Revolution #280, September 16, 2012
Interview with Carl Dix:
Blowing the Whistle on September 13—
And Making Our Message Real
Revolution: Why should people go all out on September 13 to Blow the Whistle on Stop-and-Frisk in New York City and answer the Call for Nationwide Resistance to Racial Profiling, Police Brutality and Murder and the Pipeline Leading to Mass Incarceration?
Carl Dix: Two very important reasons. One is the very intense way the criminal “injustice” system as a whole is being unleashed on people: racial profiling, the almost two-and-a-half million people being warehoused across the county, the five million plus people discriminated against even after they’ve served their sentences—denied employment, government loans, public housing, not even allowed to vote. This is a very intense situation for tens of millions of people; their lives are enmeshed in the justice, or the injustice system as I like to refer to it. But at the same time there is a mood of defiance and resistance that’s been building. We saw it in the response to the legal murder of Troy Davis, after the vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin, with the civil disobedience actions to protest stop-and-frisk, the hunger strikes in California prisons that then spread to other states. And there is a need for that resistance to be taken to a higher level. That’s the point of September 13.
Everybody who sees this injustice needs to see September 13 as the day that we blow the whistle on all of this shit and act on it in a number of different ways—people going to prisons, to the courthouses where people get framed up, to the neighborhoods of the oppressed where the racial profiling is intense. In Anaheim people might go to the scene of the recent murders that were carried out by the police or to the police precinct where the pigs who did these murders work. Or blowing the whistle on stop-and-frisk all over New York City like what is going to happen here and delivering a message that we will no longer suffer this abuse in silence and that we have to and can do something about everything that the police and the whole criminal justice system does to us. This is a very, very important message that needs to be delivered all across the country.
We’re trying to unleash a social media campaign. Our tweets are being re-tweeted and picked up by others; others are putting it on their Facebook page. We don’t know how far it’s gonna go, but we’re calling on people—no secrets, send pictures, video, written reports if you wanna go real old school, but send in word of what you did on this day and blow the whistle on all the crap the criminal injustice system and its enforcers are bringing down on the people. People should tweet about blowing the whistle on September 13—on stop-and-frisk, on the torture-like conditions in prison, on police brutality and police murder, on mass incarceration and all of its consequences. And we’ve developed a hash tag—#S13—that people should use on their tweets. People can go to stopmassincarceration.org and get an organizing kit to use and they can post it up on their Facebook; they can also tweet that link. That’s the kind of thing that we’re trying to unleash.
Revolution: What do you hope will be accomplished on September 13?
Dix: When people step out and blow the whistle, there’s going to be a new day, a whole different scene on this. Because up til now, too much what it’s been is people suffering this abuse in silence, people taking it and even blaming themselves, or blaming each other, for what comes down, that this is your own fault, that this comes down on you because of what you do. And we have to break with that. We gotta stand up and resist. But we also have to look out for each other, have each other’s backs. We have to stand together against what they do to us, instead of looking out for number one and stabbing each other in the back. There’s gotta be a new culture and a new day.
It’s gonna begin in some places, it’s gonna be uneven, but the idea is to gather in different parts of the city on September 13, but then to spread the word on it—to go where people have not yet heard about this and tell them why we’re blowing the whistle, bring them whistles for them to join in. And that’s also why we need to get reports of what goes on around the country so people can get a sense that they’re not isolated, but that they’re part of a growing nationwide movement.
This is actually an application of something we in the Revolutionary Communist Party speak to in our strategy for revolution in a country like this—“fighting the power, and transforming the people, for revolution.” It’s people standing up, resisting what’s being done to them and to other people. And as people resist they get a better sense of what it is they are up against, that these aren’t isolated problems, but that they stem from a system, from the very way this system operates and that when people stand up there are allies that can be drawn to come to their side and stand with them in the fight. But also, people come to see more what kind of a fight is necessary to actually win, that it’s revolution that we need to get rid of all this madness once and for all. And we have the leadership we need for this revolution in Bob Avakian, the leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, who has dug into previous revolutionary societies and re-envisioned how to make revolution and how to bring into being a society and a world that people would want to live in, to emancipate all of humanity.
And so that’s the process going on here and what will come out of this is both a stronger fight against all the ways the criminal injustice system comes down on people, but also people lifting their heads, getting a sense what they’re up against, the kind of struggle needed to break through and win, and people joining the movement for revolution.
Revolution: OK, so what’s next after September 13, building off of what is accomplished?
Dix: Coming off September 13, there has to be a sense that the days of suffering the injustice of mass incarceration and all its consequences in silence are over. That people are going to be lifting their heads and resisting all that. Concretely that will mean taking this spirit of resistance into this year’s October 22, which is the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation. On October 22, people need to be out at the prisons saying no to the genocide that mass incarceration is part of. And we’re going to have our whistles with us when we do that. Doing this will infuse some new life into October 22.
And we’re going to fight the legal cases the authorities have thrown at those who have stood up to fight stop-and-frisk and we’re going to do that as part of carrying forward the fight to stop that racist illegitimate policy and to take on mass incarceration overall. Off of the campaign of civil disobedience to STOP “Stop & Frisk” that Cornel West and I initiated last fall, 19 people face two trials. They should be getting medals, not facing two trials and several years in jail for the stand they took. And we are going to build a big fight to force the authorities to back down and drop the charges against these freedom fighters.
Among these people is “Noche” Diaz, a young revolutionary who is somebody who walks on the People’s Neighborhood Patrols, known in the community, to non-violently prevent illegal police abuse under color of authority, police abusive violence. He has been especially targeted for prejudicial prosecution for his defiant stand against police abuse of the people. In addition to being part of the two stop-and-frisk cases, Noche faces two more trials for observing the police brutalizing people in Manhattan and the Bronx. In one of these cases, the man being beaten by the cops told Noche, “You saved my life because I believe they were going to kill me out there.” Noche faces a total of 10 or 11 charges and more than four years in prison for politically calling out police who were beating people down.
In going after Noche like this, the authorities are trying to deliver a message—do not stand up against what we do to people and especially, don’t do that as part of building a movement for revolution, because if you do, you’ll pay a heavy price. We have to stand with Noche, defend him and deliver a different and opposed message—that we will stand with the people who stand up against what this system does to the people, and that we will especially have the backs of our heroes who do this in a consistent and determined way. We’re not going to let you have Noche, and we’re going to call on people to join him and others in standing against police abuse, with all of us calling on people to join him in fighting that as part of building a movement for revolution.
Fighting these legal attacks isn’t a distraction from the fight against mass incarceration and to STOP “Stop & Frisk.” It’s an integral part of that fight because it’s through taking on the ways the system comes at people who resist them that we will be able to build a stronger fight, a fight that can beat back their abuses as part of building a movement for revolution which is the kind of movement we need to end the injustice they inflict on people here and around the world.
So to pull this all together, coming off September 13 we have to be making our message—that the days of suffering this abuse in silence are over—REAL!
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