Sacramento Saturday: Lines Get Drawn, People Step Forward and Things Get Hot... in a Supermarket Parking Lot

| Revolution Newspaper |


After briefly stopping at the infamous state capitol building to record a message from the tour, the spot we ended up at was a strip mall near the neighborhood where the pigs murdered Stephon Clark that many of the people in the area frequented. There were a number of commercial businesses and a major supermarket in a larger shopping plaza, and there was a major passageway that much of the traffic had to go through to get to the stores there. We started off at the busiest intersection with some chanting and speaking about revolution and the murder of Stephon Clark. With our banner barely unfurled, after just a little while of being there, a man from mall security came in to try to shut us down. He threatened us, ripped up one of the signs with pictures of Stephon Clark and Willie McCoy (another victim of police murder in nearby Vallejo), and was putting hands on the people with the Revolution Club, including jabbing one comrade in the throat with his walkie-talkie before trying to choke the comrade with his hands. Not only did we refuse to be backed off by this wannabe pig, but a situation opened up where people began to come to our aid, pull up their cars and yell at this guy, recording him and catching him in the act, and there were people who came to stand with the revcoms. This was important because people got a clear sense of what side we were on and the question of where you were going to stand was posed very sharply. The security guy had ripped the sign with Stephon Clark’s and Willie McCoy’s faces on it and was openly attacking the message we were bringing forward, which we made clear in both the agitation and chanting we were doing.

A middle-age white woman who had initially been in her car recording when this wannabe pig was coming at us, yelled at him to stop putting his hands on us, before this wannabe pig turned to her and called her a bitch and threatened to beat her if she got out of the car. Moments later, she got out of her car and came over to further record him and see how we were doing. While we were talking to her, she said, “I’m here with my daughter, and I’m not someone who does all this, I am usually just in my church, but wrong is wrong. It’s wrong to put your hands on someone, and [tears began to come to her eyes and she pointed to the signs of Stephon Clark and others murdered by police] it’s wrong to shoot someone, and what happened to all these people is just... WRONG.”

Another person who stopped to stand with us was a young Black man who had just gotten off work from the nearby supermarket when he saw us being attacked and decided he had to step in. He was engaging with the message we were bringing about the need for people to get organized for revolution, with real doubts and questions about whether people could really come together to do something like that, including himself who he said is caught up in having to work like a slave. He didn’t just stand with us against the wannabe pig; after engaging with what the revolution was bringing people, he felt compelled to join in on the spot and worked with us to get out the statement to the cars coming through, and by the time he was leaving he was working on how to join us both to impact the upcoming protest on the anniversary of the murder of Stephon Clark, and to come together afterwards to watch the film of BA’s speech, as well as helping to get out materials to let other people know and bring them into this.

Before long, it wasn’t just the wannabe pig trying to intimidate and drive out the revolution, but the actual pigs, who showed up in force. They made some announcements and tried to back us off, but were not able to and eventually had to back off for various reasons, including the fact that people came to stand with us and that the authorities are on somewhat the defensive politically after being rocked by the protests against the murder of Stephon Clark and the refusal to bring charges against the cops who killed him. Throughout this whole back-and-forth with the pigs and wannabe pig, many people were drawn into finding out what we were saying and some even connected up and took materials to spread the word, but at this point most of the traffic was in cars, and many of the people we reached were rolling down their windows and reaching out for material, raising fists, and honking in support. So we decided we were just getting started.

We seized on the opening we had made and took to marching around the area and toward the major supermarket, going through the parking lot chanting with our visuals and banner. The six of us coming through, representing as a serious force, had an electrifying effect throughout the shopping area. We set up near the front entrance to the supermarket where we were able to speak to many more people on the bullhorn, and had a number of one-on-one engagements. Many of the people we reached were Black and Latino, some white, and mostly working class. In speaking to people en masse, we brought out not just exposure of the system and the murder of Stephon Clark, but also fought to really bring alive that there is leadership that people have in BA and that we were there to recruit people to get with the strategy for revolution that he has brought forward, and to begin acting on that strategy. We fought to give people a basic understanding of why having this leadership in BA is a real strength that people have if we’re going to really make revolution to end all oppression. We drew from HOW WE CAN WIN in posing how this goes against the lying politicians, those who front for the system and preach reconciliation, and dead-end solutions and reforms that won’t end a damn thing. We put to people that while the struggle that has taken place right here is important, this needs to be transformed into revolutionary understanding, determination, and organization. And, importantly, that means we’re here to recruit YOU, and that this was being done throughout the country with this national Get Organized for an ACTUAL Revolution Tour.

Of the engagements we had with people, this included a woman who was part of the Black Student Union at her college and had been part of the protests in the city, and who live-streamed about 10 minutes of our agitation on Facebook. It included a guy who read closely the Points of Attention for the Revolution, commenting on how he really likes the point about breaking all the chains, and how women, men, and differently gendered people are equals and comrades. And it included a young white woman who responded to hearing about the strategy for revolution and the need to bring forward people now who could prepare for and lead an actual overthrow when the time is right by saying “I want to be a leader.”

It seemed to us that many of the people we interacted with here were people who didn’t find it too hard to agree with us that anything short of revolution was ultimately bullshit. But this does pose questions about how to involve and organize in an ongoing way those who have now been initially drawn toward the revolution, and how they can be part of meaningful ways to have an impact and contribute to making revolution. With everyone we talked to, we emphasized the importance of coming to the screening of BA’s speech that we set up for the next Tuesday in Sacramento, and also joining our contingent at the Stephon Clark march on Monday. We got out hundreds of copies of the Revolution Club statement about Stephon Clark with the Points of Attention for the Revolution on the back, and a number of people took stacks of them to get out to others.

One thing we did not do well at was putting to people the need for funds and fundraising as an important way to do that. But we do know getting people together in the coming days to further spread the word throughout the city, and to come together to watch BA’s speech, will be important markers and ways to go to work on this problem.


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Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution

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