Militant Journalism

San Diego protesters call to defund police

San Diego’s participation in the nationwide rebellion against racist police terror continued for the third consecutive weekend. The largest action took place in Downtown San Diego, but other actions were held across the county, including a biker rally at the La Mesa Police HQ on Sunday.

It was on Saturday, June 13, where nearly 2,000 people gathered at Waterfront Park for a march and rally entitled: “Defund the police. Fund the people!” This action was primarily organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation. Many other organizations joined this effort, including United Against Police Terror, Migrante San Diego, San Diego Kia’i, Anakbayan San Diego, the African People’s Socialist Party, and more. 

City council increases funding to the police for 2021

This event followed the egregious decision made by the San Diego City Council to increase the San Diego Police Department’s budget by $27 million, bringing the department’s total funding to $566 million.

Many San Diego residents struggle with food insecurity, homelessness, lack of access to quality health care, and underfunded public education. Despite this, Chris Ward was the only City Council member to vote against the budget increase.

As a result, organizers outlined four demands for this rally and march: the arrest and conviction of all killer cops; the defunding and disarming of all San Diego County police departments; the reversal of Mayor Falcouner’s police budget by all eight City Council members or their immediate resignation; and reparations for Black America. 

Opening rally at Waterfront Park

During the first rally at Waterfront Park, Jose Cortes of the Party for Socialism and Liberation introduced the demands. Then, Jose spoke about how the current rebellion relates to the uprising in El Cajon following Alfred Olango being shot by El Cajon PD.

That was followed by speeches given by members of various community organizations. Gabby, an organizer with Colectivo Zapatista, talked about the history of state violence against Black people and its connection to capitalism. She stated: “We charge genocide! For almost 400 years we have been brutalized for the sake of capital.” 

Gabby from Colectivo Zapatista addresses the crowd at Waterfront Park. Liberation Photo: Zachary Farber

March through Downtown

After the speeches, the march began. Protesters filled the streets while chanting together. The march passed the City Hall and County Jail.

Onlookers watched from nearby restaurants and cafés, cheering on protesters as they continued the march. Some demonstrators donned trumpets and drums, adding to the energy and excitement of the event. 

Throughout the march, police threatened medics with arrest, but the conflicts were de-escalated by protesters. There were no physical confrontations and no known arrests.

The march circled back, ending with another rally at Waterfront Park. Danny Colmenarez, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, concluded the rally. During Colmenarez’s speech, he pointed out the international solidarity in the now global anti-racist movement. He said: “The whole world is with us right now. … That’s because we have the power of the people—the only power that matters.”

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