Los Angeles PRIDE forum

“Liberation and solidarity in the age of the Black Lives Matter movement” was the topic of discussion during a June 13 Workers World Party Pride Month forum held in Los Angeles at the Harriet Tubman Center for Social Justice featuring Shelley Ettinger, Rebecka Jackson and John Parker.

Ettinger spoke about being in solidarity with those fighting for equal marriage rights while struggling around issues that impact the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities even more, like the Black Lives Matter movement. She gave the statistics of violence and murder against Black trans women and stressed that this type of solidarity was essential to the struggle to end this capitalist system, which is necessary to end all oppression by the repressive state.

Ettinger, author of the novel “Vera’s Will,” also attended a local book signing at the Book Soup bookstore during her Los Angeles visit.

Rebecka Jackson and John Parker gave reports on the “Peoples Tribunal Against Police Terror” in Baltimore on June 6, which was a resounding success with almost 200 people participating. The tribunal was organized by the Baltimore Peoples Power Assembly and the Baltimore Southern Christian Leadership Conference in response to the police murder of Freddie Grey in April and the further police racist terror that included a military mobilization against the community.

Jackson reported on the proposals taken up by the tribunal and the speakers, who included family members of victims of police murder, and emphasized the importance of the tribunal and PPA in building the struggle against police brutality. She proposed that the Los Angeles Workers Assembly and other organizations working at the Harriet Tubman Center build a similar tribunal for Los Angeles.

Jackson, who works in the film industry, also spoke of plans to go back to Baltimore to work on a documentary about the community’s uprising after the murder of Freddie Grey. Parker, along with Jackson, helped with outreach for the Peoples Power Assembly in building the Baltimore tribunal. He played a video he had made documenting the housing situation in Baltimore with interviews of courageous youth doing cop watch programs to protect the community. Parker emphasized that these youth again demonstrate why the working class, especially the most oppressed, are the most determined and capable fighters against state violence and ultimately against the system of capitalism.