We Can't Stop! We Won't Stop!
Take Our Fight Against Police Brutality Higher
By Carl Dix, National Spokesperson, RCP,USA
Revolutionary Worker #1027, October 24, 1999
October 22nd 1999--the fourth annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation is more on time than ever! In dozens of cities coast to coast, thousands will be in the house with a bold message: "We will not bow down to police and Migra brutality, our youth will not bow down to being treated like criminals. WE WILL STAND UP AS ONE."
I want to send a shout out to all the proud sisters and brothers, especially the new generation, who will be on the front lines on October 22nd. Joining raised fists and voices will be folks from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Nation of Islam, Amnesty International and the Watts Committee Against Police Brutality. College students and lawyers will be mixing it up with courageous family members of police-murder victims, youth from the 'hood, priests and immigrant rights activists. Thousands will be wearing black at their schools, places where they work or live--in memory of the victims and in a show of resistance.
We must take note of how much our resistance has changed things on this front. In just the past year, we've seen an explosion of resistance across the U.S. In New York; Riverside, California; Chicago and other cities, hundreds and at times thousands poured into the streets to protest outrageous cases of police murder. Several national demos against police brutality have been held this year. Our coalition's work has contributed to this development.
The October 22nd Coalition has helped to raise the level of national awareness AND resistance to police brutality. Thousands who suffer police abuse are now speaking out and fighting back. Many middle class people who are usually kept in the dark about how the cops routinely mistreat people on the bottom of society are joining us in the demand for justice. We got to keep it up, and TAKE IT HIGHER.
We need to and can do this NOW. On this October 22nd, we bring the fury of knowing that cops in New York killed another seven people just in August, and followed that piggery with a Nazi-like rally in support of the four cops that pumped 41 bullets into young Amadou Diallo. We bring our red-hot rage at how California cops pumped 27 rounds into Tyisha Miller as she sat unconscious in her own car. We bring our burning anger about the two young Black people murdered by Chicago pigs within hours of each other for the "crime" of DWB (driving while Black or brown). And we bring our rage at the death warrant just signed on Mumia Abu-Jamal by the governor of Pennsylvania.
Eight years ago the LAPD shocked the world with their savage beating of Rodney King. Today they are once again exposed as a bunch of cowardly, sick thugs and murderers. LAPD pigs handcuffed and shot 19-year-old Javier Ovando in the face, then planted a rifle in Javier's hands and got him convicted with a 23-year jail term. Javier did three years in jail before the truth came out in the recent LAPD scandal, but he is left paralyzed for life. So far 12 other L.A. cops have been suspended for things like robbing banks, stealing and dealing drugs, planting evidence and framing hundreds of people.
What was done to Javier was not "an isolated incident" by "a few rogue cops" but a typical case in the nationwide epidemic of police brutality. All across the U.S., cops and Migra murder with impunity, and they are backed up by almost all their fellow cops, backed up by mayors and courts, backed up by Janet Reno and Bill Clinton. The new edition of the Stolen Lives book documents 2,000 cases of people killed by law enforcement nationwide.
A whole generation is being criminalized by gang databases, curfews, and "3 strike" laws. Beautiful young brothers AND sisters are locked up, beat down, and shot down in record numbers by racist cops and prison guards, sent up by pig-hearted judges and heartless bureaucrats. The U.S. has the largest prison population in the world, almost two million people, and most of them are young. Just chilling out or driving a fancy car can mean getting sweated or killed by the cops. Being Black, Latino, an immigrant, poor, or YOUNG--like Amadou Diallo, Tyisha Miller, Javier Ovando and so many others--makes you a special target of brutal, murdering cops.
The system has nothing but a nightmare future for the new generation. This is made crystal clear by things like the ballot initiative in California's March 2000 elections. Politicians are moving to try, sentence and imprison kids as young as 14 as adults, including giving them the death penalty, expanding the use of "3 strikes" laws, and giving police more powers to gather and use wiretaps as evidence.
For our youth, even a small step onto the wrong side of the law--or getting framed by some pig--can follow them from the cradle to the grave, locking them out of decent jobs, education, housing and mainstream society. On this October 22nd, let the angry and defiant attitude of the new generation take center stage. We've got to keep up our struggle because the problems that the October 22nd Coalition exists to deal with are still here--the 24-7 police brutality, repression and criminalizing our youth.
For many of the fighters against police brutality, all this raises some sharp questions. Questions like: What will it take to do away with brutal cops and a system that needs them? Just what kind of society do we live in where the lives and futures of our young people mean nothing to the system and their enforcers? Why are the prisons overflowing with mostly youth and people of color, while affirmative action is destroyed and education is cut to the bone? Why do Black and Latino people risk harassment and even murder by the police just for driving through a white neighborhood? Why do immigrants seeking a job to feed their families get brutalized, deported or killed by the INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service, aka La Migra)?
In short, because this is the dog-eat-dog system of capitalism, that's why! It's a profit system based on the exploitation of the many by the few. White supremacy and male supremacy are woven into the very fabric of how this system works--and has always worked. The police are a key piece of the machinery the capitalists use against those they exploit and oppress. That's why the system's cops have a razor-sharp racist edge to their brutality. Capitalism can never deliver full justice nor equality which would require an immediate and complete end to police brutality, repression and the criminalization of a generation.
Right now the powers-that-be are reorganizing how they maximize exploiting and oppressing the have-nots, in order to further the expansion needs of their global empire. And they are bringing the hammer down harder on our people as part of this. But as they do this, they need to suppress possible resistance coming from below. And they need to line up the middle class behind the system's efforts to maintain law and order. Their law is keeping this upside down order of the ways things are and has nothing to do with justice.
The Revolutionary Communist Party is all the way down with the people's struggle to get justice NOW. But to get complete justice, the dog-eat-dog system of capitalism--and the whole machinery they use to keep the people down--has to be destroyed. That means revolution--mass armed proletarian revolution--when the time is ripe.
With power in the hands of the people, we can create a society where common people run things, in common, for the common good of ALL. A society based on new economics--serving the needs of the majority of people--and new social relations of equality and justice. A classless, communist society. We can build a world where there'll be no more haves sitting on top of have-nots, no more racism, no more male domination. A world where the youth are cherished and encouraged as they should be--as the hopes and dreams of society.
So for us revolutionary communists, October 22nd has a bigger dimension than getting justice against brutal, murdering cops, as crucial as that is. We see it as part of preparing for the future when revolution will be possible, and increasing its chances of winning when it does come. We see that to get from today to where we could launch the all-out revolutionary assault on the system, we have to organize the people to fight the attacks coming down, and build our unity, strength and organization as we do that.
From this revolutionary perspective, October 22nd is a day for the people to stand up and strengthen our fight against being brutalized and crushed by the powers and their enforcers. At the same time, we see the unity of different sections of people, the energy and creativity of the new generation, our fierce struggle against a common enemy forged on this day, as part of building up a revolutionary movement to put an end to a system that brings down police brutality and a thousand other daily abuses down on the people.
Let October 22nd be a most powerful day of resistance. Let it be a day when we say: NO MORE POLICE BRUTALITY, REPRESSION AND THE CRIMINALIZATION OF A GENERATION. Let it be a day when we condemn the death warrant handed down on Mumia Abu-Jamal. Together with the new generation, we will fight for a better world in the new millennium where all the madness of this system is history!
This article is posted in English and Spanish on Revolutionary Worker Online
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