Ongoing and Growing Outrage and Protest in Cleveland

Updated June 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Police attack protesters Saturday, May 23 outside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland after a judge let the only cop charged in the police murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams go free. Photo: special to

Police attack protesters Saturday, May 23 outside Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland after a judge let the only cop charged in the police murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams go free. Photo: special to

From the moment Michael Brelo, a Cleveland cop, was pronounced not guilty on May 23 there have been outbreaks of protest in Cleveland. Brelo was one of about 100 Cleveland area cops who, on November 29, 2012, chased and fired 137 shots into a car murdering two unarmed Black people—Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams (See “137 Shots—The Whole Damned System Is Guilty! Cleveland Judge Lets Cop Involved in Murder of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams Walk!” a statement by Carl Dix).


Protesting outside the NBA playoffs, Cleveland, May 24, 2015

Immediately after the verdict was announced, there were angry confrontations between protesters and police at the courthouse, and several protesters were arrested. Also, shortly after the verdict, protesters blocked traffic on a major freeway.

Two hundred people gathered at the recreation center where 12-year-old Tamir Rice was murdered by police six months ago speaking outrage and chanting “No justice, no peace.”

In the evening, protesters marching in Cleveland were repeatedly attacked by police in riot gear in Cleveland’s upscale district near the baseball stadium – Quicken Loans Arena (see video at

There were over 70 arrests throughout the first day of protests. Most of those arrested have been arraigned, and many pled not guilty.

Sunday 5/24…

On Sunday, May 24, over a dozen protesters marched in front of the playoff game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Atlanta Hawks chanting “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail/The whole damn system is guilty as hell.”  Hundreds of people going to the game took notice, many giving thumbs up or fists in the air, and a few joined the protest. 

Then people blocked the intersection in front of the arena for 2 hours. A couple young Black women who joined the action and said, “We been looking for the protest, this verdict is so wrong, they think they can kill Black people and get away with it.”   

Monday 5/25…

May 25, 2015: As many as 200 people marched through housing projects and past schools in Cleveland, blocking streets, demanding justice. Image from video used with permission from Ed Sweeney.

On Monday, May 25, a couple dozen people gathered at a rally called by Cleveland Revolution Books at the Zelma George Rec Center. Four hours later, marching through housing projects, chanting, getting out Carl Dix’ statement and the statement from the Cleveland Branch of the Revolutionary Communist Party, the crowd grew to two hundred. People came out of their houses, youth joined on bikes in an angry, boisterous expression of outrage. People chanted “Fists up, fight back!” “Drop the charges,” and “Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell!” and “137 shots, how you justify that?!”

Getting out the Statement by Carl Dix, Cleveland, May 25, 2015.

An organizer from Revolution Books told Revolution that many people had been waiting for a chance to make a statement, and were challenged to get into the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and get with what Bob Avakian has brought forward.

Housing Project police harassed people throughout the afternoon, claiming they were concerned with the “safety” of the young people who joined – to which people responded, “What about Tamir Rice?” People refused to back down, blocking streets with their bikes.

The organizer from Revolution Books reported that people were raising a need to reach out and draw in people beyond the projects, and that is a challenge to solve. This evening, a protest has been called by religious forces. The struggle continues! 

Marching through Cleveland, 5/25, demanding no charges against arrested protesters and justice for Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams.  Vine used with permission @edscle.

Tuesday, May 26…

Hundreds of religious people rally at Cleveland City Hall, May 26

Hundreds of religious people rally at Cleveland City Hall, May 26. (Photo: Twitter @ScottTaylor19)

Over 500 people of different nationalities from 40 church congregations in the Cleveland area marched through downtown to City Hall in protest of the not-guilty verdict. People loudly chanted, “We can't wait," calling out the injustices in the prison system and the racism among police. The Greater Cleveland Congregations, an interfaith advocacy group, delivered a letter to the prosecutor urging police reforms. A woman in the march said, “The march was important because we have to keep confronting the authorities. They don’t want to do anything, and we have to keep bothering them. And the diversity of people and religions was good.”

Weekend of May 29 - 31

Cleveland: Saturday, May 30, 2015.

On Friday, May 29, 15 people rallied in a poor area of Cleveland including several of the young people arrested on Saturday, May 25, when the not guilty verdict on cop Brelo came down. It was lively, with posters, chants, and lots of exchanges with people going by. People got out the Stolen Lives posters, revolution kits, and Revolution papers to cars and people coming from their apartments, and raised almost $50 for materials. The crew then went to where Al Sharpton was speaking to continue to spread the word and distribute the Carl Dix statement and the local RCP statement.

The next day there was a small march through a busy area of the Black community. From the minute people went into the street, horns blew, fists went up, and people grabbed the Stolen Lives posters and gave money. People disrupted traffic and cars were backed up, which only drew more attention to the call to STOP POLICE MURDER, as people saw the posters and heard the loud chants, like “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!” Hearing and seeing the big Stolen Lives posters, a shoe repair shop owner called people over to get posters to put up in his window.

Sunday May 31

Some 40 people, mostly Black, marched through East Cleveland, an extremely poor Black community, in rain and cold. The chant, "Indict, convict send the killer to jail/The whole damn system is guilty!" rang out loud and clear. As we came to the place where Malissa and Timothy were legally lynched, balloons were released to remember and honor them. The march was organized by Cleveland Renaissance, a movement of young people and by "my loud radio" a network radio and was joined by the movement for revolution. We blocked an intersection and marched to where Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell, unarmed and Black, were murdered with 137 shots by 13 pigs. As the protest broke up, a young Black woman said, " I felt I had to be here. We need answers to the current system, which will not bring justice. We can't let this die down."

The struggle continues!

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