The focus of this tour is to take the message Police Terror Must Be STOPPED and our challenge, Which Side Are You On? to college campuses. (The tours will also do events at religious institutions and in communities, but the campuses are key.) Think of the important struggles of the 1960’s and how students taking them up was a key element in how they became part of a wave of massive resistance that rocked the whole system back on its heels. When the students decided they needed to take a stand on these key social issues, it made a huge difference. The same thing needs to happen to STOP police terror, and these tours need to be part of making campuses a key front in the fight to stop it. Basically the students and others who are at the tour events need to come away from them feeling challenged to join in acting to stop murder by police.
These tours will include a combination of organizers, people whose loved ones have been murdered by police and students who can together powerfully bring our message to students and others. They will put before people that police getting away with murder is a widespread, systemic problem that must be stopped. And that everybody who hates injustice needs to be a part of stopping it. (Again, there is no neutrality or middle ground in this fight – Which Side Are You On?) Those whose loved ones have been murdered by police have an important role in delivering this message. They have been dragged into this fight by law enforcement having murdered their loved ones. They can bring alive the devastation murder by police is inflicting on too many families and too many communities. And their declaration that they’re going to do all they can to be part of stopping this horror can give powerful weight to our moral challenge.
These tours will be done regionally. Each conference will do several things to make them happen:
1. Identify a combination of organizers, people whose loved ones have been murdered by police and students who can together powerfully deliver the message that Police Terror Must STOP – Which Side Are You On?
2. Identify key campuses the tour needs to go to and begin reaching out to individuals and organizations on those campuses to set up the tour coming there, making priorities based on where there has been struggle over white supremacy, and where people were involved in RiseUpOctober.
3. Set up an organizing team for the tour that will set up the tour stops, orient the crews that go on the tour, raise the money needed to make this happen, coordinate media work around the tour, etc. This organizing team will be in touch with the SMIN national office, reporting on developments, spreading lessons from the tour in its area and posing questions they are encountering.
The tours will be an important part of the build up to the National Student Strike/Day of Action, and attention has to be paid to how we are building up to this important nodal point. A key question in doing this will be developing the organization needed to make this day, and the movement to STOP police terror overall, as powerful as possible. We need to get people to form chapters of SMIN on their campuses; to join existing SMIN chapters in their areas or, in the case of organizations, to affiliate with SMIN.