Why I'm Going To Sanford
By Carl Dix
24 May, 2012
I’m traveling to Sanford, Florida, the scene of the crime where Trayvon Martin was gunned down by a wanna-be-cop; 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, and the legal basis is being laid, 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 video.)
As Bob Avakian, leader of the Revolutionary Communist Party, says: “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 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, and at high schools have added their names to this banner.
To those who are working to contain the righteous anger that has burst forth against the murder of Trayvon by 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 only way justice will be won is if people stay in the streets.
On FRIDAY at 4:00 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 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. 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 night-riding 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 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!
The BAsics Bus Tour has been introducing people to Bob Avakian, 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, 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, “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.”
And second, while we stand in this fight together, confront the implications of this system… its nature and its possible alternative… and the leadership and vision that can actually lay the basis for a whole better world thru revolution.
This weekend, the place to be is Sanford with the BAsics Bus Tour. If you can’t make it down to Sanford, then get on the bus in spirit—go to: basicsbustotur.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.
Carl Dix is a longtime revolutionary and a founding member of the Revolutionary Communist Party. In 1970, he was part of the largest mass refusal of U.S. soldiers to go to Vietnam. In 1996, he cofounded the October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality. In 2006, he coordinated the Katrina Hearings of the Bush Crimes Commission. In 2011, he co-issued a call for a campaign of civil disobedience to STOP “Stop & Frisk” which has resulted in a number of trials, the most recent of which garnered national media attention. Recently he participated in the fourth in a series of dialogues with Cornel West under the theme: “In the Age of Obama: Police Terror; Incarceration; No Jobs; Mis-Education… What Future for Our Youth?” Twitter: @carl_dix
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