Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Commentary re Youth Uprising for 12/18/14 Freedom Is A Constant Struggle, by Kiilu Nyasha

For the first time in nearly 45 years, I’m really excited about young people rising up all over the country in the wake of police murders of Black and Brown people, esp. the blatant killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In those cases, neither of the rogue cops was indicted or had any charges filed against them.  As a former Panther, police brutality and murder is nothing new.

From Ferguson, Mi. where Michael Brown was left to bleed to death for 41/2 hours to NYC where Eric Garner was choked to death – Black youth have been in the forefront of a mass movement taking to the streets.

In solidarity with Blacks, who’ve been the most targeted by racist police, people of all backgrounds and ages are collectively protesting this open season on Black people,.

Tens of thousands took to the streets last Sat. in NYC in a Millions March organized by Black youth. They carried  signs saying Black Lives Matter, I Can’t Breathe, No Justice No Peace, and shouted, “Eric Garner, Michael Brown! Shut it down! Shut it down!”

On Monday morning in Oakland, in an amazing display of ethnic solidarity, a Black-led direct action with Asians and Whites disrupted business as usual. Blacks carried a banner “Black and Breathing,”   and, in a well-strategized action, the groups blockaded the Oakland Police Headquarters and shut down a nearby freeway entrance demanding “an immediate end to the war on Black people.”

Organizers reached their goal of maintaining the blockades for 4 hours and 28 min., the time Michael Brown’s body lay in the streets of Ferguson after he was killed by a cop. The 28 min. was to highlight the fact that every 28 hours, a black person is killed by police, security or vigilantes in America.

The allies in solidarity with the organizations, “Black Lives Matter and Black Out Collective, were Asians4BlackLives and the mostly white Bay Area Solidarity Action Team who helped organize Monday’s action.  At least 27 people were arrested in the planned civil disobedience, and thanks to much support, they’ve all been released.

During the action, the youth read out the names of individuals murdered by law enforcement agents, and articulated their demands which included some of the same demands of the Panthers’ Ten Point Program, such as “We want decent housing fit for the shelter of human beings, and We Want An Immediate End To Police Brutality And the Murder of Black, Brown & All Oppressed People.

In their  VISION FOR A NEW AMERICA, they declared:



We Want an End to all Forms of Discrimination and the Full Recognition of our Human Rights

The United States Government must acknowledge and address the structural violence and institutional discrimination that continues to imprison our communities either in a life of poverty and/or one behind bars. We want the United States Government to recognize the full spectrum of our human rights and its obligations under international law.

They continue with NATIONAL DEMANDS that include

The De-militarization of Local Law Enforcement across the country and a Comprehensive Review of systemic abuses by local police departments. The full document can be found on the net.

Together, the impact of their solidarity was powerful, successful and unifying.  A revolutionary example we need to advance and expand upon as we encourage and support this renewed movement for change.

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