Tag Archives: Police Brutality

Burning All Illusions Tonight

U&S NYC will be at the #IndictAmerica action tonight at 7pm, beginning at Union Square.  If you’re in NYC, meet us at the Northwest corner of the Square at 7pm by the #IndictAmerica flag.  Below is our statement, written with other members of the Trayvon Martin Organizing Committee.

Burning All Illusions Tonight

Another black youth dead. The killer pig walks free. This is “justice.” And we’re supposed to just take it.

The Ferguson grand jury confirms what many already know: this system will never give us justice. The only way to prevent another Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Renisha McBride or Sean Bell is to dismantle the whole damn system. To abolish the cops, the prisons, and the fake-ass democracy of capitalist rule.

Capitalist white supremacy requires that cops kill us. Real talk: the police exist to serve and protect capitalism, wealth and the people in power. It’s their job to attack anyone who gets in the way. If we want to stop killer cops, we have to burn the system to the ground, and replace it with something completely new. Not small businesses, or new politicians, or even a new state–but a world run by us, the people, to fulfill our own needs and wants. True freedom. We build this world by fighting back.

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How can we advance the anti-police brutality struggle?

Reflections by Nightwolf and Mamos from Seattle Unity and Struggle

The week of August 30th, 2010 saw five people murdered by police throughout Washington State, including John T. Williams. Williams was a First Nations carver who was shot four times by police officer Ian Birk while walking with a closed carving knife and a block of wood.  Birk gave Williams only four seconds warning before opening fire, and Williams, who is partially deaf, may not have heard his commands.

This murder, along with several other recent cases of police brutality against Black and Latino folks in Seattle has sparked a small but vibrant movement against police terrorism.  Here we will analyze the potentials and the limitations of this movement.  While we are very critical of some of the players in this movement, our goal is not to hate on folks- it is to open a rigorous and honest discussion about how we can advance the struggle beyond its current limitations.   We need to advance the struggle because we don’t want more people in our communities to die at the hands of killer cops. Every day we are struggling and organizing against the effects of the economic crisis in our workplaces , schools, and neighborhoods and we need to organize citywide and country-wide networks of resistance  and solidarity to make sure these small embryonic struggles are not shut down through joint repression by the bosses, landlords, and cops.

This reflection is broken into two essays.  In the first one, “The Rainbow Coalition stomps the flames”, Nightwolf analyzes how liberal people of color leaders worked with the cops to try and dampen the explosion of anger in communities of color  following John T. Williams’ death; he puts this in historical context, showing how it relates to the successes and failures of the 1960s and 70s movements against white supremacy.

In the second piece, “Workers spread the embers”, Mamos analyzes some of the small but promising actions against police brutality that have emerged in Seattle the past few months and asks how these actions can deepen and how they can connect to other forms of working class organizing going on in Seattle now.  He  explores the role that  militant worker networks like Seattle Solidarity Network and International Workers and Students for Justice could play in challenging state violence.

While these essays reflect on anti-police brutality struggles, they raise much broader questions that are really relevant for a number of different struggles in Seattle and in other cities.  While these essays may not present a full answer to the question of how to stop police brutality, they are an attempt to prompt discussion about the current political impasse our movements are  in and to think creatively about how to move beyond it.

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Reflections on Thanksgiving by a Native Revolutionary

-Mamos

So today  is Thanksgiving.   In this piece, Ahiga Kotori, a Seneca revolutionary and a friend of ours here in Seattle reflects on the holiday.  He asks: what do we really have to be thankful for?   Are folks giving thanks for U.S. capitalism and white supremacy, for 518 years of colonial settlement of North America, for a nation built on stolen Native land and an economy lubricated with Native blood? Why, if these do not really benefit people of color? As Malcolm X said, “we didn’t land on Plymouth Rock, Plymouth Rock landed on us.”

We have been organizing with Ahiga Kotori and many others this fall demanding Justice for John T. Williams.  Williams, a Native American woodcarver was gunned down by  Seattle cop Ian Birk who claimed Williams refused to drop his carving knife.  Investigations have shown that Williams’ knife was not even open and that Birk shot him in the side after giving him only four seconds of warning.  This, as well as several other recent  cases of police brutality against Latino and Black folks, has sparked a multi-racial coalition of working and poor people  to mobilize against the cops.  We will reflect on this movement and analyze it soon, but for now we’ll leave you with Kotori’s haunting question: “what does John T. Williams have to be thankful for?”  While American society gives thanks for the triumphs of empire, and “progress” forged through the death of indigenous peoples, let’s pause to remember that the state the Pilgrims began to establish still claims the lives of oppressed peoples and this will not stop until we dismantle it and replace it with a new society we can truly give thanks for.

That’s why, unless snow disrupts the bus lines, we’ll be out there protesting, responding to Kotori’s call to action.

This Thanksgiving…..

I was wondering if anybody would be willing to have a protest of some kind?  Because in my opinion, this is just the same as the Holocaust except the difference is, we don’t celebrate the Holocaust. Though the Holocaust was horrible, it was a six year thing. Most of it. Our oppression has been going for 518 years. 78 million have died as a result. When Columbus got here there were 80 million people of different tribes and tongues. This was just in the U.S. territories alone!  Yet by the time the white man’s conquest was over, there are a little over 2 million left. Unlike the Jews of Europe, we barely have our identity.

Growing up in the hood, the main people I saw were Blacks and my cousins, who were full blooded Senecas. That experience had me thinking that maybe all non-Native people shouldn’t leave , leaving us the land. Maybe just whites.

Then I meet some white revolutionaries and now I know there are SOME good white people.

However, now, I see that despite the fact that the white man keeps all minorities down, for whatever reason, people of color who are non- tribal, are celebrating Thanksgiving!

Now in the heart of our struggle we must think about the future, what society we want for ourselves, our future, our, children, we must find a way to coexist as men, women, Blacks, Natives, Irish, Italian, Euros, Jews Arabs, Latinos , Muslims, gay men and women. And actually being able to force all non native people off the continent would be a long and difficult and frankly unnecessary task. So that said, if you all are going to stay, I ask for your help in our struggle as we will help with yours.

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Against Police Brutality

Building off of our last discussion on cop-watch and anti-police brutality work, here is a pamphlet created by All Communities Against Brutality (A.C.A.B.), a group in Houston, TX.

This publication is helpful for thinking about, not just the role of police in capitalist society, but the social process of policing.  And just as social forces are never isolated to any one locale — whether school, work, or the community — A.C.A.B. notes that police presence and repression is just as ubiquitous in almost every aspect of our lives.

(Note: the pagination of this pamphlet is arranged to be printed and bound.)

Police Brutality in Los Angeles

-Will

Check out this documentary on the police brutality immigrants faced in 2007 in Macarthur Park in Los Angeles.  There is also an important story about what the Non-Profit, CHIRLA, did in this march and after. It raises deep questions about the nature of the Non-Profit complex itself, but that can be explored in discussion.

This piece was made by folks in Revolutionary Autonomous Communities. They have been doing some important work. I hope they update their blog more often so word can get out.