“This isn’t a riot. It’s an uprising! It’s a rebellion! And successful uprisings and rebellions become REVOLUTIONS.” Eugene Puryear of the PSL addresses massive crowd in Philadelphia on Sat. June 5. “Everyone likes to care about civil rights, but no politicians cared about civil rights until Black people started shutting this country down and breaking unjust laws!”
They are the ones who are causing the violence.
The real outside agitators are the cops that come from the suburbs, that shoot down our brothers and sisters, that harass us with stop and frisk, that treat every Black person like a criminal.
They don’t care about peace. They don’t care about justice.
I don’t care if they kneel. I don’t care if they hold a sign. I don’t care if they put out a press release. I don’t even care if they hand out water here today. It’s all an attempt to take you away from the reality.
It’s not this movement that has caused chaos – it’s the 400 years of racist oppression that Black people aren’t going to take anymore.
They always say, “well it’s just a few bad apples.” And I always wonder when people say that, if they just have never heard the whole thing. Because, I’m originally a country boy and I know the quote, it’s “one bad apple spoils the whole bunch.” It’s not just one. Every single one of them is rotten, and rotten to the core.
If you would stand alongside someone who would murder someone in the street for no reason, you are just as rotten. You are just as complicit. You are just as responsible.
And if you’re one of these Black cops, that says, “well I know what it is”, well then why are you doing what you’re doing? You’re doubly complicit because you know it’s wrong.
So we’re not going to allow any of these fake side issues to stop us. Justice for George Floyd. Justice for Breonna Taylor. Justice for all victims of police murder.
But we also know it goes deeper than that, that this is systemic. And when we say “systemic,” people say “what does that mean?”
Just think about it like this: the police allegedly are supposed to make sure people follow the law. But what is the law? Who makes the law? Are the laws just?
Are the laws just?
Are the laws just?
So just right there you know if they’re designed to enforce the law, they are designed to enforce injustice. It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. It’s not a problem, it’s working the way it’s supposed to.
The cops draw their lineage from the slave patrols. The slave patrols that say if you’re Black you can’t do this. You can’t do that, you can’t go here. All you can do is work. Well, we talk about curfews now. What are the curfews they put on young Black people in the suburbs, if not a slave patrol? You can’t go here, you can’t go there.
It’s the same struggle, it’s the same system.
Capitalism and imperialism was built on the backs of the genocide of Native Americans, the enslavement of African Americans, the exploitation of working class people. It can’t operate without it.
They said we’ll give you a Black president, and Ferguson had to erupt under a Black president. ‘Cause it doesn’t matter what color the face in the high place; if the system remains the same, the system remains unjust.
Something beautiful is happening right now in the U.S. Look to your left, look to your right. Look behind you where hundreds of people are coming and joining this demonstration.
People came out on the streets and said they wouldn’t take it anymore, so they charged the cop. People came out on the streets, every brand is cynical, we know they don’t want to lose customers, every brand in the country is scrambling to act like they are with us.
It wasn’t voting, no disrespect, but it was the power of the people that made every single elite institution in this country acknowledge the justice of what we are doing.
Everybody loves to look back and talk about things that happened in the past. People will say, “we had the civil rights movement in this country, you should be like them.” Well I don’t know if people forgot, but the civil rights movement meant that people got into the streets and broke the law. They went to jail.
No politicians cared about civil rights until Black people started to shut this country down.
People will say, they’ll tell you in school, “well in the 1930s, Roosevelt was the president and he helped unions grow.” That’s a lie. You know what really happened? People sat down in their factories. They took over the plants, they shut down production, and they said, “ain’t nobody gonna make a dollar until we get justice.”
So there’s two things we can do. We can listen to all the people who didn’t do anything for years, like Joe Biden who created mass incarceration, and now wants to take a knee. We can do what they want us to do. And we’ve heard it before: “Trust us.” Just go to the polls, cast a ballot, “trust us, trust us.”
Sometimes I wonder, what was George Floyd thinking during those nine minutes? ‘Cause I know watching the video, I just kept thinking of all these people who said “trust us, we’ll do something about it.”
So we can go that route.
But from my point of view, we can go another route. And that’s to stay in the streets and make this country ungovernable.
If workers don’t work, they can’t make money. If protests paralyze the streets, they can’t make money.
This is the United States, where the almighty dollar controls everything. So if you want to put it all behind money, we’re going to stop your money until Black Lives Matter in this country.
This is not a riot, this is an uprising. This is not a riot, this is a rebellion. And successful uprisings and rebellions become revolutions.
I believe and I remember the comrades in Haiti in 1791, who rose up against the slave owners, and they burned everything to the ground, but they ended up free.
So we have to ask ourselves, will we stay passive or will we fight for our freedom?
Will we fight?
Will we fight?
Will we fight?
Will we fight?
Turn to your neighbor and say “I’ll fight for you.” Turn to your other neighbor and say” I’ll fight for you.” And now say all together that we’re going to stay together, and we’re going to fight until everybody is free.
They never think it can happen until it does. Let ’em laugh at us. Let ’em ridicule us.
Let ’em yell “get a job.” Let ’em say whatever they want to say. We are an unstoppable force that will bring this capitalist system to its knees. That will put people over profit. That will fight for socialism in this country.
So I thank all of you who are here today. I thank the hundreds who are still trying to join this demonstration.
I’ll fight for you, we’ll fight together, until we’re all free.
Power to the people!