WASHINGTON, DC, April 9 — “Racist murder — tear it down! The prison system — tear it down! The justice system — tear it down! THE WHOLE DAMN SYSTEM — tear it down!”
These chants echoed from Howard University students marching through the community to join over 300 anti-racist marchers protesting the racist murder of Trayvon Martin. It followed two weeks of organizing that began on March 24 when over 2,000 people mobilized in response to a social networking call for action from three Georgetown University students, assembling in front of the District Building that houses the corrupt City Council.
The speakers at that initial rally, while emotional and passionate, were generally disappointing politically. Five deejays from local radio shows spoke along with several ministers, representatives from other organizations and the corrupt chair of the City Council. None had a plan of action.
At the end of the rally, PLP members and friends spoke on their bullhorn and attracted about 200 people. We called on people to come to an organizing meeting at a local church the next day. We addressed revolution, communism and the link between the racist injustice system and capitalist exploitation. Many participants cheered, others nodded in agreement and 20 people signed up to be organizers.
Twenty-three people came to the organizing meeting the next day and planned a major community event for April 4, the anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., whose murder sparked widespread rebellions throughout black communities across the U.S. These rebellions won jobs for black workers, but have been largely eroded ever since. Over 150 people came to April 4th event, marked by strong speeches and a commitment to action.
The following Saturday, April 7, over 300 people marched as part of the “million hoodies” march. A highlight was the feeder march of over 40 Howard University students who took to the streets in the community with bold chants and banners on their way to the main event. It was then that residents and passers-by cheered the students’ “tear-it-down” chant and gave clenched-fist salutes to these young activists.
At all these events, PL’ers distributed hundreds of CHALLENGES and PLP flyers analyzing the murder of Trayvon as a product of capitalism’s racism and its criminal Injustice system. PLP looks forward to bringing more of these new young organizers into the revolutionary movement.