WHEN: Monday, January 18th 2016 4PM
WHERE: St Mary’s Episcopal Church – 230 Classon Ave, Brooklyn, New York 11205 (G trains to Classon Av)
WHO: The ICE Free NYC Coalition
“I’m afraid that even as we integrate, we are walking into a place that does not understand that this nation needs to be deeply concerned with the plight of the poor and disenfranchised. Until we commit ourselves to ensuring that the underclass is given justice and opportunity, we will continue to perpetuate the anger and violence that tears at the soul of this nation.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
No longer is the struggle for black liberation one of integration as full citizens under Jim Crow Apartheid, it is more than a legal struggle as it was during the Civil Rights Movement. The political conditions we live in today is a neocolonial struggle, one where blacks are already integrated into society and have legal status in par with white America. We now have ‘civil’ blacks, from black CEO’s to black police officers to black politicians that the rich and ruling class sets as an example, and they will use the name of Martin Luther King Day as a celebration for the civil integration of black lives in America.
However, we are still in an ongoing fight in the U.S. to make black lives matter to the police, the courts, the politicians and the capitalists. This is because we continue to live under white supremacy, black lives are still subject to U.S. settler colonialism and we see this through a subtle war committed against our communities. Black people historically are killed by police, and make up the majority of the over 1200 deaths in the hands of the U.S. police state last year. Despite countless videos and evidence of these murders, police officers continue to kill with exemption of consequences and punishment. Women and children are likely to be killed with impunity just as much as men, this can be seen with the recent non-indictments of the Sandra Bland and Tamir Rice cases. In addition to being killed by the police, working-class communities are being gentrified at alarming rates. Big corporations are putting chain stores into these communities and the cost of living is increasing to displace Black and brown people. In the process of gentrification, there is also increased police activity which is increased repression in working-class communities.
Yet whenever these acts of violence in our communities occur by the state, the corporate owned media will always bring up any indication of a criminal history to justify it, labeling us as thugs, thieves, terrorists as a reason to continue the occupation, surveillance and entrapment by the police in our neighborhoods. Our half-black president Barack Obama, who oversaw the most deportations of any other president, issued a policy of “felons not families”, in which the Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) collaborates with the NYPD and the Department of Corrections to terrorize the working class and oppressed nationalities. Targeting and deporting undocumented immigrants with petty criminal convictions from closed cases from years or even decades ago to set an example to divide our communities into “good” and “bad” immigrants. Obama claims to fight for the “future of the DREAMer who stays up late at night to work on her project” while deporting her parents. GOP top-runner candidate Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant and Islamophobic policies fuels the imperialist “war on terror” in our homelands and gain fascist support within the U.S. When asked for accountability, our “progressive” mayor Bill de Blasio who once served as the city’s public advocate responded by adding more police presence and further militarizing the NYPD. Homeless people, with a significant section of them who are LGBTQ , are being brutalized by police in gentrifying neighborhoods. Transgender immigrants when detained are often mis-gendered and subjected to additional forms of physical, psychological, and sexual abuse. When our people are not being killed or raped on the streets or at the border, the U.S. houses the prisons and detention centers that act as concentration camps, with largest incarcerated population than any other country in the world.
It is important to provide legal support and win citizenship for undocumented immigrants in the U.S., but when we draw from the lived experiences of black Americans it is shown that despite integration the state will not stop in the war against us, the “drug wars” serve as an example of the criminalization of Black and Latino people post-civil rights (although whites use and sell drugs at the same rate). Broken windows policing, the criminal justice system and immigration enforcement collaborate to keep us obeying the laws that do not serve us and from understanding a shared enemy. This is because under capitalism, white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy, there are no “good” or bad” blacks and immigrants, and our lives do not matter. No amount of money or legal representation can substitute for political power. This is why it is imperative to organize for resistance and to build power in our communities.
This Monday, the mayor and other city officials will gather at St. Mary’s Church in the name of honoring MLK, but not for his legacy of standing up for the poor and disenfranchised. It is up to the people, not the city officials and politicians, to reclaim our communities that are under attack. We demand the end of the collaboration of ICE, NYPD and the DOC that repress the people seeking refuge from the violent conditions of our countries devastated by U.S. imperialism and its allies.
As RSCC we fight to seize control of our schools which currently act as institutions that legitimize our oppressive system to end the collaboration with ICE, NYPD, DOC and ROTC and to gain community control of CUNY. As students, workers, community members and organizers it is our task to combat the reactionary ideas that plague our people and unite against the oppressors.
All out for January 18!
Fist up, fight back!