Revolution #270, May 27, 2012
WHY I'M GOING TO SANFORD
This was posted at basicsbustour.tumblr.com on May 23:
Tomorrow morning, I'm traveling to Sanford, FL. The scene of the crime where Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a wanna-be-cop. The place where police refused to arrest Trayvon's killer, George Zimmerman, for six weeks. The place where thousands and thousands of people stood up and fought until the arrest was made. And the place where—despite all of this—public opinion is being created for Zimmerman's acquittal.
I'll be meeting up with the BAsics Bus Tour to deliver a message to the people of Sanford, to people across the country and to the people of the world: NOT THIS TIME! (See my video announcement about this HERE). Too many times we have seen Black youth gunned down by cops or wanna-be-cops, too many times we have seen these killers get away scot free.
As Bob Avakian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, has declared: "No more generations of our youth, here and all around the world, whose life is over, whose fate has been sealed, who have been condemned to an early death or a life of misery and brutality, whom the system has destined for oppression and oblivion even before they are born. I say no more of that."
This quote from Avakian is written on a banner that the BAsics Bus Tour has been taking out to oppressed communities as it rolled through Atlanta and headed south. Hundreds of people from housing projects, in immigrant neighborhoods, at high schools and others places have added their names to this banner. While signing, people told their own stories of abuse and vicious brutality by the police, of years of hard labor in the Georgia sun while incarcerated, of sons lost to police bullets. The BAsics Bus Tour is carrying with it all this—the defiance and the hopes of those hundreds of people, of hundreds more who signed similar banners in places like Chicago and Los Angeles and New York and beyond, and the thousands and millions more who feel the same way—as we meet up in Sanford.
To those in the media and others who are working to contain the righteous anger that has burst forth against the murder of Trayvon who are now saying, "It's time to get out of the streets and let the legal system work!" I say this: The system was working when the Sanford Police let Trayvon's killer walk the night of his murder. The system was working when the Sanford Police ran a drug test on Trayvon's dead body but not on the still-living man who pulled the trigger. The system is working now as stories turn up in the news portraying Zimmerman as the victim. The system is working now as Trayvon's reputation [is dragged] through the mud.
The only way justice will be won is if people stay in the streets.
On FRIDAY at 4 pm, we will take this banner in protest to the front of the Sanford Police Department.
We are NOT going to the Sanford Police Department because this is the only police station filled with racist and brutal cops. People across the country took up the slogan, "We are all Trayvon" because police and vigilante violence against oppressed youth is so common it is pretty much a "right of passage" for Blacks and Latinos. As such, we are going to Sanford to draw a line. NO MORE!
This is not an issue for Black people alone. If you care about justice, you need to be there with us. Come down and stand with us physically or send a message of support to be delivered with us, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org
On Saturday, I will be joining with the BAsics Bus Tour to formally deliver this banner and its messages from people throughout the region to the people of Sanford.
This message from Bob Avakian, which has been signed by hundreds of others, is directly relevant to the case of Trayvon Martin—but it is also much bigger than that.
As everyone knows, but very few like to talk about, the USA's terror against Black people didn't begin with Trayvon Martin—or even with the nation-wide epidemic of police brutality and murder. It began with kidnappings from Africa, continued on the auction blocks, includes those experimented on by medical science after slavery was formally abolished, includes those chained to the land as share-croppers and terrorized and lynched by nightriding KKK after that, and is going on today through the slow genocide of mass incarceration.
Further, when we join with Bob Avakian in this statement we are not even only talking about Black people. We are talking about the women and young girls throughout the world sold into sexual slavery in the millions, about the children toiling in the fields and the sweatshops around the world to make our clothes and our iPhones, about the children torn from their parents who risk their lives to cross the US/Mexican border in a desperate search for work, about the children whose lives are stolen under US bombs from Afghanistan to Pakistan and beyond.
It is ALL THIS—and so much more—to which we are saying, NO MORE!
Further, by joining with Bob Avakian in making this statement, people throughout the region have not only found a way to give expression to their deeply felt demand for justice, they have been learning about and joining with the revolutionary leader whose work opens the door to putting an end to all this madness once and for all.
This statement of "no more" is a quote from Bob Avakian's BAsics. This bus tour has been spreading his works to people as it rolled thru the South, introducing people to a leader who has dug into the experience of previous revolutionary societies, highlighting their great achievements, fearlessly examining their errors and shortcomings and thru that developing a new approach to revolution and communism that gives us a very real basis to make good on our declaration of NO MORE.
At this moment, when—in broad daylight and before the eyes of millions—the system prepares to sweep the murder of another Black youth under the rug, two things are imperative to all those with eyes and a conscience.
First, don't stand on the sidelines at this moment when history is pivoting. Will this case be remembered as one more nail in the coffin of a whole generation, a green light to murder and profile and destroy… and the demoralization and feeling of defeat for millions who just began to lift their heads and fight for an end to this… or will this represent a win, and an advance in the fight to go even further—the strengthening and the opening up of possibilities both in what can be achieved and in what people dare for and dream of. A young supporter of the revolution recently put it this way, "There are no do-overs when it comes to times like this. You don't get a second chance to do what is needed… we only get one, people choose to either fight back or stand aside while lives are stolen."
Second, while we stand in this fight together, dig into the work of Bob Avakian and be part of spreading his work and leadership. A good place to start with this is by viewing his talk, Revolution: Why It's Necessary, Why It's Possible, What It's All About. Because of Bob Avakian and the work he has done over several decades, summing up the positive and negative experience of the communist revolution so far, and drawing from a broad range of human experience, there is a new synthesis of communism that has been brought forward—there really is a viable vision and strategy for a radically new, and much better, society and world, and there is the crucial leadership that is needed to carry forward the struggle toward that goal.
This weekend, the place to be is Sanford with the BAsics Bus Tour. I'm joining it, and I encourage you to do the same. If you can't make it down to Sanford, then get on the bus in spirit—go to: basicsbustour.tumblr.com. Follow the bus tour on line, spread the word on it to everyone you know, and support it. And follow me on Twitter @carl_dix to get reports on the BAsics Bus Tour rolling thru Sanford.
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