The fight for Justice for Kimani Gray is part of the fight against a highly repressive state that enforces mass incarceration, the criminalization of a whole generation and discrimination against formerly incarcerated people. All this amounts to a slow genocide targeting Black and Latino people, which must be met with mass determined resistance.
Kimani’s murder and people’s response to his murder mark an important juncture in this fight. This time people stood up and said NO! They did this in the face of riot cops brutalizing and arresting people, including Kimani’s sister, who gathered at vigils and protests. The authorities denied a permit to protest to Kimani’s parents. Politicians and the media directed slander at so-called “outsiders” who dared to stand together with those who had borne the brunt of the repression. It is crucial that this be resisted in a UNIFIED WAY! That is why the Stop Mass Incarceration Network called for the rally and march on March 24 and raised the slogans JUSTICE FOR KIMANI GRAY, JAIL THE KILLER COPS and DROP THE CHARGES AGAINST ALL THE ARRESTED PROTESTERS!
Carrying this fight forward will require forging broad unity among people from many different viewpoints. It is very important that everyone involved be able to put forward their honest views on the problem facing people and the solution to that problem. There needs to be honest and principled airing of differences within the unity that has been forged. Getting to the source of the problem and posing the solution to it from different viewpoints is VERY positive and is not, as some have tried to characterize this, bringing in outside issues.
But some forces issued physical threats against people associated with the Revolutionary Communist Party and the Revolution Club and shouted down speakers associated with these groups. This is unacceptable. It is important that this kind of divisive and dangerous conduct not be tolerated. Not only is this type of conduct wrong on principle, it has historically been used against movements of resistance to split, confuse, and demoralize people. It has also provided a free hand for the state to suppress, repress, and frame people and even set people up to be murdered. We must learn from and apply the lessons of this bitter experience.
There can be no unity with groups and/or individuals who carry out such actions unless and until they disavow such actions and repudiate them. Actions like these weaken the resistance movement and serve the interests of the powers-that-be, whatever the intentions of those who did them.
With this approach, we can build the firmest unity among the broadest forces and we can create an atmosphere where people have each other’s backs, where we are learning from each other as we stand shoulder to shoulder in this life-and-death struggle.
Alessandro Morosin,Graduate Student, Sociology, UC Riverside, M.A., Global Studies, UC Santa Barbara;
Scott Trent, October 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and the Criminalization of a Generation, Guilford (AKA "GUILTY") County, NC;
*For identification purposes only.
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