It has been one year since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown. In commemoration of his death and to highlight the slayings of other Black people in the Kansas City metro area, like Ryan Stokes and Javon Hawkins, One Struggle KC issued a call to action to the people of Kansas City to stand in solidarity with Ferguson, with the families of the victims of racist violence, and to stand in defiance. Our call was heeded by over 100 people who came out and gathered outside of the Ward Parkway Shopping Center in the suburbs of South Kansas City. We gathered outside the monument to White financial capital in the city, a paragon of late monopoly capitalism built through the extraction of wealth from the so-called Third World here and abroad. Yes, here Black and Brown people within the borders of this imperialist settler-colonial project are Third World people, either kidnapped from our homelands or made criminals on our own lands, our own continent. It was at this site that we chose to make our voices heard and to take our stand.
With shouts of “No Justice, No Peace” and “Fight Back” we chose to make our voices heard and proceeded to march around the center to State Line Road in which we divided between both sides of the state. This was done to draw attention to the victims of police violence on the Kansas side. We then proceeded to shut down the intersection for four minutes to symbolize the four hours the body of Michael Brown lay in the street as if he were an animal struck by a vehicle.
It was at this moment the police departments of both states proceeded to carry out their roles as agents of political repression and national oppression. This simple act of minor civil disobedience was viewed as intolerable by this beast and four of our comrades were arrested for declaring their humanity. One of our sister-comrades was arrested on the Kansas side by Missouri police and then later handed over to Kansas.
These should not be seen as isolated incidents but rather a coordinated and deliberate effort to target the public faces of One Struggle KC and our sister organization Una Lucha KC. If this was thought to be an act of intimidation on behalf of both police departments, it failed miserably and had the opposite effect. It not only strengthened our resolve but acts as a lesson to further radicalize us, pushing us and others to the realization that the police are an inherently reactionary force that is meant to oppress the people and protect and serve the rulers of this country – the white supremacist capitalist bourgeoisie. These same rulers are the ones who make super profits by throwing us in prisons to make their weapons of war for which they use on other oppressed people around the world, who are also resisting them tooth and nail. Back at home, with the current political unrest in Ferguson, the police have declared their loyalty to the ruling class by using violence and intimidation to prioritize the protection of property over people, and are locking up prominent bloggers in a deliberate effort to silence political speech.
In our struggle we come to realize that in this country unfortunately Black lives do not matter. They matter to Black people of course but not to the white supremacist capitalist system which profits off Black bodies through labor – from wage slavery in the service sector to super exploitation in the prison system; a system where Black men and women prisoners are contracted out to the ruling class’s financial institutions and corporations, whether it be McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Sprint, or the State in producing military helmets, body armor, and ammunition. We literally make the same weapons they use to kill us. We are able to see the reason why they came out with tanks, with assault weapons, and dogs against the people of Ferguson: fear. Fear of the masses. The police of this country and this city are paper tigers. And because they are made of paper they crumble in the face of rain and wind. Yes, fierce as they are with their batons, their pepper spray and their guns there are still many more of us than there are of them and they know this. We were witnesses to the trembling and nervousness they had as they arrested one of us, especially on that day.
As a way to somewhat remind us who they were, they taunted some of us by speculating about our citizenship status, and even speculated on our weight. This, however, once again, did not have the intended effect they were looking for because it just added further proof to our belief of the inherently racist and patriarchal nature of their institution, which draws from the elements of this society who embrace and create a racist and patriarchal world. This sideshow of theirs did not change the fact that they trembled as they arrested us. It did not change the fact that we were witnesses to their staging area a few blocks away where dozens of police cars and wagons were waiting in anticipation of us. While in the South Patrol detention facility one of us even managed to have conversation with a fellow inmate about the inherently racist nature of the carceral system.
In this conversation our comrade asked, “Who are our friends? Who are our enemies?” We know our enemies and have seen them first hand; we also know the enemy we don’t see which is the entire racist, patriarchal, and imperialist-capitalist system that regards the world as its plantation. We also know our friends: The oppressed, like ourselves, workers of all nationalities, oppressed nations of the world, of which we consider ourselves to be a part, oppressed genders including transgender people, women and non-men as well as the truly progressive and revolutionary-minded people in this country and around the world who lend us their support and solidarity. As one can see, we have many more friends than we have enemies.
To the people of Kansas City please continue to lend us your support! Please join us! Don’t be afraid or timid. If enough of us come together we can show everyone, including ourselves, who holds the real power. To all the police departments of the world you are paper tigers; fierce as you are, even you cannot weather the storm. Bring an umbrella.
Please join us! Don’t be afraid or timid. If enough of us come together we can show everyone, including ourselves, who holds the real power.
-This statement was written by One Struggle KC