No. 32August 29, 2020
U.S. People's Movement Against Racism,
Injustice, Impunity and Inequality
Does Not Relent
March on Washington, August 28, 2020.
movement in the U.S. Against Racism, Injustice, Impunity and
Inequality is continuing relentlessly, seen in the massive
demonstration under COVID-19 conditions in Washington, DC on August
28. August 27 marked the 90th straight day of protests
in Portland, Oregon and a number of other cities which have also
actions for 90 days without letup.
August protests have focused on demanding that
the country's resources be directed to
guaranteeing rights to security, education,
housing, health care, immigration and other
crucial matters. This culminated August 28 with
more than 70,000 people converging in Washington,
DC on the 57th anniversary of the March on
Washington which took place on August 28, 1963.
Youth, women and workers united in demanding "Get
Your Knee Off Our Necks." The reference is not
only to reject the ongoing racist police violence
and killings but also the long-standing and
growing inequality in all aspects of life as the
government strives to keep its knee on the necks
of the people, African Americans especially.
African Americans have long played a militant and
critical role in the fight for rights and in
building broad resistance for change.
Various women who spoke brought to the fore the
need to persist in the fight for change. Bridget
Floyd, sister of George Floyd, said. "My brother
cannot be a voice today. We have to be the voice.
We have to be the change."
"We're at a point we can get that change, but we
have to stand together," Breonna Taylor's mother,
Tamika Palmer, said. Breonna Taylor, an
African-American emergency medical technician, was
killed on March 13 by police in Louisville,
Kentucky, who were executing a no-knock warrant.
Trayvon Martin's mother, Sybrina Fulton, told the
crowd to "stand up together" and "keep fighting."
Unarmed 17-year-old African-American youth Trayvon
Martin was shot and killed in Sanford, Florida on
February 26, 2012 by a vigilante who was later
acquitted of murder. This spirit of relying on the
people's forces and strengthening unity in the
fight is evident in the continuing actions all
across the country.
Adding to the
outrage against injustice and police impunity, on
August 23 in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Jacob Blake, an
unarmed African-American, was shot seven times in
the back by a police officer as he entered his
vehicle, while three of his children were in the
back seat. He is in critical condition, paralyzed
from the waist down, yet handcuffed to his
hospital bed as a "threat." Protests immediately
broke out in Kenosha and across the U.S. The
Wisconsin Department of Corrections was burned to
the ground overnight on August 24. Police have
responded to protests with tear gas,
snatch-and-grab arrests and violence, and a fence
was erected around the Kenosha courthouse August
Another feature of this state-organized violence
has been to unleash and provide backing for armed
reactionary militia groups in Kenosha and
Portland. Police are openly supporting their
presence and not preventing their violence against
demonstrators. One 17-year-old youth who travelled
from Illinois to Kenosha to join other militia
members there, is accused of shooting three
protestors in Kenosha with an assault rifle.
Despite demands to police by protesters to stop
the shooter, he was allowed to return home and
only arrested the following day after continued
demands and protests in Kenosha and elsewhere.
The August 28, 1963 March on Washington was
organized in large part by youth and students
battling state-organized KKK terror across the
south to secure the rights of African Americans to
equality, including equal participation in the
political life of the country. The march at which
Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream"
speech, had historic significance in uniting
forces from south and north in this fight.
Generally, the struggle up to that point had
largely been in the south, concentrated in
Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. Numerous battles
had been waged in the 1950s and early '60s against
lynching, KKK terror, police brutality, for voting
rights and an end to discrimination in schools,
jobs and housing. These included the Montgomery,
Alabama bus boycott in 1955; the fight for the
equal right to education and opposition to the
segregation of high schools and universities; and
the Freedom Rides where northern students, black
and white joined in the battle against segregation
and for rights. Many had experience with the
racism and brutality of not only local and state
police but also with the federal government and
its FBI, which organized and fomented KKK terror.
The monopoly media tried to create fear of "riots"
and violence ahead of the march, while the
Pentagon had 19,000 troops at the ready. The youth
and student organizers, from south and north,
included many from the anti-war movement. They
refused to be intimidated or provoked and instead
went all out to mobilize and ensure an organized,
This is a timely anniversary to draw upon, amidst
a situation that once again calls on working
people to act as an organized united force to
defend rights and renew the society. Today's
actions are taking place at a time the rulers are
desperately competing for the presidency. Both the
Democratic and Republican National Conventions
were replete with the morbid preoccupation with
death and defeat should Americans not adhere to
their version of how to Make America Great Again.
Having no solutions and in their desperation to
block the change now being fought for, both
predicted dire consequences if the other were
"This is a
life-changing election that will determine
America's future for a very long time," Democratic
Presidential Nominee Joe Biden said. Speaking of
the current resistance former president Barack
Obama said, "[A]ny chance of success depends
entirely on the outcome of this election." For his
part President Donald Trump, speaking of the
election, said, "This is the biggest, this is it.
Our country can go in a horrible, horrible
direction or in an even greater direction."
The words of all main speakers at both
conventions reveal a desperate attempt to divert
and block the striving of the people for
empowerment, for the New to take hold, for a
society where rights are provided with a
guarantee. But the rulers have proven over and
over that their way is the "knee to the neck" way
which has shattered their "American Dream" to
People across the United States, from all walks
of life, are showing that they are not satisfied
with vacuous promises and dreams. Their drive is
for a new direction for politics and the economy,
a direction where the rights of all are guaranteed
and the people are empowered to govern and decide
so as to make these guarantees a reality and hold
those who govern to account. The old structures of
inequality -- embedded in existing social
relations that protect private property of the
richest few and enforced through the Constitution
-- are being challenged. People are demanding
control over policing, increased funding for
social services not the rich and an end to U.S.
wars. They are rejecting the old "America" of Biden and Trump in favour of a new People's United States.
This is broadly evident as working people in
cities all across the U.S. have redoubled their
efforts to organize themselves to oppose the
racism, injustice, impunity and inequality -- both
locally and nationally -- in the streets, in their
workplaces, and on the political front in the key
fights for the right to health care, and healthy
and safe schools and workplaces amidst the
The profound crisis facing the U.S. makes clear
that only working people speaking out, relying on
their own efforts and organizing in their own name
can defend the rights of all and ensure a way out
of the situation that favours them.
Washington -- August 28
August 28, 2020
August 26, 2020
August 24, 2020
in Kenosha, Wisconsin the day following the police shooting of
Jacob Blake. Top photo is outside the courthouse.
Across the Country
August 26, 2020
August 20, 2020
August 10, 2020
August 8, 2020
Protest August 24, 2020, the day after the
police shooting of Jacob Blake.
Program at the George Floyd memorial, August
Candlelight vigil, August 26, 2020, for Jacob
Youth protest for nine hours outside Chicago
Public Schools headquarters, August 26, 2020,
during a vote to renew a contract with the Chicago
Police Department, despite months of protests to
get police out of schools, then they take over the
intersection at Madison/State.
Defund Police protest, August 22, 2020.
Action August 17, 2020
demands Chicago police department be
defunded and that funding be provided for
In actions on August 9 and 11, 2020, high
school students organize to get police out of
New York City, New York
One of four Marches for the Dead takes place in
New York City, August 21, 2020. The marches are
organized by families of people who have died of
Right to Housing protest, August 20, 2020.
Billionaires protest, August 9, 2020.
August 12, 2020
August 8, 2020
A spontaneous protest formed to
prevent the deportation of two long-time
residents of the community on August 12, 2020.
After a 10-hour standoff with police,
immigration lawyers filed an emergency motion
on behalf of the deportees.
San Francisco, California
March for the Dead in San Franscisco, August 21,
2020, organized by families of people who have
died of COVID-19.
Los Angeles, California
San Diego, California
Protest on August 22, 2020 against the wrecking
of the U.S. Postal Service.
St. Louis, Missouri
Protest August 8 after Strauss Brands, a
meatpacking facility, fired 31 low-wage line
workers because they were advocating for
better COVID-19 protections.
Rally August 26, 2020 for justice for Jacob Blake.
August 23, 2020.
Protests continue, August 22, 2020, demanding that
bill HB8005, which criminalizes protesters be
Protest outside session of Tennessee
General Assembly, August 10, 2020, as it voted
on bills HB8004 & HB8005, which
criminalize and further penalize protests
outside the state Capitol.
Greensboro, North Carolina
Protest outside U.S.
Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's house
demanding the U.S. Postal Service be saved
August 18 protest at Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Perduto's house.
On August 17, protestors blockade the entrance of
tear gas manufacturer, Combined Systems Inc (CSI)
in Pennsylvania. "By shutting down this facility
today, we are here to tell CSI President Jacob
Kravel that his company's production of tear gas
must come to an end." Five activists were
Wood-Ridge, New Jersey
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