Carl Dix in New York City April 6:
The Police Are STILL Killing Unarmed People and This Must STOP!

April 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Alright, it’s good to see you all here today. You are all where you need to be today. Remember where you need to be on April 14th, in the streets, shutting it down, and bring a lot of other people with you.

Now look, we’re one week out from April 14th. A week out from a day when we must disrupt business as usual in this country, because that business as usual includes police getting away with murdering Black and Latino people. We have to manifest powerful resistance, all across the country, bringing the normal routine of this society to a halt. This resistance has to make clear that there is a force of people in this society who are determined to act to STOP the systemic problem of the authorities giving a green light to police who brutalize and murder people.

Carl DIx

Carl Dix

Now, I didn’t come here tonight to tell you it would be easy to do that. And if I did tell you that I’d be lying. What I did come here to do, though, was to lay out how deep this problem runs in this society and just what we’re up against in acting to stop it. I came to tell you why we have to act on April 14th, and how that could be part of bringing a whole new world into being. I’m also gonna get into how we can do that. And I came to recruit you, to recruit you to do something that really matters. And what that comes down to is doing something that will contribute to stopping police murder. Not slowing it down, not lessening it, but STOPPING it because that’s what’s needed. [applause]

And you all saw some of the parents up here just now. I want to take us a little bit more into the reality that calls on us to stop it. Let’s talk about brother Jason Harrison from Dallas. A young Black man who was living with his mother, the brother was mentally challenged. He was having a mental episode. His mother calls 911 to get some help. What she got was several cops came to the door. She went to answer the door and her son Jason comes behind her and he had a screwdriver in his hand, a screwdriver. When the cops saw the screwdriver, and these cops had their bulletproof vests on and all of that, they pull their guns out and they point them at Jason and then they start yelling at him, “Put down the screwdriver. Put down the screwdriver. Put down the screwdriver.” And Jason doesn’t do anything. He just stands there holding the screwdriver. And then they open fire. Shoot him down right in his mother’s front door. Jason falls over with his arms under him. You can hear the mother in the background. “You killed my son. You killed my son.” And these cops point their guns at Jason’s prone body and continue to yell at him, “Drop the screwdriver. Drop the screwdriver.”

Let’s also talk about Phillip White, a 22-year-old Black man, Vineland, New Jersey. About a week or so ago, the cops came to his door and arrested him. We still don’t know what they arrested him for, but they arrested him, put him into handcuffs, took him out of his apartment. And then after they got him out, they threw him on the ground. Then they began to savagely brutalize him. They beat Phillip. They kicked Phillip. They stomped Phillip. Then one of the pigs went to the car, the police car, and got a police dog and sicced the dog on Phillip. The dog bit Phillip in the face and along his body. Ten hours later Phillip White was dead.

Now these are just two of the many, many people killed by police in this country. In just the first 85 days of this year, 78 unarmed people were killed by the police, and that’s just the unarmed people. If you look at the month of March, police in this country killed 115 people, and that’s just in March alone. This poster makes real and concrete how widespread this problem is. And we need to make use of this poster everywhere we can on the days leading up to April 14th to enlist people in joining us in and disrupting business as usual. And we need to use it on April 14th to make people confront the reality that we’re dealing with and to challenge them that they got to get out there and join us in doing something about it. And to give people who are in the streets a sense that we are right when we go out into the streets to stop business as usual.

Now look, it’s bad enough that the police kill the people they are supposed to protect and serve. On top of that the whole system goes into motion to get the killer cops off when they do kill people. Their fellow cops maintain a blue wall of silence, or they tell lies to try to cover up these murderous deeds that these cops have done. The district attorneys quickly pronounce these killings as justifiable homicide, or they convene a grand jury and lead it to conclude that these killer cops committed no crimes.

Now in a very few cases, and it’s really very few, where a cop gets charged for killing people, the charges never match up to what they actually did. And in these cases where they get charged, the DAs just forget how to prosecute, and the killer cops get off.

But see, let’s not leave out the media, 'cause they get in on this. They take the police story and put it out there like it’s the absolute truth. Including when the cops kill somebody, if they can find even a hint of a criminal record, then that gets out in the media. Even when the person was doing absolutely nothing wrong when the cops killed them, they still want to get that hint out there that, oh, this must have been a criminal.

See, that’s bad, that’s horrible, but it doesn’t stop there, it doesn’t stop with the killings and the killer cops getting off. The cops and the whole criminal system injustice system in this country mistreat and abuse the loved ones of those they killed.

Look, and I don’t have time to get into all of the details I could get into, but let me just touch on a few things. When the cops killed Ramarley Graham in the Bronx, in his mother’s house, in front of his grandmother and his younger brother, after they killed him, they took his grandmother into custody, took her down to the police station, and interrogated the sister for hours. Her lawyer came down, demanded to see his client. They refused to let him go in, until they were finished interrogating and finally realized they weren’t gonna get nothing out of her to justify what they had done.

In Detroit a few years ago, police murdered seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones. They threw a grenade into the house—they broke into the wrong house to start with and then they threw a grenade in. Then a cop fired a bullet and shot her through the head. After they killed this little girl, they arrested her grandmother and tried to blame her for the little girl's death. Juanita [Young, whose son was murdered by New York police] knows this ‘cause she went up there to Detroit with me right after this happened, ‘cause we had to be up there with those people.

Now look, I know a lot of you all saw the video of the cops in Cleveland who murdered 12-year-old Tamir Rice. But then there was a longer video and in that longer video after they murder him, you see a young woman runs out. That’s Tamir’s sister running to try to comfort her brother. The cops tackle her to the ground, take her into custody and put her in the back of the police car, leaving Tamir there bleeding out, dying on the ground. And then later, Tamir’s mother comes, wanting to comfort her son, afraid that he was dying. They threatened to arrest his mother, made her get out of there, would not let her go see her dying son.

Think about the inhumanity of a system whose enforcers do things like this, again and again and again. And look, the way the police get away with murdering Black and Latino people, that’s bad in its own right. But it’s also a concentration of an overall program of suppression that has a genocidal thrust. It’s the way this system holds down Black and Latino people today. And it’s a continuation of the savage oppression that this very system has enforced on Black people since the very first Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains. This is the ugly truth of what goes down in this country.

Now usually people just suffer the murder and the brutality that the police inflict. Too many people accept the lie that the people who were killed by the police deserved what they got. Other people get the message that there's nothing we can do about it, that the system is too powerful so we might as well just shut up and accept it.

But when Darren Wilson murdered Michael Brown in Ferguson, society was forced to confront the truth. And they were forced to confront the truth because people in Ferguson stood up, took to the streets, and stayed in the streets. [applause] I mean, the authorities threw everything they could find at those defiant young people: tear gas, rubber bullets, sound cannons. They put a curfew in on them. They mobilized the National Guard. But still those people stayed in the streets. The power of their resistance reached out to me and compelled me to go down to Ferguson to be with them a few days after Michael Brown was murdered. Actually Juanita went down with me too then. Seems like we went around together a little bit.

See these days, you see these talking heads in the media saying, well, you know, the protests in Ferguson, they were marred by violence. Look, I was down there and I’ll tell you what I saw. I saw defiant young people who refused to suffer this brutality and murder any longer in silence. [applause] I saw young Black men in street organizations who a week before had been fighting and killing, who got out of that and were standing together to demand justice for Michael Brown and to fight against police brutality and police murder. [applause] And I met people who welcomed me and other people who came down to Ferguson to be on the front lines of this fight with them. [applause] Give it up. Give it up.

Because the power of what people did in Ferguson reached out to the whole country and inspired others to act. And then this got taken to an even higher level when the grand juries refused to indict the cops who murdered Eric Garner and Michael Brown. People poured into the streets all across the country, blocking highways, blocking bridges, blocking tunnels. Several thousand folks up in Minnesota went into the Mall of the Americas, it’s supposed to be the biggest mall in the country. Well, that day it was the most shut down mall in the country. Folks were like, this is all that's happening here. Black Lives Matter is what’s happening here. All of that happened and more.

And look, that’s just some ideas of what might need to happen on the 14th.

Now look, it was inspiring to see these people from different backgrounds standing together in this, to see Black people, white people, Latinos, Asians, out in the streets together saying Black Lives Matter. [applause] This showed people who've been messed over by this system forever that if they stood up, others could be won to join them in resistance. It gave people a beginning sense that the system didn’t have it as together as they want us to think. That maybe we could do something about the attacks they bring down on us. That maybe we didn’t have to live this way.

And look, right in the middle of all this was the historic Dialogue that Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and dear brother Cornel [West] engaged in. [applause] The theme of this Dialogue was REVOLUTION AND RELIGION, the Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion. And it gave people a deeper sense of how a different way for people to live could be brought into being. And look, people can check this Dialogue out right…well, don't do it right now… after this thing is over, you can go up on the website, ‘cause we put up that Dialogue and a film of it online.

Now all of this, the powerful resistance and the swirl of revolutionary ideas, was like a door got cracked open, and people could see a glimmer of hope that things could be different.

Well, the system came back at this. They came back with arrests. They came back with heavy charges. And they came back with lie on top of lie. I want to take one lie, one big lie that they told. And that's the lie that Michael Brown caused his own death. That it was his fault that he got murdered. See now, this is a lie that Darren Wilson, the murdering pig who killed Michael Brown, he's the one that told this lie. But the whole system has embraced it and is pushing it in our faces. (from the audience: The whole system is guilty as hell!”) You’re damn right it is. [applause]

And look, they tell us that Michael Brown didn't have his hands up. They tell us that he attacked Wilson, and that Wilson had no choice but to kill him in self-defense. Now when they tell us this, they're trying to give us a bigger message. And that message is that this whole movement of resistance to police getting away with murder is based on a lie. Well that's not true, sisters and brothers.

Mike Brown was just walking down the street when Wilson accosted him. Wilson pulled his gun out. Mike Brown ran to get away, then he turned around and then, yes, he put his hands up. And Wilson gunned him down. Now some people will say, wait a minute, Carl, you weren't there—how do you know he had his hands up? I know he had his hands up because I saw that right after they killed him, there was a whole bunch of people there who saw it. And they said the brother had his hands up and he got shot. There's even two white guys who just happened to be working in the neighborhood, and there's a video of them watching it, and then they go, oh, he had his hands up when the cops shot him. All of those folks said that.

Now the district attorney, he say it don't happen that way. He said, the witnesses who said Michael Brown had his hands up were "not credible." You see, this is a district attorney who put on an eyewitness to back up Darren Wilson's story, who wasn't even there. He felt that was credible evidence, when someone wasn't even there. But all those folks who were there, they weren't credible because they weren't saying what he wanted them to say.

Now Eric Holder and the Department of Justice embraced this whole lie and tried to shove it down our throats. Now this is important, because Holder came down to Ferguson—actually shortly after I did—like he was going to be some kind of savior. He had people thinking that: Look, if the locals don't give you justice, come see me, you can count on me. See, this is a part of another lie they want us to swallow—that we can rely on the people in power, that some of them are our friends. This is a big part of how they keep us under control. The truth is, the whole damn system is committed to unleashing the police. [applause] When they swagger through our neighborhoods like an occupying army, the whole system is behind them. And the whole system backs them up when they brutalize and kill people.

The system pushes these lies to confuse us about who's right and who's wrong. What they're trying to do is they're trying to slam shut that door that got cracked open. They're trying to double lock it. They want to close it so tight that we could never rise up again. And WE CANNOT LET THAT HAPPEN, sisters and brothers! [applause]

On April 14th, we've got to revive the spirit of Ferguson, that spirit of refusing to suffer the brutality and murder of the system in silence. We've got to revive it—and we've got to take it higher. We have to get back out in the streets, and we've got to declare that we're not backing down and that we are NOT going away. We have to say that we're determined to fight this on April 14th—and then coming after April 14th, we've got to continue building wave upon wave of resistance, even more powerfully, until we can STOP murder by the police. [applause]

We need to push the truth back out there. And we've got to put ourselves on the line as we do it. We can use these posters [pointing to Stolen Lives poster] in doing that, taking them into the streets, out on the campus or into school, into your neighborhood. We need to use them to polarize the situation, forcing them to look square in the eye of reality, and challenging them to join us in doing something about it.

Now this is a pretty big poster. But we need to make even bigger enlargements of this poster. HUGE enlargements—maybe even something like 30 feet. And then carry them into the streets on April 14th, like they're floats, you know. They need to be so big that by themselves they will capture the attention of people and break things out of the normal routine of society, whether we got a thousand people carrying it, or 10 people carrying it. These posters powerfully represent the hundreds of people the police kill every year. When we take them into the streets, we are carrying the justification for what we are doing, the thing that indicates we are right to do it. We're putting the horror of police murder out there for everybody to see. And we can't back down when we do this. If the authorities come to us and say, oh, you have to get to the sidewalk, we have to say: No. This needs to be out in the streets. This needs to be where everyone can see it. [applause]

And then leading up to April 14th, this next week, these posters have got to be everywhere. You know, they should be big. They don't have to be as big as the 30-foot one I'm talking about—they should be big enough to attract attention. When you do that—'cause I just came back from LA, we were at UCLA, we were at UC Riverside on Stolen Lives Days—they rivet people's attention. People wanted copies of the poster. They wanted to take pictures of themselves in front of it and tweet in and put it on social media. We need to be doing this for this next week, and we need to be recruiting the people whose attention is riveted by this poster, to act with us on April 14th to stop these horrors. People need to go to the website of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network that Cornel and I co-founded. That's And we need to be working to drive people to that website. And we also should be working to drive people to the website of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Everybody needs to be going to these sites, finding out what's going on, getting a fuller perspective of what's behind what's happening, and getting organized and organizing others. People need to send in photos, reports, stories and vines to these sites, and we'll post them up, so that the people can get a sense of the growing nationwide movement of resistance.

In this way, we'll be making a huge move against police getting away with murder, and against mass incarceration—and also a move towards the transformation of all of society. We can do this, sisters and brothers. A whole lot of people want to see something done to stop the way the system gives a green light to killer cops. It's right beneath the surface, and sometimes it bubbles over, comes out in the open for people to see.

You saw it in Madison, Wisconsin—I actually saw it personally, but you can see it on the videos on the Stop Mass Incarceration Network site—when hundreds of high school students took to the streets last month after police in Madison, Wisconsin killed a young Black man named Tony Robinson.

You saw it on April 1st when people in the San Francisco area took over an immigration office. [applause]

You saw it when people in Philadelphia turned around a town hall meeting where the police chief was trying to convince them that they should not look at his cops like they were an occupying army.

And you see it in the response of students at college campuses like Duke and Oklahoma, where racist outrages have gone down.

Now look, I just want to say something serious to everybody here tonight and everybody who's watching on the live stream. It's good that you're doing that, and you're showing something—you're showing a certain understanding of things. But I have to tell you, it's not enough to feel like something should be done about it, but not to act to do it. [applause] It's not good enough to hope that someone else will do it. You've got enough awareness of what needs to be done or you wouldn't be here if you weren't aware of the problems. History is calling on us to act. The faces on this poster are calling on YOU to act. Don't let this keep going on. Don't let there be new faces to add to this poster. We have to END the situation where teenagers come up to Noche and talk about how they figure they'll be on this poster sometime soon. We have to stop this. We have to act. And YOU have to be a part of it.

When we act on April the 14th, we will be acting for and speaking to the people who want to see this horror stopped. And leading up to April the 14th, we can tap into the people who have that sentiment and enlist them to join us in the streets on the 14th.

'Cause look, brothers and sisters, it is illegitimate and unacceptable for this system to give a green light to its brutal murdering police. It's got to stop. And all these other horrors that this system visits on millions of people around the planet also have to stop: the wars for empire; the drone missile strikes; the horrible oppression that comes down on the sisters in this country [applause]; also what's done to gay, lesbian and transgender people [applause]; and also what they do to immigrants and what they're doing to the environment of the whole planet we live on. [applause]

All of this can be stopped. We do NOT have to live like this. And when we stand up, it lets us begin to see the truth of that. And it builds up our strength and our organization and understanding. And it gets us ready for the day when we COULD end all of this stuff, for real and for good. All these horrors can be stopped, and it will take a revolution to do it. [applause]

I just want to talk about one example of what we could do through revolution. Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who I told you about a little earlier, spoke to this in BAsics, commenting on the 1998 police killing of Tyisha Miller, a 19-year-old Black woman in Riverside, California who was unconscious in a car. Her family called the police, she'd had a seizure. The cops came and they fired 23 shots into the car, hitting Tyisha 12 times and killing her. This is what Bob Avakian had to say about this:

If you can’t handle this situation differently than this, then get the fuck out of the way. Not only out of the way of this situation, but get off the earth. Get out of the way of the masses of people. Because, you know, we could have handled this situation any number of ways that would have resulted in a much better outcome. And frankly, if we had state power and we were faced with a similar situation, we would sooner have one of our own people’s police killed than go wantonly murder one of the masses. That’s what you’re supposed to do if you’re actually trying to be a servant of the people. You go there and you put your own life on the line, rather than just wantonly murder one of the people. Fuck all this “serve and protect” bullshit! If they were there to serve and protect, they would have found any way but the way they did it to handle this scene. They could have and would have found a solution that was much better than this. This is the way the proletariat, when it’s been in power has handled—and would again handle—this kind of thing, valuing the lives of the masses of people. As opposed to the bourgeoisie in power, where the role of their police is to terrorize the masses, including wantonly murdering them, murdering them without provocation, without necessity, because exactly the more arbitrary the terror is, the more broadly it affects the masses. And that’s one of the reasons why they like to engage in, and have as one of their main functions to engage in, wanton and arbitrary terror against the masses of people.

This is why we say we could do better. And this is why we say the people need to check out this leader, Bob Avakian, and check out and get with this revolution.

And everybody needs to be in the streets on April 14th, saying no more to police killing people again and again, and getting away with it. And look, do not tell me if you're white that this isn't your problem, and you don't have to act around it. [applause] Because what I'll tell you is that we need a lot more white people like Cindy Sheehan, doing what she did. [applause] Adding her voice to the cry that this horror has got to stop. You can't turn away from these horrors. You can't say it's not my problem. It IS your problem. These are OUR youth. These are OUR youth being beaten down in the streets, warehoused in prison, and shot down in the streets. I don't care if you're Black, Latino, Asian, white or whatever. These are OUR youth—and we have to STOP what's being done to them. [applause]

EVERYBODY needs to join the outpouring into the streets on April 14th to say that police getting away with murder must stop. If you refuse to act to stop this, you're saying it's OK. And I ask you: Is it OK for the police to gun down or choke people to death? [audience: NO!] Is it OK for politicians to excuse and justify these killings by talking about cops being heroes with a tough job? [audience: NO!] Is it OK for the system's media to swallow and then spit out the lies that the police cook up to try to cover up their murderous deeds? [audience: NO!]

OK, if you mean that, then you've got to put yourselves on the line on April the 14th. And, you have to go all out between now and April 14th to make it as powerful as possible.

April 14th—No Work! No School! Shut Down Business as Usual! Stop Police Getting Away with Murder!

Thank you, sisters and brothers.


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