Stolen Lives Day on a Houston Campus

April 3, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From a reader:

A man from a Black neighborhood, who has been taking up A14 and who has also been promoting the film REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN hooked up with a revolutionary on a university campus in Houston on Thursday. As part of bringing students into the plans for April 14, they took up the call from a reader’s letter to Revolution to bring the Stolen Lives poster on to campus and have students pose for selfies with it, to send out on their social media. In the course of a few hours, more than 30 students did so.

One woman and her friend enthusiastically snapped each other’s photo with the poster. I gave them the A14 logo stickers, which they immediately put on. Then she decided that her photo had to be redone, so that the sticker could be seen in it. She felt strongly that people need to be educated about what’s really going on. Her friend felt that walkouts are good because they make people pay attention.

Another couple of women were excited to do this. When I asked them if they knew about A14, one of them said, “Oh yes, it’s all over tumblr!”

As we talked with students, many of them brought up stories of people murdered by the police, like the man in Dallas who was killed for having a screwdriver, and several mentioned the incident with Martese Johnson, the Black honor student in Virgina, whose face was dragged across the pavement by racist pigs, especially because he survived to speak out about it.

For many the idea of walking out of class was both appealing and daunting, and some were not ready to make that commitment. So we are keeping a consistent presence at the same place on campus so that people can come back and sum up their experience and revisit the question.

One student suggested a march across campus. A group of three said that their history teacher was progressive and they would talk with her about walking out with them. One of them also made the point that some of the most vicious attacks by police and vigilantes are aimed at trans people, especially trans women.

One student, a recent veteran, felt that these murders are not only just that—murders—but also violations of people’s constitutional rights. He said that when the police, time and again, act as prosecutor, judge, and executioner, it means that this country is not operating on the basis of its own democratic principles. He felt that a fifth point about violation of people’s constitutional rights should be added to the demands on the A14 statement.

Lots of students left wearing stickers, with handfuls of fliers and thoughts circulating in their heads.

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