On Sunday, October 22, Newark, NJ joined 30+ other cities across the country in mobilizing for the Annual National Day of Protest Against Brutality, remembering the Stolen Lives and condemning police violence and killing of mainly Black and Brown victims across the country.
The Newark mobilization was initiated by the People’s Organization for Progress (POP) and the Coalition of Families of Victims of Police Brutality. The family members of victims from around the state were joined by: the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Newark Communities for Accountable Policing (NCAP), the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition (NAVC), Maplewood South Orange (MAPSO) Freedom School, and the Ironbound Community Corporation, SEIU, The Green Party Protesters bore witness to the anguish of the families of Jerome Reid, Kashad Ashford, Abdul Kamal, Radaz Hearns, Jacqui Graham, Darryl Fuqua. Marchers echoed the names of Michael Brown, Freddy Grey, Sandra Bland, Heather Hegar, and Eric Garner, linking the local struggles with the national plague of state terrorism against Black and Brown People.
Speakers recognized police brutality and killings as state terrorism, historically rooted in U.S. capitalism’s structural need to control enslaved Africans for super-exploitation of their labor; organizationally descended from 2nd Amendment rebellion suppressing state militias and slave patrols. These legacies of slavery were exposed as the military pillar of the culture of white supremacy, an ideological instrument of social control of Black Labor and through the American ordeal, a vanguard of resistance.
The Political Line was laid out that Police terror is a symptom of capitalism/imperialism and while fighting on this major battlefront for short-term defensive reforms (effective civilian police review boards; body & dashboard cameras) recognize that anti-police violence struggle is one among many fronts of resistance against Black oppression that must be united into a coordinated national movement that must advance to radical transformation of the political, economic and social order.
Organizationally, the local movement was strengthened by individual family members coming forward as activists; Solidarity being built among Working Class and Black Liberation forces; and, a rudimentary United Front was being built by participation in the National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality.