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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: North Bay / Marin | Police State and Prisons
October 22nd Action in Santa Rosa
On Thursday, October 22nd, hundreds of people from around the North Bay will converge on the steps of the Santa Rosa Police Department for our annual protest against police brutality. This year's protest is being organized by young activists in Santa Rosa, Petaluma, and Napa, and supported by groups and individuals from all around the Bay Area. There will be a rally with music and speakers starting at 4pm, followed by a short march into downtown Santa Rosa.
RALLY AND MARCH AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 22nd. 4pm
SANTA ROSA POLICE DEPARTMENT- 965 Sonoma Ave., Santa Rosa, CA
the young organizers of O22 and IMPACT! (Petaluma) have been working hard to put together a great protest this year. We will be hearing speeches from mothers of incarcerated youth, poetry from young immigrants and radical spoken word artists, information about local organizing against police violence, and music from the Hub Bub Club (marching band) and the Jungle Love Orchestra. We will also be delivering a long list of grievances collected from a variety of local organizations such as the Peace and Justice Center, the ACLU, MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan), and the Police Accountability Clinic and Helpline (PACH) to the police department. After our rally at the police department, we will take to the streets for a march through Santa Rosa neighborhoods and into downtown.
People from Napa and Petaluma have also been organizing speaking events and movie nights in the lead up to this year's protest, and large caravans from both of those cities will be descending on Santa Rosa this Thursday. This action is also supported by UA in the Bay, and many activists from around the East Bay, SF, and Benicia, will be participating in the protest. We have canvassed neighborhoods, passed out close to 5,000 fliers, and had another 3,000 distributed for free by the Peace and Justice Center's monthly newsletter. Many service providers working with homeless folks, mental health patients, youth, and drug abuse clients, are also providing support for the action.
Since 2000, at least 36 people have been killed by Sonoma County law enforcement or died while in custody. Many of these victims were suffering from mental health crises or drug abuse when they were murdered. Five of them were killed after being hit by a Taser. The Santa Rosa Police Department is leading the way in corruption and brutality. They have been regularly profiling immigrant people, setting up checkpoints in immigrant neighborhoods and towing peoples' cars who do not have licenses. The bike cops, known as the Downtown Enforcement Team, are regularly abusing youth and homeless folks downtown, using excessive force and illegal detentions and searches.
For these reasons and many more, we are taking this year's protest to the steps of the Santa Rosa Police Department. However, we aware that this problem is not a matter of a "few bad apples," but rather a rotten tree. On October 22nd, we will start demanding and realizing different solutions to our communities' problems, rooted in mutual aid and direct democracy. We must demonstrate that safety and security can be maintained without the use of force and coercion, and that police brutality is merely one of the more visible symptoms of the disease that is capitalism and the state.
We hope to see many of you this Thursday at 4pm, as we continue growing this movement against police violence in our region. Bring your signs, your banners, your message, your strength, and your anger.
*Note: This action is not affiliated with national organizing around October 22nd, nor is it sponsored by or affiliated with any communist organization. While we respect the tireless work previously done in Sonoma County on this issue by communist-affiliated groups, we feel that it is necessary to mention that our organization does not identify as communist and is not affiliated with other groups planning October 22nd actions (although we do absolutely love Redwood Curtain CopWatch- who so graciously hosted us for a talk recently).