Why 2021 needs more direct action

BOSTON, MA: June 3, 2020: Thousands take part in a Black Lives Matter march and rally on the Boston Common in Boston, Massachusetts. (Staff photo by Nicolaus Czarnecki/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald)

cross-posted from Medium

by Scott Parkin

Back in the first week of June, 2020, soon after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis policeman Derek Chauvin, I found myself once again in the streets marching in the streets of Oakland, CA and taking action for black lives. I’d been here many times before after the murders of Michael Brown, Philandro Castile and Alton Sterling. Beyond that, I’ve been organized and partaken in campaigns, direct actions and mass protests on a myriad of issues from the war in Iraq to knocking Wall Street banks for their financing of fossil fuels to the Indigenous uprising around Standing Rock for decades.

But that night felt different. The crowd has a ferocious energy. It trashed corporate banks and retail outlets. It tossed back teargas canisters launched by the Oakland police. It stood its ground as the police shot flashbangs. We established a temporary “cop free” zone at 14th and Broadway. When I returned home that night, I saw social media reports coming in from all over the country with similar images. I realized the ferocity was not unique to the Bay Area. A full scale uprising had erupted against various versions of the state — the police state, the corporate state and the federal state, particularly the malignant policies of the Trump Administration. Continue reading