Carl Dix:

"All Out for October 22... It's up to us to stop these horrors"

October 18, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


Revolution/ The October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation is coming up in a few days, this coming Wednesday. It feels like it's going to be—and has to be—more powerful and impactful than ever. What do people need to understand and do leading up to the day?

Carl Dix in Ferguson

Carl Dix: What we need to get is where we are and what's happening as we approach this 19th annual October 22 National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. The thing is, this is a time when there is growing resistance to the horrors of police murder, mass incarceration, the torture in prisons, and treating youth as criminals all across the country. Ferguson October—October 10-13—concentrated this. It brought together people from all across the county who are seeing these horrors and want to stand up and say No More! to police murder and all these outrages, and to stop them.

At the same time these horrors are intensifying. On October 8, as people were taking part in the Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation and preparing to go forward to October 22, police in St. Louis gunned down another Black youth, Vonderitt Myers. Again, this is no isolated incident. Police murders are happening all over the country on more than a daily basis. And then there's the torture in prisons across the country that's being exposed—from Rikers Island in New York City, to guards in Florida brutalizing and killing prisoners, to the ongoing torture of solitary confinement and denial of medical care that's going on in California. And there's the ongoing, everyday criminalization and vilification of the youth in order to justify these horrors.

These horrors are built into the fabric of U.S. society, and it's gonna take revolution to end them and all the other horrors this system enforces on people here and around the world, once and for all. And right now, there is a crying need for everybody who sees these horrors for what they are to throw in and bring about a major leap in the level of resistance to them, a leap there is very real potential to make. This is about changing the way millions of people look at, think about, and act—to the point they see these outrages as illegitimate, immoral, and intolerable—and that they're not going to tolerate them any longer! And that kind of transformation of thinking and acting is going to be part of preparing for and bringing closer the day when we can make revolution, defeat and dismantle the murderous, repressive forces of this system, and end these outrages.


Rising Resistance... But a Real Leap Needed

Revolution/ So things are changing, there's real potential, but the level of resistance that exists now still isn't what it needs to be?

Carl Dix: Yes, that's right. It's very good that people are fighting, that they're responding when police murder somebody. But it can't be left as individual, separate, city-by-city fights for justice every time someone is gunned down. Or leaving it at sympathy and support between these different battles. It has to become a nationwide movement that is bringing people together to stand up and say No More! to these horrors, a movement that's putting up a huge STOP sign right in the face of U.S. society. A movement that's letting all those who know this is happening and refuse to continue suffering, or refuse to stand by in silence, letting them know there's a movement they can be a part of.

This is a movement that would impact those who had been unaware of these outrages, a movement that would help open their eyes to them, and to the fact that tens of thousands are taking them on and forging a movement that those newly awakened to all that can join in.

What has to come through in action on October 22 is the spirit of No More! That police murder and brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation are illegitimate, immoral, and unacceptable, and that we're acting to stop them in the way the defiant youth in Ferguson poured into the streets demanding Justice for Michael Brown and withstood everything the authorities threw at them.

What has to come through on October 22 is the way youth in different parts of the country are beginning to take up the whistle and blowing whistles on cops who are brutalizing and harassing people. This has got to be the spirit of October 22 and the spirit that fights through the attempts to suppress resistance and divert it off into harmless channels—like the attempt of the authorities in New York City to deny the October 22 protest permits to march into Times Square.

Permit Battle in New York City

Revolution/ That sounds like a very important battle right now.

Carl Dix: It's very important. O22 in New York City is going to be a day of no business as usual—don't go to work, walk out of high school, be in Union Square at 1:00 pm to gather and march to Times Square, where, before the eyes of the world, we're going to declare:

No more to police murder!

No more to police terror!

No more to treating our youth as criminals!

And this will reverberate nationally and globally.

Right now the authorities are saying: '"Uh, uh. You can't come into Times Square. You can come close, but you can't come into Times Square."

This is saying, in essence: "We will choke Eric Garner to death. Our cops will gun down Ramarley Graham, Sean Bell, Malcolm Ferguson, Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo. And many, many more people. We will brutalize you with impunity. And then we'll tell you whether you can protest, when you can protest, where you can protest, and how you can protest against us having done all that."

This message is unacceptable! And we have to throw it back in their faces.

Those exact terms are being taken up and spread broadly among everybody who's not only active around justice but concerned about justice. They're being called on to step into this battle and deluge the NYPD and City Hall with opposition to their stand on October 22, and to demand that the October 22 Coalition be granted a full permit to march to Times Square! And lawyers are being called on to take this into court.

Everybody needs to be part of rejecting the NYPD's outrageous and unacceptable message—"we can kill with impunity and then tell people—you can't speak out or resist." Tweet at or write to or call the NYPD and the mayor's office and demand the permit to march into Times Square be granted. And people need to be getting ready to take to the streets on this coming Wednesday, October 22, because we're going to win this permit fight, we're going to be in the streets that day and everybody needs to be there.

So if you watched that video of the police choking Eric Garner to death and it hit you like a punch in the gut....and if you heard about the murder of Michael Brown and it hit you like "oh no, not again," then we have to actually stand up and act to make it so that this no longer happens. All out for October 22—here in New York City and all over the country! That's a crucial part of doing that.

From Now till October 22—What Should People Do?

Revolution/ Between now and October 22, what should people be doing? How should they be organizing folks to turn out?

Carl Dix: There are several things. One—spread the word. Go to and, and people will find materials they can download, reproduce, and spread, including links to articles, videos and audio recordings that speak to why people need to be out on October 22 and what difference it will make. So these need to be spread. They'll also find things like "Gather," the poem Alice Walker wrote to me and Cornel West, the video of Chuck D taking the Pledge of Resistance, and messages from relatives who have lost loved ones to police brutality. All these should be spread everywhere.

Second, people also need to contribute money. Freedom ain't free, and fighting for freedom ain't free. So far it's cost us several tens of thousands of dollars to go to hot spots like Ferguson, to print materials, and to buy and spread whistles for the "Blow the Whistle" campaign—among many other things. And we have to raise a lot more money. So people should go to the indiegogo crowd funding effort that the Stop Mass Incarceration Network has launched.

Third, get your friends, the people you go to school with, your neighbors, and everyone else you know—get your whistles, make your signs, pull your contingents together, and hit the streets on O22. If you're not sure if anything is happening in your area, go to the October 22 Points of Assembly page and find out where to hook up and join in. If nothing is happening where you are, then plan something and do it. And when you do it—take pictures, take video, write up your stories, and email them to the to because we want everyone to see what's happening across the country, and that there are tens of thousands acting to stop these horrors.

What Will The Day After Look Like?

Revolution/ What do you think the world will look like on October 23, the day after October 22?

Carl Dix: What the world needs to look like on October 23 is that millions of people will have seen that there were tens of thousands of people who are committed to stopping the horrors of police terror, mass incarceration, and the criminalization and demonization of Black and Latino/a youth. They will have been impacted by the actions of the previous day, and they will be moved by having their eyes further opened to not only the horrors, but that there's a growing movement acting to stop it. That movement will have gotten more of a sense of itself—a movement that brings together those under the gun most directly, along with those who might not be directly facing this kind of direct and everyday brutality, but who find it intolerable. There will be a growing sense that we can work together to change the situation around these outrages. It's not going to be—"well, these abuses are just going to keep happening so all we can do is try and get a little justice." No, the tone is going to be that it's up to us to stop these horrors and that we really can stop them.

And the activities of October 22 will not only be a leap in resistance, but a leap to a growing, much bigger, and more unified movement that then serves as a springboard to go even further. That begins to bring into being the movement of millions that's needed to carry forward the fight to stop police murder and terror, to stop mass incarceration, to stop prison torture, and to stop the criminalization of millions of Black and Latino/a youth, and to put us in the strongest position to be able to get rid of the system that creates all these horrors, and to replace it with something much, much better.

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