"A Hellava Scene in East Oakland"

February 27, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


Trayvon Martin Day, February 26, saw a hellava scene in East Oakland!

Signs waving, horns honking, and two loud and two determined marches in the streets—marking the one-year anniversary of the cold-blooded murder of Trayvon Martin, at the busiest intersection in East Oakland.

Rally on one year anniversary of Trayvon Martin murder, East Oakland

Rally on one year anniversary of Trayvon Martin murder, East Oakland

Photos: Special to Revolution

A bullhorn was passed from hand to hand. People eager to speak their anger—from the murder of Trayvon, and a whole litany of related abuses and crimes against the people—from the targets placed on the backs of Black and Brown youth, the 2.4 million caged in prisons, and how, in so many ways, this system has no future for the people but instead, pits them against one another in the most destructive forms.

But what really gave this day new added power and hope was the bringing of the news of the upcoming premier of the movie BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! This framed the fight around justice for Trayvon in a whole different light—as part of the movement for revolution—that these and a multitude of other horrors the people of the world are forced to endure are not permanent. The world does not have to be this way, and we have a leader in Bob Avakian, and the revolutionary strategy that he has forged, that can lead to a radically different world, beyond any oppression.

Throughout the week building for Trayvon Martin Day, coming at it from the need and possibility for sweeping aside this whole putrid system, and challenging people to step forward as emancipators of humanity, we made some important, if only beginning breakthroughs.

We spent many days reaching out to students of one very multi-national proletarian high school. We got out lots of leaflets about Trayvon Martin Day and leaflets and palm cards advertising the movie premier. A member of the Revolution Club was invited in to speak to many classes. That was all good, but as we went along, we were really having difficulty getting students to engage with what we were presenting. We summed up that what we needed to be doing is not just talk about how Trayvon and all his murder represents shows the need for revolution, but put much more of a challenge to the advanced—how long are you going to allow this to continue, without stepping forward to end it once and for all?! When we finally did this, we found a number of students who were really jazzed about coming to BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! Some of these students posed with a banner they had signed to send to Sanford Florida and also signed up to start a new Revolution Club on campus.

We also learned much about teachers we met as an important force in the movement for revolution. Many of them are young, and have come to inner city schools to make a difference. They have a great dedication to their students and compassion for their difficult lives and futures under this system. They supported us and welcomed us into their classrooms as a way to engage their students to take up the big questions facing them. One teacher prompted the speaker with some questions: “What does your Revolution represent?” and “Could you explain the relationship between Racism and Capitalism?” Teachers like these are very important in the movement for revolution and we are challenging them to bring students to the premier.

We also concentrated work at a local junior college and some of them joined us at the demonstration in East Oakland.

The demonstration brought together more than 30 people of all ages and colors, revolutionaries, people from Occupy, World Can’t Wait activists, college students and neighborhood residents. Some jumped out of their cars on the spot, some saw it on the news and were compelled to come and join. Others had combed the internet, looking for someone, doing something, on Trayvon Martin Day, and were there waiting for us when we arrived.

At times, there was a cacophony of honking horns of people showing their support. One white guy, stopped in his big-rig at the light, was pulling on his massive horn, drowning out everything else. He was going crazy, frantically, waving, honking and trying to put on his “hoodie,” all at the same time! He finally gave up, and just held up his “hoodie” for all of us to see. The five occupy people, deftly moved in and out of the heavy traffic handing out leaflets to eager hands.

One Black woman had seen us on television. She grabbed an energy bar and a bottle of water, and raced down to be with us. She told us she had to come. “I have been in the closet for a long time,” she said, and told us how refreshing it was to be here “together with people of all races.” She had spoken on the bullhorn for the first time, and said it was very empowering to hear her voice joining with others.

One Occupy activist approached us with the comment that he really liked how we were calling for putting an end to this system. “I guess I’m going to have to learn more about the RCP.”

At the demonstration, five tickets were purchased for the movie showing. On the spot. And five high school students want tickets as well.

At the end of the day, we pulled the new people together for a Revolution Club meeting. One woman asked, “All this takes money, how are you going to do that?” Off that, three new people volunteered to do a bake sale.

It was a very good day, but only a beginning of what can be, and will be, accomplished in building for BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!


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