The Best Response to Police Violence- A Lesson From the Great Depression
In 1931, the Communist led Unemployed Councils started a movement to put back the furniture of families evicted from their apartments, and organize their neighbors to resist when the police and marshals tried to put the furniture back. Several months after the campaign began, three black Communists in Chicago were killed by police during such an eviction protest. Two days later, 50,000 people, from every one of Chicago's ethnic neighborhoods, joined a funeral march for the 3 men that police looked upon in silence and awe. No one was ever killed again resisting an eviction in Chicago and in some Chicago neighborhoods, it was impossible to kick families out of their homes!! The same was true in the Bronx. By the beginning of 1933, it was virtually impossible to conduct an eviction in the Bronx because so many people would congregate in the street and block the marshals.
When the police and the state use force to suppress protest, and use deadly violence against innocent people, the best weapon of organizers is the mass indignation and mass mobilization of those who suffer from the very conditions that protesters were challenging
There IS strength in numbers. I hope that our brothers and sisters- in Oakland and elsewhere- take this lesson to heart. The Oakland police and Oakland Mayor and those who would take similar actions around the nation must see-and feel- the full strength of our movement