Some Questions We Are Encountering Among People as We Struggle With People to Come to the Atlanta Planning Meeting of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network

by Travis Morales | February 2, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Over the last week or so we have been going out to people and struggling with them to come to the February 7 and 8 meeting in Atlanta called by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. The meeting will focus on making real the Draft Call for "APRIL 14—STOP BUSINESS AS USUAL! WE WILL NOT GO BACK! NO SCHOOL! NO WORK! SAY NO MORE TO THE SYSTEM GIVING A GREEN LIGHT TO KILLER COPS!" We have been going to people with the need for this national movement that erupted after the murder of Michael Brown in August to retake the initiative, get people back out in the streets in a more massive way with determined resistance, and build off the real advances that began in August and took a big leap for five weeks after the grand jury refused to indict his killer and continued through the end of the year.

Many activists really do want to stop the outrage of police killing our people and go forward with a movement of many more people to stop these crimes. But way too many are not facing the reality that the movement that burst forth across the country against the police murdering people and walking free has taken a big hit. It is being suppressed with both repression and the lies and threats that went into high gear after the killing of two NYPD cops on December 20, lies that blame the protesters for these killings! The great majority of people stopped protesting.

Some activists are telling us that the reason that people got out of the streets is that the weather is too cold, people are tired, or people do not see that the protests were doing any good. Many are acting like we can just continue what we have been doing as if December 20 and the ensuing barrage from the media, police and government officials never happened. All kinds of proposals are being floated out for what to do next: demanding civilian review boards, community control of police, body cameras, special prosecutors, etc. To be frank, these are the easy way out that do not confront how to stop these outrages and deal with the central demands that drove people into the streets. We want justice for all the people murdered by the police, the killer cops to be sent to prison, and the police to stop murdering Black and Latino people.

We are struggling with people to confront reality. The uprisings across the country shook this country to its core and scared the shit out of the people who run this imperialist system. Beginning with the youth in Ferguson, these uprisings opened the eyes of millions to the systematic murder of Black and Latino people with impunity at the hands of the police and for them Black lives did matter. People poured into the streets. Something like this has not happened since the 1960s—taking on the brutal and horrific oppression of Black people with those that are the targets of these murders standing up. The rulers flipped out as the reality of these brutal murders was exposed around the world and they could not stop this outpouring with arrests, threats, and a massive show of militarized police as much as they tried. But they seized on the killings of the two cops to spread lies, confusion, and misinformation to paralyze, demobilize and get people out of the streets.

The great majority of people that had been with us got out of the streets and we must confront this. We cannot go forward by refusing to confront and figure out how to deal with this setback, hiding our heads in the sand. And we can do this. All the people that poured into the streets and the millions that supported them have right on their side. The overwhelming majority did not stop thinking that Black Lives Matter. And we have the truth that the police must be stopped from murdering our people and the barrage that hit us after December 20 is all lies. People can understand and act on this through struggling for what is true and acting on the need to retake the streets. And this is exactly why people need to come to Atlanta and be part of determining how to do exactly this.

We have been struggling with people over the stakes of the critical crossroads where we are. The current trajectory is for this movement to be suppressed, for these lies to shut down the thinking of millions that had their eyes opened and were compelled to act, to go back to the business as usual of the police killing Black and Brown people with impunity. But, now, it will be even worse. People in their masses will be led to think they can do nothing about these murders, "we tried protesting and it didn't do any good," there is no point to resisting, and that they must just accept this. The youth in Ferguson that stood up and set off this whole struggle and all those that are the target of these murders will feel abandoned. We have a responsibility to them to call all those that still want to act back out into the streets, as we wage a campaign to counter all the lies, building off the tremendous upsurge of last year and going forward to bring forth a movement of millions that will not stop until the police murder of our people stops. And we have a basis to do just this.

The imperialist rulers have a big problem on their hands. They are dealing with an antagonistic contradiction that has the potential to tear this country apart, unravel the whole thing and give rise to revolutionary possibilities. They cannot and will not give up the role of the police in protecting and serving the system that rules over the people, enforcing the relations of oppression which, in part, means brutalizing and murdering Black and Latino people every day. But in the last few months, millions have been outraged and tens of thousands, maybe over 100,000, were out in the streets demanding justice, that these killings by the police stop, and that these killer cops be punished. These two aspects of this contradiction cannot be reconciled. This is why the government, the media and the police went on a tear after December 20, demanding the protests stop, both because the horrific crimes were being exposed to one and all, and because their needs to defend and protect the role of the police were on a collision course with the increasingly determined resistance of the people and their demands for justice. This is an explosive contradiction that could, right now, if people retake the initiative and get back out in the streets, bring even bigger waves of people out to demand that these murders by the police stop now. The whole thing could begin to unravel, and out of this set of contradictions a whole process could very well begin leading to a revolutionary situation and the opportunity to actually make a revolution.

And now is the time to retake the offensive. The rulers cannot be allowed to take us back and force us to accept the business as usual of the police murdering our people with impunity. We must act! You are needed. Come to Atlanta. Be part of forging the plans for April 14 to be a day to STOP BUSINESS AS USUAL! across the country and the plans for how to get from here to there.

I wanted to share this with others that are out struggling to bring people to Atlanta.

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