New York City Protest:

Outrage in Charleston—
We Say No More!

June 29, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


On Wednesday, June 24, a press conference and protest rally was held in Union Square in New York City to say: OUTRAGE IN CHARLESTON—WE SAY NO MORE!

Following are excerpts from a rush transcript of the event:

Carl Dix was the first to address the crowd:

Carl Dix
Carl Dix, June 24, Union Square, NYC.  Photo:

"I started by blowing a whistle and then saying: Ok, I blew the whistle because this is an emergency situation. That massacre in Charleston is part of the emergency but it's not all of it. Because that massacre in Charleston is part of something that happens damn near every day in America—violence targeting Black people, sponsored by the state, unleashed by the state but also created by the atmosphere that the state creates. We gotta be clear on this. When that guy went into that church, shot up people who were doing Bible study, murdering nine of them and saying as he reloaded, I have to do this because you are raping our women and taking over our country, he was acting out of the white supremacy that courses through the veins of America—white supremacy that has coursed through the veins of America from the time when the first Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains and white supremacy continues to course through the veins of America."

Carl Dix read the names of the people killed in Charleston and then said:

"These victims of this outrageous massacre in Charleston are also in line with these victims of outrageous murders at the hands of the police. And we gotta see. We gotta understand say NO MORE. [crowd: NO MORE!] It doesn't matter if the murderers of Black people are cops in uniform or white supremacists out of uniform. It falls from the same hatred and white supremacy that courses through America's veins. It's gotta stop. And I will tell you, it's gonna take revolution, nothing less to stop it once and for all. And the party that I represent, the Revolutionary Communist Party, its leader Bob Avakian are working and preparing to bring that revolution about and stop it. But it's not something that we wait around to happen. And you can't wait around either. There needs to be massive, determined resistance. We all said NO MORE to these racist horrors. But we gotta act on that NO MORE. We gotta be building resistance. That's why we're out here around Charleston today. And that is also why Cornel West and myself have issued a call for a national march to stop police terror here in New York City October 24. Hundreds of thousands of people have to descend on New York City on October 24 to say NO MORE. "

He came back at the end and made closing comments, including telling people about the upcoming, important meeting on June 30:

"Several of us have talked about a meeting at Unitarian All Souls. Tuesday, June 30—don't just get one flier and bring yourself, we need hundreds of people there. We need a national march on October 24. When Cornel West talks about which side are you on, are you on the side of stopping this or on the side of keeping it going on.... There has to be hundreds of people to make this happen. And you all here have to take them to people you know, contribute money to help make all this happen. Because you don't do a national march against police terror without raising a lot of money for it. Get involved. Get hooked in, get connected. We have to make this happen. It is on us. It is not going to be the case that a Black President, or the Black head of justice—They have been there for seven years and I'll tell you the truth they are in there because they thought they could pacify you, satisfy you when you were an infant but you are beyond that stage. You are for justice and you are ready to stand up and fight for it. We gotta make that clear. We gotta make that clear to the whole country. We gotta make that clear to the whole world. There have to be hundreds of thousands of people laying it bare and standing up to stop that."

Other speakers included Nkosi Anderson, graduate student, Union Theological Seminary; Mo Tyler, Students Against Police Brutality; Sister Shirley, SMIN activist from Staten Island; Noche Diaz from the NYC Revolution Club; Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Jr., killed by NYPD in 1994; Sara DeVincenzi, and Alejandrina Murphy, from the SMIN NYC steering committee; and Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, killed by NYPD in 2011. The following are excerpts from some of these statements:

Nkosi Anderson, graduate student, Union Theological Seminary

"I'm going to follow up on what Carl said. He threw out a question which is central and that question is which side are you on? Now for many of us, this is an easy question to answer. We are outraged that in 2015, Black and Brown people continue to suffer within a society where instance after instance reminds us that apparently our lives do not matter. That we remain subject to wanton acts, state-sanctioned violence, vigilante violence, and mass imprisonment all while being denied human rights of decent paying jobs, adequate schooling and hope for a better future. For many of us, the evil machinations of this system of White Supremacy are all too clear. But for many of us, even those of us of good conscience, perhaps things are not as clear. You may have been saddened by the shooting in Charleston and in light of the shocking video deaths of Eric Garner and Walter Scott, just to name a few – you may be wondering, what's going on, something's moving in my gut, something doesn't feel right but I just can't seem to figure out the connections. For you, the question of which side are you on is not clear. And so if you fall into this second category I propose another question, which may help give you greater clarity as you try to figure this out. What kind of world do you want to live in? ...When we ask 'which side are you on?' we are signaling a moment, a moment in which a line is being drawn in the sand and all of us are going to have to decide whether or not we are going to be a part of this system of death or stand against it. There is no middle ground as Carl said. Indifference is not an option."

Mo Tyler, Students Against Police Brutality

"The man who killed those people in Charleston said that he got his inspiration from George Zimmerman who was let off the hook after he killed Trayvon Martin. How can we say that there is no history in something that happens time and time again?
When there are protests, when there is outrage, the media says that it looks like a Third World country, that they can't believe that this would happen in America. This IS America because this is what is under the surface. Now, there are a lot of people who would say don't fight this and just keep your heads down and work. In the times of slavery there were revolts, there were protests and there was violence, yes, the destruction of property, we're talking about slaves breaking their chains, running away and sometimes actually attacking their masters. Now I'm not saying that people should go out into the streets and attack people. But what I am saying is was it wrong for people to say we are going to stand against this, not work with it to try and get past it. In the same way, when slaves said we are going to run away and fight the enemy were they doing the wrong thing by not standing with their masters and digging graves for them and finding their bodies when they were shot down. Were they doing the wrong thing in fighting oppression rather than being cooperated by it to work with it? I think we all know the answer here, that the only way to get past this is to be part of the movement against it and if there aren't people doing that you will not see change. "

Sister Shirley, activist from Staten Island

"I am a revolutionary, practicing Christian advocate, activist who believes in communism. OK, bottom line. And we all have to stick together, it doesn't make any difference what you are, who you are. We have to stick together and he problem is, we're not doing that. We have to recognize that this is not just a movement for Black lives, this isn't just a movement for church people. Bottom line is this is the same movement. The problem is, when the people got killed in the church, these United States said, oh, this is so terrible. But what about Erica Garner? What about Michael Brown? What about Nicholas Heyward Jr.? What about Tamir Rice? All of them…

"One thing that we want to do together and that's make a difference in this world and I do believe it has to come with revolution because the way the system is now, it's not broken, it's working the way it's supposed to work. And the bottom line is we have to recognize that. And we have to sit together—we can agree to disagree—but we have to sit together and say how we're going to make a difference. And we have to be one with each other and have each other's back. But put each other in check when we do the wrong thing. And then if something happens to one of us, we say, we got your back. We have everybody's back. We don't leave anybody behind."

Noche Diaz, New York City Revolution Club

"I was in Baltimore just a few days after the 9 were murdered in Charleston and I passed by the statue of Billie Holiday and it tugged at my heart. I couldn't help but recall the words to her song, "Strange Fruit." The song she sang about Black bodies hanging from the southern trees. And what we see every time we turn on the TV, Black people being murdered, over and over and over again, is the strange fruit today, hanging in front of all our eyes, smacking us in the face, ripping out our hearts. This is the history of this country. This is not going to end by trimming the branches of the tree. That tree needs to be cut down, the soil needs to be dug up and something different needs to be planted in its place….

"This IS America and we need to get to a world without America and everything it represents for people here and all over the world. And that is not going to happen by holding hands with the same people who are overseeing murder after murder after murder. And every time they let their cops walk they are saying it's OK, Black Lives don't matter. That kid, that man, who murdered those people in Charleston was not acting alone or out of some crazed randomness. He was acting out the logic of what America tells us every day which is that the lives of Black people count for nothing and they never have in this country and they never will until we get rid of it and replace it with something else. And we in the Revolution Club are going to work today, preparing ourselves, preparing people and preparing for a time when we can lead millions to bring this system down and replace it with a beautiful tree that can bear fruit for all humanity that isn't fed off the blood and sweat and the tears of the exploited and brutalized all over the world. And if you want to be part of planting those seeds and making that future, see me."

Nicholas Heyward Sr., father of Nicholas Jr., Killed by NYPD in 1994

"For the last 20 years I have been out here fighting the injustices of the system. What happened in South Carolina happens in New York City happens almost on a daily basis. Since my son Nicholas Jr. was murdered in 1994, there have been over 373 innocent lives that were stolen by the NYPD. In 1994 the NYPD chief was William Bratton. William Bratton is a supreme racist. He goes around criminalizing Black communities. That needs to stop. Yesterday they hired a whole bunch of more police to criminalize us. What is happening to us is that we are being criminalzed and a lot of us are just sitting back and just watching. We need all of us to stand up, not just stand by and just talk about it. If you're not with an organization you need to get with one because this is real serious. These people who you believe or are told are out here to serve and protect us are not serving and protecting us, they are murdering us. I done traveled to various different places to support the parents of Oscar Grant and other families and there is never any justice and I don't care what city or what state you go to, there is always a cover-up in every single case, every last one of these cases are being covered up…

"I am so angered about having to actually be out here for so long. We constantly, constantly have to fight for our rights. If they are our rights and we have rights, why are we out here constantly fighting for our rights? Like I say, this is serious stuff here. Innocent lives are being murdered all over the USA. And like the brother said, this is AmeriKKKa, spelled with three Ks at the end. And we have to stand against this because if we don't it's going to get worse. Stand with us. Be out here in October, the whole month of October. This is for October 24 and we also have a national day of protest on October 22 that goes on in over 55 cities across the country. We need to stand up October 22, we need you people to need other people know to join with us. We need you, we need you."

Sara DeVincenzi, SMIN NYC steering committee

"In 2015 alone there have been over 500 police murders of people, mostly people of color in this country. What are we going to do about it? Less than 2 percent of the police who have committed these murders are brought to justice, as we've seen. No indictment, no nothing. Work continues as usual. There are too many good people who shake their heads and say, wow, how terrible. That is not enough. We need all of these good people to get out, get on the streets, get mobilized and join us. Come on June 30 to the Unitarian Church of All Souls. We cannot do this alone. This is going to be the hugest, with your help, everyone's help, the biggest outpouring, the biggest outrage that has ever been seen in this country. All groups, faith-based, students and everyone, united to make this stop."

Alejandrina Murphy, SMIN NYC steering committee

"I just want to say a few words about what happened in South Carolina. The media is really twisting the whole thing, they only talk about this flag. You don't need this flag to show you are racist. Look what happened in New York City. I ask the Eric Garners of the world, look at these people over there [NYPD], they don't show the Confederate flag but they are very racist. This city has the most segregated school system, the most segregated fire department… You don't need that flag to show how racist you are. Go to Staten Island. Look what happened to Pantaleo [the cop who killed Eric Garner]. What happened? Nothing. What happened to the DA? Now he's in the congress. This is shameful, that they are killing our people. Look at Nicholas Heyward. He has been fighting for 20 years and there has been no change. We need to change this. We want justice, that's all we need, JUSTICE."

Joshua Lopez, nephew of John Collado, killed by NYPD in 2011.

"I'm the nephew of John Collado who was killed in 2011 of September by undercover cops who were involved in a fight with another individual. And the undercover police officer never identified himself and the same police officer by the name of James Connoly had murdered somebody two years prior to that. And the prosecution forgot how to do their job like always, when it comes down to prosecuting a police officer, they forget how to do their job. And I'm here to stand against the system and stand in solidarity with [the people] in Charleston who got murdered. Thank you everybody for being out here."



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