Building a Core for #ShutDownA14 at an Arts College

April 10, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


There were 4 students from an arts college, one SMIN student activist from another school and a couple of veteran revolutionaries who sat down this afternoon to make plans for A14.  We started by going around the room and introducing ourselves and talking about why we were there.  Some students spoke in more depth. 

One described how he saw A14 as an historic turning point about whether or not people in this country were going to allow people to be murdered by the police for no good reason whatsoever.  He talked about being out on the street the day before in front of the school with someone holding a big Stolen Lives poster and a white guy with his family walked by.  The person holding the poster called on the guy to look at the poster because it showed unarmed people who had been murdered by the police.  The guy looked at the poster, turned to the person holding it, flipped him off and said, "I am a cop.  Fuck you!"  This really stunned the student because it showed that the police really didn't give a fuck about murdering black people. 

Another woman talked about A14 was not something aimed at individual cops, but at the system which allows the police to systematically murder black people.  She talked about how we need a total change—a revolution—to put an end to this.  She also talked about how she had made presentations about A14 in three of her classes.  One went well, but the other two met either opposition or indifference and this had really bummed her out.  People helped her look at this more in perspective.  Yes there will be ignorance and opposition, but we do have right on our side—and we carry the hopes of millions with us.  This cold-blooded police murder is intolerable.  Other students' statements were briefer, but they too conveyed a deep hatred of what is going and a determination to put something on the line to stop it.

Next, a veteran revolutionary laid out a basic framework and plan for how the students in this whole part of town could play an important part in shutting shit down on A14.  It had 3 parts: 

1) in the next 5 days concentrate on calling out the students in all the surrounding colleges to be part of a14. 

2) Early on the day itself, take some type of bold, creative and attention grabbing action to get the day started on the right foot. 

3) Then draw together as many students as possible to form a powerful contingent to march into the main A14 convergence and further unleash people's enthusiasm, courage and determination to shut shit down.

 People liked the overall plan and talked about the importance of the difference aspects.

Then we got down to what people needed to do to make this happen.  At first people were quiet.  Then one woman said that she works with graphic artists and they could do a big banner.  Another woman said that she was a photography major and people at her studio could create flyers and posters to get up around school.  Another student is a film major and she said that she has some friends who are planning to make a documentary of the day.  As we talked about getting the word out on campus radio, a different student remembered that he knows someone who is down with A14 who also works at the station—so his job was to contact her right away.  Two students couldn't stay longer because they had classes.  But both of them took stacks of materials and said that they would make presentations and get stuff out in their classes.  There were whistles on the table for people to take and one student explained to the others that they were to call people out to stand up to police terror—like a woman being attacked yelling "fire" instead of "rape."  People took some.  The other three students stayed a little longer to take pictures of themselves with the Stolen Lives poster next to something showing their school name.  They were going to post that on-line and send it to SMIN. 

At the end, one student, who has been digging into BA's new synthesis of communism stayed to talk longer about why we need a revolution and some of the critical lessons that BA has summed up from the history of the first wave of communist revolutions.

But there is still a lot of work to be done and this developing core of students—all of whom have each other’s contact info—need to work together, along with the veteran revolutionary, for these plans to come to fruition.  Right after the meeting an email went out to all contacts at local colleges—telling them of the plan and calling on them to get involved to make it happen.

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