There’s a very important discussion here that should be read BEFORE reading this article.
Trayvon Martin was never going to get justice from a courtroom of the United States government. Justice for Trayvon and for the hundreds of other Black women, men, and children executed by someone employed or protected by the US government on a daily basis will only come from our people and the power we are able to wield through the strength of our organization and the resolve of our will. Zimmerman was only put on trial because millions of our people took to the streets in early 2012 and threatened to disrupt the system. The trial was a means to divert our energies and return things to the status quo.
Obama’s statement that a “a jury has spoken” encouraging what he called, “calm reflection”, is just another effort to lure Black people to sleep and keep us accepting the status quo. The status quo of white supremacy has never and will never work for Black people. As W.E.B. DuBois stated, “a system cannot fail those who it was never meant to protect.” White supremacy and the systems that support and reinforce it like capitalism, colonialism, and patriarchy must be defeated and dismantled. We must always keep this in mind and be prepared in concrete, organized ways to ensure that there will be no peace if there is no justice. Now is the time for direct action in the form of organized Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaigns that disrupt the status quo systems of the US government through massive non-compliant resistance.
We must also be clear that the Zimmerman verdict is a reflection of the times. 17-year old Trayvon Martin was the 31st Black person executed by someone employed or protected by the state in 2012. As we demonstrated in Operation Ghetto Storm, 313 Black women, men, and children were executed without trials by the police, security guards or certified “neighborhood watchmen” in 2012. These extrajudicial killings have by no means stopped or slowed down, as witnessed by the execution of Kimani Gray and dozens more Black people in the first six months of 2013. With the Zimmerman verdict justifying and setting new precedent for the disposal of Black life, we should expect the number of extrajudicial killings to increase. It is now more imperative than ever for us to strengthen the organization of our communities and defend ourselves.
We must defend ourselves, and we have every right to do so by any means necessary.
Black people are in a heightened state of crisis. Since being brought to the shores of North America as captives from European wars of aggression we have constantly battled one crisis after another. However, there are times that are more critical and intense than others. We are presently living through one of these super -critical periods.
We have been hunted and killed in cold blood by the US government in increasing numbers and herded into prisons like cattle in record numbers. The facts presented in Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People presents us with a deeper understanding of the utter disregard held for Black life within the United States.
The continual practice of executing Black people in the country without pretense of a trial, jury, or judge is an integral part of the government’s current overall strategy of containing the Black community in a state of perpetual colonial subjugation and exploitation. The verdict in the George Zimmerman trial is a testament to the reality that the institutions of the United States uplift and are complicit in the ongoing genocide of Black people.
The only way we are going to defend ourselves against these genocidal challenges is to create a massive social movement. We need a movement that strategically takes on the systemic oppression and exploitation that prevent Black people from exercising self-determination and human rights.
In order to fight effectively we have to organize ourselves on a higher level. One of the critical areas where we have to step up our organizing efforts to be qualitatively more effective is in the area of self-defense. We have to be clear that we cannot and should not count on our enemies – like the courts, and other forces of the US government or transnational corporations – to protect us. We have to protect ourselves.
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) believes that an essential part of our Movement for survival must be Self-Defense Networks.
We think there are two types of Networks that we have to build:
New Afrikan or Black Self-Defense Networks are alliances, coalitions, or united fronts of Black organizations whose purpose is to defend the Black or New Afrikan community from external (the police, FBI, white terrorist organizations, etc.) and internal (agent infiltration, intra-communal violence, etc.) threats to its safety and security.
People’s Self-Defense Networks are multi-national (or multi-ethnic and/or racial) alliances, coalitions, or united fronts whose purpose is to defend their communities against mutual enemies and threats and advance a common agenda based on shared interests, hopes, and aspirations.
Oppressed peoples and communities can and will only be secure in this country when they are organized to defend themselves against the aggressions of the government and the forces of white supremacy and capitalist exploitation.
The Every 28 Hours Campaign proposes a model for organizing:
- The formation of Black Self-Defense Networks to defend our people and combat police terrorism. These Networks should seek to build Copwatch programs, engage in mass rights based education trainings for the community, serve as first responders to acts of Police Terrorism, and help coordinate mass resistance to these acts via mass mobilizations and direct action. These Networks should also be encouraged to engage in offensive campaigns, such as referendums to institute Police Control Boards.
- The formation of People’s Self-Defense Networks to defend the lives and interests of all oppressed peoples’ and exploited classes against various forms of state terrorism. These People’s Self-Defense Networks would work as multi-national alliances to engage in a broad manner all of the tasks mentioned above to defend oppressed peoples and targeted communities, such as LGBTQ2GNC communities, against institutionalized racism, white supremacy, institutionalized sexism, patriarchy and state repression be it racial profiling, gender profiling, stop and frisk, mass incarceration, or mass deportations.
- Waging campaigns for local referendums to institute Police Control mechanisms – i.e. community based structures that have the power to hire, fire, subpoena, and discipline the police on the local level. And waging massive, non-compliant campaigns of resistance employing BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanction) strategies and tactics on statewide, regional, and national levels.
- Forming People’s Assemblies, on local, citywide, and regional levels to engage in program and demand development initiatives that will enable the people to engage in the broad implementation of people’s programs for self-defense and mutual aid.
The Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) and the Every 28 Hours Campaign seeks to strengthen organizing initiatives within Black or New Afrikan communities for self-defense, by presenting these initiatives with a comprehensive analytical framework and practical organizing tools to ground and unite them.
MXGM offers to Black and other oppressed communities three resources 1) Operation Ghetto Storm, a full report on the 2012 extra judicial killings; 2) Let Your Motto Be Resistance, an organizing handbook for self-defense; and 3) We Charge Genocide Again!, a curriculum for the Every 28 Hours Campaign, to further this objective
- Operation Ghetto Storm: 2012 Annual Report on the Extrajudicial Killing of Black People
- Let Your Motto Be Resistance Self-Defense Manual MERGED
- We Charge Genocide Again!
For more information on these resources or trainings please contact Kali Akuno at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For coalition building and Self-Defense Networks please contact Taliba Obuya at email@example.com.