March in Chicago: A Coming Together to Oppose Police Crimes

August 31, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


Approximately 1,000 people of all ages and many nationalities took to the streets in Chicago Saturday, August 29, in a campaign to demand an elected Civilian Police Accountability Council. The main organizers called on people to support community control of police and to stop police crimes. Others at the event felt police murder had more to do with racist institutions. Revolutionaries were in the crowd calling on people to check out a revolutionary perspective to fundamentally change the system.

Chicago, August 29Chicago, August 29. Photo: Special to

The march was very diverse: religious people, hunger strikers protesting the closing of Dyett High School, immigrants and activists from the antiwar movement, climate activists and Anonymous activists. It also included union groups like SEIU and AFSME State Workers, union representatives from United Auto Workers, the Black Educators Caucus, and Fight for 15. Several Stolen Lives families marched, including Rekia Boyd's brother and Flint Farmer's and Ronald "Ronnieman" Johnson's families. An immigrant rights organization from Minnesota, a founder of the Young Lords, and a Filipino anti-imperialist group also marched. Many of the social and political movement groups had banners and brought their supporters. People also joined the march on the spot. A lot of people brought handmade signs. Anti-Torture activists had put a banner strip on the ground a quarter of the way around the courthouse with the names of people in jail who had been tortured into confessions and wrongful convictions.

There was strong support from people from the Middle East, especially Palestinian groups. People came from Minnesota and Detroit. One Middle-East group handed out signs saying "Ferguson to Palestine #Black Lives Matter." Many held Palestinian flags. Some carried signs that read "Arabs Say Now Is The Time To Stop Police Crimes" and "Muslims for Justice."

In the early part of the rally, a member of the Revolution Club sang and announced October 24 to the crowd. There was a lot of energy in the air and a real desire to fight police murder and brutality. After a few speeches and chanting, people took to the streets. They flooded into one whole side of the street as the march took off into downtown Chicago. The march continued in the streets around the Loop, holding two die-ins along the way. Protest organizers had a large paper maché red fist at the lead of the march that said "Stop Police Crimes." The chants mainly spoke to police brutality and murder by police. People in the downtown area heard the chant, "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "Who shuts shit down? We shut shit down," as well as "Indict! Convict! Send the killer cops to jail. The whole damn system is guilty as hell!" At one point people jumped in with the Janelle Monáe and Wondaland chant, "Hell you Talmbout."

There was very broad receptivity to October 24 and drawing a line in society, "Which Side Are You On?" Over 1,000 October 24 pluggers got out, big stacks going to other communities. Some people were aware of October 24 in New York City and many wanted to go. Others were learning about it for the first time. Photos of Emmett Till and Katrina from the cover of the latest issue of Revolution newspaper drew people's attention to how deep the crimes of this system run. The Stolen Lives banner was carried by people throughout the march, along with the Rise Up October banner. There was a feeling among people that we needed to do everything possible to stop these crimes against the people.

Many took pictures of the Stolen Lives banner. There is a huge need to make a leap nationwide in this next period, not fighting city by city, always on the defensive after the pigs gun someone down, but drawing a line in society that challenges everyone, Which Side Are You On?


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