Over the last few days the police have arrested hundreds across the country for the occupations. They have used tear gas and “less lethal” weapons against the people occupying what has been renamed “Oscar Grant Plaza” in Oakland, CA. They have put a two tour Iraq war veteran into serious condition. They used “flash bang” grenades to deter those trying to drag his unconscious body away from their police line. They used clubs, night sticks, flashlights and their own hands and feet to completely destroy the encampment that was built in the plaza in Oakland.
Is this the work of those who see themselves as a part of us?
Do they see themselves as we? We, are those willing to stand up for our own ideas of a future. We, are the ones willing to risk tear gas, beatings and arrest to send a message of defiance. We, are the ones who tear down the fences they put around our liberated spaces. We, are the ones willing to erect the barricades to defend ourselves and our comrades with what little power we have.
If they were us, then what has transpired on the streets of Oakland, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, New York and so many other places would not be the reality. If they were us, then people like Troy Davis, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell and so many others would still be alive. If they were us, then 2.3 million people would not be caged in this country, and 1 in 3 Black men would not face jail in their lifetime. If they were us, then 1 in 4 children would not go to bed tonight hungry while grocery stores sit full of food.
Our struggle is not directly against the police, but they will be the tool, the weaponry deployed against us. It is not the quality of our relationship with them that determines this. Their power does not come from us and we have no say in how it is used. This is clear from the more than 100 officers that surrounded this plaza and kidnapped 11 people from it. They will come for us again- it’s time we gave ’em one hell of a fight.