August 18, 2014 — Downtown Los Angeles, 3:00 p.m. — It was 89 degrees with clear skies and low-ish smog levels — a perfect day to go to the beach. Instead, hundreds of concerned L.A. residents gathered to protest the August 11th murder of Ezell Ford, an unarmed mentally disabled man, by the LAPD.
Ezell Ford’s mother gave a heartbreaking speech to the crowd, affirming that Ezell “had nowhere to run” when the LAPD delivered the shot that ended her son’s life.
The crowd was diverse and peaceful but not docile, intent on delivering a clear message. Police seemed prepared for this. On their heels, they lined the sidelines on bicycles, motorcycles and on foot.
As the march reached Little Tokyo, several demonstrators directly confronted motorcycle cops.
“You’re paid to protect us, not kill us!”
“Police racism has got to stop!”
They are right. Racist brutality and misconduct and the laws that propagate the “new Jim Crow” must end now.
The Socialist Party Los Angeles Local condemns the brutal murder of Ezell Ford, an unarmed 25-year-old mentally challenged black man, who was fatally shot by the Los Angeles Police on August 11, 2014.
Reports state that Ford was just blocks away from his home in South Los Angeles when the police stopped him for a so-called “investigative stop” — for which the LAPD has yet to provide a reason. Ford’s cousin, an eyewitness of the shooting, states that Ford was shot in the back multiple times while laying on the ground and that Ford’s mental complications are well-known by “every officer in the area.”
The L.A. shooting follows the heels of the fatal shooting of another unarmed young black man in St. Louis — 18-year-old Michael Brown — who was shot multiple times after being harassed by police to get out of the street and onto the sidewalk.
The Socialist Party USA, a democratic socialist feminist party recognizes the criminalization of race and calls for the immediate establishment of completely independent and democratically elected police control and oversight councils, with full power to fire police and to arrest, detain, and indict police officers who brutalize or abuse people or who commit any violation of laws or civil rights and liberties.
Police brutality, misconduct and other civil rights violations – particularly among people of color — is rampant among the LAPD and L.A. County Sheriff’s office.
The Socialist Party Los Angeles Local stands in solidarity with the families of Ezell Ford and Michael Brown and demands an immediate end to the racist police brutality that plagues Los Angeles, St. Louis and all other communities.
Where: 2617 Hauser Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA
What’s happening: We have an ecosocialist action coming up as well as a speaking event in Venice. We’ll cover approaches to both actions. We also decided by vote at the July meeting that, in addition to our regular agenda items, we will be dividing into work groups focusing on particular areas of interest during the meeting, re-convening after the discussion period to present participants with ideas. All are welcome!
Don’t forget to get your registration on! If you or someone you know is in or near the Chicago area, come check out the National Organizing Conference — a weekend of organizing workshops, plus a plenary:
What’s going on: This will be a group discussion where participants explain the experiences and processes that made a contribution to their choice to radicalize. Anyone is welcome to join – participation is not necessary. It will be totally fine to attend and listen, if you choose. This might be a great event to attend if you have an interest in socialist / radical politics and /or ideas, but would like to learn more.
After receiving word that IWW member, Phillip Ruiz, was being held in prison beyond his release date without explanation, a phone zap was organized to pressure the Office of the Inspector General, the Office of Ombudsman, the Warden at Chino and Counselor Tovar to release him.
The phone zap, which took place on July 2nd, involved over 100 concerned community members from all over the U.S.
Today, we received word from IWW member Matt Hart that Phillip has been released and is now free and at home with loved ones. Phillip told Matt that the phone bank is what triggered the release, proving that ACTION DOES WORK!