(ed. parts of this were originally published September, 2013 – here!)
Solidarity – what is it? It’s a question many in Los Angeles (Michael Prysner of ANSWER-LA/PSL, Najee Ali of Sharpton’s NAN, OccupyLA and Bambu – I’m talking to you) might want to revisit, particularly after the small-but-beautiful (and, of course, brutally repressed) rupture that took place in our city and others in July of 2013. Don’t answer yet. Think about it. What is solidarity?
From the jump, the LAPD and their media cohort were in
full solidarity complete and total collusion – denying the violence initiated by the pigs on the very first night of protests here in Los Angeles while perpetuating lies about the uprising itself. And how do we fight state/media collusion and its white supremacist, racist violence? Solidarity. As Fred Hampton said:
We’re gonna fight racism with solidarity. We say you don’t fight capitalism with no black capitalism; you fight capitalism with socialism.
We ain’t gonna fight no reactionary pigs who run up and down the street being reactionary; we’re gonna organize and dedicate ourselves to revolutionary political power and teach ourselves the specific needs of resisting the power structure…
Throwing those in the streets under the bus, like Bambu (a “rapper”), Prysner and Ali all did? Fuck that. Your craven opportunism is counterrevolutionary fuckshit – plain and simple. Blaming “anarchists?” Trifling – and worse – state-serving bullshit. Parachuting in and planting your organizational flag? OccupyLA did that. Stick to your Facebook post activism. Amplify other voices, for a change. Jump in front of a spontaneous uprising and try to channel it into Democratic outlets? Well, Sharlia Gulley…
“Those who now fear violent social disorder must ask themselves whose interests are served by a violent social order in which young black men can be thus slain and discarded.”
So, what’s an activist or organizer to do in times like this? Serve the people – not yourself. That seems simple. How? Let’s see how others did…
“There are decades where nothing happens; and there are weeks where decades happen.”
― Vladimir Ilyich Lenin
July was like that, Vlad. I guess you weren’t all bad.
OLAASM was on our way back to Los Angeles from Corcoran State Prison when the Zimmerman verdict came down. We weren’t surprised – few were. We were surprised, however, that the verdict came down on a weekend. We thought we’d have until Monday to get ready. We must’ve forgotten what Suga Free always said, “if you stay ready – you don’t gotta get ready.”
The pigs shot people with rubber bullets in Los Angeles that very first night, while we were still frantically racing down the 5 freeway to get home. Of course, the media wouldn’t say protests “turned violent” until it served the state to say so. But we’ll get to that in a bit.
Here’s a brief recap of how the Zimmerman protests went down in Los Angeles:
Saturday, July 13th – the verdict comes down and an immediate, impromptu march flows from Leimert Park, the “cultural hub of black Los Angeles.” The LASD or LAPD open fire on marchers with rubber bullets – as linked to above.
Sunday, July 14th – a huge, snaking march left Leimert Park, shut down the 10 freeway in Los Angeles (inspiring similar, people-powered badassery in both Oakland and Houston), was brutalized by pigs, and continued all the way to Hollywood -where Sharlia Gulley’s strange, aforementioned interaction with the LAPD took place. Here’s the LAPD shooting unarmed people in the face:
Monday, July 15 – After the weekend’s abuse, the youth adapt and refuse to walk directly into police lines, so the city decides to really crackdown – sending hundreds of pigs into the Crenshaw District, manipulating all its media partners and occupying South LA with its brutes riding 4-deep in squad cars. The pigs had their “jump out boys” ready to go, so it was time to take the protests elsewhere. Because breaking a window or two on Crenshaw Blvd. was “violent.” See the Pig Chief himself, in a moment of unintentional irony:
“Violence is never the answer,” says the pig in charge of a militarized police force. Ha. Haha. Ha. Ha. O RLY?
And then it happened. People left the Crenshaw District. And worse, the media and pigs called it “Wilding.”
From Tuesday, July 16 – here and in many other outlets too numerous to mention…
If you don’t like reading, check out these videos we made:
I promise I’ll write this up in more detail. Someday.