Cleveland: Determined to Have No Business as Usual

November 28, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

November 25—Close to 300 people protested the grand jury decision of no indictment of Darren Wilson, the pig who murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson. This was also in the wake of recent vigils and protests in Cleveland against the police murders of Tanisha Anderson, a woman who was seeking help, and Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old shot at a city park. Puncture the Silence (affiliated with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network) called for the action, and many groups joined in.

At 3 p.m. Tuesday, people gathered at Public Square (center of downtown). A few people spoke and then the call was made to take the streets. At first a protester lay in the street, with a sheet over her, and hundreds made a circle, linking arms. The police grabbed one protester, and people yelled furiously, “Let him go. Let him go!!” The arrest only got people even more determined to have no business as usual in Cleveland. People blocked two streets in the Square for an hour. It was a vibrant scene with banners and signs and youth dancing in the street shouting “Fuck the Police” and “Stop Police Terror.” Then we took to the streets to block Route 2, a major highway here, during rush hour. We marched by the police and their cars and then blocked the highway in all lanes in both directions. There were hundreds of cars locked in both lanes for over an hour. In fact, because of seeing this on the news and on Twitter more people came to join in. Programs on television were interrupted to put the protest on. Taking over the highway and holding it for over an hour made one person say, “This is beautiful!” Another said, “It shows our power.”

As we held the traffic to a standstill we got more determined to hold down and so when the cops came up to try to let cars through, people yelled, “We will not be moved!” And no one gave in until we decided to move on. We then marched by the county jail and chanted “No justice no peace, No racist police”; prisoners were banging on the windows with their fists.

There were lots of people in the action: students from Oberlin College, Cleveland State University, Case Western University and Cuyahoga Community College came out in huge numbers. Lots of youth who usually ignore political protest were inspired by the many students and youth of different nationalities and joined the action. As they saw us sitting down in the street they grabbed signs and yelled “Fuck the Police” and “Black Lives Matter.” One youth yelled “Fuck America” and lit up a U.S. flag.

Throughout the action, there was a growing sense that we will not stop, that we will not stop until the police murders stop. As darkness came upon us, a call was made that we accomplished a lot today and must continue the resistance and take it higher and that we are building a movement for revolution so that police brutality and murder will be a thing of the past. Scores of people signed up to be part of building the movement for revolution, took Revolution newspapers, and Carl Dix’s statement “Amerikkka must come to a halt!” There was a feeling that we had crossed over the line of usual protest into being “part of changing everything.”

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