The Call for a National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation on October 22nd, 2003!

Revolutionary Worker #1215, October 12, 2003, posted at

This call is from the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation.

Where will you be on October 22, 2003? What will you be doing? Will you join with thousands of others across the country to expose and oppose the nationwide epidemic of Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation?

The second edition of Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement , published in 1999, documented over 2,000 cases of people killed by law enforcement nationwide in the decade of the 1990s, largely youth in communities of color. The research done so far in preparation for the 3rd version of the Stolen Lives book, coming out next spring, reveals an outrageous step-up in the number of killings by law enforcement nationwide since Sept. 11, 2001, including over 61 killings in the NY/NJ area, 49 in Chicago, to name just a few cities. And the numbers climb every day.

On May 16, police broke into the wrong apartment in Harlem, exploded a stun grenade, and handcuffed 57-year-old Alberta Spruill, causing her death. Six days later, NY police killed Ousmane Zongo, an innocent bystander, while carrying out a raid. On May 6, Chicago cops killed Luther Mitchell with gunshots to the head and left his handcuffed body in the streets for several hours. In Los Angeles, the DA exonerated the cops who gunned down Gonzalo Martinez with automatic weapons, although Gonzalo was posing no threat to the officers and in fact he was trying to give up when he was gunned down. In Guilford County, North Carolina, the parents of Gil Barber were held in contempt of court for calling the Sheriff's Deputy who killed their son a murderer.

They tell us the repressive practices they are enacting today, like expanding racial profiling and giving the police more power over the people, are being done to keep us safe. Roundups and deportations of thousands of immigrants are widely practiced. Laws and policies which are being enacted today, like the USA PATRIOT ACT and Homeland Security, raise the specter of a police state. But there ain't no safety in a police state!

This stepped-up clampdown has already met with resistance in many areas. The suffocating silence and censorship on the issue of police brutality of the past few years has been punctured by the actions of people in Benton Harbor, Michigan, who resisted and stood up to the police violence and terror. In Fort Greene, New York, and Cabrini Green, Chicago, people in the neighborhoods chased out the raiding police with rocks and bottles. Their resistance has helped break out the issue of police brutality into the public eye once again.

On October 22, 2003, the 8th Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation, we have an opportunity to make a powerful and visible manifestation in the streets and in other ways to oppose this repressive clampdown and break through the wall of silence the authorities have tried to maintain around these outrages. We can drag their crimes out into the light of day so that others may join us in opposing them. Our actions on October 22nd will give strength and courage to people who are resisting and let them know that they have allies.

All of history teaches us that, as Frederick Douglas said, "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will....The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

Join with us on October 22, 2003, to make the 8th Annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation a day which cannot be ignored, a day which will open the eyes of many people across the country to the continuing epidemic of police brutality and repression. In city after city across the U.S., thousands of people will hold demonstrations, rallies, marches, forums, workshops, concerts, art shows, organizing meetings, and more, to reach out to and involve millions more. We will use the pictures, stories and statistics from the Stolen Lives Project to let people know of the horrors and outrages which are being kept from their sight, and call on them to be a part of fighting back to stop this national epidemic. We will WEAR BLACK! to symbolize our mourning for those whose lives have been stolen from us, and speak for those who can no longer speak for themselves.


Racial profiling, which led to the death of Amadou Diallo and so many more, continues to plague Blacks and Latinos and now has been expanded to target Arabs, South Asians and Muslims. Tens of thousands of immigrants have faced mandatory registration and interrogations. Thousands have been detained, and many have been deported. Families have been split up as round-ups have resulted in deportations without notice to family members still waiting in the U.S.

Law continue to strip away civil liberties and protection against COINTELPRO-type government eavesdropping, searches, seizures, evidence fabrication, frame-ups, and ambushes. People are being held in jail indefinitely on secret evidence and denied access to lawyers or a chance to contest their imprisonment. Police, the FBI, CIA, INS/BICE and other law enforcement agencies, the same institutions that have brutalized and even murdered people, are being given expanded powers over us. The Chicago PD is under investigation for lying to justify the 1998 killing of Michael Russell. Police claim Russell had shot another man, but the shooting victim and another witness say Russell was an innocent by-stander.

Protests and dissent are being criminalized . at many anti-war marches across the country, protesters were viciously beaten and attacked. At an antiwar demonstration at the Oakland Docks, the highest officials in the country from Homeland Security directed police to fire concussion grenades and rubber bullets at protesters. At anti-war demonstrations in New York, Chicago, Seattle, Kent State and other places, police viciously attacked and brutalized demonstrators.

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson (killed by NYPD in March 2000), was targeted by police harassment for her outspoken role around the murders of Alberta Spruill, Ousmane Zongo, and "Chago" Villaueva. This was an attempt to send a broader message to people to "shut up."

Prison continues to serve as a warehouse for those stamped with criminalization by U.S. society. More than 2 million people are in jail, most of them for non-violent offenses, most of them young, most of them people of color and almost all of them poor.

Mumia Abu Jamal, Leonard Peltier and many other political prisoners remain in jail when their only "crime" is fighting against injustice.


Endorsement List for October 22, 2003

Family Members of People Killed by Law Enforcement Agents:

Iris Baez, mother of Anthony Baez, killed by NYPD
Jessie Barber, mother of Gil Barber
Diane Bossom, Houston, Texas
Milta Calderón, New York
Ophelia Randall Ealy, mother of Michael Randall Ealy, killed by Seattle police 12/28/98
Danny García, brother of Mark García who was pepper-sprayed and killed by SF police
Arnetta Grable, mother of Lamar Grable, killed by Detroit police
Cornelius Hall, Alabama
Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr., killed by NYPD
Hooper family, whose loved one Gregory Hooper was killed by off-duty SF police
Mesha Irizarry, mother of Idriss Stelley who was killed by SF police
Norma and Norberto Martínez, parents of Gonzalo Martínez, killed by LAPD
Edith Miller, Detroit
Vicki Moon, mother of Bryan Bombela, who was killed by Monterey County sheriff
Jervis Muwakkil, father of Jamill Wheatfall who was killed by Oakland police
Family and Friends of Javier Quezada, Jr., killed by Pasadena police on January 23, 2003
Eric Roberts, brother of Aaron Roberts, killed by Seattle Police 5/31/01
Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario, killed by NYPD
Frank Rosenberg, father of Richard Rosenberg who was killed by Fremont police
Andree Smith, mother of Justin Smith, killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 14, 1998
Jonsi Smith, sister of Justin Smith, killed in Tulsa, Oklahoma on August 14, 1998
Cornell Squires, survivor of police brutality, Detroit
Olga Sokolova, friend of Josh, killed by LAPD on November 22, 2002
Jamila Sombia, Detroit
Calvert Stewart, father of Gil Barber, High Point, North Carolina
Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, killed by NYPD March 2000
LaRhonda Young and family for Tyrone Salters, Greenville, SC
Lisa Williams, survivor of police brutality, Detroit

Individuals and Organizations:

African American Committee to Free Mumia Abu Jamal (Zakiyyah S. Muhammad, Doris Lewis, Allean Morrow), Chicago
Anarchist Black Cross, San Diego
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, Seattle
A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition, San Diego
Mollie M. Bell, community activist, Los Angeles
Calonise Berjongja, Seattle WA
Blue Triangle San Francisco
Campaign Against Racial Profiling - ACLU, New York
Luis Carrillo, attorney, Los Angeles
Michael Chattom, National Association for Equal Justice in America (NAEJA)
Chicago Not In Our Name
Chicago Rolling Thunder
California Coalition for Women Prisoners, San Diego
Committee Against Police Brutality, San Diego
Frank Cruz, Yerba Colectiva
Cry for Justice, Chicago
Chris Daly, San Francisco Supervisor
Jason David, Los Angeles
December 12 th Movement, New York
Dwayne Dickson, Sr., Families to Amend California's Three Strikes (FACTS)
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party
First A.M.E. Church - Los Angeles - Social Concerns Commission
Franciscan Friars, Chicago
Freedom Socialist Party, San Francisco
Haitian Coalition for Justice, New York
Terry Hanks (ex-political prisoner)
International Action Center--San Diego
Justice Coalition (Lydia Taylor, David Bates), Chicago
Dedon Kamathi, Los Angeles
James Lafferty, National Lawyers Guild*
La Resistencia, National Office, Houston, Texas
Father Lawrence Lucas, New York
Rocky Lewis, North Carolina
M.E.Ch.A. de USC
O'Kelly McCluskey, WW2 USN, member of Veterans for Peace, Seattle*
New Black Panther Party - Chicago Chapter
Efia Nwangaza, African American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning, Greenville, S.C.
Anne Tamiko Omura, San Francisco
Peace and Conflict Scholars - USC
Clarence Potter, Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, Greenville, SC
Radical Women, San Francisco
Refuse and Resist!, National Office, New York
Louis Reyes Rivera, poet
Rev. M. Andrew Robinson-Gaither, Faith United Methodist Church, L.A.
San Diego Peace and Freedom Party
San Francisco Day Labor Program
Rene Saucedo, La Raza Centro Legal, Bay Area
The South Alameda County Peace and Justice Coalition, Ca.,
South Asians Against Police Brutality & Racism, New York
Idriss Stelley Foundation, San Francisco
Samina Sundas, American Muslim Voice, San Francisco
Roger Wareham
Esther Wolf, Seattle WA * organization listed for identification purposes only