Stop Police Brutality 1998!

October 22 Coalition Calls for National Day of Protest

Revolutionary Worker #965, July 12, 1998

We received this press release from the October 22 Coalition:

The Call for a National Day of Protest on October 22nd, 1998, to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation!

Please print and distribute!

1998--The epidemic of police brutality continues to intensify all across the U.S. Every year hundreds are shot down in cold blood, beaten to death or suffocated with pepper spray. Tens of thousands more every year suffer police abuse short of death. This brutality mostly targets Blacks, Latinos, and other people of color. But as the economic and social repression spawning this police violence deepens, it's spilling over into white working class neighborhoods. Often victims of police brutality are themselves jailed and charged with assault on a police officer. Hundreds of immigrants are killed or disappeared by the U.S. border patrol for trying to enter the country in search of work and survival. Immigrants who make it into the country are often victimized by the police and terrorized into silence by threats of deportation and worse. Who will stop police murder and brutality?

1998--1.7 million people are in prisons across the country, most of them young, Black or Latino, and most are in prison for non-violent offenses. Congress is debating lowering the execution age to fifteen and imprisoning juveniles with hardened adult offenders. A whole generation of our youth is being treated like criminals based on how they dress, their attitude, the color of their skin or where they live. Who will stop the criminalization of a generation?

1998--Very basic legal rights, such as the right to challenge wrongful imprisonment, are being stripped away from our people. Surveillance cameras are popping up at intersections, on buildings, in parks, high schools and even public bathrooms as the right to privacy is slowly whittled away. All this hits poor and oppressed people hardest as the authorities flood their neighborhoods with police who set up roadblocks, demand to see ID and conduct warrantless searches. More than 100 overtly "political prisoners" languish in U.S. jails--people like Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier--simply because they dared to resist this brutality and repression. Who will stop this growing government repression?

Who will stop this? No one but us! People are already resisting in many ways. Parents and other family members of victims of police brutality are inspiring others with their resistance. Demonstrations and other forms of protest are on the rise. There has been just resistance to violent police suppression in St. Petersburg, FL, Chicago's Cabrini Green housing projects, and elsewhere. Many different kinds of people are getting involved in this fight--young people tired of being scapegoated for society's ills, ministers, lawyers, teachers, grassroots people and others. All this resistance needs to be brought together in a powerful movement that can say `NO!' to the authorities' program of answering every problem with more cops and more prisons.

October 22, 1998, the third annual NDP, is just the day to do that. Last year, people in more than fifty cities across the U.S. took to the streets on October 22nd. The day was marked by youthfulness, determination, and great diversity, as people of many different races and backgrounds came together. If you have ever been a victim of police brutality, if you have lost a loved one, or if you are outraged when you read about someone being brutalized by the cops, then you need to be a part of NDP3. On this day we will rally more of those victimized by brutal, murdering cops to stand up and resist. And we will bring over to their side many more people from different backgrounds, people who normally are unaware of the naked terror police are given a green light to inflict on people in the ghettos and barrios, to stand together in the fight against police brutality.

October 22, 1998 will be a day of marches, rallies, cultural events, teach-ins and other forms of protest in cities across the U.S. and beyond. Many will wear black in memory of the victims of police violence and in solidarity with the protests. An updated edition of the book, Stolen Lives, will document additional cases of murder at the hands of the police. We urge all victims of police brutality and all who believe it must end--and end NOW--to join us in this critical fight for justice!


This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
Write: Box 3486, Merchandise Mart, Chicago, IL 60654
Phone: 773-227-4066 Fax: 773-227-4497
(The RW Online does not currently communicate via email.)