Revolution #208, July 25, 2010
The following was submitted to and published by the Berkeley Daily Planet:
There Are No "Outsiders" in the Struggle Against Oppression
Tuesday July 13, 2010
To those who talk about "inoculating" people against the so-called "violence" of the masses. Who preach against protest. Who say "be cool." Who say they want to preserve a "peaceful and thriving Oakland" when the reality is that every day the police run rampant, brutalizing and killing our youth. Who cynically invoke the names of Malcolm X and Huey Newton in attempts to pre-emptively quell the outrage of the people. Who speak of "love" while they denigrate those who have taken a stand, calling them "outside agitators" and "extreme fringe groups." We say:
WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE AT THE MURDER OF OSCAR GRANT? Oscar Grant, 22 years old, with his whole life ahead of him, was shot in the back at point blank range in front of his friends and hundreds of BART passengers. It was a horror. A violent, brutal, totally unjustified execution.
WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE AT THE EPIDEMIC OF POLICE BRUTALITY? At least 100 people are killed by police each year in California. At least 1000 people are killed by law enforcement each year across the U.S. Sergio Hernandez, 15, shot by Border Patrol while committing no crime and while on the Mexican side of the border. Aiyana Stanley-Jones, only 7 years old, killed by Detroit police grenade and bullet.
AND WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE AT THE PRE-EMPTIVE REPRESSIVE MEASURES, EDICTS, AND MILITARY EXERCISES BY THE POLICE?
WHY ARE YOU SPEAKING OUT AGAINST THE PROTESTERS, INSTEAD OF STANDING WITH THEM AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY?
To those officials who sound like southern sheriffs in 1964 when they talk of "outside agitators" we say:
WHAT BLACK YOUTH IN THIS COUNTRY IS "OUTSIDE" OF AND NOT SUBJECT TO DEGRADATION AND POTENTIAL DEATH SENTENCE AT THE HANDS OF THE POLICE?
WHAT PERSON IN THIS COUNTRY DOES NOT HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY TO STAND UP TO THAT OUTRAGE?
This system of capitalism-imperialism is poisoning the oceans, creating dead zones; is waging unjust wars; is criminalizing immigrants; is attacking women; and it enforces all of this oppression and injustice with brutality, repression and violence.
We say it is right to rebel. If the people do not resist oppression, they will be demoralized and crushed—forced to swallow their anger until they eventually turn it against each other.
WHO DO YOU "LOVE"? WHERE DO YOU STAND? WHERE IS YOUR OUTRAGE AGAINST THE SYSTEM? WHAT KIND OF WORLD ARE YOU FIGHTING FOR?
The system delivered its verdict, a slap on the wrist to Johannes Mehserle. It mobilized its armies of cops, its liars in the media, its networks of politicians, ministers, non-profits and snitches to stifle and suppress the people. We take heart that in the face of all that people took to the streets with courage and determination, and gave voice to the bitter anger of many, many more, in Oakland and beyond. There are no outsiders in the struggle against oppression.
The whole damn system IS guilty. We are stepping up the battle for justice for Oscar, the battle against the whole damn system, and we are building a movement for revolution.
Fight the Power, and transform the people, for revolution!
Reiko Redmonde is part of Revolution Books in Berkeley.
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