Report on Revolution/revcom Forum on Baltimore Uprising

June 1, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


We received this report:

Forum in Baltimore, sponsored by Revolution/
Carl Dix, Kwame Alston, Marlene Kanmogne, Tawanda Jones, and Adam Jackson.

Baltimore, May 28—Thirty to 40 people came to the forum sponsored by Revolution newspaper/ “Uprising in Baltimore: Our Fight Has Just Begun—Where Do We Go From Here?” The forum was at the First Unitarian Church, which proudly displays a large “Black Lives Matter” banner at the front entrance; the minister, Rev. David Carl Olson, who has played a significant role in bringing religious forces into the battle against police terror, gave a powerful introduction. Carl Dix, co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party, had called for this event and was the featured speaker at the forum, which brought together a broad range of experience and views within the movement against murder by police.

Other speakers were Adam Jackson, founder and CEO of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle and a prominent member of the Baltimore United for Change coalition, who spoke on the relationship between public policy and grassroots organizing; Kwame Alston of the Black Student Union at Johns Hopkins University, and Marlene Kanmogne of the African Student Association at the same university, who both spoke on the experience of Black students at their school and other colleges mobilizing students into the battle for justice in the days following the uprising; and Tawanda Jones, activist and sister of Tyrone West, an African-American man murdered by police in 2013, who spoke on the battle for justice for her brother and for all those murdered by police.

Carl Dix

Carl Dix brought it all together, exposing the role of the capitalist-imperialist system in the continuing murder by police and other horrors people face, and the fact that there is a way out through revolution, nothing less. He raised people’s sights, pointing to a world where these horrors would truly be no more, and talked about how with a new revolutionary political power, those entrusted with the people’s security would sooner risk their own lives than endanger anyone. And he challenged the speakers and the audience to step up the struggle against police terror and bring the resistance to a higher level.

There was a wide-ranging discussion, with some people pointing to the grotesque inequality of the inferior schools and resources in African-American communities. Some questioned how valuable the uprising has been in the struggle for justice. Others strongly upheld it, and there was general agreement that this movement cannot stop now, both in Baltimore and nationally. A member of the Revolution Club spoke to their work now in building for an actual revolution and waging the battle to STOP murder by police. There was a call for July 2, when the cops responsible for the murder of Freddie Gray will be arraigned, to be a day to mobilize people to carry forward the fight to actually convict and send the killer cops to jail. This will be in the face of the Fraternal Order of Police, who are expected to mobilize their social base that day to demand that the charges be dropped, who have declared the powerful outpourings in the streets to be a “lynch mob,” and who have called for a special prosecutor.

Even with some deep differences expressed among the speakers, there was unity around the great need to bring the struggle against police terror to a higher level through this summer and into the fall. There were also some very positive developments as a result of this forum and the people coming together. For a number of people, this was their first time meeting the movement for revolution, and many said it would not be their last. Some religious forces who came, along with aiming to strengthen the mobilization of the religious community in the fight against murder by police, began to make plans around organizing a citywide screening of REVOLUTION AND RELIGION: The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion; A Dialogue Between CORNEL WEST & BOB AVAKIAN. A locally prominent Black blues singer announced that she wants to organize a fundraiser for the revolution, even as she asserted her differences. Coming off this forum, there will be a lot to follow up on and work through, to make sure this summer really is the “long hot summer” politically that it needs to be.



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