Revolution #162, April 19, 2009
Hands Off David! Drop The Charges! Stop the Attack on a Young Revolutionary!
Oakland is a place where police brutality is a daily occurrence. Where stop and searches, beatings and police murders go on with impunity by official policy. The cold-blooded murder of Oscar Grant—who was punched, pinned to the ground, and shot in the back by BART police on New Year's Day, in the middle of a frenzied attack by police on numerous Black and Latino youth—was an ugly snapshot exposing the all too real essence of what this system does to people of color and youth in particular.
David, a 16-year-old member of the Revolution Club, is now facing two felony charges and one misdemeanor stemming from his arrest on the night of January 7 in Oakland, when people stood up against this outrage. David did not commit any crime that evening, and is being wrongly accused. The same system that murdered Oscar Grant is now trying to silence the resistance and keep it from spreading.
David has been on the front lines of this struggle and as hundreds of people, youth in particular, lifted their heads and marched through the streets of Oakland that night, defiant in the face of a heavy police presence, David brought Revolution newspaper out to the people and led chants—"We are ALL Oscar Grant!" and "The Whole System is Guilty!"—that raised the consciousness and struck a chord with all who were out there. For this, he is under attack. At one point David and five others were singled out by the cops. Suddenly the block was sealed off by about twenty police and an armored truck, and they were surrounded. David was tackled and arrested by five cops. While Mehserle, the cop who murdered Oscar Grant was walking free, David was locked up.
The police came down with force on many that evening—SWAT team and an armored personnel vehicle, swinging batons and deploying tear gas canisters, rubber pellets, etc. Over 120 people were arrested and most charges were later dropped. David is now one of only three charged with felonies, and the only juvenile being charged.
David, a Latino youth from East Oakland, is under attack because he is a revolutionary and a communist, and because he is a leader who is telling the truth and organizing resistance. As a member of the Revolution Club, a group that has been fighting police brutality, calling out the rotten system that causes it in the first place, and widely promoting revolution and communism, he has been calling on the youth to join and help build a movement for revolution .
An Attack on the People
There are many people, from all walks of life, who have taken up the fight for justice for Oscar Grant with a variety of goals, strategies, and tactics, and this attack on David is an attack on them as well. The powers-that-be are sending a clear message, "stand up to us, and we'll put you away."
This attack on David is also an attack against all the people starting to lift their heads to fight and question the kind of society they live in. There are millions of people, youth especially, who are criminalized and suffer at the hands of this rotten system on a daily basis. Many of these youth, in the Bay Area especially, have been inspired by and drawn to the righteous resistance that flared up in the wake of Oscar Grant's death. You can literally see it on the streets in the "Oscar Grant lives!" and "I am Oscar Grant" graffiti that has blossomed on the walls of in Oakland. And you can hear it in people's voices when they speak with pride about being out in the streets on January 7, a night when police murder wasn't allowed to go down as "business as usual." The Revolution Club is bringing a revolutionary communist consciousness into this struggle, showing why police murder is an inherent part of this capitalist system, how police under such a system can only "serve and protect" this oppressive system, and the fact that the solution lies in building a revolutionary movement with the final goal of sweeping away this truly monstrous system.
It's a big political and ideological threat to the enemy when there are growing numbers of young people who begin to take up revolutionary communism; when young people begin to see the violence of the system as wrong, illegitimate and unnecessary, and that a better world—a communist world—is possible and worth fighting to bring into being. This is what David is about spreading. The people who run this country can't run their society and keep all the injustices going if these young people begin to break out and challenge their system and fight for a new system. David is an example they need to attack to send a "you better not" message.
Stop the Attack on a Young Revolutionary
David's leadership and dedication to bringing about a radically different, and far better world must not be suppressed by the state. It is crucial that people expose the state's attacks and build mass political resistance to defend David and others who have stepped forward to fight police brutality and murder.
At David's first pre-trial hearing, fifteen people came to support him and demand the charges be dropped. They were not allowed into the courtroom because David is a juvenile (David's lawyer made a motion to open the proceedings which was denied), although the support did have the effect of putting the system "on notice" that this attack on a young revolutionary is not going to go down without a fight.
Since then, a legal defense committee has formed to expose this attack and call on people to rally to his defense. David has been on local radio, speaking passionately about how his case is a part of the overall struggle for justice for Oscar Grant and how it fits within the context of building a revolutionary movement. His case has resonated with everyone who sees the need for real change, and at his most recent pretrial hearing, over twenty people showed up to demand the charges be dropped, and two local TV stations were there to cover the case. After a press conference, those who came to show their support sat down together and took turns speaking about why they came to the courthouse. Heartfelt statements were made about David's leadership, the need to fight for Oscar Grant, and the need to foster more youth joining a revolutionary movement.
The Revolution Club is calling on people from all walks of life to be part of taking on this attack, turning it around, and bringing many more people into the battle for Justice for Oscar Grant and the revolutionary movement. That means spreading the word and organizing forces around this case, signing onto the defense committee petition, and building growing legal and political support for David!
HANDS OFF DAVID! DROP THE CHARGES!
STOP THE ATTACK ON A YOUNG REVOLUTIONARY!
Upcoming Court Dates:
For more information and to get involved contact the Revolution Club: 510.725.8754 or email the Defense Committee at email@example.com.
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