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#BloodySaturday23 and resistance in the Black Belt South

By regina

Tallahassee, FL – On Saturday, August 5, several racist white patrons fucked around found out when they attempted to publicly lynch an African American dock worker who asked the groups of whites to move their tugboat. The tugboat was in the way of a riverboat, the Harriott II, trying to dock. The thugs began raining down blows on the African American dock worker, who fought back but was outnumbered. Then, over a dozen African Americans rushed towards the pier and handed down one of the most viral asswhoppings of all time. The event, now dubbed by many on social media as Alabama Sweet Tea Party, Augustteenth, and Bloody Saturday (reminiscent of Blood Sunday), is inspiring hope, laughs and memes.

Lift Every Voice and Swing

Amidst the turmoil, a 16-year-old African American teenager and Good Samaritan, dubbed Black Aquaman and Michael B Phelps, exhibited remarkable courage and leaped into the river to intervene. Many online are hoping he can get a scholarship with an HBCU.

Some other heroes include an African American who hit another white man WWE-style with a folding chair. WWE has yet to reach out to him for a spot on Wrestlemania 40.

The event shed light on the dichotomy of perceptions about the South. Often labeled as backward and complacent, the region's history of resistance surfaced again. The tears weaponized against Black lives were now being shed by white women who found themselves on the receiving end, echoing a poetic reversal of roles. The delayed arrest of these individuals exposed the urgent need for community control of the police, an essential step toward dismantling systemic injustice.

On March 7, 1965, hundreds of civil rights activists marched from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, Alabama. According to an Eyewitness piece in the National Archive, “Alabama state troopers, sheriff's deputies, and posse men” equipped with clubs, bullwhips, and tear gas attacked 600 people.” 59 people were treated for injuries at the local hospital, including the U.S. House of Representative and famed civil rights activist John Lewis, who suffered a skull fracture.

We saw white women who participated now crying when struck back, weaponizing the same white tears that killed so many Black boys and men. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, those white women were not immediately arrested.

When the brawl was over, the crowd demanded the police arrest the white assailants, and cheers emitted from the atmosphere when several white men were arrested. One white man in the video, alleged to be Chase Shipman, the owner of Vasser’s Mini Mart in Selma, has not been charged.

The Southland Journal site reports that several people, whose names have not yet been released, have been detained by the Montgomery police, and four active warrants have been issued as of Sunday afternoon.

African Americans are constantly under attack, and if I was being brutalized by a white gang in Crocs and someone swam across the river to save me, I would feel elated.

That's why this video has gone viral with so many memes. We feel collective solidarity across the entire country. We are witnessing the power of fighting back and are filled with hope for the future. It was a multi-generational beatdown that united a community.

Because of national oppression, African Americans are subjected to state-sanctioned violence, blatant discrimination and systemic inequality. National oppression refers to African Americans facing constant systematic mistreatment, discrimination and marginalization, which results in cultural suppression, economic disparities, political marginalization, social discrimination, land and resource dispossession, and legal and structural discrimination.

African American communists in Alabama organized sharecroppers, protested against lynching, and fought for better labor conditions and, overall, for the liberation of African Americans and Black people around the world. The South's entire history is full of resistance. Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated at a workers’ rights rally in Memphis, Tennessee. The Montgomery Bus Boycotts, sit-ins, and Freedom Rides are just some of many examples of African American resistance in the Black Belt South. This is the territory of the African American nation. We have a right to self-determination. Our history and resistance are being whitewashed in places like Florida, where the new education curriculum claims enslaved Africans benefited from slavery. I need a photo of Black Saturday in textbooks across the South.

We have witnessed too much brutality and attacks on African Americans in recent years. We saw George Floyd and the televised brutality as he cried out for his mama. Last month we witnessed O'Shea Sibley, a queer dancer, be murdered for voguing in New York. NYPD has been criticized due to its initial lack of response.

In response to the viral uprising, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed wrote on social media, “Last night, the Montgomery Police Department acted swiftly to detain several reckless individuals for attacking a man doing his job,” adding, “Warrants are being signed, and justice will be served.”

No African American person should be arrested for intervening in the Alabama Brawl. The Blood Saturday ‘23 videos are a testament to the unyielding solidarity we have for each other. We have sometimes been that security guard fighting for our lives when we have been wrongly attacked. It is a part of the legacy of struggle and African American liberation. It is a beacon of hope in Montgomery – the heart of the Black Belt South – with a resounding message: “Lift Every Voice and Swing.”

An update: The man who bravely defended his community is being charged with a felony and has a bond set to $25,000. Please donate to this GoFundMe We must put an end to all racist and political repression. Fighting back is not a crime!

#TallahasseeFL #AfricanAmerican #BlackLivesMatter