Cleveland: Refusing to Go Along with Protest-as-Usual

December 9, 2014 | Revolution Newspaper |


December 8—100 people gathered outside City Hall in the aftermath of the U.S. Department of Justice report on the hundreds of cases of police brutality and killing by Cleveland police, and the recent killings by Cleveland pigs of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old, and of Tanesha Anderson, a woman with mental problems asking for help. Many people who gathered were with Cleveland Ministers and Residents for Change, a group of ministers calling for citizens review board, more training for police, and other demands.

Photos: Special to
Cleveland December 8

Cleveland December 8

Most of the diverse group of protesters—students, activists, and youth—came there because of their continued outrage over the NO INDICTMENTS in the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, and the recent killings in Cleveland. Many people went into the City Council with signs, chanting “Black Lives Matter,” and many were made to leave. Jeff Johnson, a councilman, called for the resignation of the city's Safety Director and a former Safety Director. At the demand for these resignations and all the disruptions by the protesters, the mayor’s entire administration walked out of the City Council meeting. This was the second week that protesters disrupted the City Council’s meeting. The Mayor and Police Chief did not attend last night’s City Council; they conveniently spoke on a panel at a suburban church

Then, somewhat frustrated by the “protest as usual” going on, about 35 youth and students, including a crew of supporters of the Revolutionary Communist Party, took to the streets, doing die-ins at several intersections, marching through an entertainment district, and blocking streets with die ins. They marched up to several police cruisers, forcing the police to back up. They marched across a bridge to downtown, stopping all traffic. Lots of signs and loud chants rang out through the darkness. Although the march was not big, people felt they had an impact and took the protest in a “no business as usual” direction. One Black youth who had been discouraged by the earlier protest told me, “I got excited by the march, it got louder, more soul and more heat as we went. We are not going to be held back. The high point was crossing the bridge, disrupting traffic, going through the entertainment district. Small numbers can have impact.”


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