June 10, 2013
We Are All Trayvon!
The Whole Damn System is Guilty!
5pm • Daley Plaza
(Washington & Dearborn)
On February 26, 2012, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin went out to buy some snacks at the nearby 7-Eleven. George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain in a small gated community in Sanford, Florida, was driving around in his SUV. Zimmerman called 911, saying Martin looked “real suspicious”—i.e., he was a young Black male, walking around in a hoodie.
The 911 dispatcher told Zimmerman not to pursue the youth. But Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin, got out of his car, and confronted him. Zimmerman was carrying a 9 mm handgun. Trayvon Martin was carrying a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea. There was yelling, then a gunshot. Trayvon Martin lay face down in the grass with a fatal bullet wound to the chest. Zimmerman was taken into custody, questioned, and released.
The murder of Trayvon Martin struck a deep nerve. There is a long history, and present day reality, of targets on the backs of young Black men. In the case of Trayvon Martin, people across the country said no fucking way.
It was only after six weeks of mass protest that Zimmerman was charged with second-degree murder. His trial is set to start on June 10. It is crucial that people remember how they felt when this went down—and why they stepped out and into the streets—that the powers-that-be cannot get away with giving racist vigilantes a free pass to kill Black and Latino youth. The struggle is at a critical juncture—the system is pulling out all the stops to vilify the victim, Trayvon Martin, and let his killer go free. The outcome is not determined. People need to stay in the streets as George Zimmerman goes to trial, and not stop until there is justice. And we need to put an end to this.
Protest (and walkout) at schools nationwide; rally in communities; wherever you are wear the sticker, post the slogan, and put up signs declaring:
WE ARE ALL TRAYVON!
THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM IS GUILTY!
Help spread the effort using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram
For more information and to join in this struggle contact:
Stop Mass Incarceration Network Chicago • 312.933.9586
National Website: http://www.stopmassincarceration.org/
New York: email@example.com • 347-979-7646
Los Angeles: StopMassIncarcerationSoCal@yahoo.com • 213-840-5348
SF Bay Area: firstname.lastname@example.org • 510-926-5207
Posted in Thoughts
, Daley Plaza
, George Zimmerman
, June 10
, National Hoodie Day
, Stop Mass Incarceration Network
, Trayvon Martin
On the night of July 2, 2009, a Chicago Police Department “Mobile Strike Force” cornered 16-year-old Rakeem Nance in a dark alley on the West Side. Chicago’s Mobile Strike Force is a paramilitary unit lead by a Marine Lieutenant who commanded “counterinsurgency” operations in Fallujah, Iraq and is part of a militarized “surge” of police repression and intimidation in Chicago’s oppressed communities. Bringing home the bitter taste of what U.S. imperialism shoves down the throats of people from Iraq and Afghanistan to the streets of Chicago, Rakeem was shot in the back and executed in that West Side alley on that summer night.
Police allege that Rakeem was involved in breaking into a home, and that he supposedly aimed a gun at a police officer. Chicago PD Superintendent Jody Weiss claimed, “If you point a weapon at someone, they’re probably going to try to take his life,” and that Rakeem’s murder was justified. Following that logic, the people of Chicago being targeted by this paramilitary police urban warfare campaign would be fully justified in defending themselves with deadly force whenever the police come into their neighborhoods with weapons drawn; somehow I doubt that Mr. Weiss and the State’s Attorney would allow his justification to stand in such circumstances.
Rakeem’s funeral was held just down the street from where Chicago police murdered 18-year-old Aaron Harrison two summers ago. Just last summer the Chicago police shot 12, and killed 6, people in a four week period. Along a boarded-up wall next to the funeral home, we placed posters of Rakeem and numerous other victims of the Chicago police from the last couple years.
After the funeral, standing before the faces of far-too-many youth gunned down by the Chicago police, I spoke to several of Rakeem’s high school teachers. They adamantly wanted me and the world to know that Rakeem was nothing like he has been viciously portrayed by the police (and the media that think “journalism” involves unquestioningly parroting police propaganda). Rakeem always asked the most challenging questions, he enjoyed writing music and wanted to be a rapper, five of his friends had been killed and he was compelled to try to look out for his friends…
Rakeem was another promising young life brutally snuffed out by the enforcers of this capitalist system. Even if he was involved in some kind of break in (and claims of him pointing a gun at police while carrying armloads of items supposedly taken from a house they broke into is even more dubious), none of that justifies his execution by the police. What kind of system do we live in that upholds the value of private property over the lives of human beings? The same system that ordered police in New Orleans to “shoot to kill” anyone who attempted to take food and supplies to survive during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. The same system that sends armed “surges” into the communities and homes of people from Fallujah to Chicago, to drop bombs on people’s homes from Kabul to Philadelphia, to execute the youth from Oakland to Baghdad, to snatch people off the streets in handcuffs and torture them from Abu Ghraib to John Burge’s precinct.
This whole damn system is guilty as hell.
Posted in Thoughts
Tags: Aaron Harrison
, Abu Ghraib
, Chicago police
, Jody Weiss
, John Burge
, Mobile Strike Force
, paramilitary police
, police murder
, Rakeem Nance
, torture bombing
, urban warfare
, West Side