Report from the Los Angeles Walk Outs: Rebels and Cops
From the Southern California Anarchist Federation -- Los Angeles Chapter
Through out this week students from High Schools and Middle Schools have been walking out against the racist anti-immigrant HR 4437.
On Tuesday March 28th, members of the SCAF-LA supported the student walk-outs by marching along with them, talking to them, and trying to connect them with a revolutionary vision.
A middle school walk out had been organized by the teachers at Los Angeles Leadership Academy, which had a couple of hundred students walk out from their school to resist this proposed law.
There were High School students that we met up with in city hall from all over the city, from Alhambra to South Central Los Angeles. It was raining on this day, but this did not discourage students from walking out. Mayor Villaraigosa even had to go on the radio, to beg the students to not walk out anymore. Students had been organizing their schools since Friday and the march on Saturday in Downtown Los Angeles gave their efforts some support and momentum. The city officials are scared, and are on the defensive. They lose federal money when students do not show up to school, and they fear the youth waking up and fighting back, they fear their rebellious spirit, and the self-organization of the people.
Students chanted and marched from all over the city, meeting up at different high schools for support and to get other students to walk out. There were adult supporters and observers marching along with the youth -- but this moment belonged to them. From downtown we marched to South Central Los Angeles to Jefferson High School. There we found riot police protecting the school, and stopping the youth from walking out.
We heard reports that this happened at other schools as well. Riot police surrounded schools and the school administration locked in the students. The fact of the matter being that schools are prisons -- they are used to indoctrinate and socialize and turn us into a new generation of wage slaves. They lock us in and have cops protecting the schools and making sure we do not escape behind their class room walls. The police never have repressed schools in upper middle class sections of the city. This was an exposure on the system itself.
Besides the attempts of the authorities to stop the youth from resisting and rebelling -- we talked to a student from Manual Arts High School in South Central Los Angeles who told us that when they locked the gates to their school -- the students broke them down in their hundreds and walked out anyway. Also at Jefferson High School when riot police tried to push people back and beat people with their batons -- people refused to move and started chanting, "La Migra, La Policia, La Misma Porqueria!" (The INS, The Police -- the Same piece of trash). The youth were determined, and willing to take bold actions -- some recalled stories of the day before when they had taken over the 101 and 110 freeways.
The march passed by workers in down town raising their fists from their construction sites, and in South Central with Mexicano families yelling out "Si Se Puede" from their porches and windows. Students reassured each other, "My mom told me we're not supposed to go to school this whole week, because of this law." A boy's mom passed by with water and burritos for those who were hungry, dropping them off from her van.
Today in Los Angeles there is a lot of revolutionary potential, and we have to support spontaneous resistance, but also we have to plan and organize for the long term struggle of changing society and taking back our communities (and relying on our own organization -- including on ourselves to educate each other -- and giving each other the tools and resources that we're not receiving in our schools that will help us fight against oppression, build the revolutionary movement, and survive). The actions that the students are taking are righteous and we should support it. Many are wanting to help build this movement -- when were talking to some of them they grabbed some SCAF flyers and passed them out to other students.
There are different meetings and forums that are being set up to support the youth -- and others are trying to stop them and discourage them (the media, and some liberals) telling them that they're causing harm to themselves -- when this government and system is attacking them.
Right on to the rebel youth -- the world belongs to you, the oppressed, and humanity -- not the police, the politicians, or the oppressor.
(Also members of SCAF will be helping organize for a strike in May that is being called for.)