Austin: Family and Activists Rebuild Alex Jr.’s Memorial, Repel Reactionary

By Brian Martel

On Monday April 5, activists rebuilt Alexander Gonzales Jr.’s memorial after it was completely removed by an unknown person last month. Towards the end of the event, activists were attacked by a violent antagonist, who they repelled after he assaulted attendees.

Shortly after Alex Jr. was killed by Austin Police Department, a memorial was created at the site of his murder and banners were hung in his honor. Since then, several banners have been taken from the memorial, each time replaced by community members and activists.

After the memorial was removed entirely, activists pledged to turn the desecration into a positive event by rebuilding the memorial better than it was before. On Monday, activists arrived with community members and cemented-in a cross along with flowers, candles, and an illustrated portrait of Alex Jr.

Elizabeth Gonzales, Alex Jr.’s mother, spoke at the memorial after it was rebuilt: “It’s so beautiful, and that means a lot to me and my family, because we didn’t do it alone, we did it together as a community […] The community still remembers what’s going on right here. They could take it out tomorrow, that’s okay, but at least I had my moment.”

Elizabeth also spoke with Whitney Mitchell, the wife of Garrett Foster, “We’re gonna stick together and we’re gonna go through and we’re gonna fight.” She continued, “We’re gonna get justice for both of us.”

“You’re our family […] We gotta accept each other because of what we’re doing for the fight for your husband and for our son,” Elizabeth said to Whitney.

“People are willing to fight, and we’re willing to keep fighting until we get justice,” said an organizer. “And this is just the beginning of this. As you can see, Liz, Whitney, and other folks are willing to fight.”

Organizers reiterated the demands of the families of victims of police killings, which include: the arrest of Alex Jr.’s killers Gabriel Gutierrez and Luis Serrato, and Garrett Foster’s killer Daniel Perry, without bail; an end to the slander of the victims of the police; the conviction of Christopher Taylor; and generous financial reparations for the families.

As the event was ending, a man arrived who began to denounce Alex Jr. and the activists in attendance. He then attacked two women, after which he was pepper sprayed and run off. As the organization and unity of community members and families fighting for the police’s victims strengthens, they have faced further reactionary assaults, pressing the need for greater discipline and militancy against the imperialist state and its police and civilian foot soldiers.

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