In Baton Rouge, protests have been building every night, as has the repression. Here (below) protesters carry the Stolen Lives Banner, brought by members of the Revolution Club. People are standing up; the system is trying to repress them. People everywhere need to have their backs.

Activist and journalist DeRay McKesson live-streamed while being arrested in Baton Rouge. Photo: AP

Saturday Night, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, July 9

July 10, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


From our correspondent:

Fierce, powerful protests continued to rock the streets around the headquarters of the Baton Rouge Police Department. Hundreds of people—overwhelmingly Black youth—grouped and regrouped in their repeated efforts to take over Airline Avenue in the face of a heavy, aggressive, and heavily armed police presence. Over 100 people were arrested before the night was over; police brought out armored personnel carriers and carried automatic weapons; they pointed guns in the faces of angry crowds who tried to prevent fellow protesters from being dragged away. But the people were not cowed or intimidated.

Think of it—police pull up on a man and within a few minutes blast him with their guns at point-blank range, killing him. The whole world can see the video, see how coldly these pigs took the man’s life. The man—Alton Sterling—at no point threatened the cops, or even resisted their brutality. Now the cops are on paid leave—not charged with anything. Alton Sterling’s children are left without a father.

But people who protest this howling injustice have been met, repeatedly, with overwhelming police force. Last night, three cops violently threw an elderly woman to the ground, while she was standing on a sidewalk. Last night, pigs with automatic rifles slung around their shoulders surrounded people on the ground being brutalized and handcuffed by their fellow cops. Last night, repeatedly, waves of people came out to protest the murder of Alton Sterling, to scream their rage at police murder and the oppression of Black people.

The protest on and around Airline Avenue went on for over six hours. People regrouped and stood their ground repeatedly, in the face of police charges and multiple arrests. The participants came and went in waves, and one protester remarked it was almost like seeing reinforcements come in. When word of it got out on local TV news and social media, more people came to join the determined and jubilant protest.

Something profound is happening on these steamy Baton Rouge nights. A protester pointed out how these cops are breaking their own laws in the way they go after people engaged in peaceful protest and exercising their supposed “right to free speech.” Many people are challenging the police use of force, and the court system that lets killer cops off over and over. That system, and the use of violence to defend and uphold it, is completely illegitimate.

Now, I’m off to a meeting called by the Revolution Club, and what looks likely to shape up as another long night of protest on the streets of Baton Rouge.


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