The Call for October 22, 2004: National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation

Revolutionary Worker #1255, October 17, 2004, posted at

This call is from the October 22 Coalition.

An occupying army sweeps into a neighborhood, searches all vehicles, harasses and brutalizes children, and arrests residents in massive sweeps. In another neighborhood, squads armed with automatic rifles, backed up by helicopters, march in military formation into the streets and force people onto the ground at gunpoint. A horrified nation watches a videotape of an unarmed civilian being beaten to death. A 19-year-old boy is shot for opening a rooftop door; he's in the "wrong place."

These are NOT scenes and photographs from Iraq, Afghanistan,or Palestine. These are scenes from Hunters Point (Bay Area), California, where a community is being terrorized by police; from Chicago's Cabrini Green housing project during a police raid on the residents; from Cincinnati, Ohio, where Nathaniel Jones was beaten to death while handcuffed; from New York City, where 19-year-old Timothy Stansbury was shot and killed just for opening a door onto the rooftop where he lived.

A law school dean inadvertently revealed the truth when he tried to defend the photographs of people tortured in Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison by saying, "This is not much different from what happens in any [U.S.] police precinct house." We know this is true, and we say, "ENOUGH!" Law enforcement agencies have long had a green light to brutalize and murder people. The Stolen Lives Project's research for the 2nd volume of the book Stolen Lives: Killed by Law Enforcement documents an alarming escalation of police violence and murder. This is developing hand-in-hand with an increase in repressive laws, expansion of targeted populations, and the criminalization of dissent, all done under the name of "the war on terrorism."

The current attacks on Muslim, Arab, and South Asian immigrants--mandatory registration, "preemptive" arrests, indefinite detentions, secret trials--should be seen for what they are: the latest addition to racial profiling. As the mother of a young black man killed by a North Carolina deputy said, "Just because law enforcement has put some new people on their list doesn't mean that they have taken anyone off the list."

In Ashcroft's America, the very right to protest is under assault. The denial of permits and assembly rights, brutalization of demonstrators, use of wooden bullets, tear gas and taser guns, and mass arrests without probable cause, took place in many cities last year against anti-war demonstrators and people protesting the FTAA in Miami. Major police drills held in NYC in the days leading up to the Republican National Convention (RNC) tried to send the message that protests would not be tolerated. The PATRIOT Act creates a climate of fear and encourages people to snitch on their neighbors. Attorney Lynne Stewart faces criminal charges for her defense of her client, as the government tries to make an example of her to intimidate other progressive lawyers.

Why Should You Act on October 22nd?

"Silence is the voice of complicity." The nationwide epidemic of police brutality and repression is hidden from many people who would be outraged if they knew what was happening. Many people have become apprehensive about reprisals for protesting in today's political climate. We must resist in many different ways to drag this truth out into the light of day. October 22, 2004, the 9th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation is the day for thousands across the country to speak out and act. Our resistance will give others courage. Check the website for information on events near you. Organize an event in your neighborhood, school or church. Wear black that day in memory of those whose lives have been stolen from them. We must say loudly and clearly, "We don't want your kind of safety--there ain't no safety in a police state!" No More Stolen Lives! Fight Back! On October 22nd, Wear Black!

October 22,
P.O. Box 2627,
New York, NY 10009

National Email:
National Phone: 1-888-No-Brutality (toll-free)

Endorsers of the Call for October 22, 2004
National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression
and the Criminalization of a Generation
(as of Oct. 8, 2004)

Family Members of People Killed by Law Enforcement Agents:

Lonnie Amaya, brother of Chilla Amaya (killed by Union City police)
Jessie Barber, mother of Gil Barber (killed by High Point, N.C. police)
Marylon Boyd, mother of Cammerin Boyd (killed by San Francisco (SF) police)
Milta Calderon, mother of Annibal Carrisquillo (killed by NYPD)
Regina Cardenas, daughter of Rudy Cardenas (killed by state narcotics agent in San Jose)
Sandra Juanita Cooper, co-mother of Idriss Stelley (killed by SF police)
Ophelia Randall Ealy, mother of Michael Randall Ealy (killed by Seattle, WA police)
Lupita Escobedo, sister of Rick Escobedo (killed by Redwood City, CA police)
Danny Garcia, brother of Mark Garcia (peppersprayed and killed by SF police)
Arnetta Grable, mother of Lamar Grable (killed by Detroit, MI police)
Cornelius Hall, father of Jerrold Hall (killed by Hayward BART police)
Nicholas Heyward, Sr., father of Nicholas Heyward Jr. (killed by NYPD)
The Family of Gregory Hooper (killed by off duty SF police)
Mesha Monge-Irizarry, mother of Idriss Stelley (killed by SF police)
David Nguyen, nephew of Rosa Hammer (killed by Washington state troopers)
Eric Roberts, brother of Aaron Roberts (killed by Seattle police)
Margarita Rosario, mother of Anthony Rosario (killed by NYPD)
Frank Rosenberg, father of Richard Rosenberg (killed by Fremont, CA police)
Andree Smith, mother of Justin Smith (killed by Tulsa, OK police)
Jonsi Smith, sister of Justin Smith (killed by Tulsa, OK police)
Calvin Stewart, father of Gil Barber (killed by High Point, NC police)
Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson (killed by NYPD)

Individuals and Organizations:

Brother Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma'at, Foundations of Our Nu African Millenium
Almighty Latin King and Queen Nation, New Jersey
Asian Law Alliance, Bay Area
Blue Triangle Network
Bread is Rising Poetry Collective, NY
Mary Bull, Greenwood Earth Alliance, Save the Redwoods-Boycott Gap Campa
Coalition for Justice and Accountability, Bay Area
The Coalition against Apartheid and Gentrification in Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnatti, OH
Copwatch, Bay Area
Day Laborers, Bay Area
Dan DiLeva, Seattle Oct.22 activist
Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party,USA
Kim Dodd, Seattle, WA
Idriss Stelley Foundation, Bay Area
Samina Faheem, American Muslim Voice
Free Battered Women, Bay Area
Freedom Socialist Party, NY
Phillip Grazide, Find a Need and Phill it, CA
Tami Gold, filmmaker, Every Mother's Son
Haitian Coalition for Justice, NY
Connor Henry, Seattle
Goldie Homes, Seattle activist, sister of Chris Montgomery (survivor of Denver police)
Dawn Jones, Convent Avenue Baptist Church Social Action Committee, NY
Yuri Kochiyama, David Wong Support Committee
Donna Lamb, Caucasians United for Reparations and Emancipation, NY
Rev. Eddie Lopez, La Resurrección United Methodist Church, NY
Radical Women, NY
Efia Nwangaza, African American Institute for Policy Studies and Planning, N.C.
Dr. B. Garcia-Pandazeras, member of PUEBLO (People United for a Better Oakland)
Scott Points, student, University of Georgia
Radical Women, Bay Area
Refuse and Resist!
Paul Richmond, lawyer and co-producer of Urban Warrior
Lynne Stewart, attorney, NY
Michael Wenskunas, victim of police brutality, Rock Island, IL
Cornel West, author and Professor of African American Studies & Religion at Princeton
Renee Wilson, People Against Police Violence, Pittsburgh, PA