The Uhuru Solidarity Movement shares the following statement from Unión del Barrio (UdB) on the recent wave of police terror in the Mexican community of Anaheim, California. UdB is a revolutionary Mexican-Indigenous national liberation organization. For over 25 years, UdB has had fraternal relations with the African People’s Socialist Party led by Chairman Omali Yeshitela. As the organization of white people & other allies working under the APSP’s leadership, the USM expresses our solidarity with the struggles of Africans and Indigenous peoples for national liberation and self-determination! African and Mexican people have a right to resist the police containment of their communities! We call on all of our readers to join USM and take the pledge of solidarity with the liberation of Africans, Mexicans and all oppressed peoples!
Viva la Raza!
Stop the war on the African and Mexican communities!
The most recent incident of police/state violence and terror on Raza happened in Anaheim on Saturday, July 21, 2012 when Anaheim Police shot and killed 25 year old Manuel Diaz in the back. Right after the shooting Raza began to video record with their cell phones the vicious manner in which the police allowed Manuel to bleed to death face down within a fenced area. Although everyone saw that his back was turned and the police had no reason to shoot him, neighbors including witnesses began to question the police for their attack on this unarmed hommie from the neighborhood. As Raza began to protest this cold-blooded murder, the police unleashed their terror and violence on the entire community.
These gang members in blue with badges waved shotguns at a peaceful but righteously angry crowd of men, women, and children who were protesting this killing. The news accounts published on YouTube showed these thugs in police clothing charging into a crowd of men, women, children, and babies, shooting what they call “less than lethal” rubber bullets, brandishing shotguns at people’s faces, unleashing a police dog into a crowd with small infants and children; knocking over strollers, and biting a women with an infant in her arms and mauling a man who had fallen from the police mayhem.
No Justice; No Peace
The same weekend, the same department killed another young Mexicano by the name of Joel Acevedo who was reportedly handcuffed when he was shot not far from where the first shooting took place. We have to be clear that this is another case of institutional violence against Raza, no matter the disclaimers by police and city officials who have called for “calm” and who tell us that we cannot “overreact”, that this is an “isolated incident”, that this case will be investigated, and that the community has to calmly “ask” for justice. We know that we will never find justice within the colonial courts or by the existing laws that currently govern over our lives. We know this because history has taught us that the lives of Raza, and other colonized people, living within the existing political border of the United States are not treated as equal to white people. The lives of working class Raza are not valued in this sick capitalist system.
All we have to do is compare the way in which police handled the suspect of the most recent massacre of a Colorado movie theater Friday July 20th. He was taken into custody with no apparent need to subdue him with any type of force. Because James Holmes, the suspect in that brutal massacre, is white, he was afforded all the privileges of white society. With white privilege comes the presumption of innocence. For this reason Holmes will go through a trial that could take several years, and will be afforded the right to an attorney that will defend him in their courts. Meanwhile, the very next day after that massacre in a Mexican working class barrio in Anaheim Califas, Manuel Diaz, who was simply avoiding contact with police -not an illogical response for someone who would rather avoid harassment- was not given the benefit of “presumed innocence”; instead he was a “suspicious” person and Anaheim police judged, convicted and executed Manuel Diaz on the spot.
Raza Fight Back Against Police Terror
As we look at this case, there are things that are typical and that happen in Raza working class communities every day. Police patrol communities they don’t live in, usually concentrated into areas where there is the most poverty and where Raza, Africans and Asians live. We usually don’t know the names of the people that are sent to patrol our neighborhoods. They harass our youth, criminalize Raza without “proper” immigration documents, profile us based on how we look, and incarcerate our community at astronomically higher rates than white people.
What is not as typical is what the neighbors of that community did after the cold blooded murder of Manuel Diaz; and that was that they confronted and questioned the Police violence on the spot and with righteous anger. In this instance, the people had the audacity to struggle, not to allow themselves to be terrorized, to fight back at some level and it sparked the rage of the oppressor. For looking their oppressor in the eye, Raza from a humble Barrio in Anaheim, were attacked in the most cowardly way; an unarmed crowd of families was violently repressed and in response, the people rose up in rebellion to this tyranny.
For several days after the shooting, Raza took to the streets, blocked intersections, lit trashcans on fire, and returned gas canisters back to police who were in full riot gear. The people rose up and fought back. They expressed their accumulated anger and frustration over years of abuse, years of marginalization and years of being ignored. This week, however, the working class Raza of Anaheim became visible to the world, they became visible to the media and became social actors and subjects of history.
Raza in Anaheim Rises Out of the Shadows of the “Happiest Place on Earth”
The barrio where Manuel Diaz was shot, sits roughly five miles from the world famous Disneyland amusement park. It is a barrio where our people’s oppression sits in stark contrast to “Main Street” and “the happiest place on earth” dysfunction that embodies what white society is all about; the glorification of frontiers and the «good old days» of Davey Crockett, going back to a time when slavery was legal, when segregation and lynching was acceptable, and reliving the time when Mexico’s national territory was cut in half by the “Manifest Destiny” of American expansion. A place that feeds into the “fantasy and magic” of a sugarcoated tourist plantation that hides the stark reality of an American Culture of Violence.
This community, in the shadows of the Matterhorn and Space Mountain, just hidden so the people riding the Monorail don›t have to see what Anaheim and «Sunny Southern California» is really like, has risen up in righteous anger and has taken to the streets, lighting trashcans on fire and expressing their collective anger at a completely unjust act of violence by the Anaheim Police Department.
It is important to acknowledge this courageous act of resistance by the people of that community where thousands of people have taken to the streets to demand justice, and have confronted the hostility and climate of hate that is all too typical for our people living within the Unites States, especially up in Orange County, California, a place that represents the original «planned communites» of gabacholandia “escaping” the barrios and ghettos of Los Angeles during the forties and fifties. This is the Orange County many of us have called “behind the Orange Curtain” that has hosted more right-wing, neo-Nazi organizations at hotels and conventions that can be counted.
Only An Organized People Can End Police Terror
What we are seeing, not only in the killings of these two young men, by the response by the police, is the desperation of a system that is trying to protect its oppressive, unequal, unjust system at all costs. What this should teach many of us is that the undocumented of our community, those without “legal papers” are not the only ones the system is targeting. All Raza, especially our youth, are under attack because the system knows that in Califas and most places in the “Southwest” we are a growing majority working class. All of us, especially those who oppose this wretched economic system are targets for this type of state sanctioned mayhem.
The solution to this type of state sanctioned terror is not to slow down. It is not to calm down, and it is not to go home. The only solution is to take to the streets, to organize our neighborhoods, and build the kind of organization and movement capable of fighting on our own terms, for our collective interests and in our own defense.
The solution is organization, building the institutions that can defend us-including a media/press that works to inform, defend and express our interests as working class Raza. A Raza Press that can expose the lies and false characterizations of our community by the corporate media that upholds capitalism and that slanders our people. Unión del Barrio is committed to build such an organization.
Justice for Manuel Diaz and all victims of Police Terror in Raza and all Oppressed Communities!
¡Que Viva la Raza!