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Protest in San Jose to demand justice for George Floyd

By staff

San Jose, CA – Eighty people rallied on March 8, in response to a nationwide call for protests on the first day of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial. Key organizations responsible for organizing the protest were the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Anakbayan Silicon Valley, and the Northern California Unemployed Committee. They staged a protest in front of San Jose City Hall, a center for political protests in the city, especially during the wave of uprisings in the wake of George Floyd’s murder. Several organizations joined the call, such as LEAD Filipino, the youth branch of the Silicon Valley chapter of the NAACP, HERO Tent, Students for Justice in Palestine, the South Bay Indigenous Solidarity Group, and more.

The speakers recognized the need for systemic change and racism’s connection to capitalism. One speaker, Alex Woolner of the Northern California Unemployed Committee, stated, “It is poverty that drives crime. With millions unemployed crime will only go up, something that our militarized police will use to justify increasing their already bloated budgets,” and he continued, “They will siphon money that could provide us with meaningful employment, with housing, and unemployment benefits, which is money that is desperately needed as our government’s lack of response to COVID-19 grinds on.” Speakers pointed out that we should remember that the militarization of the police comes at the expense of badly needed social services; we can either have a militarized police force or higher standards of living and a better quality of life. The choice is obvious to a majority of the population.

Filipino activists connected George Floyd’s execution to a local killing. Angelo Quinto was a Filipino-American from Antioch, California, and the Antioch Police Department murdered him on December 26, 2020 in the same fashion as Floyd. He suffered from mental illness. He would have turned 31 on March 10, 2021. Their murders are similar. A speaker from Anakbayan, Basheer Rydhan, declared that one can “trace back all of these problems and you will find that they all lead to a fundamental problem of capitalism with imperialism as its highest stage, and racism is its conjoined twin.”

Mike Paradela, a member of the Freedom Road Socialist Organization, demanded that communities have control over police, stating, “History shows that when the oppressed masses assert control over the police and have independent political power, the ruling class is unnerved and labels them a threat. Why are they a threat one might ask? They’re a threat because they are expressing their democratic rights! They are a threat because they have the political means to safeguard their humanity, dignity and right to life! They are a threat because they are the masters of their own destiny and makers of their history and their future.”

Another key highlight included the necessity of all oppressed nationalities to unite against the common enemy of the U.S. monopoly capitalists. All the speakers expressed the need for people to unite as one to win justice for George Floyd.

Anakbayan, FRSO, NAARPR, and the Northern California Unemployed Committee all demanded that communities have control over the police.

Seeing a coalition of activists and a community gather to demand justice is a welcome sight. The action excited many of the organizers to build a local movement to fight for George Floyd and Angelo Quinto!

#SanJoséCA #PeoplesStruggles #PoliceBrutality #ANAKBAYAN #GeorgeFloyd #NorthernCaliforniaUnemployedCommittee