Report from Pasco, Washington:

In the Streets vs. the Police Murder of Antonio Zambrano-Montes

February 16, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Police have murdered another Latino immigrant in Washington State, this time in Pasco. His name was Antonio Zambrano-Montes. Cops there have now killed four people in the last six months.

Rally for Antonio Zambrano-Montes, February 11.Erika Zambrano at a rally February 11, with photo of her husband, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, who was killed by police. AP photo

On Tuesday, February 10, Antonio, an orchard worker originally from Mexico, was reportedly throwing rocks at passing cars. He clearly was not acting rationally and needed help. He had nothing more than rocks or dirt clods. But the police aggressively confronted him and, in the words of his family, killed him “execution style.” When the cops shot Antonio Zambrano-Montes, he was trying to flee and was not a threat. This horrific murder is caught on video, which reveals him being cut down by a storm of bullets from three deadly cops. The film has gone viral on YouTube, with 300,000 views as of Friday night, February 13.

Right away there was a righteous outpouring into the streets by the people of Pasco. Pasco is a small city in the eastern part of the state where many Latino immigrants live and work in the orchards picking fruit and doing other farm labor. People from across the U.S. have sent messages of solidarity, and people from across the state came to Pasco on Saturday, February 14, to stand with those in Pasco resisting this terror. Many had come because they have been inspired by the nationwide resistance to police murder.

News reports indicate the Pasco police are threatening the people resisting in Pasco and trying to isolate them from other people coming to stand with them by warning they will be on alert for “violence” from “outsiders.” These police, who carried out this cold-blooded murder, have absolutely no right to speak about violence! People are determined to stand together with those standing up in Pasco, and will not be intimidated by police threats that are aimed at suppressing and covering up this righteous protest!

Pasco, Washington, February 14Pasco, Washington, February 14. AP photo

A team of people from the October 22nd Coalition and supporters of fresh off of coming back from the February 7-8 Stop Mass Incarceration Network national conference in Atlanta, headed to Pasco to stand with the people there, and to spread word of the call for April 14 shutdown of business as usual to STOP police murder and brutality. The team included family members of Oscar Perez-Giron, murdered by police at a light rail station in Seattle, and friends and family of two others killed by police, including Native American woodcarver John T. Williams. Below is the team’s initial report, delivered over the phone at 9 pm Saturday, February 14. They remained out in the street in Pasco with about 100 others who refused to go home after a whole day of protest, cars constantly driving buy honking in support, others pulling up with people hanging out of car windows with protest signs, etc.

Report from Pasco

Five hundred people turned out to demand justice for Antonio Zambrano-Montes in Pasco today. The people were largely Latino, but other nationalities represented as well. Mostly there were local people, though also significant numbers of people from other parts of the state and Seattle. People rallied at City Hall and marched to the point of the murder of Antonio. Some speakers demanded justice, but a common theme from those leading the march was to tell people to remain calm and let the investigation and “process” work and not look for trouble.

At the final point of the initial march, a family member of Oscar Perez-Giron got on the mic and spoke powerfully about Oscar’s murder by police in Seattle and connecting it to what had happened to Antonio in Pasco. A revolutionary laid into and broke open how people need to stand up and not “stay calm.” She linked the resistance around Antonio’s murder with the struggle nationwide against the police murder of Black and Latino people and argued that people must not go home, or else this murder of Antonio would be swept under the rug. She told people they could stand up along with people all over the country on April 14 to stop this shit, and shut things down.

This struck a deep chord among people. After she spoke, people swarmed her, telling her they had been waiting for someone to say this, and asking what group she was with. Many youth especially had story after story of how they had been fucked with by police, followed and racially profiled, stopped and handcuffed for no reason, harassed. One woman told how her brother had a gun put to his head by police. Many said Antonio could have been them, could have been their brother or father, and this has to stop. Some people have been following other cases of police brutality and said body cameras don’t work, investigations don’t work, if we don’t stand up the police will get away with this. People said they were sick and tired of this, “We have rights.”

The revolutionary called for people to do a die-in, which many did. Many people refused to go home despite leaders of the march telling people they should disperse and move out of the streets so the city could open them back up.

After the official rally was called to an end, people regrouped and kept speaking out about police terror in Pasco, Washington, February 14.After the official rally was called to an end, people regrouped and kept speaking out about police terror in Pasco, Washington, February 14. Photo: Special to

Rally organizers left and 100-200 people took off into the streets again, blocking intersections and marching back to the park where the rally started. Family members of those killed by police spoke out, including Maria Perez Giron, adoptive mother of Oscar Perez Giron. She said, “We’re not afraid of deportations anymore.” Throughout the day people stayed in the streets. At one point the police moved in and threatened to arrest everyone and forced people onto sidewalks—but people still didn’t leave. Cars were pulling up, people walking in, especially youth. One car pulled up with people hanging out of the car with protest signs saying “Antonio—Rest in Peace” and “We will fight.” In this whole scene there was lots of discussion, people exchanged information and contact information, stories, and views.

The call for April 14 got out very broadly—all the fliers went into people’s hands and people were talking about it throughout the crowd. There was a lot of interest in the day. Some people were saying that “April 14th can show we’re serious, that we mean business. We need to be united, we need justice for everyone.” People were grappling with what impact it could have if things were shut down. A lot of Revolution newspapers went into people’s hands, people were asking for it. People learned there is a real way out with revolution and that a movement for that is being built. A core of people was forged to lead the march throughout the day. Important connections were made and there is a lot of sentiment that this must continue.

This whole movement must continue to go forward—in Pasco, Seattle, Ferguson, and everywhere. We must not let it get pushed back!!!

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