The Police Are STILL Killing Unarmed People, and This Must STOP!

Cornel West and Carl Dix Speak

Click to read a rush transcript of these remarks by Carl Dix and Cornel West.

The evening of April 6: Over 300 people packed the sanctuary of St. Paul & St. Andrews Church on the upper west side of New York City, and others around the country watched by livestream as Carl Dix and Cornel West presented a compelling, passionate, irrefutable case for the need to respond to an EMERGENCY: The Police Are STILL Killing Unarmed People and This Must STOP! TO ACT—for massive outpourings on April 14.

In addition to Carl Dix and Cornel West, people heard damning testimony by families of victims of police murder. They were challenged by young activists from the Revolution Club. There were very significant messages from activists and artists—Alice Walker, Cindy Sheehan, Eve Ensler, Andre Royo, Richard Brown, Charles Burnett and Arturo O'Farrill—standing with shutting it down on April 14. People came with a sense of great urgency, and left with a greatly heightened understanding in their minds, and powerful feeling in their souls, of the need to SHUT IT DOWN on April 14.

Three Strikes by Bob Avakian

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Family members of Stolen Lives

Parents of Stolen Lives at the April 6 program.
From left:
Nicholas Heyward, Sr.,
    father of Nicholas Heyward, Jr.
Juanita Young, mother of Malcolm Ferguson
Hawa Bah, mother of Mohamed Bah

Messages to the April 6 Program

From Alice Walker:

From Collette Flanagan

From Cindy Sheehan:













Arturo O'Farrill

"I want to talk about three things that changed my life. And strangely all of them have to do with my children. The first of them was the birth of my sons Zachery and Adam. And looking at them as infants and the incredible vulnerability that they showed as helpless babies was something that moved me the second I laid eyes on them. The second thing that changed my life was 9/11. And their school was down wind of the burning buildings in Brooklyn, at the foot of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. And as the sky filled with a vague smoke that frightened me, I pulled my children outside and I said you must not hate because of this. But I did also tell them you must fear people in governments. (clapping) You must fear those who control our lives because this is what happens. And the third thing that remarkably changed my life forever was the killing, the murder of Ramarley Graham. My son was the same age. And for some reason I feel like up until that point, I was really kind of below the radar. I knew things were wrong, but I didn't understand how wrong they were until I understood what happened in the Bronx at the hands of Richard Haste the cop who murdered him. And Ramarley Graham was murdered in such a ruthless manner, in such a violent way. My son was exactly the same age, my youngest one was exactly the same age. And it gripped (unclear) my life and changed me. And these three events turned me from someone who understood that I was just a jazz musician to someone who had to do something more. (clapping) And in fact what has happened to me since those cases I realized that I was at first just in love with the piano, then I was in love with Miles Davis, then I was in love with fame, fortune, maybe I thought I'd get laid, I don't know. But at one point, I realized that music, art, theater, dance without a commitment to community and justice is meaningless and empty. (clapping) And so I guess what I am saying to you is really that none of us can fly below the radar any more. None of us can refuse to connect our lives, our work, what we do, who we are to this incredibly important struggle. And I will say this now there is nothing more important than stopping the murder of unarmed citizens. Nothing is more important than the first step, it changes everything. So I will lend my voice tonight, I realize that I am in the company of incredible speakers. I wish I had a piano. Where's the piano. I will lend my voice to these incredible great men and women who are here today and say that on the 14th we must walk out, walk out of your business, walk out of your classroom, walk out of your apartment, walk out of your complacency, walk out of all that you think you know, and take part in the real world. Walk out of the gray world and walk into the world of the sun and stand with the people of the sun. The gray world doesn't exist. Thank you."

From Eve Ensler:

"On April 14 I will walk out and stand up with #ShutDownA14 to say with all my heart that the murder of black and brown people by the police MUST stop. That there must be immediate justice for all the victims of brutal, murdering police. That police responsible for these murders must be indicted and convicted. That until this happens, we cannot rest or stop. Now is the moment to go the distance with more determination and commitment, with more connection and resistance. To demand a country where everyone is treated with dignity, respect, compassion, and love. See you in the streets April 14."

From Charles Burnett:

"What I have to say might seem like separate issues but they are all tied together. The main problem is that we failed as a democracy. Not to take anything away from vital issues that are hot topic.

"Black lives are taken with impunity, and schools being mostly pathways to prisons. Everything is at a cost. The right to vote is being challenged. Who cried out? It seems that it is all about race, but the gap between the rich and poor is growing wider as we speak. The economy suffers while we fight among ourselves. The list of things to tackle is overwhelming. We are a divided nation like our cities are divided along racial and class boundaries under a national government that never intended this country to be a true democracy. What do we expect from a two party system? We need more opposing voices. We need better representation. We need to start by opening the presidential debates to have all political parties and keep money out of elections if possible. That is nothing new. The question is how long before we wake up?"