Kickoff Meetings in NYC and LA for October Month of Resistance

August 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Kickoff meetings for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation took place in Los Angeles and New York City on August 2. (The Chicago kickoff will take place on August 16.)

More than 75 people participated in NYC. Speakers included: Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party; Rev. Stephen Phelps, former Senior Interim Minister at the Riverside Church; Cecily McMillan, an Occupy Wall Street protester who was convicted and spent several months in Rikers Island prison for assault after a cop sexually assaulted her and, along with other cops, beat her; Juanita Young, Parents Against Police Brutality and October 22nd Coalition; Daniel J. Watts, poet who was part of a Broadway tribute to Eric Garner; and Noche Diaz, NY Revolution Club. Carl Dix said, “There was excitement in the room in response to the plans to mobilize thousands and thousands of people to be part of the Month of Resistance and to march on October 22 right into Times Square. Plans were made to mobilize many more people to be part of this effort, and people left the meeting with responsibility to carry out those plans and palm cards, stickers, and whistles to use in doing that.”

We will have coverage of these meetings soon. Below is an excerpt from the talk Carl Dix—who along with Cornel West issued the call for the Month of Resistance—gave to open the NYC meeting.


Taking on the genocidal program of mass incarceration is a very important part of getting ready and in position to make revolution when the time when that could be done comes about. This is why I’m throwing my all into mobilizing for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration.

And it’s why I see the need to involve everybody in October. Everybody who’s tired of living their life with a target on their backs because they’re Black or Latino needs to be a part of the Month of Resistance. Everybody who sees the horrors of mass incarceration and all its consequences for what they are needs to be part of the Month of Resistance. And those of us here who see the need for this month need to go out and work to involve everybody whose eyes we can open up to these horrors.

We need to go beyond anger to action. And while it’s good that people have documented some of the murders and the brutality on their cell phones so the pigs can’t say it didn’t happen, we gotta go further. We have to act to stop this shit. The Month of Resistance gives us a vehicle to do just that.

October will be a month that involves tens of thousands of people in mass, determined resistance that impacts and moves millions. There will be defiant demonstrations nationwide on October 22 with tens of thousands of people taking to the streets saying, “This stops now!” Thousands of youth equipped with whistles and oriented to, “If they see something, blow the whistle,” will be acting collectively to stop cops from brutalizing people. There will be major symposiums on college campuses involving prominent voices of conscience, as well as other campus events and cultural expressions. People will engage in nonviolent civil disobedience. There will be ferment in faith institutions. In many different ways people will be saying NO MORE to mass incarceration and all its consequences.

Manifesting this level of resistance will give us a springboard to leap even further ahead, ultimately to building a movement of resistance numbering in the millions. In this way, October can be the beginning of the end for mass incarceration in the U.S.

We need to do this, and we can do this. Look at how much pain and suffering mass incarceration causes for so many people. More than 2.2 million people warehoused in prison, over 60 percent of them Black or Latino. 80,000 people subjected to the torture of long-term solitary confinement. More than five million formerly incarcerated people treated as less than full human beings. When you add in the loved ones of all these people, you see tens of millions of people caught up in the criminal injustice system of this country.

Look at the stirrings of resistance that are already out there—the people who took over Times Square in NYC, a major expressway in LA, and acted in other cities in response to the verdict in the Trayvon case; the people who have taken to the streets in outrage over police murder in Albuquerque, in Santa Rosa, in Salinas, in NYC; the people who went down to the border to tell those flag-waving racists to “leave those children alone.” Look at the hundreds of people who come out when Michelle Alexander or Cornel West speaks. We can tap into the desire to see these horrors stopped that all these people have and bring many more people into acting to join them.

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