Counting Down to October 22nd


By Carl Dix | October 17, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper |


It's a few days till October 22nd, the 18th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Let's step back and look at the situation this day is occurring in and how crucial it is that everyone go all out to mobilize the most powerful protests possible.

October 22nd is happening three months after the verdict came down in the Trayvon Martin case. Think about how you felt when you heard the court had found George Zimmerman not guilty after he stalked, confronted and gunned down Trayvon. Didn't this verdict have you thinking about Emmett Till and wondering HOW LONG were these horrors going to keep on happening?

You weren't the only one who felt that way. That verdict drove 1000's into the streets in outrage, AND it had many, many people questioning the injustice of this set up. This outrage and this questioning haven't gone away. They are like raw nerves that tear at people every time they hear of another Black or Latino youth murdered by police, something that happens just about every damned day in this country.

As we said in the article "On the Murder of Trayvon Martin and the Outrageous Acquittal of His Killer: THEY MUST NOT—THEY WILL NOT—GET AWAY WITH THIS!!!" in Revolution newspaper, "This must be a watershed moment. This must become the day that people look back on and say, 'that's when people began to see that you couldn't reform this shit, and a whole different way—a revolution—was needed.'" This remains a real necessity, and what we do on October 22nd must contribute to making it happen.

October 22nd is also occurring at a time when record numbers of people are being caught up in La Migra raids that tear families apart and disappear people. At a time when people who stand up to what the government does to people in this country and around the world, like Mumia Abu-Jamal, Lynne Stewart, Herman Wallace, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden and others, have the system's repressive apparatus unleashed on them. At a time when the government is carrying out a massive spying program.

Mounting powerful protests against the way the criminal "injustice" system comes down on millions of people can have a huge impact. This can embolden those who are targeted by this injustice, countering the lies they are told that their lives count for nothing. It can inspire them to stand up and resist. It can open the eyes of those who don't experience this injustice to the horrific reality they have been shielded from and drive many of them to join those who suffer this bullshit everyday in resisting it.

But if we fail to mobilize this resistance, if these horrors keep coming down without commensurate outpourings of resistance, it can lead people to resign themselves to putting up with these horrors.

I know there are those who say, "What we do doesn't matter. There are too few of us who see the need to act to have a real impact." This is not true. Powerful outbreaks of resistance that contribute to dramatically transforming the face of society always begin with small numbers of people daring to stand up and say NO MORE. The powerful movements against the oppression of Black people in the 1960s began with a few people refusing to continue to obey unjust laws. The movement against the war in Vietnam of the same period began with a few people who stood up and called it out as being an unjust war. The resistance in the immediate aftermath of the murder of Trayvon Martin began with just his family crying out for justice. Their cries connected with many, many people and tapped into their hatred for the way the youth have been criminalized and brought them out to call for Justice for Trayvon.

O22 Videos

Below are two of the videos in response from the call by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network for people to record short videos saying why they support O22 and calling on others to join. Go to the O22 Video Project page at the SMIN website for more.

Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson, Oscar Grant's uncle

Noche Diaz, Stop Mass Incarceration Network & NYC Revolution Club

Mobilizing outpourings on October 22nd can have the same kind of impact. If you are someone who heard about the need to act on this day in the last few days, it will make a difference if you get together with those you know and plan an action with them. Organize a speak-out at your high school, put together a panel discussion on your campus, address this injustice in your sermon and bring your congregation out on the 22nd. Even if your numbers are small, it matters.

These actions will be addressing issues that greatly impact people's lives. They will have greater impact because they will be happening as part of a nationwide outpouring of resistance. They can give heart to people who hate having to suffer under all this official brutality and call out to people who are having their eyes opened to these horrors that they must join the resistance.

Go to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) web site,, to find out whether something is being planned for your area. If not, plan something and let SMIN know about it, so it can be added to the list of what's going to happen on October 22nd. Spread the word about October 22nd. Do a statement in either video or written form saying why you will be acting on October 22nd and calling on others to join us in doing so.

Tens of millions of people are suffering from this injustice every day. It's way past time that we stand up and say NO MORE to all these horrors.





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