Repression and Resistance: Week in Protest September 4-10

“Repression and Resistance” is a column from Tribune of the People that highlights rebellions and repression happening in protests across the US each week. If you want us to cover a protest happening in your city, please send us a pitch.

Rochester, NY

Rochester’s Police Chief La’Ron Singletary, along with his entire command staff, resigned this week following six straight nights of demonstrations after disturbing video surfaced the week prior of the police murder of Daniel Prude. Three officers have been hospitalized as a result of one of these demonstrations on Saturday night.

Earlier this year, Prude was having a mental health episode when police covered his head with a “spit hood,” suffocating him to death. Police initially had lied that he had died of a “drug overdose.”

Portland, OR

Protests in Portland this week passed an important milestone of a 100 nights of continuous rebellion since the police murder of George Floyd in May. The people continued to resist police repression by throwing projectiles at officers, launching fireworks, and blocking streets with flaming barricades.

Protesters also confronted a federal ICE building this week in response to Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf’s statement where he defended the deployment of federal officers to the city and categorized the protests in the wake of the May Uprising as one of the greatest threats to the US.

“Let me be clear – those who seek to undermine our democratic institutions, indiscriminately destroy businesses, and attack law enforcement officers and fellow citizens are a threat to the Homeland,” Wolf said.

Pittsburgh, PA

Black Lives Matter protesters in Pittsburgh this week clashed with three reactionaries chanting “Blue lives matter” during a march to Mayor Bill Peduto’s house. One reactionary who attempted to swat at someone with a megaphone was hit in the head with a skateboard.

When the march arrived at the mayor’s home, they flashed lights through the windows and made noise. In response, the Mayor tweeted that there are limits to free speech, showing the arbitrariness of constitutional rights and the importance of fighting for people’s rights.

“Yes, we have granted extra rights to assure free speech,” the mayor said. “But, continual denial of law, will end up in arrests. Actions have consequences.”

Tallahassee, FL

Fifteen protesters were arrested last weekend at an unpermitted march which disrupted traffic in Tallahassee. The clashes with police were in response to the news that grand juries had failed to indict three officers responsible for shooting and killing people this year.

“We’re not standing down no more,” one activist said. “We gave you an opportunity and this is war.”

Memphis, TN

At a protest of a pro-slavery Confederate marker in a suburb of Memphis this week, one reactionary named Warren McDearman was arrested for assaulting a protester. Town Square park, where the memorial which commemorates the Confederate soldiers from the suburb is located, was formerly called “Confederate Park.”

Charlottesville, VA

As part of the continuing resistance against pro-slavery and racist monuments across the US, dozens of protesters demanded the removal of the George Rogers Clark statue at the University of Virginia this week. Clark, an alcoholic militia man of the Virginia Colony, led one of the first battles in the Northwest Indian War, an early action in the US campaign of genocide against the indigenous peoples of North America.

Bridgeport, CT

Protesters in Bridgeport mobilized to celebrate the arrest of local police chief Armando Perez, who with Acting Personnel Director David Dunn is accused of corruption and lying to the FBI. The protest also continued to demand action for the police murder of teenager Jayson Negron in 2017.

San Antonio, TX

Unpermitted billboards were spotted on San Antonio’s west side showcasing the names of local Black workers who have been murdered by local police.