Hundreds of San Francisco Students Walk Out Demanding Justice for Mario Woods

December 14, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

Since the December 2 street execution of Mario Woods by pigs in the Bay View district of San Francisco, with video of Mario’s cold-blooded murder going viral, there have been a number of raucous community meetings, overflowing with angry people refusing to accept the lies of Chief of Police Gregory Suhr defending the actions of his cops killing Mario. People are demanding Suhr’s firing and the naming, arresting and charging the cops involved in Mario’s murder.

Suhr announced that he has no intention of stepping down, but he is looking for ways to “de-escalate” situations before lethal force has to be used. His suggestion? Tasers—a weapon that San Francisco police have, for years, been trying to get approved for their arsenal. Tasers, by themselves, have killed hundreds of people nationwide. And people have been tasered, incapacitated on the ground, and then shot and murdered by cops while writhing in agony.

On Wednesday, December 9, a huge crowd of Bay View residents, activists, and others took their anger to the Police Commission. They were not there to help the cops get tasers, but to demand justice for Mario. Some were able to get in the hearing room to speak, but the bulk of the crowd was kept out behind police-guarded doors, chanting “let us in,” “fire Chief Suhr” and “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail! The Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!”

Speaker after speaker demanded that Suhr and the cops be fired, charged and tried for murder—including relatives of Mario Woods, Uncle Bobby (Oscar Grant’s uncle), and Danny Garcia, whose brother Mark was murdered by SFPD Mission station cops under Suhr’s command in 1996.

Some people raised the specter of “civil unrest” in the streets of liberal San Francisco—like has happened or is happening in Ferguson, Minneapolis, Detroit, and Chicago—if justice is not done.

A young Chicana from the June Jordan School for Equity called the Bay Area Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN). She had a SMIN leaflet on the murder of Mario that called on people to take to the streets in protest, and called SMIN to let them to let them in on plans for a student-led walkout with other schools against the “recent massacre of Mario Woods, about police brutality, and all lives matter.” The students at June Jordan formed “Youth Power against Police Brutality” and wrote a leaflet which they took to other schools and posted on Instagram.

San Francisco, December 11
San Francisco, December 11—400 students from at least 12 different high schools and middle schools walked out and gathered at SF City Hall.

At noon on Friday, December 11, 400 students from at least 12 different high and middle schools gathered on the steps of San Francisco City Hall. They had marched from different schools and gathering points. After a short rally, they took off again on a spirited march, shutting down cable cars, trolleys, and traffic on the busiest streets in the tourist and shopping district. At one point, they surrounded a police car and plastered it with signs. There were youths of every nationality and gender carrying banners and signs, chanting and blowing whistles.

San Francisco, December 11
Student walkout in San Francisco, December 11. Photos: Special to Revolution/

Many were out in the streets in protest for the first time. A few had participated in the nationwide protests against murder by police on April 14 called by Stop Mass Incarceration. Some were more aware of recent walkouts at Berkeley High around racism, and other actions and protests against police murder and racism nationally. But for all, this was opening up new horizons, and posing challenges about their responsibility to change the world. Students were very interested in hearing about actual revolution and Bob Avakian (BA). Many times, youths would come back asking for copies of Revolution newspaper to give to their friends. There were kids from everywhere—born all over the world—and they really liked that we were talking about ending all oppression, emancipating all humanity.

On returning to City Hall, students stepped forward to say what this day meant to them, why they walked out, why youth had to do this. They gave statements and read poetry. They made it clear that they were united, all schools, all nationalities—“all lives matter”—and they would keep fighting until justice is done for Mario Woods and all victims of police murder. “We are tired of being hated and hunted,” one Latino student said. “This has got to stop. And we are the ones to stop it.”



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