On the One-Year Anniversary of His Murder by Cleveland Police:

In the Streets—Demanding Justice for Tamir Rice

Updated November 25, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


On the weekend of November 21 and 22, people took to the streets to demand justice for Tamir Rice. His cold-hearted murder at the hands of Cleveland police one year ago on November 22, the refusal of authorities to charge the police who murdered him, and moves by the prosecutor to manipulate a grand jury exoneration of the killers, is intolerable. If police can murder an unarmed 12-year-old boy playing in a park and get away with it, what Black person, or Latino person, or Native American, anywhere, doing anything, can feel that they do not have a target on their back for police to aim at? See initial reports and pictures of protest actions here.


Cleveland protest, 1 year after Tamir Rice was killed by police
Cleveland, November 21. Calling for indictment of the cops who murdered Tamir Rice.

Cleveland, vigil for Tarmi Rice, murdered by Cleveland police 1 year ago
Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice, at vigil in the park where he was murdered, November 22.

Protesters from Ohio State University

Photos: Special to Revolution/www.revcom.us

From a reader:

On Saturday, 35 people rallied and marched with family members who lost loved ones to the police from five cities to be part of the weekend actions to demand indictments against the cops who murdered Tamir one year ago. We started at a major intersection by two housing projects. People young and older, Revolution Club members, and activists stepped off chanting, “Indict, convict send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty.” As we marched through a project, someone said the mayor was at a high school along the way. So we marched right into the high school with banners, signs, and a loud message to indict the cops who killed Tamir. The mayor’s security grabbed one of our family members, but marchers defended the family member and they were able to continue on the march. Then we went on through a housing project and blocked part of the street as the police came. Then we marched on and blocked a major intersection in the area for at least 25 minutes, bringing attention to people to act to stop police terror. People were excited about the action today, felt we broke through some of the business as usual protest that goes on, especially important for the one-year anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice. More later.

After the march, 80 people went to a speakout of families at True Light Missionary Baptist Church. Families told their stories of how their loved ones were killed by the police. These families came from Detroit, Akron, Ohio, Washington, DC, New York, and Chicago. They called for building a movement to stop the police terror, and a few brought out revolution as the solution. All expressed heartfelt determination to stop the killing.

On Sunday, November 22, 400 people gathered at the place in a park where Tamir Rice was savagely gunned down 1 year ago by Cleveland cop Timothy Loehmann. The vigil was called by Tamir Rice’s family. There was pain and anger in the faces of the people standing in the cold and light snow on the ground, as it was 1 year ago when Tamir was killed. People were moved as they heard Tamir’s mother and relatives tell about what Tamir was like as a young boy full of life, funny and active in sports. At a touching moment, 12 doves were released into the air for the 12 years Tamir lived, and there was a moment of silence. There were activists, family members of people who have lost loved ones from New York, Detroit and Cleveland and others young and older, of different nationalities, to say no more police terror. A Stolen Lives banner was held among other signs and posters. There was a busload of students from Ohio State University Coalition for Black Lives, an organization that held a sit-in in the student union this week in support of the students at University of Missouri and for calling out racism at OSU. They also held a forum earlier this week on the killing of Tamir Rice. Samaria Rice thanked people for taking action against the police killing of Tamir and many others. She was glad to see a movement has been born against police killings.

New York City

New York City, November 22
New York City, November 22. Photo: Revolution/revcom.us

In New York, several actions took place protesting the one-year anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice A very diverse crowd of activists, students from various schools including New York University, New School and Columbia, and a lively contingent of members of Restoration Temple Ministries rallied in Manhattan's Union Square. Speakers included Gloria Mattera from the Green Party, Hawa Bah whose son Mohamed was killed by NYC police in 2012, Travis Morales from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and Carl Dix, also from SMIN and a spokesperson for the RCP. NYC Revolution Club member Noche Diaz spoke powerfully, leading the crowd in speaking the quote from Bob Avakian's book BAsics printed in this week's Revolution newspaper: “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.” Then Noche called the young people forward to give their ages—they ranged from toddlers to teenagers. Led by the youth, people marched to Madison Square and rallied some more. The Raging Grannies led songs, engaging even the very young.

St. Louis

St. Louis, November 22
St. Louis, in the streets for Tamir, November 22.

St. Louis, vigil for Tamir Rice.
Vigil for Tamir Rice, St. Louis, November 22. Photos: Special to revcom.us

Fifty people took to the streets in St. Louis on the one-year anniversary of Tamir Rice’s murder. People marched down a busy boulevard across from Washington University and the popular Delmar Loop area. Protesters linked arms in the street and staged die-ins at intersections to repeatedly block traffic. Motorists and pedestrians were challenged to stand up for Tamir and decide “which side are you on?” People loudly chanted, including “No justice for 1 year, We do this for Tamir” and “12 years old! 12 years old! 12 years old!” and sang Janelle Monae and Wondaland’s song “Hell You Talmbout.”

A candlelight vigil was held as part of the vigils nationwide to mark the anniversary. A poem, sent from a woman in a shelter, was read by an 11-year-old. It starts, “I was 12 years old and my name is Tamir Rice / It’s been a year here and my body is cold as ice / I am the 12-year-old child they shot down in the blink of an eye…” The young speaker talked about how he fears police for what they might do to himself and his younger brothers and explained why he came out: “I felt so strong at the Tamir protest because basically since Tamir almost was my own age so that is kind of why I could be strong at the protest and my brothers are my life.” The vigil ended with 12 black balloons being released and floating to the sky.

People then took the struggle for justice for Tamir Rice along Delmar Blvd, engaging people on the street and motorists, and at several points along the way shutting down traffic.

Over 75 people overall, Black people and white people of different ages, took part in the protests during the course of the afternoon, including several children, members of stolen lives families, defiant young people who have been in the Ferguson protests since Mike Brown’s murder, students, clergy. Crews from Stop Mass Incarceration Network, RevCom, and CopWatch, along with individuals from several justice organizations, all joined together.


Chicago, Festival of Lights

A small but VERY determined group of protesters, including revcoms, Stop Mass Incarceration activists, students and others, braved a blizzard to protest for Justice for Tamir Rice, part of a national day of protest, at the Festival of Lights in Chicago. This is the annual tree lighting ceremony in Chicago, which ordinarily draws hundreds of thousands of people. This event was chosen as the site of the protest to reach thousands with the message: Justice for Tamir Rice and Stop Killing Our Children!

One grandparent from the Revolution Club brought his grandchildren to the protest despite the weather. He made a statement why they came: “First to bring forth my living grandchildren. The youth need to have a choice to live. Innocent children should not be endangered by any form of violence by the state or others; the fact that my children or yours could be a picture of violence rather than a picture of a living future. Anyone who has not been victimized by loss of their young ones through violence need to bring forth their children as testimony that we all want our children to live into the future.”

Chants rang out: "Tamir Rice could have been your boy, murdered by cops for playing with a toy;" "Hey cops, you can't hide, killing Black children is genocide," and "Indict, convict, send the killer cops to jail, the whole damn system is guilty as hell."

Despite the blowing snow, many people took pluggers and several stood and talked with protesters. The protest had to stop after an hour as the storm picked up, but clearly sent a message of "no business as usual" while there is no justice for Tamir Rice and police murder Black children with impunity.

Baltimore, November 22

Riverside, California

San Francisco
San Francisco

Baltimore, MD

In Baltimore, a crew of 12 joined at various times by another 5, rallied at Baltimore City Hall for Justice for Tamir Rice and all the children murdered by police. Tawanda Jones, whose brother Tyrone West was killed by Baltimore police, gave an emotional speech, along with a leader of the Baltimore Green Party; Rev. David Carl Olson of the First Unitarian Church; a supporter of the Revolutionary Communist Party and others. This was the first action called by the newly-formed Baltimore chapter of RiseUp/Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

Riverside, CA

People took signs to Central and Brockton, the site of Tyisha Miller’s 1998 police murder in Riverside, CA. They report there was not much foot traffic but lots of cars honked in response to their signs.

San Francisco, CA

On a very busy corner and next to one of San Francisco’s famous  cable car turn-arounds, in the midst of shoppers, tourists and street people alike, people gathered to rally, speak out and remember Tamir Rice, and to observe the one-year anniversary of his cruel murder. “Justice for Tamir! Stop murdering our children!” was a theme that many spoke to. People held huge photos and banners of Tamir, as well as photos of other children that have been murdered by police—Andy Lopez 13, who like Tamir, was killed while playing with a toy gun; Aiyana Stanley-Jones, 7, killed in her grandmother’s arms; and the recent brutal murder of Jeremy Mardis, 6, an autistic boy shot with his father in the family car.

Ada Henderson-Perkins, mother of Richard Perkins, a 39-year-old truck driver, killed by Oakland Police only last Sunday spoke. She described how she wasn’t told for three days that her son had been killed, but when she heard about a police shooting in her neighborhood she went out to the scene. “It’s terrible the way things are going on, we have to stop it. We have to fight for this. My son was shot 16 times! Four police officers shot my baby. I was out there but I didn’t know it was my own son. I prayed for that family but I didn’t know it was for me. I’m out here to support everybody all across the world—I had to be here.”

Dionne Smith-Downs, mother of police murder victim James Rivera Jr., 15, as well as Cephus “Uncle Bobby” Johnson, Uncle of Oscar Grant, both  of whom were part of Rise Up October in New York City, also came and spoke, and then joined 60 other people to take to the streets with many banners and signs. The loud and magnetic march drew the attention of hundreds of passersby. Leaflets, and copies of Revolution were grabbed up by people along the route. At the end, we held a short rally and made plans for future events and invited people to join up with SMIN and the Revolution Club, and to take the fight to end Police Terror to an even higher level.


Houston, November 22.


In Houston there were 3 Interacting events to mark the 1-yr anniversary of the murder of Tamir Rice.

A caravan of 7 cars led by a sound truck with 2 Stolen Lives banners on the sides wound its way through the Third Ward Black community. A key point in the caravan was stopping at the site where John Allen, known in the neighborhood as “Candy” because he was so sweet, was shot to death a few weeks ago by an HPD(Houston Police Department) officer during a routine traffic stop just blocks from his house. People in the area had told us details of what happened and showed us the spot where this occurred. We laid down flowers, memorial candles and a picture of John that had been supplied by a neighbor. Then we continued past stores and churches, getting out the flyers for Tamir Rice Day, and urging people to join the movement to Stop Police Terror.

This was followed by a march of 28 people through the housing projects, led by children, and we ended the day with a SayHisName/Stolen Lives Commemoration for Tamir at a local Catholic church in the area. The participants in these activities were a diverse group, including people from the neighborhood, long time activists, as well as people new to the struggle. There were college students, some members of the local National Black United Front, a local Green Party organizer, and revolutionary communists. Many people spoke on the bullhorn, including a Black youth who has participated in other activities, and for the first time shared his experience of having a friend of his shot and killed by the police right in front of him, and him dying in his arms. This brought the reality of all this into our event, and touched people deeply. We were also joined at the park and church by a longtime local Pacifica Black Affairs programmer, and a veteran of the original Black Panther Party joined us as well. While he had not been able to attend the other events, he had made sure that all his contacts knew of the activities.

There was a real sense among everyone that we had accomplished a lot, and people wanted to know the next steps. Several people in the neighborhood and among the participants were interested in the revolutionary solution and got copies of Revolution newspaper.



On November 24th, two dozen people rallied and marched downtown, in shared outraged at the murder of Tamir and to join with others around the country demanding an end to police terror and murder and calling on others to take a stand. Many did, adding their voices and energy to the day.

The action was very diverse, including white suburbanites to homeless people, anarchists, revolutionary communists and supporters of Bernie Sanders, college students and veteran activists.

Many people spoke of their own experience—including the friends and family of people brutalized and murdered by police. One especially powerful statement was read from a high school student, who had been involved in a high school walk out the previous week in support of students at the University of Missouri. Dozens of Revolution Newspaper were sold and distributed to passers by, with people off the street taking stacks to distribute on the spot. Others took stacks of leaflets and palm cards of BA to distribute.

After the main rally, demonstrators marched through downtown Boston taking over streets, and going into busy food courts to reach out to patrons.

Below is the text of a statement sent to the protest by a high school student:

Even though I cannot be here, I am here in spirit. A spirit that is alive and full of hope for the future, and with the spirits who are no longer with us. Today we are here to honor them, and make sure their lives are not taken in vain. Especially the life of 12 year old Tamir Rice. He would have been 13 today, the same age as my little brother. The same age, or maybe younger than many of our loves ones. But that day when Tamir Rice was shot, he was not seen as a child. He was not seen for who he was. And this is the real reason why we are here. We are here to keep Tamir alive. We are here to transform his premature leave from this earth into a stepping stone and a precedent for our own future, so that his sacrifice is not taken for granted. And though while going up these steps we might loose some. We will always be moving forward. So thank you for being part of one of the series of steps to make this happen.



In Seattle several dozen people gathered at Westlake Park. In solidarity with rallies held across the country, the October 22 Coalition to Stop Police Brutality had called people together to demand justice for Tamir, to “say the names” of those youth and others murdered by police, and to say STOP police murder of our children and everyone! Parents had been invited to come and bring their children, with their own messages and banners.

The rally was co-MCed from the stage by the mother of Oscar perez-Giron, a Latino youth murdered by police in Seattle, and the mother of Daniel Covarrubias, a native man who was murdered by police in nearby Lakewood. Marilyn Covarrubias, mother of Daniel, said “I am Tamir Rice, I am Oscar Giron, I am Antonio Montes, I am Justus Howell”. People from the audience came up on the stage to read out the names and stories of children and youth killed by police.

There were families there with their children. One couple had their small son in a stroller, and the mother, a Latino immigrant, spoke to those gathered saying she had not realized how many were being killed in this country until the recent outpourings nationwide. They feel for the families, and can’t imagine what it would be like to lose their child. An Asian mom was there because saw the flyer at a coffee shop. She came with her two children who had made a sign.

Seattle artist and mother Anastacia Tolbert has published a voice recording of her piece What To Tell My Sons After Trayvon Martin, After Michael Brown, After Medgar Evers, After, After, After, After and Before...” and this was played. It brought out the terrible dilemma of parenting in violent climate of a rasict system.

The sister of Daniel Covarrubias sent the following statement which was read out:

“This movement for Justice against police brutality is something that I will not back down from. I do not have that option None of us do. This could be any of us. These are human lives, these are our children playing in the park. My voice will not be drowned out. I will not stand by as a witness to this injustice that’s been happening in this country for far too long. We all must keep fighting, rallying, organizing and communicating with one another because the names of the victims should never be forgotten, we must be their voice!!! People need to know that they have a voice that can be heard if we come together for change. I know most people in this country do not agree with what is happening and feel that they are helpless against it. I want to tell them that there are so many ways to get involved. They can be a part of this great movement for change. I marched for John.T Williams back in 2010 and I felt like I had done my part but I know now that there are so many other ways I could have gotten involved. I was more powerful than I knew. I could have contacted organizations, the families of victims or utilized my own strengths to contribute in some way. God has blessed us all with gifts and talents. All our lives are valuable. We deserve to live in peace and we deserve justice. If we bring all of our strengths together, I promise you we will be a force to be reckoned with but we will also be a part of a powerful and much needed change in this country.”

At the end of this very moving demonstration, the crowd including children, with signs, took a group photo in front of the carousel!

Seattle, November 22


Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, NCCharlotte, NC

From Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Greensboro—Close to 40 people rallied and marched in Charlotte, NC on Sunday calling for justice for Tamir Rice, the Black 12-year-old boy who was shot to death by Cleveland police one year ago. Organizers with The Tribe, Showing Up for Racial Justice and other groups called for the action, which was held in conjunction with protests all around the country. Organizers with the Stop Mass Incarceration Network Greensboro chapter traveled to Charlotte for this action. 

Speakers included Paris Bey, the cousin of Janisha Fonville, a Black woman killed by the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department in February of this year, who said, “I’m sick and tired of having to come to these protests where they kill another one of us! I’m sick of having to explain to my five-year-old son why this keeps happening.” Charlotte organizer Ashley McMillan made the connections between the murder of Tamir and the overall criminalization of Black youth, including the recent beating of a 15-year-old Black student in a Charlotte high school by police. The group then held a moment of silence at 3:30 pm, the time that Tamir was shot one year ago. A speaker from Showing Up for Racial Justice spoke on the need to affect hundreds of people by our presence downtown, and an activist representing Revolution newspaper spoke on how these police murders aren’t the result of a broken system, but of a system doing what it was designed to do. We then marched off toward the center of downtown.  

Several of the organizers had traveled to NYC for the RiseUpOctober protests, and the chant, “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” rang out loudly during both the rally and the short march to the town center that followed. There was a large number of people leaving the nearby Carolina Panthers game, some of whom were sympathetic to our cause, and others who preferred to keep their heads down and pretend we weren’t there. Organizers spread out over four corners of the main downtown intersection, spread out banners reading, “No More Stolen Lives” and “Jail Killer Cops,” and handed out hundreds of fliers about the case. After rallying and chanting at the intersection, organizers exchanged information and made plans to collaborate on future actions.  

Los Angeles

About 20 people gathered on Monday, November 23, at lunchtime with pictures of Tamir in front of the courthouse in downtown LA where 3 of the people arrested on the April 14 national day of action to stop murder by police were just tried and convicted, making the point that the cops who killed twelve year old Tamir are walking free, able to commit more crimes, while protesters who stand up to STOP murder by police are prosecuted and face jail time. The chant “Tamir could have been your boy, killed by cops for playing with a toy” rang out defiantly in front of the courthouse. A sign made by children on Skid Row said, “It’s not right” and “Stop Police Murder.” Family members of two people killed by police told their stories and demanded justice. One of the convicted April 14 protesters got on the mic to say that nothing is going to stop her from continuing to fight. After rallying in front of the courthouse, there was a spirited march through downtown LA, bringing the message of “Justice for Tamir” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail,” to the lunchtime crowds and people on break from the halls of injustice.

The statement opposing the convictions of April 14th protesters and demanding that charges be dropped against all those protesting police terror was circulated and signed.



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