In early 2013, after a reign of terror by the Memphis (TN) police in the USA (15 killed in a year), and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan, the Memphis based Black Autonomy Federation, an African-American radical anti-authoritarian organization, called for activists all over the USA and the world to recognize the police crimes in Memphis, and on March 15th and 16th, a protest and march to the city police-court annex took place in downtown Memphis following a rally at city hall. Activists from 10 cities came for this protest and the conference the next day, which formalized the Ida B. Wells Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality. Then mere days later, on March 30, 2013, the IBWC was forced to organize for a mass demonstration against a rally by the Ku Klux Klan. The Klan was fighting to preserve a racist Confederate park system, which was a tribute to the Klan and Klan leader, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and called for a mass mobilization. 1,500 people came out to the anti-Klan protests, even though the Mayor and Black officials who had collaborated with the Klan and the business establishment had tried to warn them the pubic off and had assembled 450 heavily armed riot police to intimidate us. It didn’t work. An estimated 1,200 people came from Memphis, and 300 activists from the outside.
We created this activist mass movement to build class and race unity, and to challenge the governments of the world who are going over to corporate fascism as their public policies. Fascist paramilitary movements have also made gains in this period, and the use of police deadly force has been regularized by governmental authorities. Now they are working together, so we must work together.
Thus, we need an activist movement that can fight against mass unemployment, the huge American prison establishment that acts as concentration camps against the poor and POC, to combat police murder of the poor and oppressed racial groups in the streets, and to act as an ally for the Black Autonomy Federation and Black Autonomy International, who founded the movement.
We ask activists, regardless of their race, ideology, or location in the world to join with us and help build the Ida B. Wells Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality into an international mass movement which can beat back fascism and all other forms of oppression in the capitalist system, and be a defense against reactionary movements and increasingly dictatorial governments/police.
Love and struggle,
Lorenzo and JoNina M. Ervin, Acting Chairs