It’s impossible not to recognize 2020 as a turning point in the struggle. The image of the 3rd precinct in flames in Minneapolis will represent the moment everything began, the moment the facade of power of this white supremacist state began to crumble.
The weight of losing so many people to the police became too much to bare and this year the massive revolt that erupted after the brutal and senseless killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor marked a transformative moment for everyone in the struggle for liberation.
The burning of the 3rd precinct was the ember that lit this flame of rebellion, as looting, burning cop cars, attacking precincts spread from city to city. We’ve had uprisings before, but this one marked a significant change. It is the palpable feeling that the people have lost their fear, that people have far more to gain than to lose with the destruction of the current system. With the black youth in the forefront, people forced police to retreat in fear, then laughed at their cowardice. It was not just the police who have been put on notice: people overran the White House lawn, and the president hid in a bunker. For once, they got a taste of what they have been inflicting on us every day – this gives us strength and deepens their fear. The fearlessness of the people, the desire for liberation manifested in a significant revolt. We hold the resistance in Minneapolis, in Portland, in Louisville close to our hearts and continue to work in their great example.
Now the possibility of revolution is on the horizon. Thousands of new militants have joined the struggle. Some are organized, some are waiting for the next moment to emerge. The rebellion brought into the open the support of so many unexpected people, from elders who drew on years of experience to youth who sparked the most militant moments in the streets. They came out in support of the rebellion, and militant action.
We now have the responsibility of supporting new political prisoners, who may seem to have been taken out of the action, but they are not! They are inside prisons, perhaps the most places with the most revolutionary potential. They continue to be part of the movement, in whatever capacity they can. Our work outside takes on greater importance, so that we may raise the level of struggle in respect to the brave actions these people have taken, and so the difficult times they pass through now feel worthwhile, and their incarceration may end long before their sentences.
The battle with the fascists / police has deepened, as they work ever more closely and openly together. They are hardly distinguishable, from Trump’s volunteer federal forces attacking fighters in Portland, to fascist-led, NYPD-guided car attacks on demonstrators, to the extra-judicial killing of Michael Reinoehl. The state-sponsored and volunteer forces understand that our war for liberation is a threat to them and they are ready to suppress. They will stop at nothing.
We must prepare ourselves now. We will need organization and infrastructure, we will need to be connected to those inside prisons, and their organizations, we need training, we need discipline and commitment.
We must beware of the liberal counterinsurgency, the peace police, ‘well-meaning’ politicians, non-profits that want to destroy our momentum. These are dangerous elements. We will never forget that the CHOP should have provided refuge, but instead, run by reformists, took the life of Antonio Mays Jr.
This year our lives were altered irrevocably by the Covid-19 virus. Many of us have been sick or lost someone close to us. The whole country has been turned into a friendly environment for the virus by the state and its capitalist interests. Coronavirus has and is still running rampant due to the recklessness of officials, the mire of right wing conspiracies. This is a war on the poor, who are forced to go to work and risk their lives for an insufficient paycheck.
Even worse, prisons have turned into death camps, where people are treated with even more callousness. Prisoners have no resources to protect themselves, no option to go outside, and are trapped within the walls. The healthy are placed in Covid wards, doctors use the same gloves for different patients, masks are withheld, COs bring the disease in and take no precautions to prevent its spread.
Yet resistance inside grows just as quickly as the virus, inspiring prison breaks, hunger strikes and uprisings. All of this was built on a foundation of prison resistance, by groups like Jailhouse Lawyers Speak. This resistance is steadily growing and becoming more organized and stronger. George Jackson’s spirit lives on!
The situation may look bleak, looking back at the end of the rebellion, the right wing flexing its muscles, coronavirus out of control, but there is a hopefulness built into all this upheaval, and perhaps the most significant one: the executive office has thrown the mask off for corona, but also has thrown it off the democratic facade of the country. The following political instability has revealed cracks and fissures within the governing bodies themselves. This year, the weaknesses of our adversary have been revealed.
This has been a year of turmoil. While turmoil brings with it the hardest trials and saddest moments, times of turmoil also allow for the greatest changes. We have all grown and learned from the George Floyd uprising, and we are approaching the new year with all the hope of revolutionaries on the eve of everything we have been fighting for.
Towards all the possibilities that 2021 will bring!
Together in the struggle making those possibilities a reality!