Oakland, July 15:

High School Students Lead March Through Downtown—Loud, Determined, Enthusiastic

July 18, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


From a reader:

July 15—Yesterday evening, TV news announced that today was a day of action. Looking on Twitter we found an apparent call from Anonymous for simultaneous protests at 4 pm PST for a Day of Solidarity.

I was leaving Revolution Books in Berkeley when I came upon a small group of high school age women marching in the street with a Black Lives Matter banner. I asked them if they were going to the protest in downtown Oakland. They didn’t know about it—they explained that they had just staged a protest on their own in Provo Park near Berkeley High, practically by themselves, and had continued to march around Berkeley with their banner. I explained that I was on my way to the protest in downtown Oakland, and they piled in my car. I told them about the movement for revolution, and one of them said she had seen the posters of “Time To Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution,” the Message from the RCP Central Committee. “Are you with them?” she asked.

We arrived in downtown Oakland shortly before 4 pm—we were the first ones there. The young women stood on the corner with their banner as the crowd began to gather, reaching about 200 people at its height. For five hours these young women led a fast-paced march through downtown Oakland and led speak-outs at the police station, city hall, and the federal building.


Oakland, July 15

Downtown Oakland, July 15, 2016. Photo: Special to revcom.us

There were different views on the causes of police violence and on the role of the police. Could you have dialogue with them? At one point one of the high school women asked a Black cop why he was “working for our oppressors.” This was at the Pig Station. The crowd then challenged the police standing there to speak about why this violence kept happening, shouting “speak with your words, not your guns.” The pigs did not respond. When I spoke to the people about the systemic nature of police violence, that the real role of the police is to protect and serve the system that rules over the people, many people nodded. I said that an actual revolution is what is needed to end this police terror, and called on everyone to get a copy of the RCP Central Committee Message and think very seriously about the source of this injustice and about the solution. Many copies of the Message were distributed throughout the afternoon and evening.

Get With/Join
the Revolution Club

Revolution Club in Baltimore
Revolution Club members in Baltimore.
June 2016. Photo: revcom.us

The protest was relatively small, but LOUD, determined, and enthusiastic, with many people getting off work and joining as they heard about it at work or on the TV news. The march stopped traffic at two freeway on-ramps and some people briefly ran onto one of the freeways. At one point a cop hit a young protester with his baton in an unprovoked attack and was confronted and jeered at by the crowd.

As I left, I talked with the young man who had been hit by the cop; he was going home to rest his leg, which was hurting pretty bad. He said that he felt it was urgent for many more people to come to the protests, and that while today’s protest was small, he was encouraged by the spirit and said he was determined to be in the streets until there is real change.


Volunteers Needed... for revcom.us and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.

REVOLUTION AND RELIGION The Fight for Emancipation and the Role of Religion, A Dialogue Between Cornel West & Bob Avakian
BA Speaks: Revolution Nothing Less! Bob Avakian Live
BAsics from the Talks and Writings of Bob Avakian
Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America (Draft Proposal)
WHAT HUMANITY NEEDS Revolution, and the New Synthesis of Communism
You Don't Know What You Think You 'Know' About... The Communist Revolution and the REAL Path to Emancipation Its History and Our Future Interview with Raymond Lotta
The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and the Revolution We Need