Protest at Waller County, Texas, Jail Demands Justice for Sandra Bland

January 12, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From readers:

As readers know, last month a grand jury refused to file charges on anyone for the July 2015 death of Sandra Bland, found lifeless, under very suspicious circumstances, in a Waller County, Texas, jail. Sandra had been pulled over, ostensibly for failing to signal a lane change, and then was insulted, threatened, brutalized and arrested by Officer Brian Encinia—all of which the world has seen on YouTube.

So on January 6, over two dozen protestors showed up at the Waller County court house, where another grand jury session was in the process of deciding what, if anything, to charge this criminal Encinia with. As many have stated, if not for the vicious and racist actions of this pig, Sandra Bland would be alive today.

Doubtful, but hopeful, that maybe this time some justice might prevail, the crowd issued its demand, chanting: “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cop to Jail—the Whole Damn System Is Guilty as Hell!” and made undeniable our intentions to continue resistance: “No bill, no peace—Sandy still speaks!”

The diverse group included people from the National Black United Front, activists from Stop Patriarchy, several clergy, some high school and college students and teachers, and others, from Houston as well as from small towns in and around Waller County. Though every inch of this country is saturated with white supremacy, there is something about Texas, and Waller County in particular, that sets it apart.

As one speaker pointed out, Waller County was the very last place in the nation to officially outlaw slavery. A Black preacher in his 60s who has lived there most of his life described how, when he ran for office a number of years ago, he was hit with 68 felony charges by the then prosecutor and has been hounded and called the n word by the same DA who has no-billed the murderers of Sandra Bland. He denounced religious and other leaders for not coming out due to fear. And others addressed the need to shed fear as they have done.

One minister led the group in chanting, “No Justice, No Fear—Sandra Bland Is Marching Here.” A middle-aged woman yelled out, almost pleading with people: “If you have a family disturbance, DON’T CALL the POLICE!” Several speakers talked about how they see the system beginning to crumble; at the same time there were calls for the U.S. Justice Department to get involved.

One of our group, who spoke about having gone to the Rise Up October protests in New York, led the crowd in singing the Janelle Monae & Wondaland song, “Hell You Talmbout” and called on people to stay in the streets. A few students and others spoke about how important this struggle and this unity is, and, addressing the small number of protestors present, stressed the need to wake up and mobilize others in this cause—and for a better world

Another of us read the quote from BA on the role of the police (BAsics 1:24) and talked about how nothing less than revolution will put an end to this whole New Jim Crow, and how Day One after the revolution there would be no more police marauding through Black and Brown neighborhoods. She called on people to get into the movement for revolution, and to get into BA.

After the rally we marched around the courthouse under the threatening and growing watch of the local cops. And then into the courthouse, where we had to stay in the hallways, as grand juries are highly secret. It felt creepy being right there, as one student said, “in the belly of the beast,” but everyone wanted to be right there when the shit came down. Unfortunately our group had to leave. Shortly after that we heard: there was an indictment—but it was BULLSHIT!—a misdemeanor charge of perjury, for lying about how Encinia removed Sandra from her car. Up to a year in jail and up to $4000 fine—IF he is convicted. The Associated Press quoted one of the protest organizers, “This is a slap in the face to the Bland family.”

And it is another reason why revolution, and nothing less, is the solution to the never-ending nightmare of this system.



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