Taking “Revolution—Nothing Less!” into March Demanding Justice for Andrés Guardado, Killed by Police

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From the Revolution Club, Los Angeles:

As the powerful protests for Black lives shake society demanding an end to racist murders by police, sheriffs in Gardena, California, ruthlessly murdered 18-year-old Andrés Guardado on June 18. They shot at least six bullets into him at the auto body shop where he worked as a security guard and then ripped out the security cameras at the shop. Three days later, the day after Trump’s racist, violent, fascist speech in Tulsa, Oklahoma, about 500 people took to the streets in Gardena and Compton in a powerful march and protest demanding justice for Andrés.

People and organizations came into the streets who have been part of the ongoing upsurge, and others came into the streets from the neighborhood for the first time. Some people traveled from far-out areas, full of outrage and deciding they could not sit this out. Andrés’ family and friends marched together with Salvadoran flags in a contingent with a banner in Spanish saying, “Justice for Andrés Guardado.” A network of people took part who have been uniting with the protests for Black lives and demanding “free our kids” from the cages this government is locking immigrants into. The organizers of the march explicitly expressed unity between Black and Brown people, and this was beautifully seen as the mainly Latino march made its way through Compton and Black people came out to watch and support, some with fists up.

As the marchers gathered at the memorial site, members of the Revolution Club spoke about the need to finally put AN END to this, not continue with cycles that keep it going, and then handed the mic to the brother of Anthony Weber who talked about his 16-year-old brother being shot in the back 16 times two years ago and said: We are people and demand to be treated as such.

The Revcoms carried a banner, “This System Cannot Be Reformed, It Must Be Overthrown,” and an enlarged quote from Bob Avakian (BA), “The role of the police is not to serve and protect the people. It is to serve and protect the system that rules over the people...” (See BAsics, 1:24). During the march we would at times form a horizontal line behind the banner, drawing everyone’s attention to this formation in “Revolution—Nothing Less!” T-shirts, which included new people who had just joined in through the protests of the last two days. At one point we started chanting, “Trump loves cops, cops love Trump, HELL NO! THEY ALL GOTTA GO!” Not everybody caught on to this chant right away, and there was even some opposition to it, while others loved it, including a young woman hanging out of one of the cars riding along in the protest who threw her middle finger up in the rhythm of the chant. Along the march people took signs with “We Say No More! Revolution—Nothing Less!” and taped them on their cars or bodies and grabbed the posters being distributed with BA’s “Nothing Less!”statement and the history and significance of the racist violence in Tulsa and Trump’s campaign starting there. People familiar with the Revcoms in different ways were finding us there, some joining in on the spot to help get out materials. 

When the march got to the Compton sheriff’s station, the sheriffs were lined up in riot gear behind a metal fence and threatening people. Much of the youthful protest defiantly went right up to the fence, shouting and chanting in the face of the sheriffs, and Aztec dancers went to the front and danced. The father of Andrés Guardado gathered his courage to speak briefly to the crowd, expressing his grief and pain and his appreciation for people being there together and the need to put a stop to this. This opened up a speak-out where four other families of people murdered by police got on the mic and told their stories, further painting a real picture of the pig nature of these murderous police.

As the rally was coming to a close, the sheriffs put their brutality and inhumanness on full display. On the other side of the building where they were also lined up in riot gear, they began shooting tear gas, rubber bullets, and flash bangs at people who were in their faces, refusing to back down. Over and over again they would shoot something and the small crowd would fall back and gather again.

At one point, a couple of young Latino guys went and stood up close directly in front of the sheriffs with their backs turned and hands behind their heads. They had already been tear-gassed and their faces were red and puffy. Some people have said that Andrés was shot in the back with his hands up this way when he was killed. Some of us joined with them and gathered others to do the same and formed a line in front of the sheriffs, shouting out Andrés’ name. The sheriffs decided not to keep shooting at people in this circumstance. Instead, they started circling a helicopter overhead, threatening people with more violence and arrest. As this was happening, a second standoff was occurring back on the other side of the building. These standoffs went on for about an hour. 

As they were happening, there were other groupings of people who had been part of the earlier rally gathered on the sidewalk away from the building, talking and getting organized. Those in our crew who weren’t in the middle of the standoff were able to talk to people there. A student who grew up in Compton said he wants to be part of an organization and he was attracted to the banner and asked how he could participate. From a report from a comrade: “I gave him the Tulsa statement and asked him to read the BA statement. He said I completely agree, I’m with this. He asked how can he start organizing now and I put the problem back to him that not enough people know about this revolution and its leadership, so spreading the word is an important way in going to work at that. He took a stack of flyers and we talked about the need for growing numbers of people to represent for this revolution and call on others to get organized into this revolution as part of accelerating the process of actually making revolution. We read the 5-2-6 and told him to get a shirt if he agrees, to begin to represent... He ended up buying three shirts (one for him and for his siblings).”

Lots of other important conversations were happening throughout the whole day, and some of these continued at a meeting the next day. More on that soon.

Andrés Guardado

“The organizers of the march explicitly expressed unity between Black and Brown people, and this was beautifully seen as the mainly Latino march made its way through Compton and Black people came out to watch and support, some with fists up.”

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