The Pig Assault on Martese Johnson

What Does a Black Man in ameriKKKa Have to Do to Not Be Brutalized by Police?

Updated March 20, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Martese Johnson is a student at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, majoring in Italian and Media Studies. According to news reports, he holds “numerous leadership positions” at the school and has no criminal record.

But to the police he is just another young Black man with a target on his back.

The Pig Assault on Martese JohnsonAP photo

Video: Bryan Beaubrun

On March 17, Martese Johnson was grabbed by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control police outside a bar on University Avenue. According to news reports, he was immediately tackled, dragged to the ground, beaten bloody in front of dozens of students as he screamed out in anger and pain: “I go to UVA. You fuckin’ racists!” His head was slammed into the hard pavement viciously. His blood splattered on the pavement of University Avenue. He was jailed overnight.

The next day, up to a thousand students rallied on campus. Some chanted: “If we don’t get it, shut it down.” There were statements of solidarity and outrage from the UV Queer Student Union, the Asian Student Union, and others. The Latino Student Alliance denounced the assault as a “vile act of police brutality.” And statements on Twitter exposed that “Black students on grounds are highly familiar with this kind of abuse (denied access to places, checking IDs of black students and not checking IDs of white students).”

As this outrage hit national news, the university president claimed “deep concern” while insisting that what was needed was to “clarify all of the details surrounding this event.” The governor, using the same press release template, expressed “concern” and promised to stay in contact with “local law enforcement” and “monitor the situation closely as the investigation proceeds.”

The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people. To enforce the relations of exploitation and oppression, the conditions of poverty, misery and degradation into which the system has cast people and is determined to keep people in. The law and order the police are about, with all of their brutality and murder, is the law and the order that enforces all this oppression and madness. --Bob Avakian, BAsics 1:24

Please! Look it up. Look up any highly publicized incident of police brutality or murder. The powers-that-be always promise to “investigate.” How much of an investigation do you need when over and over and over and over Black men are beaten to a pulp, terrorized, and murdered for no reason!? The problem is right there on video.

Seriously: WHO is going to stop this situation where a Black man in this country can be brutalized, terrorized, or killed by police, where the police can give any excuse or none, and get away with it?


April 14: Shut It Down!

At Kenwood Academy in Chicago, where Martese Johnson went to high school.On March 19, members of the Revolution Club, Chicago, went out to Kenwood Academy, where Martese Johnson went to high school. This photo shows students and Revolution Club members with a banner showing the faces of some of the thousands of people murdered by police across the U.S. Students took up stickers and flyers for #ShutDownA14 and got into it with the Revolution Club about the need for revolution and the importance of the upcoming premiere theater screening and online launch of the new film of the dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. A "Justice for Martese" march was planned for the next day.

Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.