October 21, 2000
On the night of Thursday, October 19th, six members of the Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade (RCYB) and four residents of the South Bronx were arrested while planning for the October 22nd National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. As youth we see the criminalization of our generation everyday. On Thursday night we saw an example of the repression carried out by the police.
The cops claim they had a warrant for one of the occupants of the apartment - but they arrested all ten people. One cop was overheard saying "were they all there?" and another cop was heard saying "these are the communists." We see this attack on the RCYB and those organizing for the October 22nd Day of Protest as parallel to attacks on the poor, on immigrants, and on people of color in their neighborhoods every day. It's no coincidence that as soon as these community members started to organize against police brutality, they become victims of police repression.
This was clearly a political attack - just like the attacks on thousands of youth at massive protests against the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia and the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles this summer. When 75 youth organized to create puppets for protests against the Republican Convention, they were arrested before setting foot in the streets. When tens of thousands of youth attended a Rage Against the Machine concert outside of the Democratic National Convention they were attack by police with rubber bullets and tear gas. At each of these major protests peaceful demonstrators have been the victims of vicious police brutality and repression. We have seen youth trampled by horses, shot at and tear gassed, intentionally struck by police vehicles, dragged through the streets, arrested in pre-dawn raids, detained, harassed and criminalized for daring to stand up against America's repressive agenda. What happened in the South Bronx on Thursday night is no different. And it is not only a political attack - but yet another example of a neighborhood that is under constant police repression.
It is becoming commonplace that when people stand up and resist they become targets of further police repression. Musicians like Bruce Springsteen, who wrote the song "American Skin (41 shots)" in memory of Amadou Diallo, was attacked in the press by police union officials; and, Rage Against the Machine who, while exercising their right of free speech, are hounded and condemned by the Fraternal Order of Police. Parents of victims of police murder have had their homes prank called by police after seeing their children demonized by city officials and in the press. And courageous youth like Malcolm Ferguson, who days after protesting the acquittal of the cops who killed Amadou Diallo, was shot down by police in his own apartment building - the very building where the attack on the RCYB occurred on Thursday night. Refuse & Resist! is building a national culture, climate, and community of resistance based upon the understanding that it is right to fight back against these attacks.
Refuse & Resist! supports all those who stand up against repression, whether it be political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal who has been on death row for 19 years, young women who choose to exercise their reproductive rights in the face of anti-choice attacks, immigrants who should be able to seek work without fear of being physically assaulted, or youth who stand up against the criminalization of their generation in their communities and schools every day.
We call on everyone to join the Refuse & Resist! Youth Network and the October 22 Coalition tomorrow for the National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression, and Criminalization of a Generation!
The Youth Network of Refuse & Resist!
305 Madison Avenue. Suite 1166 New York New York 10165
ph: 212-431-7377 fax: 212-431-3957
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