|We need to take a couple of hours to sum up what was accomplished in the Bay Area, and Nationally with the determined, and POWERFUL!, protests to bring this country to a HALT In response to the outrage of letting MIKE BROWN’S cold-blooded killer cop walk.
And we need to continue to build off what was accomplished to build a even more powerful – and sustained – movement to stop police murders and brutality against Black and Brown lives.
The defiant people of Ferguson have called for nationwide walkouts from work and school on Monday. How can we make that happen?
Any day now, the Grand Jury in New York is scheduled to release its decision on whether to indict the cop(s) who choked Eric Garner to death for selling cigarettes. What should be our response to their decision?
We will present the history of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, what have we done since our founding in 2011 by Cornel West and Carl Dix, what we are about, and how we see unfolding a mass movement against this GENOCIDE.
Come and bring others who want to step up and become fighters agains all of Mass Incarceration, and all of its aspects and consequences. We encourage all to read – and think about – this statement from Carl Dix, in preparation for this meeting.
POLICE MURDER BLACK PEOPLE ALL THE DAMN TIME
WHY DOES THIS HAPPEN AND WHAT WILL IT TAKE FOR THIS TO END?
A St Louis county grand jury refuses to indict Darren Wilson, the cop who killed Michael Brown. In the days leading up to this decision, a cop in Cleveland guns down Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old Black child who was playing with a toy gun, and a New York cop who heard a sound in a dark stairwell shot and killed 28-year-old Akai Gurley. These are only the most recent cases of wanton police murder of Black people. These racist monsters do this ALL the time, and to Latino people too—like the murder of 13-year-old Andy Lopez in Santa Rosa, California, as he walked down a rural road carrying a toy replica of a BB gun in 2013.This is dragging some of the reality of what it means to be Black or Latino in Amerikkka out into the open for all to see. People in Ferguson stood up to say NO MORE to police murder. Many, many people all across the country of different nationalities joined with them in defiant resistance. People are raising their heads and declaring that this must STOP.
As part of building a movement that can stop these horrors, we have to confront some crucial questions:
Why do police murder people again and again? And why are they almost never punished for their crimes?
And what needs to be done to end this horror once and for all?
First, we have to be clear on just what the problem is, and what it isn’t. The problem isn’t that police need more or better training. How much training do you need to not murder people? To not gun down unarmed people, or to stop approaching Black people carrying toy guns and immediately blow them away? And it’s not that we need more Black elected officials or more Black people in charge of law enforcement. We’ve elected many, many Black mayors and even a Black president. We’ve had Black police chiefs, and now we have a Black man in charge of the federal department of justice. Yet police murder continues and has even intensified.
So what is the source of our problem? Africans were dragged to these shores in slave chains and forced to labor for 250 years to build up the great wealth that these flag-wavers love to brag about. This happened because capitalism required this labor to get going, and individual capitalist merchants, and slaveholders, could make enormous profits off it. How did they enforce it? With armies and armed white people. How did they justify it? With racist ideas and white supremacist institutions.
Then there was the Civil War, which ended slavery. Yet Black people were still not free. They were still chained to the fields of the South, as well as industry, worked like slaves—again because the capitalist-imperialist system required this, and individual capitalists made huge profits from it. This was enforced with armies and police forces and lynch mobs. How was it justified? With more racist and white supremacist crap, in the schools and the culture and the political life. All this use of force and violence—and we are talking about MILLIONS and MILLIONS of cruel and early deaths, and mutilated horrific lives, over the years—all this has been and still is totally illegitimate.
Powerful uprisings in the 1960s rocked the system and forced it to grant concessions. African-American people, along with other oppressed peoples and progressive and revolutionary white people, put everything on the line, and scores of people died to fight for freedom. Revolutionaries were shot down, in some cases murdered in their beds by police. Again, Black people and their allies had to go up against the armies and police of the capitalist-imperialists, and reactionary whites of the KKK and similar ilk, and they had to fight the institutions that generate all manner of white supremacist ideas and relations. And again, people won real and important concessions. But because the system remained in effect, people have continued to suffer. Capitalism’s chase after profits led to moving U.S. factories to far-flung parts of the world where people could be worked for starvation wages in more dangerous conditions. This left millions in the inner cities in a very desperate situation with no real place in the formal U.S. economy. The program for dealing with this has been criminalizing and demonizing whole generations of Black and Latino youth, targeting them with a slow genocide of mass incarceration and police terror. And it is enforced the same way—by their institutions of violence and repression, and brainwashing mass media and school system. (I have dealt with this history very briefly here. To get more deeply into it, people should read “The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of the System, and the Revolution We Need” at the website revcom.us.)
The official stamp of approval for police murder, which the grand jury decision represents, has been met by people standing up in Ferguson and defiantly saying NO MORE to police murder. And people all across the country have joined them in determined resistance that has disrupted business as usual. This is very necessary, and it must be continued and built on.
But let’s be clear about where things need to go. So-called structural change that leaves this economic and political set-up intact means that people will continue to suffer this savage oppression. It will take revolution, people rising up and getting rid of the capitalist/imperialist system and building a whole new society in its place, to end this horror and everything else foul this system enforces on people in the U.S. and around the world. Anything less than this will leave future generations to continue to endure the brutality and indignity people suffer today.
There are two big things about this revolution. First, you will never make it without dismantling and doing away with their instruments of reactionary violence that as we showed have always enforced this horror. Second, this must be a revolution to do away with ALL exploitation and ALL oppression, not just a little bit—or it won’t be a revolution that will bring real liberation or be worth fighting. At the same time, as the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, Bob Avakian, has pointed out:
There will never be a revolutionary movement in this country that doesn’t fully unleash and give expression to the sometimes openly expressed, sometimes expressed in partial ways, sometimes expressed in wrong ways, but deeply, deeply felt desire to be rid of these long centuries of oppression [of Black people]. There’s never gonna be a revolution in this country and there never should be, that doesn’t make that one key foundation of what it’s all about. (BAsics 3:19)
Right now isn’t the time to go for revolution, but now is the time to build up the forces for revolution so that when the time comes, when the rulers are deep enough in trouble and when people can’t go on living like this anymore, we’ll be ready and in position right to seize power from the capitalist blood-suckers and build a whole new world. Storms that will rock the U.S. global empire are gonna come; but will WE be ready to seize the opportunity for emancipation when it comes along? Will there be a force hastening that time, shaping it, and preparing for it? That’s what we have to be thinking about and working to realize. That’s a big, big part of what the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) is all about.
So as we continue to mobilize resistance that involves broader sections of people, everybody who hates the reality that Black people playing with toy guns or walking in dark hallways or just existing are risking their lives needs to check out and get with the revolution. Go to the website: revcom.us. Read BAsics and other writings by Bob Avakian, the leader of the revolution. Watch the Dialogue between Cornel West and Bob Avakian. And run with the movement for revolution the RCP is building as it fights the power, and transforms the people, for revolution.
ESCALATE THE STRUGGLE TO STOP POLICE MURDER!
FIGHT THE POWER, AND TRANSFORM THE PEOPLE, FOR REVOLUTION!