July 26, 6 p.m. — The DNC Black Resistance March this afternoon streamed out of North Philadelphia, a neighborhood of historic resistance by the Black community. Protesters headed downtown to City Hall on their way to meet up with the Shut Down the DNC march.
The two groups were to converge on the Democratic Party National Convention, where a political party at the service of big money gathered in a venue named for an international bank, the Wells Fargo Center.
REAL Justice Philly opened with a fiery rally before the Black Resistance March stepped off. Speakers clarified the relation between racist police violence and imperialist state violence, with slogans like: “This is an anti-police rally!” and “Clinton has blood on her hands!” Veterans for Peace underlined the connection with a banner reading simply: “Black Lives Matter.”
The uncle of Oscar Grant, killed by cops at Fruitvale Station in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2008, said to the crowd: “Police are here to serve and protect the racist state, not the people.”
Continuing to challenge racist state terror, Asa Khalif, the cousin of Brandon Tate-Brown, killed by Philly cops in 2014, shouted: “This is a revolutionary march!”
Speakers read out the names of people murdered by cops, which were then carried in the march. Bold banner slogans at the forefront included, “We have nothing to lose but our chains.” Many struggles were represented, including the Free Palestine movement, Puerto Rican independence, and opposition to gentrification in the Temple University neighborhood.
Signs to free Mumia Abu-Jamal, a Black revolutionary journalist and political prisoner, recalled his unflinching reports on the 1985 military-style police bombing of the Black liberation MOVE community house. The cop assault then incinerated an entire Philadelphia city block and killed 11 MOVE people, including five children.
When the Black Resistance March and Shut Down the DNC joined forces at City Hall, powerful fight-back messages of unity continued at a street rally. The crowd shouted, “No justice for the Black, no justice for the Brown, what are we gonna do? Shut it down! Shut it down!”
Speakers included Pam Africa of MOVE plus representatives of Concerned Friends and Family of Mumia, ICE-Free NYC, Freedom Road Socialist Organization and Temple University Students for Justice in Palestine. Members of the Peoples Power Assemblies spoke out against police targeting trans people, especially trans women of color.
Lamont Lilly, the vice presidential candidate of Workers World Party, emphasized: “The problem is not ‘Black-on-Black crime.’ It’s the white supremacist state.”
Workers World Party presidential candidate Monica Moorehead told the marchers: “We have to stay in the streets to defend Black Lives Matter, stop deportations and to fight for a socialist future. You can’t reform the police. We must stay in the streets during the whole campaign and after the election.”
Then the powerful gathering of some thousands did just that — took to the streets again, marching to confront the DNC.