Revolution #105, October 21, 2007

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Enough is Enough!
All Out on October 22nd!

National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation—Wear Black!


On October 22, there is an urgent need for a powerful outpouring to:

STOP police brutality

STOP repression

STOP the criminalization of a generation

Police brutality is unchecked. In Chicago, eight young Black and Latino men—as young as 15 years old—have been gunned down by police since July 21 of this year. Over the last year, we saw the murder of Sean Bell in New York City on his wedding day—gunned down, unarmed, in a hail of bullets from the NYPD. In Oakland, Gary King Jr. was shot in the back, killed by a cop. His mother told Revolution “he had his whole life ahead of him.” In West Memphis, Arkansas, undercover pigs gunned down 12-year-old DeAunta Terrell Farrow as he walked home from getting a snack.

After Katrina, in New Orleans, National Guard and Blackwater rent-a-stormtroopers—the ones who kill with impunity in Iraq—occupied the city. While the system did (and continues to do) nothing to help the poor and Black people in, or driven from, New Orleans, a National Guard General said their mission was “a combat operation to get this city under control.” (For more information about all these stories, go to

From border to border, and coast to coast, the police are doing the dirty work of the lynch mobs in the old South—executing a death sentence that hangs over the heads of millions of youth just for being Black and Latino. Why does this happen? It comes from the whole way this system works. Every capitalist competes in the dog-eat-dog, kill-or-be-killed race for profits. At one point, that meant driving Black people off the land in the South, where they lived in semi-slavery conditions as sharecroppers, and into the hellhole mills, foundries, slaughterhouses, and factories of the big cities. In the context of all-round social upheaval which convulsed society—and which is still being fought over today—those workers waged struggles against their conditions—workers gave their lives in strikes and protests. Today, the system has intensified exploitation here and around the world. To the capitalists, the defiant spirit among Black people is an obstacle to their whole thing. Jobs are moved. Inner-city schools are abandoned. Housing is torn down or left to rot. Millions of youth have no future under this system. To the system, these precious human beings are considered “superfluous”—not needed, and too rebellious. So the system blames them, demonizes them and unleashes their police to terrorize them and gun them down.

Look at the roundups of anyone who appears to be Latino. At a Swift meatpacking plant, workers were sorted out by the color of their skin for interrogation or detention and deportation by ICE. In Nassau County, New York, the establishment newspaper the New York Times wrote: “Scores of federal immigration agents from around the country, some wearing cowboy hats and brandishing shotguns and automatic weapons, endangered residents and local police.” Parents are torn from their children the way the slave masters used to do.

Again, we must ask, why is this? And again, it comes back to the system. The capitalist-imperialist system has wrecked the economies of countries like Mexico, wiping out small farmers and driving millions off the land. People forced from their homes are sucked into the most dangerous, unhealthy, low-paying work in the U.S. Now, to the system, these millions of immigrants—with nothing to lose but their chains, and whose culture and language are seen as a threat to the “social cohesion” of the whole oppressive way things are—are seen as both a necessary source of super-profits, and a potential danger to the whole setup. So now immigrants too—like the Black youth in the inner cities—are demonized and criminalized. Last year, on May 1, police fired 150 rubber bullets into a protest for immigrants’ rights in LA, and clubbed and brutalized protesters, residents and reporters. The whole wave of roundups and attacks on immigrants is justified by the system and its fascist lackeys on TV who lie that this pol-ICE state terror is to keep America safe from criminals and terrorists.

Look at the way the Jena 6 are still facing decades in jail. The system is determined to punish the Black students at Jena High School for first daring to sit under the “white tree” in the schoolyard, and then daring to stand under the tree in protest when lynching nooses were hung from the tree. This goes way beyond a local good ol’ boy prosecutor—the U.S. Department of Justice investigated and put a stamp of approval on the whole way this went down—calling it “regular,” not “irregular.” In the case of the Jena 6, millions of people—especially Black people—have recognized that what happened here is both an outrage and typical of how the system treats Black people. Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6, had his original conviction overturned as the movement to Free the Jena 6 grew. After the historic outpouring of protest in Jena itself, and in school walkouts in cities around the country, he was released from jail for a brief period. But as we go to press, he has been locked up again, by a system determined to deliver again the message that you cannot stand up to white supremacy. The struggle to Free the Jena 6 must continue and spread, and be taken up by people of all nationalities, until all the Jena 6 are free! And this demand should be raised by the October 22 protests.

What about the constant new revelations of government spying and repression?  The government taps millions of phones, places video cameras everywhere, and spies on what books you read at the library. For at least a year before the 2004 Republican National Con­ven­tion, undercover police operations around the country targeted actors, church groups, antiwar organizations, environmentalists, people op­posed to the death penalty, anti-globalization acti­vists and people opposed to Bush, including three New York City elected officials. And George W. Bush can have you or anyone else locked up for years on his say-so, with no trial, to be tortured—as he did with Jose Padilla.

Through all this you see a pattern: systematic brutality, murder, and repression to enforce a setup of exploitation. A system of modern-day slavery. A system that feeds off the plunder of the world and that cannot tolerate dissent and protest against that. We need to resist police brutality, and do everything we can to win justice for victims of police brutality and murder. And to end police brutality once and for all, we need revolution—a communist revolution. Communist revolution brings into being a whole new system and a new state power. Instead of a society based on oppression, exploitation, and inequality and everything that goes with it—including police brutality, the new state power opens the doors to the youth being able to use their creativity and energy to build a better world. To finally put an end to police brutality, the movement to stop police brutality must be built as part of a growing revolutionary movement—with its eye on the prize of revolution and communism.

Hundreds of thousands have marched against the criminalization of immigrants over the last couple of years. The historic protest in Jena marked what must be the beginning of a wave of people standing up. Civil libertarians and activists have condemned the police state-ization of America.

We must build on these beginning shoots of struggle. On October 22, people need to come together, and rise above the way people are played by the system and set against each other. There must be organized, militant protest on October 22. October 22 must, and can, represent a coming together of all who oppose police brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation. In past years, those demonstrating on October 22 have included Black and Latino youth, human rights activists, parents and family of those killed by police, day laborers, antiwar activists, immigrants rights activists, professionals, students, and people of all nationalities. Wearing black, and marching in the streets.

Building a powerful movement against police brutality, and getting Revolution newspaper out everywhere in society are important elements in building a revolutionary movement—a movement for communist revolution, to bring into being a world without murdering police and the whole system they enforce. This is part of what it means to Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution.

In the short time between when you read this, and October 22, get organized. Contact the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. Organize everyone you know and meet to wear black on October 22, and to be at the protest nearest you, or if there is not a protest in your area, organize one right now. Reach out to unions, neighborhood and social organizations, religious communities, teachers and students, and beyond. Get this issue of Revolution newspaper, and this editorial, out everywhere—online, in the projects, in the neighborhoods, workplaces, and on high school and college campuses.

Police brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation must STOP! All out on October 22!

October 22: National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!

Initial List of Assembly Points for October 22, 2007:

Los Angeles—Gather 12 noon at Los Angeles St. and 1st St in front of Parker Center (LAPD headquarters). March at 2 p.m. to MacArthur Park

New York—4 p.m. rally at Marcus Garvey Park (124th St. and 5th Ave.). March followed by rally at St. Mary’s Church.

CHICAGO—Noon rally at Federal Plaza, Adams and Dearborn

OAKLAND/SAN FRANCISCO—Gather in Oakland for march at 1:30 p.m. at City Hall (Frank Ogawa Plaza) on Clay St. between 14th and 15th Sts., followed by a rally at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall (Frank Ogawa Plaza)


For details and other locations contact: October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization of a Generation:   • •  1-888-NOBRUTALITY  

October 22nd Coalition, PO Box 2627, New York NY 10009

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