I’m really tired of people calling for “peace” in the midst of the uprising occurring in Anaheim. Peace, for them, is a return to “normalcy”. Well, normal isn’t really working out. “Peace” is an ineffective and arcane drug policy that disproportionately imprisons poor people of color and subjects the public to the murderous whims of both street gangs and police. “Peace” forsakes resistance, while leaving structural violence intact. Peace is killing us.
During the insurrection, there was a stand-off between police and citizens who wanted to get into a City Council meeting; people hit and kicked police cars as the cars passed by them in the street; trash cans and dumpsters were set on fire; finally, a Starbucks window was broken (a ritual at this point). People are outraged because a Starbucks window was broken during the uprising in Anaheim. Well, I will be sad for a broken Starbucks window after they speak-out against the racially-biased police misconduct happening in their own backyard.
When I last spoke about the riots in response to the Anaheim Police killing Manuel Diaz, I told you a love story. It was a beautiful scene of a community that was motivated by love for their families, friends and neighbors as they stood against police violence in their neighborhood. Children and parents were unified, taking the streets as if the shackles of police repression no longer bound them. This Anaheim neighborhood was living, if only for a moment, as if the police no longer had the right to kill and victimize them. It was a story about love’s boundless energy. That was then.
The following is a video of Manuel Diaz, 24, laying in a grassy lawn while dying from a police officer’s bullet to the head. His family and community looked on in agony; their pain is palpable.
Do we need to start a riot? Ordinarily we focus on the police after they kill someone, but I’m not going to do that. Fuck them. The central figures in this story are the friends, neighbors, and community members that came together and stood up against the latest act of murderous police aggression. This story is about community, specifically a neighborhood filled with people of color (Shout out to the Latino homies). They watched the police kill a man, a member of the community, and their anger swelled as he lay motionless in a grass-covered yard.