Beloved BLM Activist in Kenosha Facing Felony Charges as Kenosha Pigs Get Away with Blood on Their Hands

Written by members of Revolution Club Chicago



Clyde McLemore, founder of the Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter in northern Illinois, is being charged with disorderly conduct and felony attempted battery along with threatening a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin, during the citywide protest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake that garnered nationwide attention. If Clyde McLemore is convicted, he faces a fine up to $6,000 and imprisonment for up to three years and 90 days.1

Clyde is no stranger to the Revolution Club Chicago. He marched with us last summer on the South Side where we called on the youth who are killing and dying on the streets of Chicago to lift their sights and get with the revolution. He also spoke at a couple of Refuse Fascism Chicago protests downtown at Federal Plaza and marched against the fascist Trump/Pence regime. 

On August 24, Clyde McLemore was protesting with 50 others in front of the Civic Center Park for what was supposed to be a scheduled press conference from local officials, which included Kenosha mayor John Antaramian. McLemore along with the rest of the protesters were attempting to go inside where the press was setting up. Police then came in and pepper sprayed the protestors to make sure no one entered the building.2 McLemore allegedly kicked the door that the pigs were trying to close. This led to charges against him that took six months for the Kenosha County government District Attorney Michael Graveley to file due to this alleged accusation.

Kenosha has been a major battleground in the recent few months as in regards to the local pigs shooting Jacob Blake multiple times with tasers and a handgun in the back in front of his three children unnecessarily as he was trying to de-escalate an argument between two women prior to the arrival of the Kenosha cops. This scenario left Blake paralyzed from the waist down. The masses in Kenosha righteously rose up against this travesty of injustice. Local fascist militia members made a call for volunteers to “protect” local business from the uprising. Seventeen-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse from nearby Antioch, Illinois, answered the fascist call and ended up viciously murdering two protesters, Joseph Rosenbaum and Anthony Huber, and wounding a third, Gaige Grosskreutz.3 

And yet local Black Lives Matter activist Clyde McLemore gets slammed with trumped up charges on disorderly conduct and attempted battery for allegedly kicking a door a Kenosha cop was trying to close. These charges were thrown at McLemore out of the blue six months later as he is now facing a felony. The felony charge stems from a statement off of McLemore’s Facebook page in which he allegedly said that he “was mad enough to try to break the officer’s fingers.” There was no physical injury to any of the Kenosha pigs done by McLemore.

Kenosha County government District Attorney Michael Graveley will not press charges against the Kenosha pigs that shot and paralyzed Jacob Blake but will prosecute a local activist Clyde McLemore, who is beloved and deeply respected by many people in the communities of Kenosha, Wisconsin, and northern Illinois. This is what Jacob Blake’s sister, Letetra Wideman, said about Clyde at a recent “Free Clyde” press conference in front of the Kenosha County Courthouse: "Officer Sheskey delivered seven bullets in the back of a father in front of his children. Clyde McLemore delivers groceries to hungry families. And that's the person you want to lock up? Then what does that say about you, Kenosha?”4

Are we to be shocked at how white supremacy is so interwoven with this system of capitalism-imperialism that someone such as Clyde McLemore who is so passionate about confronting injustice in his surrounding communities, helping prisoners find employment and housing after serving time, along with helping to get food for people of low income, is facing three years in prison—while Kenosha pigs such as Rusten Sheskey shoot an innocent man like Jacob Blake in cold-blood in front of his three children to leave him paralyzed from the waist down, but yet the system makes sure he is not guilty? The United States has 400 years worth of blood from Black people on its hands, and the terror will not be ending any time soon as long as this system of capitalism-imperialism remains in power. Black people were lynched after the Civil War in the Jim Crow South without any repercussions to the murderers. Chicago Black Panther Fred Hampton Sr was lynched by the Chicago Police Department with no repercussions to the Windy City pigs. We can go on with names such as Bunchy Carter, John Africa, Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown Jr, Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, etc., etc…. The names can go on and on of murdered Black people and the murderous culprits in law enforcement that have gotten away with it. Jacob Blake nearly joined that list but he did survive to tragically be paralyzed from the waist down. 

If Clyde McLemore goes to prison, he will be a political prisoner that this system will make an example out of like they did with people such as the MOVE 9, Mumia Abu Jamal, and members of the Black Panthers that are serving heavy time since the 1960s and 1970s. What led to Chicago pig Jason Van Dyke being found guilty for the murder of Laquan McDonald was the fear of people rising to demand justice. But this time the people need to rise for Clyde McLemore to demand the charges be dropped. Because if Clyde McLemore does end up being found guilty of the bogus charges that are put forth before him by the Kenosha DA, then the pigs will not stop with him and be bold enough to go after others. But how long will we have to tolerate white supremacist police lynchings of Black people along with others too?

Revolutionary leader Bob Avakian has done scientific study on how this system can’t be reformed and must be overthrown. Black people in the U.S. have been murdered for hundreds of years, and do we really want the future of OUR youth 50 years from now to face the same police terror along with protesting the same injustice over and over again? It is critical to struggle with others for moving beyond reforms within this system of capitalism-imperialism that go nowhere but instead move forward to Revolution to TRULY emancipate Black people and the rest of humanity for a future worth living for and not worry if you might survive when a cop pulls you over. will be paying attention to the Clyde McLemore case and will inform as it moves forward. Leaving you with this quote from Bob Avakian from his New Year’s Statement, A New Year, The Urgent Need For A Radically New World—For The Emancipation Of All Humanity

Unable to provide a positive resolution to acute  contradictions bound up with these changes—unable to end systemic racism which involves degrading discrimination against even economically better-off sections of Black people—unable to integrate large numbers of Black people into the “formal” economy—the ruling forces in society have responded to this situation with mass incarceration of millions of Black males (and growing  numbers of females) with arrests, trials, convictions and sentences embodying yet more discrimination and injustice, and by unleashing and backing systematic police terror, which is especially directed against Black people in the inner cities but can target any Black person, anywhere, at any time. The attempt to brutally enforce “law and order,” given that a more just solution is impossible under this system, heightens the volatility of this whole situation, leading to further upheaval—including completely justified and righteous protest and rebellion—which, in turn, is seized on by fascist forces in promoting their grotesque white supremacist portrayal of the masses of Black people as “criminals” and “uncaged animals.”


1. Illinois Black Lives Matter activist charged with felony, misdemeanor following Kenosha unrest in August, WTMJ-TV, Feb. 21, 2021.  [back]

2. Activist facing felony, misdemeanor charges for alleged actions during Blake protests, Kenosha News, Feb. 20, 2021.  [back]

3. Kyle Rittenhouse won’t face higher bond or arrest warrant following hearing over questions about where Kenosha protest shooter is living, Chicago Tribune, Feb. 11, 2021.  [back]

4. Activists rally, demand county drop charges against BLM founder, WISN, Feb. 25, 2021.  [back]

Clyde McLemore leads a group of demonstrators in a march to Civic Center Park on Aug. 25, 2020, two days after the police shot Jacob Blake in the back. Photo: GoFundMe page

Demonstrators march around the Public Safety Building for Clyde McLemore, founder of Black Lives Matter Lake County Chapter, on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Photo: Kenosha News/Sean Krajacic



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