Revolution #248, October 23, 2011
Statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party on the Occasion of October 22, 2011
A salute to all those at the demonstrations nationwide to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation—to the families and friends of those who were viciously gunned down or beaten to death by the police, to the high school students who walked out of school to protest police brutality, to the protesters joining these demonstrations from Occupy Wall Street/Occupy Everywhere who have been arrested in large numbers and faced down the threat of a massive police attack, to those who are working every day to expose and fight the illegitimate use of force, and the many others who are joining these demonstrations from all walks of life and a range of organizations. A salute to the thousands of courageous prison hunger strikers and those who have supported their struggle to end what amounts to torture. And to outraged people here and around the world who took up the fight against the "legal" lynching of Troy Davis. A salute to the immigrants and all the people who have stood up against the record breaking deportations and detentions being perpetrated by ICE and the U.S. government. A salute to all of those people of conscience who are here to say NO in bold ways to this whole program of mass incarceration.
As the Message and Call from the Revolutionary Communist Party says: "It is up to us: to wake up...to shake off the ways they put on us, the ways they have us thinking so they can keep us down and trapped in the same old rat-race...to rise up, as conscious Emancipators of Humanity. The days when this system can just keep on doing what it does to people, here and all over the world...when people are not inspired and organized to stand up against these outrages and to build up the strength to put an end to this madness...those days must be GONE. And they CAN be."
Daily across this country horrific crimes against the people, especially Black and Latino people, are being committed. This is both systematic and systemic. 2.3 million people in this country, mostly Black and Latino, are incarcerated. In Chicago, 47 people were shot in the first eight months of the year. Including 13-year-old Jimmel Cannon, who was shot eight times. In New York City, it is estimated that 700,000 people, mainly Black and Latino youth, will be stopped and frisked by the NYPD this year on pretexts like "furtive movement" or "fits the description" or "other." In Fullerton, California, Kelly Thomas was beaten to death by the police—and he is just one of the thousands murdered at the hands of the police across this country.
This epidemic of police brutality is unconscionable and illegitimate, and even according to the U.S. Constitution, illegal. This is urgent! What’s going down in the inner cities of this country is a slow genocide. And it must stop. Think about this: if you know this is happening and don’t do anything to stop it, silence equals genocide. Think of the example of the prisoners who have repeatedly risked their very lives to put an end to the conditions of solitary confinement they are kept in year after year.
Yesterday something very important happened, marking a turning point in the struggle against police repression. Hundreds including residents of Harlem and many from Occupy Wall Street marched through Harlem in New York City to the 28th Precinct of the NYPD. Then, people coming from different viewpoints, but united in their determination to stop Stop and Frisk refused to move, stood up to the police and declared to the whole country and the world "This is intolerable! It must be stopped. WE ARE STOPPING IT, AND YOU MUST JOIN US IN DOING THAT!... If you don’t want to live in a world where people’s humanity is routinely violated because of the color of their skin, JOIN US." And for this, 30 were arrested. A determined struggle to force the authorities to back off Stop and Frisk was launched. The ways can and must be found to build on what has been done, to continue this battle—today, tomorrow, and every day after that. And many more people must step forward—and commit to carry forward—this battle. We can’t—and won’t—stop until they stop.
It is time and past time...to build a fierce—and ongoing, sustained—movement against these outrages—and more than that, to put an end to the system of exploitation and oppression, of poverty, degradation and misery that these police "protect and serve."
The whole history of this country is one of the near genocide of the native peoples and their utter dispossession, the theft of land from Mexico and since that time, the continuing oppression of Mexican, Chicano and Latino people—and most centrally, the kidnapping of millions of Africans and their enslavement and exploitation. Oppression and exploitation which has continued in new forms down to today. In the U.S. today, one—and certainly not the only—manifestation of this is the criminalizing of millions of Black and Latino youth through the blatantly discriminatory enforcement of drug laws, programs like Stop and Frisk, Anti-Gang Injunctions, and more. This is nothing more than treating the youth like they are guilty until proven innocent, if they can even survive their encounters with the police to prove their innocence. Trapping them from an early age in the criminal justice system, with all that means for them and their families once they get out (if they get out)...and trying to engender a defeated mood among the people before they even rise up.
To quote Bob Avakian:
The book by Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow, Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, has shined a bright and much needed light on the reality of profound injustice at the very core of this country.
And this brings me back to a very basic point:
This system, in this country, in the whole history of its treatment of Black people, what has it been?
First, Slavery... Then, Jim Crow—segregation and Ku Klux Klan terror... And now, The New Jim Crow—police brutality and murder, wholesale criminalization and mass incarceration, and legalized discrimination yet again.
That’s it for this system:
Three strikes and you’re out!
Bob Avakian is the Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party and the leader of the revolution. Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal. Get into BA! Get into BAsics!
"...now IS the time to be WORKING FOR REVOLUTION—to be stepping up resistance while building a movement for revolution—to prepare for the time when it WILL be possible to go all out to seize the power."
If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.