I witnessed a bitterly stunning thing tonite that deeply cut
We were triumphantly marching back to downtown Oakland after
at least 3 hours of successful actions: we shut down Broadway and Telegraph
Aves; we shut down 880 in both directions; and we shut down the West Oakland
And several people told the police exactly why we were
there: to protest THEM as a fucked up, unwanted, violent entity that we are no
longer going to tolerate.
Our numbers swelled to probably close to or even more than
1000. People in cars honked, people in restaurants and bars came out onto the
sidewalk to cheer, people hung out apartment windows screaming “Fuck the Police”
and waving signs & banners.
It was a GREAT night and the determination to stay in the
streets until our nation changes pulsed knowingly thru the crowd.
A few people marching ahead of me were carrying a beautiful
maybe 5’x5’ white sign with dark red letters: “BLACK LIVES MATTER”.
Suddenly, a few people shot thru the crowd, jumped up and
snatched the banner out of the protestors’ hands, ripping it, stamping on it,
and breaking it with as much force as if it said “I am Darren Wilson.”
I was stunned to hear that these men acted like crazed
avengers because they decided the RCP – revolutionary communist party – wasn’t
welcome or wanted in our march.
I couldn’t believe it. A few moments before this happened, I
noticed a man loudly dissing the RCP claiming that they were endangering the
lives of youth.
When I challenged him he talked about the Oct 22nd
national day to stand against police brutality – that the RCP organized. He claimed
they were endangering the lives of high school youth.
I couldn’t believe it. I was there. The police were the ones
endangering the lives of everyone. Even though we had a permit to march, the
police decided they weren’t going to allow us to march to the administration
building, which was our destination after the jail.
All of the sudden the police lined up across the street
& wouldn’t allow the march to go further.
For this, the RCP was being held accountable as endangering
Now here I found myself defending the RCP, whose tactics I don’t
necessarily agree with, but I don’t necessarily agree with many people’s ‘tactics,
like signing petitions and moaning while enthusiastically maintaining their
amerikkkan nitemare lives.
He slung some derogatory inflammatory name calling while
muttering Bob Avakian (see, just because of them, I’ve now had to learn to
spell that man’s name).
I have ‘issues’ with the RCP – mainly their single-minded
worship of Bob – but I have issues with any idolizing of any man, even my
heroes Cornel West and hmmm, can’t think.
Horizontal Hostility – that’s what I fuckin witnessed
tonite. Horifuckinzontal hostility. These couple of men thought they could
dictate for us who is allowed to march and with what message.
When he began deriding the tactics that RCP uses on the
grounds that they are endangering other people, I ordered him to stop being so
patronizing; that we are all adults, we think and make decisions, and he does
not have the right to tell people what they are to choose to do or not do.
I then trotted out the “divide and conquer” point he was
obviously missing, and told him if he was so sure which tactic was THE one to
use, then all of us thinking people would be embracing and using that tactic.
I couldn’t believe the level of hostility towards the RCP
and I was like “see, this is why we don’t have to worry about provocateurs – this
is horizontal hostility.
I had flash backs to my early days, before I even began my
journey to consciousness, being at anti-war marches or striding across campus,
seeing the RCP folks. They were always intense, with loud speakers shouting
rhetoric, handing out flyers, and trying to sell papers.
And they were ALWAYS there. The RCP is the one and only
group I know of – besides the fuckin democratic party – that comes out, shows
out, and stands on the RIGHT SIDE of every issue we have.
They might stand in a way I don’t like but I LOVE their
dedication, their love, their commitment – for that is what shines thru every
word they utter.
Thinking about these handful of disruptive folks tonite, I think
they are jealous: the RCP got out the youth, gets out the youth – AND the RCP
must be the MOST integrated group of activists I’ve ever seen.