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Mass march against police brutality in Anaheim: Basta ya!

July 30, 2013

by Malaika Kambon

There was an ocean of signs in a sea of banners of struggle and liberation in front of Anaheim’s City Hall and the adjacent park on July 21, 2013.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
Marchers in Anaheim carried a sea of signs reflecting the epidemic of police murders of Black and Brown people in California. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The signs held faces of those cut down in the prime of their lives in loving memory and detail. There were informational signs and signs with slogans of liberation, with demands, statements of fact and advice – such as “Fuck the system” and “FTP” (“Fuck the police”).

There were slogans on sidewalks, masks, buttons, T-shirts, flags. There were slogans and messages of solidarity on the sides of cars and trucks.

People of all nationalities drove by and honked their horns in solidarity. People stopped and asked questions and received information in at least two languages and Indigenous dialects.

People came from as far south as Texas, as far east as New York, from Fresno’s Central Valley, from the West Coast’s Bay Area and from as close as Anaheim, around the way. They came in cars, buses and trucks, on bicycles and motorcycles and in planes.

Ho Chi Minh’s famous statement, “One, two, many Vietnams,” came to mind. “Hasta la victoria siempre!” was clearly visible on red flags with Che Guevara’s strong countenance on the front.

There was deep history present on this 21st day of July, in Anaheim, California – a history that the powers that be are loathe to recognize.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
Disneyland holds no fascination for this child. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
The people rallied and shouted, “All power to the people!” and “Basta ya!” Both are international mottos of protest and liberation, one from the Black Panther Party, the other used by Latino people from the streets of Brooklyn, N.Y., to the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico, and the Zapatistas.

Both mottos have historically united diverse ideologies to fight a common enemy and or to achieve a common goal.

On this day, everyone networked. Everyone was united in recognizing the brutality of systemic oppression. Everyone was united in recognizing the brutality of the beast.

And the fact that there were enemies present was well documented. The insightful reminder of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz (Malcolm X) that there are always enemies present during convocations of struggle and strength did not go unheeded.

Many cameras in the hands of the people’s media were present, noting the proverbial “officers friendly” that attempted to camouflage themselves behind trees, on rooftops, in plain clothes, even inside their own police station, which they elected to close for the day because 2000-plus very angry people showed up on their doorstep.

The strength and fortitude of over 30 families and communities were represented. Their pain and suffering had manifested in their will and determination to not give up, not give in, not bow down, not submit, to continue to battle back, unite, and overturn a monstrous horror – that of police brutality – when the armed might of the state targets predominantly Black and Brown children of poverty and others who are oppressed.

The people rallied and shouted, “All power to the people!” and “Basta ya!” Both are international mottos of protest and liberation. Both mottos have historically united diverse ideologies to fight a common enemy and or to achieve a common goal.

Cars drove by in the hundreds and honked their horns in support. Some people pulled over and asked what was happening and expressed their solidarity in many different languages. Even the local corporate media was out in force, representing channels 2, 5, 11, 13 and more.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
Denika Chatman told of the SFPD murder of her son Kenny for lack of a $2 bus transfer. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Precisely one year ago to the day, on July 21, 2012, the Anaheim Police Department murdered Manuel Diaz in cold blood as he was surrendering in compliance with police orders. On this day, July 21, 2013, 2,000 people marched in the streets of Anaheim in a tremendous outpouring of strength, unity, love, solidarity and determination to fight against state sanctioned murder.

The original call for unity and action was put out on May 23, 2013, in a letter from the mothers of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, murdered by the Anaheim PD on July 21 and 22 respectively in 2012.

Subsequent to the murders – the video went viral within two hours – Anaheim PD opened fire on women, children and other community members who confronted the police about the murders of unarmed men.

In their call to action, Genevieve Huizar and Donna Michelle Castro said in part, “We are writing to you and all organizations concerned with fighting police brutality and racism. Our sons were murdered on July 21 and July 22 of last year in the city of Anaheim, sparking weeks of rebellion and resistance to the epidemic of police violence that is affecting communities throughout Southern California and beyond.”

The original call for unity and action was put out on May 23, 2013, in a letter from the mothers of Manuel Diaz and Joel Acevedo, murdered by the Anaheim PD on July 21 and 22 respectively in 2012.

And on July 21, 2013, their call to action was answered, 2,000 strong.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
The families of Manuel Diaz and James Earl Rivera Jr., both murdered by police, gained strength from coming together. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
They marched against police brutality. They marched in solidarity with the global hunger strike of prisoners who have decreed that they will fight for their dignity as human beings ‘til the wheels fall off, ‘til the war is won, ‘til there are no more families who have to witness the slaughter in the streets of their sons and daughters, nor the warehousing and decades of mass torture of their loved ones.

They marched for control of their communities.

They marched against the inhumanity of the verdict for acquittal of George Zimmerman, murderer of unarmed Trayvon Martin, and the impunity of paid killer cops in police departments across this country.

They marched to end racial profiling, gang injunctions, police checkpoints, ICE raids, border killings, militarized police, the inhumanity of prisons and the prison industrial complex. They marched against killer cops.

They marched against the inhumanity of a system of government that condones as legal the assassination of an Afrikan person every 28 hours.

They marched, spoke out, shared their pain and suffering – and in so doing, shared their determination to build a better world – and vowed to win, in the names of their fallen loved ones and in the name of liberation.

Ultimately, this will mean destroying the system that spawns the terrorists in blue who are guilty of crimes against humanity.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
Surveillance was everywhere, from rooftops, helicopters, cops watching the crowd and who knows how many infiltrators. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Ultimately this means destroying a system of government that was built upon the suffering of humanity – via the racism and greed of capitalism and imperial expansion.

The crowd of 2,000 consisted of community members and representatives of organizations who marched and spoke and who had been organizing in their respective communities to educate, agitate and plan. They were not just marching to waste shoe leather. They were and are participating in planning direct actions that will occur both inside (via the courts, etc.) and outside (via community organizing) the criminal system that is so unjust in the U.S.

The following families and organizations initiated this action, this call to arms:

  • Family of Manuel Diaz, murdered by police in Anaheim on July 21, 2012;
  • Family of Joel Acevedo, murdered by police in Anaheim on July 22, 2012;
  • Family of Jeremy Marks, shot by LAPD on May 8, 2013;
  • Family of Martin Angel Hernandez, murdered by police in Anaheim on March 6, 2012;
  • Family of Jose de la Trinidad, murdered by police in Willowbrook on Nov. 10, 2012;
  • Family and friends of Mike Nida, murdered by Downey police on Oct. 22, 2011;
  • Elizabeth Bustamante and John Cabrera, shot by Long Beach police on Jan. 26, 2011;
  • Family of Andres Avila, murdered by Pomona police on Oct. 16, 2011;
  • Family of Doug Zerby, murdered by Long Beach police on Dec. 12, 2010;
  • Family of Caesar Ray Cruz, murdered by police in Fullerton on Dec. 11, 2009;
  • Family of James W. Moore, murdered by Kern County sheriff in 2005;
  • Family of Justin Hertl, murdered by Anaheim police, Nov. 14, 2003;
  • Family of Marcel Ceja, murdered by Anaheim police, Nov. 4, 2011;
  • Family of Tony Francis, murdered by Bellflower sheriffs, Aug. 24, 2012;
  • Family of Javier Arrazola, murdered by West Valley LAPD, Oct. 1, 2012;
  • Family of Roscoe Cambridge, murdered by Anaheim police, Jan. 19, 2012;
  • Family of David Raya, murdered by Anaheim police, Aug. 16, 2011;
  • Family of Joe Whitehouse, murdered by Anaheim police, July 16, 2007;
  • Family of Ernest Duenez Jr., murdered by Manteca police, June 8, 2011;
  • Family of David Silva, murdered by Kern County deputies, May 7, 2013;
  • Family of Jason Bitz, murdered by off-duty Santa Ana police officer, Oct. 31, 2011;
  • Family of Marcel Luis Ceja, murdered by Anaheim police officer David Garcia, Nov.4, 2011;
  • Family of Ismael Lopez, murdered by Long Beach police, Aug. 26, 2011;
  • Family of Rigoberto Arceo, murdered by LA County sheriff’s deputy in Cudahy on May 11, 2013;
  • Family of Steven Bours, murdered by Downey police on March 20, 2010;
  • Family of Kenneth Harding, murdered by San Francisco police on July 16, 2011;
  • Family of Idriss Stelley, murdered by San Francisco police on June 12, 2001;
  • Family of Oscar Grant, murdered by BART police on Jan. 1, 2009;
  • Family of Alan Blueford, murdered by Oakland police on May 6, 2012;
  • Family of James Earl Rivera, murdered by the Stockton police on July 22, 2010;
  • Family of Bobby Henning, murdered by Paramount police on Feb. 21, 2012.
ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
A familiar face in the Bay Area is that of Cephus Johnson, Oscar Grant’s Uncle Bobby, who was a major organizer of the Anaheim march. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Organizations: ANSWER Los Angeles; United Survivors of Anaheim; Oscar Grant Foundation; Justice for Alan Blueford Coalition (JAB); Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee; National Lawyers Guild – LA; Jeremy Marks Defense Committee; Long Beach Campaign to Stop Police Violence; Nida’s Rydas; Women Organized to Resist and Defend (WORD); KmB Pro-People Youth; March Forward!; Party for Socialism and Liberation; Worker Student Alliance (UC Irvine); Kenneth Harding Foundation; Idriss Stelley Foundation; Education Not Incarceration – SF Chapter; POOR Magazine/Prensa Pobre; Decolonize Oakland; ONYX Organizing Committee; Youth Justice Coalition, Black Riders Liberation Party.

More families came, some whose names were not on the list, but who were there just the same, such as the family of Khalid M. Flimban, found hanged by the neck a few yards from the home of the person he was visiting in Laguna Hills, on Jan. 6, 2012. According to his family, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department cleaned up and tore down the crime scene within two hours and without any kind of investigation of the neighborhood. Friends and family were not interviewed for five months. His family requests that people friend his Facebook page, RIP Khalid Flimban, read the OC Weekly and contact yazzie.bedonie@gmail.com for more information. Khalid was 26 years old.

The family of Jesus Arturo Aguirre came, adding their solidarity and strength and asking that the voice of their son Jesus be heard. Jesus, victim of the prison industrial complex, was sentenced to life in prison at age 16, convicted of eight charges connected to a personal dispute between two other people. But he was a part of the same social network – i.e., he was a victim of exaggerated charges for living in an alleged “gang zone” – hence his life sentence.

People seeking to connect with his family can find more information through his father, Jesus Aguirre Sr., (323) 646-1080, and on his Facebook page, Jesus A. Aguirre, Justice for Jesus Aguirre and Colectivo Tonantzin. A petition can be found at http://www.change.org/petitions/re-trial-or-case-dismissal-for-jesus-a-aguirre.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
Jeralynn Blueford, mother of Alan Blueford, who was racially profiled the murdered by Oakland police, roused the crowd. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
Jesus is now 19 years old and had no criminal record prior to incarceration.

In a pre-rally message of solidarity with all conscious people, Genevieve Huizar, the mother of Manuel Diaz, who was murdered by Anaheim police on July 21, 2012, said:

“The mothers and fathers of California, the mothers and fathers of Orange County, the mothers and fathers of Los Angeles, stretching beyond all borders, stand in solidarity with Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin. We are here praying for the families of police violence. We stand with you as you cry. We cry with you and for you. We know the pain you are feeling. The United States is outraged with you. We are in this struggle, and we will be marching for you as well on July 21.”

A movement is being built from the grassroots of families who are being stripped of their young men and women, their children, their fathers, brothers, sons, nephews, cousins, their mothers, sisters, daughters, nieces, their disabled loved ones via brutal murder at the hands of police, via unjust decades of imprisonment in the incarceration nation of the U.S., via the continued growth of an oligarchy, of the existing police state.

Two thousand strong and counting, they marched and reminded the world that our lives are not expendable and that systemic racism is an intolerable act of cowardice and imperial greed that will be smashed.

Two thousand strong and counting, they marched and reminded the world that our lives are not expendable and that systemic racism is an intolerable act of cowardice and imperial greed that will be smashed.

The following message of solidarity, read by Rebecca Doran, came from Kevin Cooper from behind the walls of the death house at San Quentin Prison:

“To protest is a right

“Frederick Douglass once said, ‘It’s easier to build strong children than it is to repair broken men.’

“The same can be said for women, as they are included in the oppression that has been going on since the beginning of human beings oppressing each other.

“Throughout the history of this world, at one time or another, certain people from every generation have had to fight for their equality, their civil rights and, most importantly, their human rights!

“Without these historical and current day struggles, it’s safe to say that more people would be oppressed than currently are. But of those who are being oppressed, they are tired of it! All over this planet, poor and oppressed people are standing up and speaking out and fighting back in every way that they can, even non-violently, to gain what was theirs at birth: their human rights.

ANAHEIM - Justice for Victims of Police Terrorism and murder
A new generation of Brown Berets brought to mind the Black Panthers and Brown Berets of 45 years ago. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
“Many have been broken, but many more have not and won’t be, because they understand that this ongoing struggle for their human rights is bigger than them as individuals. It’s about our collective humanity!

“One thing is for certain, and history is our best teacher in this: If there is no struggle, there will be no change! The fight for one’s human rights is not always easy, but it’s necessary. Especially when it comes to people who have been targeted by the system.

“To do or say nothing is to suffer in silence while you’re treated like a non-human, a stereotype, a piece of trash. In America, we have in this so-called democracy the right to protest for our rights, and it’s a right that must be used to change the system.

“Because not only is protesting a right, it’s your constitutional right, which is so very important for all of us to remember, because the oppressors don’t seem to follow the Constitution when it comes to us, the oppressed!

“So no matter where you are, if you’re being repressed, undressed, suppressed, regressed, depressed and outright oppressed by the powers that be – it’s in your best interests to PROTEST!”

Wave after wave of family members and organizations spoke, sharing their stories with a crowd that actually grew larger as the march to the Anaheim police station continued. And the crowd – people in wheelchairs, children in strollers, youth, adults and elders – spoke back, giving its solidarity and fierce determination to win!

“So no matter where you are, if you’re being repressed, undressed, suppressed, regressed, depressed and outright oppressed by the powers that be – it’s in your best interests to PROTEST!”

This fight isn’t going to go away.

It is going to intensify, until the wheels fall off, until the war is won.

Hasta la victoria siempre!

All power to the people!

Malaika H Kambon is a freelance photojournalist and the 2011 winner of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association Luci S. Williams Houston Scholarship in Photojournalism. She also won the AAU state and national championship in Tae Kwon Do from 2007-2010. She can be reached at kambonrb@pacbell.net.

 

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4 thoughts on “Mass march against police brutality in Anaheim: Basta ya!

  1. Jean Thaxton

    Please don’t forget FTP also means Film The Police…..this may be the most important definition of http://FTP….without the video’s of the criminal acts of the police it is harder for the public to believe the police would act unlawfully or criminally! Look how the video of Kelly Thomas in Fullerton, CA was instrumental in 3 officers being charged in his death! They can shrug off our chants of FTP, but they can’t shrug off the video’s that are a result of the cell phone’s that FTP.

    Reply
  2. Jacob Law

    Nice job people; the redundant and never relenting rallies, protest, demonstrations will have an impact; never give up, our ranks are getting bigger as our footprint is place day to day, love you guys, our pain drives us, and our love will keep us, we will never forget and forgive what the police for what they have done unless they repent and ask for forgiveness, which they will sooner or later, keep on pressing on, we shall overcome.

    Reply

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