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Militant Texas protest for Sandra Bland and victims of police brutality

By Adam Gann

Protesters storm Waller County, Texas jail where Sandra Bland died

Hempstead, TX – Over 300 people gathered on August 9 in front of Waller County Jail, where Sandra Bland was murdered last month. The large crowd rallied to protest racist police brutality and remember its victims. An hour northwest of Houston, people listened to inspiring speeches and uplifting poetry, and then marched around the Waller jailhouse.

Members of the National Black United Front (NBUF) lead the march, chanting, “No Justice, no fear. Sandra Bland lives here!” and “Down with racist police.” After marching for 20 minutes, the protesters entered the jailhouse to demand justice for Sandra Bland.

Suddenly, a line of cops charged at the activists with batons drawn, attempting to force people out of the lobby. The crowd resisted, so the police pulled in a few people, detaining them. Some protesters then began throwing soda cans and bottles at the cops, and showing no fear, protesters clashed with the police.

More police appeared from inside the jailhouse, again attempting to push people out. Their goal was to shut the door and arrest the detained protesters. Next, demonstrators formed a barrier to try to keep the doors open and free their detained comrades. Finally, the cops managed to push through the human barrier, also pushing and old African American man to the ground and banging his head on the concrete. The cops shut the jailhouse doors, locking the detained inside, while a group of activists rushed to help the older man and get him to an ambulance.

The militant protesters began banging on the door and threatening to break it down if the police did not release their fellow protesters immediately. Everyone chanted, “Shame on you!” and “Let them go!” Eventually demonstrators forced the jailhouse doors open, but just then the police sent the detained protesters out of a side door. As everyone was leaving the demonstration, hundreds of riot police showed up with shields, batons and huge police vans.

Treasjure, an organizer with Out of the Flames of Ferguson, said, “The energy here today was amazing and the people were willing to figuratively and literally fight for justice and ensure that Sandra still speaks. This is a good sign that the general public is waking up.”

Activists from Black Lives Matter Texas, Out of the Flames of Ferguson, National Black United Front, Truth 2 Power, and the Texas Organizing Project led the protest and march.

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