Revolution#107, November 4, 2007

National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation October 22, 2007

On October 22, 2007, parents and families of victims of police murder, students, movement activists, and people of all nationalities marched in cities all over the country in protests against Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. Revolution has received reports or learned of protests in: Atlanta; Chicago; Cleveland; Detroit; Houston, TX; Fresno, CA; Humboldt County, CA; Lawrence, KS; Los Angeles; Minneapolis, New York City; Oakland; Olympia, WA; San Diego; Santa Rosa, CA; Seattle;
Tucson, AZ; Washington, DC.

See initial reports.

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Voices from October 22, 2007:

Marcus Jones—the father of Mychal Bell, one of the Jena 6—spoke to the crowd in NewYork via a phone hook-up: “I’ve been hearing about the racial profiling that the police have been doing up there. Jena is everywhere. I see that on a map of New York there’s no name Jena, New York—but I know it’s Jena up there somewhere.”

Antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, whose son Casey was killed in the Iraq War, told people: “I’ve gotten in trouble with the mainstream media because I called George Bush ‘the No. 1 terrorist in the world.’ People say, oh, no, he can’t be, because he’s an elected leader of a state. Well, first of all, who elected him? Did any of you vote for him? No. He is an illegitimate leader of this brutal state.”

Margarita Rosario, whose son and nephew were killed by the NYPD, said: “My son received 14 shots to his back while he was face down on the floor. And my nephew the same thing. They destroyed my life… I’m still standing and I will continue to stand… Let’s tell the community of Harlem today that we need to fight!”

Bob Coleman, the newly appointed Minister of Missions and Social Justice at Riverside Church in New York, told the crowd: “The church has to say ‘no more.’ ... When your child dies it’s like one of our children has died, and we will not remain silent. There are too many faith communities that see no evil, speak of no evil and hear no evil, but we have to speak.”

In the last year nine people have been killed in Sonoma County, in northern California by police and sheriffs. In a recent nine-week period, police shot and killed five people. At a rally in Santa Rosa, Ann Gray Byrd, chairwoman of the Sonoma County chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, said, “The families of those shot down in our communities have not been heard.”

In Oakland, Clarence Thomas, from the ILWU Local 10 Executive Board, told the crowd: “The Police Department, the State of California and the United States government want to criminalize the Black community and in particular the Black youth. This is the reason we recently witnessed the acquittal of eight juvenile authority figures [in Florida] who were seen on videotape strangling, kicking and beating a young Black youth to death. His attorney said, ‘Kill a dog, go to jail. Kill a Black boy and get off.’ This is apartheid justice, brothers and sisters.”

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