First and foremost, let me salute and hail up all of you, young and not so young men, women and teenagers who have taken to the streets against killer cops and government repression.
This is Jaan Laaman and I am a long held political prisoner, and prior to that, I was a busy and loud public activist and an underground militant.
The police killing of young Mike Brown in Ferguson, of Eric Garner in NYC, of Ryan Ronquillo in Denver and so many other boys and men of color in towns and cities across the United States is just so sickening and sad. It is also so common and routine. It literally happens everyday, and it has been going on and on for years, decades.
A well known statistic is that a Black man or boy is killed by a cop, every 28 hours.
Actually in the past several decades, cops kill at least 430, and some years up to 600 and 700 people every year. Mostly these are people of color.
What is or should be, just as well known, is that cops almost never get charged with any of these killings. What does happen is that the killer cop is placed on paid leave for weeks or months. The cop gets a paid vacation for killing the brother, the hermano, the kid.
You good people in the streets from Ferguson to Denver, to Ohio, to New York and really all across this country, have every right, and a real need to be out there and stay out there protesting.
I’ll tell you, even from behind these prison walls, I can see and sense that a new movement has risen up. The rallies and marches from one city to another, the similarity in goals, methods and understanding who the enemy is, demonstrates in actions and words, that this is a movement, not just local issues. Sure, names of cops, prosecutors and mayors are different from town to town. Some are Republican, some are Democrat, but the cops keep killing and the prosecutors and politicians keep backing them up and never charging them. This goes on from big cities to small towns.
It is time for us the public and particularly you good people talking, organizing, marching and standing up to the cops, sheriffs, federal agents and National Guard troops, to clearly see that these killer cops and this government repression is not just a local issue. It is happening across the country and calling it out, organizing and resisting it across the country is just what needs to be done. This is happening and it needs to happen even more. With today’s communication methods and social media, it is very hard for the corporate mass media to hide and misinform the public like they were more able to do years ago. I urge you to communicate – use social media,twitter,you tube, etc. -from town to town, support each other, publicize the specifics of cop killings in other areas. The more informed we are the more powerful our movement becomes.
Just this past weekend, Dec. 13, a national rally was held in Washington DC. This is a good step forward, as were the corresponding marches in NYC, Boston and other cities. These are all signs that we are seeing the growth of a new national anti-government, Human Rights movement, that demands an end to cops routinely killing men and boys of color. And that also demands these killers by held accountable. This is both a very necessary movement and a very positive development for the people.
At this point there are lots of groups and voices from many areas explaining things and calling for action. I would suggest you listen to each other, work together when possible. More unity is more strength. Planning regional and larger actions will make everyone more visible and effective. Not everyone will want to or should be required to take the same actions. Different tactics are not only usually alright, but they push the whole struggle forward and they allow people to take part in ways they are comfortable with and ready for. Don’t fall for government divide and conquer moves — diversity and unity will bring results. And I will add, that militancy will be necessary too. A couple of old school slogans come to mind:
I am glad to be able to salute all of you in this movement, and certainly I can speak for all political prisoners held in U.S. prisons, when I say that we support you and stand with you in spirit and determination.