Support for the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation

"If we don't resist, our community is doomed to die"

Updated September 22, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


The following statements were written in support of the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Some were written right after the police murder of Michael Brown, when many people were going to Ferguson, Missouri, to join the protests there. Go to to read more statements.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, scholar, media commentator, and activist:

The Michael Brown/Ferguson situation is much bigger than Michael Brown and Ferguson. We must not forget that. One person, one incident and one city doesn't do justice to the magnitude of the police brutality/mass incarceration problem. Please join Cornel West, Carl Dix, Michelle Alexander and myself in the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. (

The Stop Mass Incarceration initiative is long overdue in a society that is facing one of the gravest holocausts of all-time. As long as we are forced to live in a police state that is determined to incarcerate and exterminate our young people, our families will continue to be destroyed and the fabric of our communities will remain in peril. Most Americans now understand that a nation that spends more to incarcerate than to educate is one that is hell-bent on using capitalist greed as an excuse to re-implement slavery. This calls for all citizens to take a stand to put an end to the torture, marginalization, terrorism and trauma being inflicted upon the American people by a system that decided long ago that human life is worth less than money. That is why I support the Month of Resistance against Mass Incarceration. If we don't resist, our community is doomed to die.

Dyna Vargas, Burque Media, Albuquerque, New Mexico:

Ferguson, Missouri! That should be happening in every city. If it's not happening, it's a dangerous thing for us all. Militarized police occupying our neighborhoods and communities. When Albuquerque police executed James Boyd—a 38-year-old homeless man—I thought this was the beginning of the revolution or the end of the world. To allow this is to allow police to terrorize us all.

RESISTANCE! It's the greatest thing you can do and doing anything else is a crime against humanity. I want to go to Ferguson, Missouri. Albuquerque needs to be present—we are plagued by cops brutalizing, terrorizing and murdering people. 28 people in the last four years by APD [Albuquerque Police Department]. Sheriffs and U.S. Marshals are killing people in this area too. In two minutes on TV, they criminalize the movement for justice. But I see beyond these rationalizations for murder—including the murder of Mike Brown by Ferguson police. Protesters are fighting against tear gas, smoke canisters, rubber bullets—and this is only one aspect of something larger.

The Department of Justice is here in Albuquerque, New Mexico. They're here! What's happened? The violence has escalated. Nothing has changed except people get inactive. "The DOJ is taking care of it." Bullshit! We have to save ourselves and no one can save us but ourselves.

I want to go to Ferguson, Missouri. We need funding and we need sponsorship. We have a month of activities planned for the October Month of Resistance in Albuquerque. Downtown APD headquarters on October 22 and other actions. We need to get to Ferguson now, because we want to be united with the people in Ferguson. Make a financial contribution to help us get there. Thank you.

Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson, killed by New York Police Department in 2000. Just returned from Ferguson, Tuesday, August 19:

It was definitely an experience, being in Ferguson, Missouri this past week. People have finally taken a stand! Most of the time the police murder someone, there is protest, but not with enough power, and then the police murder the next person.... This time Ferguson, Missouri said enough is enough. I stand with them 100%. Maybe my son would still be alive if this was done earlier.

The system usually pays no mind and then they murder the next person. Not now. People are saying NO MORE! The system says people are rioting and it has to stop. Who are they talking to? The cops in Ferguson—they are ridiculous! Everywhere we protested in Ferguson this last week, every march we joined, cops agitating against the people and provoking the people and physically bumping us and threatening to arrest us. But people have a right to do what they are doing. Michael Brown—the wrong that they have done—they are covering it up. I'm proud of St. Louis. Then the governor calls out the National Guard! What's he doing? What does this tell you?

When Carl Dix is talking and saying an innocent 18-year-old young man has been shot down by cops—Carl is arrested. Why isn't the cop who shot Michael Brown arrested? The cop needs to be indicted, arrested, and even that won't be the end of it because they could rig the jury, so this fight needs to continue. Let's have the Stolen Lives families from around the country in St. Louis and Ferguson ASAP—people should give money and Frequent Flyer miles to sponsor that.

Mark Lewis Taylor, Professor of Theology and Culture, Religion and Society, Princeton Theological Seminary (for identification only):

It is time for Christians and all peoples of faith and conscience to give our support and participation to the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The police terror and its militarization, as brutally showcased in Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of the killing of Michael Brown, is no new thing. It is a form of state terror long institutionalized in U.S. prisons, anchored in U.S. history of slavery and lynching, and in capitalist exploitation. This state terror is recycled in the exploitation, stigmatization and expulsion of immigrant groups, and in ever new U.S.wars, covert and overt, against what W. E.B. Du Bois termed the "darker nations."

The time is long past due, to say No! Enough!—to resist and transform policing in this country, to halt the injustices of U.S. military war-making (such as those supporting Israel in its "politicide" in Gaza today), and to end U.S. mass incarceration.

This will require whole new approaches to building democracy and rule in this country. Now is the time to commit to the Month of Resistance, in spite of and because of current state officials' willingness to criminalize nearly anyone in this generation who dissents to the state terror visited upon the poor, especially upon African- and Latino/a- Americans, but increasingly Asian- and Arab-Americans, too—indeed, upon white dissenters as well. As Chris Hedges recently wrote when noting today's collaboration of corporate and media elites with the surveillance industry and paramilitary forces, "Rise up, or die."

Churches and Christians should be at the forefront of this movement. Alas, they all too often are stragglers to the rear – complicit at worst, silent at best. I, as one follower along the way of the crucified figure, Jesus of Nazareth, note again the solid historical point that if you were among the crucified—as Jesus was—you were a resister to imperial power, or seen as counter to it. Rome reserved crucifixion as the mode of death for the rebel, for transgressors of empire's force.

Real followers of Jesus will step forward in this moment, and take up the long struggle, moving along the way of Jesus against imperial forces. Today, this means resistance to U.S. racialized state terror, both on our nation's streets and in U.S. wars abroad. State terror in all its forms – whether as mass incarceration, war or militarized policing—is a flagrant abuse of justice, love and dignity. Let October of 2014 show a new rising of the churches, of all followers of Jesus, alongside and in collaboration with all peoples of conscience from all our traditions – so to make a new way in this country. One means of beginning this effort is to support – wherever you are and however you can—the October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.

Pamela Fields, son Donte Jordan killed by Long Beach, California, police in November 10, 2013; nephew Dante Parker killed by Victorville, California, police August 12, 2014:

Ferguson, Missouri—that needed to happen! For all the communities where police murder is going on. It's Mike Brown, and it's also Donte Jordan, Tyler Woods and so many others. When my son was killed people in Long Beach were sleeping. Ferguson, Missouri, has shown real gall—defiance. This gets the attention of the President, Attorney General, everyone. We've lost any trust in law enforcement. They cover things up. Everybody I know don't trust the police. My son, Donte Jordan, was heading home – 39-year old-man—and he was shot 12 times by Long Beach police. We need to raise awareness of his assassination. We need to end the cover up.

Last week, August 12, Dante Parker, my nephew, he was riding a bicycle. He has a heart ailment. He got sick. He had to stop. He sat down. He was sweating profusely. Someone called the cops. The police arrived. He was tased! And then they tased him 11 more times—12 times total! They put him the cop car and the cops went and got their lies together. He died!

Ferguson, Missouri —I'm part of Stolen Lives families, I call us Angel Moms. We need to go to Ferguson, Missouri. I'm ready to go to Ferguson. I'm taking the first seat in the first row. I am ready to go and I want to bring my nephew's mom and nephew's wife with me.

Dionne Smith Downs, son, James Earl Rivera, killed by Stockton, California, police and Stockton sheriffs, 2010:

We went to Ferguson and I was there for five days, Monday through Friday last week. I need to go back tomorrow for this weekend in Ferguson, Missouri. People in Ferguson gave me the courage to fight even more! Police and media show and talk about other things, but they don't talk about how when we marched and protested how positive it was— that the people of Ferguson, the community, fed us, gave us water, towels, umbrellas, apples, oranges and sustained us. That cop who killed Mike Brown should go to jail! But, you know what, he'll get bailed out—not like any one us if we murdered someone.

Who polices the police? My personal opinion is he should be charged with murder, the officer should be arrested. Prosecuted to the fullest. But what's happening is the police who murder our loved ones are funded!

I'm going back to Ferguson this weekend to support the mother. I saw the autopsy report and it hurts. They say wait... wait... for investigation. That's too long. We understand the mother's pain. We know it and we feel it.

It was four years ago for me. James Earl Rivera killed by Stockton cops. I still have sleepless nights. We want laws changed to protect us. They walk on every murder! Has to be a stop to it. Laws need to protect us, but they protect the police. That should be no more. California stands with the people of Ferguson and Mike Brown's mother. We got to get the community to come out. People should give funds because media don't show the truth—we need to go to Ferguson to get the truth out. People exercising their rights and being arrested for it. Joey Johnson went to jail and others too and I was there when they shot tear gas at us.



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