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Let's not squander movement energy with respectability politics
by Cat Brooks
Sunday Jan 31st, 2016 4:54 PM
I'm going to say what I have to say in the most principled manner I know how. I was traveling this weekend and so could not make the March in San Francisco. That said, APTP, CRC and the Black Power Network supported this action, mobilized people to this action and provided security for this action.

When we got back to our rooms, I anxiously turned on my computer to see how the action had went.

My heart sank. And shortly after - our people began to reach out and tell me that their hearts sank too.

But before passing judgement, I reached out to the folks and asked "WHO made the call to capitulate to the police and move thousands of people onto the sidewalk and WHAT could possibly be the rationale?"

I learned that the woman who runs the Coalition, and who called for the March, and who works with the goddamn police department made the call and that the call was made to "show that we (the protestors) were peaceful"; thereby I guess making the police actions look irrational or unreasonable.

What the HELL do we have to be peaceful about and how many more times do people think we need to put the sustainability of the movement in danger to prove that the police are irrational and unreasonable?

We KNOW they are irrational and unreasonable or Mario Woods wouldn't have been shot over 20 times for a butter knife.

It makes absolutely no sense to continue to challenge this system by following its rules. Obeying its laws. That's the absolute opposite of RESISTANCE.

You had easily over 1,000 people out there. And news cameras EVERYWHERE. WHAT were they going to do if you challenged their skirmish line? They were going to do exactly what they did in Oakland on King Day ... MOVE.

And if they chose that moment to attack the people - you had millions of eyes across the world watching. The time is NOW to turn UP not DOWN! The power of the people only works when we support conditions for it to engage with power in a manner that goes against what we have been indoctrinated to do.

The folks also told me that the crowd thinned dramatically after that moment. My theory on why that is, is because the people were deflated. Their righteous rage was policed into capitulation. What was the point after that?

Hasn't 500 years taught us that the system isn't going to act right just because we do and actually inspite of "good" behavior - it continues to rape, murder, maime and incarcerate us?

We have an energy across the country right now that we've been waiting for decades to feel again. I pray we don't squander it on respectability politics.

And I truly hope somebody ask the question, How someone who works WITH police is running a coalition for police accountability.

Shout out to The Last 3% and Asians for Black Lives for holding the line like it was SUPPOSED to be held.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by SF taxpayer
Monday Feb 1st, 2016 8:27 PM
I also did not attend the Justice for Mario Woods march, so I took a tour of the Stupid Bowl Plaza to find out what is going on and found a machine-gun toting guard at every entrance, dozens of police everywhere, including outside the Ferry Building where they each had a gun strapped to their leg, and mandatory searches of everyone entering Stupid Bowl Plaza. One Twitter picture showed a sniper on top of 1 Market Plaza. Stupid Bowl Plaza is a dress rehearsal for a police state using the organized crime gambling racket Stupid Bowl as a cover. For more, see

I do not have anything to do with organizing anything as I have no time or energy for organizing or meetings, but I am glad some people do. The people who organized the march obviously thought that the woman who runs the Justice for Mario Woods Coalition was a good choice. I do know that from my observation, it was not possible to go as a 1,000 person march into Stupid Bowl Plaza. Some people managed to find a way to get in later and stand in front of the CNN area as one Twitter picture shows.

As to momentum, I will believe we have a serious movement when labor carries out a general strike for at least one day every time there is a police shooting in an area. That would get police chiefs and killer cops fired immediately as all the capitalist class, for whom the police work, care about is their profits.

It is also important that you come into the court of public opinion with clean hands. According to the Bay Guardian article cited below, you were part of Dan Siegel's campaign for Oakland mayor. Dan Siegel is the infamous, reactionary, anti-KPFA and anti-Pacifica Radio Station network attorney for the destroyers of KPFA, misnamed SaveKPFA. See
"Dan Siegel announces candidacy for Oakland mayor" by Rebecca Bowe, 1/9/14 at SF Bay Guardian,

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