From the Revolution Club, Chicago:

A GUILTY Verdict! A Whole System to Go!
Getting Organized for Revolution in the Streets of Chicago

| Revolution Newspaper |


When the word hit and started spreading that a verdict was reached in the trial of the murdering pig who killed Laquan McDonald, a small group began to gather on 71st and Jeffery. We pressed in close to hear while someone held the phone up to the microphone of the loudspeaker. The judge explained what a second-degree murder charge meant and then the jury read the verdict: Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty... Guilty. Second-degree murder and sixteen counts of aggravated battery, for every bullet that ripped into the body of 17-year-old Laquan.

For a moment—silence. Processing the news. Everyone was looking at each other to see how to react. Then a yell of “GUILTY!” as we stepped into the street together with the bittersweet joy of a little taste of justice in an ocean of blood shed by police bullets. All we could shout was “guilty!” and cars honked their joy with fists up and hanging out their windows. People hugged each other and danced in the street. Others angrily shouted, “It should have been first-degree!” And some worried aloud about whether even with guilty verdicts the killer cop would do any jail time.

All afternoon, while downtown hundreds marched in the streets, the small street corner celebration continued in South Shore. The Chicago Tribune described it as a demonstration “near the home base of one of the protest groups.” In a lot of ways, the celebration in South Shore was an expression of that “home base,” but not of a “protest group,” of a beginning revolutionary movement, made up of members of the Revolution Club, people who are part of this movement joining in throughout the day, and people from the area both who know the revolution and have been part of things here and there, as well as people who knew little or nothing about the revolution but were acting out their joy. As we yelled and laughed together, the club also put clearly forward that this victory, won through people rising up in places like Ferguson and Baltimore and taking to the streets in Chicago, has to be part of growing stronger in getting organized for revolution.

In the days before the verdict, the Revolution Club had been working to set the right terms in the city, and drawing people into contributing to that effort, speaking out and getting the word out that if there was a not-guilty verdict, the city should come to a halt, taking on the barrage of upside down fear being stoked about “riots” erupting (Which Carl Dix called out rightly: “I’m not afraid of what THEY call a riot, I’m afraid if there’s a quiet.”) As people watched the trial unfold, more and more it was clear that Laquan was being demonized in that trial—literally described as a monster—and the jury was being told to believe the lying cops rather than the video we all saw.

On the morning of closing arguments, the Revolution Club had a significant presence in front of the courthouse, with new members clearing their schedules to come and represent. Then, newer people who have been meeting and checking out the revolution started popping in to the organizing center to find out what was going on, get connected, and contribute in whatever ways they could. Throughout the day, several newer people came through and joined in to be part of teams going out around South Shore and out on the trains through the city making announcements and getting out flyers. This was all part of what then came together when the verdict was announced.

And then the next day, we called a celebration party at the Revolution Club Organizing Center. People who have been seeing the Revolution Club, some who have themselves put on the REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS! T-shirt at times, some who had been out on the corner celebrating the day before, many who were coming into the organizing center for the first time, came through. One person brought some mac & cheese, another brought a chicken and pasta dish, and another brought boxes of chips and sodas to go along with the hot dogs we threw on the grill out front. We had a good playlist of music going all night and some periodic episodes of dancing (mostly people really wanted to talk). More than one person came up to people in the Revolution Club and told them, with hugs and some pride, that they had seen them on the news the day before.

Mid-celebration we paused everything to toast to the struggle of the people, and the struggle needed to go further, and this came with powerful remarks by Carl Dix. Many who came through were seriously engaging questions of what is it going to take to really put an end to the terror carried out by this system, making an actual revolution and the leadership and strategy for that revolution, and making plans to see the film of the new speech from Bob Avakian, Why We Need An Actual Revolution And How We Can Really Make Revolution, and we talked about people getting organized into the effort to spread the online launch of the film in addition to seeing it. In all this, people were getting a sense of their own role in the victory that was won, but also how to contribute right now to making revolution.

Revolution Club Chicago, October 5, 2018



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