Comrade Mara writes:
Spending the weekend in LA preparing for a presentation with comrades allowed me to spend some time with the comrades in SULU (Struggles United/Luchas Unidas) and attend a demonstration against the Anaheim police department for their series of murders of working class latinos.
By now you’ve probably seen the photos of the heavily militarized police force present at recent demonstrations in Anaheim – fatigues, pigs hanging off the sides of trucks with weapons at their side, horses running into demonstrators, etc. What follow are just some quick notes on thoughts that came to me as I spoke with the community, various revolutionaries, and considered the relationship between the resistance in Anaheim, the response of revolutionaries, and what I’ve been part of and seen in Oakland over the past few years.
Some of the maoists I spoke with (of the party building as opposed to social-democratic NGOish variety) immediately responded by going into the community where the murders took place and carrying out a door knocking campaign. The residents were encouraged to send messages of solidarity on a banner which these maoists then brought to the demonstrations in front of the police department. While the door knockers encouraged people to come out to the rallies and protests, not much else was proposed aside from buying newspapers and signing the banner. Nonetheless, the immediate inquiry into the community is a move that could generate positive results if coupled with a more proactive program of struggle.
A variety of Trotksyist groups responded in particular by relating to the circle surrounding the families of the men murdered by the police. This included forming a political bloc with them at public meetings and press conferences where the families, no doubt encouraged by people with friendly-to-the-state agendas, called out for the “violence” (e.g., property destruction and other militant tactics) to cease, because it would “not help in bringing [the victim] back.”
The anarchists I spoke and marched with on Sunday were determined to carry out a march away from the police state once hundreds of people were gathered and rallied up. As we’ve seen before, the simple chant of “march, march, march” was called out for a couple of minutes before a group of black clad, mostly younger, group of folks began marching toward Disneyland, the capitalist center of Anaheim.
While the march ended up gathering several hundred of demonstrators to march in the streets, the march was quickly attacked by police mounted on horses who were able to anticipate the direction of the march and keep it contained within a single lane of the road. The composition of the march included many community members, children, and revolutionaries which was very positive.