‘They Want Us To Forget’

To All Those Who Cant Breathe from Seneca Forest on Vimeo.

What follows is the transcript of the speech given in the above video. 

“They want us to forget.

Every day there’s so much input, some new crisis, some new information, some new screen. Another man or woman killed by the police, and then a sale, what Taylor Swift is doing, what Pharrell said. We could spend our whole lives swiping from one thing to the next, always forgetting, forgetting what happened the day before, forgetting what moved us. And we could die this way, never doing justice to our lives, never doing justice to each other, to the death of a friend, to that of a stranger. A life lived on our knees is not a life at all.

We have seen the cycle repeat itself: a man or woman is harassed or killed by the police, riots happen, and all available means are brought to bear to reestablish order, to bring us back to the same old thing. This cycle can seem insurmountable, but it’s not.
Since August, the people of Ferguson have shown us what it means to reclaim our lives, and to act at in a way adequate to the situation. And since November 24, when we began blocking highways and bridges in 170 cities and confronting the police from New York to Cleveland, Denver to Detroit, Oakland to Atlanta, America as a whole has begun to reclaim its dignity. The blockades and demonstrations now happening everywhere for Eric Garner are not just an intensification of this process, they are a sign that, together, we have reached a higher level, the unveiling of a simple truth that began in 2011: alone, I can’t breathe, but together, we can.

The time has come to draw a line in the sand. We can decide which way to go, we can take back our lives. We can decide how to live without police, and the pathetic form of survival that they are trying to keep together. We only have to give ourselves the means to do so. This is what some Anons meant when they called “to the good people of Ferguson, take heart – and take your streets. Occupy every square inch of your city.” Do we go back home, and give up? Or do we decide, once and for all, to put an end to this? It’s up to us to decide which way to go, and to give ourselves the ability to do it.

From here in New York, we call on everyone, everywhere, to keep blocking everything and to start occupying everything. Create zones of autonomy, free of the police and organized by the people who make them up. Reconnect what we feel and what we think, with what we do and how we live. Assemble the material means to give ourselves time and space, to continue, to persist. Follow that which makes us powerful, overcome what makes us weak. Fight now to live now, build now to go forward now. No more waiting. No more fear. Let’s take over.”