STILL WE RISE
by Frank Chapman, Field Organizer
Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression
Chairperson, Organizing Committee to Stop Police Crimes
We live in troubled times in a troubled city and land. Nothing reflects this more than the wanton, senseless murder of Flint Farmer by Chicago Police Officer Gildardo Sierra. This murder was video-recorded by a police squad cam and it is clear that Mr. Farmer, a young African American male, was shot three times by killer cop, Sierra as he lay helpless on the ground.
There are no gray areas here; this was murder plain and simple. And yet Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says, after over two years of investigation, that Officer Sierra was “justified” because he thought Flint Farmer’s cell phone was a gun. Even though Farmer was already wounded, laying face down, motionless, on the ground, Sierra could “reasonably” have felt he endangered his life. So he stood over him and shot him fatally three times in the back, at close range.
So when is murder murder? And when do we as a people, as citizens and residents of Chicago say enough is enough? It’s said we no longer live in a country where public lynching of Black people is socially acceptable but the recalcitrant fact of the matter is that these racist cops can and do kill African Americans and Latinos with impunity. They do the work of the lynch mob under the authority of the badge. This is why now like never before we must intensify the struggle to have our proposed Civilian Police Accountability Council (CPAC) legislation enacted by the City Council. The police are out of control so we have no choice but to fight for community control and it is incumbent upon all of us to join this fight.
We need to also talk about another shameful aspect of this travesty of justice surrounding Flint Farmer’s murder. Let’s call the matter to question: When are we as a people and a community under siege going to rise up? I say right on to CAARPR, the young protestors (black, brown and white), the Latino and African American family members of people tortured and murdered by the police and others who joined the protest calling for justice for the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner this past two weeks. But given the enormity of the police crimes committed against our communities this massive uprising is just the beginning
We can say to our sisters and brothers in the struggle that no longer are we being quiet and tame in the face of death stalking our communities like a hungry lion. We have met with fellow human rights organizations and civil rights leaders, politicians and religious leaders and the response thus far has been sluggish, or not there at all.
So the question remains: When do we rise up united? What are we afraid of? We are already dying and being killed so being afraid is not helping us to survive.
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I’m a black ocean leaping and wide
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a day break that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave
I am the dream and the hope of the slave
Stand up Chicago! Fight Back! Come to our meetings, sign our petitions, join us when we put our feet in the streets. DARE TO STRUGGLE! DARE TO WIN!!!
We meet every Monday at 3pm, 1325 S. Wabash Ave., Suite 105. You can also call: (312) 939-2750 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.