felony perjury.

As Revolution newspaper wrote about those tapes at the time:   

They showed in detail how Fuhrman and his fellow cops hated Black people, Mexicans and women—even Black people and women on the police force. Here was a man who belonged to an organization called "Men Against Women" that harassed women on the police force. Throughout the tapes, Fuhrman uses the "n-word" to refer to Black people—40 times in 61 excerpts selected by the defense. He uses the word casually—it is how he thinks about Black people. The tapes contain 18 examples of Fuhrman admitting to illegal use of deadly force, beating suspects to extract confessions, planting evidence, framing innocent people and lying or covering up the misconduct of other cops. (See below for a few excerpts from the tapes.)

In the trial it came out that people who knew Fuhrman had heard him say that he couldn't stand the sight of a Black man and white woman together and when he encountered such a situation he made a point of harassing the Black man. A letter from Kathleen Bell, sent to Simpson's defense team, described what Fuhrman had told her: "When he sees a ‘n*gger’ (as he called it) driving with a white woman, he would pull them over. I asked, would he if he didn't have a reason, and he said that he would find one."

Whatever people may think about OJ Simpson’s involvement in the murders, these tapes answered the question, “What would be the motive for a frame-up?” They document Fuhrman’s undisguised hatred for Black men (like Simpson) who drove expensive cars, moved into privileged white neighborhoods, and dated white women. And they also answered the question, “How could such a frame-up be covered up?”

The OJ trial took place four years after the LAPD beating of Rodney King was captured on videotape. The Rodney King video was the movie, and the Fuhrman tapes were the soundtrack. Over the past year and more, people have been forced to witness the horrifying videos of the cold-blooded police murders of someone’s unarmed son or daughter or father or mother—one after another. And the Fuhrman tapes are still the soundtrack.   

Think about the fact that Mark Fuhrer-man is promoted by FOX News as an expert on law enforcement. With his arrogant, aggressive racism, with all its genocidal overtones, Fuhrman isn’t “out of touch” with the armed enforcers of this system—he’s considered their voice. His hatred and contempt for the people who have stood their ground in the streets against the murdering police; for the family members of those murdered by the police in cold blood day after day who have courageously stood up and said this must stop; and for those who have come together in Rise Up October creating a vehicle, and pathway, for this movement to Stop Police Terror and Murder to grow more powerful—all of this reflects the great concerns of those who rule who have no answer but to lash back, and show their fangs.

***

Excerpts from the Fuhrman Tapes

On the arrest of a man in the Westwood neighborhood

"He was a n*gger. He didn't belong. Two questions. And you are going: Where do you live? 22nd and Western. Where were you going? Well, I'm going to Fatburger. Where's Fatburger. He didn't know where Fatburger was? Get in the car."

On criteria for stopping cars

"N*gger drivin' a Porsche that doesn't look like he's got a $300 suit on, you always stop him."

On where he grew up in Washington State

"People there don't want n*ggers in their town. People there don't want Mexicans in their town. They don't want anybody but good people in their town, and anyway you can do to get them out of there that's fine with them. We have no n*ggers where I grew up."

On L.A. neighborhoods

"Westwood is gone, the n*ggers have discovered it. When they start moving into Redondo and Torrance. Torrance is considered the last white middle class society."

On the LAPD chokehold

"We stopped the choke because a bunch of n*ggers have a bunch of these organizations in the south end and because all n*ggers were choked out and killed—twelve in ten years."

On changes in the LAPD

"That we've got females...and dumb n*ggers, and all your Mexicans that can't even write the name of the car they drive."

On practicing martial arts kicks on arrested people

“I used to go to work and practice movements....I used to practice my kicks.”

On police misconduct investigations

“Now, it's funny because guys in Internal Affairs go, ‘Mark, you can do just about anything. Get in a bar fight. We'd love to investigate just some “good ol boy” beating up a n*gger in a bar.’”

On brutalizing suspects during interrogations

"Why don't you give them the 77th lie detector test? [The "77th" refers to the LAPD division in South Central L.A. where Fuhrman worked for many years]...And a bunch of guys will laugh—old timers, you know. And then one kid will ask his partner, ‘what's that?’ You choke him out until he tells you the truth. You know it is kind of funny. But a lot of policemen will get a kick out of it.”

On attitude toward interrogating Black people

“When you are talking to somebody it is not like you are really listening into their words because you will key on what is the truth and what isn't. First thing, anything out of a n*gger's mouth for the first five or six sentences is a fucking lie. That is just right out. There has got to be a reason why he is going to tell you the truth.”

On taking a suspect "to the baseball diamond"

“I just handcuffed him and went the scenic route to the station. We searched him again and found the gun. Went over to the baseball diamond and talked to him. When I left, Dana goes, ‘No blood, Mark.’ ‘No problem, not even any marks, Dana.’ Just body shots. Did you ever try to find a bruise on a N*gger. It is pretty tough, huh?”

On assuming guilt and fabricating reasons for making an arrest

Fuhrman: “I didn't arrest him under anything, just took him to the station, ran him for prints, gave them to the detectives to compare with what they've got in the area. I'll probably arrest a criminal that way.”

McKinny (writer interviewing Fuhrman): “So you're allowed to pick somebody up that you think doesn't belong in an area and arrest him?...”

Fuhrman: “I don't know. I don't know what the Supreme Court or the Superior Court says, and I don't really give a shit...If I was pushed into saying why I did it, I'd say suspicion of burglary. I'd be able to correlate exactly what I said into a reasonably probable cause for arrest.”

On falsifying evidence

“So if that's considered falsifying a report, and if some hype [junkie], you know says, ah, you know whatever, I shot [up] two days ago, and you find a mark that looks like three days ago, pick the scab, squeeze it, looks like serum's coming out. As if it were hours old. It's a hard find. You just can't find the mark. Cause he's down. His eyes don't lie. That's not falsifying a report. That's putting a criminal in jail. That's being a policeman.”

On brutalizing people for speaking Spanish

“We don't speak Spanish here. Work Mexican gangs, and I don't know how to speak any Spanish...When they speak Spanish. ‘No comprende.’ Slap them upside the head. Then they speak English. I'm an English teacher. Just like that. That's police work. And that's being able to pick out the people. That type of treatment is necessary...”

On conduct when working in a Black neighborhood

“You have to be a switch hitter. You have to be able to look at your area and look at how you talk to people. Look at how you deal with things and what you can and can't do even with a criminal. You can't go up in Bel Air [an affluent neighborhood in L.A.], and some guy gives you a hard time in broad daylight, and slap them. ‘Dammit. I want to know what's going on.’ You just don't do that. I mean, it's obvious. But when you work down in the south end, Watts, the metropolitan area, you work skid row. You use your stick more than your mouth. You don't—I mean, you just, you go of course. Don't try to tell people to go there. Go there. You just use your stick. Smack 'em. They'll move.”

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/cops-cant-do-their-job-on-video-what-is-their-job-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Cops Can't Do Their Job on Video—Then What IS Their "Job"?!

October 28, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On October 23, FBI Director James Comey gave a major speech at the University of Chicago Law School. A few days later he repeated the basic thrust of it to the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

This speech is filled with distortions, half-truths and outright lies; it is a poisonous and deceitful attack on the righteous struggle to stop police terror directed at Black and Brown people.

We cannot take apart this whole pile of bullshit right now. But let’s just look at one segment which has been widely replayed and talked about on FOX News and other media outlets and has spread across the Internet—the part where he complains about the so-called “Ferguson Effect” (the “theory” that protest against police terror is causing violent crime to skyrocket).

In it, Comey talks about how the poor little piggies are now scared to get out of their cars because the youth are threatening them with... cellphone video cameras!*

Really?!? You can’t “do your job” because someone might video it and... then what? They would see that your job is actually one of needless and utterly illegal and illegitimate humiliation and brutalization of Black and Latino people?

Really, come on—you’re going to admit that? You can’t even be as accountable as a football referee?

What does that say about the “job” of the police—that is, the functioning and role of the police in crushing the spirits and hamstringing the lives of the oppressed masses?

It says exactly that what Bob Avakian has been saying for decades is the cold truth:

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and order that enforces all this oppression and madness. (BAsics 1:24)

 


*Comey’s actual words from the speech: “I spoke to officers privately in one big city precinct who described being surrounded by young people with mobile phone cameras held high, taunting them the moment they get out of their cars. They told me, ‘We feel like we’re under siege and we don’t much like getting out of our cars’” [back]

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/a-bootlicker-of-the-year-al-sharpton-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

A Bootlicker of the Year: Al Sharpton

October 27, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On October 24 thousands of people converged in NYC to demand STOP POLICE MURDER AND TERROR! Among them were courageous loved ones and representatives of over 100 victims of police murder; people who live day in, day out under the gun of police violence; students and others from all walks of life; and voices of conscience from the arts, literature and entertainment. They drew a line—demanding an end to police murder and terror. They challenged everyone: WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON?

On that same day—and standing on the other side of that line--Al Sharpton held a prayer vigil for a cop who died of a gunshot wound earlier in the week and demanded laws to make it easier for judges to lock up innocent suspects who have not been convicted of any crime.

Al Sharpton was quick to declare the cop was "murdered" by a "menace to society"—invoking racist code words for the marginalized, desperate millions with no future under this system—even though the circumstances of the death are unknown and the man police have in custody denies he is guilty. And Sharpton told people to look for safety and protection to "the good ones" on a force that plays a social role of being a menace to humanity—terrorizing the inner cities and communities of the oppressed with an epidemic of state-sanctioned murder by police.

For all that, Al Sharpton gets a massive "Bootlicker of the Year" award.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/410/voices-from-the-crowd-october-24-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Voices from the Crowd on October 24

October 26, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

October 24, New Yorko City

Photo revcom.us

 

Revolution reporters and volunteers talked to many people at the rally and march on October 24. The following are excerpts from some of the interviews.

Cephus Johnson, “Uncle Bobby”

I am the uncle of the young man named Oscar Grant who was killed on the Fruitvale BART platform on January 1, 2009, lying face down in a prone position with his hands behind his back, when Officer Mehserle stands up and shoots him in the back. As you know there was a major rebellion that took place in response to Oscar’s murder. And what was tremendous about that was the community embraced the family, they stayed with the family, they cried with the family, but they went back and forth with the family. Most importantly, they utilized their First Amendment right to speak to the very injustice. What we see here in New York City, with the community and families joining together marching... letting the world know that police terrorism is not going to be tolerated no more, and we’re here to speak loud about it, so that all can hear. That this must stop! And we’re asking you the question, “Which side are you on?” Join us in this movement to bring justice, freedom, and equality to all people.

 

30-year-old Black man from Ferguson

I came out to the protest because the police murders continue. I had started protesting in Ferguson but then the protests were dying down. So I knew we all had to come out to Rise Up October and support one another. I had been working on Rise Up October with other people in Ferguson. They were raising money so this protest could happen. And I was part of all that.

October 24, New York
Photo: Phil Buehler

What did you hope to accomplish?

To support one another. New York came through. Baltimore came through. California came through. All these places came through. I didn’t know all those police killings had gone on in New York City and all the other places! For all of us to come together in New York City and support the families of people murdered by police. It was a masterpiece, a masterpiece of a protest.

Was there anything the speakers said that struck you the most?

Yes, the woman whose son was killed by the police who said that the only way she could face the pain of losing her son was to keep using crack! She said she would continue do her best, but the pain that she is feeling since her son was murdered is bad!

What is your impression of who was at Rise Up October?

Myself, many others—it was actually a mass of people! And all different nationalities.

What do you think it would really take to stop police terror?

We have to address the Black-on-Black crime—so people will have a different focus than they do now. And we have to go to aldermen and other politicians to get reforms. But what we really have to do is get the revolution organized. We have to do much more to organize the revolution. We need billboards, all over, to get the revolution out there more, so it can be known to many more people. We need to make a really good pitch so that more people would actually see the advertising for this. Before Rise Up October, in Ferguson, we went to people’s houses and watched the videos of Bob Avakian’s speeches—but it has to be much more of this.

 

A person from the Green Party, New York

The Green Party has endorsed the Black Lives Matter movement for a long time... We have a Brooklyn representative here and we have a Manhattan representative and Long Island. Basically we’ve stood against the police state and against mass incarceration, and we think it’s really important to support as part of a movement. And we think it’s important to say it kind of ties into all these problems, whether you talk about the climate crisis or low-wage workers being exploited or Black people being killed by the police. It’s all about people being disempowered and we think big organizing is important to this.

 

Male student from Truman State University, liberal arts university in Kirksville, Missouri, studying sociology

I thought that [Rise Up October] would be a good opportunity for me to learn more, and to experience something like this. That it would help me to better educate the community, if I could experience a demonstration with other people. I was hoping to hear from the families, the stories that would resonate with me that I could share with other people, so I could spread the word.

What struck me was that whenever people spoke, they told how there was no accountability whenever their loved ones were killed by the police. In every case, not getting justice for their deaths!...

I feel like the entire capitalist system of America was built on slavery and genocide and that we have to recognize as a people that it continues today. And we have to get rid of the system that encourages that! 

 

Asian man, about 30 years old

October 24, New York City
Photo: Phil Buehler

I came out here because this issue is a serious issue that our country needs to pay attention to. I think there is more and more attention on it, but I still haven’t seen any real commitment from the government, from the people in power, to do anything about it.

Of the speakers and families, what has most struck you?

Just seeing the resilience of the family members; that they’re able to come out here in this weather and explain their stories... It takes a lot of courage to do that, it takes a lot of patience. Just seeing their strength, to do a lot more work for them. If I were in their shoes I don’t think I would be able to do what they do, and they are forever inspiring another generation of people.

What do you think it will take to completely stop police brutality and murder?

You know, I wish I had the answer to that. But all I know is that it’s going to take a lot more people to come out, and it’s going to take all of us to contribute to this effort. I think, like everyone has been saying, we can’t just go home and say it’s been a good day. We have to go home and do our homework and do something about it.

 

A male student at Columbia College, Chicago, studying game design

I came because [an organizer with #RiseUp] came into class and made an announcement: We are going to NYC, this is why, this is what it is about, this is when we are going, this is how much it costs—and at the end, he asked all of us, “Which side are you on?” And I said, “Shit, this is the side I’m on!”

Previously, in that same class, I had seen the 11-minute video of Cornel West talking, with some of the families of people killed by police. I had known that people were murdered by the police but I had not known the extent of it. The video helped me to understand.

What did you hope to accomplish?

Getting a lot of people out there and getting it visible, so that all the people like me, who didn’t know about it, would get a wake-up call. We did get a lot of visibility! In New York, due to the numbers we had, traffic was snarled on a lot of streets and just came to a halt. So I think that a lot of people did find out about Rise Up October. A side point: the police had put up tall metal fences along the route of the march to cordon it off from the people passing by. People on the street just jumped over the fences to join the march.

Was there anything the speakers said that struck you the most?

What struck me the most was that I thought it was going to be a lot of sad stories, sort of like a memorial service, but instead, the speakers were stone-cold angry!

What is your impression of who was at Rise Up October?

I expected that all those types of people would attend. But what surprised me was the quantities! As far as what was new to me, all of it! It was my first protest!

What do you think it would really take to stop police terror?

Well, a complete overhaul of the whole system of policing—to utterly stop this in its tracks. It can’t be just a few reforms, but a complete change in the whole structure of policing.

 

Deonte Davis, cousin of Tony Robinson, murdered by Madison, Wisconsin police

I’m just here supporting, getting the justice I need for my family. [Tony’s] mom’s here, this is something big that we’ve been waiting for this moment for a while. We just want to get our justice.

What do you think about what’s happening here today?

Oh it’s amazing. We got a lot of people coming together, coming together as one, one voice, getting shit done. I mean it’s amazing.

What are you hoping to accomplish?

Hopefully to stop killing us, and actually hear our voices, so that we’re heard.

How did it feel to be connected to all these families?

I mean, to know I’m not the only one who goes through this, and it’s more people than I expected. It’s amazing.

 

Students from Prairie View A&M University in Texas

We came up here, we knew we had to do something to try to move the student body in Texas.

How many of you?

We had 15... and we’re trying to get our numbers up.

How did you organize it?

X came to the school and helped us out. And they told the students what to do, and then the kids just worked together and took it on.

Do you feel we’re accomplishing something important here?

Oh, yeah. This is going to be historic and I hope that it keeps on going. I can’t wait.

Are you going to take it back to Prairie View?

Oh, yeah! Oh, yeah! We got to get more people out here.

 

Donna Kay Williams, member of Orange, New Jersey City Council and People’s Organization for Progress

People’s Organization for Progress is in support of the march and we came out to support the effort, the Rise Up October.

What struck you about the speeches and the rally?

I will tell you, just watching the murders that are going on and the lack of responsibility on the person shooting, in this case the various police officers, and them being held accountable is what brings me out to say we have to do something about this. While I am a city legislator I’m a person too who has family members, and this is something that you can’t stop thinking about. And I’m telling you I’ve been thinking about it more because after seeing all the pictures of all those people killed there’s a portion of people as far as the West Coast, Chicago, everybody here, so when you accumulate a combination of all those pictures together you say, “wow.”

 

Cadine Williams from Oakland, California, whose brother O’Shaine Evans was killed by San Francisco police, October 7, 2014

It's time to rise up. This is well overdue. This is well overdue people. Get off that couch. Shut that big screen off. Stop being comfortable with them killing us. Stop being comfortable with being oppressed. Get out, fight for your rights. Stand up, fight back against this system. Tell the system we'll no longer have this. No more stolen lives. No more stolen lives.

What did it mean for you to get up on that stage and speak today?

It means a lot for hundreds of people to hear my story about my brother. Because if you don't make it to the media too much, your story will never be told. No one will have known who O’Shaine Evans is, was. You know that's my brother and I am my brother's keeper, and I'm going to keep on. Keep on fighting for my brother.

What do you hope will be accomplished today?

I hope more people will come out. I hope everyone will rise up against this system, and say no more. Enough is enough. I hope they will... people will stop being comfortable with them just killing us like that. People will unite, and get together, and overthrow this system!

What do you think it's going to take to finally put an end to this police murder?

For more people to come out. More people to come out and take these streets over and say enough is enough. Take the whole damn street over! Fuck half of the street! Let's take the whole street over!

 

 

 


 

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Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Cop Calls for Boycott of Fairfax Farm:

Three Words That Make Modern-Day Slave Catchers Go Off

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

The way cops and their defenders react to the words “Black Lives Matter” reveals a lot about their role in this society. A case in point:

Recently, a “Black Lives Matter” sign was put up in the window of the home of one of the owners of Centreville’s Cox Farms in Fairfax County, Virginia—a family-owned farm featuring pumpkin patches and other attractions for visitors. In response, Brad Carruthers, president of the Fairfax Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Lodge 77, posted a long Facebook message, saying he would boycott the farm and urging others to do the same. Carruthers posted a photo of the sign and called it a “slap in the face” to the Fairfax County police. He said, “Unfortunately that [phrase] has been hijacked by a small group of anti-police individuals. And now when law enforcement views Black Lives Matter we see—in social media and through protests—the violence that is inflicted on law enforcement.”

Carruthers echoes the big lie coming from other cops, their supporters, and the powers that be insisting that the big problem in society is not that the police are murdering Black and Latino people, but that the police are the “victims,” and making the outrageous accusation that those who popularize the hashtag and chant “Black Lives Matter” are engaging in “hate speech.”

This FOP attack was met by public outrage, including hundreds of people who wrote Facebook comments in defense of the “Black Lives Matter” sign. The FOP was forced to quickly remove the post.

Clearly, for those modern-day slave catchers in uniform who unjustly kill and brutalize Black people—and are regularly backed by the system for those crimes—the words “Black Lives Matter” are like a red flag before a bull.

The Cox family posted their own response, saying in part:

“Valuing Black lives and respecting the lives and work of police officers are not mutually exclusive... how can they serve and protect all members of our community if they do not believe that Black lives matter? We also know that the threatening comments on the original FOB Facebook post (those referencing throwing a brick through the window of our home, or the ones implying that perhaps the police might not respond to emergency calls for help) do not reflect the values and work ethic of the Fairfax County police officers we know and respect.

“Most of the people who are really mad about the sign are so offended because they believe the sign message is a direct attack on police officers. Yes, we have read the Black Lives Matter manifesto. From their website: ‘#BlackLivesMatter is working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically and intentionally targeted for demise.’ That statement is absolutely in line with our family values. As a family, we are anti-racist and pro-justice. We recognize that systemic racism is real, and we embrace our roles as allies working to dismantle it.... About fifteen years ago, some visitors started a boycott of our Fall Festival because we flew rainbow flags over our hay tunnel, and they were concerned that Cox Farms was ‘promoting the homosexual agenda.’ Our business has continued to grow, and our rainbow flags are still flying.” (The entire statement is on the Cox Farms Facebook page.)

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/system-gives-texas-killer-cop-immunity-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

System Gives Texas Killer Cop Immunity

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

On July 26, 2013, Austin, Texas police detective Charles Kleinert chased Larry Jackson, Jr., a 32-year-old Black man, shot him in the neck and killed him. Kleinert claimed he fired his pistol accidentally.

Texas prosecutors said Jackson was “unarmed, fleeing and posed no threat of serious physical harm to anyone.” When a Texas grand jury indicted Kleinert on manslaughter charges, it seemed like maybe for once a cop might go to trial for killing an unarmed Black man.

But NO!!!!

On June 26, 2015, Kleinert filed a motion to dismiss the indictment. And District Judge Lee Yeakel has now thrown out the charge against Kleinert. Yeakel cited the “supremacy clause” of the Constitution which says that federal law takes primacy over state law. Yeakel ruled that Kleinert has immunity from the state’s charges because he was working for a federal task force at the time that he murdered Larry Jackson, Jr. Yeakel’s ruling was also based on his belief that the actions Kleinert took against Jackson—i.e., murder—”were no more than was necessary and proper.”

Adam Loewy, an attorney for Jackson’s family, called the judge’s decision a “complete outrage” and said, “This is a legal technicality that will allow a killer to walk free.”

The people’s demand stands: Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail! The whole damn system is guilty as hell!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/nba-player-thabo-sefolosha-it-was-an-act-of-police-brutality-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

NBA Player Thabo Sefolosha: "It was an act of police brutality and I believe it could happen to anyone"

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Thabo Sefolosha is a 31-year-old Swiss-South African professional basketball player who plays for the NBA Atlanta Hawks. On April 8, 2015, Sefolosha was attacked by at least six NYPD cops, and he suffered a broken leg and torn ligaments, forcing him to miss the NBA playoffs.

A video of the incident outside a New York nightclub shows the cops grabbing Sefolosha, forcing him to the ground, and brutalizing him. Sefolosha was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, and obstruction of governmental administration.

The police claimed they were trying to clear the area after an incident in the club and arrested Sefolosha because he refused to leave. In a recent interview with GQ magazine, Sefolosha recounts what actually happened—how he was singled out by the police, then taken down and arrested. Sefolosha and his lawyer say it was a classic case of racial profiling.

Sefolosha said, “It was an act of police brutality, and I believe it could happen to anyone. Now I’m a lot more aware of everything that goes on. I’ve been, I don’t want to say disillusioned, but brought back to earth in a harsh way.”

Sefolosha was offered a plea bargain — one day of community service and six months staying out of trouble in exchange for all charges being dropped . But Sefolosha rejected this because he’d done nothing wrong and wanted justice. On October 9 a Manhattan jury deliberated for an hour and found Sefolosha not guilty of all charges.

In the GQ interview, Sefolosha recounts how the cops pushed him and others out of the club. He says there was some back-and-forth between him and one officer who told him, “Without a badge, I can fuck you up.”

Sefolosha says he tried to get into a cab, and this is when the cops attacked him: “When a homeless man asked me for money. I took out twenty bucks. When I made a few steps toward the guy, an officer said, ‘You're going to jail.’... More officers started grabbing me... One officer pulled me from my right arm, another grabbed me on my left, and another grabbed me on the back of my neck. I'm in, like, an on-a-cross type of position. I couldn't even move. It was just chaos. I had never been arrested before. I understood a little bit late that they were trying to put me on the ground, but if somebody grabs your arms and pulls you on your neck, you fall face first.

“Somebody kicked my leg, more than once, from the back to force me to the ground. I knew something had happened as soon as they did it; I'm an athlete, so I know how my body should feel. They were stepping on my foot, too, I guess to try to keep me there. I didn't feel like there was anything I could do to calm it down. I tried to show them I was cooperating. I tried.”

 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/police-killing-of-zachary-hammond-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

The Police Killing of Zachary Hammond

ONCE AGAIN: Murdering Cop Walks Free

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Zachary Hammond
Zachary Hammond
(Photo: Justice for Zachary Hammond Facebook page)

On July 26, 2015, Mark Tiller, a Seneca, South Carolina, cop, shot and killed Zachary Hammond, an unarmed white 19-year-old. Police say they had intended to arrest a woman who was in a car with Hammond for dealing marijuana. When Tiller approached the parked car, Hammond tried to drive away. Tiller, with his gun drawn, shouted, “Hands up!” and, “I’m going to shoot your ass.” Then Tiller fired into the driver’s-side window, hitting Hammond at near point-blank range. An autopsy showed Hammond was shot twice in the back.

On October 27, Solicitor (Prosecutor) Chrissy Adams announced that no charges would be brought against Tiller.

Tiller’s claim that he feared he was going to be run over was enough in the eyes of the authorities to justify the murder—even though the video of the incident, which thousands of people have seen, shows Tiller clearly standing to the side of Hammond’s car, not in the path of the car.

The statement issued by the Hammond family in response to the prosecutor’s decision said: “Tiller, who never identified himself as a police officer or showed his badge, dispensed his on-the-spot justice for a crime that had not even been committed. Quite simply, Tiller decided that he was going to be the judge, jury and executioner for Zachary’s decision to flee the scene.”

Adams offered a lengthy explanation for why no charges are going to be brought against Tiller. After saying the video “is troublesome,” she said that “the evidence and investigation corroborates and supports Tiller’s belief that he was going to be run over” and that it was necessary to use deadly force.

And what is this evidence?

Adams admits Tiller didn’t know anything about Hammond at the time that he shot him. But then she goes on to attack the character of Zachary Hammond in order to justify the murder: citing text messages, she claimed Hammond had been on a “destructive course” in his life, that he dealt drugs, had the word “Outlaw” tattooed on his arm, and had an “anti-authoritarian” attitude. Adams basically argues that because of all this, and if Hammond was high at the time, then he got what he deserved.

Eric Bland, attorney for Zachary Hammond’s family, said: “If we’re going to judge that his [Zachary’s] life isn’t worth protecting—[that] we’ll give a cop a free shot because he may be worth less than an honor roll student, that’s exactly what happens in rape cases. It’s disgusting. It’s not proper and the law doesn’t provide for that. The law provides that you judge the assailant. And, in this case, the only person that should be judged is Lt. Mark Tiller.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/police-claim-18-year-old-amonderez-p-green-killed-hiself-nobody-believes-them-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Police Claim 18-Year-Old Amonderez P. Green Killed Himself—Nobody Believes Them

October 29, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

Police claim that Amonderez P. Green, an 18-year-old Black youth who died of gunshot wounds on Thursday, October 29 in Normandy, Missouri, next to Ferguson, was a suicide, and that he fired at them before shooting himself on Wednesday, October 28. But their story is contradicted by family members, witnesses, and neighbors who say police are lying—that police murdered Amonderez P. Green. And the police story—that cops shot at Green but missed, and that Green killed himself with a gunshot wound to the face, is contradicted by all the available video and audio.

Neighbors, family, and witnesses say Amonderez P. Green was not suicidal, just upset. His father, Jermell Simpson, posted a statement on Instagram saying, “We even told Ferguson [police—who were on the scene, although they deny they shot at Green]... we had everything under control.” Witnesses say he was climbing over a pole with two hands when he was shot. They describe at least two gunshots—even though police claim he shot himself in the face once, killing himself. Videos show police abusing and disrespecting the victim’s mother as she demanded to see her son. Simpson later told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the authorities’ account of events was a “total lie.”

A witness describes what happened.

Within hours of Amonderez’s death, protesters rushed to the neighborhood where this happened. Some protesters also confronted Normandy police officials at a press conference.

The notorious Ferguson Police Department—now supposedly “under reform”—was involved in Amonderez’s death. The current official account says the Ferguson PD began the pursuit of Amonderez. Videos show them on the scene when Amonderez was chased and shot at by police. Amonderez’s father also says it was a Ferguson cop who pulled the trigger. What is very clear is that Ferguson PD has been trying to minimize their involvement in Amonderez’s death.

Clearly the truth is being covered up by police, and an outrageous injustice and horror has taken place.

No one should accept the Normandy police’s account of the death of Amonderez Green just because the police said it—and some of what they claim has already been clearly shown to be bullshit. But in any case, what IS absolutely clear is this: A young Black man was having a problem, and his family was trying to work it out and had asked police to back off—yet Amonderez Green was chased by police, shot at, and then ended up dead.

 


 

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/south-carolina-protest-against-brutal-police-assault-of-student-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

South Carolina Protest Against Brutal Police Assault of Student

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

You’ve probably seen the video of a Richland County, South Carolina, cop viciously assaulting a student, a young Black woman, at Spring Valley High School who had, according to the teacher, committed the “crime” of refusing to give up her phone.

Sheriff’s deputy and “school resource officer” Ben Fields, who was called in, treated the student like something less than human, like how a slave master would act against a defiant slave he wanted to brutally bring under control.

Not only was the student who was brutalized arrested for “disturbing school,” but another young woman in the class was arrested on the same charge—because she shot a cell phone video of the assault and spoke out against what was happening.

On Saturday, October 31, several groups held a protest outside the state house in Columbia, South Carolina, against the police assault Spring Valley High. The action was called by Black Lives Matter, Black Educators for Justice, and Black Lawyers for Justice. Fields has been fired from his job. The groups are demanding that the charges against the two students be dropped; that criminal charges be brought against Ben Fields, that several school administrators be fired; and for an end to “school resource officers”—cops—in schools. (Video of local TV news coverage of the protest available here.)

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/411/november-22-justice-for-tamir-rice-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

November 22: Justice for Tamir Rice!

November 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Tamir RiceTamir Rice was a 12-year-old playing in a park who was gunned down by police in Cleveland, Ohio on November 22, 2014.

November 22 marks one year since Cleveland, Ohio, police murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice. His killers have never been charged. There are high stakes—in the battle for justice for Tamir and in the whole battle against police murder and terror—involved in whether police get away with this murder.

It’s on video: First you see Tamir, a child playing by himself with a toy gun, with no one else in sight. At one point he puts the “weapon” down on the sidewalk, makes a snowball, throws it, picks up the toy gun again. If you didn’t know what was coming, it would just be this cute scene of a child being... a child! Then a police car rolls up. Tamir walks towards it, the toy in his waistband. The car stops, and within two seconds a cop shoots Tamir. Though he is still alive, the cops do nothing to assist him or even to try and make him comfortable. They show less concern than most people would if they came upon an injured dog.

Two minutes later, Tamir’s 14-year-old sister runs across the park towards her wounded brother, and you see the police tackle her, put her in handcuffs, and force her into their squad car where she can see her younger brother dying on the sidewalk a few feet away. Later (not on video), police threaten Tamir’s mom with arrest because she was upset about her son’s death.

On October 10, the Cuyahoga County district attorney produced reports by two “experts” to justify the murder. In the words of one of them, the murder was justified because of “Officer Loehmann’s belief that Rice posed a threat of serious physical harm or death. ...”

If a cop can murder a 12-year-old Black child playing with a toy gun that a 911 caller said was “probably fake”—within two seconds of arriving on the scene—and the system can justify this by claiming this pig considered the child to be “a threat,” then what is that but a green light for police to murder anyone as long as a cop claims the victim “posed a threat”?

This cannot go down! The pig who murdered Tamir Rice, along with his partner—who was complicit in the murder—must be indicted, convicted, and jailed!

Rise Up October has called for people to protest on the anniversary of Tamir Rice’s murder. Be in the streets November 22 demanding justice!

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/movement-for-revolution/revolution-clubs/join-the-revolution-club-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Join the REVOLUTION CLUB!

March 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

It is up to us: to wake up...to shake off the ways they put on us, the ways they have us thinking so they can keep us down and trapped in the same old rat-race...to rise up, as conscious Emancipators of Humanity. The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world...when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness...those days must be GONE. And they CAN be.

From The Revolution We Need... The Leadership We Have

If that vision moves you... and if you want to be part of making that real... then you need to be part of the Revolution Club.

The Revolution Club stands for two basic principles:

The Revolution Club at Rise Up October in New York City.
Photo: Special to Revolution/revcom.us

1) We need a whole better world, one where there is no longer exploitation and oppression, and the messed-up ways of thinking and acting that flow out of all that. In short, we need a communist world. And we need a revolution against THIS capitalist-imperialist system to get us to that world. The vision of this better world, and the strategy for how to get there, has been developed to a new level by Bob Avakian (BA)—the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA. For this reason, the Revolution Club's first main slogan is:

Humanity Needs Revolution and Communism

The Revolution Club digs into and spreads the work of BA, and defends his leadership.

2) We can't make the revolution today, with conditions and people the way they are now. But revolution can come about as conditions and people change. But that means that people who want to see revolution have work to do right now—work to hasten the day when the chance for revolution does emerge, and work to prepare people to be able to win when that chance does come on the agenda. This leads to the second slogan of the Revolution Club:

Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution

This means that the Revolution Club leads the people today to politically fight the power in many different ways, and leads them to change themselves as they struggle to change the world. Through this process people can come to recognize that a different kind of world is possible, what their real interests are, and who their real friends and real enemies areas they rise up against this system. All this is part of preparing for sudden changeschanges brought on by serious political or economic crises that flow out of this very system and jolt all of society. When such times emerge, millions of people can be won to see the need for fundamental change, and the possibility for revolution could emerge—if those who see the need for revolution begin now to reach and influence people.

The Revolution Club is about preparing for those future days. And it is about learning and doing. You don't need to know everything to get started... and you don't have to start out doing the hardest things. There are important things for everybody to do, and there are ways and means to find out what revolution and communism are all about, even if you are just getting into this. You do need to want to be part of the fight against this system, and to learn more as you fight. There is a place for you to contribute to building the movement for revolution, in many different ways, big and small, with ideas and practical involvement, with support, and with questions and criticisms.

So if you want to stand up against what's wrong... and if you want to learn more about how things could be made right... if you want to learn about and follow the revolutionary leader who has developed the vision of a whole new world and strategy to get there... and most of all, if you want to be part of getting humanity to that new worldthen you need to check out the Revolution Club.

Be part of emancipating all of humanity through revolution, and advancing to a communist world, free of exploitation and oppression!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/412/pack-the-courtroom-in-LA-November-5-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

From Los Angeles Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Pack the courtroom in LA Nov 5!
Drop the charges on all those arrested on #Shutdown A14!
Jail killer cops, not freedom fighters!

November 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

October 26...A young Black woman assaulted and brutalized in her classroom at Spring Valley High. October 28.... Amonderez P. Green, 18, chased, shot and killed by St. Louis and Ferguson police who then claim that he killed himself. Tamir Rice... Michael Brown... Eric Garner... Sandra Bland... case after case, name after name, video after video we see the spearhead of a slow genocide unfold before our eyes. Illegitimate killing after illegitimate killing; brutality that wouldn't be accepted against an animal, found "justifiable" again and again when used against a people that have been criminalized and rendered less than human. Police who murder Black and Latino people almost never face charges, but those who resist police murder are arrested, charged, and threatened with years in prison.

On Thursday, November 5th and Monday, November 16th, trials begin for 10 people who were arrested on April 14th during #Shutdown A14 protests to stop police murder. After the nationwide protests of the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, when the movement that has shaken the country since Ferguson was being attacked and slandered, #Shutdown A14 took to the streets in more than 30 cities nationwide to say that the "business as usual" in which police kill people every day―more than 930 so far this year―is unacceptable.

While killer cops walk free, the A14 defendants face three misdemeanor charges, each carrying a possible one-year jail sentence. This is outrageous. The people arrested are Stop Mass Incarceration Network members, youth and students from the L.A. Revolution Club, communists, and others who stepped forward for #Shutdown A14. They must be defended. This is part of further building the movement to STOP police murder and terror which has reached a new level through the #RiseUpOctober actions in New York City October 22 - 24, culminating October 24 when thousands, led by family members who have lost loved ones to murder by police, marched through Manhattan, carrying pictures of the people killed, demanding an end to police murder and terror and putting the challenge to the whole world: Which Side Are You On?

We cannot allow the state to repress this movement by taking leaders and fighters from us. Defending the A14 freedom fighters is part of continuing to Rise Up to Stop Police Murder and Terror. We cannot allow them to turn reality upside down by painting freedom fighters as criminals instead of the murdering police! Support the A14 defendants! Their unjust charges must be dropped!

What you can do:

Jail killer cops, not freedom fighters!

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/412/dont-let-them-get-away-with-murder-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Don't Let Them Get Away With Murder:
Georgia Grand Jury Issues Recommendations for the Cops that Killed Anthony Hill and Kevin Davis

November 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

From a reader:

On Thursday, October 29, 2015 a grand jury in DeKalb County, Georgia released “recommendations” to District Attorney Robert James regarding five cases of “police-involved shootings.” Two of the cases have gained national attention: the police killings of Anthony Hill and Kevin Davis.

The grand jury’s recommendations were: NO charges for the cop that murdered Kevin Davis, and a “more thorough interview” with Anthony Hill’s killer before deciding whether or not to press charges.

Justice for Anthony Hill and Kevin Davis

Both of these recommendations are outrageous and must be opposed!

Carl Dix, a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party and co-initiator of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, recently appeared as a guest on the FOX News show Justice with Judge Jeanine. The FOX News host, in line with the right-wing campaign to flip reality on its head, attempted to recast the ongoing murder of Black and Latino people at the hands of the police into the bullshit narrative of a “war on police.”

Toward the end of the interviewJudge Jeanine asks Carl, “If you are in trouble, who are you going to call?” Carl answers back, “Well look, if you’re in trouble and you call the police—often if you’re Black or Latino—then you’ve got another problem.” Carl goes on to point out the examples of some of the families of victims who attended and spoke at the Rise Up October demonstration in NYC—they called the police to help a family member and ended up having them killed by the police that they called to help their loved ones.

The police murders of Kevin Davis and Anthony Hill are two examples of exactly what Carl Dix is talking about. The police were called for help, resulting in two innocent Black men dead.

Kevin Davis, 44, called 911 to report that a roommate had stabbed his girlfriend. While on the phone with 911, Davis heard gunshots outside of his apartment. Fearing that the roommate had returned, Davis got his firearm so he could go investigate.

The shots that Davis heard were not from the roommate who had attacked his girlfriend. Instead, these were rounds fired into Kevin’s three-legged pit bull by Officer Joseph Pitts, who had entered the apartment unannounced. Davis was still on the line with the 911 operator, who failed to notify Davis that police had arrived. Within 16 seconds of killing the dog, the cop turned his gun on Kevin Davis. After two days in the hospital, with his family barred from visiting him, Kevin Davis died.

According to the grand jury, THIS MURDER doesn’t even deserve to go to trial! THIS is an OUTRAGE and it MUST be OPPOSED!

Anthony Hill was a 27-year-old Air Force veteran who suffered from bipolar disorder. His neighbors called police to help when they found him walking disoriented and without any clothes on around the apartment complex. The neighbors have reported that Anthony was not threatening. They called police out of concern that he needed help. But the cop who arrived on the scene, Robert Olsen, did not help Anthony Hill. The cop shot him down.

Olsen, like other cops have done all around the country, decided that execution was the best method of handling an incident of a person in need of help with mental illness. Olsen shot Anthony Hill despite the fact that Anthony was naked and obviously unarmed. Despite having a Taser and pepper spray, Olsen fired his gun. He stole a life and inflicted unimaginable pain on the many people who loved Anthony.

Olsen has provided a number of contradictory stories to justify the killing, and the grand jury said that because of this, “more inquiry” is needed. Whatever new lies the cop and the system come up with to justify killing Anthony Hill, the fact is: Anthony Hill needed help. He was not a threat to anyone. He was naked and unarmed. Anthony Hill did not deserve to die. Anthony Hill was murdered!

The Civil Grand Jury Is a Façade for IN-Justice and a Mechanism to Exonerate Killer Cops

In DeKalb, police have shot and killed at least 22 people since 2010, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Channel 2 Action News investigation. In response to widespread criticism, scrutiny and large-scale protests and resistance to these killings, DA Robert James announced in June that he would convene civil grand juries to consider evidence in cases where a police officer kills a civilian. Civil grand juries cannot issue criminal indictments; they are limited to providing “recommendations from the public.”

The civil grand jury provides a smoke screen with the illusion of “public involvement” aimed (just like a criminal grand jury) at exonerating killer cops. Why not charge the cops, put them on trial and let the public weigh in on the evidence without the secrecy afforded to grand juries? The question should answer itself. The system is rigged to let the cops off.

The grand juries assist the prosecutor in NOT prosecuting. In the hearings for Hill and Davis, the officers who did the killings were allowed to testify in front of the grand jury on their own behalf without cross-examination. Georgia is the only state that affords such a privilege to police, one not granted to private citizens. A recent investigation by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that not one of the 171 police shootings in Georgia since 2010 has gone to trial.

WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? Anyone with an ounce of morality and a longing for justice should refuse to accept the recommendations of the DeKalb civil grand jury and should join with the movement determined to STOP police terror.

Since the civil grand jury announced its recommendations, there have been at least three actions opposing the decision not to charge Kevin Davis’s killer and demanding charges be brought against the cops. One of these actions took place at Clark Atlanta University during a campaign speech by Hillary Clinton. Activists disrupted the event with their fists in the air, chanting “Black Lives Matter” and saying the names of Anthony Hill and Kevin Davis.

Stop Mass Incarceration Network-Atlanta quickly called for a nighttime speak-out after the grand jury recommendations were released and then issued a petition demanding that the district attorney immediately file charges against the killer cops.

DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James has the full power and authority to bring criminal charges against both officers. The families of Kevin Davis and Anthony Hill have been crying out for justice ever since the DeKalb County police killed their loved ones. We demand that DA Robert James file criminal charges now! Justice for Kevin Davis and Anthony Hill! No more green lights for police murder! Killer cops should be indicted, convicted and sent to jail!

Add your voice by signing the petition and contacting District Attorney Robert James at (404) 371-2561, email dekalbda@co.dekalb.ga.us, Facebook Robert James DeKalb DA.

Stay tuned for news of protests DEMANDING JUSTICE FOR KEVIN DAVIS AND ANTHONY HILL! at: www.stopmassincarcerationATL.org

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/412/the-suicide-of-GI-Joe-Gliniewicz-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

The Suicide of “GI Joe” Gliniewicz—A Poster Child for a Non-Existent “War on Police”

November 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

On September 1, Fox Lake Illinois cop Charles Joseph Gliniewicz died from one or more gunshot wounds. News reports said before his death he radioed that he was chasing three people engaged in "suspicious activity.” Four hundred heavily armed cops, helicopters, snipers in camouflage and dogs launched a massive search for three “suspects”—two white and one Black, in the almost all-white suburb of Fox Lake.

Now authorities are admitting that Gliniewicz killed himself, in fear that he was about to be exposed for embezzling money from an Explorer Scouts program to, among other things, pay his online porn bill. The whole story has yet to emerge, and perhaps never will, but the admission by authorities that Gliniewicz killed himself came at the same time as reports that before his suicide, Gliniewicz tried to arrange for a gang member to put a hit on a village administrator because he feared she would discover he had been embezzling money.

From the very beginning there were indications that Gliniewicz’ death was not a murder. The three suspects who were the targets of the militarized invasion of Fox Lake were detained and released within a week, to almost no press coverage—even as images of the manhunt continued to be invoked to paint police as under siege (see “Exposed! The Real Story Behind a Shooting in the “War on Cops”). When the county coroner told the media that, based on the evidence so far, he could not rule out the possibility of suicide, he was publicly attacked by high ranking police officials who said this was "completely outside of policy, procedure, protocols” that a coroner is supposed to follow. Those attacks on the coroner were given all kinds of airtime and print space in mass media. In light of how this case turned out, those attacks on the coroner stand as a self-exposure of what kinds of policies, procedures and protocols authorities pressure investigators to follow when there is a need for a cover-up in a police-involved death.

Until yesterday, “G.I. Joe” Gliniewicz—as he was memorialized—was a poster child for the fictional narrative of a “war on police.” Thousands of police from around the country and others attended his funeral, followed by a mile-long funeral procession marked with blue ribbons in support of police. The so-called “Blue Lives Matter” movement made Gliniewicz a martyr and a hero. Fox “News” that claimed “In America today the blue uniform has a bull's-eye on it.” But so did mainstream liberal ruling mass (that is—ruling class) media. A USA Today columnist wrote, after Gliniewicz’ death, that his “murder” (this before anyone was even charged with killing Gliniewicz, let alone convicted) was connected to “the rhetoric of ignorance and hate” in the movement against police murder and terror.  NBC News featured Fox Lake residents saying things like “I think it’s time we rally around our law enforcement and stop the madness."

The media continued this portrayal even as evidence mounted that he was not murdered, and even as he left a record of all kinds of outrageous criminal activity all over the place. Compare that with how they rush to condemn the victims of police murder as “bad guys,” who must have been doing something wrong. How they dredge up irrelevant gossip and bullshit about the victims, and promote the authorities' story no matter how absurd unless or until a video completely exposes the police as liars (and even then—as in the case of Eric Garner—the media acts to whitewash police murder).

The Gliniewicz incident concentrates the way the ruling class media routinely promotes the myth of a “war on police” regardless of evidence. And at the same time they vilify victims of an actual reign of police murder. That pattern is in synch with, and serves a genocidal agenda of a ruling class carrying out mass incarceration, police terror, and un-punished murder by police.

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/412/st-louis-prosecutor-says-police-murder-of-kajieme-powell-was-justified-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

14 seconds—12 bullets—0 charges
St. Louis Prosecutor Says Police Murder of Kajieme Powell Was “Justified”

November 5, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

From a reader:

On November 3 the St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce (the city prosecutor) announced that there would be NO charges against the two cops who cold-bloodedly murdered Kajieme Powell, a 25-year-old Black man. Kajieme Powell’s life was stolen by the police on August 19, 2014—just 10 days after and 3 miles away from Michael Brown’s murder by Ferguson cop Darren Wilson.

In Kajieme’s case—as with Eric Garner and Walter Scott and many others—a cell phone video captured the murder. The video shows a disoriented Powell wandering around in front of a market in North St. Louis. You hear Kajieme tell the cops who arrive, “Shoot me, shoot me.” These are clearly words of someone in severe mental distress and in need of urgent help. But just 14 seconds after arriving on the scene, two cops shoot Kajieme 12 times, killing him.

In the video you hear the videographer’s voice turn from a light-hearted tone to horror as a minor incident (alleged theft of energy drinks from a corner market) turns into a man being gunned down in a hail of bullets. The voice says, “They puttin’ him in cuffs. He’s dead, oh my god. They just killed this man. He didn’t have a gun on him. Now they’re cuffin’ him, he’s already dead. The man is already dead. How the hell can a dead man be of ANY threat to anybody?!”

The St. Louis prosecutor claimed that the two police cops had “reasonable” belief that Kajieme Powell posed a mortal threat when the cops shot him. Mildred Powell, Kajieme’s grandmother, said: “There’s so many cases that’s like Kajieme where guys have gotten killed. They said they were afraid for their lives. Are they just afraid of Black people, is that it?” There is a deep truth in Mildred Powell’s bitter words.

Jennifer Joyce is the same prosecutor who announced in May that no charges would be filed against the cop who, working as a security guard, murdered 18-year-old VonDerrit Myers Jr. in October 2014 (see “A Year After Police Murder, Lies and Coverup: Justice for VonDerrit Myers NOW“). And as in that case, the decision not to charge the cops who killed Kajieme Powell is an official green light for cops to murder more Black people, as well as Latino and Native American people—and get away with it.

Lies and Bullshit

After Kajieme’s murder, the authorities rushed to the scene to immediately begin the lies and cover-up and efforts to suppress the people’s righteous anger. St. Louis Police Chief Dotson arrived with a detachment of cops and, faced with an angry group of people, he claimed that the officers were forced to fire when Kajieme Powell came to within three or four feet of them holding a knife in “an overhand grip.” The cell phone video released later contradicted his claims—showing that Kajieme had not come as close to the cops as claimed, had his hands at his sides, and was walking sideways and looking backwards. The safety of the cops was not in question due to the presence of Kajieme Powell. And in any case, what about the safety and welfare of the young Black man, in obvious mental anguish, who they so ruthlessly gunned down?!

Also at the scene of Kajieme’s murder along with Police Chief Dotson was St. Louis Alderman Antonio French, trying to cool down people’s righteous anger at injustice and convince them to put their faith back into the system. It should be remembered that when Kajieme was murdered, the authorities were reeling from the uprising in Ferguson during the prior 10 days. After Dotson went through his lies while promising to get to the truth, the people were still unconvinced and angry. There were chants of “Hands up, don’t shoot!” French had been put forward as a voice of the protest movement following the murder of Mike Brown—but in reality, from the very first days of Ferguson uprising, French collaborated with the authorities, trying to get angry youth to back off and slandering and attacking revolutionary communists who stood with the people rising up. (See “Antonio French—Bootlicker Supreme“)

French said to the crowd at the scene of Kajieme’s murder: “It goes down in Ferguson because they don’t have any Black folks in power... a chief that doesn’t listen to the people. We are different here.... We will get justice here... We’re gonna be patient in our neighborhood. Because you got people that got your backs here. You ain’t the law like they are in Ferguson. Let’s be patient. The last thing we need is violence in our neighborhood. No silliness over here.”

It would take a dump truck to carry all the lies, false promises, and general bullshit put out by French to shut up and mislead people and quell the resistance to Kajieme’s murder. But to start with, what exactly has been the upshot for people in St. Louis who supposedly have “Black folks in power”? St. Louis police have gotten away with murder after murder of Black people: Kajieme Powell, VonDerrit Myers, Terrell Beasley, Isaac Holmes, LaDarius Williams, Mansur Ball-Bey... They have repeatedly brutalized, tased and tear gassed protesters and bystanders. At least six people killed by police in St. Louis North County over the same 15 months. There’s a whole brutal, white-supremacist system at work, not a few rogue cops or a few bad people in high places.

French, and forces like him, are still actively working to divert people’s struggle back into the deadly embrace of the system. This is not just “past history.” They continue to work to derail the righteous struggle that broke out in Ferguson and spread across the country—”silliness” as French calls it. French is a highly visible spokesperson in “police accountability” efforts, including through his role on the St. Louis City Council and in connection with the Civilian Review Board. French’s goals are now the same as the job he was doing in Ferguson and in north St. Louis where Kajieme Powell was murdered: keeping the people from rising up and keeping them locked into relying on the same system that is carrying out a genocidal program, with police terror and murder as the spear point. Peddling illusions and false hopes like French is doing actually protects the murdering cops by diverting people away from struggle that has real potential to rock the enforcers and those who oversee them back on their heels.

Today the struggle against police terror and murder is at a critical crossroads. As Revolution/revcom.us said in the editorial that came out after the October 22-24 Rise Up October demonstrations in NYC, “The thousands who testified, resisted, and marched through the streets made clear that there was a force, a movement, that is determined to draw a clear line, challenging everyone, throughout the country, to RISE UP against this.” On the other side is the continuing, unrelenting murders and brutality by police, and a campaign to make heroes out of cops and slander and suppress the people’s genuinely heroic struggle. Which side are you on?

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/412/berkeley-high-school-students-walk-out-against-racist-message-on-school-computers-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Berkeley High School Students Walk Out Against Racist Message on School Computers

November 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

 

From a reader:

On Wednesday, November 4, at Berkeley High, a disgusting racist threat appeared on the homepage of the school library’s computers: “I HUNG A NIGGER BY HIS NECK IN MY BACK YARD. FUCK ALL THE NIGGERS IN THE WORLD. KKK FOREVER PUBLIC LYNCHING DECEMBER 9th 2015.” This happened at 12:30 p.m. in the afternoon. But it wasn’t until almost 10:30 p.m. at night that the school principal, in response to widespread shock and outrage, sent out a mass email to the Berkeley High School (BHS) community calling for an investigation. 

Berkeley High School Walkout November 5, 2015

Over 1,000 Berkeley High School (California) students walked out November 5 to protest racist threats posted on school library computers. Photo: special to Revolution

Next morning, November 5, over 1,000 Berkeley High students of all nationalities/races, led by the Black Student Union, walked out and marched, chanting “Black Lives Matter!” to the UC Berkeley campus where they were joined by the UC Berkeley BSU and others. This march was filled with righteous anger about a situation where Black students are being made to feel unsafe in their own school.

This is a country where white-supremacist mass murder and arson fires happen at Black churches—and where killer cops can get away with murder just by telling the racist lie that “I feared for my life,” even if their victim was a 12-year-old-boy like Tamir Rice. Just like in the Jim Crow South, where every Black person lived under a death sentence that might or might not be carried out, and every Black person was traumatized with the fear of lynching. How much has changed???

Berkeley High school walkout November 5, 2015

Berkeley High School students march to UC Berkeley campus, November 5, 2015. Photo: special to Revolution

One BHS student who helped to lead the walkout told Revolution newspaper: “I wasn’t shocked, cuz I know the climate and the era that we live in. Even though people say racism happened 400 years ago, it’s still prevalent and it’s still alive today. Back in the day people be walking around with cloths on their head and really trying to kill you. Today they wear police badges and police uniforms and judge gowns, and they try to kill you that way. The system’s fucked up and we all know it.”

What will it take to get to a society where Black lives really DO matter? It will take an actual revolution, to uproot this whole capitalist-imperialist system which has been built on white supremacy since day one. And right now, people need to fight! Nothing has, and nothing ever will change without struggle. Police murder and racist terror must STOP, and everyone’s gotta pick a side!

As one BHS student said at the rally, “This cannot stop here. This is not enough. This is not the end game. At Berkeley High, in Berkeley, California, we set the trends. We gonna keep this going. I don’t care how long it takes. We will see change.”

 

 

 


 

Permalink: http://revcom.us/a/412/press-release-new-fop-threats-against-tarantino-en.html

Revolution #411 November 2, 2015

Press Release from Rise Up October, Nov. 6:

New FOP Threats Against Quentin Tarantino; Rise Up October Responds
Carl Dix condemns FOP's "dangerous thuggery"

November 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

 

Carl Dix, co-initiator and lead organizer of Rise Up October, Family members supporting Tarantino available for interviews

New FOP Threats Against Quentin Tarantino; Rise Up October Responds
Carl Dix condemns FOP's "dangerous thuggery"

On Thursday, Jim Pasco, Executive Director of the Washington, DC-based Fraternal Order of Police, the country's largest police union, issued an ominous new threat against director Quentin Tarantino, saying the police have a "surprise" they'll spring on him in addition to boycotting his upcoming film. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Pasco warned, "Something could happen anytime between now and [the premiere]. The right time and place will come up and we'll try to hurt him in the only way that seems to matter to him, and that's economically."

Carl Dix, co-initiator with Cornel West of Rise Up October to Stop Police Terror, and spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party stated today in response to Pasco's threat:

"The mafia style attack coming from Jim Pasco of the FOP would be cartoonish thuggery if it weren't so dangerous. Artists need to be able to speak for justice without attacks and retribution. This is why we launched #SideWithQuentin and everyone should join us in speaking out against these bullying tactics. We should also understand that like any bully, they become most vicious when they're exposed. In the face of video after video of unarmed Black, Latino, and Native Americans being tazed, stomped, brutalized, and shot in the back by police -- their only answer to those who speak out and criticize is repression and force. Whether it be the tanks and tear gas in the streets of Ferguson or boycotts and bully threats aimed at silencing prominent voices who speak out. We say no to this! We will #SideWithQuentin and we will build a powerful movement of resistance to STOP murder by police."

Support For Tarantino Spreads—Prominent Voices Speak Out

Support for Tarantino is spreading, as more and more prominent actors, writers, filmmakers and other voices of conscience speak out in his defense. To date they include:

Rise Up October co-initiator and representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party Carl Dix; Rise Up October co-initiator, professor and author Cornel West; actorJamie Foxx; actor Viggo Mortensen; actor Mark Ruffalo; filmmaker Michael Moore; author Joyce Carol Oates; musician Tom Morello; Grammy award winning jazz musician Arturo O'Farrill; actor and filmmaker Gbenga Akkinagbe; actor Ed Asner; actor and author Peter Coyote; filmmaker Charles Burnett; producer and Sankofa.org Co-Director Gina Belafonte; Native American activist and journalist Simon Moya-Smith; National Coalition Against Censorship; First Amendment attorney Martin Garbus; screenwriter, NYU adjunct professor Dan Therriault; radio host Roland Martin; director of Cocaine Cowboys Billy Corben; cultural critic, film historian, journalist Peter Biskind; founder, Rosenberg Fund for Children Robert Meeropol; author, filmmaker, playwright Jen Marlowe; filmmaker Shaul Schwarz; Bill Ayers; Zen Buddhist teacher, priest, scholar, and author Taigen Dan Leighton; Zen Buddhist priest and New Yorker Roshi Pat O’Hara

Click HERE for statements of support for Tarantino from over 20 family members of victims of police murder who were in NY for Rise Up October

Social Media Campaign #SideWithQuentin Launches

On November 4, Rise Up to Stop Police Terror organizers launched a #SideWithQuentin social media campaign. Within hours there have been hundreds of tweets with the #SideWithQuentin hashtag, including by actor Mark Ruffalo; musician Tom Morello, actor and filmmaker Gbenga Akkinagbe, producer and Sankofa.org Co-Director Gina Belafonte, and Native American activist and journalist Simon Moya-Smith. Author Joyce Carol Oates and filmmaker Michael Moore have also tweeted or posted on Instragram in support of Tarantino.

 

RiseUpOctober.org 
646.709.1961 
press@riseupoctober.org 
Twitter: #SideWithQuentin #RiseUpOctober