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“What the bourgeoisie therefore produces, above all, are its own grave-diggers.”—Karl Marx
gregory_a_k » Posts for tag 'Rakeem Nance'

Justice for Corey Harris

Corey Harris, a 17-year-old star athlete at Dyett High School on Chicago’s South Side, was walking home from school on Friday, September 11, 2009, when an off duty Chicago cop chased him down and murdered him – shot in the back, like so many of the other teenagers gunned down by the Chicago pigs. The cop claimed that he saw Corey shooting a gun earlier, but Corey had no gun when he shot him in the back.

On the Monday after his murder, I spoke to one of Corey’s cousins outside Dyett High School. She told me that Corey’s muder was “an outrage against our school and many other schools that the police system keeps doing this to our students… Police are getting away with everything. And this don’t make no sense. He was only 17-years-old, and just had one baby. And I can’t even see him no more.”

Dyett High School

Corey was well loved by many of his schoolmates, and several youth told me how he was their best friend, “my man,” and that now they would never see him again. On the Friday after he was killed, several students came up to the mic outside the school to speak out about his murder. As soon as school got out, a carload of police drove up to the front of the school to try to intimidate the students from speaking out. But several students got on the mic anyway and had this chant to say about the cop who killed Corey – “Lock his ass up! Lock his ass up!”

Dyett High School

One of Corey’s friends stood up defiantly in the face of this repression and stood in front of two huge posters of faces and names of many people shot or killed by the Chicago police recently to say: “All I really got to say is – the police, ya’ll was wrong for gunning down Corey. Corey, we love you and miss you, and I’ll be at your funeral. It’s been tough the last few days, I didn’t feel like getting out the bed, but I knew I had to come to school anyway… You told me last week that you wanted to go to the NBA, and I believe if they had not killed you that you would have been a great basketball player. So police, I’m not scared of you all – I’m mad as hell at you all.”

RIP Corey Harris - Dyett High School

Chicago police have been stepping up repression against those speaking out against police murders. Last Wednesday a comrade and I were threatened with arrest for over an hour an a half by a group of pigs outside Columbia College for showing the posters of the faces of people they have shot or killed and organizing for the October 22nd National Day of Resistance to Stop Police Brutality, Murder and the Criminalization of a Generation. But we refused to back down or shut up, and eventually they wrote us some tickets for some fabricated charge related to selling Revolution newspaper on the street. I don’t know what the ticket actually says, because I refused to sign mine, and then they threatened to arrest me for not signing it. I told them to stick that ticket up their ass and continued to speak on the mic to the crowd of 50 or so people gathered there about youth like Corey Harris, Rakeem Nance, and all the other young lives that have been snuffed out by the police, and the need for people of conscience to stand up and refuse to allow these murders to continue.

Indict, convict, and send the killer cop to jail – this whole damn system is guilty as hell!

Read more about the murder of Corey Harris here.

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Justice For Rakeem Nance

Justice For Rakeem

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.

Justice For Rakeem

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.

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