Proposed Next Steps for the National Justice for Trayvon Martin Movement
Tuesday, July 16, 2013
We call for a massive mobilization to shut down either Tallahassee or Sanford, Florida in August or September to: a) present a comprehensive set of structural demands and b) help congeal the broad social justice movements fighting for justice for Trayvon Martin to be able to develop and advance a comprehensive BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) campaign.
Some Preliminary Demands:
- Repeal the “Stand Your Ground Law”
- Immediately Release Marissa Alexander
- We call for the elimination of the Police Bill of Rights and the numerous civil service rules and judicial policies and procedures that give the police anonymity, freedom from having their behavior recorded and virtual immunity from accountability and prosecution.
- End to the various polices of containment such as racial profiling, stop and frisk, gang injunctions, secure communities, etc.
- End the “War on Drugs” and all of its related laws, policies and programs
- Enact democratically elected “Police Control Boards”, with the power to fire, subpoena, and indict police officers for human rights violations
- Demilitarization of domestic law enforcement, including eliminating the use of Drones and various surveillance operations and institutions.
- The redirection of military funding to social programs, such as public education, housing, health care, public transportation, and grassroots-controlled programs to prevent domestic and intra-communal violence.
- Legislate and enact a National Plan of Action for Racial Justice that will make the United States government compliant with all the norms and standards of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) on all levels
Suggested Strategies, Tactics, and Targets.
- Boycott the state of Florida until it meets the aforementioned demands on a state level.
- Boycott various Florida based businesses, particularly various agricultural monopolies critical to the economy of the state such as Oranges, Tomatoes, Sugar Cane (for more details see http://florida-agriculture.com/), and other entities such as Publix Super Markets, World Fuel Services, Office Depot, etc. (for more details see http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2011/states/FL.html).
We call on all unions, churches, investment groups, and all the various forces of civil society to divest from any Florida state bond holdings until the aforementioned demands are meet.
Proposed Demands and Campaigns in Depth (from Let Your Motto Be Resistance found at http://mxgm.org/let-your-motto-be-resistance-a-handbook-on-organizing-new-afrikan-and-oppressed-communities-for-self-defense/)
- Police Control Boards – Grassroots Police Control Board’s are intended to serve as directly elected oversight and disciplinary committees on a city or municipal level. They have the power to monitor and reform policies and to discipline, fire, subpoena and prosecute police or other law enforcement agencies operating within their jurisdiction. Campaigns to institute Police Control Boards are designed to avoid the pitfalls of Citizen Review Boards. Over the last 50 years various movements and communities have demanded Citizen Review Boards that have been taken over by Mayors and other local officials. Mayors have appointed their own political cronies to protect the police and the status quo. We propose that our movement organize electoral campaigns or referendums that transform the Charters of Cities and Counties to establish Police Control Boards via the limited democratic means that presently exist. Electoral campaigns for Police Control Boards become vehicles for extensive outreach and education to move our base and shape public opinion. Campaigns of this nature will require grassroots fundraising to retain the integrity of the initiative and pay for media ads, etc. They will also require forming alliances with various forces in the city or region that share similar interests and the development of a comprehensive strategy that builds enough power to institute this structural reform.
- Anti-Containment Campaigns – These campaigns focus on stopping local, statewide, and national policies and programs that repress and displace our communities like racial profiling, check points, stop and frisk, weed and seed, gang injunctions, drug war policies, three strikes and zero-tolerance policies, etc. In addition to stopping these reactionary policies, we should also engage in proactive campaigns, like those that seek to abolish prisons.
- Anti-Surveillance Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on forcing the state to become transparent about its extensive surveillance infrastructure and operations, and organizing campaigns that demand that they be wholly dismantled. These campaigns can start with initiatives that publically expose the methods and tactics used by various government agencies to monitor our social activities. We must also develop and effectively utilize a national database that exposes the undercover agents and provocateurs used by the government to infiltrate, disrupt, and discredit our social movements (this must be done through extensive factual documentation and not innuendo which can be and is very destructive to our movements).
- Demilitarization Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on ending the military weapons and tactics used by domestic law enforcement. Law enforcement agencies throughout the US empire have enhanced their military capacities since the 1960’s, primarily focused on containing and repressing the national liberation and progressive social movements. For their arsenals they have acquired and incorporated military assault rifles, tanks, combat ready helicopters, grenades, hollow point bullets, camera and satellite integrate surveillance systems, infrared equipment, and sonic and microwave crowd control equipment, etc. Tactically, they incorporated various strategies of counterinsurgency and pacification, including envelopment tactics that surround communities, check-points that control traffic in and out of a community, “weed and seed” programs that deliberately divide communities, gang injunctions that criminalize social relationships and customs (youth fashions, informal associations, etc.), “stop and frisk” tactics that allow for illegal searches and seizures on a massive scale, and initiatives like “Operation Ghetto Storm” intentionally designed to terrorize oppressed communities. These campaigns are intended to heighten the contradictions between the people and the state (i.e. the government) and put the questions of institutional racism, national oppression, and US imperialism at the center of public debate within the empire18.
- Anti-Drone Campaigns – The introduction of surveillance and military drones over US held territories marks a critical new phase in the development of the repressive capacities of the US government. In order to preserve any notion of democratic space, we must launch local campaigns to resist the use of drones at the local and municipal levels and join or start campaigns that challenge their legitimacy and utilization throughout the empire.
- Prisoner Defense Campaigns – These campaigns should focus on defending a) our political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles from ongoing prosecution and violations of international law, b) our prisoners from unjust prosecution and human rights abuses, and c) community members from entrapment, false imprisonment, and false prosecution. These campaigns should employ every means of struggle we have available to us, but should rely first and foremost on methods of mass struggle, rather than legalistic methods that appeal to the enemy’s courts rather than the people.
- Truth and Reconciliation Initiatives – Dr. Mutulu Shakur and other New Afrikan political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles are demanding that the US government commit to a process of Truth and Reconciliation similar to that employed in post-Apartheid Azania (South Africa) to address the governments human rights violations during the COINTELPRO era and provide amnesty for the political prisoners, prisoners of war, and political exiles whom the US government transgressed against during this era. These Truth and Reconciliation campaigns can and should be launched on a local and regional level, following the model of organizers in Omaha, Nebraska regarding the Defense of the Omaha 2, which have targeted the role of local police forces in collaboration with the FBI in infiltrating organizations like the Black Panther Party and the Revolutionary Action Movement, and setting these organizations up via provocateur actions. These campaigns are essential to holding the US government accountable and fortifying the will and confidence of the people in their right and ability to successfully resist. On the Federal level people should link with and support the Truth and Commission organizing process being driven by Dr. Mutulu Shakur19.
- National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination – This campaign should be focused on building a movement with enough strength and power to force the Federal government to implement broad social reform program based on international law to combat institutional racism and it various manifestations and legacies in the US empire. The National Plan of Action for Racial Justice and Self-Determination is an outgrowth of the World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in Durban, South Africa and the Durban Declaration and Program of Action (DDPA), and calls on the Federal government to commit to a transformative program of action to combat inequality caused by the legacies of colonialism, genocide, enslavement, and economic exploitation. In addition to campaigning for this demand on Federal level, we should also demand that city, county and state governments pass similar measures that respect, protect, and fulfill the full human rights of oppressed and exploited peoples.