Stolen Lives Day at UC Berkeley: Thousands Confronted with the Epidemic of Police Murder, Challenged to Fight Back

April 6, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

UC Berkeley

UC BerkeleyUC Berkeley

On April 2, the Revolution Club, Bay Area brought a powerful visual message and challenge to the UC Berkeley campus. On the historic Sather Gate (entrance to the campus where thousands of college students, high school students on tours, parents, and tourists must pass through) the Revolution Club posted the Stolen Lives centerfold, along with individual images of dozens of the faces of some of those who have been murdered by the police. Strict campus regulations forbid posting (and even leaning large signs!) on the gate, so the visual display was a real break from the “normal” scene on campus.

As thousands streamed through, people stopped to look and take pictures of the images, many noting the predominance of Black and Latino faces, as well as the fact that these were UNARMED victims, many still in their teens! The club called on people to step forward and take a stand against this ugly reality, challenging students and others to be a part of organizing for the national shut down day against police murder, #ShutDownA14. People were challenged to take out their phones, take and post pictures through their own social media accounts to spread the word about #ShutDownA14, and connect up with the Revolution Club and the movement for revolution.

For some, the Stolen Lives images were a jolt, something they were not aware was so common in poor communities of color. For others, it was a validation of what they have seen and witnessed firsthand. While many stopped to talk and take pictures and were excited to know about and be a part of #ShutDownA14, we still have a lot of work to do to bring forward people who will take real responsibility in leading others to bring this nightmare of police terror to an end.

On the same day, the Caravana 43, family members of the 43 missing Ayotzinapa students and activists from Mexico, stopped in Berkeley to expose the lies of the Mexican government and to call on people to take up this important struggle for justice. [See “Todos Somos Ayotzinapa! Thousands in 30+ Countries Demand Justice for 43 Disappeared Students in Mexico.”] At their event a speaker and parent of one of the disappeared youth made the connection between police impunity in Mexico and in the United States when it comes to killing youth of color. He also spoke of being heartened by the display at the campus gate and images of the Stolen Lives faces on social media, spoke about how important it is to not let these crimes be ignored, and called on people to be part of the April 7 Speak Out at Cal (see PDF leaflet) with family members of people killed by police, the president of the Latino Pre-Law Society at UC Berkeley, and a video statement from Cornel West and Carl Dix.


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