December 4, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


by Noche Diaz and Revolution Club, Chicago

Aquoness Cathery was murdered by the police on Wednesday, November 29, on the South Side of Chicago. He was 24 years old and the father of a young daughter. He was known as “Quono” and was an aspiring rapper. The pigs responded to a “shots fired” call and claimed Quono had a gun, which they don’t even claim he fired. Multiple witnesses, including family members, say he was shot in the back while he was running away. He was taken to the hospital in critical condition and died the next morning.

Quono’s beloved auntie described him as a “fine, fine man.” She said it was bullshit to say he was in a better place because he should be here alive today. One man said Quono was his little brother, he loved him and the police took a whole human being, took a whole soul. Like too many young people born with darker skin are treated in this country, Quono’s humanity meant nothing to the system that kills people like him every day and lets its murderous cops walk free.

The block where Quono was killed is one of the neighborhoods where over the summer and since then the Revolution Club has led people to blow whistles on the police and has been working to bring forward a revolutionary force and pole. At the end of the summer, a couple members of the Revolution Club had met and talked with Quono, along with a number of other guys in the neighborhood. Quono stood out to them as someone who was capable of taking a larger view of things than just what is happening in the neighborhood. One of the Revolution Club members described him as a sweet guy, very knowledgeable, and described how Quono had been trying to convince the Revolution Club members that they were wasting their time talking to the people there about getting into the revolution because they weren’t able to see anything beyond what’s happening right here in front of them. Instead of convincing us we were wasting our time, he ended up further convincing us we were in the right place.

When we found out the police had shot someone, we headed over there right away. The entire block was blocked off by the murderers. Police had swarmed the area the whole afternoon and by the time we arrived there were still a dozen cop cars, including some posted up at a busy intersection nearby, stopping cars and harassing people. When we walked up, they were putting someone in the back of a police car. We blew whistles and then talked with people who were on the street to find out who was shot and what happened. There was sadness and anger by many we talked to who knew Quono, who at that moment was in the hospital in critical condition, and over and over again we heard he was shot in the back. We walked up and down the street where he was killed, talking with people who were out, but also calling out to people in the houses to be part of standing up against this. Police tried to stop us from even walking by. A couple of people joined us as we walked around and were part of a small impromptu speak-out on the corner.

By the next day, Quono was gone and there was a gloom over the neighborhood. We saw his friends who were standing outside the courtyard and had their heads down or were staring off. They shook their heads when we tried talking to them. “We just don’t want to talk right now, man.” Another young man said it was difficult for them to talk. He wasn’t trying to push us away, but he seemed helpless at the fact that their friend had just been stolen by them. He said we were invited to come back that night for the vigil.

About 60 family members and friends showed up at the vigil. We held out a banner of photos of victims of murder by police, a STOLEN LIVES BANNER, which we had modified by adding a picture of Quono. This banner drew a number of people to record or take photos of it and express their anger and hatred of the police. There were a few people who knew more than one person murdered by the police. One young man we met personally knew four people who were killed by police: Laquan McDonald, Dakota Bright, Corsean Lewis, and Aquoness Cathery. We struggled with him to speak out and to join with the revolution needed to get rid of this system that causes all this madness and oppression. He was distraught and felt hopeless about speaking out or seeing any way out of this misery.

Quono’s sister led a popular chant between the people who knew Quono followed by a “Fuck 12.” Another man made sure he was being recorded when he spoke so he could send out a message for justice for Quono. He said he was there when Quono was murdered. He said he saw Quono get shot in the back. As he was speaking, a scene developed where a line of police on foot shined flashlights on the vigil and moved while a crowd of people faced off with them, outnumbering them and making the pigs back up while people screamed and yelled at the pigs.

Some people had begun to leave when the police arrived at the vigil, but a lot of people stayed back and when the pigs began marching toward the vigil, people from the memorial walked over to confront them with whistles, middle fingers, chants of Fuck the Police, and demands to know why they had to come up to a vigil when people were mourning over the loss of a loved one that had been taken by those same police. The sentiment among those who loved Quono was also filled with anger at the police for what they did to Quono and the nerve of them to show up at the vigil to disrupt and intimidate people.

As the pigs were flashing their lights at the family and friends of Quono, people came up to speak out about what happens when you call 911, and getting killed by the police. There was a lot of defiance by people. When a woman was trying to drive her car away from the pigs, they marched in front of her car and swarmed her while some other pigs formed a barrier to keep people from getting in between. People from the vigil moved forward and were ready in case they attacked her. A member of the Revolution Club spoke to the need and potential of the people to stand up and get with the revolution.

After people began leaving we made a video message from the memorial and read the powerful quote from Bob Avakian:

There is the potential for something of unprecedented beauty to arise out of unspeakable ugliness: Black people playing a crucial role in putting an end, at long last, to this system which has, for so long, not just exploited but dehumanized, terrorized and tormented them in a thousand ways—putting an end to this in the only way it can be done—by fighting to emancipate humanity, to put an end to the long night in which human society has been divided into masters and slaves, and the masses of humanity have been lashed, beaten, raped, slaughtered, shackled and shrouded in ignorance and misery.


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