On April 23, about 60 demonstrators gathered in Huntsville, Alabama, for “The Struggle Continues” rally. Protesters gathered at Big Spring Park before marching to the Madison County Courthouse, where several leaders gave speeches about the many injustices still present in the United States despite the conviction of killer cop Derek Chauvin.
The rally focused on recognizing the successes of the fight for Black liberation in the last year, while continuing the struggle. Leaders lauded the grassroots efforts that led to the removal of a confederate statue in front of the Madison County Courthouse while attacking the many confederate symbols remaining across Alabama.
Speakers expressed regret that it was impossible to celebrate the conviction of George Floyd’s killer while people were still being killed by police in the days leading up to and following the conviction. Reminiscent of last summer’s nationwide rebellion, those at the rally called for defunding the police and abolition of the police as we know it.
They also condemned local and national politicians like Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Secretary of State John Merrill, and President and Vice-President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris — that uphold a racist system.
The rally was hosted by Black Lives Matter – Huntsville, Reclaiming Our Time, Project Say Something, and co-hosted by the Party for Socialism and Liberation – Birmingham, and many other local social justice groups from across Alabama. The PSL provided signs to people in attendance and people from all over the state made the trip to attend.
Those on the mic spoke about the need for racial solidarity and class consciousness. One speaker invoked Fred Hampton’s words to call on white people to recognize their own oppression and join with people of oppressed nationalities to build a revolutionary movement.
The rally condemned the anti-riot bills currently in the Alabama legislature as a restriction of freedom of speech and attempt to prevent demonstrations against injustice.
The message was clear: the scapegoating of one killer cop does not mean that people will stop fighting against the system which oppresses them. Attendees and organizers alike recognized that the Chauvin conviction does not represent justice, but merely an appeasement after a year of mass struggle. “This was just the appetizer; I want the full meal,” said one speaker.