Revolution Online, April 12, 2012
Day of Outrage in Los Angeles—Protests in the community and on the campus
Revolution received the following correspondence:
April 10, Los Angeles, late afternoon: A bold and electrifying speakout and march took place in the Crenshaw area (a major area of the city with a concentration of Black people), making a powerful political statement: "Trayvon didn't have to die, we all know the reason why, the whole damn system is guilty, the whole damn system is guilty."
This was different than anything that's gone on in Los Angeles around Trayvon Martin up until now. It drew revolutionary-minded people and people who consciously were making a decision to be part of something that was about the masses standing up and expressing their outrage and anger. The crowd was mainly Black people along with people of other nationalities. A few folks from Occupy Los Angeles came. People brought their own banners and signs. This protest of outrage punctured through in a moment of all the media bombardment of lies and with different class forces working very hard to channel the anger of the masses back into the system.
At the speakout, a mother whose son was killed by the police spoke, as did revolutionary communist Clyde Young. A woman who recently got Revolution newspaper wrote a short piece based on reading the newspaper. She called it, "Revolution news, It's time to get radical," and she read it at the speakout.
After the speakout, the masses took to the street with the KJLH (radio free music station) street team van rolling behind the marchers, helping to block traffic. There were lots of people honking all along the way. People were called on to join. The march grew as many did join in, including high school students, and those who didn't join in were cheering on the marchers.
There was a second mini-speakout, and several youth spoke bitterly there about it's time to put an end to this shit. Then the march returned to the park and a few people stayed for another hour to talk to the revolutionaries.
Earlier on this Day of Outrage, when students got out of a local high school, the revolutionaries we were at the corner with Revolution newspaper, signs, and doing agitation on the bullhorn. Students passing by shouted "fuck the system" and "fuck the police," many stopped and gathered around to get more stickers or to talk. Hundreds of stickers, "We are all Trayvon Martin, the whole system is guilty," had gotten out at this high school in the two days leading up to the Day of Outrage. Parents were stopping their cars—some to get the newspaper and some who wanted to argue. One youth who was very serious stood around listening and checking everything out, said "we need a revolution, what do we do," and bought BAsics immediately. Another youth later came to the park and brought his younger brother. And another came and spoke at the mini-speakout.
April 10, UCLA, noon: The banner read "UCLA says: We Are All Trayvon Martin; The Whole Damn System Is Guilty!" And it was getting more and more filled with names and messages as students stepped forward, and at times lined up, to get a chance to sign it, and put on a sticker with the same message. In many cases students were taking flyers and stickers back to their dorm, to their classes, to their friends.
Three Bruin women's basketball players [all three white] signed, and then posed for a picture. Not long after, three men's basketball players, [all three Black] signed, one after another. One of the students from the men's team said, "I think we're out here for a good cause. We're here to bring information to the people … we have a powerful voice as athletes, more so than regular students." Asked why it has touched Black people so deeply, he responded: "Because everyone sees Trayvon in their nephew, their son, or their cousin…you know, he just got shot for wearing a hoodie… that's crazy."
Occupy UCLA endorsed the Day of Outrage and put the announcement for it on their Facebook, and many of the O-UCLA students came out to show support. Administrators and staff people came; teaching assistants and others put their name on the banner, and many added short messages to Trayvon's family and the people of Sanford, Florida.
A large group of Latino middle school students from Arvin, California, about two hours away, saw the banner and came over to sign. One Latina said, "We signed it because we really thought what was done to him was wrong, and that shouldn't have happened."
When people found out that the plan was to send the banner to the people in Sanford organizing for Justice for Trayvon, they realized even more the importance of what they were a part of; letting people there know that students at UCLA were standing with them was going to send a message that people all over are fighting for justice.
On the spot, people called for a meeting on campus Friday to discuss how to go forward and to build a movement on the UCLA campus.
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