Our VoiceNews & Politics

March Against 1968 Riot Cops Reunion


Cloee Cooper • Jun 29, 2009

On June 26th, 2009, over a hundred people gathered in protest at the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) in Chicago. Beyond the police barricade, the FOP held their 1968 Riot Cop Reunion. Outside, people stood with signs, “Fight Racism, Stop Police Brutality”. The officers who cracked heads at the 1968 Democratic Convention and the Division Street riots of 1966, and murdered Black Panthers Fred Hampton and Mark Clark were celebrating with today’s police. According to the protestors, “the police are still occupying our communities and repressing our rallies”.

Chicago Copwatch in conjunction with other Chicago activists and organizations organized a rally and march to highlight the violence of the Chicago police in the 1960s, as well as their violence today. If you were at the demonstration, you would have seen some of the same anarchist and punk crowds that often attend anti-capitalist, anti-state demonstrations. However, scattered amongst the people who stood in anger outside of the reunion, were survivors of the 1968 riots.

When the chanting “no justice, no peace” started coming to a close, the mic was passed to a woman from the south side. She screamed in rage, facing the barricade of the police. “I hope you feel shame”, she declared. “I hope you feel shame”. Having lived through the 1960’s civil rights era, she shunned the police who “occupy our city and our neighborhoods to this day”. As she spoke in the microphone, a sobriety came over the air.

The rally was not just to scream in front of the police and hold signs. The rally was also to remember the lives of many victims of police torture – police torture waged against primarily low income and communities of color in Chicago. The police were celebrating the torture and death of her community. And according to her, the systematic torture of her community is not over yet.

For more on the Rally, please visit Chicago Copwatch, Windy Citizen, or the New York Times.

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