Within 24-hours of the announcement that the cops who murdered Tamir Rice would not be indicted, more than 50 people marched in Bloomington. After a short rally and speakout, demonstrators took the street – without permission – marching to the jail and then down Kirkwood, the main commercial strip. Finally, they blockaded the intersection of Kirkwood and Walnut for 10-15 minutes.
While a small gesture of solidarity, the demonstration was a reminder of the power of organizing quickly and responsively to developing events: here’s to another year of contagious revolt against racist police and social misery!
This is the text that was distributed during the demo:
The Truth is in the Streets Not in the Courts
Most of us have seen the horrifying footage – a black child playing in a park, until a police car skids up next to him, and two officers jump out and shoot him.
Yesterday, a grand jury in Cleveland, Ohio, released its decision to not indict the police who killed Tamir Rice on November 22, 2014. Tamir was playing in a park, when police were called to investigate a black kid playing with a gun that the caller said was “probably fake.” The cops killed Tamir within two seconds of arriving in the park, without saying a word to him.
The authorities drew out the grand jury process in an effort to dilute popular anger, but the predictable decision finally came down: no indictments for the officers, citing openly racist arguments, including that Tamir simply looked dangerous or that he had friends who had guns. Tamir’s family has known what’s going on, and has denounced it:
“It has been clear for months now that Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty was abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment,” their statement said. Whereas prosecutors normally use grand juries to procure indictments, McGinty used this one as a delaying tactic, before simply failing to bring charges. In violation of standard grand jury procedure, the prosecutor hired expert witnesses to discredit Tamir and allowed the officers who shot Tamir to read prepared statements.
But in this case, the truth is crystal clear: the whole system is responsible for perpetrating and then covering up the racist murder of a 12-year old. And it’s equally clear that the only thing that works to force the system to charge killer cops is resistance in the streets. The grand jury was initiated in the first place only after mass demonstrations in Cleveland, and against the backdrop of uprisings in Ferguson, New York, and Oakland.
Meanwhile, the past few months have seen the decision to not indict the police responsible for Sandra Bland’s death in a Texas jail, the release of two videos (after months of cover-up by city authorities) showing the vicious murders of Laquan McDonald and Ronald Johnson, both shot in the back by Chicago Police. In Indianapolis, the police murdered Christopher Goodlow, a mentally ill black man, in cold blood on December 12. And here in Bloomington, police are refusing to cooperate with the family of Joseph Smedley, the black student who was found drowned in Griffy Lake with 66 pounds of rocks strapped to his chest.
And now the courts have demonstrated again that they cannot be trusted – it’s up to all of us to keep the pressure up if we want to prevent more senseless, racist murder.
Solidarity with the Rice family and everyone who’s lost loved ones to the cops.
Spread the struggle in the streets.
For more updates: itsgoingdown.org