"The film brings you up close inside Cornel West's and Bob Avakian's dialogue: the passion, the audacity, the science, the morality, the revolutionary substance. Two courageous voices modeling a morality that refuses to accept injustice – pouring heart and soul into standing together challenging all of us to fight for a world worthy of humanity."

Andy Zee,
co-director of the film


BA Speaks

"No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."

BAsics 1:13


Reporter's Notebook

Marching in Occupied Baltimore to Continue to Demand Justice for Freddie Gray

May 4, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


May 2—Thousands of people rallied at City Hall to demand justice for Freddie Gray, in this city where 3,000 National Guard troops armed with assault weapons and thousands of other police from Baltimore and other cities and states continue with their visible threats of force in the streets. People then marched up Pennsylvania Avenue to the intersection in West Baltimore which was one of the focal points of the people's uprising on Monday, April 27 and where there has been defiance every night since then of the 10 p.m. curfew imposed on the city by the authorities.

Pennsylvania and North, May 2
Pennsylvania and North, West Baltimore youth—including from street organizations—drawn to the Revolution Club banner saying "We REFUSE to Accept Slavery in Any Form" and "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution." Photos: Special to

The City Hall rally included a broad range of people of different ages, nationalities and backgrounds. Many white people were part of this—students from colleges in Baltimore, Washington, DC, and elsewhere along with teachers, nurses, and other professionals. There were proletarian and middle-class Black people from different parts of the city, and some from the West Baltimore neighborhood where on April 12, Freddie Gray was brutally arrested by pigs—simply for making "eye contact," or in other words, simply for being a young Black man walking in the hood—and then died a week later in the hands of the police. When the march reached the intersection of Pennsylvania and North, more people from the hood joined in. Throughout the rally and march, the huge banner of the poster--with the faces and names of dozens (out of thousands) killed by police around the country and the demand "STOP POLICE MURDER"—drew much attention.

There was a mood of celebratory defiance at the action today—people feeling that the police and city officials had been rocked back on their heels by the struggle of the people, forcing them to bring charges against six cops who were part of murdering Freddie Gray. But there was also a lot of wariness about whether those cops would actually be punished, and a determination that there must be justice for Freddie. A Black woman from Freddie's hood, with her two young kids in tow, said, when asked what she thought it would take for the cops to get convicted: "For Baltimore to go off again. If people don't get what they want, it's gonna go off all over… People will feel they've been bamboozled." There was a big response when one of the first speakers at the rally, Carl Dix from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and the Revolutionary Communist Party, called on the people to take up a chant that they'll need to keep in mind in carrying forward the fight for justice: "Indict, convict, send those killer cops to jail—the whole damn system is guilty as hell!"

Rally at Baltimore City Hall, May 2.
A man with his sons at the CIty Hall rally in Baltimore, May 2.

College students march in Baltimore, May 2.
College students marching in Baltimore, May 2.

As has pointed out, the handing down of the charges against the cops for Freddie Gray's murder "ONLY happened because people not only demonstrated, but ROSE UP POWERFULLY IN REBELLION and the powers-that-be openly feared much worse as protests spread across the country." Those ruling over the people—from Barack Obama to CNN and other major media to the Baltimore mayor—called the youth who rose up "thugs" and claimed that their actions had nothing to do with the murder of Freddie Gray, trying to turn other sections of the people in society against the rebels in order to isolate and attack them. But there are many who aren't going for that, as the broad range of people who came out for the May 2 rally and march indicates.

Two white women college students carried homemade cardboard signs, one saying "BLACK YOUTH ARE NOT THUGS" and the other saying "BLACK LIVES MATTER." A white woman, who works as a nurse, came with her three- and four-year-old kids and a homemade sign saying "Arresting 6 cops doesn't fix BPD." She said, "I want to support the community—a community that's marginalized because of institutionalized racism. I don't want the world to think we're done, with just these arrests." When asked how her friends and co-workers are looking at this, she said, "Some already knew about the situation with what goes on with police because they came from those communities. Others are having their eyes opened. If anything good comes out of Freddie Gray's death, it'll be that people come to understand and become horrified at the situation other people are in." Groups of students—Black, white, and other nationalities—came together because they wanted to stand with the people "in the community" and against the police brutality, racism, and inequalities that are devastating those who have been forced to the bottom of society. A Black woman, who teaches at a high school in Freddie's neighborhood but lives in a middle-class area of the city, said she has had her eyes newly opened in recent days to the realities of poverty that the youth in the area have to live every day.

The State's Attorney for Baltimore, a Black woman, is now being heavily promoted in the media as a gutsy friend of the people who went against expectations to bring down the charges against the six cops, and this view was also being promoted by some at the rally. But this prosecutor almost certainly would have acted like any other prosecutor across the country and passed on charging the cops had not the people risen up so powerfully in a cry for justice. Even many of those at the City Hall rally who praised the prosecutor for indicting the cops had to admit that the uprising had a big effect on that decision.

Revolution Club, Baltimore, May 2.
Revolution Club in Baltimore, May 2.

People are clearly searching for answers to big questions. Why do police keep killing people over and over again—and why are those murdering cops let off time after time? How is this horror actually going to stop? In this situation, the crew from the Revolution Club—mostly from New York City, and also a couple of youth from West Baltimore who've recently hooked up with the Club—took out to and challenged people with the message that the epidemic of police murder across the country, and the other horrors plaguing humanity, is rooted in this system of capitalism-imperialism…that there is a way out of this—an actual revolution…and that there is leadership for this revolution in the Revolutionary Communist Party and Bob Avakian. At Pennsylvania and North, there was a section of youth, including from different street organizations, who were very drawn to the Revolution Club banner saying "We REFUSE to Accept Slavery in Any Form" and "Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution"—and there was intense knots of discussion and debate about what this revolution is, how it could actually come about, and what kind of new society it would bring into being.



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