A Proposal to Block Everything

The Zimmerman verdict reminds us that in the United States Black life is given no value by the forces of law, order, and property. While #hoodiesup shows a historical force drawn up in opposition, the direction of the protests is still uncertain. Some demonstrators call for a federal civil rights suit, while others draw attention to the larger structural oppression faced by black and poor people. Some want to stay focused on a single vigilante, while others draw the connection to Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, and Rodney King. Some want to ignore the institution of the police, while the rest of us know that Zimmerman is a wannabe cop, and that every cop is a wannabe Zimmerman.

Leaders urge peace, calm, and obedience. But even if peaceful rallies result in a federal suit against Zimmerman, will that change what brought us into the streets in the first place? Do we mean it when we say, “Never Again”? What would it take to actually stop all this misery?

Every movement that’s ever meant anything has given itself the means to disrupt daily life. If there is a common thread that runs through Civil Rights to Black Power, this is it. The simple question is how to become a force. Moments of disruption teach us new ways to relate to each other and our cities. Most importantly, they teach us that we are powerful. A determined people doesn’t have to rely on wannabe cops or politicians. That’s why the cowards caution us to obey the law over the call in our hearts. They know this—and it terrifies them.

“I’m not shocked, I’m outraged.” The murder of a black teen is not the exception, but the norm; we are coming to fists with normal life in America. Hence, #hoodiesup must disrupt the places that sustain this normal: cities, highways, trains, ports, social media—all the flows that compose the false harmony of America. The sit-ins in Pittsburgh and Florida, the marches blocking streets around the country, the highway takeovers in Oakland, LA, and Houston, all share a wisdom: every place that politics and commerce carry on as if nothing has happened is ripe for disruption. Block everything!

Friday, 7/26 | Everywhere | #Block4Trayvon

Highways, Bridges, Ports, Trains



44 thoughts on “A Proposal to Block Everything

  1. I am in New York and would like to know when, where, and what time will #Block4Trayvon will take place in my city. Thank You

  2. What a tragedy and this isn’t going to make it any better. I think we need to ask ourselves why he wasn’t convicted and fix the laws rather than create losses for our hometown businesses.

    • It is a tragedy, and i think a lot of people are asking, or have already asked themselves for a long time, why he wasnt convicted, why Black life seems to have no value in this country. I think some people have come to the conclusions that the laws are not the problem (changing stand your ground laws, for example, won’t really help; most killings like this are done by cops to whom the law is redundant and irrelevant.) Instead, the larger system is seen as the problem. But even if one does think specific laws need to change, there is a real historical awareness that it takes more than legal marches and petitions for poor people to change something in this country. All the history i know says this to be true, ESPECIALLY when poor black people are concerned, whom the State clearly just doesn’t give a damn about. Disruptions of an economic and political nature are a starting point, to be sure – but rallying for the Federal Government to press a civil suit in one individual case is a total dead end, not to mention a serious waste of all the passionate energy and anger that has outpoured into the streets, that is about something much larger than just the exoneration of one racist. In other words, with no justice, there should be no peace.

      • I dare you to block any of us…. you’ll find yourselves in the emergency department… you are setting back our race so many years…

      • People already been sitting in at governor offices, blocking highways and streets. Where’s your white wannabe cop vigilantism you re bragging about? Hrmmm?? “Our” race? Not sure where youre going with that, if youre one of the dozens of of pro-zimmerman white supremacists whose comments we delete, or if youre saying that as a black person youre embarassed that other black people are outraged enough to act out. Either way its irrelevant; most of the crowds of people who took to the streets after the verdict were multiracial. This sparked a moment of rage against white supremacy and policing, for sure, but that rage is hardly monopolized by black communities. Some white folks have the ethical or political intelligence to recognize that, historically, practices of government which stem from white vigilantism and policing are bad for them too. Some don’t.

    • Not yet sure – but why not put out a call for a spot for folks to meet up? Hatch a plan etc? We ll be setting up a page shortly to publicize any public meetups folks get to us. West Coast and New York are asking similar questions…

  3. Arrest everyone who does something illegal. Like blocking traffic on roads, highways, and tracks. Protest properly, not illegally. Trayvon would have wanted everyone to do things according to the law. Since he was a law abiding citizen.

    • Wow. Did you know Trayvon? I didn’t, and I certainly wouldn’t have the audacity to speak on his behalf, and definitely not in favor of the “law and order” that had him stalked, murdered, and then let his killer off the hook. Maybe instead of projecting our own ideas and politics onto a murdered teen, we can just be honest about we’d like to see about the injustices we see in the world and our own lives. If you wanna rep on some law and order trip, own it, don’t project it onto a kid you didn’t know in order to make your “arrest everybody” shit sound somehow less creepy and totalitarian.

      • Do you need a Kleenex for those tears. You didnt know Trayvon either, yet…here you are inciting improper protests in a dead teens name. Now, go through every documented court case of this type of injustice, and do the same thing for all of them. Do your research for all of them and stop jumping on the Trayvon bandwagon like everyone seems to have done.

      • You don’t know him…you don’t even know the whole story , other than what you’ve heard mainstream media. This isn’t even about race. All you people making an uproar about this is making it about race. You want equal rights? Thats what was given…a jury trial that heard the WHOLE story, unlike yourself. Equal rights means…EQUAL.Not play the slavery card or the black card every time a black person gets accused or murdered. You don’t hear white people causing riots cause Billy Bob got called a honkey or a cracker. If whites had a national association for the advancement of white people…we’d be racist. (NAACP) When white people have a white pride parade, they’re racist. But black folks can do all the above and still claim they want equal rights. Thats wanting more than equal rights..Dude was doing his duty as a neighborhood watch. Period. Get over it and move on. Why tear a country apart over something you claim to want, but take for granted.

      • Wow, if you really want to fix something, how about you work to stop the black on black murders. The biggest racists, and the ones keeping blacks down are blacks themselves. Blacks are killed far more by other blacks, than any other race. Guess which race murders the most whites? Yep, also blacks. So tell me again who the racists are?

      • Different Admin than the other person.

        Tommy, Your stats are fictional, bro. It’s a cool way to not really handle the real situation and we applaud your impressive capacity for false consciousness. Nonetheless, is this about murder? No. Mad people are killed, all the time. Who’s hands are more bloody? Who cares. I’m chillin watching Youtube videos of cute cats. This is about a line that follows from the origin of the concept America to the present. A line that departs slightly from the narrative of the state as a coherent institution. Me, you, and everyone we know now does the work of government on a daily basis, and the work of government now consists not only of policing race through territory and the control of populations (city plans of segregation of and integration), but also of the productive work of creating each and everyone of us as a perfect docility, and at the same time, citizen-cops. This is why in ’92 the big picture was the brutality of the LAPD against Rodney King, and today the picture is that pathetic act of a wannabe cop. Zimmerman and everyone applauding his weakness doesn’t even know that what he represents–the ground he stands on–is that of government, in every intimate sphere of life.

        Just a guess, you like guns and shit right? Instead of the image being a citizen shooting down a young black man, think about how the future trial of some other citizen do-gooder who eliminates some poor white dude with a piece that he thought was a “terrorist.”

        You the dumb-dumb simplifying it about race, bro.

    • Im sorry, did you know Trayvon Martin? How would you know what Trayvon martin would have done if a friend or member of his commmunity was murdered by cops? Why not own your own politics instead of projecting them onto a teen murdered by a wannabe cop?

      And why does it really matter exactly what Trayvon “would have done” as a protester, anyway? The murder of Trayvon was a horrible tragedy, but it speaks to thousands of people around the country precisely because it was not unique. It was, in other words, a reflection of systemic issues: racial profiling, police brutality, the role of the “good citizen,” the policing of poor bodies in a country whose economy was built from the ground up on slavery, the role of the courts in preventing self-determination.

      None of these issues are owned by any one person or family – whether it is Trayvon Martin or his mother or Al Sharpton or whoever. They affect all of us, and we should attack them as best we can in the best ways we know how, and we should own our opinions as our own rather than trying to lie and say, “Oh Trayvon would have wanted this” so as to feel and sound more legitimate. The tearful impromptu speaches and loud chants echoing off city walls show this is much bigger than one tragic murder. The struggle against white supremacy in this country is what is at stake here, nothing less.

    • PS. Calling for the arrest of people is some vulgar creepy totalitarian crap – try and perform your own citizen’s arrest in LA sometime and see how that goes. Law and Order rhetoric is for wannabe fascists.

  4. I’m totally in step with the outrage and need to do something about it. But please, please please don’t do things that will get you hurt and inflict more harm on the cause than good. If you stand in front of a train and expect it to stop as one of the pictures depicts, your just not thinking rationally. Please act with RESPONSIBILITY
    ~a blue collar train engineer who is also outraged

    • Thats real, thanks for the input. I dont think “block everything” needs to mean “block everything in a stupid and unsafe way.” If youre referring to the twitter pic we used, then yeah, agreed – not the safest or most effective way to block a train! Better in a group, or with objects.

      Better yet, youre a train engineer – how best to block trains in your thought? What about train engineers “putting the brakes on commerce” for trayvon?

    • Nobody has claimed to “speak for a movement,” any more than the hundreds of trayvon hash tages, memes, twitter accounts, facebook pages, or local organizing bodies around the country, all trying to find other people who are angry, and find ways to act. If you were attending some of these marches and rallies, you d find that this sentiment around police is commonplace, common sense even. The shock that some white folks express at this kind of sentiment says a lot about how differently people of color, especially poor people of color, are treated by police in comparison to most white folks. The fact that white people even get surprised by this kind of statement shows just in what different kind of worlds they are living.

  5. Those who seek power are mediocre the only way to change that is to make them afraid of you. Mass demonstrations will do that.

    • Yes! But what kind of mass demonstrations? Over 101 cities had rallies yesterday in front of federal buildings to pressure for a federal suit against Zimmerman – but the media barely made a peep, the politicians didnt squirm an inch. Imagine if even a third or half that number had blocked city hall or blockaded neighborhoods to keep out police, or even just staged sit ins on highways or at corporate stores. The country’s political class would be scrambling, a nervous wreck.

  6. o stfu with this bullshit go to you job you grow in mass for a young kid ya its a shame what happened, and Zimmerin was Hispanic,, y dont you do this for the government when they watch n listen to everything u say and do **no u dont care** aint worth writing any other reasons also . Get you sh*t straight

  7. This is a great idea, and another example of the interesting times to which social media is leading us. Much as my heart goes out to the lads family and as I share the outrage that that murder has been condoned, spare a thought for a wedding party in Waziristan. Or the squaddies (or grunts) giving all, in futility.

  8. “Why not take these protest to those directly responsible for profiling and killing Black Youth, the Police and political leaders. Block police stations and city hall.”

    YES. Block police stations and city hall. That would pretty clearly fall under “politics and commerce, cops etc.” in the last couple sentences of the proposal. And you ll also notice the site has highlighted the two sitins as mayors offices as well. But commerce – workplaces, highways, web stuff, etc. – is just as much a part of ‘government,’ and is also a reasonable target. Its worth remembering that the origins of the police in this country lie in part, and in particular in the South, in violently enforcing a racialized division of labor and exploitation. In other words, commerce, business, capital. This is not a determinist argument (racism exists cus of capitalism, or something like that). But economics is on the table when talking about why police brutalize black and brown people in this country. Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, the Panthers all eventually made this connection, and the tactics they advocated eventually reflected that. The political and economic ruling class are not two distinct entities – block the flows of capital and you ll see some political shit start to change. If the Chamber of Commerce is freaking out, you better believe the cops are gonna hear about that.

    • What an uncaring act. I can’t believe you would do this to your own community! You have nieghbors maybe even friends that will NEED to get places. Maybe a wedding or a funeral. Maybe it the first or maybe even the last day of a child’s chemo or radiation treatments. Maybe somebody will be on the way to say that one last goodbye to a loved one or maybe on the way to say hello to a new family member. Maybe they miss that job interview. Maybe they miss that funeral , birth, death or life saving treatment all because you want to sit your butts in the middle of the road. I’m all for protests and equal right… EQUAL rights. Do you really need to do that to your own community? When you block your community from getting to thier destinarions you have taken away thier rights. Think a little have a little compassion. Maybe read a bit of MLK. He wasn’t about hate, roits and destrution

      • MLK advocated blocking things all over the place – cafeterias, trash pickup (he supported memphis santiation workers strike, for example, which was pretty incredibly inconvenient for folks!) bus transportation, etc., in a wide variety of contexts. Your complaint, that can be reduced to “inconvenience,” was actually brought up again and again by MLK’s white liberal (and racist) opponents. A little context for yet another person cherrypicking some MLK to keep in line folks who are angry about racism.

        On that note, none of the more specific objections you raise seem unreasonable or unsolveable; it wouldn’t be that difficult for a group blocking a street to allow through the hypothetical funeral procession (which btw is a kind of disengenuous objection don’t you think?) or EMT vehicle, etc.

        What’s more, the objections you raise seem totally specific to one kind of tactic. Blocking police stations, city hall, going on strike, shutting down corporate retail stores, on the other hand, would primarily inconvenience the production of profit and the reproduction of power. I suggest if you’re that worried about blocking a highway, block something else. Unless you actually don’t think that the economy or politics should be disrupted because of an opposition to racism, that the issues bringing black and brown (and white) people out into the streets right now just aren’t important enough to justify disrupting normal life for the rest of the country. And if that is your sentiment, then i guess lot of folks will just have to respectfully disagree. Fearing for your life and freedom everytime a cop car drives through your neighborhood is pretty inconvenient, too. It might be that we can’t change that without a little (or a lot) of inconvenience.

      • You make many good points. Down playing what you are asking people to do by calling them an inconvenience is silly. You sound like a very intelligent, articulate yet wordy person. So you KNOW that this will be more than an “inconvenience” to your community and that creating a “inconvenience” is not going to help your cause. Sure you’ll get attention. You’ll be all over the news and everyone will know you’re upset and frustrated with the way the world is just like they do now. You think people don’t know and understand? People do, of all colors. What can they do? What is it EXACTLY you want the average person that you will be “inconveniencing” to do?
        There were some major “inconveniences” in 1965, 1967, 1992 and 2001. 113 people were “inconvenienced” by losing their lives. Not to mention the billions of dollars in damages the community’s were inconvenienced by having to pay back.
        If you think there’s not going to be some white retard out there pressing buttons to get a violent reaction then you’re delusional.
        Unless of course that’s what you want.

    • Yes. Point? Lots of cops who act on the orders of white supremacy and capitalism are also black or brown. The president of the United States, who is killing brown civilians all over the Middle East, spying on millions of folks at home, and generally overseeing one of the most powerful, militarily aggressive, and class-stratified societies of all time is black. Should this change folk’s opposition to the conditions we inhabit, the misery of this world? It hasn’t kept thousands of black and brown folks from taking to the streets…

      • Of course he is…. because white people control all Hispanics. They are just sitting around waiting to be activated. And one more time Zimmerman is one half Hispanic and one half white…. everywhere else in the world but here that makes him Hispanic not white.

  9. it is truly unfortunate that such a clear-cut case of premeditated murder went essentially unpunished, whereas a clear-cut case of self defense, in which nobody was killed resulted in a jail term and and attempted murder charge. there is, and can be no justification for a racist nation. Shame on you Florida.

  10. I think we should blockade the “justice” system. If we can’t have justice then neither can they.
    Barricade and block all court buildings, prosecutors offices, and pig stations.

  11. Pingback: #Block4Trayvon – A Proposal to Block Everything | Everyday Rebellion

  12. Pingback: #Block4Trayvon: A Proposal to Block Everything | The Jefferson Tree

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