Los Angeles: Legal Defense Fundraising Party Celebrates Resistance to Murder by Police

December 7, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

On Saturday night, December 5 in Los Angeles, Stop Mass Incarceration Network hosted a Legal Defense Fundraising Dinner Party for Anti-Police Terror protesters. Thirty people celebrated the resistance to murder by police, and especially honored those arrested April 14 in Los Angeles during a national day of protest, #ShutDownA14, which happened in 30 cities across the U.S. (See "No Jail Time for Political Resisters! LA Fighters Against Police Terror on Why They Acted" at revcom.us) It was a fun, meaningful celebration, filled with conversation, good food, heartwarming presentations, and some righteous hip hop and cinema to top it off.

People mingled and broke bread to kick things off, with music artfully challenging murder by police that's dropped over the last couple of years as background. The MC began the informal program by thanking everyone for being there, and by recognizing the people whose lives have been stolen by police in a genocidal rampage against Black and Latino people in the U.S. The room was lined with pictures—the faces, the smiles, the beautiful expressions of joy—pictures of those whose lives have been snuffed out by killer police, because we recognize the humanity of all those lives stolen by law enforcement. We were there to celebrate the resistance to STOP this from happening ever again, and to honor the people who have stepped forward to take responsibility for stopping this genocidal plague, in the face of arrests, trials and jail time.

When two of the A14 defendants who'd recently been convicted of blocking the Metro train in downtown Los Angeles came up to speak, they defiantly spoke out against the continuing murders by cops and the exonerations of police who kill and brutalize the masses of people. One of the defendants, a young revolutionary artist, said "things had crystallized" for him during the trial and sentencing, and made clear he will continue to participate, organize and lead people to stand up to murder by police. Both young revolutionaries, along with a third, had been sentenced on December 3 to two years summary probation, 30 days jail or 20 days community labor, and heavy fines totaling in the thousands of dollars.

The other convicted defendant pointed out they were sentenced on the anniversary of the day (December 3) that the NYC police who choked Eric Garner to death, on video, got let off scot-free by a grand jury one year ago. And she said they were sentenced the same day the LA district attorney's office announced there would be no criminal charges against a California Highway Patrol officer, Daniel Andrew, who was recorded pinning down and punching homeless woman Marlene Pinnock over and over again on the 10 freeway in Los Angeles. She said this is outrageous and she is not going to stop protesting murder by police.

The statement "It's Right to Protest Murder by Police" opposes the convictions of the A14 protesters and calls for dropping the charges against all those protesting police terror. It asks, "What is the government's answer to these howling and unjust crimes? To arrest, prosecute, intimidate and imprison those who protest against them." It's this that's crystallized for the defendants, and it's a profound truth that must become known and acted on through many forms of resistance, by growing numbers of people who will not accept this. A beginning and important range of notable people in society, and over 20 family members who have lost loved ones to murder by police, have signed this statement. The statement needs to spread widely and it was shared with everyone at the dinner party.

A moving tribute to defendants in the A14 trials was a highlight of the night. In addition to recognizing each of the brave resisters individually with personal anecdotes to highlight different people's contributions—including their steadfastness in the face of government repression—and appreciating the breadth of viewpoints among the defendants who've united to stop murder by police, each received a beautifully framed gift featuring the BAsics 6:3 quote from Bob Avakian.

The evening culminated with an entertaining hip hop set from one of the defendants and the inspiring documentary film William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe about the legendary people's lawyer. Money was raised to push forward the battle to oppose the convictions of the three A14 protesters and drop all the charges against the seven remaining defendants facing trial from the April 14 protests, and all those unjustly charged for protesting murder by police.


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