Saturday, August 23, 2014

For immediate release August 23, 2014

Contact: Travis Morales 713 240 3192
Debra Sweet 718 809 3803

Revolutionary Leader Carl Dix Says Peoples' Defiance of Police Murder of Michael Brown is not the Problem: Keep Fighting What Needs to Be Fought

Carl Dix released this today in Ferguson, Missouri:

Carl Dix being arrested at protest of Michael Brown's murder. Ferguson MO, August 18, 2014

“A narrative has developed in Ferguson that the defiance of some of the people here is the problem. According to this narrative, if everyone would just go along with the orders of the police, echoed by so-called “community leaders,” to behave, be quiet, bow down and let the system do its job, everything would be fine.
This story is untrue, and it is aimed at shifting the terms from Justice for Michael Brown, which means indicting the cop, firing police chief Jackson, and an immediate open accounting of the murder. Instead the terms are shifted to maintaining order, an order that has brutal suppression of Black people built into it.

The defiance people in Ferguson have displayed in response to Michael’s murder is a good thing. I am all the way down with that defiance and it must be continued. The only reason people are talking about Michael Brown around the world and know that he was murdered is because the people of Ferguson, especially the youth, poured into the streets to demand “Justice for Michael Brown.”
I challenge the youth and everyone else who felt punched in the gut when they heard of Michael’s murder and who hate the outrages of this system: Keep fighting what needs to be fought, and as you do that raise your heads further and think about the source of all these problems and what must be done to end them once and for all. And get with the movement for revolution that the Revolutionary Communist Party is building.

We have a strategy to win, we have an organization that's down for this, and we have a leader, Bob Avakian (BA), who is showing the way forward. Get with this movement for revolution and be part of preparing the ground and the people for the time when a revolution that could end these horrors once and for all could be made.”

***
Carl Dix is a co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. He is a representative of the Revolutionary Communist Party. From opposing the Vietnam War inside the US military in the 1960’s to fighting to stop m,ss incarceration and police terror, Carl has spent his life opposing injustice. He issued a statement condemning the police murder of Michael Brown that has circulated widely in Ferguson. Along with Dr. West, Carl put out the Call for the October 2014 Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration, Police Terror, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Follow @Carl_Dix Email: CarlmDix@gmail.com

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

For Immediate Release: August 19: Carl Dix, Arrested in Ferguson

For Immediate Release - August 19, 2014

www.stopmassincarceration.net, stopmassincarceration@gmail.com

Contact: (Ferguson) Travis Morales 713 240 3192
Debra Sweet (NYC) 718 809 3803

Carl Dix, Arrested in Ferguson, Called “Outside Criminal Element,” Says Systematic Police Brutality & Murder is Criminal, Not Peoples' Protest

“There are no 'outsiders' in the struggle for justice and liberation,” said Carl Dix on his release from St. Louis County Jail this morning.

“The criminal actions in Ferguson come from the police who brutalize and murder people, not from people who have stood up and refused to accept that subjugation, or from people like myself who came from other cities to support them.”

Dix, of New York City, is a member of the Revolutionary Communist Party, and is the co-founder, with Dr. Cornel West, of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network.

“I came to Ferguson to stand with people who had poured into the streets after the murder of Michael Brown, and were demanding justice and refusing to silently suffer this abuse any longer. We want the cop who shot Michael indicted, Police Chief Jackson fired, and the authorities to stop hiding the information about Michael's murder. Because people defiantly refused to be stopped by curfews, National Guard deployment, and states of emergency, the whole world now knows about the unjust murder of Michael Brown.”

Dix, who says that he was extracted for arrest from a sidewalk crowd he was speaking to, was among 78 people, including media, arrested Monday as police declared protest “unlawful assembly,” and used tear gas, sound cannons, stun grenades, and pointed assault weapons at protesters holding their hands in the air.

Dix is available for interviews in Ferguson.


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Sunday, February 23, 2014

Follow Up on Delegation to Jacksonville FL



February 24, 2014

Friends,

I wrote many of you previously to urge you to join me on a delegation to Jacksonville, Florida, on February 26, two years since the vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin and 11 days since a Florida court refused to convict Michael Dunn for the murder of Jordan Davis. The role of this was to shine a spotlight on nationwide resistance being manifested on this day as hundreds of people in cities across the country gather at the seats of power and influence in hoodies and holding targets to say NO MORE to the murder of Black youth.

Juanita Young (she’s the mother of Malcolm Ferguson who was murdered by a NY cop in 2000.  She has been a leader in the movement to stop police brutality ever since) and I are going on this delegation, and I’m writing now to urge you to join us. It will make a real difference if people whose voices have impact in society are in Jacksonville with us. It will send a message to the youth who live their lives with a bulls-eye on their backs that there are people who will stand with them in opposition to this; and to parents who fear that when their children leave the house in the morning they may not return safely that others share their concerns.

I again urge you to, if at all possible, join us on this delegation. If you can’t possibly do this, it will make a difference if you (1) Issue a statement or speak to the media in support of those who will be saying, We Are All Trayvon Martin; We Are All Jordan Davis; on February 26. (2) Contribute generously to help deal with the expenses of the delegation. [You can make a tax deductible contribution by writing a check to: The Alliance for Global Justice and putting Stop Mass Incarceration Florida delegation in the memo line.] (3) Spread the word on February 26:  Here are links to a video Cornel West and I issued calling on people to act on February 26: http://revcom.us/a/330extra/cornel-west-carl-dix-all-out-february-26-en.html ; and to a statement on the Jordan Davis case I issued right after the verdict: http://revcom.us/a/330extra/statement-by-carl-dix-on-mistrial-in-the-murder-of-jordan-davis-en.html .

You can get back to me on this via e mail at carldix@hotmail.com or by calling me at (347) 423-8854.

Carl Dix

Friday, February 21, 2014

Invitation from Carl Dix: 
JOIN A DELEGATION TO JACKSONVILLE ON WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26

In response to the refusal of the Florida court to convict Michael Dunn for the murder of Jordan Davis and to mark 2 years since the vigilante murder of Trayvon Martin, I invite you to join a delegation to Jacksonville, FL, on Wednesday, February 26. A delegation that includes well known people will shine a spotlight on this outrageous verdict and on the nationwide response being made to it on February 26 all over the country. This delegation will send an important message that the young Black men who are being told by society that they must live their lives with a bulls-eye on their backs are not alone in wanting to see this ugly reality ended. We will let parents, who fear their children may not return safely when they leave the house in the morning, know there are others who share their concern. And it will encourage everyone with an ounce of justice in their hearts to join in saying NO MORE to racist murder of Black youth.

The delegation will hold a press conference at noon and participate in a rally at 4 PM in downtown Jacksonville and other activities. In the next few days, those involved in the delegation can speak publicly about why we are going to Jacksonville. People who support the delegation could contribute generously to making it possible for the delegation to happen.

I urge you to consider joining this delegation. 

Carl Dix

Contact:  
eMail: carldix@hotmail.com * Phone: 646-571-8504

Thursday, August 29, 2013

50 Years After Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech—Amerikkka Is Still A Goddamn Nightmare!


50 Years After Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" Speech—Amerikkka Is Still A Goddamn Nightmare!
3 Points and a Challenge in Response to Obama's Speech!

by Carl Dix | August 28, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

1) Barack Obama stepped to the mic and spoke of the importance of non-violence … for oppressed people. When any representative of the U.S. ruling class preaches non-violence, they mean non-violence for those who might get in the way of their empire. Obama was referring to people who had suffered under Jim Crow segregation and lynch-mob terror. This from the commander-in-chief of the global Amerikkkan empire, who has presided over more than 280 drone missile strikes, maintains a torture chamber prison at Guantánamo Bay and presides over a criminal injustice system that is carrying out a slow genocide aimed at Blacks and Latinos. There might as well have been blood dripping from his jaws as he spoke.
2) Obama said: "If we're honest with ourselves, we'll admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us, claiming to push for change, lost our way. The anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots." That's Bull Shit! People didn't lose their way in the '60s: In fact, they were beginning to find their way, coming to see that the horrors they were up against were built into the very fabric of this set-up and couldn't be reformed away. But they were met with vicious repression—leaders assassinated, activists dragged into court on trumped-up charges, and railroaded off to prison and more. In the face of all that, the movement of that period wasn't able to develop the understanding needed to do what was needed: make revolution and end the horrors Amerikkka enforced on humanity then and continues to enforce today.

3) Many, many people are asking big questions about the unjust nature of this system, and this has forced Obama to speak to some of the problems Black people face today. But he doesn't get into the depths of these problems or what to do about them, except to say rely on him to work on them. For example, he didn't say a fucking word about the more than two million people warehoused in prison. He did say that the unemployment rate for African-Americans has consistently been about twice that of whites and that the wealth gap between Blacks and whites has GROWN over the past decades. But he talked about this like it had nothing to do with the system he presides over.

THE CHALLENGE—There is a way to uproot all these horrors. It'll take Revolution—Nothing Less! I speak to this in depth in a recent talk: "We Don't Need a New Civil Rights Movement—We Need Revolution!" Watch that talk at revcom.us. And dig into BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

 * * *

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Friday, August 02, 2013

Manning Must Go Free!
U.S. Mass Murderers Convict Bradley Manning for Exposing Their War Crimes

By Carl Dix | July 31, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Bradley Manning dared to expose the war crimes of the U.S. For this, he has been convicted by a military court on 19 charges, including espionage and theft of government property. He was acquitted of aiding the enemy, which could have gotten him the death penalty—but he faces more than 130 years in prison when the judge decides his sentence.
What "crimes" did Bradley Manning commit? In 2010, he leaked video footage to WikiLeaks that documented U.S. troops firing from a helicopter and mowing down Iraqi civilians, including a journalist carrying a camera, people coming to the aid of those wounded or killed, and children! The video became known as "Collateral Murder" and was viewed by people the world over.
Later Manning leaked documents that included a U.S. government report that documented more than 66,000 Iraqi civilians killed in the U.S. invasion and occupation of that country. The U.S. had claimed that it had no records of civilian deaths in Iraq, and this leak exposed that as a flat-out lie.
Bradley Manning was a young man who joined the military because he thought he could help people as a soldier. Then he saw the horrors America was perpetrating on people in Iraq and Afghanistan that were being covered up. He righteously decided that he had a responsibility to bring those horrors to the light of day. For doing this, he was viciously persecuted in prison—held in solitary confinement, and stripped naked for much of the time he was jailed. Now he faces a lifetime in prison.
The punishment of Bradley Manning is cruel and vindictive. And the system is trying to make an example of him: to warn and intimidate others in the military and in society more broadly that anyone who acts on conscience this way will face the same consequences.
Bradley Manning did the right thing! He never should have been put on trial, and he should go free from prison.
I have a sense of what Bradley went through. I was drafted into the U.S. military in the 1960s and given orders to go to Vietnam. I had to do a crash course in what that war was about and learned that U.S. imperialists were trying to drown the liberation struggle of the Vietnamese people in blood. It was a war that I should not be a part of. Then I had to decide whether to act on what I knew to be true, knowing that meant going to jail. I did the right thing—refused to go to Vietnam and spent two years in Leavenworth Military penitentiary.
Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, the drone wars of Obama. The political representatives of U.S. imperialism never tire of proclaiming America to be the worldwide champion of "democratic values." But look beneath the façade, and there is the gruesome reality of murderous wars, atrocious war crimes routinely covered up, and the harsh prosecution of those who expose these crimes.
This IS a criminal system and we need revolution—nothing less.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Press Advisory – July 26, 2013
Contact:  646-571-8504


Carl Dix on Obama's Trayvon Comments:
"Massa Trying to Keep the Slaves on the Plantation by Acknowledging Their Pain"

In Wednesday's (July 24) edition of the weekly Black Agenda Report, Carl Dix continued the debate, and writes, on President Obama's comments about the Trayvon Martin case,

It is a calculated attempt to defuse a volatile political situation.”

In "Massa Trying to Keep the Slaves on the Plantation by Acknowledging Their Pain", Dix concentrates on debunking two "deceptive" points made by Obama:  (1) the hypocrisy of Obama's claim to the "bolster African-American boys," and (2) Obama's “more perfect union” is "a nightmare and horror that must be swept away by revolution."

Carl Dix is available for comment and interviews; and can speak on the following additional points of the Trayvon Martin Verdict and it's meaning today:
·  This is AmeriKKKa:  from Dred Scott to Emmett Till to Trayvon Martin, Black people have no rights that white people are bound to respect.  The Zimmerman acquittal is a second Dred Scott decision;

·  It is right and necessary to step up mass outrage after the verdict, and why federal lawsuits are worse than useless;

·  Prayer will not bring justice -- “It’s not in god’s hands, it’s in our hands!”;

·  We don’t need a new civil rights movement, we need revolution, nothing less.

Biography:  Carl Dix is a revolutionary communist, a national leader of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network, who co-issued with Cornel West a call for a campaign of civil disobedience to STOP “Stop-and-Frisk." This campaign changed the discourse in NYC around the racist stop-and-frisk policy.  Carl refused to go to Vietnam in 1970 and was sent to Ft. Leavenworth military prison.


Video of Carl Dix speaking to protest in Harlem Sunday July 14
* Twitter: @Carl_Dix on Twitter * eMail: carlmdix@gmail.com *

Monday, July 15, 2013

Carl Dix in Harlem—the Day After the Trayvon Martin Case The System is Guilty We Need to Put an End to This System



After the Trayvon Martin Verdict:

The Whole Damned System Is Guilty!
NOW’S THE TIME TO STAND UP—WE NEED REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS!

Statement from Carl Dix

July 16, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us

Download PDF Flier
The Not Guilty verdict in the Trayvon Martin case slammed home the legacy of centuries of slavery and said it's OK to lynch Black youth in America. The target on the backs of Black youth has been given legal justification again.
Millions are filled with rage over this verdict. That rage drove many of us into the streets in cities across the country. Black parents in tears, hugging their children and agonizing over their futures in a society that saw them as permanent suspects—guilty until proven innocent, if they can survive to prove their innocence. People of all nationalities standing together, declaring they don't want to live in a world like this. This response opens up the possibility for a new fighting spirit.
Whether all this will get shoved back into the stifling normalcy of America where millions hang their heads and suffer these horrors in silence and millions more look away and ignore the howling injustices being perpetrated depends on what we do now. It is a matter of life and death!
The response that's begun—the thousands in New York City who shut down Times Square, the people who stopped a major freeway in LA, and the people in dozens of cities across the country—has to be built on. Many more people who hated this verdict need to be called on to express their rage at it in many different ways.
NOW IS THE TIME! Enough with this system and its savage oppression of Black people. NO MORE of its open season on Black and Latino youth.
And it is a system we're dealing with here—not just an outrageous verdict or racist laws. This capitalist system which arose on the foundation of slavery and genocide is today a worldwide system that enforces lives of poverty and misery on countless millions.
We need to get rid of this system. We need a society and a world where our Black and Latino youth can live and thrive, where women don't face violence and enforced motherhood, where instead of making wars on the oppressed of the world, the new society is backing their revolutionary struggles, where the environment isn't being ravaged but being protected for current and future generations. This kind of world could be brought into being through revolution.
We in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) are ready to lead in building a movement for this revolution. There is leadership for this revolution in Bob Avakian, the leader of the RCP. There is a strategy for this revolution. Get into the works of BA that envision what the new society would look like and how to bring it into being. Get with the Revolution Club in your area. Go to the revcom.us site to learn deeply why the world is the way it is and how to change it. Get with the movement for revolution the RCP is building. Everyone's contribution matters.
Now is the time to move on doing this. The attention of millions has been riveted on the horrific injustice of this verdict. People are opening their eyes to the reality that these horrors happen again and again. If they see determined fighters standing up and saying NO MORE to all this and spreading the need for and possibility of revolution, it will challenge them to join in fighting the power and to open their eyes to the system behind all these horrors and getting with the movement for revolution to get rid of that system.
To those who see the need to get rid of this system, you need to be everywhere people are calling for justice for Trayvon. In action and word bring to people the understanding that any justice we win will only come through determined resistance, not from relying on the system that has perpetrated all this injustice—while bringing to people the understanding of the source of the problem and the solution.
It should burn in our hearts, that while this fight for justice for Trayvon continues, the police will have murdered many more of our youth, and the system continues to warehouse 2.3 million in prison. The fight for justice for Trayvon is part of the fight against all of this. Thousands of prisoners in California are on hunger strike right now, putting their lives on the line to stop the mass torture of solitary confinement of 80,000 prisoners in the U.S. Their fight, their message needs to spread and inspire the whole movement.
A powerful movement of resistance to stop the horror of mass incarceration can and must, right now, take a huge leap—with hundreds and thousands becoming part of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network. Without exaggeration, the lives of millions depend on it.
As people stand up and express their outrage, there needs to be a spirit of digging deeply into why I say The Whole Damn System Is Guilty and getting into and getting with the revolutionary way out of the horrors that this system, this country, inflicts on people here and around the world. The slogan “Fight the Power, and Transform the People, for Revolution!”expresses a big part of how the thousands of people whose hearts ache for a radically different world can go to work on the situation right now, speaking to millions today, so that as the struggle unfolds, as the situation here and around the world changes, the thousands who have been organized and trained in a revolutionary way today can become the backbone and pivotal force in winning the millions to revolution when there is a revolutionary situation, to carry the revolution through.
The system has delivered its verdict. We must deliver ours. The movement for Justice for Trayvon must become broader, involving hundreds of thousands of people; it must reach deeper into all sections of society and deeper into understanding of the problem and the solution; and it must become more determined, putting before all: we will not live like this. And, we don't have to. It's time to act.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

As the Trayvon Martin Case Goes to the Jury…

As the Trayvon Martin Case Goes to the Jury…
THE RESPONSE THAT'S NEEDED – THE WORLD WE WANT TO LIVE IN!

A Statement By Carl Dix

July 12, 2013 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us
 As the trial of George Zimmerman, the vigilante and wannabe cop who murdered Trayvon Martin, comes to a close, we should look squarely at what has been revealed. The killing of Trayvon was a modern-day lynching. Zimmerman saw a Black youth wearing a hoodie, decided he "was up to no good," stalked him, and, feeling the whole strength of the system behind him, shot young Trayvon.
In court, Zimmerman's defense, with its parade of "experts," family, and friends, boiled down to the supposed right to kill people like Trayvon with impunity. If George Zimmerman walks free again, it will serve as a high-profile declaration and further rationalization for placing a target on the backs of a whole generation.
Everyone with an ounce of justice in their hearts needs to stand against the murder of Trayvon Martin. People of different nationalities and from different backgrounds must stand together in this. Fighting the oppression of Black people, fighting the criminalization and brutalization of Black people in this country and the new Jim Crow, is in the interests of all those who have a conscience and want to live in a just society.
*Take up the Call from the Stop Mass Incarceration Network (SMIN) to organize vigils when the case goes to the jury. These vigils can be organized everywhere, and different kinds of people can be involved in them.
*Plan to act when it is announced that the jury has reached a verdict—in powerful, determined, and creative ways. Select the time and place where people should gather… and spread the word.
*Circulate the "We Say No More" statement from SMIN. This statement sharply condemns Trayvon's murder and links it to the 2 million + people in prison in the U.S.
This is the challenge. Regardless of what the verdict is, a mass response is needed. The message that must be sent is that the Trayvons of this world have a right to survive and flourish, and should get justice when they're attacked. It's about the kind of world we want to live in.
And if people who take to the streets come under attack, we must all have their backs. Authorities who criminalize and brutalize people cannot be allowed to beat, corral, pepper-spray or do worse against the people for opposing their brutality.
Trayvon's murder and the trial of his killer have laid bare the illegitimacy of this whole setup. Let's not forget that it took thousands of people all across the U.S. expressing outrage to force the authorities to put Zimmerman on trial. In the courtroom, reality got turned on its head. Trayvon was portrayed as the criminal and Zimmerman as the victim. Rachel Jeantel, the young woman who was on the phone with Trayvon when he was killed, was bullied by Zimmerman's lawyer for telling the truth.
This case concentrates the oppression that Black people have faced for centuries in this country. Youth like Trayvon are murdered by cops and vigilantes who almost never get punished for their crimes. Tens of thousands of Black and Latino youth are put into prisons every year. This is part of an overall program of brutality and suppression that amounts to a slow genocide that is breaking the bodies and crushing the spirits of countless millions of oppressed people. And as the case goes to the jury in Florida, 30,000 prisoners in California are engaged in a heroic strike against inhumane and savage conditions of solitary confinement. This is the reality of this system.
But there is also the reality that Trayvon Martin and youth like him DO NOT have to die or face lives of unending brutality and misery. A society that warehouses millions in prison, subjects tens of thousands of people in prison to torture and enforces vicious brutality on Black people can be ended. A society and world where the Trayvon Martins and Rachel Jeantels and countless millions like them can flourish and contribute to society is possible.
It is possible through revolution, communist revolution. A revolution that can end all the horrors this system inflicts on humanity—the oppression of Black people, the degradation faced by women, the wars for empire, the ravaging of the environment and more. This revolution is based on the theory of Bob Avakian and can be won with the leadership provided by the Party, the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP), which he leads. If you want no more of this world and its brutality and misery, get into the work of Bob Avakian. Check out the film BA Speaks: REVOLUTION—NOTHING LESS, Bob Avakian Live. Read BAsics, a handbook for revolution drawn from Avakian's talks and writings. And get with the movement for revolution the RCP is building. There is a way out of the madness and oppression!
And if you hate injustice, you need to express your outrage at the murder of Trayvon and the racist justifications for this murder. NO MORE to placing a target on the backs of youth like Trayvon Martin.
 For more on Bob Avakian and the movement for revolution, as well as developments around the Trayvon Martin case and more, go online to revcom.us.
- See more at: http://www.stopmassincarceration.net/content/trayvon-martin-case-goes-jury#sthash.RPfFMlk0.dpuf

Monday, May 27, 2013

Monday, April 22, 2013

A Proposal for Action to the Stop Mass Incarceration Network and All Others Who Want to Fight the New Jim Crow

Friends,

We face an emergency situation.
  • More than 2.3 million people, over half of whom are African-American or Latino, continue to be warehoused in prisons across the country. 
  • Many, many of these incarcerated people face conditions that fit the international definition of torture.  This includes, by last count, over 80,000 in solitary confinement.
  • More than 5 million formerly incarcerated people face are stigmatized and treated as pariahs: discriminated against when they look for work, barred from living in public housing or receiving government loans and denied the right to vote. 
  • Racial profiling – including in the form of stop-and-frisk and gang injunctions – as well as racially discriminatory use of police to arrest literally hundreds of thousands of youth a year in school, giving them records for minor disciplinary infractions of school rules – continues to feed youth of color into the meat grinder.
  • Every night the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency detains about 33,400 immigrants.  A new report details how 100’s of these immigrants are being held in conditions of solitary confinement that amount to torture.
All this amounts to a slow genocide that is breaking the bodies and crushing the spirits of countless millions of oppressed people. A slow genocide which could easily become a fast one.  This is unacceptable and must be stopped!  And it is up to our grassroots efforts to stop it.

Nearly two years ago some of us met to pull together a movement not just to protest this, but to END IT.  Some things have been done – we have supported the 2011 prisoners’ hunger strikes in California; participated in actions across the country in protest of the murder of Trayvon Martin; and participated in many protests in communities across the country against police murder.  And, in particular, we launched a major campaign of mass nonviolent direct action against the notorious stop-and-frisk policies in New York City.

This has been important.  But it is not nearly enough.

Our movement of resistance to mass incarceration must make a big leap ahead in the coming months, becoming a major force in US society capable of beating back this slow genocide and building up the strength and organization needed to actually STOP IT.  I want to suggest a combination of initiatives for this summer that I think could, together, amount to a major step in this direction and, right now, make a huge leap in putting this in the forefront of people’s minds.
  • A central focus of doing this must be working to support the hunger strike called for by people in prison in California. In 2011 prisoners in the Special Housing Units (SHU’s) of the California prisons engaged in a hunger strike demanding an end to the tortuous conditions. (For info on this strike go to www.revcom.us/a/247/247prisoners-resume-hunger-strike-en.html.)  They plan to initiate another hunger strike on July 8, 2013, if the authorities continue to refuse to respond satisfactorily to their demands for change, and they have called on prisoners across the country to join them.  They have also issued an inspiring call for unity between people of different races and nationalities inside and outside the prisons. People who have been locked down in the dungeons of this country and have been condemned as the worst of the worst have stood up and said NO MORE!   They have asserted their humanity, and if we wish to assert our own humanity, we can do no less than build powerful support for these prisoners – beginning now.  We should act in solidarity with these prisoners, with their loved ones and all those who have supported their struggle.
THIS HAS TO START NOW!  We need to spread the word on the planned hunger strike and the Call for unity inside and outside the prisons.  We need to gather statements of support for the actions of the prisoners.  We need to plan tribunals and other forms to involve broad sections of people in standing with the hunger strikers.  If at all possible, we must through this protest force the state of California to meet these demands and make it unnecessary for these prisoners to take such a desperate action; but we must also be prepared to support them through what might indeed be a necessary and very difficult struggle. 

Even as we focus on this, we need to continue working to build a powerful movement on resistance to mass incarceration overall.  This means:
  • Taking on police brutality, police murder and violation of people’s fundamental rights. Supporting people whenever they take a righteous stand against this.
  • URGENT: We face an immediate necessity to build support for Noche Diaz, a young revolutionary who goes on trial in New York City on April 23rd facing several years in prison for observing the police brutalizing people and refusing to leave those people alone to deal with that brutality.  Please right now sign the statement in support.  (You can sign this statement by going to www.stopmassincarceration.org/hands-off-noche-diaz.html.)  And contact me about other ways we can support this courageous young fighter.
  • The trial of the vigilante murderer of Trayvon Martin begins in June.  It took massive outpourings across the country to force the authorities to put Zimmerman on trial, and without continued mass involvement there will be no chance for justice in this case. 
  • Spreading the blow-the-whistle actions we took last Fall, in which communities were mobilized to blow whistles to highlight police harassment and abuse on the spot. These were taken up in several communities and showed real potential as a way for people in the grassroots to resist the denial of their rights as it happens, and to protest this.  This summer should witness a real spread of this method of resistance.
  • The statement: “A Generation of Suspects” should be further circulated and should actually become a dividing line in society.  This is a vehicle for all people, whether they directly face this slow genocide or not, to stand up and protest against it. 
  • This movement needs to take on a cultural expression.  There are many who would want to participate in creating a culture that highlights what is truly positive – resistance against this.  Can we ask visual artists to create a logo or emblem that could become something like the pink-and-black triangle of ACTUP?  And we should also look at the possibility of a major hip hop concert in the fall.  (How is “Words and Beats Against Mass Incarceration” as a title for this?) 
  • Finally, there should be literally thousands in the streets, and tens of thousands protesting in other ways, on October 22, 2013, the 18th annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation.
As part of doing this, we need to get further organized.  This means encouraging the formation of chapters of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network all over the country.

These are my ideas on what we need to take up in the months ahead.  There is an urgent need to map out an approach to the continuing slow genocide of mass incarceration that grinds away engulfing the lives of tens of millions of oppressed people.  In doing this, we need to base ourselves on what we have accomplished so far while facing squarely the need to go much further.

Get back to me with your thoughts on this proposal.  Write me at carldix@hotmail.com or call Steve Yip at (917) 868-6007.

By: Carl Dix, Revolutionary Communist Party, Co-founder of the Stop Mass Incarceration Network
April 14, 2013