Report from Southern California Kick-Off Meeting for the October Month of Resistance

August 4, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Los Angeles, August 2—45 people took part in the Southern California launch meeting for the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. This was a crucial meeting, part of the build up to a powerful month of resistance this October 2014. Presentations started the meeting, then breakout committees were formed where people wrestled with the call for October 2014 and made plans to take up projects to build for October out in society and to rally many, many others to get involved in making October happen. Reports from the committees and final send off to hit the ground running culminated the meeting.

Presentations were made by Reverend Frank Wulf of USC [University of Southern California] United University Church; Professor Rafael Angulo of the USC School of Social Work; Marie Martin, whose son has been locked down in California security housing units for many years; Brother B, a high school teacher; Lucha from the Revolution Club; and by Dr. Jesse Diaz and Keith James.

The presentations were moving. Each speaker discussed why they are involved in the October Month of Resistance to mass incarceration, and expressed, in their own way, a growing outrage over time about this mass incarceration and its effects and a real determination to build resistance to stop how this system has used its police, courts, jails, and prisons to incarcerate and destroy the lives of millions of people. Mass incarceration, police terror, and being racially targeted—and those aren’t letting up but intensifying—were themes underscoring why the presenters were fighting for October to happen on a very big scale. The use of the War on Drugs to arrest millions, the school-to-prison pipeline, the horrific abuse of women in the jail system, and the unspeakable brutality aimed at the mentally ill were discussed by presenters.

How millions of people ultimately took the streets in 2006 to fight anti-immigrant attacks by the system was brought into the picture as a lesson for October and beyond, and to sharpen how attacks on the undocumented haven’t stopped but have sharpened, as we have seen with the detention and deportation of Central American children these past months. Two presenters discussed how these are horrors of an illegitimate system—that a revolution that dismantles this entire system is needed to put a stop to these and other outrages of the system. They presented that a big part of the revolutionary strategy of the RCP is “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution,” and this is why, in taking on the genocidal program of mass incarceration, they are seeking to involve everybody in October.

A number of the presenters alluded to Michelle Alexander’s book The New Jim Crow—the impact it has had on them in putting together an analysis to explain what they’d been experiencing themselves, or witnessing, these past decades. One presentation included discussion on what has happened these past few months that makes very clear the urgent need for a powerful society-wide resistance movement—and spoke to the actual basis, through struggle these next two months, for manifesting a whole new level of resistance during October as a springboard to ultimately involve millions.

October as a month of resistance was an important theme at the meeting. Committee breakouts included the October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation as one key anchor of the month. A vision was developed for “no business as usual” in downtown Los Angeles that day. The brutal beating of Marlene Pinnock on the 10 Freeway in LA and the choking death of Eric Garner by New York cops were grappled with from the standpoint of the need to go from anger to action. If You See Something, Blow Your Whistle! was identified as a critical, defiant form through which people can make a difference right now: Thousands need to be wearing and using whistles in LA and around the country, to prevent what the cops are doing to the youth and to the people on a daily basis and as part of building resistance leading into October. Committees planned major outreach to the faith community, on college campuses, among the pro-immigrant community, and website and social media development was planned out.

The Call for the October Month of Resistance, palm cards, stickers and whistles were distributed in big quantities to everyone at the meeting so that people could get out into society right away, without delay, to urgently bring forward the many hundreds of activists needed to mobilize many thousands (with the objective of influencing millions)—which is what it’s going to take to make October 2014 the month of resistance it must and can be.


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