Serious Stakes and New Developments in the Battle for the Chicago March 2 Day of Resistance Against Police Murder

February 29, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


Family members of those killed by police. New York City, October 22, 2015. Photo: Phil Buehler
Family members of those killed by police. New York City, October 22, 2015.
Photo: Phil Buehler

March 2 will mark 500 days since the police murder of Laquan McDonald. In the three months since the video of the execution of Laquan was forced into the light of day, there has been video after video of street executions by police, the tasing of prisoners to death in jail, the story of the police double murder on the morning after Christmas, cover-ups reaching to the very top, and threats and slanders against families who have bravely spoken out amid tears and rage. Then the cop who killed Quintonio Legrier counterattacked by suing his family because supposedly he, the cop, suffered emotional trauma after gunning down the 21-year-old college student!

The reign of unpunished police terror and murder continues, and the question before everyone is what is gonna be done? In Chicago, people are building for a powerful March 2 Day of Resistance to Stop Police Murder: Which Side Are You On? Indict all the Murdering Cops and All Those Who Are Part of the Cover-ups, Send Them All to Jail! There are two major actions: “Stolen Lives” Families Demand Justice at noon at the State of Illinois Thompson Center; and at 3 pm people will gather for “no business as usual as long as the business of usual is cops killing people with impunity.” (See the call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, Chicago) Organizers plan to disrupt the evening rush hour.

 Chicago, December 9, 2015. Photo: Bobbosphere
Chicago, December 9, 2015. Photo: Bobbosphere

Throughout the fall and into the winter, protests rocked the city, putting the police and their protectors on the defensive. “Sixteen shots and a COVER-UP” rang out over and over again in the streets, and wherever the mayor appeared. The chief of police was forced to resign, as was the head of the agency charged with investigating the police. A Chicago Tribune investigation reports that the police are being confronted with video cameras and defiance everywhere they go, and morale is low because they can’t racially profile or brutalize people the way they are used to doing.

A revealing quote from a cop in the Tribune article gives a sense of how they normally operate with impunity: “The days of the hunch are over ... you have to have something more than intuition.” Intuition is not a legal basis for stopping anyone, much less killing them! And now people are challenging them—they pull out their phones to video them when the police stop people. The youths on the street call out “fuck the police” at them.

It is widely known that there is still NO justice coming off all the exposures and protests. In the 500 days since Laquan McDonald was killed, none of the cops who covered up the murder, who tampered with evidence, who lied on the official reports, have been charged. And this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many families like Laquan’s who are still demanding justice. All the killer cops and all those who covered for them need to be indicted.

Now is the time to retake the offensive. When they have been exposed for their crimes and are on the defensive is the time to push even harder. These murdering cops and all those who cover up and protect them can not get away with this. We need to be in this to STOP police terror at a moment when the movement is facing a crossroads. The call for March 2 has been taken out to high schools and colleges, neighborhoods, and the largest Chicago Transit Authority stop on the South Side, as well as to protests against draconian cuts in education.

A Permit Battle

There is a battle for the permit to hold the Stolen Lives Families Demand Justice event in a public space inside the State of Illinois building. It is an outrage that the system is trying to silence the voices of the families whose loved ones were wrongly killed by police, who are all demanding JUSTICE for those killed by official, state-endorsed murderers.

After silence by the state, the application for the permit was denied on the grounds that the planned event is a “demonstration” and is therefore prohibited. By their logic, the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) can’t have this special event because they don’t have a permit, and they can’t have a permit because officials have labeled this special event a “demonstration.” People can’t demand the END to official murder of the people, at the official State of Illinois building? This is nothing less than political suppression of opposition to the police murdering people with impunity. The police who executed Laquan McDonald in 2014; Quintonio Legrier and Bettie Jones four hours after the end of Christmas 2015; Darius Pinex in January 2011; Justus Howell in Zion, Illinois in April 2015; and so MANY more ALL remain on official payrolls.

The police departments and top levels of city governments, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, have ALL covered up (and/or endorsed) these murders of unarmed Black people. These outrages must STOP, and the state of Illinois must grant the permit for people demanding on Wednesday, March 2, that these outrages STOP, as well as JUSTICE for all of these people, and many more, in Illinois and in this country.

In response to the denial of a permit, Gloria Pinex, mother of the murdered Darius Pinex, issued a letter that said:

Saturday morning February 27

To my student supporters at DePaul University, Loyola School of Social Work, McCormick Theological Seminary and all other students and youths who’ve heard my story: From Gloria Pinex

I just found out this morning that the permit for our Mar 2 “Stolen Lives” Families public event at the Food Court at the Thompson Center from noon to 2:00 pm has been denied!!!

Really? This is outrageous and unacceptable. How dare they deny us this public space after they have killed our loved ones, covered up the murders, demonized our families. And everyone knows! Not a secret.

I am f**king outraged at all the police murders that go on, especially my son Darius Pinex who has yet to get justice from this system. Only 1 cop out of all the killa cops has even been indicted and still no justice. If you are as outraged, please join me and other family members on March 2nd at the Thompson Center against police brutality.

Demand we get our permit! We will be there. Join us and continue the protest all day Mar 2 no business as usual until this stops!

Stop Police Murder!

Indict, Convict, Send the Killa Cops to Jail and all Those Who Lied and Covered Up for Them. The Whole Damn System is Guilty as Hell

Our demands are simple!

I am counting on you to do the right thing for justice and for the future.

Fighting for Different Sections of People to Step Up

Chicago, February 25
Chicago, February 25

The Revolution Club and others have been stepping to and challenging youths who are very directly under the gun of police terror and brutality. On Thursday, February 25, at rush hour at the 95th Street train stop in the major transportation hub deep in the Black community in Chicago’s South Side—commuters were faced with a bold challenge from the Chicago Revolution Club as they exited the turnstiles from the train. The Revolution Club held up a large banner painted on two U.S. flags. Members and supporters of the club loudly shouted out the words painted on the flag: GENOCIDE, SLAVERY, DRONE ATTACKS, POLICE MURDER, WARS FOR EMPIRE, STOP POLICE TERROR, MARCH 2.

Many people took extra palm cards for the March 2 actions and extra copies of the statement from the Revolutionary Communist Party, Chicago Branch, to pass out to others on the spot or to take with them. A high school teacher took a stack of palm cards and told us he was going to bring his whole class to the protest. A crew of about 10 youths hung out the entire time, and at one point in the evening the revolutionaries were able to reach out with this to large numbers of young white people headed for a Bernie Sanders rally at a nearby college campus. (For more on this experience, see From a Member of Revolution Club, Chicago:A Bold Challenge to Walk on the Flag.)

The response to the RCP flyer for March 2 at the Bernie Sanders rally, including people being challenged to step on the U.S. flag, was more controversial but this was an important section of youths and others to reach out to. Off the agitation being done about police terror and cases like Tamir Rice, Laquan, and others, there was one young white guy who stepped out of the line to stand in front of the flag being held up and who began to agitate passionately to the crowd: “I went to one of the most diverse high schools in Chicago and many of my friends there were Black. I fear for their lives every day!”

Into the High Schools

At an alternative high school, a teacher invited revolutionaries to come and discuss the importance of March 2. The classroom has pictures posted on the wall from Revolution newspaper that are used to discuss both current events and to understand how the world could be different. Revolutionaries talked about the stakes of March 2, the enormity of the genocidal program leveled against Black and Latino people with the cutting edge being police murder. And how the leadership of Bob Avakian (BA), Chairman of the Revolutionary Communist Party, showed how we could actually work today not only to resist these crimes now but build up our revolutionary strength for the moment when we could be rid of this whole system and begin to build a society in the interests of humanity.

Students brought out their own experience with police murder and brutality. One student spoke to being busted Christmas Eve and how most of her friends are hassled on a daily basis by cops. Another student raised how we get tossed into jail if we do crimes, but the cops who kill walk free!

Students in one class grappled with the question: what is genocide? Most did not know what that meant. We talked about World War 2 and the genocide against Jews. What if people had stood up against these crimes from the very beginning? The students felt people should have stood up, but what about now? Was this happening again? One student asked, are you talking about us standing up against police murder? Another student responded—YES, it has to stop

At an assembly of 50 students at another school, while holding up a poster with pictures of people whose lives were stolen by police, organizers asked two questions: Who here knows someone who was killed by police, and who has participated in protests against the police murder of Laquan McDonald? Several students raised their hand to say “yes” to both questions. One student raised his hand and asked what can we do to stop police injustice? Revolutionaries read Bob Avakian’s quote on the role of the police and urged people to go to and get connected with the revolution and BA. They challenged the students to come to March 2 and to organize others to come. Many students raised their hands. And WHO are you gonna organize? One student said, “Everybody we know!” Our part of the assembly ended with a boisterous chant: “Indict, Convict, Send the Killer Cops to Jail—the whole damn system is guilty as hell.”

Chicago public schools are facing drastic cuts in funding on March 1 because of a fiscal crisis and refusal of the state to release funds. At a protest downtown of 100 multinational high school students, mostly from the top-tier college prep schools in the public school system, a young woman did a powerful spoken word piece that ripped into how the school system saw the students as nothing more than “human cadavers” to be plundered for profit. Revolutionaries brought alive what that connection actually is—both that the police role is exactly to enforce all this as well as how all this is rooted in the capitalist-imperialist system.

There is also beginning outreach to university students.

* * *

The statement from the Chicago branch of the RCP ends with this challenge:

We are working right now to get ready for the time when millions can be led to go for revolution, all-out, with a real chance to win. Get with BA and get with this Party. Go to the website and find out more. In Chicago contact the RCP at Revolution Books, 773-489-0930, 1103 N. Ashland.

Right now everyone must stand up against police terror and murder and take the resistance against police terror and murder to a new level—one where everyone in society has to confront WHICH SIDE ARE YOU ON? The powers-that-be have been stalling for time, hoping the anger will die down, that this will be the new normal and things will go back to business as usual. What are their so-called “reforms”? Tasers! As if tasing people to death is better than shooting them. NO! And the Department of Justice has shown that they will bring NO JUSTICE to the victims of police murder anywhere.

If we don’t stand up now, the message will be that it’s OK for the police to murder with impunity. But going back on the offensive now will send the message to the powers-that-be that we will not tolerate this situation and it will strengthen our side and make us more united in our ability to fight for a different future and a different world.

ACT on MARCH 2. Stop Mass Incarceration Network has called for a day of resistance against Police Terror on MARCH 2. Everyone, young, old, Black, white, Latino, Asian, from all walks of life—if you are opposed to police terror, STAND UP. BE THERE.



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