Sick Chicago police humor—use their loudspeaker to drown out Revolution Club talking to high school students by playing Gil Scott-Heron’s “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”

December 11, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


Early in the morning before school on Friday, December 1, Revolution Club members went outside Kenwood High School—a South Side school known for high academic standards—with a “pop quiz” for the students. We passed out close to 200 copies of the quiz, “Before You Go Along With and Give Your Silent Approval to the Murder of Tens of Millions Koreans, Take This Quiz and See How Much You Really Know!”

Some students told us they were learning about South Korea in their classes, but didn’t recognize any of the information in the questions. Some took extra copies of the quiz to pass out in their classes and give to their teachers. One student said she hadn’t been paying much attention to the news about Korea, but she did know they had tested a missile that could reach Chicago. We talked about who is threatening whom and who is the greater danger (see questions 1-10 of the quiz). We talked about how people are being trained to look at everything as if American lives are more important than other people’s lives, and what about the millions of Koreans being threatened by the Trump/Pence regime right now? Another student stopped to talk with us and wanted to know what she and her sister could do about stopping Trump. She liked hearing that voting is not the way to stop this, that millions of people getting into the streets is, and that she and her sister could play a very important role in making that happen. She asked a woman comrade if she could give her a hug, saying, “I’ve seen you guys out here a lot and I know it’s hard and people don’t listen and I just want to tell you how much I appreciate you doing this.”

We told students we would come back in the afternoon to see how they did on the quizzes and those that took extras should collect them and bring them back to us after school.

When we came back after school, a police SUV sitting on campus drove up and parked in front of us on the school grounds. As students began coming out of school and we approached them to talk and get them materials, the police began speaking over the loudspeaker from their car. They told students not to take flyers, not to talk with us, and not to give us any information. They ordered students to leave and not hang out in front of the school.

The police then launched into political attacks. First the Black cop on the microphone tried to ridicule a Black comrade with sagging pants, saying he was a bad role model for wearing his pants low. Because of course a young Black man with sagging pants talking with high school students about why they should care about what is happening to humanity is obviously a bad role model! (And of course we all know, if Black youth just pulled up their pants, all the discrimination and segregation would end, the police would stop killing them, the white supremacists from the White House to Charlottesville would stop hating Black people, and lots of good jobs would appear and start hiring them!)

As a comrade spoke out to the students about this attempt by police to intimidate the students and that we need a revolution, the police played a response over their loudspeaker, a piece of the Beatles, “You say you want a revolution,” and then from Gil Scott-Heron, “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.” Police using Gil Scott-Heron to attack revolution is even more disgustingly ironic two days after they murdered a young Black man on the South Side, shooting him in the back as he ran from them. As Gil Scott-Heron expressed in another famous poem, “THE MOTHERFUCKING DOGS ARE IN THE STREET!”

These explicitly political messages over the police loudspeaker make clear the Revolution Club is being targeted for the content of the message, a clearly unconstitutional act by police. Police cannot be allowed to dictate that high school students because they are Black and on Chicago’s South Side can have their rights taken away. Students have a right to political expression and activity and police have no right to use their authority to intimidate and harass them.



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